Some days I want my rock n’ roll nice and loud, some days I want it with a little jangle, but in the case of Toledo, I want my rock n’ roll nice and chilled out today. The group just dropped the latest single from their Hot Stuff EP, and while it takes on some dreamy tendencies in the meandering guitars, it’s a very settled piece of guitar pop music. I love how there’s this delicate quality to the vocals, as if they’re afraid that they could shatter the rest of the song by bursting forth. It’s the best sort of guitar tune, letting you drift off into your weekend adventures, at least mentally.
I still find a place in life to throw in a Boy Least Likely To track from time to time, so it’s great to have a brand new track to throw in the mix. This tune comes with the announcement of the band’s Greatest Hits collection, grabbing all the singles from the four studio records, not to mention a studio version of George Michael’s “Faith,” and the brand new single below. It captures the spritely spirit of the band, always playful, forever infectious. They remain one of those bands that you can’t help but sing along with, even if its as silly as singing about hitching your apple wagon.
Homeshake has been making chilled out indie pop meets R&B tracks for a solid chunk of time now, so it’s no surprise that his latest track “Like Mariah,” is yet another slice of solid work. On the heels of the announcement of his fourth LP, Peter Sagar, clearly knows a thing or two about making a proper track. “Like Mariah” has this funky/almost crunchy bass sound that perfectly juxtaposes Sagar’s falsetto vocals. Sagar sings of thinking about what could have been, and the emptiness of the instrumentation matches that emotion quite well. Take a listen and then prep for the coming of Helium, which will be out February 15th of next year on Sinderlyn.
This track is a big mood. That’s what the kids these days say, right? Anyways, “Rats” is a splash of cold water to the face, a no-nonsense, cut and dry guitar-driven ripper that is made to leave the confines of your earbuds and be blasted at full volume. Richard Vain is a band, not a person. While it initially began as a solo effort, it is now a three piece, featuring ex-members of the Ponys and Bare Mutants. It’s quick and to the point: punk drums, grunge-y guitars tearing it up, vocals not quite at a shout, but spat at you with proper conviction. Perhaps you’ll be like me and turn this one up loud and pretend the world doesn’t exist, if only for two minutes. Night Jammers, Richard Vein’s debut LP, will be out on December 7th on Big Neck Records.
J Fernandez will be releasing what will surely be a lovely collection of pristine pop this Friday via Joyful Noise, and just dropped a new track/video for “Volcanic Winter.” This song shows off how subtleties are Fernandez’ game and he is indeed the master of said game. A simple bass line and easy drum beat greet you before the track really launches in on its covert attack on your attention. You get some gentle twangy guitar and then a squeal of synth rises in sound and Fernandez’ vocals enter. His vocals have this warm, yet hollow, quality to them; you hang on every word as he paints a picture of a desolate landscape. These twinkling synths patter in and out of the heavily layered mix, and you’re simply hooked. It’s a grand track that presents itself meekly at your feet–prepare for repeated listening.
Occasional Din willbe out this Friday, 11/9. Grab your copy here.
We’ve long been supporters of Roger Sellers and his Bayonne project; he’s been one of Austin’s most creative artists over the last several years. For those unfamiliar, just listen below, as Roger builds layer upon layer, honing in on just the right dose of pop sensibility to guarantee listeners always come back for more. There’s quite a bit going on behind this track, so it’ll be interesting to see Roger pull those textures out in the live setting. I bet we get a chance at that real soon, as Roger’s just announced Drastic Measures, his new LP, which will drop in February of next year!
In the first 20 seconds of this brand new Cherry Glazerr tune, you quickly realize that Clementine and her posse are changing things up a bit…but really just a bit. You get 45 seconds of almost playful vocals and electronic beats; it seems to work with the nervous questioning of the lyrics at this point. But, then Creevy lets loose on the guitar, emphatically taking back control of everything; it could be a nameless narrator or it could be Creevy herself, but whoever comes out in the chorus is doing things on their own terms. I thought I loved the early stuff, but this is a really great song, balanced between hooks and the bravado that the band always bring to the live setting. This track will appear on the group’s new LP, Stuffed & Ready, which drops on Secretly Canadian on February 1st.
It’s been a hot minute since I really indulged in listening to sort of ambient soundscapes…but I really love Julian Lynch. He just announced Rat’s Spit, and with it this brand new single to tease his forthcoming release. The sonic structure seems fairly simple, or at least straightforward, offering a piano line, some fuzz and another wash of electronics before allowing his voice to enter. When his voice does arrive, it quickly moves into angelic tones, which some might see as a nod to Bon Iver. There’s a nice little guitar solo noodling through the track’s midsection too! Rat’s Spit will hit the streets via Underwater Peoples on January 18th.
Let’s face it, punk rock went mainstream long ago; it lost its luster, grew commercial, but from time to time, it’s managed to find its way back to us. If that sentiment registers, then you’re going to want to grab the self-titled LP from Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries. The Fresno outfit has established themselves as the ‘body positive queercore riot pop” outift that you never knew you needed; the single below has the band rejoicing with “I’m a weirdo.” It’s freeing, they’re celebrating their imperfections (as we all should), and while they do it, they fill the song with this infectious rhythm and discordant guitars giving you the 1-2 punch of glee and grit. The self-titled LP drops this Friday via Emotional Response Records.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea who Jonathan Franco was. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time with his new album, Swimming Alone Around the Room. Some of the tunes are these pop leaning sonic explorations, like previous single “Transition Lens,” while others have a more traditional songwriter approach, like the latest single. Still, even on the tune below, Franco stretches it beyond what we’ve come to accept as standard time, pushing the track beyond 7 minutes. It’s as good a song as anything cut from the same cloth in 2018, so when you pick up the album on Friday, you’ll get rewarded with far more than you expected in the streaming era.