Earlier this summer I was reminded of the greatness created by Dan Mangan and his music. Still unsure as to why he fell off my radar over the years, these new singles from his latest album are a wake up call. This new track “Just Fear” is yet another beauty of a songwriter tune which will fall in with some of the best works of Mangan’s career. Though he still flies somewhat under the radar, the guy is a true genius.
Mangan will release new album More or Less on November 2nd via Arts & Crafts.
Those of you following this site the last decade or so might already know a few of the fellas in Indigo Bunting, as they were active members of ATH faves, Tiger Waves. Today, the new project drops two new tunes to introduce themselves to the masses…and what promise these two songs give us! “Little Moonwheel” is a light-hearted folk style pop song; I’m quite impressed with the lush arrangements on the song…these guys have always had great care in the details of their songs. “Pull Trap” is more of a psychedelic pop adventure from outer space; I kind of see it as a grandchild of the more curious Elephant 6 acts. Two songs with two similar, yet diverse tastes…promising news from the Indigo Bunting camp. You can grab the tracks for NYP at Bandcamp.
It’s been just over a year since Rostam released Half-Light, and even longer since that gem of an album he did with our boy Hambone…and it looks like he’s finally starting to move forward with new music. His brand new single has him building the song, much as one expect an artist to do over time. He opens with mandolin, letting that ride for a minute before bringing in his voice…it’s then that the lush orchestration begins to take hold as a pulsing drum rhythmically beats beneath the surface. Tension builds by way of violins, though he keeps his voice gentle throughout the entirety of the changes. For a musician trying to find that balance between indie rock and electronica…it’s been a good run for Rostam thus far.
Chorusgirl needn’t do too much to persuade me to come back for repeated listens, but the band have unleashed a brilliant pop tune this week to announce their new album. It jumps off almost like a brooding bit of jangle, before settling into a calming bounce to reinforce the vocals. Suddenly, guitar lines get sharper and the percussion is tight as can be, giving way to a catchy bounce that’s hard to ignore. The band even play upon that hook as the vocals move forward, giving into the vibes of classic girl group harmonies. The band will released Shimmer and Spin to rave reviews on November 16th.
This Blades of Joy gem has been bouncing around the Internet for a wee bit, but I was out having one of those baby things, so forgive me for not being on the up and up. That being said, this is one of the songs I rushed to get up upon my return. You might be able to toss the group into any number of categories, but most importantly, you’ll keep coming back to celebrate how great the music is. There’s a noticeable indifference in the guitar work, and yet the vocals have this warmth that could soothe any listener. There’s this timelessness to it, wherein it could fit into any musical decade and make an impact. If you listen to any one song today, make this the one. The band’s self-titled LP will drop on September 21st via Melters.
If you carefully look beneath the surface of the Austin scene, you’ll find that Grivo have been lurking there, defiantly working at honing their craft…all in preparation for what I can only expect is a remarkable debut. Immediately, there’s something slightly different at play here; the band have been known for their ear-shattering sets…and here, we get something just a touch different. Guitars are still brooding beneath the surface of the mix, but things almost come across with a slightly lighter attitude, allowing the guitars to sort of sparkle and fade through your speakers. It should come as no surprise that the band have just recently signed to Holodeck Records, who will release Elude on November 16th.
I haven’t gotten chance to really share our love for Lala Lala, but I’ve spent the past week hanging out on the Internet trying to find tracks I can play for my newborn daughter…as background music, and subliminal female empowerment. For starters, this song’s perfect, ambling in with atmospherics before Lillie West even lets her voice enter the picture. When she does, it’s offered with a headstrong solemnity…though she’s able to raise the pitch when needed. I like the slight horse gallop from the drums in the distance, while West continue to drape her perfect voice across the song. The Lamb will be released via Hardly Art on September 28th, and I’m pretty sure my daughter, unbeknownst to her, is going to be way into it. There’s also an Austin tour date on October 4th for our ATX friends.
Seattle’s Scarves have just recently popped onto my radar, but I’ve been enjoying a pretty steady stream of the group’s new jams. The group seem to have that perfect balance between angular emo stylings and really great pop music; I think this track even takes on an almost Dismemberment Plan, seemingly working with different time signatures between music and voice. Niko has one of those insanely unique voices that seem fashionable up in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s one I’m hoping you won’t forget. Look for the group’s Dinner Dates for the End of Days via Good Eye Records on September 28th.
It’s hard to pin down Bad Sports, as all their members are incredibly active in various other ventures. But, they’re back with their first album since 2016, and the first single is this huge anthemic power rocker. The band seem to have shred a little bit of their punk rock bravado, though that might just be this song; in lieu of that change, the band’s natural hooks seem to be all the more prominent…especially if you take those gang vocals that round out the song’s close. Whatever they’re doing, I’m always listening, so I’m excited to see that Constant Stimulation will be out via Dirtnap Records on October 29th.
I’ve already encouraged you to go give Proto Retro a thorough listen, but in case you keep ignoring me, I’m going to continue to give you a healthy dosage of Dot Dash. They just dropped this mostly live footage video for album standout “Unfair Weather.” This track puts the group’s crystalline guitar pop tendencies on display…you know, the sort everyone whose anyone is trying to pull off these days. Plus, the rhythm section is always on point, which gives the guitar work space to sort of meander around the perfect harmony. And, if you love this song, you can grab it for free over HERE, or grab the whole LP!