First, I’d like to take a minute to thank my fictitious friend Toby over at Finest Kiss for alerting me to this band. Gold Bears are a group from Atlanta, and they seem perfect to fit right into the stable of Slumberland Records, who will be releasing a full-length from the group later on this year. But, what you need to know is that this track is on a recent 7″ (on Cloudberry) and it sounds just like Cloud Nothings, minus the lo-fi tag, and with a more adult lyrical approach. Don’t get be wrong, both options are great, but I definitely am enjoying the more developed vocal approach apparent on this track. Give this a spin, and get ready for big things from this group.
Download: Gold Bears – Something To Think About [MP3]
It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard anything from anyone aside from Jenny Lewis in the Rilo Kiley camp, but it seems that the once retired Blake Sennett has put down some tracks of his own. He’ll be releasing his newest record under his The Elected moniker for Vagrant Records on May 17th titled Bury Me in My Rings. Listening to this song reminds me of the early work of RK, when used solid harmonies to provide a bit of summery pop to listeners. I’ve always liked Blake’s voice, ever since his early days on Boy Meets World, so I’m happy to hear him back doing what he does best. Lets hear it for Joey the Rat.
Download: The Elected – Babyface [MP3]
If you haven’t been introduced to John Davis before, you must’ve been hiding behind a rock of some sort. He was in Q and Not U, one of the phenomenal Dischord bands and he fronted Georgie James for a bit. Both bands earned a respectable following, but now John’s working on his new group, Title Tracks, who are about to release their second album, In Blank, on April 19th via Ernest Jenning Records. These tunes are full of a steadier, less angular guitar groove, allowing Davis more room to develop his vocals, not to mention his overall craftsmanship. If the rest of the record sounds anything like this, we’re destined for another brilliant work by one of the most under-appreciated songwriters around. You can also check out another track from the upcoming record on his SITE.
Download: Title Tracks – All Tricks [MP3]
Portland seems to be known for the down-trodden style of tunes coming out, or something folky, right? Well, I’m excited to bring you a bit something different from the band Blue Skies for Black Hearts, who have a new album called Embracing the Modern Age coming out on April 19th. Listening to the new single “Majoring in the Arts” reminds me a lot of classic power-pop, except this time it’s the decaf version, which is really what grabbed me. Sometimes you like to sit back, take the groove in, and just tap your feet a little bit, which is exactly the case with this track. You get the feeling the whole record’s going to be nothing but gems. Try this one out.
Download: Blue Skies for Black Hearts – Majoring in the Arts [MP3]
Long have I followed the career of Smog, or Bill Callahan, as we know him now, so when he became one of the many musicians to move to Austin, I was hopping with joy, hoping we’d get to see more of him around town. We have been so lucky, as he popped up on numerous occasions, not to mention random talks, such as his upcoming appearance at Book People on April 10th. But, more important is his music, and P4k premiered a new song yesterday from the gent in preparation for his new record, Apocalypse, which comes out April 19th on Drag City. If we’re going off this track, it’s going to be your usual fair, with trickling guitar work and Bill’s soft and smoky voice. Yeah, that’s right, it’s going to be goo.
Download: Bill Callahan – Baby’s Breath [MP3]
Our amigos in Colourmusic were kind enough to give us a sneak peak of their new album a couple months ago and we’ve been anxiously awaiting the chance to share some of that new music with you. Well now we’ve been given the go ahead and today we’re bringing you this new jam called “Tog”. This new single is set to appear on the group’s upcoming album My _____ is Pink due out May 10th on Memphis Industries. On first listen, I’m sure many of you will take note of the new direction from the band and may or may not be into it. We are most definitely behind this new rock in your face sound. Also having heard most of the new album, we’re certain many of you will want to pick it up.
Download: Colourmusic – Tog [MP3]
I’ve been enjoying this quirky new song from Chicago native artist Rollin Hunt. The tune called “Criminal” appears on an upcoming 7″ single available April 5th on Monikor Records. It’s an odd little lo-fi song, but I’m digging it’s simplicity and creativity.
Download: Rollin Hunt – Criminal [MP3]
Okay, so I have no idea what the name means, or really what any of the lyrics mean, as my Swedish is extremely limited. But, I do know that Det Vackra Livet are the Ekstrom brothers from The Mary Onettes, and this time they’ve opted to make their pop tunes completely laden with the sound of their own country, lyrically speaking. Musically, you’ll find those sweeping melodies, and that steady drumming that seems to strengthen all the tracks the band works on. It’s devoid of the usual haze and atmospherics that go with their main gig, making this track all the more beautiful. You can order it from Labrador, should you choose to fall in love with the track like I have.
Download: Det Vackra Livet – Viljan
While the majority of the work I’ve heard from People’s Temple has been rather brash and energetic, the young Lansing group seems to have fleshed out their sound quite a bit nowadays. They’ve got a new record coming out on Hozac Records titled Sons of Stone, which hits stores on April 19th. This time around the band has less angst, instead fueling their sound with squalling layers of guitar and feedback to coincide with a more haunting vocal performance. Of course, the psychedelic sound might come up with some listeners because of that guitar sound, but no matter, this is just a solid track, sure to be a sign of things to come for the group. Give it a go.
Download: People’s Temple – Sons of Stone [MP3]
You’ve got to be an avid reader in order to catch some of the more obscure artists worth your time. Luckily, I like to consider myself one such person, and going through the thorough review section in the most recent Big Takeover magazine, I stumbled onto The Black Watch. At first, references to The Lucy Show and jangling guitars grabbed hold of me, but once I got my hands on the record itself, everything else just fell into place. John Andrew Frederick writes lyrics the way my favorite David Gedge would put together, just without the idiosyncrasies such as comic book references. His vocals have this warmth, as if you’re listening to a much loved mentor. Their latest album, Led Zeppelin Five, doesn’t have any hints of metal allusions, so that’s a good thing here. Sadly, the band had to go afar, all the way to New Zealand, to get Powertool Records to put out this release. But, if you like your indie rock to be thoughtful, clean and worthy of abundant spins, then go find yourself a copy. Here’s a sample:
Download: The Black Watch – Emily, Are You Sleeping [MP3]