It’s a beautiful day in Austin, TX and I’d advise you to play some tunes which fit the current sunny skies and moderate temps. My new friends in Los Angeles based Small Forward have this new single called “Tearjerker” to perfectly fit the mood. Don’t let the track title mislead you, the song is full of bright, shoe gaze style pop music perfect for a morning drive on a crisp, lovely day. These guys are fairly new to the game right now and I’m told we will be hearing much more from them in the new year.
Trolling labels always turns up something, even in the dead part of the year. I always keep an eye on Kingfisher Bluez, a label after my own heart with a pretty diverse catalog that branches all over the place. The label just upped a track from their first release in 2019, the new LP from Counterfeit Jeans. It’s melodic noise rock at its finest, offering up these discordant guitars chugging from the get go, while the vocals have this tendency to sore brightly amidst the song’s natural chaos. The LP is titled Good Morning, and it looks like it will drop in February of next year; I’ll keep you posted.
It’s fun to follow your favorite bands, see who they’re following, see who they’re playing with…you’ll likely discover something new, as I did with Deep Sea Peach Tree. The band just released the EP below, and they shared the stage that night with ATH faves, Pale Lights. But, the musical link ends there, as DSPT has more of a chilled pop vibe, even going so far as to declare themselves “surfgaze.” The Milk-Based Religion EP is definitely rewarding, opening up with the wayward guitars of “Mellow Richard” and wrapping up with the EP’s best tune, “Felt,” which adds some energetic pop vibes to the four songs. Whatever, it’s Monday. And this EP is tasty.
This track’s been floating around for a few days, but we were busy doing that list thing, so I’m just now getting to it. Those of you familiar with Harlem will likely hear something different below; it’s growth and maturity, benefitting both the band and the listeners. The melodic hooks have always been essential to the band’s formula, and they’re here, smoothed and polished and charming. For a band that made such a buzz playing off-kilter garage rock, the sharpness in the songwriting here is quite remarkable; don’t sleep on this LP, grab Oh BoyHERE.
This is our year end list for albums of the year. There’s four of us here, so it’s hard to come to a consensus, but we did our best. Feel free to argue and tell us where we went wrong; we realize our list is quite a bit different than most. Read more
Not more than a month ago, Houston’s Rose Ette dropped Ignore the Feeling via Miss Champagne Records. But, since music never dies, we’re here to share the album’s title track with you, if only to remind you of how great the entirety of the LP is. The twisting and turning of the guitar is beautiful, if not sedated, setting the stage so the vocal melodies can take control of your ears. You’ll find the lyrical content matching the yearning mood of the song, looking back on something you can’t quite escape. The distorted guitar touch at the end is perfect, wrapping up the track in the most concise manner possible, leaving you with just a bit of an edge. Grab the LP HERE; the vinyl version drops in January.
Portland’s Shadowgraphs are about to drop their newest album this Friday, but what better time than the present to drop another single from that LP. In my repeated listens, I can definitely hear the band’s psychedelic influences shining through, particularly in the last few moments of the video. But, peel that away for a minute and imagine someone like J. Spaceman jamming out with a huge dollop of pop sensibility, and you’ll have a perfect way to picture the band. There’s this natural driving force behind it, with the vocals constantly seeming like they’re trying to escape the video through your speakers and slink into your living space. Another Time hits on Friday via Golden Brown Records, so grab it while its hot.
Let’s face it; Winter is right around the corner. You can put holidays aside and all that, as this track from Remington Super 60 is more about the advance of cold weather than holiday cheer. That’s not to say that the understated guitar and tambourine jangle won’t bring you a touch of cheer on their own. The vocals are nice and warm, contrasting the imagery and the band’s call for snow that will stick to the ground. Be it in Norway, where the band lives, or here in Texas, a little cold weather is never a bad thing, especially if you have a nice indiepop tune like this one to enjoy by the fire.
Earlier in the year I wrote a lot about Outerhope‘s newest album Vacation; it was this sublimely rewarding piece of ethereal pop music best absorbed in solitude. For me, that meant the minimal notes crept under my skin, and the melodies often created these out of body experiences that made the Lp perfect for escapism. Today the band share the video for “Airways”; the video features beautiful natural footage juxtaposed with a pre-apocalyptic setting. The song itself is one of the more subtle tracks on the record, always building and moving beneath the speakers. If you love it, go grab a copy from Shelflife.
This year’s ACL featured Durand Jones and the Indications; I tried to hype it up as much as I could…though I still feel like folks missed out. Luckily, one of the tracks they played live, featuring drummer Aaron Frazer on lead vocals, is making it onto their next album, American Love Call. This single’s blown up really quickly, so odds are everyone will be on Durand and the band; I think those of you who like the classic R&B sounds will love this more than any other modern act spinning a similar style. Frazer and Jones play off each other so well in this track that its hard not to be taken aback. You can grab the LP next March via Dead Oceans/Colemine.