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  • SXSW: 6 Bands To Watch

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  • RayRay’s Top Songs – 2018

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  • Best of Indiepop 2018

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  • ATH Top Albums – 2018

      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.

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Enjoy Nihilist Kite Flyer from Loving

It’s supposed to rain here in town this weekend, and as a guy who likes to plan and map out the soundtrack to his life, I wanted to have the perfect song to stare longingly outside while water beads up on the windows at home…lucky for me I found this Loving tune. It’s this beautifully unassuming number; it allows for both the music and your mind to wander about. Built upon a gentle guitar and piano line, the voice really sets you up for that dreamy vibe, almost giving you the chills it’s so powerful. This tune comes with the announcement that the band have signed to Last Gang Records, so we should expect release news sometime in the near future.

Azure Blue Share New Electronic Pop Number

Tobias Isaksson seems to be no a roll the last couple of years with his Azure Blue project, settling into a groove of releasing pop gem after pop gem; he released “Shine On” late last year, just a few months after the release of the excellent Fast Falls the Eventide. Quietly, Matinee Recordings has uploaded a new song with the promise of the forthcoming Images of You album. This song features steadied electronic pulses; Tobias excels at layering his sonic bursts atop one another until they seem like one endless pop pulsation. His voice has always had this natural soothing warmth, perfectly fit to his brand of pop…and this tune is no different. Look for the new album to come sooner rather than later, though no official date is out there.

Eleventh Hour Adventists Announce New LP

It’s been a wonderful week for Emotional Response Records, what with news bits from Neutrals and Seablite, but new of the an Eleventh Hour Adventists might be the biggest news of the week. The band is made up of Jowe Head (TV Personalities, Swell Maps) and Jasmine Pender (Rotten Bliss), so you’re getting two revered artists who’ve always played by their own rules. This first single is something of a mix between folk ballad and haunted sea shanty, with both Pender and JH trading vocal duties throughout. However, just like their meeting, things are not of the ordinary with these two…skip just to the 4 minute mark (if you need proof) for the brief noise experiment symbolizing the duo’s desire to manipulate tradition. Who knows where their self-titled LP will leave us, but one things for certain it will be anything but boring; it drops on June 7th!

Holy Tunics Share Brand New Single

I first got turned on to Holy Tunics when they dropped Butter Dish last year, so I’m really stoked that Hit Parade Lemonade Supersonic Spree has been announced. I think you’ll find that this new single from the record fully employs the band brandishing their best power-pop. In the opening guitar lines you almost get this grungy college rock vibe, which fits the initial vocal burst. However, “bahs” and harmonies jump in on the chorus, satiating your pop needs for the day, or for these 2.5 minutes anyways. Good marker for this might be a band like Sloan, though feel like they’re going just a notch above in their volume production here. If you need guitar pop, then I suggest you keep an eye out for the new LP; it drops via the esteemed Meritorio Records on June 14th.


They’ve also got the following tour dates in July:

Tues 7/23, Austin, TX: Cheer Up Charlies w/ Daphne Tunes, Dorio
Wed 7/24, El Paso, TX: Neon Rose Bar w/ If We Were Turtles, Gila Monster
Thurs 7/25, Phoenix, AZ: The Lunchbox w/ The Desert Beats, Tropical Beach, Yipee
Fri 7/26, San Diego: SD Content Partners w/ Former, Shindigs, Brushed
Sat 7/27, Los Angeles, CA: Monty Bar w/ Smokescreens, Susan
Sun 7/28, Oakland, CA: Oakland Secret w/ Seablite, Lunchbox
Mon 7/29, Reno, NV: Recycled Records
Tues 7/30, Provo, UT: The Rad Shack w/ The Djinn, Pick Pocket, Cupidcome
Wed 7/31, Denver, CO: Nude City Relief Center w TBD

One More Halfsour Tune

In case you weren’t anticipating the new Halfsour LP enough, I wanted to reaffirm that next weeks Sticky release will be well-worth your hard-earned dollars. I think the meat of this song is top of the line, Grade A rock n’ roll. It opens with this bobbing bass line and this knife-work guitar, letting Zoe tease you into the track. Once they hit that 1.10 minute mark, the song drops into some of the best guitar pop I’ve heard this week, with Zoe’s voice soaring through your stereo (or probs your laptop). it’s like a fucking tractor beam of rad pop music that you just won’t let you pull away. Sticky drops next Friday via Fire Talk and Disposable America.

Digging on This Chris Staples Tune

If you’ve learned anything about me over these last 10 plus years it’s that I’m the truest sucker for a good pop song, and I was no match for this Chris Staples tune. At first, I was drawn to Chris’ voice; it has this gentle whispering intimacy that sort of makes me nostalgic for the kid I was in the late 90s. But, as I spun it a few more times, there’s these little underlying musical hooks; I love the layering of the guitar tracks upon one another, with one strumming and the other one coursing throughout..kind of reminds me of ol’ Al Hambone JR, particularly in the chorus. I don’t know; this is the way to rule a Friday. His new record Holy Moly will be out on June 28th via Barsuk.

Bouncy Pop Number from Neutrals

If that bobbing bass line that opens up this new single from Neutrals doesn’t get you, then I think you might want to call a doctor. That didn’t work? Well, maybe take into account the group features members of Terry Malts, Cocktails and Giant Haysticks? That should do the trick. But, if you’re still struggling, then let the rhythm push you on, then await those circular guitar lines that up the ante on the songs natural enemy. You might get a little offset with the deadpan delivery of the vocals, but those of you with punk rock in your veins should be more than ok. With only a handful of demos to their name, Kebab Disco aims to be a pretty powerful debut; it’s available for pre-order from Emotional Response.

Yum! Share Groovy New Wave / Synth Pop Bop

Yum! hail from Montreal, and the proclaim to be “making the kind of groovy jams that Lando Calrissian would get down to at his private island’s cabana bar.” After listening to “Haha I’ve Been Here Before,” I can second that sentiment, as it’s a delightfully light and airy new wave / synth bop that calls to mind a folksier, chilled out version of Dirty Projectors. Starting out with bubbling synths, we’re then eased into the track with slide guitar and a jazzy beat. The vocals hit this casual lukewarm stride, but you get the playfulness of group harmonies and backing vocals. It’s a lovely laid back tune with enough sonic energy to hold your attention. Take a listen and fall in love with Yum!

Another Gem From Sid Steppes

Another week, another track from Sid Steppes, apparently! Last week, Nathan shared this number from the SoCal artist, and this new one, “Keep in Touch,” has me grooving along as well, so I figured we’d keep the love going. This track is all at once to simple and yet so vastly layered that you’ll find yourself lost in the bedroom psych as you zone out watching the changing landscape of the video. The drums ground you in the tune while the guitar and Steppes’ hazy vocals duel for the spotlight. Make sure Sid Steppes is on your radar for the future and lookout for his new album,Trails, which will be out on May 31.

 

Dreamy Tune From Rose Hotel

Rose Hotel is the moniker for the project of Jordan Reynolds, who is currently based out of Atlanta. On her way to releasing her debut LP, I Will Only Come When It’s A Yes, she’s most recently dropped the tune “Write Home,” which I have for you below. What awaits you is a lush dream pop track that vocally kind of reminds me a bit of Angel Olsen–that kind of smoky yet delightfully honeyed in moments. Reynold’s voice is perfectly accompanied by a horn, distorted guitars and lax percussion that makes you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. It’s a solid tune, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more tracks from Rose Hotel in the future. The debut LP will be out at the end of the month on May 31.

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