I’ve been hot on the heels of Proto Idiot since the project first crossed my path a few years back (via a 7″ on Trouble In Mind). It’s a pretty prolific act, releasing a slew of singles and albums in quick succession; now there’s a new EP. The songs on The Technique and Its Use in Daily Living are definitely in the vein of garage rock, though there’s a bit more of an artier/spastic side, not to mention some inherently catchy hooks that have you singing along. If anything is going to make your Monday kick ass, it’s going to be to just turn up your speakers (or headphones) and rocking out.
More often than not, I’m skeptical of Robert Pollard‘s work; he’s so prolific that I often wonder how he’d sound if he had a music editor in his studio. That being said, his latest tracks are worthy of checking out, be it Ricked Wicky (still hate the name) or his new solo effort. This latest single, just under Bob’s name, is a perfect piece of power-pop, free of the frivolous touches that often dissuade listeners. The song builds from the opening minute into this blissed out guitar pop with Pollard’s voice taking a great bit of focus. His new album is titled Faulty Superheroes, and it’s due in late April; I think I’ll reserve some funds to pick this one up.
So a little bit ago, Kristian Mattson teased us with an album trailer announcing Dark Bird is Home, but today, we’ve got a jam to taste from that May 12th release. “Sagres” is more refined than anything we’ve experienced from The Tallest Man On Earth so far. There’s a lot more going on now than just a man and his guitar. While this thought may sound scary at first, as that stripped sound is what makes TMOE so delightful, I feel like this song is a natural progression for Mattson; the other instruments are subtle additions, not meant to overpower the soulful vocals uttering a wistful story of nostalgia. You still get the honesty artistry at the core of this man’s music, and now you get it fleshed out with a whole band sound behind it. Preorder the record now via Dead Oceans. So good.
Nathan forwarded this track over to the IT Dept. and within a few seconds of clicking the stream it link, I knew I was going to post it. Tones, contrast, waves progressing and complementing, a controlled vocal effect…
Barbarossa is James Mathé, he comes to us with an impressive resume, working with Jose Gonzalez and Junip, has a couple of solo records already, but the latest is aimed squarely at the IT Department. Gradually layered, but with spaces between, melancholy and elegant, you can download the title track at the site linked for the price of an email address. The album is due May 11th on Memphis Industries.
Some days you just want to sit in your chair, drink a beer and listen to some commercial rock with your friend Mark Kozelek. If you’re up for it, I think the two of you will likely be listening to Sofa Pets. The Helsinki band has that same guitar sound popularized by Budweiser and War on Drugs, and there’s a slight hazy emotion that shines through the lead single. There is a loftier vocal approach in here too, soaring high above the mix, meeting the swirling guitar work at the highest notes. Look for their debut EP soon on VILD Recordings.
It’s no secret that we’re smitten with Fort Worth act, Leon Bridges, whose career seems to be just at the cusp of really taking off; each song he’s put out so far has me a little bit more in love. He’s got a new track to share with you about his mother, titled “Lisa Sawyer” which has enough smoothness to maybe last you the rest of the year. It’s a slow jam that combines glorious storytelling with Leon’s soulful vocals as well some killer saxophone. Take a listen and get swept away by this easy groove.
Of all the press “quotes” that get my attention, I really only care about one: “recommended by Big Takeover.” It’s one of the few publications I actually still pay for, and typically I thumb through every page, ads and all. They didn’t have to offer up this Kuzin tune in all reality, as I had already been turned onto the group, but that extra push encouraged me to post this little gem for you all on Friday. In a world where pop music has to walk a fine line between saccharine and lo-fi aesthetics, I feel like Jessica Maros has gotten it all right. Her songs have hooks, style and they have a knack for staying with you all day long. This here is the title track for her self-titled album, Cavity, which she’s releasing on March 3rd.
How many more times can I tell the world about Juan Wauters? He just announced a new album, including this great new single, which has already won me over. And, it doesn’t hurt that a few of the “press” folks have been given access to the same song in Spanish; it’s just as great. Based on this track, his poetic nuances continue, and I like the distinctive quality in his voice…there’s nothing that sounds quite like Juan. His new effort is titled Who Me and will be released by Captured Tracks on May 12th.
When I have to travel for the day job (international super-conglomerate type thing), I try to find shows going on to get out in the foreign scene and see some bands in a way I might not have a chance to otherwise; like seeing Temples and Warpaint in 300 person venues and catching Merchandise in Richmond after missing their show in Austin. Last time I was in Denver, it was a dead week, but not so this time around and since I had seen Hi-Dive show up on the tour stops for several of my favorite bands so Corners at Hi-Dive on a Wednesday night it was.
I used to jam to Milemarker quite a bit back in the day, so it’s good to see Dave Laney writing new tunes, though he’s been working on his Auxes project for some time. I dig the band’s newest single; it’s got a blend of post-rock surrounded by some more melodic guitar playing. Lacey’s vocals still have a slightly harsh sound, but it’s not an off-putting one, just rather a touch that gives an extra punch to the band. Their latest album Boys in My Head is getting a release stateside via Lovitt Records, so whether you’ve heard it or not, it’s a jam for you to enjoy this afternoon.