Soft Power Records Final Release is Dora Maar

flightsIt’s always a sad day when a label has to call it a day, so I’m really bummed that Soft Power Records (home to Witching Waves) will be calling it a day with their final release being the latest EP from Dora Maar, Flights. If you haven’t listened to Dora Maar, or even heard of them, then perhaps this is a great place to start. I love the album’s opener, working with a vocal atop skittering guitar and percussive elements; it bursts forth into this beautiful moment of bright pop for the chorus, swinging your spirits high in the air before setting you back down to settle back into the groove. You’ll be able to grab this release on August 27th, but let’s wish Bek and Graeme good luck in all the future brings them!

Hear a Brand New Wildhoney Tune

WildhoneyMy affinity for indiepop/shoegaze doesn’t ever fade, especially when one of my favorites, Wildhoney, come to mind. The band will be featured on what is already an incredibly anticipated release from Fortuna Pop/Slumberland Records…a four-way compilation featuring The Spook School, Tigercats and The Mercury Girls. This tune definitely looks more to the Wildhoney’s bouncier side, whilst still including that delightful wash of atmospherics atop. I’m a fan of the short bass solo in the song’s latter half before they blast back into infectious exuberance. You’ll have to get your hands on this when it hits on August 26th. Already pondering whether a compilation can be album of the year…on my end anyways.

More from Cool Ghouls

coolzYou know how we love Cool Ghouls around these parts? Well, here’s just another song to sell you on it, as if you need that. Listening to this track from Animal Races, it really reminds me of a lot of Bend Beyond-era Woods, which is enough for me to fork out my money to pick it up. There’s clearly a nod to California, and perhaps even the Grateful Dead (pre-jam band era of course!); I love how that piano almost seems like the group decided to rock this song out in some old Western bar. You’ll be happy to know you can get your very own copy from Empty Cellar Records on August 19th.

Out There Pop from J&L Defer

jldeferThis tune from J&L Defer popped up yesterday, and I don’t feel like it received its just desserts. For a minute, I completely thought it was going to be this constructionist pop like Octopus Project or Black Moth Super Rainbow, but there’s still a simple structure when you peel back the varying layers. Some of the odd drum samples or fading bleeps might disguise it, but I see you in there you great pop song! Perhaps a bit more vocals would draw in a bit more of an accessible audience, but the fact that it ignores traditional sensibility makes it all the more intriguing…and perfect. Look for the band’s debut, No Map, via Exploding in Sound on September 2nd.

Diners Play Pop

dinersIt’s interesting hearing Diners work with Asian Man Records; I always associate that label with a lot of good pop punk. But, with Diners, they’re just giving you straight pop, of the infectious sort. It borders on the line between Jens Lekman, Dent May andSummer Salt…beach vibes, good hooks and harmonies. I reckon it never matters who puts it out as long as someone loves it, and I think you’ll love this one. Summer vibes with a nostalgic story line. Look for the band’s new album, Three, on September 16th.

Fresh Track from Ultimate Painting

ultimatepaintingI don’t think I’ve met a single person who doesn’t enjoy listening to Ultimate Painting, but maybe I’ve just got really really cool friends. Regardless, a day when the band unleashes a new tune is never a bad one, so we’ve got that to celebrate, along with the announcement of the group’s 3rd LP, Dusk. On this track, the band hits you with their well-branded casual rock, steady in almost every move they make. Personally, there’s the slightest vocal inflection that raises just above the vocal counterpart during the chorus of “they’re chewing me up” that seals the deal for me. It seems so simple, yet executed so well…the kind you can only expect from a band on Trouble in Mind Records, who will release the album on September 30th.

Tom Brosseau Nods Towards North Dakota

tombroThere’s two sides to this new track from Tom Brosseau: the music and the story. Musically, I think you’ll clearly see that Tom’s voice carries the track the moment it entered above the guitar; the arrangements behind his strumming aid the song’s emotional pull, but the voice wins. Still, I’m attached to the story or the soul of the song, with Brosseau admitting the track revolves around finding familiarity for home no matter where you are. As a traveler, it’s always nice to see a touch of home, especially when you’ve been gone for some time, like being on tour or living in a different country. It’s always nice to be home, or feel home, even if you’r not there. His new album, North Dakota Impressions, will leave its mark on you September 16th via Crossbill Records.

Omni – Deluxe

omni

Rating: ★★★★½

Rock n’ roll has a tendency to get stale, and the current landscape has seemed as such, by and large, until I came into this Omni album, Deluxe. Sure, there are nods here and there, but for me, the band have managed to reimagine the world of punk (pop, proto, etc) and capture it at its fascinating best.

The one-two punch of “Afterlife” and “Wednesday Wedding” set the tone for what’s an exciting listen from start to finish. Deluxeopens with a propulsive bounce, discordant guitars ringing in your ears and changing speeds via “Afterlife.” But, in “Wednesday Wedding” the group displays what’s made them wholly fascinating; this track seemingly works against itself, with stabbing chords and bobbing bass hitting in contrast to the cooled vocal punch. If you listen to the song’s chorus and aren’t in love, even though it’s brief, you’re not doing it right.

Really though, Omni have left you with what is actually a 1-2…10 punch. There’s not a bad song here, and every listener will likely find their own favorite. I mean “Wire” has this danceable stab that separates the dreamy state of the track. “Eyes on the Floor” could easily have been penned by the band’s many Aussie label mates such as Dick Diver, filled with these great guitar lines. Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards “Jungle Jenny,” which definitely seems to wear the touches of Frankie Broils (who was once upon a time in Deerhunter). Those are just some of the standouts and benchmarks from my voice.

But, that being said, I don’t thing anyone that looks for a reason to hate something will find that within the confines of Deluxe. It excels in creativity, but is also fortunate in that there’s some brevity to the album, so you’re not worn out by anything. Each song turns and turns, leaving you flustered, yet immersed in the art the group brings to the table. Start to finish, you’re going to need to listen to this record; you’re going to want to listen to this record…and in a world of singles, that says a whole lot more than I can.

It’s available now via Trouble in Mind Records.

Hazy Psychedelia from Golden Gate

gardengateLooks like the folks operatingthe new label Golden Brown are hitting the ground running. They’ve been tossing out singles left and right, with this new one from Golden Gate the latest in hits they’ve tossed our way. While there are elements of psychedelia lurking throughout the track (you won’t miss em’), there seems to be an underlying playfulness that elevates the track. Mix it in with the atmospheric wash that’s present, and you’ve got a track that begs listeners to focus on the song’s core pop sensibilities. Look for Dark Harvest on August 5th.

I’d Like You to Meet Your Death

meetyourdeathOpened up our early day with a lot of the soft stuff, which I love, but man, I want you to listen to this new track from Meet Your Death. The group, composed of some heavy hitters around the Austin area, are playing this bluesy bit of garage rock, or rather, let’s just call it rock n’ roll. There’s a bit of boogie in it, and the lyrics are delivered in a matter of fact manner…and lets not forget that squawking harmonica blasting through. There’s a lot of imitators out there nowadays, so here’s hoping someone imitates this! Look for the band’s new self-titled LP next month from 12XU.

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