Martin Newell‘s name should be familiar, at least I hope so. He’s long been known for his work with Cleaners from Venus, not to mention some solo outings. Captured Tracks has collected the best of Newell’s recent work from the last four years, put them all together for a collection titled Teatime Assortment. The track below is a bonus tune for the album, and I’ll admit it illustrates why Newell’s always been sort of an acquired taste for some…though you can hear how close his vocals are to that of everyman hero, Bob Pollard. This should be a special collection worth your time; it’s being released on June 9th.
The week, though thankfully it’s almost over, has been a stressful one for the ATH crew. Coming back to the work week after an intense weekend of Music Festing, is always a pain, but here’s a track that’s helping me numb that lingering pain this late in the week. The Castillians are a UK group that make garage pop that sounds like a mix between Little Joy and The Walkmen, but is all kinds of wonderful. This track, “I’ll Be Your Man,” starts out incredibly slow and then builds to a rocking finish. This track is off of The Castillians’ LP, Show Your Teeth, which is out May 18th.
You probably aren’t familiar with The Parrots, as they are from Madrid are just now starting to gain some traction over here stateside, but it’s time to change that. The moment you press play on the track below, “I’m Not Alone,” you’ll realize just what you’ve been missing out on and become enamored with their infectiously lo-fi sound. The vocals are all kinds of wild here, uncontrolled while those guitar hooks spin you round and round. This track is part of a new EP from these guys, called Weed For the Parrots, which will be released June 22nd via Luv Luv Luv Records.
Man I have been enjoying this new Paul Bergmann tune most of the evening and wanted to send it your way on this fine hump day. The track, “Old Dream”, is a true songwriter’s gem in the vein of old Tallest Man or even up and comer Andrew St. James. It’s truly a special number.
Paul currently has a 7″ single with this track and one other out now on Fairax Recordings.
Not many times will one be introduced to a band in the same way as you are with Sacramento based band So Stressed. My first exposure to the band is this new song “Apple Hill”, and I think you’ll agree with me when I say… woah. Let’s call it post-hardcore if you like? Whatever genre you’d put these guys in, you can’t deny the intensity of the angry vocals, fast as hell drums, and overall power of the song. Give me more of this.
So Stressed have a new album entitled The Unlawful Trade of Grecco-Roman Art due out on May 26th via Captured Tracks.
Hey man, we’re always just looking out for y’all here at ATH, so I wanted to let you know that the lovely folks at Jurrasic Pop records are letting you stream the new Pfarmers LP, Gunnera, for free for a limited time. Pfarmers is the project of The National’s Bryan Devendorf, Danny Seim of Menomena, and Dave Nelson of St. Vincent…so really with all that talent you should probably give it a listen. Everyone likes free, legal music, right?
Well, the 18 years is more a reference to a lifetime of writing music in one’s soul, as Joe Bordenaro has only lived for 18 years. That’s exactly why this new tune is rather exciting, seeing as he’s written such a great tune at such a young age. Joe’s first single comes out this week courtesy of Canvas Club, and it’s just a great power-pop tune to get you through your day; the guitars twist and distort in all the right places, and there’s an earnestness in his nod to pop music, especially in the vocals. Keep an eye on this youngster…we should see more coming from him soon.
And really, when they keep putting out stellar singles, it’s not hard at all. About a month ago Nathan gave you this sweet jam, and now I’m here to give you another one from Summer Fiction. “Perfume Paper” is the perfect pop gem: it’s got super present vocals that tell a story, a chorus that will get stuck in your head for days, and jangly guitar riffs all over the place. Their album, Himalaya, is due out on June 16th, and it sounds like it’s gonna be one you can’t afford to miss, really. Listen up kids.
I loved the records that Jaill put out on Sub Pop Records, but the group’s moving on, agreeing to work with Burger Records for their brand new LP. It’s interesting seeing the growth of the band over the past several LPs; they get catchier with each album, making it hard for any music fan to turn their head away. There’s still some kicking riffs here to get your amped up, stomping or bouncing around your cubicle (bedroom, whatever). I hear a slight hint of Dan B from Destroyer in the vocals, which is never a bad thing for us here at the office. Look for Brain Cream to be released by the label on June 30th.
Oh you haven’t heard of Abram Shook? Seriously? Well, Abram Shook is a one of Austin’s truest gems as of late: a great songwriter and backing band who put out an album last year called Sun Marquee and already back with this stunning follow up record. On Landscape Dream, Shook and company take you both to 70’s rock and roll as well as soulful grooves of soft rock.
“Never Die” begins the album slowly and carefully, with some twee synth that harkens back to the grooves of yesteryear and Shook’s delicate whispery vocals beckon you to come with him on this journey before he is joined by the rock. This synth and vocals are soon joined by a burst of instrumentation: psychedelic guitar, stark percussive elements and even more synth. Then all of the sudden this burst of energy fades back out to just the vocals and synth sounds, now subtle and you’re left with Abram Shook and company stripped down to their core. This combination of soft and loud doesn’t overwhelm, but leaves you a little awestruck as to all that you’ve just heard—the song is fluid, moving you along with it. In one of the quieter moments, Shook tells you to “Listen, listen to the words” almost prompting you to keep your ears pricked for what’s to come.
This album is an oddly delightful mixture of misty ethereal sounds and outright rock and roll that is manifested through several different genres. There are proper links to psychedelic and garage rock on here, such as you’ll find on “Beach Glass” and “Find It” respectively. “Beach Glass” is a straight from the seventies track that involves a lot of gentle percussion, echo-y vocals and pulsing electronic sounds. “Find It” has the gritty guitars that ooze garage, while the vocals are still delicate, giving the juxtaposition of genre that you didn’t know you wanted. But then there are softer moments such as you’ll find on “Vessel,” which does eventually get a little rock and roll, but sticks in the realm of dreamy pop.
In all honesty, this album contains no bad track, and with each listen you sink your teeth further into the songs. Every time you pass through the 12 tracks on here, you find a new set of favorite tunes, and the ones that already were your favorites become ever more solidified as so. So pick this record up, spin it often, and get lost in the Landscape Dream.