Few labels are out there putting their money where mouth is, talking of cultural change in the music industry. But then there’s Emotional Response, single-handedly guaranteeing that women in punk get all their deserved credit; they’re back again with their (by now famous) Typical Girls Volume 3 & 4…two LPs worth of female rock n’ roll in compilation form. Below we’ve got a tune from Japan’s C-3s off of Volume 4. There’s structural changes throughout the tune, some moments of early post-punk and other instances of swagger and aggressiveness. A few repeated listens and glorified hooks will emerge from the noisy commotion, and you’ll swoon over this release. The LPs are available now from the label!
We’re actually going to start SXSW’ing this week, but we’ve still got a few interviews to roll out for you before we get going. Below we’ve got some answers from Ohio’s Didi who are likely to be bringing brand new tunes into town. They’ve got the following sets confirmed: BD Rileys (3/15), Escapes Day Party (3/15) and Peelander Fest (3/16). You can also catch a video of the band’s track “Stampede” after the jump. Plus, if you haven’t heard about them, check out their recently reissued self-titled LP on Damnably.
Sam Chown is one of the busier Austin musicians, but in the case of the single below, lets focus on his band SHMU. Through the year’s Sam’s been crafting songs in various studios and recording spaces, and that work seems to have let to the collage vibe that’s present on the new album Lead Me to the Glow. Layer upon layer of sound is textured atop Sam’s drum work, including horns and a layer of vocals from Carrie of Calliope Musicals. Interestingly, that texturing also leads to a smoother, almost R&B inflected sound, though fleshed out in a futuristic manner. Very few folks are crafting music quite as diverse as this; look for the LP to drop late this Summer.
Power-pop is a lost art, in a certain sense. It’s been adopted by the masses and overused by lazy writers like myself. But, The Shut-Ups aren’t here to establish themselves as torch-bearers, they’ve been writing new-wave inflected pop tunes since the early 00s…longer than most people’s awareness of power pop as a genre. The riffs are huge, balanced by soft vocal turns and keyboard lines that wiggle in and out of the mix. It’s carefree pop music for the masses, if only the masses would take a moment to listen. They’ve just completed their fifth album, Just Another Generation, an album centered around the theme of time; it drops on April 13th.
This brand new single from Hi Lo Ha is a marvelous adventure in indie rock songwriting. Contrary to popular fads of implied urgency, the group sit back and let this song unfold over six minutes. The percussive element is spot-on and simple, giving the song the needed backbone for meandering guitar chords and twinkling keyboard notes that faded off into the distance. The line of “I’ve got you now,” is in reference to the connection between the listener and the band; it’s often the one thing that’s most meaningful to an artists when everything else seems stagnant. Look for Ain’t Gone Tonight to drop on April 13th.
I’m a huge fan of Carry Illinois, and happy to see them back after last year’s Garage Sale. I was instantly caught by the guitar chords that opened the tune, drawing me in and setting the scene for Lizzy Lehman’s vocal performance. Thematically, it’s a strong statement about loving yourself, despite those instances of self-doubt. It’s an impressive introduction to the band’s new EP, Work in Progress, which is slated for a release later this Spring. This group continues to impress me with their attention to sonic details and huge production.
Beneath the rain in Seattle is a shimmering pop underbelly, or at least that’s what this new track from Cozy Slippers would have you believe. The band drop this new single today, hanging jangling guitar lines out in the air while the duel vocal threat of Barbara and Sarah supply the required amount of melody. That melodic element almost hints at the realm of dream pop, accented by a seemingly smoky mix in the studio. The trio will release their Postcards EP via the reliable Jigsaw Records on April 20th.
Earlier this week BODEGA announced they’ll be working with What’s Your Rupture to release their new LP. With that came the additional buzz as the band head from Brooklyn to Austin for SXSW, bringing a blend of creatively arty rock n’ roll. If you’re looking for that act that everyone will rave about when the fest is over, I have a feeling this might be the one. Click on for their answers to our little interview! Including the hot gossip on their label boss and his disdain for cheese! Who doesn’t like cheese?!
Wellness are one of the newest acts to sign up with Forged Artifacts, and they just recently released a new video from their Mall Goth EP. Musically, the song has an almost bedroom pop vibe, though the production is well above that; it just has this personable quality that connects you to the song from the get-go. I love the way the vocals change in tone in an instant, all the way down to that deep baritone. Fans of dreamy pop with shimmering guitar lines and natural hooks will surely adore this tune. And, if you’re looking to know what I looked like in 1993, just watch the video real closely…save for the rollerblades. I never rollerbladed. The new EP will be out on cassette on April 6th; you can pre-order it HERE.
You are probably aware already that I’m a huge fan of RVG. If you’re lucky enough to catch the Aussie act on their brief US jaunt, then you’re in for a treat. Their album A Quality of Mercy was a stunner, and to those who spent time with it, it sounds like everything pop music was meant to be. We caught up real briefly with the group to have them answer our little SXSW interview, which is below with their most recent video.