I feel like many folks listening to the Black Angels all these years will be quite taken aback by Alex Maas‘ solo work, and while I love BA, I think I might even love this better. It has this nostalgic pop sound, the sort that filled every room of my home as a child (thanks Dad!). There’s still this sort of foreboding in his vocals, and perhaps in some of the lyrical content of this particular track, though the music definitely seems uplifting. Every moment here feels like its being painted with these huge sweeping brush strokes, leaving classic pop sensibility on the sonic canvas. Pretty powerful stuff. Luca is out on December 4th via Innovative Leisure.
One of our favorite DIY labels, Emotional Response, has some great stuff popping up tomorrow, so we wanted to point you in their direction before you headed off into the weekend on your own. The first of those releases is Mystic Hotline from San Francisco’s Latitude. I won’t lie to you; I can’t help but to think about the Go-Gos “Vacation” when I listen to this group, and mind you, I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. On the release page, they allude to a darker mood pervading the LP, which seems to align with the world right now. The other release from the label is a Best of Collection from the Bachelor Pad titled All Hash and Cock. If you give a listen to the available tracks, you’ll see the band straddling the lines of old school punk and the noisier side of underground pop…which comes as no surprise considering the label’s ties to Boyracer. So, at the very least, streams the LPs tomorrow, grab them HERE, and sample them below!
Up until now, it seems that new brand of post-punk has been sensationalized and dominated by boy bands (Shame, Fontaines DC, Idles, etc)…and all that’s well and good, but I’m glad that Gustaf is here to throw a wrench in that whole push. The New York outfit has much more of a pop sensibility about their work, which is owed to the rhythm section; it definitely has that Entertainment nod when those riffs come cutting into the song’s core…followed by that call and response vocal closing. Honestly, I love how refreshing this sounds; it doesn’t sound formulaic or like a costume, and I love that about it. The band celebrate this rad tune by signing with Royal Mountain Records; they’ll drop a 7″ on December 4th.
Next week Milky Wimpshake will release their first record in five years, and its shaping up to be quite a thrill, at least for those on my end of the spectrum…whatever that means. They’ve just released two new singles from Confessions of an English Marxist, so I wanted to make sure those were out in the world. On “Welcome to Fascist Britain” you get a little bit more of that ramshackle indiepop sound; its more boisterous, comes at you with more force, but as always, they don’t shy away from great hooks like the chorus! Then you “I Don’t Wanna Go There,: which definitely seems like a great way to close the record; it offers this lighter attitude, blending in some softened backing vocals…this is the most charming track I’ve heard today. The album comes out next Friday courtesy of Bobo Integral.
It’s been a gift that continues to give me things I love, with Slumberland’s SLR30 Series wrapping up with its final singles on December 4th! It looks as if we’re going out with a bang, with one 7″ from UK’s Flowers and the other a new 7″ from one of my personal favorites, Neutrals! We’re treated to the A-Sides for both singles, and man, pretty sure we all win with these being added to the fold. The Flowers track is more powerful than I remember the band from some of their earlier releases, though it still hones in on the band’s penchant for melodic pop. Neutrals on the other hand do what they do best, buzzing through 2 minutes with infectious power pop punk; I think this might be the best recording from the band, with Allan’s voice spitting the lines out with this incredible sharpness. If you didn’t get the subscribe to the SLR30 Series, don’t worry, you can grab your own copy from Slumberland Records shop!
Sometimes I like to imagine what my life would be like if I was a Waler Mitty type character, with a soundtrack written for my life. Today, it seems like Sleeper & Snake have done just that, providing me with my own theme song. From the start, the track is fairly relaxed, resting on the joint vocals of Amy Hill and Al Montfort. They don’t seem to be in any rush, just letting life come at them and riding out the ebbs and flows tossed their way. Plus, your life gets its own sax solo, though I haven’t decided if that’s life in its ascendency or on the way out, but a pleasant plot twist in a gorgeous pop song you won’t want to turn off. Fresco Shed is out now via Upset the Rhythm.
If you browsed through some of the more reputable end of year lists in 2019, I hope you caught Ilana: the Creator in some of those, as Mdou Moctar left us with a release that have very few peers in the grand scheme of things. Today, the Tuareg guitarist celebrates signing to Matador Records by sharing a brand new single, which should appear on a brand new LP slated for next year. The skill set in guitar work is phenomenal; its what I imagine folks who like King Gizzard would enjoy if they had less boring tastes. Mdou explains how the song is about how we lose ourselves in the midst of relationships, allowing envy and jealousy to control our lives; he hopes the he does not succumb to such a way of being. Just check this fire!
If you’re going to wrap up a song in under 2 minutes you better make sure you’re packing as much goodness into that time as you can, and I’m pretty sure you’ll all agree that Anna McClellan has pulled that off extremely well with her latest single “Raisin.” We open with this great electronic organ grind, kind of jazzy, but also kind of kitsch in a fun way. Then McClellan jumps into the track, delivering these bouncy lyrical lines, punctuated by the musical element behind the vocals. But, the vocals get switched in their style, dreamily floating, perhaps an allusion to the raisin as it begins “to float and become weightless” after jumping off a cliff! Her new record I Saw First Light will be out on November 20th via Father Daughter.
On their debut self-titled album, Love Tractor formed their own dance sound inside the city of Athens, just about the time Pylon and the B-52s were also making waves in the sleepy college town. They wanted to craft music they could dance to, and here, while we’re getting a re-imagined version, we’re getting a glimpse of the dance sound they drafted; there’s something primal and brooding in the construction, encouraging the pulsating spasms on the dance floor. I love that little organ/keyboard popping in around the 1:35 mark, building in further texture to the track while the rhythm section just pulses and pushes towards the future. This version of “Festivals” will appear on a special RSD 7″ for November 6th, two weeks before the band reissue their debut courtesy of HHBTM Records.
If you live near the sputtering death throes of Austin’s music scene (thanks Adler!) you’ve certainly heard of Being Dead; they’ve been one of the most heralded acts of the last few years due to their incredible live performances and secretly hook-laden songs. In fact, a year or so ago, our ATH Records label helped them press some songs to hot wax for the Fame Money Death by Drive-By EP. Well, because great songs and great ideas never die, the band just recently dropped a video for “Underworld,” and its begging your attention this morning. You get a little pop genius as well as the band’s sense of humor in the midst of these dark times. Enjoy this treat…and maybe grab one of the last few copies HERE. Feeling like I could really go for a burger right about now!