It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
You knew I’d be posting about this, even if you saw the track pop over the weekend, as I’m an avid supporter of Art Is Hard Records…particularly their Singles Series. Perhaps my adoration comes because they always introduce me to new acts from overseas that probably don’t get much press on my side of the pond. Adults have this youthful vibrancy, but also this distorted punch…similar in my mind to the sweeter moments of Joanna Gruesome or perhaps early Los Campesinos. Regardless, you throw a hook in with some male/female vocal trading and I’m hooked. Check this new jam for sure.
I keep going back to the Art Is Hard page, hoping to find the new track from their Postcard Series (where is it!), but instead found this nice little jam from Mush. The group have just finished up a Double AA 7″ for the label, and you can fall in love with one of the tracks below. My ears hear little bits of Omni in the guitar chords, but also a touch of Ought in the way the vocals are delivered, as in they’re super casual. They take the latter half out for a joyride of jangling guitar jams, so keep your ears ready. Look for the new 7″ to be released on November 17th.
Every month I anxiously await the release of a new single from Art Is Hard for their Postcard Series. Today, the released September’s single from Slonk. This number has more of a folk vibe to it, especially when it comes to the swelling chorus. I’m really digging the vocals too, as they remind me a lot of Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, taking on a slight rasp that sounds like its coming deep from within the soul. The Postcard Series is great, so if you’re into that, grab it HERE.
Just a few weeks after dropping their Penrose Winoa LP on Art Is Hard, Oro Swimming Hour have dropped another new tune. Of course, it’s a special blend of warped bedroom pop with the beautiful little combined vocal harmonies. The guitar is featured prominently here, almost jangling from the way the track was recorded. This is just a one off hit the band recorded to make up for missing a show in the UK, but I think it continues to illustrate just how gifted the songwriting is with this duo.
Worst Place is an up-and-coming London outfit, and they’re coming out of the gates with this new single sounding like a nice blend of gazy dream pop and Alvvays. There’s this cascading guitar chord that seems to be moving away throughout the whole song, juxtaposed to the soft pleasantries of the vocal mix. Pounding keys and ringing chords create a cacophony during the chorus that’s sure to enthrall. Probably just going to put this out as one of the best tracks you’ll hear all week; it comes your way courtesy of Art Is Hard Records.
Not quite sure what it is, but there’s something special with Oro Swimming Hour. At times, the songs almost feel muddled, as if they’ve done too much. But, this music needs patience and time; if you choose to give it that, the layers peel away leaving the core of the band’s pop sensibility bare and honest. It’s part folk, part bedroom pop and part experimentation…all of it leaving you enchanted. The group will be releasing their LP Penrose Winoa this Friday via Art is Hard Records, so be sure to sample another jam!
You’re going to immediately recognize the vibe in this brand new Birdskulls song; it’s everything you love from bands like Dinosaur Jr, Weezer and Teenage Fanclub…and its filled with the hooks too! I love the vibe here, both youthful and nostalgic…perfect for air musicianship as you bounce around your bedroom. If this is something you dig, I suggest you keeping your eyes on the folks over at Art Is Hard Records, who will be releasing the band’s new EP later this Autumn.
Not long ago, I raved about the first single from Oro Swimming Hour, and I’m going out on a limb saying that this is even better than the last one. It starts off with this warbly quirk, but then settles into the bread and butter: the dueling male/female vocals. In listening closely that this is the sort of songwriting that’s extremely personal, almost as if they meant for you to listen to it quietly in your room (headphones work best). Can’t wait to get my hands on their album, Penrose Winoa, which will be released via Art Is Hard Records on July 28th.
I knew something good was coming from Art is Hard Records, as they hadn’t announced their June Postcard single yet. Well, it was worth the wait, considering the single is a new one from Trust Fund, featuring Gareth from Los Campesinos, teaming up to cover The Beautiful South‘s “I’ll Sail This Ship Alone.” They take the classic pop ballad, add some textured scuzzy riffs, combine vocals duties and basically reinvent the song for a certified hit that they make all their own. It’s available as we speak, also out on 7″ flexi from the label, so get it before you regret it.