There are two things working in favor for Ezra Furman; he’s constantly shape-shifting his sound and he’s mentioned Jay Reatard as one of the artists he looked to in the recording of his new album Twelve Nudes. This new single definitely has things high upon the energy front, a la Jay, blasting forth with furious pace from the very get-go. He even seems to have adopted his own frantic stylings for the vocals, forcing the lyrics to bounce out in even step with the pace of the track; the lyrical content is a straight shot towards how many folks feel in today’s world where none of seem to be ok. Twelve Nudes will be out on Bella Union on August 30th.
When Ultimate Painting abruptly disbanded, I wondered what would come of Jack Cooper. He’d released stuff with Mazes, as well as his own solo stuff, so we knew he’d be okay…though how okay I didn’t know…until now. His new project is titled Modern Nature, a joint venture with Will Young (Beak>, Moon Gangs). Our first listen is a majestic construction piece of slow-core, filled with layers that build upon one another as the song inches its way forward. Tickling guitar lines are aided by great cymbal work and the heavy softness of the vocals; the song moves forward and some horns and electronic flourishes begin to bubble from beneath the surface. This is absolutely gorgeous, and not at all what I would have expected, so I’m all the better for it. How to Live will be put on August 23rd via Bella Union.
Pavo Pavo are just a few short weeks away from their sophomore release, but I’m surprised more people aren’t clamoring and fawning over the group. The opening is rather playful, feathered vocals hanging behind finger snaps, light percussion and a thump. While that in and of itself has me head over heels for the song, there’s this angelic bliss that gets churned just after the 1 minute mark, right before fading away into a propulsive groove that rides the song to its close. And, then there’s string arrangements too! Seriously, why isn’t everyone in love with this!? Mystery Hour drops on January 25th via Bella Union!
Jonathan Wilson shared a new video for his track, “Me,” yesterday and announced a string of tour dates in support of his most recent release, Rare Birds, which came out on Bella Union not too long ago. The track is a soft rock gem, but a deeply contemplative one at that–Wilson thinks over his place in the universe while also lamenting overthinking about himself. He finds himself in dirt holes and then staring into the sun, while the track starts to really take off. About three minutes in, you get this break from the build and everything explodes. Even the video switches from bleak shots to psychedelic, animated visuals. I’m shocked I missed out talking about this record before it was released, but better late than never, right? You can pick up your copy here.
It looks like we’re hanging out in North Texas today, with a new tune from Two Medicine (Paul of Midlake’s new project). The song is paired with footage of Glacier National Park, from whence the band’s name is derived; it’s a perfect pairing for the cinematic track. It all begins so carefully, building ornately by tossing in some bubbling bass work and twinkling electronic splashes. At times, those sounds combine in a gentle forcefulness, though the beauty of this tune, for me, occurs when that all fades away to reveal the softer underbelly of the song’s latter half. If you feel like getting swept up, see below. Astropsychosis will drop on November 2nd via Bella Union.
Admittedly, I haven’t even thought about Midlake in some years, though that’s not meant as a slight to the band. So it’s good to see that Paul Alexander will be stepping out on his own under the moniker of Two Medicine. Our first listen to anything from the album is quite special in my mind; it’s like a sheet on clothesline, billowing in the wind, and with each gust, it soars higher and higher into the air. And that’s all just surface level ear candy, but the real treat is the careful worked happening below with harmonies and quiet bubbling bass providing the song with some advanced texturizing. The debut LP, Astropsychosis, will drop on November 2nd via Bella Union.
Last year, one of my personal favorite albums was Heba from the Danish group Lowly. And while we might not have a new album right around the corner, the group have shared this stellar new single in preparation for their May US invasion. I feel like the first minute and a half is really just toying with listeners, setting the mood, but pulling back just a touch until the song’s unleashed. From there, the band rise off into a blissed out pop horizon; it’s rhythmically propulsive, pulling you completely within the track with dense studio production. Here’s hoping the group keep up the good work with more likeminded tracks.
Dallas’ Ari Roar is hitting the spot this morning. He crafts these hook infected pop songs that carry a bit of nostalgia, but hold one foot in the present. You’d think, the way this track kicks off that the guitar work might be the star, but once you hear Ari’s voice spinning those light melodies on almost every note, you’ll be intoxicated. There’s something familiar in his work, which I think will have many fans feeling like they’ve been listening to Ari for years. Let’s start that trend by grabbing Calm Down on May 25th via Bella Union.
I love this new Ari Roar tune; it reminds me of our friends Summer Salt in so far as Roar’s voice rises and falls with the song’s structure. This is his latest track from his forthcoming debut, Calm Down. It’s almost as if he’s channeling that sweet spot between bedroom pop and full-on arena ready rock n’ roll; it’s brimming with an infectious quality, though still carries a personal intimacy that appeals to many fans. Sometimes a carefree tune can change your day, so here’s to you on this Wednesday; look for Ari’s debut on May 25th via Bella Union.
It’s a good thing we have this Ezra Furman to start off our day, as he’s one of my favorite curator’s of pop rock. His tunes are rooted in the tradition of garage rock, and on this album, he’s filled the record with lyrical content put forward as a collection of stories. You’ll hear the hooks in this song, with some Springsteen-esque delivery, rocking its way to the sweet chorus. His new album Transangelic Exodus will be released by Bella Union on February 9th. .