Sydney’s Bridge Dog claim to adhere to a musical model that’s equal parts Belle and Sebastian and Pinkerton-era Weezer, both which I’m totally behind as well. Today we’ve got the first single from their forthcoming EP, and it’s exactly as you expect, sprinkling in these subtle vocal melodies behind these heavy guitar riffs and a wash of keyboard notes. Come to think of it…this feels like the promise of the Rentals fulfilled, and that’s about as high as a compliment as I can give. I love how the fuzzy riffs done interfere, knowing their place in the mix, which leaves us with this perfect little bite of a pop song. More news on the EP to come real soon!
It’s been almost 15 years since The Smallgoods dropped their last album, but with Lost in the Woods scheduled to hit Friday, we were fortunate enough to snag an early listen to the record for you. When we first brought you news of the band’s forthcoming LP, we said that the band aimed to drop bold pop rock, railing against a stale musical climate! While I love the record’s opener, I think a great way to sample the goods from this album is to jump to track two, “Where’ve You Been All This Time;” I’ll go out on a limb here and say this sounds like Dear Catastrophe Waitress era Belle and Sebastian, swelling with arranged sounds and striking power. But, things aren’t always full of bombast; I’m totally in love with “Satellite;” it feels like the perfect pop song and thus I dare you to find a better one to have on repeat today. Shit, now I can’t stop pressing play on “A Month of Sundays;” this record is filled with twists and turns, each equally rewarding. Just imagine yourself on a scavenger hunt of every great pop sound in the last 30 years, but instead of tripping over 30 years of songs, you’ve got the only 10 tunes you’ll need today! Lost in the Woods drops Friday via Lost and Lonesome.
I’m approaching this whole Belle and Sebastian project with a little trepidation, as I’m still fearful of being bamboozled like I was with Storytelling, but as of this moment, Belle and Sebastian are two for two with the song’s we’ve heard from their score for Days of the Bagnold Summer. This particular tune is all about my love for Stuart’s voice; it’s the central focus of this song’s duration, save for the forlorn trumpet solo. Murdoch works his vocals around lightly plucked guitar notes, aided by the aforementioned trumpet and some swelling string arrangements. Matador Records will release the Original Soundtrack on September 13th, and I’m holding my breath that it all sounds this special.
Now, I enter this period of Belle and Sebastian with a little trepidation, as I was not a huge fan of 2002’s Storytelling release. But, I feel like the announcement of The Days of Bagnold Summer score comes with a delicious gem streaming below. It begins with this rolling tension and brooding bass line before twinkling guitar notes sparkle and shine in step with Stuart’s voice. I don’t know if it’s the score mentality or the current mind to songwriting, but there seems to be the perfect amount of space left between verses and choruses; it makes everything seem so gran that I can’t help but to actually be excited for this release. The soundtrack will be out on September 13th via Matador Records.
I’m never one to shy away from a Belle and Sebastian set, and thankful we were able to enjoy a night at the always beautiful ACL Live. Plus, it also gave us a time to preview the much-hyped Men I Trust. Check below for more words and photos.
In fact, the Internet did say there’s a new Belle and Sebastian track out there…it’s one of the tracks that will feature on the band’s release of three (3!) new EPs. The band remains one of the finest purveyors of pop music to this day and age, and to have 3 albums with their own story seems fitting…especially as they did something similar back in their early days. Just take a moment of your day, relax and enjoy this new song off of EP #2. The collection, called How to Solve Our Human Problems, will be out on February 17th via Matador Records.
Finnish label Soliti has quite a remarkable stable, and this year they signed what I think is an artists capable of breaking across the globe: Verandan. With one incredible single under their belt, the band bring you this brand new single (released digitally on the 14th) to enjoy. It reminds me of the best of the pop world, combing chamber elements with delicate touches of atmospherics…all the while keeping a nice bit of energy in the track. Just imagine the playful bounce of Belle and Sebastian mingling with the more introspective world of the Clientele. The group even throws in some joyous “ooh oohs” near the end, so be sure to stay ’til then.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off Friday with this tasty new Belle and Sebastian morsel. It’s an interesting new tune, with a pretty quick-delivering vocal attack from Stuart built around basic percussion. But, as the Belles are always like to do, the song begins to swell, layers are added, leading the song to a momentary blissful burst. They’ll be touring the US through the end of July and start of August (though sadly no Austin dates). Maybe this hints at a new record just around the corner, and I’ll take that any day.
I claim no discovery points on these tunes from The Golden Eaves, as it was pointed in my direction by one of the many purveyors of great indiepop. But, I’m so glad I came across it today; it fits perfect with the foggy morning that’s rolled into Texas. It’s all about melody with this German act, allowing for the understated vocal tones to shine and mesh with the seemingly Western guitar sounds. I’m not going to lie, but there’s an awful lot of Belle and Sebastian allusions in here, especially with the way the lyrics were written…and that’s never a bad thing in my book. Look for the No Other 7″ now!
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.