It’s another round of Bandcamp Friday recommendations! Of course, we’d love you to consider our label ATH Records, and also Slack Capital…but we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you to a few new things you can grab today!
First, Will Johnson is surprisingly releasing this follow up to last year’s Wire Mountain. He’s one of my favorite Texas’ voices, period, and to have a brand new LP worth of tunes to enjoy, well, we’re all in for a treat. El Capitan is available on vinyl through Keeled Scales.
Another great record being secretly released today is Merce Lemon‘s Moonth. Musically, Merce’s work recalls the clever wordplay of Rosie Tucker, and perhaps a musical nod to the likes of Lomelda; it’s the perfect bedroom pop record that makes you wish you could keep it a secret from the world…except you can’t because it’s too good! Available via Crafted Sounds.
Buddie will be releasing their new Diving LP here in a few weeks, but seems only fair they tease us with one more tasty musical treat before the album drops. Starting it off, they tease a slow burner, then offer a slight twist that speeds up the pace just a bit; I thought it was a cool touch illustrating the band’s attention to detail. The dual female/male vocal delivery on this number really captures your ear; it’s the hook that draws you into the tune, naturally. There are several moments when I expected the band to sort of just unleash and bring crashing pop noise down on me, but they push it back, postponing that release until the very last moment; I can imagine how exhilarating that would be in the live set! If you’re into the tune, Diving is out August 4th via Crafted Sounds.
Admittedly, Merce Lemon was not a name I was familiar with until earlier this year when Crafted Sounds sent the “Moon (Demo)” our way. But, that’s one of my favorite tracks of this year, so to have her turn around a few months later with a collection of new songs is quite exciting. I’m fascinated by how full this song feels, despite falling beneath the 1.5 minute mark. Opening with Lemon’s voice offers that songwriter vulnerability, and there’s almost just a hint of twang hanging on the notes. Soon, a steady percussive element breaks the track open, giving it sort of this rambling pop feel, raising the song’s bar even higher. Short, sure, but another bit of endearing spectacle. Look for Moonth on August 14th.
Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t heard of Merce Lemon, but our friends over at Crafted Sounds tossed us a few tunes to turn us on to her before the announcement of Ride Every Day. It’s a compilation tape taking a few of her releases, adding some bonus material and a polished version of this really striking tune below. It’s one of those songs that seems so simple in its construction, but it feels like a gut-punch, just hitting you right where your emotions are. Mostly just vocals and a light strum, with some added key notes in there, yet you will keep coming back to this song before the day’s up, I swear. This will be out on March 14th via Crafted Sounds.
It’s Friday, and on Friday’s you deserve a good solid guitar driven slacker anthem, something that casually catches your ear and takes you into a weekend of blissed out fun. In regards to this Zells tune, I love the seeming crunchiness of the guitar sound, though it gets spliced by a nice little guitar noodle starving for attention; it’s matched by the vocals, with a backing vocal also grabbing for that star, grabbing for your ear. It would seem that all this would work against success, but somehow, the band manage to make it sound like a joyous pop number that burrows deep into your soul. Their No More Heroes EP will be out on October 11th courtesy of Crafted Sounds.
This year I’ve just been having a blast, kicking back and letting the tunes come my way. Of course, this means I’m traveling back to my youthful tendencies and looking to turn the stereo up and await the grins. Maryland outfit Spooled Up have crafted the perfect little pop number to satiate my pop rocking needs! The song hits you fast and heavy, with huge riffs and this sort of wonky vocal delivery that gives the song a nice little bounce. But, just as you’re expecting the band to bound off down the road, they pull things all the way back, breaking into a crunchy breakdown. You’ll find this track on the band’s new Strange World EP, out on June 8th via Crafted Sounds.
It’s Monday and you’re likely catching up on the endless scroll of tunes across the Internet as you settle into your work week. Odds are, you’re likely bored, thinking it all sounds the same, so why not try on something just a slight bit different…the Lopez. The Pittsburgh duo are all about crafting joy in your world, through their own pop kaleidoscope; they sort of take bits and pieces from Sleigh Bells, CSS and Go-Team, mix it all up, then sort of say “fuck it, we’ll go our own way.” What you get is anthemic danceable pop music with a whole lot of bite. The band will drop Heart Punch on May 11th.
The days seem longer of late, which always has me in a permanent state of daydreaming. Today, I found the perfect soundtrack tune to those dreams when Flower Crown announced their new LP, Sundries. It’s that sort of melancholic guitar pop with just a hint of bedroom recording thrown in for good measure. The vocals come across like whispers from a ghost, sort of haunting the song’s mix as the guitars sparkle sharply. There’s a few moments when I feel a certain pop sensibility swell that resembles Michael Stipe, but maybe that’s just my old ears. Anyways, Sundries sounds promising already; it will be released May 24th via Crafted Sounds.
During the busy fall release schedule, we perhaps neglected to tell you about the great Failure to Slide LP from the Zells. A few months on, a tour and some shows behind them, the band have shared a new video for standout track, “Tracy.” This song reflects the band’s devotion to 90s slacker rock, but perhaps hitting home for me is the band’s natural exuberance recording/playing together; it comes out in so many moments on this track. And, as if they knew what I was thinking, they crafted a video built around their times on the road supporting the record; it’s always endearing to see the fun a group has together on tour. There’s a few copies of their album left over at Crafted Sounds, where you can stream the record as well!
We started off our 2019 with our friends and their small labels, learning about what makes them tick, what success they had…and most of all, who are they outside the label. We continue that today with a few more friends, and we will let you stop on in and see what they had to say. Today features Z Tapes, Crafted Sounds, Citrus City and Father/Daughter Records. Read more