Having introduced you to Deuce a few weeks back with their debut single “Antipodes” it seems only fitting that we follow up on the band’s second tune…which we’ve got for you below. This tune fascinates in its ability to stun you with both its emotional impact and its simplicity; the tune primarily functions with Curtis’ vocals snaking over a looped beat and throbbing bass lines, with the occasional skittering guitar notes and squawks from the saxophone (courtesy of Snowy!) cascading across the song’s night sky. I love how Wakeling dances his voice around, almost turning it into its own entirely separate instrument; all of this song written and sung as an ode to Curtis and Kayleigh’s relationship. Their debut self-titled LP will be out on June 16th via Dinosaur City Records.
It’s time we introduce you to the world of Robot Fox, a brand new outfit from Melbourne featuring members of Crepes, Cool Sounds and other local acts. Listening through the band’s debut single from their Sham Rage LP, this is how psychedelic pop music should be made. Full stop. In the first few moments, you’re seduced by this meditative guitar that seems to sedate the listener, like sinking into your chair and drifting away on some LSD trip. When Pierce Morton enters the fray, his lackadaisical delivery feels like a mantra, like a calling out from the beyond; you’ll hear an increased musical element shimmering, along with some backing vocals. I love how they let the song breathe too, allowing the listener to bathe themselves in the sound. Throw in a little jazzy breakdown that comes out with this sky ripping guitar solo and you’ll be totally in love with the band’s sound. Their debut is Sham Rage, and its out on April 30th via Osborne Again!
It’ll be hard to get past the nostalgic leaning of NOV3L for many listeners, but rest assured, despite nodding to the past, there’s something wholly refreshing about the approach the band are employing as they announce their debut LP, Non-Fiction. Those guitar chops are scissor-sharp, plucked carefully so as to not set your feet kicking in the air. Bass lines bob and weave, seemingly indifferent to the rest of the outfit’s functioning. The vocals come off as slightly indifferent, but also yearning for a listener to slide right in. When woven together, you get this sort of bastard child of Gang of Four and the Rapture, only spun in the fashion of that middle school slow dance; it’s disorienting, as you expect a turn and a step here, they never give you that, steadying themselves in their own brave brand. Hopefully we get more of that from Non-Fiction, out May 28th via Flemish Eye Records.
Back in November the indie cognoscenti were raving about “Scratchcard Lanyard,” and now Dry Cleaning finally have the announcement of their debut LP, New Long Leg. With it comes a new single, again taking indie rock on their own terms. Musically, it begins with this sort of propulsive dancefloor rhythm, though Florence Shaw’s vocal delivery hold things back, almost dragging the song to a slower pace so that the band supporting her can craft and manipulate sounds. The rhythm section continues their movement, but the guitar work begins to take on a more post-punk sort of explanation; it reminds me a lot of the sonic soundscapes being crafted by Wire in their later releases, angular guitars dancing about in contrast to the rest of the song’s vibe. Definitely an interesting take on modern rock n’ roll, for which I’m 100% in favor; they’re debut drops on April 2nd via 4AD.
Down here in Austin, our friends over at Keeled Scales have been raving about the incredible songwriting prowess of Katy Kirby, and today…lets hope the world is listening. She announces Cool Dry Place with this incredible video for “Traffic,” a song dedicated to a former partner who seemed determined to revel in his own trials rather than realize that “nobody has it better than you.” Her sound, perhaps influenced by her childhood singing in church definitely has a pop bent to it, though you can hear her pulling away from those tendencies. Honestly, take the work of my favorite Rosie Tucker and maybe sprinkle a little sugar on top; it’s got this great playful vocal that’s highly rewarding. You can grab the debut LP (it’s a Vincy Vaughn reference right?) on February 19th from Keeled Scales.
One of the great musical surprises of this year has been the debut release from Finnish duo Rules. An entire album of carefully crafted pop music spun around literary characters favored by Iti and Sarra; this time around their latest video pays homage to Katherine Mansfield’s “The Daughters of the Late Colonel.” One of the reasons I love this tune is that it introduces a harsher element to some of the record’s shinier moments. Sure, there’s still a nice electronic brush atop it, but the song is all about the perfect balance and execution, shining through at the 2:44 mark as the song hits that euphoric finale. If you dig what you hear, the album is available now via Soliti Music.
What do you do if your dad played drums in the Cure? Well, if you’re Gray Tolhurst, you start your Topographies and drench your sound in those nostalgic atmospheric notes and circling angular guitar licks. I love how this has that old school feel to it also, allowing for plenty of space to come into the song; it brings the melody to the forefront, giving the song and the listener breathing room. Sometimes I just feel like we’re beaten over the head with hooks, so its nice that it’s not pushed all the way down my throat from the get-go. It’s a solid tune from a promising band who will drop their debut Ideal Form in December!
Tugboat Captain were slated to come to Austin this year for SXSW, and while we all know how that ended up, I’m still really intrigued by the band’s offering. They tricked me here, offering up this almost post-punk guitar for just about 11 seconds. But, then the song swells, as you’d expect from a band specializing in sweeping pop stylings. While the beginning seems calm and traditional in presentation, they get a little bounce and a little sonic explosion of exquisite noise too…that sort of texturing makes the song all the more memorable after you’ve reached the 4:18 mark. This tune appears on Rut, the band’s debut dropping this October.
First, I’m really really into what Finnish outfit Rules are doing at the moment. They’re crafting these undeniably catch pop tunes, built around heavy synth work and melodic vocals you can’t hide from. Sure, tons of folks are doing that at the moment, says you, but none quite so convincing at this duo. Plus, through their work, they’re also utilizing their love for literature and literary storytelling alike. This single is based upon the Raymond Carver short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love;” so, as a person dabbling in the teaching of English, I’m always drawn to those who utilize literature in their own storytelling. They will be releasing their debut album on August 21st via Soliti.
I remember the first time I saw Tim Koh on stage with Ariel Pink; he was this towering guitar wizard of hair that you couldn’t pull your eyes away from. He’s currently relocated to Europe, and now it seems he’s got his now solo album coming on the horizon courtesy of O’ Genesis Recordings. His creativity and musicianship is obvious in the song’s first minute, but then he settles into this propulsive vibe that seems to course through the song’s entirety. There’s a lyrical reference to his stomach ulcer, which resulted in emergency hospitalization while on tour in 2018, so perhaps this album’s been a long time coming. Whatever happens, a debut solo record from Tim is going to be something really special.