Having released their Be Estranged EP last year, Phantom Handshakes are ready to drop their debut full-length in 2021, and we’ve got one of the new singles to share with you. Spending a lot of time listening to indiepop, you can’t help but immediately be drawn to that synthesized beat working over darkened guitar lines that curl and bop their way through your ear holes. Federica Tassano has this endearing voice too, hanging low with this coat over it that matches the mood of those aforementioned guitar licks; the tone changes to a more crystalized polish at the track moves into the chorus, bringing in this almost childish euphoria that only stands to make folks swoon. Their debut LP will be out later this year via Z Tapes.
It feels like Lavender Blush has been working towards this LP since their self-titled EP dropped in 2016; and now we’re prepared to hear the band’s full-length, The Garden of Inescapable Pleasure. The band toy with us for about 15 seconds, mostly getting their feet under themselves; they hit that 16 second mark and the jittering of distorted guitars immediately start rioting through your speakers. The rhythm section does a great job of building that kick-up your shoes dance floor bounce while Ryan Lescure croons atop the mix; the chorus allows him to give off a little more of a disaffected melody that kind of makes you feel like you’re spinning in circles staring at the cloudy sky. The debut LP is available this November via Shelflife, with this new single streaming everywhere on Friday!
Optic Sink is the new project from Natalie Hoffman (NOTS) and Ben Bauermeister (Magic Kids); they’ve just announced their debut felt-titled album via Goner Records. While the presser hints at a wide range of sounds, our first listen is this pulsing electronic number, matched up with this visual enhancer. For me, the song sort of strips the humanity from Hoffman, offering an almost sterile machine-like vision, devoid of emotions in its presentation. Perhaps its a last gasp, a final attempt to hold onto all that we hold dear as we struggle with loss on so many levels. Whatever it may be, it’s definitely cool to my ears. The LP will be released on October 2nd.
Having released the powerful “Lylz” in July, it was only a matter of time before we got news about Helena Deland‘s debut LP, Someone New. That day has come, and with it comes a fresh single for our listening pleasure. I love how the song begins with this fragility, with Deland sitting for a portrait, as her voice seems lost in solitude. It evolves into something slightly more ornate, her voice taking a slight sparkle as it intertwines with careful chords. Around the 1:36 mark, a steadying beat enters the fray, providing the slightest bit of movement to carry the song to a close. While penned around the concept of a romantic encounter, the song also hints at the greater picture of the album, one of circling back through self-identities only to return as “someone new.” The LP is out on October 16th (Pre-Order).
The last time we were all able to gather for SXSW, Helena Deland was very much on the minds of many, particularly with the success of Altogether Unaccompanied. She’s been fairly quiet until now, mostly spending her time touring, but it looks like that debut LP is finally in the works.We get our first glimpse with this new song “Lylz,” in part inspired by the story of the Boulanger sisters, with the other part a nod to the devoted friendship of the song’s namesake. I love the heavy breath of the vocals in the beginning, working over really quietly strummed notes. Like the burning candles (fashioned as the Boulanger sisters), notes flicker and in an instant the song begins to soar into a more celestial sort, leading to the introduction of steady rhythm to propel the track to its close. Very much an artists to keep your eye on as the year draws to a close.
After year filled with tons of turmoil for the band, not including the current pandemic, the Chicago based outfit known as Slow Pulp will finally be releasing their debut LP this fall. The album, recorded mostly in 2019 while on tour with Alex G, features 10 beautifully crafted numbers about the band’s resourcefulness and resiliency during their unthinkable times as a band. To preview the new album, the band has shared the lead single “Idaho” which features the always striking vocals of Emily Massey in front of a sort of slacker, yet powerful brand of indie rock. I love how the slower moments show this bit of restraint as the tension builds and things really tend to pop off during the heavier, banging moments.
Slow Pulp’s upcoming album Moveys will release on October 9th via Winspear.
The Slow Painters are a four piece band out of Oslo who create their very own brand of indie rock, sprinkled with hints of Americana and folk. My first introduction to the band came by way of this impressive new single called “Egon”. It is a tightly wound bit of indie music, exploring avenues of foot stomping folk music and chant worthy epics. Though the band is new to me, and likely you, I expect to be hearing more from them in the future after my favorite single of the week.
The Slow Painters will release their debut, self-titled LP on August 28th via KeepSecret Records.
Why on Earth can’t more bands sound like this? I mean, I reckon I’d get bored after a long time, but I’ll be damned if this Gum Country tune isn’t the right jam for me. It’s got the fuzzy bits that make my ears perk up near the stereo, but still carries on that pop sensibility that makes a song worthy of repeated listens. The band set out to make ‘harsh twee,’ and while I can hear that applying, I do think they take this beyond twee pastiche; it almost seems to have a little psychedelic noodle coursing through the core of the song. Their debut LP Somewhere will be out via Kingfisher Bluez and Burger Records.
As a bit of a break from SXSW news, today I am pleased to share with you the debut album from New Jersey based artist Brian Mietz. Though you may not know him by name, Brian has spent a ton of time in the New Jersey music scene in various music projects and creating album art work for several indie bands. Mietz made the choice to step out on his own with his debut LP Panzarotti, and boy what a debut it is. At it’s core, the album is essentially a bedroom pop record, but with tons and tons of layers to peel back as you give it repeat listens. One fan can find elements of garage rock, some folk, and tons of bright and airy pop elements. You can purchase the new LP from Mietz via Sludge People.
After a promising close to 2016 with a couple of singles we loved, Chicago based The Hazy Seas finally delivered us a much anticipated new single last month. Much to our surprise, the band sent over this new single called “Old Clothes” over the Winter Break season and I’m pleased to share it with you today. As usual, the band’s name once again offers a perfect description of their music with this one again being seriously hazy while still offering some weird pop elements to keep the listener engaged. Could the band’s upcoming LP be one of our first favorites of the year?
The Hazy Seas will release their debut LP sometime this month.