I’m not sure if you listened to Drinks debut album, Hermits on Holiday, but it was a pretty special listen through and through. But, members Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley also have other projects going on, so figured there’d be a bit of time before we got something new. Well, that time is now, as the group have just announced Hippo Lite. The lyrical content doesn’t really enter the picture until after the one minute mark, with the duo primarily working with a simple bobbing bass and these jangling little guitar chords that seem to hang in the air. I also appreciate Cate’s vocal delivery; she’s got such a distinctive voice. Their new effort will be out on April 20th via Drag City.
Chris Gantry may not be a household name, but we can hold out hope that At the House of Cash will go some way to remedying that. These songs are all from back in 73′, recorded at the home of Johnny Cash. While the balladry is sincere and heartfelt, what really stands out is the lush arrangements that were laid behind the core of the tracks. Sure, it was studio magic used many a time for that era, but as you’ll see on the single below it creates an artist of grand vision, something that never fades in time. Drag City is releasing this album on November 17th.
We’re about two weeks out from the release of Plum, the new LP by Wand. I like their approach thus far, giving us little glimpses of the band’s future, all with slightly different turns, musically speaking. This one is really something, a 7 minute opus carefully structured with varying movements from start to finish. Lofty folk vibes radiate from the song’s early moments, and rides that wave for a minute before slinking back, leaving an opening for the band to take a heavy-handed jam through the song’s close. Seems like there is so much going on in this record, but we’ll have to hold back judgment until it’s released via Drag City on 9/22.
I continue to be impressed by the shifting sonics of Wand; I thought I had them pegged, but clearly not at all. This new video has some heavy handed indie rock riffs, but the way Cory’s voice is recorded in between those riffs gives off a slight Thom Yorke vibe…and then there’s that restless dream bit that floats in just after the 2 minute mark, punctuated by the ethereal notes seeping through your speakers. It closes with a bit of an emphatic jam (and clown dance), leaving me to remark that the song goes all over the place, only to stay stationery. At this point, its safe to assume that Plum is going to be a real joy to listen to, though exactly what we can expect, only the folks at Drag City (and the band) know…look for it on September 22nd.
Long ago, for some reason, Wand got lumped in with the Ty Segall crowd; that’s fair, considering songwriter Cory has played with Ty in various projects. But, as we’ve seen over the last two releases, Wand is entirely an act on their own territory. This latest single finds the band walking the territory between bouncier elements of Spoon and the lingering melodies of Radiohead. Maybe this is what California’s version of Spiritualized sounds like? Whatever it is, there’s no heavy riffs needed anymore, just the creative process and the perfect execution. Look for the band’s new album this September via Drag City…surely we’ll be hearing much more leading up to its release.
Drag City has one of the most diverse stables of bands, offering up quiet folk, experimental tunes and, of course, heavy tinged guitar acts like Ty Segall. This new track from The Cairo Gang seems to fall in the latter category, though only in spirit. While you could see these riffs being amplified, they’re pulled back in the studio mix, bringing in a more classic glam sound that carries more of a heavy stomp than a head bang. It all brings a steady groove, casually rocking listeners rather than beating them over the head…which is great for those of us who don’t want to blast the cones on our speakers.The new album Untouchable will be available via DC’s God? Imprint on March 24th.
In a few weeks Alasdair Roberts will bring us his new album, Pangs, and today he’s bringing out his most playful bit of folk. The song opens with such a lighthearted mood that you might be surprised when it settles for a more traditional feeling during the song’s chorus. It’s this sort of songwriting that’s elevated Alasdair, building his own sound on the back of folk traditions, while pushing it in a new direction. I love the slight warble in his voice, which could perhaps be owed to his Scottish accent, but just listen to the way lyrics roll off his tongue in the song’s latter half and you’ll be just as appreciative. Pick up the new record on February 24th via Drag City.
Ty Segall will be releasing his new record in just a few weeks, and now we’ve got another tune to offer up to listeners, “Break a Guitar.” While the actual guitar still has that powerful glam rock to it, I think Ty’s voice here is the first time I really see him going full Bolan. It’s a really nice touch, as I think with he’s bordered on repeating himself over the last few years. Don’t you worry though, there’s still a huge soloing moment in the middle of the tune, which could very well lead to Segall breaking his guitar in the live setting. Clearly he’s still going strong…look for his new self-titled effort via Drag City on January 27th.
If you caught Ty Segall playing a few acoustic sets last year, then perhaps you were aware at just how powerful his music can be, even when it’s stripped down. That’s what you’re going to get on this latest track, even with a backing band; this is perhaps the most ballad-driven tune he’s written in some time, and I welcome that. I bet someone out there is even thinking its got hints of Bowie, but I’m just appreciative that he’s tossing out a little variation. Not sure how long-lived this approach will be, as press release claims a whole bunch of neck work, but for now, his new self-titled album has my interest; it comes out on January 27th via Drag City.
Cory Hanson spends the majority of his time kicking it in his band Wand, but he’s recently been working on the release of his solo effort, The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo. While there are hints of similarities to his main project, I think the orchestration in this new single demonstrates how much he’s elevated his sound. The utilization of strings provides the perfect balance to the way his voice creakily unfolds. Drag City will be unleashing the new album on November 11th, so you’ve got time to invest in Cory’s new project before making a decision.