Less than a month to go and we’ll have Last Time I Saw Grace in our hands, and for those seeking some solace, it sounds like it may come by playing this LP from New Bums. Their latest single is this lonesome ballad, starring meandering atmospherics lurking behind heavy guitar strums and overlapping vocals (one heavy, one light); this is the sort of tune that makes you feel both alone and understood by the world, all at once. Going back to the earlier two singles, this is starting to feel like the record you cuddle up with and call home, if that makes any sense at all. The LP drops via Drag City on March 19th.
I feel like Ty Segall has earned the right to sort of carry his own torch, play by his own rules, so it seems like his new album First Tastes will have him taking some artistic liberties. For instance, this latest single is almost entirely just a vocal performance, but even in that, Segall still has the ability to captivate. According to Ty, this track was a fevered reflection on his childhood, which enabled him to work with his newest band member, Shannon Lay (a wonderful force in her own right). I appreciate Ty’s willingness to step into some new territory, so we’ll see how it all fits in with the new LP when it drops on August 2nd via Drag City.
On Friday we’ll get to hear the new LP from Mike Donovan (Sic Alps, Peacers), and just before the release, we get one final peek into what’s coming our way. To my ears, this sounds like where pop music wanted to go in the late 60s/early 70s; it has this elegance to it that’s constantly reaching towards a grand climax. Donovan’s voice never lets it go there, sounding like he’s afraid to get there, so he holds back in the mix, sort of haunting the song before a guitar line abruptly shoots the track to its close. There’s so much in this tune, despite its brevity; you can have all of Exurbian Quonset this Friday via Drag City.
I was fortunate enough to catch Wand this past week; I left with one thought, that this was not the same band I’d seen a handful of times before. Cory Hanson seems to be guiding the band into newer, bolder directions…and I can’t really think of a Wand LP that sounds exactly like the one before that. This song has this pulsing groove that almost seems to emulate the sound of a ringing fire alarm; it’s a sound that works in contrast to Hanson’s almost Yorke-like vocal performance. Still, underneath the pulse lives noodling guitar work and tight percussion, perhaps the remaining mark that this is still Wand. Laughing Matter will be out April 19th via Drag City.
How does Wand keep growing and evolving, all the while still sounding wholly incredible? As they announce their new double LP, Laughing Matter, it comes with this wondrous new single. It begins by teasing you with this measured guitar line over piano and drums, all before Cory even enters the picture just after the 1 minute mark. Once he makes his vocal appearance, backed by Sofia in the distance, the song takes on a more elegant tone…like a far less pretentious Radiohead; it’s accessible, yet still relies upon the musicianship that’s made the band so powerful over the last few years. It’s a musical adventure, and we should all welcome that. Look for the new LP via Drag City on April 19th.
I love how a lot folks, myself included, sort of pigeon-holed Tim Presley; he was a more nostalgic garage rocker of sorts…and perhaps his friendship with Ty Segall, while great, allowed us to overlook his flare for exploratory pop music. He’s been doing it for several releases with Drinks, and this new single seems to hint at a continued progression. This number gets filled in and out with the odd little bit of electronic sounds, but I’d spend all my money just to hear the chorus of “Lorelei;” its warm and inviting, rising above the mix. If, like me, you’re a Tim fan, you can grab the next White Fence album, I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk, on January 25th from Drag City.
Sometimes I think Ty Segall is too prolific for his own good, but when he’s joining up with Tim Presley aka White Fence, I can definitely get behind that. This track almost sounds like it’s acoustic punk filled with furious strumming, but you can hear the influence of Presley, particularly in the very post-punk yelps and the delivery of the first chorus. Don’t worry, you get a Ty-esque solo in the last seconds of the song, just to whet your appetite. Together, Ty Segall and White Fence will release Joy on July 20th via Drag City.
It’s been some time since we’ve had a Ty Segall/White Fence collaboration actually hit the studio for a release, but it looks like the two friends have reunited for a new effort, Joy. Our first listen to new music gives us precisely what you’d expect from a band consisting of Ty and Tim Presley; there’s hints of glam, psych and garage…but it’s spun in this ornate manner Presley seems to have perfected with his other project Drinks. It’s like a weird journey down a kaleidoscope of influences; it sounds an awful lot like our friends in Colourmusic in their early days. Joy is being released by Drag City on July 20th.
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.