In the associated press of the latest single from Jessica’s Brother, it states the this is the “sound of a band coming together and getting caught up in a rush starting afresh.” I love that, as you get the feeling that their second LP is going to have this urgency, this combination of their various influences fusing together to complete one musical entity. This new single has a bit of a nice little folk shimmy to it, like running and leaping through piles of leaves with a friend, grinning all the while. The fiddle work is the perfect accent to the band’s sound here, putting on those pastoral finishing touches to this campfire singalong. Their new LP is titled Just Rain, and it drops on November 26th via Fika Recordings.
Probably going to be the last post I get up today, because, well, five songs seems like enough for you. Don’t get greedy. Figured I’d go out with a banger, which is absolutely what this new Fortitude Valley single brings to your ears. I love those distorted guitars, flirting with me by offering this understated little jangle and a little bit of pop rock swagger; it doesn’t hurt you get that scorching solo in the song’s middle. Laura’s voice always makes me think Toni Basil for some reason, which gives me a wee chuckle and only solidifies the endearing factor FV bring to the table with each new single. Their debut self titled LP drops this October via Fika Recordings.
As a Wave Pictures fan, it was easy to get into the first LP from Jessica’s Brother (Jonny Helm plays in both bands), but honestly, I feel like with one single, they’ve already topped that early affection. Today they announced Just Rain, and this ripper of a tune is the perfect way to kick off your Friday. The crashing guitars sound absolutely huge, like this stormy wave of distortion (and occasional soloing) bashing us over the head. That said, the trio, pull back in all the right spots, letting you take a breath before smashing you right in the face. And more fun, you can enjoy the noise, but it operates entirely separately from the generous pop moments that course throughout the tune…be that the backing bops or the core vocals from Tom. Just Rain drops this November via Fika Recordings.
If Laura Kovic wanted to get our attention with her band line-up, it doesn’t hurt that she’s fleshed out the Fortitude Valley line-up with members of Martha and Night Flowers. It also bodes well that the band just keep releasing these pop rock jams that just get stuck up inside your head! The latest singles is almost as much fun to watch as it is to listen to, letting these grunge-y pop rock riffs rip and swirl all over the place as Kovic bounces her voice in and out of the song’s grooves. The video matches up with the song perfectly, giving the sense that the band are not only enjoying the songwriting, but each other as well, which is always a bonus for a fan. Fika Recordings will release the debut self-titled LP in October of this year!
If you’re in need of your early morning pop dosage, well, be sure to check out the latest Wanna Go Dancin (So Far Away) EP from Vermont’s The Smittens. The EP opens with a brand new tune commissioned by Burlington City Arts for their Bubblegum Pop Exhibition; the tune’s got tons of vocal layering to craft an undeniable hook that will have you clapping your hands spiritedly. “Year of Happiness” is a lost tune that was recorded during the band’s 2014 sessions for Love Record Breaker, but somehow didn’t make the cut. There’s a few remixes too, and another unheard tune from the band’s early days, and in the end, all the tunes are going to get your day going right. So start here. Courtesy of Fika Recordings.
I’ve really enjoyed all the work from Randolph’s Leap leading up to their new album, Spirit Level. But, having had a bit of time to absorb this new one, I have no qualms saying its my favorite of the bunch. It reminds of the old Austin band Hollywood Gossip; just imagine Belle and Sebastian rushing through a tune just to cram it in under 3 minutes. I love that they don’t stray away from arrangements here with the horns, even though it definitely has the feel of more of a rock tune. This new LP is dropping on February 26th via Fika Recordings.
Definitely need our spirits lifted after yesterday’s American shitshow, so good thing there’s this new Randolph’s Leap hanging out there. It immediately jumps in with this joyous gang chorus, raising joy from the get-go. Once the song moves forward into the verses, it sort of takes on that chamber pop feel, bursting forth with horns and various instrumental textures. I won’t deny how much I love the rise and fall of the chorus here, like a roller coaster with a huge lollipop waiting for you at the end. Their new album Spirit Level will be out courtesy of Fika Recordings on February 26th.
We return to Rock n’ Recipes features with one of my absolute favorite musicians, Emma Kupa. I first stated my fandom with Standard Fare, but she’s gone on to her current projects Mammoth Penguins, Hayman Kupa Band…and, this month she’ll release her new solo LP. We caught up with her via email to chat about her songwriting process, the new LP, and she shares her go recipe for Vegan Banana Pancakes! It Will Come Easier is out Friday via Palo Santo Records and Fika Recordings.
If you’ve been following Emma Kupa since Standard Fare hung things up, then chances are you’ve likely heard live versions of “Nawlins.” But, with It Will Come Easier not too far away from the official release date, we finally get a lovely recorded version. I’ve listened to previews of this record quite a bit, and the strumming style and various accompaniment make this tune one of the immediate standouts, particularly when backed up against the stunning “No Easy Way Out.” That initial strum caught me instantly, filled with the accent of shakers and banjo; be weary of the chorus, as once those backing vocals get their hooks in you, you’re not getting away! Honestly, I think the soloing guitar is a nice touch; it kind of adds that light twist that shows a willingness to maybe throw something else in the genre’s mix. The LP drops September 18th via Fika Recordings/Palo Santo Records.
The broad swathe of sound that Steven Adams and the French Drops are releasing has me penciling in the release of Keep It Light as an endearing record destined to be played until I need another copy. We’ve had an upbeat indiepop number, a grittier folk tune, and now we have this folk pop gem. From the bending guitar in the distance to the quiet vocal accompaniment, it seems Steven Adams is breaking out all the stops here; there’s this brilliant moment just before the 1.5 minute mark (also 2.5) that I absolutely love, if you’re looking for my favorite 10 seconds. Keep It Light will be out on August 21st via Fika Recordings.