If I were to set the scene for you, I’d start by asking you to recall your favorite guitar rock band. Turn the volume down, add a little pop sensibility and you get the brand new Soccer Cousins tune. This isn’t meant to demean the band’s effort, rather to call your attention that your favorite rock gods probably all have a penchant for writing a catchy ballad like the tune below. I like the increased tempo bouncing the song along in the last minute of the track…carrying an infectious nod all the way to the track’s close. The new single is available now, with a promising new EP in the works for next year via Gentle Reminder.
Repo Fam is the new project of Baltimore’s Michelle Pena, and according to the one-sheet, her songs share the approach of filmmakers in creating images that are emotive. Pena does so on this video with that discordant twang of the guitar; it sort of stomps on your eardrums as the vocals playfully prance around your inner ear canal. The drums, though dampened in the mix, have this almost intoxicating tribalism, drawing you deep into the cavernous craft of that is “Skip to My Lou.” Repo Fam will release the self-titled LP via Gentle Reminder Records on September 28th.
A lot of folks are probably circling the Maxband wagon due to the participation of Parquet Courts drummer Max Savage (his name is in the band’s name, though he doesn’t sing on the tune below). But, with their new album, Perfect Strangers, hitting this Friday, they wanted to give you one more convincing number…and this might just be my favorite. At first, I felt like the group were channeling some of Max’s brother’s solo work; it has that same rustic indie rock feel to it. Then, the last minute and a half led me to my final conclusion…they’re writing hook-laden casual rockers a la REM…something I can definitely get on board with, so be sure to stick to the final minute at least! And, if you’re so convinced, as one should be, that this is your next favorite album, grab Perfect Strangers from Gentle Reminder Records this Friday.
This Friday Gentle Reminder Records will release the much-anticipated new LP from DC outfit Saturday Night. But, before they drop that LP, why not tease you with one more insatiable single. It opens with this heavy-ish riff…a little funky until the drums come in and change the song’s attitude. They roll over that riff, matched with the vocals to craft this melody you can’t put down. Slowly, the background starts to fill with little whispers, growing more prominent until Nora bursts forth to provide the perfect accent to the track. There’s enough bravado and fun in the rambunctious closing minute that you can’t help but let a smile crack across your face. Order the self-titled album right HERE!
Our friends over at Gentle Reminder Records released the self-titled debut from Drawing Boards, which we’ve already covered in small fashion. And now, as the album cycle continues, the band have dropped a video for “Bee into the Wave,” which should win you over with the presence of puppets! The song’s one of my favorites from the LP with a memorable chorus that sticks in your head; the track has a natural bounce that also employs the hook-factor to keep you coming back. Go ahead, try not to be charmed!
Our friends at Gentle Reminder Records are working hard this year; they’ve got another release added to the calendar this weekend, from Soccer Cousins. It’s spirited pop rock, and in fact, it kind of reminds me of a more casual version of the Thermals. Hooks are abundant, and the voice is definitely distinct. I go back and forth between loving “Holy Smokes” and “Small,” so maybe you can help me out and pick your favorite of the two. This 7″ will pop up on Friday, May 25th, on some super fancy green vinyl; better hurry, as there’s a limited number out there.
Saturday Night are starting off the cycle for their new record with this great tune. The DC group has this almost garage vibe, but there’s something from the vocals that’s making me invest deeply in the band. It’s a slight little inflection, like an uplift at the end of the notes, akin to the way Ted Leo operates. But, that vocal ploy isn’t enough, as they bring in a soulful female vocal counterpart to balance things out. It’s catchy and ballsy and really good; the band will be releasing their debut self-titled album via Gentle Reminder Records in August.
If your’e not into Drawing Boards yet, then let me turn you towards the band’s debut album, which dropped less than a week ago courtesy of Gentle Reminder Records. The single below offers a glimpse at the joy you’ll have when cruising through the album; it starts calmly, with guitars faintly ringing in the distance behind the vocals. Slowly the song builds and burns in your ears, with slight building crafted by layered guitars riding atop the rhythm line. It’s a subtle charmer, and that’s precisely what you’ll find when digging into the self-titled LP; you can grab yourself a copy right HERE.
It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
I’ve really been enjoying listening to Calgrove and their Windy Vane EP (Forged Artifacts & Gentle Reminder). There’s something that definitely seems like it harkens to an earlier period in indie rock, when structures of of rock were interwoven with country flare. I guess to my ears it sounds like a bedroom pop version of Centromatic, allowing you to connect with the intimate quality of emotions, and faintly hinting at folk traditions. If this reaches you in any way, I suggest you get your hands on the new EP, which will be available on Friday.