How does one take a 9 piece ensemble and turn it into a rock band? Well, perhaps you should ask the members of Time Stalkers, as they seem to be doing a pretty good job as you can hear with their latest single. The song owns a distinctive place in my brain, like a cross between power-pop and Tilly & the Wall; they definitely are using everything at their disposal to craft their tunes; I can hear bells, strings, horns and multiple guitars. I think my favorite thing, however, is just how organic the whole tune feels due to the mixing; it just feels like the magic was all captured on tape just for us. The band’s self-titled album will be out on June 5th courtesy of Gentle Reminder Records.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m super high up on my love for Romantic States, and now with the title track from the group’s forthcoming Ballerina LP, I’m just going all in. For me, this track’s all about Ilenia’s performance; she seems so calm, yet so expressive in the slightest ways…like syllables with emphatic punch or dropping off at the last second. Behind her is the steadying rhythm section and the slightly jangling guitar chords; it’s like they’ve sponsored an indiepop seance and decided to write the whole score; you’re captivated with no room to escape, luckily. Their new LP will be out on November 6th via Gentle Reminder Records.
Romantic States came on to my radar with their Take My Hand and Run 7″; those two songs blew me away, which led to my adoration for their follow-up, Corduroy in Italy. Today, the band announce their follow-up LP, Ballerina, putting the band on display as they continue to flesh out their pop sound. If we’re basing this album off one song, it seems a slight departure, or rather, another step further towards intimate bedroom pop. Their last LP showed glimpses of this, but there was still a little jagged guitar dancing in and out of tunes. Here, you really get this stunning performance from Ilenia, coolly sitting with her vocals in this pseudo-croon as she takes on the role of full-time singer; rhythm duties now feature Shawn Durham on drums and Alan Everheart (Wildhoney) on bass. Jim enters with these bright little guitar lines, but they’re really crisp, rather than distorted; I think it comes across as the perfect accent to the vocals, matching the careful delivery of the melodies. Ballerina already sounds brilliant, if you’re asking; it’ll be out on October 16th via Gentle Reminder Records.
With members of Dirty On Purpose, Sisters, TEEN, and Darlings, new band Drawing Boards from Queens obviously has a lot of fire power for a new band. One can hear the power from the super group with this new, loud single called “Poor Bentley”. The listener will be treated to some expertly produced drums, well timed vocals, and some clean guitar riffs. Check it out.
Drawing Boards will new LP The Message on June 7th via Gentle Reminder Records.
I’m not really sure what to call Fashion Brigade…I suppose brigade would be easy, but it seems more like a conglomerate of great artists working together to round out the bits and pieces of great art. Today, there’s a couple of new pieces from the forthcoming Fvck the Heartache, both featuring established artists like Jo Schornikow of Phosphorescent (and recent LP on Keeled Scales) and Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos. Jo’s track has this true post-punk indiepop vibe; the guitar’s almost sound like a distorted and poppier Cure song, with Jo softening things with her notes. Greta’s performance is like a Tony Molina sized juggernaut; it almost sounds like an unfinished Stephin Merritt pinned tune. Both tracks will appear on Fvck the Heartache, out this summer via Gentle Reminder Records.
Today’s one of those days when I’m just blown over by all the great songs popping off in my direction; I’ll always take another Soccer Cousins song. The New York trio crafts hook-infected indie rock, and here they’re giving us the same, while toying with typical song structures. This song stays steady for the most part, just until about the 1.5 minute mark where it unfolds into this sort of indiepop jangle breakdown that works itself into this sort of math/prog moment that twists into this soaring blast of distortion and “oohs.” I also always get stuck on the Hutch Harris vocal resemblance, and I mean that in the best way possible. Check the latest single (Gentle Reminder Records), and fingers crossed for an LP!
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!