Of all the groups with Elephant Six lineage, perhaps none are as willing to participate in sonic exploration as Marshmallow Coast. Immediately, Andy Gonzales throws you into new wave nostalgia; pulsing synth work and robotic autotune. Guitars soon cut through to join in on the fun, all the while you still get that insatiable pulse that serves as the song’s heart. But, if you listen carefully, there’s definitely these nice little pop flourishes, particularly in the soft melodic vocals that sit in the distance near the tune’s latter half. If you’re willing to get out of your cool kid comfort zone, you’re really going to enjoy the group’s new LP, Memory Girl; it drops on November 9th via HHBTM.
Just this past April Graham Smith and Kleenex Girl Wonder released Vana Mundi, but he’s already returning with his second offering of 2018, White Lacuna. The music he’s crafted for the last 25 years is perhaps best described on the poppier side of the college rock world; think Harvey Danger with a little bit more literary word play. And it’s not just the literary quality, it’s the way those lines are delivered, with certain syllables supplying added emphasis to the song’s musical quality. For my two cents, I think the chorus is worthy of your listening alone; the guitars sparkle in the front of the mix, while Smith brings out a smoothed vocal melody that certainly pulls you into the track. White Lacuna will be out later this year via Reasonable/HHBTM.
We tried to hype you all to Eureka California for SXSW this year, and we’re right back on that glorious hype machine screaming for you to turn this track up real loud. Jake opens up this track, singing atop a steadied guitar line; you can feel the tension bend as Marie begins to build the force from the background. Then bang…distortion, smashing cymbals and a crunchy bit of guitar pop come ripping through your speakers; it’s the perfect execution of the quietLoudquiet concept. If you haven’t gotten into this band yet, well, I’m sorry, but you’ll get a chance when the group drop their new Roadrunners LP on May 4th via HHBTM.
One of our favorite duos from Athens, GA just dropped a brand new tune off their forthcoming LP. Like all great track from Eureka California this one drops in at just over 2 minutes, but it packs a ferocious punch. Drummer Mary Uhler is back there furiously pounding her kit, setting a quick pace that forces Jake to push ahead with both vocals and guitars. It’s a breakneck speed, indie rock speaking, but the slight vocal inflection in Jake’s voice give just the slightest hint at pop sensibility. They’re also going to be one of the hot tickets at SXSW, with everyone clamoring to catch them live. Roadrunners will be released by HHBTM on May 4th. Check the song out below, with their SXSW dates included.
March 14: SXSWaterloo Day Party @ Waterloo Cycles
March 15: HHBTM Official Showcase @ Seven Grand
March 16: New Granada Day Party @ Gingerman
March 16: Crashing Through Publicity & Tiger Bomb Promotions Day Party @ Beerland
March 17: Athens in Austin Day Party @ Side Bar
Sometimes you’ve got to dig to find the gems, but hopefully at the end of 2018 Linqua Franqa will be more prevalent in everyone’s listening habits. It’s the musical outlet for Mariah Parker, who calls Athens, GA home; she’s kicking back and offering a more linguistic approach to modern hip-hop. I love the soulful vibe that rests in between the verses she’s putting out, not to mention the lines that open and close this track. Ultimately, it’s her flow and her sharp turn of words that elevates this tune above others, offering true poetry at a blistering pace. Nod your head, and revel in all that lays before you as we await the release of Model Minority on February 23rd via HHBTM.
Felt like George Best is a long lost gem, and while they toured this album, they didn’t bring it to Austin (sad face); it would have been a delight to hear The Wedding Present play George Best in its entirety. And now we have news that Steve Albini has re-recorded the band’s heralded album as the record turns 30. The band, who were already working with Steve, recorded the whole thing live in the studio, and you can sample the reworking below. Look for the GB30 to be released via HHBTM on September 22nd. Also…on a side note, you should watch the George Best documentary.
Clearly we’re on a Tunabunny kick, anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new album PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr. This track continues to display the band’s diversity on this ambitious double LP from HHBTM, offering a casual croon over a minimal rock n’ roll vibe. But, just before the track hits the two minute mark, the vocals are stretched and the drums start pounding quicker, begging you to keep pace as the angular guitars lightly jump in and out of the closing moments. Look for a surprise hit for your year end list on June 23rd.
Guitars twinkle in the distance as the kick drum slowly marks the band’s entry. Volume gets pushed up, and then come those dreamy vocals from Diana. There’s a little synth thrown in this round, just building on the layered infectious quality Rat Fancy brings. This is just another reason you should be excited to hear the group’s new effort; I’m pretty sure they didn’t write a bad song to put on Suck a Lemon. You can grab the new recordings from HHBTM on May 26th…so you have a week to indulge in the sugary sweetness that is this latest single.
A few weeks ago we dropped the first Tunabunny single, and I promised it’d be an album of diverse sound that many would find to be one of the year’s most exhilarating listens. Today, we’re back with another tune, with that promised new twist. Slowly opening with minimal sound and a dreamy softness in the vocals, the song subdues listeners before reaching into an emphatic growl during the chorus; it soon retreats to the entrancing bit once again filled in by percussion and electronic haze. Their new album, PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland JR, is being released on June 23rd via HHBTM, and hopefully this is just another example of the group’s willingness to define their own sound.
Do you ever get the feeling that the old hits just aren’t the same, that they don’t hit the spot like they once did? That seems to be the sentiment expressed by ex-Sweater Girl Diana Barraza on her latest song with Rat Fancy; you have to grow and find new gems to adore. Musically, the song pulls from the sunnier side of pop, with a steady bounce from the rhythm section that make the likelihood of toe-tapping rather high. Barraza’s voice has a cool summery breeze, floating through the brief song with grace as added keyboard textures ramp up the pop sensibility. Loving it? Yes, you are, so grab the band’s Suck a Lemon EP from HHBTM on May 26th.