I had heard rumors of this album, but really happy that today Tracyanne and Danny have released their first single from their forthcoming self-titled LP. It’s strange, but just hearing Tracyanne (of Camera Obscura) again is something that immediately establishes nostalgia; she was a huge part of my 00s listening experience (and beyond). Hearing her pull off a duet with expansive arrangements behind the vocals reminds me just how much I miss her songwriting touch. Look for the new LP via Merge on May 25th.
I don’t know what it is, but even when Dan Bejar seems to go out of his comfort zone, he’s able to execute as Destroyer. For instance, his new track definitely has an early 80s pulse to it, heavy on the synths and sterile percussion. Somehow, Bejar’s unique croon is able to slide carefully in between the grooves, delivering contemplative lines that reverberate as the synths echo in the background. In the video, there’s some great imagery captured in the stills that fill it. Look for his new album, ken, to hit on October 20th via Merge.
While I’m enjoying going through all last week’s tunes, it would be hard to overlook that there’s a new Destroyer tune floating out there today. He’s perhaps one of the most distinctive voices out there in the music world, and he puts that voice on display for this song’s opening two minutes. For that period, the song’s pretty sparse, but then it expands with furthered textures…keyboard, guitar and more pronounced percussion. He’s titled his new record, ken, and it will be out come this October via Merge Records.
Well, you had to know this was coming, and you had to know I was going to be the one to remind you about this new Teenage Fanclub tune. It just popped up yesterday, offering that classic TF sound, bringing heavy distorted guitars into a melodious zone while the vocals carry your heart home. I’ve listened to their new album Here quite a bit lately, and I think anyone remotely interested in the finer side of guitar pop will want to get their hands on it; it’s available via Merge on September 9th.
Some bands never get old. Album after album, you devour the songs, put them on playlists and share with all your friends. For me, one of the bands I always go back to is Teenage Fanclub, and they’ve just announced their newest album in their long running career. It’s exactly what you’d expect, filled with careful power chords and great vocal melodies that carry warmth to listener’s ears. And of course, it’s a love song, but with lines like “there is pain in this world/I can see it in your eyes,” they show that their subject matter is as timeless as their songs. Look for the new effort, Here, on September 9th via Merge Records.
Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen have made a huge name for themselves over the past year with Austin’s Sweet Spirit, but I’ll admit that I’ve always gravitated towards their other project, A Giant Dog a little bit more; it has more energy and edge to it, which is exactly what you get on our first taste of their new LP for Merge Records. Ellis leads the band on over a tinkling bit of piano and driving guitar rhythms. You can almost see Sabrina doing her thing as the leader of this rowdy pack…and this time she brings way more hooks. Have fun with this one folks; PILE hits on May 6th.
We’re a week out from Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015, and you should probably be getting your schedule nailed down, so I’m here to help you out. Mikal Cronin is an act that’s sure to make your list of highlights on Monday after the fest when all is said and done. Once you press play on the single “Made My Mind Up” from back in January of this year, you’ll be enamored with the breezy alternative rock that Cronin brings to the table. The driving electric guitar, embellished with tinkling piano and soaring vocals will certainly be wonderful to start your fest off at 2:25 on Friday afternoon on the Orange Stage. Or perhaps a good way to round out your first day of festing Friday night at 10:45 at The Mohawk.
P.S. Have you picked up your wristband at The Funderdome yet? Get to stepping.
No? You’re not? What the fuck is wrong with you? I guess you haven’t heard “Dream Lover,” but it’s alright, because I’ve got you covered with another single from Destroyer’s Poison Season, which is coming out soon on August 28th via Merge Records. “Times Square,” gives you classic Dan Bejar– swirling lyrics and storytelling around his blend of orchestral rock. His signature drunken poet delivery is there and prominent and the word on the street is that this new album is going to be killer. Take a listen and get properly excited. Preorder it here.
I mean really? Over the years, we’ve heard Dan Bejar’s Destroyer go several different musical directions, and with “Dream Lover,” we get a step in the dream rock direction. Judging from the 8 times I’ve played this song since I first heard it, it’s a step in the right direction. This song is huge from the start, and then somehow gets even bigger with its horns-a-blazing finish. Bejar dreams of being lovers on the run, and the breezy music seems to capture this free spirited dream. Such is the perfect track to get you stoked for his upcoming album, Poison Season, which is out August 28th via Merge Records here in the States. August can’t come soon enough.
Twerps self-titled debut was something of a marvel. It hit the US with little fanfare, but won over the hearts of many listeners and scored them a tour opening for Real Estate. Me, personally, I fawned over the LP for the entirety of 2011. There was something in the relaxed attitude the band employed, and yet often offset with their jangling Aussie guitar prowess. Range Anxiety picks up where that album left off, though there’s touches with the vocals that elevate this effort above its predecessor.
While there’s a statement instrumental opener, Range Anxiety officially begins with “I Don’t Mind.” I hesitate to call it a true piece of slacker pop, though the pacing would suggest such. My issue with that revolves around the song’s time, spanning over 5 minutes. That’s not a slacker band running out of ideas, but rather a comfortable approach to well-crafted pop music. They follow it up with the bouncy “Back to You,” which sounds like a spritely version of the Go-Betweens. I love how the backing vocals don’t join instantaneously during the chorus, but rather build into it…that’s a nice touch.
Speaking of nice touches, I like how Jules has a more prominent role on this LP, particularly in the standout track, “Shoulders.” It’s a tune that features that shimmering guitar work, but her voice offers a different tonal quality than that of her counterpart, Marty. It actually harkens back to a time of more pristine female voices, void of auto-tune and all that other technological hoopla. Her presence on “Adrenaline” adds a continued softness that really smooths out the edges for Twerps; it’s still the same act, just a slight bit more leaning towards classic sounds of pop beauty.
In the end, I’m going to still fawn over this album for it’s guitar playing. Sure, everyone has praised the Oceanic influence on guitar over the last decade, but I don’t think there are many that do it quite as authentically as these guys. Listening to “Cheap Education,” I was pushed way back into my own record collection, at least mentally. There’s a spirit to it that’s hardly been matched, and it always make listening to the group a joy. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t invest a sentence or two in “Love at First Sight.” This song is unlike much of those that precede it, though I’ve found myself gravitating towards it again and again. There’s something ramshackle that’s set amidst a really subdued performance.
Those that first fell in love with Twerps will surely find every song on Range Anxiety to have a redeeming quality. But, I think they’ve put in enough finishing touches to really surpass their debut in many ways. It’s a different listen, but one that exemplifies growth whilst staying grounded to what got them their in the first place. Going to keep playing this album again and again.