We haven’t had the pleasure of catching anything from Cloudberry Records in a bit, so I’m really stoked that the label is returning, and doing so with Stars on Fire, no less. The band is the project of Christoph Mark, and I just love the heavy guitar on this track, battling against the drum beat from the get-go, only allowing the vocals to serve as the balance between the two sounds as they teeter back and forth in this tune. Personally, the texturing is where Mark succeeds, building these little layers that flesh out the sound; it gives a full pop stomach, which definitely doesn’t always happen in this brand. You’ll hear this track as the A-Side to the new 7″, dropping on September 24th.
All you old Dentists fans still kicking about will surely already have this new Treasures of Mexico tunes on your radar, but in case not, well, here we are! Over the weekend, the band dropped Always the Shadows 7″, which came out via Spinout Nuggets, and had this charming A side. Personally, I love the way there’s this almost progressive jangle, like the band are harnessing bits of psychedelia while still trying to hold onto their power pop tendencies; it also doesn’t hurt that you get backing vocals that build in the melodic nature of the chorus. Honestly, this is just a pure classic pop sound, and its super hard to envision anyone having anything negative to say. Slight edge, good melody, just weird enough to be cool. There you have it.
Honestly, there’s not a scene in the States that’s been so consistently up my alley as San Francisco, and of course, there’s so much of it, sometimes you can’t get to all the posts in one day…so here’s me catching up on two deserving bands and their jams from last week. First, there’s April Magazine, who will release Sunday Music for an Overpass this Friday via Paisley Shirt Records. The tune I’ve got below is this short haunting ballad, like a beautiful little candle flickering in the dark before sputtering out. Then, of course, The Reds, Pinks & Purples officially released their latest 7″, which was originally a bonus if you ordered their latest Uncommon Weather from Slumberland Records.
I guess we’ll be spending a good deal of today jamming out to some of my favorite songwriters, like Benjamin Woods, who helms the Golden Dregs. Seriously, just take one listen to this track and tell me that throaty baritone doesn’t just sink deep into your soul; Hazelwood and Merritt have been mentioned as comparisons, but I’m just going to settle for being blown away. I love the subtleties of Benjamin’s craft, the little details that often get overlooked. For sentence, just listen to the way his voice falls at the line “seldom do I think about him now,” matching perfectly the rise and fall of the guitar work. Plus, as the song continues, you get these added little flourishes highlighting all the finer details of the artistry in every track from The Golden Dregs. This track appears courtesy of End of the Road Records who will release it via 7″ in September.
The Narrow Escapes have been quiet for almost a decade, but they return today with some jams on new label Tenth Temple Records (its ATH adjacent). The project is led by Art Silva, who played in Rose Selavy, and he’s joined by members of Meryll and Tres Oui, so you know that the songs are going to be energetic and hook-laden. “Cruise Life” is a little bit like the title, a nice little sailing trip off into the sunset, cruising through the seas with a nice little smile upon your face. “Night Owls” is a definite jam, and one you’d expect with the members involved; it feels like a power pop anthem crafted in the latest corners of the night, propulsive but just hinting at darkness. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more about what’s coming from the band and label!
Sometimes a certain sound ends up being purely emotional, and it supersedes language barriers, which is precisely the case with this new Die Zartlichkeit single. While I’m not as up on my German as I’d like, the tonal quality of the track is absolutely sublime, calm and comfort, tying into my proposal that emotion is sometimes all you need. In a way, it reminds me of Finnish outfit Cats on Fire, playing unassuming jangle pop that seems like an indiepop lounge act. You can tap your toes, you can enjoy the black/white video, or can just let the smooth sound wash over you…but either way, grab the new 7″ from KUS!
We hadn’t heard from the Intelligence since their 2019 LP Un-Psychedelic in Peavey City, and this single crept up on us kind of out of nowhere. Starting off with an acoustic strum, the song moves quickly into a more angular craft, with bass ambling along in the background, lurking with the rhythm section. For me, the vocals and the drums are the standout, with Lars’ voice rolling and climbing over all the notes, making his way up the mountain created by the drumming; it feels like the drums are just hurtling this steady stream of boulders upon us, forcing us to dodge and duck, locked into the tune’s propulsive nature. You’ll find this hit on a new 7″ courtesy of Leisure World Tapes.
It’s going to be really hard for you to pass up listening to this new jam from Dumb. On one hand, it comes with the announcement of a split 7″ with fellow punks, Tough Age…so musically, you’re already on board, eh? Then, you get the support of a great label, Mint Records, with the added bonus of supporting Conundrum Press, the print label for Cole Pauls and his comic, Pizza Punks! Plus, all the songs are about punks eating pizza, which ties into Pauls’ thematic comic of that very name. Art meets art meets my belly! Pizza and punk? Count us in! This 7″ will drop on July 9th…but check out the work of Dumb, Tough Age and Cole Pauls while you wait for your slice! The 7″ includes an 8 page comic!
Melbourne seems like a good place to hang out today, with a new band in Robot Fox we hit up with a bit ago, and now we’ve got the release of Moon Rituals latest 7″. Those hip to the scene likely already heard folks raving about “Aura,” which was much deserved, but today I figured we’d point you that way, as now you get a chance to get to hear the B-side “Painting a Bird” as well! Sarah’s voice has this playfulness that feels like the budding of leaves on trees, an awakening to Spring; she gets help on the instrumentation from Mikey Young and Shaun Gionis who fill the space between her voice with these tiny notes, or so it seems; they tiptoe around, careful as to not impose themselves on Sarah’s world. Stream the whole 7″ below.
When we were fortunate enough to have Rob and Amelia of Catenary Wires take over our web site last year, they hipped us to all they were working on, be it Swansea Sound, Heavenly reissues, European Sun and…well, we knew there was fresh CW on the horizon. Today, they announce their Mirrorball 7″, and they do so in typical fashion sharing a whimsical pop tune to give your day some wings, some spirit (maybe its only me that needs that!). Electronic buzz and horns open up before the light guitar strum provides the stage for the back and forth melodic banter between Rob and Amelia. For me, having listened to the band, and their various projects, this one feels supremely mature, like a lesson in the joys of indiepop being given by its elder states-people; it just gives you this warmth, almost as if it can’t be pigeonholed as anything other than a really great song. This 7″ will be out via Shelflife/Skep Wax on April 16th…and includes a Human League cover! And just a hint, this tune is the first single off a forthcoming LP later in the year.