I’ve been jamming a lot of Farewell Horizon as of late, and I feel like you should too. I don’t want to minimalize their talent, but I feel like the duo have a sound that seems fairly simple; there’s no frills or necessary ambiance to disguise missteps. Their songs are just pure, unfettered pop rock. They’ve got these huge riffs that have just the right amount of distortion to make you feel like you’ve got morning fuzz on your teeth, but not outlandish enough to lose sight of the song’s melodic inclinations. There’s this faint little shift in the intonation on Pat’s vocals in the opening lines that just gets me every time I press play. Don’t be afraid to indulge on the good old rock n’ roll. Be sure to give their new album You’re Not an Empath a solid listen or two!
You ever fall in love with a band on the very first track you hear? Well, admittedly, I didn’t know much about 22 Halo until today when our friend Jon over at Lost Sound Tapes shared that he’d lined them up for a new tape. And, so I pressed play. Sweet seductive discord! Those crisp guitar notes rang out immediately, united almost instantly with thudding rhythm and heavy vocals, and I couldn’t pull myself away from the tune at all. Then there’s a counter vocal, balancing the track with this perfectly feathered vocal that takes some of the more angular notes and forces them to feign smooth. They seem like one of those bands very much caught up in the current music climate, yet wholly unique, so I’m here for it. “Ripple” is just a tease at what’s to come with Garden Bed, out October 29th via Lost Sound Tapes!
When I first heard BODEGA a few years back, I was completely thrilled; they had this brand of post punk that was musically sharp and filled with biting criticism. But, that sound gets easy to pigeonhole, so its great to seem them sort of move into some new territory with the announcement of a new LP: Broken Equipment. This round, they don’t shy away from social critique, taking aim at the world’s necessity to entirely push output as the endgame. Musically, there’s still a rhythmic pulse beneath the surface, but it feels like there’s this openness that allows Ben Hozie to work his distinctive delivery into the mix. I love how the guitar seems to tip-toe around him, ringing out during the chorus. Tunes like this only have one home…What’s Your Rupture drop the LP in March of next year.
I’m sort of hooked on the sounds of Astral Brain; they seem to have hit upon a sound that sounds both present and slightly nostalgic. You can certainly hear the psychedelic construction in the guitars and the seductive steadiness of the vocal delivery; it lets you melt into the imagery of the video, which is perfectly suited. But, just as you felt comfort in a familiar sound, the track hits the 2:10 mark and takes on this jazzy bounce that adds an uplifting nod to the track’s heavy nature, allowing the tune to gallop towards a dreamy, yet energetic, close. Their album the Bewildered Mind is now available via Shelflife.
You didn’t think 2021 would finish off without another LP from the Black Watch, did you? Fortunately for us, John Andrew Fredrick has never seem fully satisfied with his work, so he’s constantly evolving, and he’s done so through the course of 19 releases. But, now we come to the latest, Here & There, where’s he aimed to add a little more of an untraditional approach to his pop repertoire. John wanted to move away from songs that had ‘proper bridges or pre-choruses,’ thus giving more space in the songs for movement…and the added string arrangements of Ben Eshbach (2 time Emmy winner!). Below you can still hear the textured layers of guitars working in unison to create towering cliffs of noise, crumbling to reveal his velvety pipes. But, where he’s historically had some immediacy with the vocal/lyrical structure, that’s stripped away, leaving the song with this vast bit of space, letting the guitars create their own musical journey for the listener. Here & There will drop on November 12th via Atom Records.
We’ve been on board the Dummy train since their first EP, and let me tell you, you’re in for a real treat when you unwrap your copy of their debut Mandatory Enjoyment. On the last single before the record drops, the band have chosen to release an instrumental jam…but one that ties this LP to their first EP. When we first heard EP 1, you were getting the feeling that the band was just finding their footing, sampling a collection of sounds. But, in retrospect, and seeing how “Atonal Poem” fits into the new record, it feels more purposeful. It’s like they sat down to create a 7 course (or 12 song) meal, and in it, there are supreme highs, and subtle treats, and there are palate cleansers, like the closer we have below. Coming across like an instrumental sonic exploration, this tune caps off the record, allowing you the space and time to reflect on the whole of your experience. Mandatory Enjoyment hits on October 22nd via Trouble in Mind.
Been looking for something that could get my day up and rolling, something that could give me that energetic boost to jump into, which is where Long Island’s Pin Cushion come into play. This song opens with a little bit of jumping around, but then it just takes off rolling, sort of giving you that sort of sped up shanty sound…though I’d be lying if I didn’t say I heard a little of Ted Leo in the opening verses. They break it all down in the end, giving more of a thrashing sputter, illustrating they’re not tethered to just one sound, leaving plenty of of room to go this way and that when they’re new album finally comes out! Stay tuned on that front!
I’m not sure what it is about Tonstartsbandht that attracts me, and perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to the work of the White brothers. At times, they feel like they’re combining these slightly psychedelic practices, reminiscent of what you might find on the inside a Clientele record. But, with that, they also seem to maybe be out there hanging their melodies on the winds of the past, something that sounds incredibly familiar yet totally out of this world. Ultimately, their musicianship shines through, sort of letting the band blend various styles, as you’ll hear when they offer up a tight little breakdown jam in the song’s middle on here. Makes perfect sense that they’ll drop their new LP, Petunia, via Mexican Summer on October 22nd.
I was hooked the moment this pulsing note opens the new single from Finland’s Color Dolor; it’s got this driving nature, yet evolves into this more thoughtful vibe…and that’s just one musical element here. With the band’s announcement that they’ll be dropping Blurry Things this November, they’ve created this really superb pop tune to work with it. Stina’s voice seems calm, though she seems to be fighting with the notes in the chorus; this seems to allude to the influence of coping with anxiety that she claims influenced the track. Cool vibes on this new tune; they drop Blurry Things via Soliti on November 26th.
Jesse Smith’s Gentleman Jesse project has mostly been quiet since 2012’s Leave Atlanta, but I’m really excited that there’s finally a new album on the horizon. For my two cents, I always thought of his work as more of a power-pop brand, with a little bit of that punk ethos, but I think he probably got shoveled into the garage rock genre; I think we just shoved everything that felt lo-fi and rock in that category. Anyways, as you’ll hear on this new single, he’s always crafting these anthemic tunes that you’re meant to enjoy at home; the riffs feel huge, and there’s always this natural inclination to stomp and clap while listening. Just a big fan, and always going to back his tunes; Lose Everything is out in November via Beach Impediment Records.