First, this is not your older brother’s Harlem; it’s possibly not even the Harlem you know and love. But, it’s still Coomers and Curtis writing incredible pop songs that are destined to get repeat listens. With a new album, Oh Boy, on the very near horizon, we get the below single, which shows a great deal of maturity in the songwriting. This is late night Harlem, writing chilled songs with the same sharp-edged guitar their early work showed, only refined to maximize the melody…not to mention, aided by some solid background keyboard work. If you ever wandered what happened to the band…they’re back and you’re going to absolutely love what’s coming your way. Look for the new LP in early 2019.
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.
Everybody who’s anybody is in Eyelids; the group consists of various members of GBV, Decembrists and the Jicks…to name a few. As of right now, we’ve only got the lead track to listen to, but boy is it a doozy. There’s definitely nods to the various members guitar pop resumes, those this is spun in a softer manner, fluffier almost. I guess in my ears its like a great power pop song, but with all the power sucked out…though I like the nice noodling guitar on the song’s back end. Sucker for harmonies and “oohs”? You’ll want to get in on the listen. Maybe More is part live, part Peter Buck (from some band REM) recorded sessions…you can grab it HERE.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the work of Matthew Dear, but we haven’t really heard much from him since 2012, so with a new album on the horizon, I figure we should give it some attention. It’s a common electronic sound, with understated pulses subsiding so that vocals can ride over the groundwork. Oh, and speaking of the vocals, this track features Tegan and Sara throwing down some lines, which should draw some raves (myself included). All those voices combine in the end, as a dancer beat comes in to bring about a spirited exuberance. His music is always thoughtful and simultaneously playful, and I can always back that. Bunny comes out on October 12th via Ghostly.
Every day I wake up and go to work. I grab some coffee, sit at my desk and then start teaching. All day long I try to remind myself that life’s the most fun when I’m being weird; I encourage my students to be weird. Zula encapsulates the weird in their approach to writing pop centric hits. Changes in tempo, switches of instrumental focus all come and go from the instant that organ grinder opens things up. And sure, it could get so much weirder, but I’m glad that the group keeps its focus, circling around pop themes and sugary melodies. It’s a timeless sound that never seems to go out of fashion with my tastes…like a modern Beulah. If you like this track, you’ll want to catch New Years when its dropped by Inflated Records on September 21st.
Finnish outfit New Silver Girl have a new album on the horizon for October, and today we’re happy to share with you the latest single. This tune has a bit of a glam glitz to it, and not just because of the video attire; it also has this slight vocal hiccup that recalls some of Bowie’s best vocal inflections. But, there’s something polished and glossy about the tune, perhaps due to producer Gordon Raphael, who also worked with the Strokes and Hinds. He knows his way around taking the gritty details and turning them into rock n’ roll gems; this is another such occasion. Look for the album to drop in late October via Finland’s best, Soliti Music.
You know, some days you just want to sit back and enjoy a great pop song; you don’t have to participate; you can just sit back and let the melody catch you up; this new Jack Drag single is one such track. Aside from the first 30 seconds of space beats, this song starts off like Jack’s channeling an acoustic version of Jay Reatard; the pace and the chords are definitely reminiscent of Jay. But, the chorus takes that pop sensibility and ups it a notch, matching the vocal melodies that come from Dragonetti as he works his way through the song. I just keep tapping my toes and smiling. And, while it might not be a huge piece of the track, I love the keyboard/bells at the end of the tune is a nice touch. His new album drops on September 14th via Burger Records.
Though maybe a little late on the news here, it seems important for us to always share news on bands that have long been favorites of the ATH team. We Were Promised Jetpacks certainly has received a lot of notoriety on our site so of course this announcement of a new album after a long four-year wait is exciting for the entire crew. What’s even more exciting is this new song “Hanging In” seems to be a return to form for the band after a minor letdown with their last album. It’s pretty damn epic. Welcome back boys.
WWPJ will release new album The More I Sleep the Less I Dream on September 14th.
When Andy Burns reached out to me, I wasn’t familiar with his work, but I’ve been delving deep into the music he’s sent me. He’s putting finishing touches on his latest album, which will be out in the Fall; it was completed while the Australian songwriter has been living in Tokyo. I’m a sucker for string arrangements, especially when they accompany light little pop songs, such as this one. Plus, Andy carries deep vocal tones, though there’s a slight hint of operatic tendencies lurking deep in there. A mellow number that’s perfect to start out your Friday goings-on.
Way back in 2015, Santiparro released the spiritual folk masterpiece, True Prayer; I raved about it over and over. But, in about a month he’ll be releasing his brand new LP, The Talon, and we’ll gladly support the artist again. The below single is indicative of his markedly new approach this go round, branching out into new sonic territory through his close work with produce J Ashley Miller. The opening minute uses a guitar in the distance with some sort of electronic gurgling lurking as Santiparro lets his voice search for that spiritual high ground. Strings momentarily envelope the sound, and you can feel the song beginning to build into an extravagant pop opus. Not surprisingly, he still seems to be seeking a better world, for himself and for us…one of the many reasons I’m still drawn to his work. The Talon might be his bravest work to date, so be sure to keep a look out for it on August 3rd; pre-order HERE.