You might remember Rachel Love when all of us were clamoring to get our hands on one of the few copies of her band Dolly Mixture‘s remastered works a few years ago. Now, Rachel’s out on her own, and she’s offering up this really powerful pop ditty. It’s the sort of pop that borders on the edges of classic doo-wop and chamber pop; it’s the super hard not to get swept up in those string arrangements and light vocal flourishes (which feature her son David btw!). I have a feeling this song will be playing over here for the rest of the day! Look for Primrose Hill to drop later this summer via Cow Chow Records.
It’s got to be tough to sit on an album for a minute, but in the case of American Culture, it led to a more finished product for their latest LP, For My Animals. The record was made pre-pandemic, but they chose to sit on it…leading to a path of creativity with the final product; it will feature screen printed covers, hand stamped labels, plus comes with buttons and a mini riso poster. It’s an art piece, not just your average record. Will you dig the music? Well, below you can sample the first single from the record. Each time I listen through I hear a bit of something new. At times, I thought I heard the howl of Iggy, all the way down to the tonal similarities (think “I Wanna Be Your Dog”), but there are some elements that felt like they were bringing in the Boss circa Born in the USA; then they added in some jangles and dreamy guitar lines, leaving you with this collection of indie rock twists and turns that are sure to entice. For My Animals is out on HHBTM on March 19th.
Austin outfit Balmorhea have been mostly quiet since 2018, with various members of the band working on other projects. But, that time has allowed Michael Muller and Rob Lowe to really focus on creating expansive soundscapes, with ties to stories of French saints, Greta Thurnburg and general meditations on the state of the natural world. Their music, as always, is a truly immersive experience; you’ve got to let yourself go, allowing the slight nuances to move you in new directions in step with the song’s careful meandering. Never a bad day for a new track to come our way from this lot; they’ll be releasing The Wind later this year via Deutsche Grammophon.
Seeing as we’re always trying to bring you the best news from the Australian scene, I thought I’d introduce you all to Walt…another great act out of Melbourne. But, while the relaxed pacing of this single might be familiar to those in love with this particular musical scene, the comparisons stop there (thus why pigeonholing scenes is dumb–note to self). Musically, this is dense pop world that doesn’t feel crowded; there’s plenty of space for movement, allowing notes to take on this resonation that billows through your speakers. This dream vision is one of the earliest glimpses we get at Walt’s craft, with a debut album dangling on the horizon.
Well, this Tim Cohen tune came out yesterday, but our attention was turned to our Catenary Wires/Heavenly, etc takeover, so we didn’t get a chance to praise the tune, until now! It’s been really interesting watching the Fresh and Only’s front man weave his way in and out of his solo career. This tune has this certain slow-burn to it, like a candle flickering in a dark carpeted room, perhaps for sance purposes. For me, aside from this voice, I think my favorite thing is that he seems to have completely erased the sound I associate with him, almost presenting me with something brand new…like a Cohen protg, with just a little more pain in the voice. You Are Still Here will drop on March 26th via Bobo Integral.
With everything else going on, our main band, The Catenary Wires, took a back seat. We had a bunch of gigs booked in the spring, but obviously they all had to be cancelled. However, the album that we had started putting together at the beginning of the year is now nearly finished. We managed to record a few songs here, before lockdown, but most of it has been recorded since. Fay recorded her keyboards at home, Ian added some extra finger drums, weve done our parts and Andy has played bass and put the whole thing together beautifully. We are lucky to be working with a band who arent just musically gifted, but technically clever too. We are going to release a single early next year, called Mirrorball. Its the story of two lonely individuals who attend a retro 80s disco, and are forced to re-live the horror of the worst music of that decade but then make eye contact across the dancefloor. Yes, its a love song!
We dont have a video ready for the single yet, but we thought we might include a live performance we did for the Wedding Presents At The Edge Of The Sofa virtual festival. These songs will be on the new album: they are The Overview Effect and Like the Rain.
On Katy Kirby‘s latest single from her much anticipated Cool Dry Place LP I’m really in love with the way she uses the song’s storytelling to naturally build tension. The exposition has this careful fragility, mostly Kirby working her voice over ornate guitar play and light percussion; you can feel the volume grow, moving towards a more pronounced moment. But, even then, it’s a false dawn of sorts, as there’s still a more pronounced presence coming down the line…a climax of sorts…all this powerful storytelling, and that’s not even getting into Kirby’s lyrical content. She’s at the top of her craft here, and there’s no looking back. Expect big things when Cool Dry Place drops via Keeled Scales on February 19th.
The collaboration of Stanley Brinks and Clemence Freshcard has given us several gifts, with Midnight Tequila being my favorite of the latest entries. Unsurprisingly, Stanley wrote a bunch of brand new songs for a new Freshcard LP, and here we are with Five Mountains. For me, the duo’s power revolves around their ability to maximize emotion in these seemingly stripped down numbers. Brinks offers minimal percussion, staying out of the way throughout the LP, allowing the light strum of Clemence’s guitar to lift up her voice. If you’re into that realm where folk and pop intermingle, then you’ll be delighted to hear this album today.
The moment we’ve all been expecting has come to be; Shame, today, announce their brand new LP, Drunk Tank Pink. There have been hints that something was in the air since the release of Songs of Praise…but I’m actually referring to the musical style they’re brandishing on their latest batch of singles. They seem to have discarded the formulaic call and response post-punk that’s become quite the fad, instead favoring a more elaborate approach, often slowing things down to let notes ring out and build that internal tension for the listener. There’s still a solid release, but there’s time to reflect, rather than just be bashed over the head by blunt rock. Drunk Tank Pink will be released the day before my birthday on January 15th via Dead Oceans.
It’s more likely than not that you are unfamiliar with the experimental sounds created by Atlanta based musician Orchid Mantis. I assume this not because the music is not worthy of recognition, but because the artist has flown largely under the radar for the last several years (possibly on purpose). Popularity and notoriety will surely follow if more songs like this one called “Can’t See the Sun” continue to find their way onto the interwebs. Though somewhat experimental, the track is just downright catchy as hell and evokes a feeling of a more stripped down version of Beach Fossils with vocals akin to Jonathan Pierce of The Drums.
This song appears on a new album entitled Far From This World due out November 20th on Z Tapes.