It seems like a trend nowadays to flirt with the edges of indiepop. I feel like all these acts are employing these soft guitar edges and sweet harmonies…just like Kevin Krauter. Listening to this new tune, you can even hear the shimmering of guitars combined with the super calm vocal delivery; you make that guitar cutting through scream a bit louder and you might even find this landing in some shoegaze territory. But, at the core, is a great melody, something we can all attach to our ears and hum throughout the day; it’s that natural pop sensibility that we all adore, whether we want to admit it or not. I’m not shying away from my adoration, especially with this jam. His new album Full Hand will be out on February 28th via Bayonet Records.
Andrew Anderson is one third of Proto Idiot, but today let’s talk about his brand new solo record, Clean Yourself. It’s a pretty dynamic listen, and one that’s marked by brief songs, so you’re definitely not going to get bored as Anderson bounces from track to track here. There’s a light-hearted garage rocker in “It’s Not for Me,” but move down the line and you’ll find the frantic “You’re too close.” At times, it kind of feels like Andrew’s channeling Television Personalities, valuing clever word play in spots over musicality, like in “Cannot Repeat;” it feels like the sort of thing I would have expected Jay Reatard to pull off. Oddball pop punk numbers, garage rockers and mini-ballads; Clean Yourself has it all! Grab it as Name Your Own Price via Rigamarole Records.
Throughout my various twists and turns as a music fan, there have always been a handful of bands that have remained staples in my listening rotation, and Nada Surf has always been one such act. Today they announce that they’re back with a brand new album, and the opening single has that melodic guitar buzz that’s been there going on 30 years; it’s balanced by Matthew’s voice, giving the song that emotive softness. They do switch it up to offer a spoken word moment at the song’s forefront just before the 2 minute mark; it offers the band’s critique on the state of the world and how we can participate to make it better for all of us. Hooks and a message? Never Not Together is out on February 7th via Barsuk.
We’ve covered Vern Matz before, and I think going forward, we’re all likely to hear more about the band, especially based on the quality of their latest single. Those fans of recent indie guitar pop nods will surely appreciate the guitar sounds going on throughout this number; they’re really crisp and recall the happy meandering of acts like Real Estate. For me, however, the winner is in the yearning quality of the vocal delivery; it sort of feels like I’m dreaming of the world right along with the vocals. If I’m going off my gut, I think the band have something special here, but we’ll have to wait until their debut album comes in February to really have a full understanding of their talent.
I’m a big Just Joans fan, and when the Glasgow popped back up a few years ago, I was really excited, clamoring for the new hits. Today, a new song popped up on the Internet, so why not point you in that direction. At first take, I immediately thought the band were covering the Magnetic Fields; it’s a slow moving pop number built on the Katie Pope’s vocals and the arrangements behind her. It’s just a perfect little nugget; there’s no need for any percussion, as Pope carries the song in striking fashion; I will admit to being drawn to the horn work hanging out in the distant background. No release date as of yet, but it looks like Fika Recordings will be handling this release.
When I think of Shana Falana, I tend to think of a thoughtful songwriter who generally crafts these strikingly dreamy numbers that ooze pure passion, especially in the live setting. That said, this brand new single from the forthcoming Darkest Light might take some listeners aback, but only for a moment. Sure, the vocal performance takes on this almost angelic tone, but there’s this turmoil lurking in the track. Take for instance, the absence of drums, it leaves this cavernous void that can only be filled with by voice and the careful playing of guitar notes; it gets some depth with layered strings far off in the mix. It’s striking to see the balance and composure the execute such a song, which leads me to believe this is a project at the top of its game. I look forward to Darkest Light; its out on October 25th via Arrowhawk Records.
Two of my favorite voices from Australia, Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton, are teaming up again to release their 3rd album working together; they’ve both released wonderful solo records this year as well. In this video, the duo seem to be having a dinner party, built around the making of pasta with a bunch of pals. Emma takes the reins on the vocal duties for this number, with slight backing vocals provided during the chorus. The subject matter here involves self-love, and the inevitable drive to get out of bed and seek it out. Their new album is titled Take the Reigns, and it will be released by Osborne Again/Bobo Integral on October 18th.
We were really fortunate to have Seazoo play for us this past year at our last-minute SXSW party; we were treated to an energetic pop set that was equal parts entertaining and catchy. The band just returned with this fresh single, an early hint at what’s to come from their sophomore LP (which should be out early next year). At first you’ll want to give the whole of this number to the guitars and the vocals; they offer the most obvious hook for a listener. But, what I loved about the band, which is apparent here, are the extra little layers; there’s some nice keyboard/synth marks within this number, backing vocals come in at just the right places and the rhythm section might just be the best part! What I’m meaning to say is that this group is a whole lot of fun, and they’ve got the songs to match! If you haven’t already, please go check out Trunks, while we wait for their next LP!
Back In May I shared some news about Auckland based band Miss June signing to the legendary indie label Frenchkiss. After a 7″ release via the label in May, the band is now prepping to release a new LP entitled Bad Luck Party on September 10th (pre-order here). Prior to that release, Miss June just dropped this blazing new single called “Enemies”. Honestly, I’m not sure I can remember a song recently that rocks and melts faces as much as this one. It’s under 3 minutes long and doesn’t let up in its intensity for one second.
I know that I’m supposed to love all the sonic adventurism of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and I do, but hearing this new tune from Wilco is right where I want the band to be. Jeff’s voice has this real careful softness to it, hanging onto every syllable like its his last one. Behind him, there’s a lightly strummed guitar piece, accentuated by the fun noodling lines that dart in and out. All the while, the drums seem haphazard, just rolling along casually as if they didn’t have a care in the world. This is where I love my Wilco; I’m looking forward to Ode to Joy, which apparently is being released by dBPM Records on October 4th.