After dropping the excellent Still Life earlier this year, Massage turned around and announced the Lane Lines EP last month. There’s a new tune circulating, which is a cover of the classic Ivor Cutler Trio tune, “I’m Going in a Field.” They drag the original into a sort of paisley landscape, toying with jangling guitars, while still allowing the emotive quality of the tune to remain the focus. I know the band is based in LA, but this track feels like it should take place in the foggy realms of San Francisco or London, giving it this timelessness that’s sure to win new fans of the group. Look for Lane Lines via Mt. St. Mtn. on December 10th.
Dave Hartley’s Nightlands project has undergone some recent changes, mostly due to a change in locale, with Dave moving from Philly to Asheville. In his new home, Hartley was able to really focus on his craft, touching up the details on the Moonshine EP, and writing enough songs to finish up a new full length (coming your way in 2022!). In announcing his new EP, Dave is sharing “Hymn to Me,” originally recorded by Brinsley Schwarz back in 1970. I love how he takes that sort of paisley folk sound from the classic rock era, and sort of coats in this more modern dreamscape, giving it this openness and breathing some of that fresh Asheville air into the song. The Moonshine EP drops on December 10 via Western Vinyl.
As much as I love Austin, San Francisco seems the place to be for music this year…and Massage is just one of the many bands having made a name for themselves. They’ve already release Still Life, which I raved about over here, but now we’ve got the Lane Lines EP on the horizon for December. Honestly, this new single might be one of my favorites, as it feels like this weirdly logical step from New Order’s Republic, just building in a little more jangle to things, not to mention the nice little female backing vocal nod. If you haven’t spent anytime with this band, then now’s your chance to correct that, and this song couldn’t be a better way to move right on in on the band’s great work. Lane Lines EP is out December 1st via Mt. St. Mtn.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of our time covering Portland’s Alcopops, who’ve crafted this perfectly delicious little fuzz pop Devil EP; it’s out in the world now, so I wanted to revisit some of the various reasons I love it. From the first track “Sins,” you get these huge chugging riffs, though I’ll be honest, you can hear some of the indie rock history of the Pacific NW in the band’s arrangements. ‘”Seventy Two” plays a little bit softer, hanging on the band’s more melodic tendencies; I’m a big fan of the warmth of the chorus on that jam. “Try Not to Laugh” takes on a more exploratory fashion, spreading its wings and exploring the noise the band have created, with a nice little curtain of heavy vocals draped atop. Then, just like that the EP closes with “True Bugs,” featuring this huge squalling guitar that crashes into the listener in the best way possible; it’s like getting hit by a storm only you get back up and run right into it. My only complaint? There’s only 4 songs, so lets hope the group get right back to writing more jams.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve loved Jason Quever and Papercuts…probably a few years before we got this whole little site going. Sometimes Jason will lay dormant, working on perfecting other people’s tunes. But, whenever he pops up out of his musical burrow, I just get these little tingles under my skin. Today we get news that there’s a brand new digital EP on the horizon, and I’m already sitting here raving about the first single. His vocal performance alone this round was enough to get me, especially the way Quever’s voice rises in the chorus, stretching his notes, almost to Thom Yorke territory. Fortunately, he’s got this solemn pop that serves as the vessel for his striking voice, creating this otherworldly drift that seems like the perfect escape from everything troubling you. The Baxter’s Bliss EP is out on November 19th, and includes a few covers (Leonard Cohen and Galaxie 500).
The year 2021 seems like the year music really feels like it started to reawaken in Austin, which is where we get to meet Silver Tapes and their new Forever Home EP. The band is the project of former Shy Beast Drummer, Drew Silverman, producing his own mixture of heavy textures and hard snapping beats. In this tune, the track carefully begins to unfold, working in the opening minute as this sort of textured pop opus, working over synth stabs and careful melodies. For me, I got hooked when the song drops in with this heavy riff that just sort of explodes the foreground and then shimmers all over the place, clouding the speakers with melodic fuzz. Silverman bounces all over the place on this EP, searching for the sounds that match up with the EP’s themes of loss, nostalgia and security. The full EP is out November 5th, so be on the lookout to double down here.
You know when you just want something big and poppy, something that seems just perfectly built for you? Well, I present you with the new single from London’s Me Rex. If you’re into British pop rock like Martha, you’re going to want to spend some time here; you might also want to go back and revisit the band’s other releases. Here, we get a little synth into before the song hits hyperdrive into euphoria…backing vocals swell with these magical hooks that dig deep into your soul. Myles McCabe has this great delivery within the confines of the song to kind of tie it all together; it comes across as spoken and call, straining when it hits the song’s rising tension. If you dig this, look for the band’s Pterodactyl EP in February of next year via Big Scary Monsters. Also, fun fact. Pterodactyls are not dinosaurs. Duh.
Some reason, I’ve just been wanting to spin and dance and smile; I guess I’m just fed up with feeling fed up. For me, I always turn to music, and this Endearments tune is a bit of an early morning bop to slid you into your midweek grind. There’s that sort of casual smoothness to it, sort of slinking its way into your life; it has a touch of that sort of crystalline synth pop mood. When it hits the chorus, it’s a quick little burst of euphoria, emphasized by some backing vocal tracks to push it forward. And each time, it crawls back to the calming waters of late night electronic pop, perfect for the late night playlist you made for your friends. This track appears on Father of Wands, out November 5th.
If you’re looking for a band to root for, I suggest putting Slack Times up on the radar there, as their new At the Blue Melon Rendezvous definitely ups the ante on their first EP, leaving hope that the band get back into the studio to drop more tunes. They were looking to recreate some of the magic of Athens jangling pop, and while they do touch up on there, they also bring in a bit more of an expansive sound…sometimes all at once…like if you listen to “My Time,” which feels like the best punk jam REM never wrote. I think they also sell themselves short in that goal too, as you can clearly hear other regional powerhouses haunting their songs, though I’ll leave that to you to find the musical breadcrumbs. Regardless…rejoice in good EPs, like this one!
There’s something in the water today down in Brighton, with this new track from Public Body being our second offering from the city today! This group is both exciting fun, seemingly crafting their own post-punk recipe with influences from the likes of Devo to Parquet Courts…and probably bits and pieces of everything in between. It’s the sort of tune that immediately feels like your thrust into the live setting, pogoing about with a huge shit-eating grin strung upon your face, looking around, and everyone feels the same…its a communal joyous rapture…and we’re grateful Public Body have provided. The group will be dropping their Flavour of Labour EP this December.