I love writing about Tim Chaplin; he’s an artist that works at his own pace, crafting his own style from the confines of his own tastes. That said, he’s been quiet since the end of 2018, but now it looks like he’s ready to offer up a new EP. Our first listen has Tim being Tim, offering up this softened vocal, drawing close to the realm of indiepop. That said, the music sits back, filled with guitar lines that sort of seem to be walking on eggshells behind Tim; there are a few instances when the song seems like it’s going to breakout, but it always gets pulled back to focus on melody. Different Currents is the new EP, and it’s available for streaming services.
Cornwall’s LIPS are about to be the next great act on the storied Sunday Records; tomorrow they’ll drop their debut EP…and get ready for everyone to swoon. In starting out the EP, the drop a bold indiepop challenge in “Apartment;” it’s fueled by these dancing dreamy guitar jangles and feathery vocals from Rachel Anstis. Antis is the clear winner here, though she steps aside to let the band do their best to get you to kick up your shoes. Skip down a song and you’ll find “Walls” toying with the fuzzier “gaze” side of the realm. Still, Anstis steals the show, moving between angelic notes and calming cool, running through the song like its her own vocal playground. “Sunken” turns around to show you just how far the outfit can take their pop sensibility, shaking about between sharp angular cuts and hazy notes that tear through your speaker. I’m putting my money down now that this is one of the Top 5 EPs of the year!
The recent history of Film School seems to be a modern success, if ever there was one. They brought minimal expectations to 2018’s Bright to Death, hoping a few people would remember their early work, and they did indeed; people raved over the successful return. So, here we are in 2019, and the band have readied a new set of tunes, and a new EP on the horizon. Our first listen is this beautifully hazy pop number, swimming in and out of propulsive rhythm work and shimmering guitars. Amidst it all is Greg Bertens steadying voice, softly draped across the fuzzy melody of the track, sort of just hanging out there seducing the listener. Expect the EP to drop this summer via Hauskat Records.
I’ve been hyping Delsbo Beach Club since their creation it seems, and with their new EP on the horizon, I’m going to keep pushing you their way. Their latest single opens up with this slinky bounce, almost as if they’re channeling Madness…only in a more frantic fashion. Then the song takes on this gritty beach vibe, perhaps akin to recent stuff from Growlers. All of that gets woven around a tight rope of pop sensibility, executed in under 2 minutes so you can easily hit play and start all over again. At the end of the month, the band’s new EP drops via Rama Lama Records.
We’ve been operating the label here now for half a dozen years, and each year, I’m forever grateful to the bands that let me put myself behind their music. And for years, I’ve fawned over She Sir, one of Austin’s most underrated acts; I bugged them enough until they finally agreed to let me release their new Ways a Season EP. You can grab a copy of the limited orange vinyl HERE, but I also wanted you to be able to stream the EP with a little bit of commentary by yours truly. There are not enough words to say how proud I am of the label and this release, so please go down and listen to everything below.
Austin folks can catch the band at End of an Ear on March 31st for a free in-store performance.
Let’s start off this wonderful Friday with a poppy rocker from Slush that’s sure to turn a few heads…but don’t be too quick to make your opinion. Musically, it’s a saccharine bit of grungy pop, maximizing hooks with plenty of “oohs” and “ahh;” you honestly won’t be able to turn your head away from the track. Lyrically, the band coyly wait until the middle half of the track before you even know that the entirety of the tune is an ode to the menstrual cup. The band’s new EP will be out May 10th via Hysterical Records.
We’re just about a week away from Julia Rakel‘s EP release, so why not share another stellar number from indie fEElz. This track just reinforces the power of Rakel’s voice; she moves into the empty space left by the lush arrangements she’s crafted, filling it with these heavenly notes. Her range is strong, and I love the way she sort of hangs syllables in the air, then lets them fall quickly through the speakers. I think the last minute of this tune is quite special; it’s a drifting feeling accompanied by Rakel, fitting considering the art for the EP. It drops in full on March 15th via Rama Lama Records.
Last summer, Vital Idles quietly released Left Hand; I’m not sure it got the appreciation it deserved in my neck of the woods. But, perhaps the sharpness of their new EP will put folks in the US on notice that they’re an outfit to keep an eye upon in the future, if not today. The bass line bounces the listener into the song as muted guitar riffs await the full barrage of the rest of the group; here, the band walk that fine line between minimalist pop and post-punk. I love how the lyrics are stretched over several chords in their delivery, though they do grow more frantic; that all culminates in a closing moment of discord for the last 45 seconds, with the band acting out just a wee bit more. They release their new EP on March 8th via Upset the Rhythm.
It’s been a few years since we last heard from Lost Tapes with their collection, We Thought It Was Okay at the Time. One thing’s for sure today, the band definitely are doing okay right now, hitting that musical sweet spot of my personal tastes. For starters, there’s a wash over the track, matched by some of the shadier attributes of the accompanying video; this haze hangs on to the vocals too, giving off this dream state. But, just beneath that fuzzy pop is this stuttering jangle pop; it’s sounds a great bit like “Rip It Up” by Orange Juice, which is a sure-fire dance number for me and my wife. Not every day you come across a number that hits the dream pop and the jangle at once; this tune appears on the group’s new EP, out on Shelflife on February 22nd.
It’s fun to follow your favorite bands, see who they’re following, see who they’re playing with…you’ll likely discover something new, as I did with Deep Sea Peach Tree. The band just released the EP below, and they shared the stage that night with ATH faves, Pale Lights. But, the musical link ends there, as DSPT has more of a chilled pop vibe, even going so far as to declare themselves “surfgaze.” The Milk-Based Religion EP is definitely rewarding, opening up with the wayward guitars of “Mellow Richard” and wrapping up with the EP’s best tune, “Felt,” which adds some energetic pop vibes to the four songs. Whatever, it’s Monday. And this EP is tasty.