Oakland based songwriter Madeline Kenney has slowly built a name for herself over the last four years with two solid albums under her belt and tons of positive press building on the interwebs. Kenney recently announced her new album coming out next month called Sucker’s Lunch and this new single, “Double Hearted”, just came my way to promote the record. With this record being produced by Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak, one can sort of hear those subtle hints and sounds woven in perfectly with the always captivating voice of Kenney. This is another perfectly crafted tune in the ever growing catalogue of Kenny’s hits.
We’re easing into the weekend here in the ATH offices and hoping to close down the computers and enjoy some outside time with tunes and food. Before we shut it down for the day, might I recommend taking this new jam called “On a Train” by Eastern Souvenirs with you on your outdoor adventures. Brains behind this operation, Brian Fisher, has expertly crafted a grooving and all together soothing pop number perfect for a coastal drive or chill hang with friends. I think you’ll find yourself getting into the beat and letting your worries wash away.
Eastern Souvenirs will release this song as part of a new LP entitled Only For a Time coming out later this summer via Big Bldg Rcrds.
One of the albums on my radar, is the forthcoming South Somewhere Else LP from Nana Grizol, and it seems like the album’s title track kind of slipped by me. On first listen, the song is really all about Theo Hilton’s steady vocal delivery; his voice seems to march in step with the chugging of the guitar lines with thematic references to the narrative of growing up in the South and finding your own footing. For me, however, I’m a sucker for arrangements, even the most obvious ones. Here, you get a fuzzy distorted guitar solo and blossoming horn arrangements fleshing things out; it’s like this joyous burst building buoyancy into fabric of the tune. The new LP will be out on June 19th via Arrowhawk Records/Don Giovanni.
There are tons of great records on the slate for this Spring, but one that’s really high on my personal list is the forthcoming Feral LP from Australia’s RVG. I’ve been raving about the band for years, and they were my favorite SXSW acts two years ago…and now we’ve got a new tune. I was hooked immediately, as this has that sort of muted surf vibe opening into these crisp guitar lines that hop about your earholes. Romy’s vocals have a calming influence on the guitar, with the two elements trading the song’s focus back and forth. Another promising single from a record I’m sure to love; Feral is out on April 24th via Fire Recordings.
The Memories were part of that huge garage rock resurgence from back in the day, but one of the things I always appreciated about their sound was that they often stepped outside of the expected lineage. Today they announce Pickles & Pies, their new LP, and they do so with this casually sunny piece of pop music. It’s the sort of pop tune seeped in the the lore of California, fueled by this natural wistfulness that always has you looking towards the horizon. In the case of this tune, you’re left wondering if you’d travel down the same road again…and in the case of this band…it’s an assured yes. So get in your car and drive down that road; the new album will be out on May 29th via Gnar Tapes/Axis Mundi Records.
I’m super happy that there’s a new RVG LP on the horizon; they were hands-down my favorite act at SXSW a few years ago…and as I recall their new single was part of those live sets. There’s a little more polish to this track, but I actually really love that about it; the guitars have more sheen, making them sharper in their soft rings. I think thematically, almost every human can relate to this concept, so you should universally love it! But, most importantly, the video does an exceptional job of capturing the passion in Romy’s performances; you’ll be hard pressed to find a performer putting that much soul into every song. Good news is they’ve just signed with Fire Recordings to release Feral, out April 24th!
You might know Gabriel Bernini from his work in LuxDeluxe or as part of the Deer Tick team, but here, we’ve got a fresh listen to Gabe’s solo work, Sweeties! The entirety of the listen revolves around the balance between melody and rock n’ roll attitude. Take the lead single, “Caramel,” which employs some energetic riffage you’d find at the rock show, but it’s wrapped around this effortless melody that gives the song its cool. Bernini follows that up with the catchy rocker “White Room,” but skip ahead a few tracks and you find the secret joy of this record in “What You Want.” It’s a mellow number, really built entirely by the strength of the voice, with some light accompaniment via guitar and drums. It kind of sets you up for Side B of the LP, which to me, felt a little softer, but every bit as enjoyable; “Hold Up” was the charmer there for me. Sweeties is available this Friday via Dadstache Records!
Thanks to our work with Bones Garage over the past two years, I’ve been able to get hints at other great Israeli acts, like Nomke. This is the first single off the True Queen LP, and it’s quite a stunner. You’ll find the guitar has this driving influence, just riffs and vocals before the drums jump on board to add some pace to the track. I think the voice has this softened fragility, as if Nomke is bearing her soul, which makes sense considering the thematic idea that often times our feelings and passions are “ended by the morning sun.” Feels like a great way to start off the week.
One of my favorite things in the last few years, at least so far as the progression of musical trends, is the move to craft pop music that sort of survives around the narrow tropes we’ve concocted, like in this new tune from Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes. Sure, there’s a definite pop sensibility, particularly in the way the guitar lines jangle and sparkle. But, there’s a heaviness to this tune, one that seems to exist outside our expectations of what pop music is. Part of that comes in the vocals, part of it comes in the descending of the chorus; it’s not uplifting, and yet it is. There’s a bright nature to the brooding, giving you promise through the shadows. Just happy this tune’s out there. You can find it on the band’s new Sweetie LP, which drops on February 14th via Rama Lama Records.
I cannot stop playing this new tune from Sarah Bethe Nelson; I know that’s hyperbole, but seriously, I just want to listen to this track all day. It has this light approach to guitar pop that walks a fine line between indiepop and power-pop, though it probably leans more towards the power side of things. Her voice has this warmth to it, while also holding onto this natural sense of freedom; I envision it like that feather in Forrest Gump, rising and falling, blowing wherever it wants to blow. The Weird Glow LP will be released this Friday courtesy of the fine folks over at Burger Records.