If you were to recreate a modern version of The Warriors today, only with futuristic gutterpunks, then the soundtrack is going to have to be done by Neocons. The LA outfit are bridging territory between stark synthetic pop and post-hardcore. On “Shoot/Kill” you’ll find these ripping riffs working over shuffling beats, while the vocals feel like they’re stalking prey of some sort, growling akin to what you’d find on any number of LPs out right now. There’s a little soft melody working in “New Boots,” so I’m interested in hearing how that plays out, as it still feels dangerous, particularly in the lyrical setting. Neocons will release their EP on July 1st via Industrial Cowboy, a sister-label of Paisley Shirt Records.
I know Steve Albini winning a WSP bracelet is big news…but what’s even bigger is that there’s a new Flowertown LP on the way. Just listening to these two tracks, we’re reminded of the band’s approach to simplicity at pop’s finest. I mean, listening to the first of the two tracks from their forthcoming LP (you can find a VIDEO HERE), it just comes across with a steady strum hitting the right notes, albeit in understated fashion, allowing the melody to wash over your feet as you stand upon the shore gazing at your future. When Karina and Mike trade verses in the second tune, you can feel the intimacy of pop music drawing you into the quiet space where the two record, just the three of you, marveling at music’s moving moments. Half Yesterday is out on July 8th via Paisley Shirt Records and Mt. St. Mtn.
Tony Jay is the solo project of Michael Ramos, who we’ve chatted with about Flowertown (he also plays in April Magazine/Al Harper), and we should celebrate today with the announcement of a vinyl LP version of Hey There Flower. The video version of this has been floating about for a bit, but why not share it all together, as it seems to also encompass a little bit of Ramos’ sense of humor. I love the balance in his songwriting; it alternates between this intimate dreaminess and this darker personality, all the while selling this incredible guitar sound that seems omnipotent, despite the pull of lo-fidelity. It’s been a slow news week for my tastes, so having a reason to post this video again seems perfect. The vinyl version will be out in May via Mt. St. Mtn.; you can also listen to it all over at Paisley Shirt who put out a version of it on tape last year.
I’ve been praising the latest LP from Red Pants, When We Were Dancing, which just recently dropped via Paisley Shirt Records. Today, we’re stoked to share the new Jem Famvu directed video; the video features a young driver enjoying themselves, spliced with scenery footage of everytown America. Musically, this tune is spot-on for the various reasons to love the record. For starters, you’ve got this light jangling guitar line, bouncing with a little jittery percussion riding out in the background. Jason Lambeth’s voice comes in like a cool whisper, maybe even a little distant, with both pieces setting up to deliver this chorus buzzing with a distorted guitar and the joyous “ba ba ba” that encourage your favorite sing-along moments. In the end, both you and the driver of the car are having the time of your lives, as it should be. Grab the album HERE.
If Blue Ocean isn’t on your radar, you haven’t been reading this site! But, we can fix that right now by sharing the band’s brand new video for “Summer of Hands.” This tune comes from the group’s new Blue Ocean LP, which compiles remastered tunes from their stellar EPs (via Paisley Shirt) and puts them on one great release courtesy of Dandy Boy Records. If you’re new to the project, this is a perfect introduction, as they are one of the best at combining genres, as they do here by taking a jangling line of indie rock then covering it with this atmospheric squall of beautiful noise. The accompanying video here seems to match that, taking imagery of scenes near the blue oceans and coating them in a nice little bit of haze. Don’t wait for Bandcamp Friday, buy the LP HERE.
There’s tons of new stuff out today, but here’s a couple that I’d like to put up on your radar, in hopes that you’ll find some joy off the beaten path of the hot releases out there.
First up is the new album from Red Pants, When We Were Dancing. It’s like this fuzzy little lo-fi blanket that you want to bundle up in as you sit before a fire on a chilly star-lit night. The LP is out courtesy of Paisley Shirt Records.
Second, New Zealand’s Die! Die! Die! have released their punishing noise-core record, This Is Not an Island Anymore. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of that one Refused record everyone loves, post-hardcore mantras and angular riffs that you can hear ripping your speakers.
We’re about a week away from the release of Red Pants‘ new long-player, so seems a fitting Friday to slide in and visit a couple of the tunes they’ve got headed your way. On the opening tune of the record you’ll find this heavy guitar vibe, almost something out of the early 90s post-hardcore scene, but the vocals contrast that, creating a softer underbelly that releases the pop-centric vibe. Later down the album you end in the quick banger, “Another Haircut,” which is like a rambunctious roll in the hay, with my only complaint being its quick end! Two great tracks to whet your appetite before When We Were Dancing drops next week via Paisley Shirt Records.
I’ve been posting a whole lot of singles and stuff this week, mostly because I like to over-indulge and see who is listening. No one, apparently. But, why not wrap up this week of working harder than I ever have before by sharing some cool records I liked that drop today? Yeah? Ok.
Smoke Bellow – Open for Business (Trouble in Mind)
If you’re into that new Dry Cleaning album (and you should be), then see how far this Baltimore outfit can take that sound…pushing to a weirder, albeit synthesized, world. Like Kraftwerk covering Dry Cleaning at a Halloween party for art school kids.
Sweet Nobody – We’re Trying Our Best (Daydream Records)
I’ve written about every single on this album, and could easily make comparisons to the likes of the Beths or Alvvays…all good things. If you’ve got a sweet tooth and need something to snack on, press play.
Hits – Cielo Nublado (Paisley Shirt Records)
You ever wonder what Sarah Records would sound like if they got transported to the future about 20 years? Well, pretty sure that Hits have given you the answer to that question, so if you’re looking for ramshackle pop, you’ve come to the right place!
TC Superstar – As Seen on TV
Austin’s dance party drop their latest record today; it’s 9 songs of catchy hooks ready for you to invite your friends over for the night to celebrate the joys of life. Stomp about until the neighbors complain about the noise.
Is there a music scene hotter than what’s going on over in San Francisco right now? And with that, are your eyes fully on everything going on Paisley Shirt Records? Well, the label just announced they’re bring you Hits (the band, but also they will provide hits as you see below) newest LP, Cielo Nublado. You get to sample a few tracks, and if the bubbling Cali vibes mashed with 60s doo-wop don’t just suck you right in, then maybe it’ll be the Suicide reference that grabs you. Or you could slip into the anti-jangle of “Trotting Lemmings;” the song seems to be working against itself, pushing back against the runaway drum work! Don’t wait for a Cloudy Sky, the new record drops on September 17, so pre-order it now!
Friday’s are great days to just get lost in an album, because let’s face it, none of us are really focused on work right now anyways. We’ve got some stellar ways to spend your day here; feel free to just press play and check back in to the world in a few days. You deserve it!
Flowertown – Time Trials (Paisley Shirt Records)
1 part Cindy + 1 part Tony Jay = Genius. Seriously, the first LP this band put together was great. But, they were like, you know what? We can totally do better. And they did. Not a bad track here. Just imagine yourself loving pop music but getting stuck in your best dreams. That’s this record!
BRNDA – Do You Like Salt? (Crafted Sounds)
Why yes, I do like Salt. I also like this record from BRNDA a whole lot. All of you kids that are super into that Dry Cleaning LP, but secretly hoping for a little bit more of a groove have come the right place. This band takes that post-punk/no-punk brand and gives it a swift kick in the ass. Your Friday needs it!
The Suncharms – Distant Lights (Sunday Records)
Having mostly been quiet for the last 30 some-odd years, legendary act The Suncharms recently started to pop back up in 2018, with a couple of tunes for the heralded Slumberland 30 Series. Today, you get treated to an entire record of delightful pop tunes, perhaps a little softer around the edges, but I promise you’re all the better for it!
The Arctic Flow – Lost You Long Ago (Sunday Records)
Sunday Records thought releasing one great was fine, but releasing two in one day is even better, so here we are with the follow-up to Umbrella (2017). Brian Hancheck’s songwriting has always had this incredibly strong emotional pull to it, and it doesn’t seem like he’s holding anything back on this record. It’s like a softcore jangle pop record, certainly built to woo you as your drift into a Friday afternoon.