Smokescreens Offer New Gem

Seems like just the other day we were praising the first Smokescreens single from the band’s news album, and already, they’re back with a sunny number to sweeten the summer season. Musically speaking, it sounds like the Replacements decided to create a jangle pop band…so they’ve got that going for them. The vocal display has this inherent bounce that gives the tune that memorable punch that will surely keep you coming back for more. I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling that Used to Yesterday is going to be a smash summer hit; it drops on July 13th via Slumberland.

Introducing Lauren Lakis

I’ve been streaming this new single from Baltimore based artist Lauren Lakis all morning and I’m finally ready to stop being selfish and share it with you guys. The track in question, “Lead Us On”, is both fuzzy and gritty, while still bringing some brightness with its raw and lo-fi take on shoegaze/pop. One can certainly feel swept away in the emotional and very personal feel of the track. Welcome to the music world Lauren.

Lauren Lakis will release her first solo LP entitled FEROCIOUS on June 22nd via Cavity Search Records.

Delighting Pop from Melby

Everyone’s all about that PNKSLM over in Sweden, but another label that’s really been doing it for me lately is fellow Stockholm posse, Rama Lama Records. They’ve just set up another great release with this new single from Melby. The band definitely fits into our modern evolution of dream/indie pop stylings, though I think there’s just a hint more fragility in the voice…it’s almost like a crystalline object you don’t want to drop for fear of shattering. However, the song really excels during the chorus where the pace is picked up, guitars ring just a bit louder and the bass bobs along. For real, this song rules.

Circling Back on Grand Veymont

Seems like Stereolab references are meant for any electronic based music with a female singing over it, so you may as well lump France’s Grand Veymont in the mix. But, for me, the driving similarity, and something they also share with fellow French act Air, is that the construction tends to build and overlap, eventually capturing you in this electronically-induced loop. Also, should be noted that their new latest album (it came out earlier this year) is filled with these little song pieces, 3 of which stretch beyond the 10 minute mark, and then there’s this delicious little gem to satiate you today. And then go grab Route du Vertige HERE.

Charmed Pop from Silent James

Cruising through my usual spots, I noticed that Discos de Korlian had a few new releases up this weekend. One was the reissue of the Yetis 2014 EP, but for this post, let’s turn to the new record from Silent James. It’s an enchanting bit of balladry, with the focus consistently circling the voice of Jaume Benedito. There’s also something nostalgic in its sound; it’s singer-songwriter fare elevated with varying bits of accompaniment, giving off a natural swing…a kin to the earliest of Jens Lekman. What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up will certainly live up to the charms of this track.

 

Premiere Summer Twins Ready New 7″

January brought us new music for Summer Twins; it was the first new music we’ve heard from the sisters since 2015’s Limbo. But, today we’re really excited to share this glittering ballad off their brand new 7″ for Wallflower Records. Opening with a lonely guitar tone, as if it were out there rambling all alone, sets the tones for the soulful entry of the vocals. It’s striking in its immediate presentation, but as the song unfurls added layers build a powerful structure…percussion and strings aid in this swelling pop. It wraps up in the end with that same solemn guitar and vocal, a beautiful close to a beautiful tune. Their new 7″ will be available digitally on Wednesday, with Wallflower putting out the physical copy midsummer!

Spanish Pop from Neleonard

Neleonard might not be on your radar as a follower of indie music, but that doesn’t mean the Spanish pop group should be ignored. In fact, I think a quick listen will immediately endear them to fans, drawing on those Scottish influences such as Belle and Sebastian or Camera Obscura. Sure, the song includes a bouncing rhythm, but for me, this brand of pop has always been about the texturizing. In this track, light keyboard walks behind the melody, strings accentuate every note and horns burst forth. Just felt like you needed to know how good this band was, and as soon as possible. They’ll have a new album titled Un Lugar Imaginado coming via Elefant Records in the Fall.

New Ari Roar Jam

Dallas’ Ari Roar is hitting the spot this morning. He crafts these hook infected pop songs that carry a bit of nostalgia, but hold one foot in the present. You’d think, the way this track kicks off that the guitar work might be the star, but once you hear Ari’s voice spinning those light melodies on almost every note, you’ll be intoxicated. There’s something familiar in his work, which I think will have many fans feeling like they’ve been listening to Ari for years. Let’s start that trend by grabbing Calm Down on May 25th via Bella Union.

The Black Watch Return with New EP

Had the music business gone differently, I feel that we’d all be treasuring the work of John Andrew Fredrick and the Black Watch. As it is, he quietly goes about writing great song after great song; he’s about 17 LPs in and still writing powerful songs. This tune flirts with the realm of jangling pop, though there feels as if heavier tones are lurking in the guitars; the pop sensibility comes via the lines “he helped you make a paper boat/one for you/one for him.” Consider me charmed, and even more so when the song ups the volume on that complimentary guitar line. This is one of my favorite bands of the last few years, and it should definitely be yours too. Paper Boats EP drops on April 26th.

Have a New Headclouds Hit

UK acts Headclouds just dropped this sugary guitar pop number, built to maximize your energy today. My favorite part, aside from the obvious vocal hooks, is present from the very start; you can hear a squealing guitar ring out, and it jumps in and out of the song. When it recedes you’re left with the playful vocal delivery where syllables are stretched out to employ pop sensibility throughout, especially in the chorus. It’s just one of those pop songs that warms you, makes you feel better about turning the volume way up. As of now, it’s just a one-off single, but we’ll keep you posted on future releases.

 

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