Minneapolis has a history of great bands, and while fairly new, I’m hoping that Palm Friends can fulfill the promise set out by their new single, and forthcoming Nice Weather EP. Guitars sort of ring lightly from the get-go, but you can feel tension as they turn over and over, building towards this huge drop…it comes at the 20 second mark. Once you’re there, you’re in love with the band and this song; it really only takes 20 seconds before you press play time and time again. I love how indifferent the vocals are, like they don’t care whether we’re listening, they’re going to do their thing while the rest of the band gets on with it. I don’t think you can play this song enough times today, but if you do, I promise you your jaw’s going to hurt from the ear-to-ear grin. Look for the EP via Forged Artifacts on August 16th. Go grab the Pre-Order.
If you haven’t read my Albums of the Year…so Far, you should; you’ll find Cartography, the latest effort by the BVs hanging in the top ten. Today, you’re further encouraged to adore the band by watching their new video for album stunner, “Catapult.” In regards to the track itself, it features these deepened vocal tones working over these guitar chords that seem to dart off into the far horizon; they all swirl and mesh together for a beautiful chorus. This video version is part lyric video, part tour diary; I love the tour diary aspect, as it captures what life on the road is for so many bands…trying to make sense of it all and crack a smile while dealing with the mundane life inside a car/van. Their album is being repressed by KUS…and they’ve got dates all through the UK next week.
Tour Dates: 7/19 – Brighton, 7/20 – Rainham, 7/23 – Oxford, 7/24 – Nottingham, 7/25 – London, 7/28 -Derbyshire (IndieTracks)
Having formed in 2016, Belgium’s Poppel don’t seem to have slowed down on the writing process; they just released Hit It last year, and already they’re back with another collection of endearing songs. This playful new video comes with the announcement of Make Sense, the band’s second long-player. The video’s personality almost seems to impact the listening experience, with those jangling guitars offering up the appropriate amount of exuberance. Still, stylistically, you can sense a hint of dreaminess oozing through this track, which perhaps finds the band treading that Real Estate territory that makes the kids swoon. You can grab the new album on September 20th from Meritorio Records.
It’s been a couple of years since Starman Jr, the project of Adam Porter, has popped up on our radar, but today feels like the perfect day to listen to his new work. At first, I was drawn to the intricate, yet intimate, feel of the guitar work on this tune; you’ve got to really pull your head down towards your speakers to take in every single note. But, going back again and again, I realized his voice was exactly what made the song. It has this quality, like its an old recording left behind by a dear friend or lover, crafting nostalgia while still giving you comfort; I feel like he left it out there in the world for me, or maybe for you. This tune will appear on a new LP, slated to drop later this year via Muscle Beach Records.
For a brief five seconds, you’re tempted to hear this song as some sort of 90s rocker, but soon King Ropes pull away from that, giving off a brief little vocal blurb that resembles that one song from Butthole Surfers that everyone knows. Still, the song’s natural progression isn’t over, it plods slowly, allowing the natural melody in the vocals to build; the guitars and bass still have this ominous tone in the distance behind the voice Dave Hollier. The pinnacle is from the chorus with the line “those California stars they shine and shine;” it’s a sublime pop tidbit amidst a song that avoids the trappings of modern pigeonholing, never staying in one place long enough to bore the listener. This bodes well for Gravity and Friction, out on July 26th!
LA based Christian Paul Philippi caught me completely by surprise; I didn’t know anything about the songwriter other than he has an LP coming out on Forged Artifacts in late June. A few rounds of listening and its clear that we’ve got a new pop balladeer to fawn over; Philippi offers this natural softness in his voice, like he’s singing you to sleep. Behind that voice he’s textured the track with layered guitars, some strumming and some shooting off like stars in the distant night sky…it’s even closed out with this sort of brilliant ambiance. Strangely, the song leaves you feeling satisfied, charmed, which works in contrast with the thematic element of the lyrics. Grab a little joy here; Gem will be out June 28th via FA.
It’s Friday and you’re about to blast into the weekend, but before you do so, you better feast your eyes (and ears) on this brand new track from River Gods. While the message might give a glimmer into all the work we often put into failing/struggling relationships, you wouldn’t know it based on the huge hooks from the LA based three-piece. I love the way Shiraz sort of hangs his syllables out with the words “tell me what you want”; it’s like a pop hook fishing line…and based on the huge riffs behind him, he’s ready to reel in any pop rock fish in this pond…myself included. It’s two minutes of huge hooks wrapped up in a fun video; you can find this tune on the new album, Let Me Live, which is out on July 26th via Dadstache Records.
It’s been a wonderful week for Emotional Response Records, what with news bits from Neutrals and Seablite, but new of the an Eleventh Hour Adventists might be the biggest news of the week. The band is made up of Jowe Head (TV Personalities, Swell Maps) and Jasmine Pender (Rotten Bliss), so you’re getting two revered artists who’ve always played by their own rules. This first single is something of a mix between folk ballad and haunted sea shanty, with both Pender and JH trading vocal duties throughout. However, just like their meeting, things are not of the ordinary with these two…skip just to the 4 minute mark (if you need proof) for the brief noise experiment symbolizing the duo’s desire to manipulate tradition. Who knows where their self-titled LP will leave us, but one things for certain it will be anything but boring; it drops on June 7th!
I first got turned on to Holy Tunics when they dropped Butter Dish last year, so I’m really stoked that Hit Parade Lemonade Supersonic Spree has been announced. I think you’ll find that this new single from the record fully employs the band brandishing their best power-pop. In the opening guitar lines you almost get this grungy college rock vibe, which fits the initial vocal burst. However, “bahs” and harmonies jump in on the chorus, satiating your pop needs for the day, or for these 2.5 minutes anyways. Good marker for this might be a band like Sloan, though feel like they’re going just a notch above in their volume production here. If you need guitar pop, then I suggest you keep an eye out for the new LP; it drops via the esteemed Meritorio Records on June 14th.
They’ve also got the following tour dates in July:
While past Historian records have been grand affairs, the focus around their newest effort was to craft something more intimate, more personal. This new single is one such affair, built around the opening strum of the guitar with light atmospherics behind, setting the scene for Chris Karman’s voice to carefully drape itself atop it all. There’s something about this that seems weary or forlorn, like battling some sort of struggle that never seems to end. While that theme moves forward, little flourishes begin to emerge in the distance of the song, from backing vocals to a guitar that seems to sort of ring and hang along in the ether. Spiral Again, the new album, will appear on June 14th!