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!
Sometimes you’ve just got to trust someone’s resume, and W.C. Beck has definitely earned his stripes through the Americana scene, most recently with NYC act Monteagle. But, while his current outings might hit out at that, his new solo work takes on a broader, almost country vibe (no complaints from this Texan). He’s got this naturally soulful voice that winds down the long stretch of dirt highway; he also gets some excellent help form the superb organ grinder and horn section, both building the ballad into an elevated piece that’s perfect for ambling about today. If you dig his style, Beck will release First Flight on June 7th!
It’s Monday and you’re likely catching up on the endless scroll of tunes across the Internet as you settle into your work week. Odds are, you’re likely bored, thinking it all sounds the same, so why not try on something just a slight bit different…the Lopez. The Pittsburgh duo are all about crafting joy in your world, through their own pop kaleidoscope; they sort of take bits and pieces from Sleigh Bells, CSS and Go-Team, mix it all up, then sort of say “fuck it, we’ll go our own way.” What you get is anthemic danceable pop music with a whole lot of bite. The band will drop Heart Punch on May 11th.
Over the fast few years, Corasandel have quietly crafted elegant pop music of the dreamier variety, and in a few weeks, they’ll finally release their debut EP, All The Hours Are One. I’m delighted to share this new single with you, as it’s a fitting entry point to the band’s sound. The first minute and a half is filled with light vocals and these delicate guitar notes that sort of wallow in the air; the band don’t hold back forever, however, providing you with a little bit of an emphatic catharsis just after that, where you can ride their craft into pop bombast. They pull that back too, quietly letting you ride in the backseat of the song as we drive off into the sunset, guitar notes dancing and vocals fading into the past. It’s a glorious track, and one I hope you give some time; All The Hours Are One will be out on April 26th.
Brad Armstrong‘s story is one that seems fairly common nowadays; a brief rise to fame with his previous group 13ghosts before things all came crashing back to Earth. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but he had some success, then things went awry and he set off on a new path. But, he’s been back for a bit, quietly releasing albums that celebrate the great things in life, much like the single below. This track seems to recall his history, seems to beg the listener (and perhaps Armstrong) to keep your head up in lieu of letting things tear you down, be that people or circumstance. Thematically, we should all celebrate ourselves, so seems the story in my eyes. Musically, it’s got a bit of that Americana vibe, though there’s these little intimate whispers contrasted with a fuzzy galloping guitar line. Solid tune sir; it will appear on I Got No Place Remembers Me, out April 19th via Cornelius Chapel Records.