Oakland outfit Rays don’t want you to get too comfortable with their “sound,” and they don’t want you to get too comfy with your pop music. They enter the fray here with discordant guitars ringing and a rolling drum beat that sets the mood for a matter-of-fact vocal delivery. But, put your ear next to the speaker, real close like. You’ll hear a slight buzz throughout, an additional layer perhaps added by the bands newest member, keyboardist Britta; it also sounds like horns are brought in as well, so you’re getting far more than you bargained for with your average pop song. It’s frantic, almost spastic, yet wound tightly by superior musicianship so that your ears won’t know what hit ’em. Look for the band’s new LP You Can Get There From Here via Trouble in Mind Records on November 9th.
Rays already won me over with their 2017 self-titled debut, so it makes sense that I’d already be prepping my wallet for an adventure to the local shop to pick up their newest. But, it’s not out for a bit still, so we can just enjoy the brand new song they’ve just dropped. This track steps in line with the claim that the Cali outfit have refined their sound a touch, looking more at TV Personalities and Cleaners than perhaps their earlier work suggested. I still love how the guitar seems to twinkle in the midst of all the sonic madness; that’s not turn our heads from the matter of fact vocal delivery, offering a certain sense of calm amidst the frantic bounce. You Can Get There From Here drops on November 9th via Trouble In Mind.
Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!
How many great records will Trouble in Mind Records release this year!? Paperhead, Rays and it sounds like Doug Tuttle will just add to that collection. His latest single is this feathery bit of pop, carefully played out within the brief confines of the track. To me, it just seems like Tuttle is out there writing these effortless bits of psychedelic folk with maximized accessibility for listeners; you’ll notice nods to various styles, but you’ll be drawn in by a supreme infectiousness. Keep knocking em out of the park Doug; grab the new LP, Peace Potato, from TiM on May 5th.
Sort of bored with the tunes coming my way this week, but what I’m not bored of is the diverse listen that is this debut LP from Rays. We’ve written about the band many times on the site, and there’s no reason to stop right now, is there? There’s all sorts of stuff hanging out on this LP, be it jangling guitars or psychedelic swirls, all spun with the perfect attitude. You get bonus points when you can switch between male and female vocalists, never losing a beat. Get your hands on this new LP Friday when it hits via Trouble in Mind Records.
You’ve by now been anticipating the new Rays album as much as I have, and today we’re checking back in as the band bring a video to the fold for their new single “Made of Shadows.” The tune has these sharp little guitar cuts, almost dancing around one another, while the vocals are thrown out with a rabid indifference. You’ll find the charm of the band apparent in the lo-fi, early MTV style of the video; it’s not like we want all our bands to take themselves too seriously, after all. Their debut album will hit on March 30th, courtesy of the powerhouse label, Trouble in Mind.
Man…in a week where I’ve been struggling to find anything I love, it’s great that Trouble in Mind Records just posted the announcement of this new Rays LP. Those of you who adored the the early work of Parquet Courts will surely find the band brandishing a similar post-punk fashion…though these guys sound a bit darker, less art(y). They band out the latter half of the track by filling it with a propulsive noise that’s tied back into the main vein of the song. You can always count on TiM bringing you a solid band and a solid record; look for this self-titled LP on March 31st.