Jumping into this week by looking back at last week, in the most uncool fashion, using a Spotify playlist; the world’s probably going to stop dead right there. But, last week had some rad tunes, with friends Half Dream and Squiggles both jumping in with new tunes for us. Plus, we got to revisit some recents releases from Tat Songs and The High Water Marks. And ultimately, got to meet some new faces, at least to me, like Sooner and Erasers. But, I’m starting it off with that super rad Pachyman jam, so sit back and get grooving into your Monday.
I’ve been pulling for Secret Shame to get some new music out there, as they definitely add a layer of darkness to the sort of dream pop/shoegaze genre. Luckily, we’ve got that tune for you today, and it lives up to my expectations, and perhaps pushes the band into some new territory. They still seem to be living in that sort of gothic cavern, toying between post punk and pop tendencies; you’ll hear dancing guitar notes stabbing in and out between Lena’s moving vocal performance. It doesn’t feel as on the button for any genre, which is why I’m drawn to it, loving that you can’t just put this in a perfectly defined box as the band continue to explore their sound.
We raved about Secret Shame when they dropped their Dissolve/Pure 7″, and now the band have jumped back in with this heavy bit of dark rock n’ roll. The band were approached by filmmaker Jamieson Ridenhour to write a tune for his new film, Bloodbath-Victoria’s Secret, which seems to have kickstarted the songwriting process…as we hear this track is also leading towards a new LP for next year. The riffs, as you’d expect for a horror film, are dark and edgy, though that shouldn’t surprise any fans of the band. I love how they’re still making this sound their own, turning in some light melodic moments in the chorus that keep me coming back to enjoy this Asheville act. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more on the new LP!
Sorry we took yesterday off, but it was a full day of training for us teachers, so I’ll be honest…I didn’t even look at the Internet because I was being trained on how to administer a test that I have to give today, so there’s no pressure there. Anyways, we covered some great tunes last week, so I reckoned we’d jump back in and share those out to get us started on Tuesday…that and the tunes are slowing down as we near the end of the year. Anyways, I’m still stuck on “Authenticity” as one of my favorite jams of the year (just jump in at 2:35 for starters), so be sure to spend some time with that one below.
Last summer, Secret Shame dropped this incredible 7″ (I think mine’s still in the mail!), but times as they are, the band have just uploaded a brand new video to accompany the incredible B-side, “Pure.” Personally, this was one of my favorite tunes of last year, drifting through the world in this casually darkened cool. In their video, you get performance video, seen through the eye of a band willing to balance their personality with visual elements that match the song’s thematic vibes. There are still a few copies of the 7″ floating about, and we’ve been promised there’s new music on the horizon!
XOR is the solo project of Secret Shame bassist Matthew, and next week he’ll be releasing his debut solo record. For the last single before the release, it seems he’s aiming to hit right at the heart with the catchiest tune on the release. At times, the warmth of his vocals lines up with the synth work he’s crafted, melodically seducing the listener with these synthesized harmonies. If you’ve been caught up in the work of Black Marble or Soviet, or hey, maybe you like the last few New Order records, then you’re going to find yourself pressing repeat on this tune for a long time to come. Look for XOR next Friday!
Perhaps this is entirely due to growing up surrounded by Depeche Mode cassettes, but there’s something truly special about what XOR is doing in the realms of electronic pop. The majority of the scene features heavy hitting notes, dropped beats that just push and push, but not here. Instead, you get these twinkling synth notes and a steady drum loop; it’s got pace, but its not frantic, more like steadying the ship so as to allow the guitar lines to jump in and dance around. If you were a big fan of Soviet in the early 00s, then this new project from Matthew of Secret Shame should be right up your alley; XOR releases the self-titled debut LP on July 30th.
When we shared “Dissolve” a few weeks back, it definitely brought to mind New Order feels in the guitar work, but the B-Side for the new Secret Shame 7″ is a much more thought provoking piece. Drums beat heavily, washed by a glittering synth note; there’s all sorts of space awaiting the entrance of the vocals near the 1 minute mark. They notes feel thick, yet delicate, almost burdened in a sense; the surrounding arrangements craft this elegant dream pop vibe. As much as the song seems like its building towards this rewarding climactic moment, the band are smart enough to leave you wanting more, only encouraging you to listen time and time again. The Dissolve/Pure 7″ drops next Friday!
The more I sit around at home, the more I just want to have fun with my music listening and my daughter…typically that means dancing about to various brands of post-punk in the living room. For me, that’s the highlight of this new Secret Shame track; you can hear the song steeped in the tradition from the moment that the jam kicks off…think of New Order with a dreamier twist on the vocals. I actually like it, giving off the perfect juxtaposition so the song doesn’t stray too far into homage territory. Just an energetic pop tune to make your day better; you’ll find this tune on the Dissolve/Pure 7″, out June 5th.
After a few stellar songs coming my way, I am fully on board with the hype train behind Asheville based group Secret Shame. For me it’s been a welcome change from a lot of the garage rock style I post to more of a dark pop, gothic style. The band’s latest, entitled “Gift” can be found streaming below. It features the same dark, almost new wave sound with some dashes of the macabre.
Secret Shame will release new album Dark Synthetics on September 6th. Pre-order is live now.