After being holed up in my house for the last several months, I won’t deny that I could definitely use something for those at-home dance parties I’ve been throwing with my wife and daughter. This new tune from Haiku Hands definitely is one such track, throwing it back to those catchy little beats from 80s pop tracks; I honestly feel like I’m being transported back to a time when pop music was purely about fun. It doesn’t hurt they get a nice little hook tossed in from Sofi Tukker, who happen to be no stranger to crafting delectable dance treats. Sample this one, and prepare for their self titled LP out on September 10th via Mad Decent.
Andre Salvador & the Von Kings are a new act on my radar, owed entirely to their new work with up-and-coming label Last Night from Glasgow. Today they announce their new LP, and do so with this power-pop rocker that should have you tapping your toes as you memorize the chorus. I think songwriter Tim Cheplick even coyly drops the band’s sound into his lyrics; I mean, he flat out says “here’s another heavy soft sound.” There’s a crunchiness to the guitars throughout, though you can’t turn away from the hooks and the melodic playfulness popping in and out of the vocals. Pop rock should always sound this good. You can find the track on their self-titled album, out on August 31st!
As a kid, I remember being in love with the sound of punk and grunge upon my introduction to it all; it felt like something I could do, something that was attainable (the sound/not stardom). Somewhere, sitting in their bedroom right now is a similar kid, waiting for that same door to open, that same sound; please play them this song from Galore. The band’s guitar sound has this sharp angular stabs and guitar riffs, which can come across as frantic at times, matching up with the vocal howls. When the whole group joins in on the vocals, this is what rock n’ roll should feel like, to me anyways; it has this rapturous joy, even when the tone seems harsh. Everything about this song, from the music itself to the video makes you want to be part of the fun; makes you want to start a band, makes you want to be part of something bigger than yourself…that’s what rock n’ roll should be. If you dig it, look for their self titled album on June 1st via Rocks in Your Head Records.
Amidst the Friday bandcamp fanaticism, music world still went on, so I wanted to be sure you didn’t skip over the latest single from Jetstream Pony and their forthcoming self-titled LP. To me, this is one of those classic guitar pop tracks; the guitars ring, with just the faintest jangling dangling out in the air; the drums are sharp and steady, keeping things on track with just the right punchiness. Of course, it only succeeds if the vocals wash over us, blowing cooly through the speakers like that feather in Forest Gump. The band will release their self-titled LP on May 22nd via Shelflife and KUS, but you better hurry, as there aren’t many copies left!
Back at the beginning of this pandemic we were introduced to the literature-influenced synth pop act Rules; their first single was an homage to Haruki Murakami. This time round, they’re reimagining JM Barrie’s Wendy, telling the story through sparkling pop. I like how the shimmering synth work sort of hangs back; it definitely swells in your ears, but it doesn’t get int he way for the performance of Iiti Yli-Harja’s vocal performance. She comes in with a hint of 80s pop nostalgia coming across like a more rehearsed Tiffany; there’s just this extreme frivolity in her voice, and I can’t pull away. The group release their self-titled debut this August courtesy of Soliti Music.
Sam Houdek is one of our favorite Austin musicians; he plays in all the bands you love and have loved (including ATH Records alum Growl)…most recently as a member of Why Bonnie. But, he’s also quietly been working on his own solo stuff as Most Likely, spending the last few years finishing up the various tunes that make up his debut self-titled LP. Some of the song’s we’ve been privy to previously, like standout jam “Steve,” but I definitely have found that “Corner” is one of the special tunes in this collection. It’s always great seeing someone you believe in drop something so wonderful, so spend a few minutes with Most Likely today.
About a month ago we were treated to the first single from the forthcoming Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) LP, and now we’ve got another number, which might be even better than our first listen. Honestly, my first few runs through, I thought about how accessible his songwriting was, despite my tendency to claim indie superiority; it’s the sort of track that I could play for my mum and dad that would surely charm them. In the casual pop, you’ll find some really great arrangements working too, which seems to be the staple of a lot of the stuff Gary’s worked on as of late; I loved the horn section coming in just after the 3 minute mark…felt like a very B&S nod. The self-titled album is out on May 29th via Tapete Records.
Heralded Austin outfit Pure X have been away for awhile now…but no more! Six years on from Angel, the band announce today that they’ll be releasing their self-titled LP. These 12 songs operate much along the lines of where the band left off, somewhere between the dreamy slowcore of the late 90s/early 00s and the ghost of Galaxie 500. You thought the band had reached acclaim before…wait until everyone hear’s these new tunes! Pure X will be out on May 1st via Fire Talk Records.
Jetstream Pony announced themselves to the world with the incredible Like You Less/Had Enough 7″; they followed that up with the excellent Self Destruct Reality EP and a few more singles. But today is the day we’ve all been anxiously awaiting, as the band announce their self-titled debut LP! A slight angular guitar opens the scene before a wall of distortion comes crashing through your speakers, carefully balanced by Beth’s cooly delivered vocals; Shaun helps add further balance with his deeper vocal notes adding in a perfect foil. While it’s easy to get swept away in the perfection of guitar pop, what I love is how much space the band leave in between; they’re savvy vets, not rushing to fill every second of the song, allowing you to just get lost in the wash of dazzling pop noise. Their self-titled record will be out later this year via Shelflife Records and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.
Almost exactly a year ago we were fortunate to put out the excellent self-titled LP by the Hermits. And, the great thing about great songs is that they never die, so the band wanted to share their video for standout track, “No Replacement.” This is one of my favorite tunes from the record (and their phenomenal live sets); I love the way the guitar seems to skitter back and forth, unleashing this crashing wave of psychedelic noise right in your face. For me, the band has always seemed to be just this creative blanket of weird draped over a really heavy pop band, and I couldn’t be happier to have had even the slightest hand in getting this song (and the rest) into the world. We’ve got a handful of copies of the tape left over HERE, but be sure to just stream the LP as much as possible! Plus, keep an eye out for shows…as the live band now features a new Hermit; there are four Hermits!