When Carter Tanton went to record his latest LP, he called in his friends in the War on Drugs to serve as the backing band for his project. But, as he sat on the recordings, he opted instead to strip the full band sound and go with this more delicate approach, as you get here on the latest single “Uneven High Places.” This song, like many on the record, steps on the back of gentle piano notes to set up the emotional pull; the notes at times almost seem like they’re tip-toeing through your speakers, careful not to wake anyone sleeping. Tanton’s voice echoes, like its soul is trapped in some glass box, struggling to release every intimate note. You’re not likely to find a more personable tune out there today. The self-titled LP is out May 7th via Western Vinyl.
If you are hip enough to follow Paisley Shirt Records then you might already have Flowertown on your radar, and in fact, you might have already heard versions of the song from the band’s self-titled LP. But, Mt. St. Mtn. has announced they’ll be compiling these songs and remastering them in proper format for a first ever vinyl pressing. The band is comprised of Karina Gill (Cindy) and Michael Ramos (Tony Jay) and together, they’re dropping breadcrumbs all the way back to the early days of K Records and Flying Nun. Guitars twist and turn around the steady percussive element; it sounds at times as if the band’s finding their footing together in the a live space for the first time…giving that lo-fi aesthetic that can’t be faked. My favorite moment, in a very weird strong Nathan only way actually comes at 1:25-1:43; its this guitar interlude that has these perfect tones that sort of breathe air into the vocal duet, giving more charm than one man can handle. The LP will be released on April 23rd!
Over the last month or so, I’ve been getting several McDead tunes sent my way, which is great, as I feel like the project is really onto something special. I chose one of the song’s from the just released McDead LP to sort of illustrate the craft in the songwriting. This sort of begins as this sort of swaggering slow burn of psychedelia, but soon turns into this hazy swirl of noisy experimentation, layering texture upon texture to fill your speakers with this sonic haze. For all the casual pop we cover from Australia, nice to hear someone working with a fresh perspective down under. If you dig, be sure to check out the full self-titled LP!
Nah… have been on our minds since we first heard their Summer’s Falling EP in 2018, and while we’ve been waiting for a full LP, they’ve dropped in a single here and then to keep our eyes (and ears) on the prize. Their debut self-titled LP is a week or so away, so we’re happily sharing another single to encourage your purchase. For an indiepop band, they sure offered a nice twist on the opening here, giving us more of an almost classic rock chug bouncing back in forth in our speakers. When Sebastian enters with his curled croon, the song softens up a little bit, though there’s still some heavy-handed riffs hanging back there; I just loved the energy this song pushed forward from the start. All that said, the group does start to see-saw back towards the purely indiepop side of things around the 2 minute mark with Estella Rose poking her voice into the fray. Once there, the song bursts into this euphoric dream state of swirling melodies and squawking horns, riding the song to an emphatic close that’s both catchy and boisterous. Nah drops on September 23rd via Shelflife.
One of my favorite LPs of the last few years is the self-titled Young Scum LP. The band have been mostly quiet since its release, at least musically speaking…until this last week when they dropped a brand new single. Indiepop fans will fawn, particularly with the natural hop that goes along throughout the song; it’s part rhythmically propelled and part of the circular jangle of the guitars. There’s comfort in the warmth of the vocals too, which seems particularly important in the world today; I just wanted to get wrapped up in this song, and hope you do too. As of now, it’s just a single, but a reason to celebrate nonetheless.
It’s incredibly hard to keep track of all the great music being released nowadays, so hopefully you come here for a little guidance to narrow down your choices. One of the record I’ve been bopping to is the new self-titled LP from The Late Pioneers, which was just released by Subjangle. Ultimately, this is a brilliant pop record, culling influences from various periods of pop music, be that classic singles or the more recent jangling styles of indiepop. Many of the tracks offer this wondrous sense of promise in the world, like “Into the Mud,” but you will also encounter some more reflective pieces to keep the listen balanced. I think my favorite tune is “Leaving Today,” but start where you want and fall in love with this LP.
Those of you paying attention to the musical underground will surely have heard rumors of the participants in Unhappy Fly; you’ve got Xentos Bentos and Richard Dudanski (heavyweights!) joined by Sarah Washington and John Glyn (not the astronaut!). Today they announce a brand new realm for powerhouse label, Emotional Response, and what a gem. It has this pastoral semi-folk opening for the first few minutes…then things get switched to this swirling indiepop ball of energy…and back and forth we go. That’s all before we get to John Glyn’s sax solo to space the song out and give your ear a little break from the delectable ear treats. But, don’t sweat it, they bounce back in with one last chorus to charm you before closing the tune down. Brilliant pop with a flare of artistry; the self-titled LP will be out on September 27th.
Pedro the Lion came back this year, and if David needed an up-and-coming young act to turn to on tour, then he should look at Matt Surfin’ and Friends. On this number Matt has his friend Rui Gabriel singing the verses in Portuguese, but it’s his whispered tones that seem most like they were meant for a fireside chat. In the music you have the same vibe; it simple and understated, though it carries this natural melody that ultimately endears it to listeners. You want old school Pedro? Go here instead, and look for the self-titled LP via Community Records/Muscle Beach.
This Blades of Joy gem has been bouncing around the Internet for a wee bit, but I was out having one of those baby things, so forgive me for not being on the up and up. That being said, this is one of the songs I rushed to get up upon my return. You might be able to toss the group into any number of categories, but most importantly, you’ll keep coming back to celebrate how great the music is. There’s a noticeable indifference in the guitar work, and yet the vocals have this warmth that could soothe any listener. There’s this timelessness to it, wherein it could fit into any musical decade and make an impact. If you listen to any one song today, make this the one. The band’s self-titled LP will drop on September 21st via Melters.
This Friday Gentle Reminder Records will release the much-anticipated new LP from DC outfit Saturday Night. But, before they drop that LP, why not tease you with one more insatiable single. It opens with this heavy-ish riff…a little funky until the drums come in and change the song’s attitude. They roll over that riff, matched with the vocals to craft this melody you can’t put down. Slowly, the background starts to fill with little whispers, growing more prominent until Nora bursts forth to provide the perfect accent to the track. There’s enough bravado and fun in the rambunctious closing minute that you can’t help but let a smile crack across your face. Order the self-titled album right HERE!