I’d like you set aside 8 minutes of your time to listen to the brand new track from Dark Tea. Last year, Gary Canino and his project released a self-titled album, and it seems there’s a brand new effort on the not so distant horizon. I love how the song opens with this muted strum dueling with a Western-meandering slide guitar; it sets up the latter half of the song perfectly, building a landscape for what’s in store. Eventually, that cascading guitar gets darker and the air gets heavier; there’s an ominous tone that leads towards this restrained freakout…fuzzy guitars, repeated vocal lines…just drifting into the ether. For now, this is all we have, but rest assured a new LP is on the way at some point via Fire Talk.
There’s something about Darren Hayman‘s lyricism that just feels right at home; it’s literary, similar to a John Darnielle; but, it also sort of feels a bit mundane, like he’s using the perfect words simply because they’re the exact piece needed for his songwriting puzzles. If you’re not familiar, might I suggest checking out Hefner…and follow the breadcrumbs from there through the Hayman Kupa Band and various releases on WIAIWYA. I love how this song’s presented so carefully, merely some light percussion and woodwinds to accompany careful guitar picking and Hayman’s voice. The accented backing vocals from Hannah Winter and Laura K really do help to elevate the song into something quite exquisite. This song will appear on Home Time, Hayman’s new album, out May 22nd via Fika Recordings.
Years back, when her niece was 2 years old, Amber Fresh wrote a collection of songs, recorded them to tape, and gave them to her niece. These tracks have been unearthed and remastered for her Rabbit Island project, and they’re the perfect way to spend the early hours of your Monday. All of the songs are quietly strummed, with Fresh’s voice matching those tones. But, for me, there’s a timelessness to the lyrical content, particularly for a father of an almost 2 year old (especially in today’s climate). It features great lines like “some days you’ll have to eat cupcakes to feel good” and “not every day can be the best day.” Sure, they hit home for a child, but they should resonate with all of us. Songs for Kids will be released on April 24th via Bedroom Suck 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.
Honestly, I have no idea who Alex Izenberg is, but I’m going to spend today correcting that mishap by listening to his debut, Harlequin; for now, I’m stuck on this new gem he’s just dropped. He’s got this soulful croon to his vocals, and the song itself seems drenched in R&B rhythms. There’s all these little nuances lurking in the nooks and crannies, which elevates the song’s emotional pull, not to mention making it every bit as current as anything else you’re likely to hear; it’s one of those tunes straddling the past and the present. This tune appears on a new 7″ available from Domino Recording Co.
It’s weird how your moods change hour by hour during this pandemic situation; you search for energy, you come back to find solace. One tune that’s helped me this morning is the latest single from Sonny Elliot; it’s a carefully picked guitar number, little more than the hum of the strings and the heartfelt vocals. In a way, it reminds me of Gravenhurst, particularly as the song nears the 3 minute mark and adds a quiet string accompaniment to build in some texture to close the song out. If musical escapism happens to be your thing at the moment, stop right here.
As the Swedish outfit Kluster B ready their new LP, they’re really flexing their musical muscles, at least in regards to their songwriting. They’ve honed their indiepop skill-set, but in tightening that, they’ve built in a little bit more flare…as we see in their latest single. In between the melodious moments of dreamy pop, they get crunchy, finding expression in the noisier corners of their sound. They surround the melody in this brief crashing of instrumentation, like a distorted cocoon, before slinking back into their poppier side. B, the new album, will be out April 17th via Rama Lama Records.
Honestly, as I was reading about Francis of Delirium, I realized I hadn’t really heard of bands from Luxembourg (there’s this fun list to browse). But, this duo would likely fit into any scene anywhere in the world; it’s a blend of the introspective rock and anthemic pop that we all secretly crave. For me, there’s a nostalgic feel in the guitar notes, almost like they’re ripped straight from some classic 90s band, then dolled up for the swelling burst of euphoria that crashes down through the chorus. Jana Bahrich does brilliantly, contrasting the quiet personal moments with bold brightness; I was particularly drawn to the emphatic closing, almost angrily pushing the song to a close. It’s a pretty special introduction to the band, and should turn your attention towards their All Change EP slated for release this summer.
Calum Newsom used to play with Amyl and the Sniffers, which should warrant your attention, though his sound under his Candy moniker is far different, if you ask me. This tune’s much less punk, and much more pop oriented; the bass line alone just reeks of folks looking to kick up their heels and have a blast. Honestly, there’s an understated jingle to it, which makes me think fondly of the early stuff from the Drums. It’s Monday, about to get rainy, so may as well hold onto some dreamy pop vibes before the day descends further into darkness.
Austin’s Holy Wave have long been known for crafting these entrancing psychedelic rock tunes, but as they prepare for the release of Interloper, it seems they’ve gradually begun to grow their sound. Now, don’t think their intention to alter moods and states of mind has changed; this song still illustrates a sort of purposeful trance, though it’s being spun more through the window of dream pop. The wash of atmospherics that coats the tune creates this light fog through which you can make out audible pop moments. It’s filled with all these little musical nuances, proving that the band have gone far beyond my expectations; this seems like the band at their very finest! Interloper will be out on May 8th via Reverberation Appreciation Society.