After sharing the humorous sincerity of “But I’m a Top,” the Ballet return today with the other side of the coin, pulling back on the humor just a wee bit. The story here seems to be the anxiety of worrying about whether you love someone too much, and that feeling that things might not be reciprocated. The hooks are still in there, starring these light little keyboard notes maneuvering in and out behind that dancing guitar line. Sure Greg Goldberg has stylistic similarities to Stephin Merritt, but there’s this softness to his voice, a fragility that makes him feel just a touch more open and approachable. This is the second single from Matchy Matchy, out on May 17th via Fika Recordings.
Over the fast few years, Corasandel have quietly crafted elegant pop music of the dreamier variety, and in a few weeks, they’ll finally release their debut EP, All The Hours Are One. I’m delighted to share this new single with you, as it’s a fitting entry point to the band’s sound. The first minute and a half is filled with light vocals and these delicate guitar notes that sort of wallow in the air; the band don’t hold back forever, however, providing you with a little bit of an emphatic catharsis just after that, where you can ride their craft into pop bombast. They pull that back too, quietly letting you ride in the backseat of the song as we drive off into the sunset, guitar notes dancing and vocals fading into the past. It’s a glorious track, and one I hope you give some time; All The Hours Are One will be out on April 26th.
Cornwall’s LIPS are about to be the next great act on the storied Sunday Records; tomorrow they’ll drop their debut EP…and get ready for everyone to swoon. In starting out the EP, the drop a bold indiepop challenge in “Apartment;” it’s fueled by these dancing dreamy guitar jangles and feathery vocals from Rachel Anstis. Antis is the clear winner here, though she steps aside to let the band do their best to get you to kick up your shoes. Skip down a song and you’ll find “Walls” toying with the fuzzier “gaze” side of the realm. Still, Anstis steals the show, moving between angelic notes and calming cool, running through the song like its her own vocal playground. “Sunken” turns around to show you just how far the outfit can take their pop sensibility, shaking about between sharp angular cuts and hazy notes that tear through your speaker. I’m putting my money down now that this is one of the Top 5 EPs of the year!
I feel like I could listen to Red Channel every day. The LA act just shared another tune from the redone and soon to be reissued Crazy Diamonds EP (the EP originally came out in 2018), and dammit if it’s not a jam and a half. It’s got this sure-fire punk vibe, especially with the way some of the vocals are delivered, but beneath it, there’s this soulful nod to R&B/doo-wop that gives the track an undeniable catchiness. Plus, the rhythm section is spot-on throughout the entirety of the track, particularly the bass work bumping in and out during the verses. This song is fire! The whole EP drops on April 19th via Upset the Rhythm.
It’s been nearly a decade since we’ve heard from An Horse, but the Aussie duo don’t seem to have missed a beat since announcing their return. They just shared their latest single, which has Kate entering the fray rather calmly before Damon starts banging furiously on those drums. Most impressive, aside from how great Cooper sounds is that the band’s dynamic always has this perfect balance, tip-toeing between intimate and boisterous. If you’re stoked to hear the group back at it, then you’ll want to give Modern Air a listen when it drops on May 3rd via Lame-O Records.
They’ll be touring the US in May, with an Austin date on May 5th at Barracuda! We’ll be offering some giveaways and what not leading up to the show, so keep your eyes peeled! Or buy early-bird tickets HERE.
Today’s one of those days when I’m just blown over by all the great songs popping off in my direction; I’ll always take another Soccer Cousins song. The New York trio crafts hook-infected indie rock, and here they’re giving us the same, while toying with typical song structures. This song stays steady for the most part, just until about the 1.5 minute mark where it unfolds into this sort of indiepop jangle breakdown that works itself into this sort of math/prog moment that twists into this soaring blast of distortion and “oohs.” I also always get stuck on the Hutch Harris vocal resemblance, and I mean that in the best way possible. Check the latest single (Gentle Reminder Records), and fingers crossed for an LP!
Having already fallen in love with “Nina Segovia,” it only seems fitting we follow up our Infinites coverage with another stunning pop number from the ATX band. I was hooked by the opening sixteen seconds, starting with a wonky pop guitar that’s met by a fuzzy counterpoint around the 14 second mark…and this is just the start of the band’s pop sensibility. Singer Jared Leibowich drapes his vocals atop those feuding pop guitar lines, building this delicious layer of pop frosting that has your toes tapping and hips swinging. Speaking of Jared, he’s also responsible for the video, using archival footage to weave into the storyline of one Scott McMurray. Just listen through to the 2:18 mark, please. If that guitar solo doesn’t make your day INFINITEly better, then I’ll buy you coffee next time we meet. If you love this, and you should, go grab the self-titled record from First Human Records; it’s out April 26th.
I’ll be honest, Halfsour didn’t cross my radar until Jigsaw Records sent me Tuesday Night Live back in 2016, but I’ve been a huge huge fan since then, so it’s great that they’ve announced a new LP! I think the mix on this song is absolutely perfect; you get these huge heavy riffs and crashing cymbals, but they’re not imposing. It’s more like they’re clearing space, giving ample room for Zoe Wyner’s voice real-life commentary to strike listeners down. I love the chorus from all parts, from the scuzzy guitars to the pitch changes in Wyner’s voice, it all absolutely works to the max. Sticky will be out on May 24th via two of my favorite labels, Fire Talk and Disposable America. Please, if you’re not listening to this band, you’re not living right.
You’ve got to leave it up to Roque and Cloudberry Records to unearth some old indiepop gems we can all clamor about. He’s one of the few true indiepop fans still writing and unearthing acts all the time, and then putting his money behind it, as he’s now doing with Baby Lemonade. The Scottish outfits had a handful of singles and an album in the 80s (note: this is not Arthur Lee’s backing band!), but other than a few blips on some 2000s compilations, they went largely unnoticed and unremembered. That’s a sad thing, as you’ll hear below; this track sounds like it could fit perfectly into any lineup I’d dream up; it’s got that bouncing rhythm section and those sharply saccharine vocals that are destined to charm your socks off. Press play. Have fun. Look for a new compilation of music from the band this Spring!
A few years back, Ski Lodge was all the rage, but then things seemed to go quiet from Andrew Marr. Ever so often he pops up with a new single, just doing his own thing, writing for himself it seems..and me too. This new track is a bit of a move away from where he began, but it’s a beautiful place to find him, treading over that ground warmed by the likes of Hamilton Leithauser and other such powerful voices. Here things unfold gently, rising carefully, but never so far as to seem boisterous, crawling back beneath the mix. Lush arrangements abound, with sweeping strings, all of it building towards the cathartic release at the 2.5 minute mark. Not sure what the future holds here, or if there’s a planned release, but I’ll welcome a newly penned Marr tune any day.