In a roundabout way, I’ve been writing about Sleeper & Snake for some time, as its Al and Amy from Terry. In the single accompanying the announcement of their new LP, you get the slightest hint of their quirky pop sensibility, but this outing seems to take on a more experimental purpose. It’s a fairly simplistic approach, using cello, bass and a synced beat to provide rhythm; they layer their vocals and a nice dose of saxophone atop as icing on the proverbial cake. For me, you can hear spots where they could erupt or speed up, but they show restraint, holding you (and the song) in a permanent state of suspense. Fresco Shed will be out on September 25th via Upset the Rhythm.
You know by now that I’m super into the Finnish scene, right? Well, I owe that entirely to my friend Nick, who at one point worked with Gim Kordon on his own Soliti label. But, the band’s own Aleksi has started a new label titled All That Plazz, who will be releasing future music from GK…for now they’re teasing that with a new single. This has a great 90s college rock feel to it, kind of hints at scuzzy, but plays a bigger role with a huge pop sensibility; its the sort of sound that wouldn’t be far out of line with a Merge or Sub Pop, particularly in the late 90s…so you know everyone here is on board. We’ll keep you posted on more, but just wanted to have you dip your toes in some jams from overseas.
This Friday we’re all destined to be in for a treat when Chicago noise outfit Ganser drops their new album, Just Look at That Sky. Today we get the lyric video for their latest single, punishing our ears as we turn the volume all the way up. Guitars cut through speaker, first right then left, knifing their way through discordant noise, with the drums pounding all the while in the near distance. The video perfectly matches up with the vocals in the song itself, delivered in a lecture format that makes me beg to go back to school; I enrolled in Purposeful Noise Rock 101 with Professor Nadia Garofalo. If you’re into it, the LP drops Friday via Felte Records.
For some artists, this whole pandemic thing has been really great for songwriting, like for Glenn Donaldson and his project The Reds, Pinks and Purples. Over the weekend the project dropped two brand new songs, both delightful and required listening for you today. “Pictures of the World” opens with this big guitar strum and these shakers coming around while Donaldson carefully enters, almost frail; I keep imagining this song accompanying a video of a couple in various stages of goofing, probably shot on an outdated camera to give a little bit of a fuzz to the edges. In the end, Glenn has this slight Bob Pollard note…though not sure if he’d enjoy that note. I love the breathy vocal approach that comes out in the second tune, “Tell Me What’s Real” during the choruses; it gives off this timeless pop quality that makes me wish I could just sit around doodling in a notebook while my mind drifts off with the steady beat of the song. You can’t go wrong pressing play on either of these tunes.
We’ve all been enjoying the singles from the forthcoming Bill Callahan, and in searching that sound, I came onto Sweden’s Nicky William. Why the Callahan reference? Well, mostly it has to do with the vocal tones emanating from your speakers at the moment. Lyrically, I think he actually plays upon the Berman side of the genre, offering up these subtly humorous lines that most listeners would find endearing. It’s a mellow jam for you to start out Tuesday, with the promise that Nicky will be delivering more music later this year via Stockholm collective Icons Creating Evil Art.
As I listen to the debut single from Oakland’s Body Double I can’t help but feel this sense of anxiety; there’s something about Candace Lazarou’s steady vocal delivery that just makes me feel tense. It’s like there’s this power being harnessed, unsure if its meant to be released and shared by the whole world, but trust me, it is. Once you push through that tension, there’s this animalistic pulse pushing the song, almost hurriedly, accented by sharp guitar shuffling. There’s a little angelic tease too, hanging in around the 1 minute marl, luring you with pop sensibility. That furious guitar riffage around the 1:50 mark is what I live for, might even remind make a nostalgic nod, but you be the judge. The band will release Milk Fed via Zum Records on September 18th.
The new LP from Tough Age is going to be one hell of a ride, as cliche as that might sound. Sonically, it kind of bounces around all my favorite areas of post-punk, art rock, pigeonhole-core, what-have-you…but we’re all the better for it. On their latest single Penny once again takes the vocal lead, and her lyrics detail how important it would be to “get signed to Flying Nun,” though that might just be a metaphor for any band’s dreams to make it onto their favorite label and the trials and tribulations you must face to make it there…if you ever really do. The more I’m dissecting this song, does it not have like a mid-period Sonic Youth vibe going on in the guitar work? I mean, not that I mind that sound by any means…just a thought. Anyways, Which Way Am I? drops on August 7th via Mint Records.
Y’all know that in separate periods, both RayRay and I have lived in Costa Rica, right? And you know I love a good pop song with Spanish lyrics, and today, I give you both with this new tune from Cibeles. It’s one of those unassuming songs that kind of creeps under your skin, seeming to have this wayward meandering about it; if I were crafting the video I’d likely focus on one protagonist wandering about on solitude. The vocals wash against your soul, like waves tickling your feet near the ocean, toying with your soul; I love the backing notes that add texture after the two minute park too. Just a nice way to let your mind float off into Monday.
A month or so ago, I encouraged you to check in on Buildings and Food, as Jen Wilson had just announced that there would be another album, Up Down Strange Charm. With a new single below, you can now dip your toes deeper into the proverbial waters. While “Streetlights” had Wilson employing softened vocals, “FM a.m.” is a full dive into Jen’s instrumental IDM work, which is what makes up a great deal of the new LP. On my end, I always get attached to minute details, like the very subtle little change in direction around 1:18 with a different keyboard line coming through. It’s these effortless little direction changes that illustrate the artistry throughout the Buildings and Food catalogue, drawing me in every single time. If you’re so inclined, Up Down Strange Charm is out September 25th!
I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear the whole of the new Fort Not LP; we’ve already been teased with two delectables, and now we’ve got another. I love how there’s an implied nod to indiepop in the band’s sound, though here, they kind of pull back just a little bit to craft this timelessness you only get in the purest of pop purveyors. For me, it’s the vocals pulling that off; they have this sort of breezy warmth, like basking on the beach as they crash into your face. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that its coming out on one of my favorite labels of the moment, Meritorio Records; they’ll release The Club is Open on September 18th.