Hinds have just announced that they’ll be dropping their new record, I Don’t Run, on Mom + Pop on April 6th; they’ve done it in a fashion that’s straight to the hearts of the ATH team, with a soccer (futbol) themed video (their whole web site shares the theme if you’re so inclined). The video, and the song itself, encapsulate everything that’s great about the Spanish quartet. No matter what video they create, they always seem like they’re having one hell of a time; they make you wish you were in on the party. Plus, they always toss out a catchy lyrical nugget that has you screaming at the top of your lungs as you sing along; you can’t help yourself. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see too many folks out there having as much fun as Hinds…and that will always win me over.
A friend of a friend suggested I check into Little Star; I’m glad I have friends with good tastes. The Portland band have just released their Even In Dreams EP, with some sonic similarities to New Order on the opening track…though they push off in different directions as the EP progresses. For instance, “Jacks” has this airy bedroom pop quality, using a minimal set up to craft a quick emotional joy. Definitely a band to keep an eye on at the moment; you can grab the new EP from them on Bandcamp.
In case you missed it, Paul Bergmann made a beautiful record last year that I included in my Albums People Probably Overlooked. Rest easy, you still have time to go back, but first listen to this new entry into Paul’s on-going canon. It’s simple in structure, with Bergmann’s voice moving gently atop a walking piano line. At times, it almost sounds like the piano is going out of tune, haunted by a faint speaker hiss in the recording; it’s one of the more intimate offerings we’ve heard him created. Overall, it leaves you with a message of promise, both in life, and in Bergmann’s continued growth as a songwriter. This song will feature on his new EP titled Night, Unfold, which comes out on February 2nd.
Great Lakes have been hanging around for the better part of two decades, but they’ve changed quite a bit since their early participation in the Elephant 6 Collective. For starters, the only surviving member from the original line-up is Ben Crum, though the rest of the players in the band have been about for the last several records. But, more importantly, the sonic landscape has changed with age, finding the band channeling a more Americana leaning. The rock element is definitely apparent on this number, though the expansive sound of organs, layered guitars and gang vocals broaden those brushstrokes. While it may have that rock swagger, something about the song just feels like home, feels like comfort. The group are set to release Dreaming Too Close to the Edge on April 9th via HHBTM/Loose Trucks.
I know that I’m going to love listening to the new Hot Snakes record, but there are hints in their brand new tune that it might not be precisely the sound I remember. For one, Froberg seems to have dialed back his gnarly growl, at least for the majority of the track…perhaps he’s just saving himself. Also, the music seems a little bit tamer; the guitar chords are still sharp and jagged, but the vibe feels softer, somehow aged. While that all might seem like a departure, I think it signals a band willing to embrace their growth as time’s gone on…and whoever turned away from a decent melody? Their new effort Jericho Sirens will be out on March 16th via SubPop.
You’ve got to be impressed by the mere existence of Refrigerator, a band still making incredibly powerful music several decades into their career. Their ready to release their new album High Desert Lows, their 11th LP, and if you’re not struck by this tune, then perhaps your speakers need a quick fix. What’s important are the finer details that make the song great, such as the careful use of string accompaniment or the careful chords ringing out just behind the delivery of the vocals. It’s strange, as the track seems so minimal, yet so overly powerful at the same time…a feat few can accomplish, or so I think. Look for the new LP to drop via Shrimper on February 9th.
It’s looking more and more likely that Australian artist Montero is going to find a broader base when he releases his new record. Luckily for us, the accompanying videos for this new album have been nothing short of remarkable, with this addition created by Sean McAnulty being added to that category. Atop of the visual concept, the music also speaks a to the lofty goals that Ben Montero has been able to create; this song has this magical quality, almost like space glam. It’s pop music swelling with emotion, dripping with creativity and layered with vocals that make us all part of the show. Look for Performer to hit on February 2nd via Chapter Music.
One of my favorite albums from last year was B-Boys jamming Dada LP. So, news breaks that the band’s Brendon Avalos is releasing his debut under his solo Gift Wrap moniker and I’m salivating about what’s in store. You can see some sonic similarities, especially in the way some of the vocals are stretching notes, but overall, this has an entire different feel. Honestly, it sounds like a sharper produced version of Blank Dogs, which makes sense seeing that this project will be released by Captured Tracks. I will say that I think this is more guitar influenced in structure, but maybe I’ve yet to have enough coffee today. Losing Count will be released on March 2nd.
I like the immediacy of this new track from Noble Son; it hits the listener right off the bat with its guitar circling the stomp of the drum work. A playful piano line adds an extra layer to the song just before Adam Kirschner delivers his first vocal line. He’s got a distinctive set of pipes, but I love the operatic power it holds the most, soaring above the mix in a marvelous fashion. It’s strange, but perhaps the best compliment I can offer this tune is that I never hear the same thing…at times I am attracted to the unfolding bounce, other times it’s the tinkering piano line…all pointing to an album of great promise. Joy in Violence will be self-released on March 30th, with a slew of Canadian tour dates around the release.
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard new tunes from Amen Dunes, but I’m definitely enjoying this track that comes with the announcement of a new LP. The first thing that struck me is the propulsive tone of the percussion; it sets the perfect pace, steady and pushing the tension. It’s fitting because Dylan McMahon’s voice definitely doesn’t seem steady; he holds onto notes and syllables until there’s almost nowhere else for them to venture. He still has a folk affection in the voice, but the sound of this single hints that the band’s new LP might be a little bit broader than what we heard on Love. Sacred Bones will be releasing Freedom on March 30th.