I’ve spent a lot of time going back and listening to this new track from Okay Embrace, the latest tune from David Schaefer’s newest project. It’s catchy in the long run, but what I think will really draw folks into the fold is the faintest warble in his voice as he stretches his vocal chords beyond their range; I’m sure he’ll hate it, but it sounds an awful like a very young Conor Oberst. Still, the way he delivers his lines, as well as the song’s opening also recall Death Cab when they were still important. There’s a new album titled Moving/Improving on the very near horizon, so we’ll keep you posted on that front.
A few months after the release of Witches!, John Andrew Fredrick and the Black Watch return, ready to make you swoon in an entirely different fashion. Up until now, 16 albums have been filled with Fredrick’s voice, but he’s released control, instead offering the opportunity for Julie Schulte to make her musical debut. While it’s the slightest change, it completely transforms things, moving the group into the realms of wondrous chamber pop; there’s this undeniable charm that will sway any listener. Not sure what it means for the next album from the group, which I’m hoping is just around the corner, but I don’t think anyone can turn away from this stunner. The band will also be attending this year’s SXSW festival!
Everyone knows how much I adore I Was a King, so when they share another single, you better believe I’m going to have it up here on the site. This is one of the shorter numbers on their new effort, Slow Century, hitting you with the immediacy of their warm melodies. One of my favorite things is the way the vocals combine to harmonize in this really beautiful way as the song bounds forward; those harmonies rising and falling during lines like “on your driveway” or “your voice so faint,” bring a smile to my face as I listen again and again. They’ll release their new album on March 8th, just a month away!
It’s been a few years since we last heard from Lost Tapes with their collection, We Thought It Was Okay at the Time. One thing’s for sure today, the band definitely are doing okay right now, hitting that musical sweet spot of my personal tastes. For starters, there’s a wash over the track, matched by some of the shadier attributes of the accompanying video; this haze hangs on to the vocals too, giving off this dream state. But, just beneath that fuzzy pop is this stuttering jangle pop; it’s sounds a great bit like “Rip It Up” by Orange Juice, which is a sure-fire dance number for me and my wife. Not every day you come across a number that hits the dream pop and the jangle at once; this tune appears on the group’s new EP, out on Shelflife on February 22nd.
I was a big fan of Austin’s Hex Dispensers, and it looks like Alex and Alyse are ready to move forward with their new project, Eerie Family. The duo quietly released their new self-titled album on Tuesday, and while there are sonic similarities, particularly Alex’s voice, there’s some really beautiful moments I don’t want you to ignore. For instance, “A Ghost Who Lives Inside Your Heart” is stunning; it leaves all sorts of empty space in the track, though that’s filled with various sonic flourishes, almost like a more indie rock version of Magnetic Fields. Other tracks like “A Crooked Path” give Alyse the starring vocal role, switching up the mood just a touch. It’s a wonderfully brooding listen, and one I suggest you hop on right away!
I’m really stuck on We Show Up On Radar, especially as the singles from the forthcoming Zanzibar Whip Coral continue to roll out. There are times when I hear bits of Flaming Lips in what Andy Wright is doing; it sounds like he’s throwing every sound into the mix, yet still capturing pop sensibility. Other times, the song gets more simple, just Wright’s voice and minimal instrumentation; even simpler it still some of the most uplifting pop I’ve heard going down this week. The entire album will finally be released on March 22nd via Fika Recordings, bringing us another great pop opus.
We wanted to wrap up today with this great track from Belaver, the work of B.E. Godfrey (also of listenlisten). His latest tune is a combination of soft melancholic pop music, spliced with sample audio that runs across the track, fitting perfectly into the visual presentation of the tune. The more I listen to it, the more I hear a similarity to some of the old Pedro the Lion or Eels records, using wordplay to evoke the emotion, while the music merely adds to the song’s mood. It’s one of those tunes that draws you in, you spin it ten times, and you still can’t escape it; it ingrains itself in your mind. See for yourself.
When you spend a lot of time in a music community, you begin to learn who to follow and who to watch; the good people always lead you to more good people, like those who’ve played with The Black Drumset. Their latest single is likely to entrance listeners, both in its visual representation (seen below) but also in the rhythmic pulse of the song. Electronics jab at the listeners ears, sputter in and out of focus, all the while the drum work rides the vibe, minimal and primal, beating with your heart. The video features the song’s lead character, in statuette form, spinning and circling amidst pulsing shadows and light. It’s a mindfuck of the most brilliant sort; Charged, the new LP, will be released on March 8th.
If you know me, you know I have a penchant to stare dreamily out the window in my classroom; I wish I could take the kids outside and just enjoy the world. So, I’m always looking for tunes to accompany my daydreaming, like this Jonny Kosmo tune. It’s a way-relaxed number that recalls a touch of tropicalia, while almost pulling in an R&B lounge act at the same time…especially when that horn comes riding in before the 3 minute mark. So, if you feel like daydreaming, just quietly turn this track on and let it carry you off into the sun…or to the self-titled release out March 1st.
On the latest single from the Proper Ornaments, the group has come back to the slow burning pop style that turns magical on dreary days. A piano line (or two) walks this track along, allowing plenty of space for the amble atop the mix. There’s a slight uplift, an added synth sound, during the chorus, elevating the vibe, albeit momentarily. It’s a pretty tranquil number, however, seemingly built on the tradition of pop music from the 60s, where the focus is on budding harmonies that blossom and bloom in your speakers. The group will release Six Lenins on April 5th via Tapete Records.