Okay, so it’s a Christmas themed indiepop tuned, or at least related to the holidays. Still, The Proctors made my Best of Indiepop, and here they are not a day later sharing this joyous tune. It’s a slow moving affair, more about the storytelling and the warmth of the melody than anything else. The tambourine feels like jingle bells, and there’s this fuzz on the mix that feels like snow falling from the skies. We’re not far away from holiday season, as my wife’s living room decorations can attest, so why not get in the mood with a nice slice of drifting indiepop from one of the genre’s finest.
I was tempted to write this entire post in Spanish, but the red lines from my spell check were driving me crazy. This is the second single from Juan Wauter‘s new album, La Onda de Juan Pablo, with this song revolving around a stop in Mexico City. If you’ve spent any time in the city, or the country, you might recognize some of the signature sounds filtering through Wauter’s tune, like the stellar accordion; it also just feels like being in that city, lively and calm all at once. While the whole album is in Spanish, you’ve got to give to Juan for going out on a limb and tracing his Latin roots and spinning it into accessible tunes. The new album will drop at the end of January via Captured Tracks.
It’s interesting listening to this new track from Deerhunter, especially if you’re aware of Bradford hanging out with Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley last year in Marfa. That’s only important if you listen to either of those artists, as it feels like their spirit has seeped into Bradford’s songwriting. Regardless, the song’s wonderful, stretching the harmonies with these grand string arrangements behind the band. The more I listen, the more I become immersed in little moments like the group vocals behind Cox during the chorus; it’s intoxicating in the best way. Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared will be available on January 18th via 4AD.
We’ve filled these pages with Margot songs in the past, and I think the band are embarking on their finest hour. First, this is one of 3 forthcoming singles taking on the subject of mental health…a heavy subject no doubt. But, the way the guitar chords work in combination with the gentle vocals, it feels like the band is focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel…or the dream of that light. There are moments when it feels like they’re playing with jazzier vibes in the vein of Real Estate, whilst other times it seems smooth and polished like indiepop…all good things in my book. We’ll keep you posted as more the next 2 singles drop.
There’s something about Chase DeMaster’s writing for Get a Life that seems built for the every-man. It’s accessible and hook-laden, crafted with just enough flare of indifference to make the cool kids swoon. It probably doesn’t hurt that Yuuki Matthews (Shins) handled the production for the recording; it’s clear that there’s a sense of layered pop sensibility, particularly in the way vocals are trapped on top of one another. Of course, no great pop song is complete with out its ability to relate to the listener, so just spend time listening to all the people telling Chase to get a job in this song. You’ll know exactly how he feels, which likely means we’ll all find ourselves relating to the hooks and lyrics from the band’s new album, Our Band Could Be Your Life, out next February.
Yesterday I compiled a huge list of traditional indiepop, my own Best of 2018 for the genre. In there, I exclaimed how I was really digging into Indonesian indiepop scene, but apparently I hadn’t dug deep enough because a friend pointed me towards Grrl Gang. In circling back, it seems that there’s a huge gap in my coverage that needs to be filled; this band is so so good. The opening tune, “Love Song” on the band’s Not Sad, Not Fulfilled EP is jumping, fueled by a steady beat and delicious vocal harmonies. For me, the winner of the five tracks is the forlorn feel of “Night Terrors;” lightly twinkling guitars, subdued vocals made me an immediate convert. The band are currently giving these songs away, so do them a favor and throw them a dollar or two so they can write more; do that HERE.
I feel like Murray Lightburn and the Dears never got the praise they deserved. For me, I’ve always loved him, even more so when he climbed into the crowd at the Parish many years ago to belt out notes midsong. Here, on Murray’s latest single from his forthcoming solo work, we get the gentle side of Lightburn; he has this angelic way of hanging notes out there in the air, letting them sort of quiver at the tip of his tongue. And, of course, it’s a Murray production, so he’s surrounded himself with these gentle and lush arrangements that only accentuate the magic of his voice. His new album, Hear Me Out, will be released by Dangerbird Records on February 22nd.
Looking towards 2019, this Pedro the Lion album is high on my list of anticipated releases. We get a new single today, and while I love the noisier elements in the background, I’m really struck by the vocal tones. It’s every bit David B., but he’s really pushing his limits to the highest part of his register. I can’t help but to recall American Football or something off Jade Tree when I listen to this track, and that’s not a knock by any means. Just another step in the glorious evolution that is Bazaan; look for Phoenix to drop on January 18th via Polyvinyl. There’s never a bad day when you get a fresh Pedro tune, especially full-band Pedro.
I’ve always appreciated Angelo de Augustine‘s music, but there’s something particularly perfect about this song dropping at this time of year, with Winter whipping at your windows. The recording has this whisper, as if his voice is muffled so as not to wake the neighbors in the sharing of his innermost secrets. Headphones will reveal this bubbling pulse beneath the entirety of the mix, as well as the occasional piano backbone, but in all honesty, the gentle strum of the guitar along with Augustine’s voice is all that’s required. His new album Tomb will be out on January 18th via Asthmatic Kitty.
Trolling labels always turns up something, even in the dead part of the year. I always keep an eye on Kingfisher Bluez, a label after my own heart with a pretty diverse catalog that branches all over the place. The label just upped a track from their first release in 2019, the new LP from Counterfeit Jeans. It’s melodic noise rock at its finest, offering up these discordant guitars chugging from the get go, while the vocals have this tendency to sore brightly amidst the song’s natural chaos. The LP is titled Good Morning, and it looks like it will drop in February of next year; I’ll keep you posted.