Blistering Indiepop from A Certain Smile

Just as I was lamenting a shortage of great indiepop vibes in the 2018, it looks like the world was destined to prove me wrong. Today A Certain Smile announce the release of their debut album, bringing the sound of Portland’s indiepop to our ears. The track rushes forward from the get-go, employing little touches of shoegaze in the guitar to go along with more traditional jagged lines stabbing through the mix. Vocals from Thomas Andrew provide that fireside warmth that pop fans crave, sending out wave after wave of melodious lines through your speakers. The debut album Fits and Starts will be released by the band on March 9th, and it’s sure to be a gem.

New Music from Eric Benoit

There’s a certain broad-sweeping emotion in the music being crafted by Eric Benoit; his latest single is exactly what we’ve come to expect as we look forward to the release of his new record, Heartrender. Opening with a deep guitar line with just the faint hint of buzz from the recording builds a stark landscape for Benoit to carefully float his voice. He seems like he’s not in any rush as he just quietly croons, some notes quivering in the mix. You should definitely keep your ears peeled, as the song erupts into a close. Look for the release on January 26th.

Josh T Pearson Returns with New Album

While he’s only got one album under the name of Josh T Pearson; he’s been writing important music in the state of Texas for several decades…perhaps most prominently in Lift to Experience. He’s putting all that behind him, offering his most straight-forward collection of tunes on his new record, The Straight Hits. There’s some sonic similarities that have always been in Pearson’s songwriting, but I love the way he seems to interpret the history of Texas music in his own brand, from the drawn out growl to the stuttering delivery during the verses. This album is meant for immediacy, and on this round, he’s accomplished his feat; look for the album to drop on April 13th.

Another Track from Exek

Melbourne’s always been a hotbed of music, but as of late, it’s become increasingly diverse…so just add Exek to the list of band’s pushing the boundaries. This new single has a darkened un-pop feel; taking pop structures and infiltrating the standard tropes with humor, indifference and a slinking saxophone line. There’s an industrial feeling to the track, in reference to emotions rather than the music); it’s as if the band’s offering this song from the empty innards of an incomplete skyscraper. The band will be releasing Ahead of Two Thoughts on Superior Viaduct on January 26th.

Powerful Ballad from Totally Mild

There is already a horde of great albums coming our way in 2018, but one of the one’s at the top of my list is the new record from Totally Mild (they’ll also be in attendance at this year’s SXSW). The group just released their new video for “Lucky Stars,” which is dominated by the performance of songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell. Her voice is powerful, with just a hint of fragility on some of the notes left hanging; she’s all alone in the video with her piano, furthering her role as an incredible force that will surely be heard all over the rest of the year. Look for Her to be released on February 23rd via Chapter Music.

Enjoy New Pop from Math and Physics Club

Feel like its been a slow start to 2018 for indiepop fans, but luckily it looks as if Math and Physics Club are ready to give us a cure. Today, the band shared 3 songs, 2 which we haven’t heard yet to tease their latest effort, Lived Here Before; its being released by Matinee in the US and Fika in Europe. The first thing I notice about the two new songs is that they carry a softer tone, almost akin to early Death Cab stuff. I think of the three songs we’ve gotten to hear, “Dear Madeline” is definitely the one keeping my attention this morning. I hear its cold out there, so hopefully this dosage of pop will keep you warm until its release on January 26th.

Show Preview: Yumi Zouma @ Barracuda (1/13)

If you’re willing to brave the cold; it’s going to be warm inside Barracuda tomorrow night…and not just because it’s indoors. You’re going to get a chance to catch Yumi Zouma touring in support of their most recent album, Willowbank; it’s filled to the brim with hook-laden pop music of the electronic pop sort. Plus, the night will also be filled by two of our favorite local acts, Kay Odyssey and Blushing. We heard that Blushing will probably have their brand new Weak EP on hand before it’s street date, so head there and pick you a copy for yourself.

Enjoy a New Song from Daphne Tunes

Daphne Tunes is the project of Santiago, who happens to be one of my favorite songwriters in Austin; I like him so much I begged and pleaded to put out his other LP with his band Growl. In this project, Santi favors a softer side with carefully picked riffs and melodic vocal lines. What’s impressive about this song is how it jettisons off in an entirely new exploratory zone, highlighted by monosyllabic vocal notes riding the high of the galloping guitars. The Volume 1 EP will be released at the end of the month by Two Moons.

Sample a Few More Juan de Fuca Tracks

First, don’t forget that Juan de Fuca is a band, not a man. Second, let’s rejoice in the band’s new record Solve/Resolve hitting shelves today. Having already compared the band to some strange mixture of the Walkmen and Fresh and Onlys, these two tracks further that sonic exploration. Our first tune today has a bit of a discordant drive to it, especially with the way the guitars open things up; it then quickly moves into that falling vocal effect. And maybe, just maybe, there’s a slight Jawbreaker nod in there too. On the latter tune, the New York vibe from the early 00s seems to be peaking out from behind the band; I promise you I don’t mind that at all. It’s clear the group will be swinging for the proverbial fences with this new LP; grab it today from Arrowhawk Records.


Put Linqua Franqa on Your Radar

Sometimes you’ve got to dig to find the gems, but hopefully at the end of 2018 Linqua Franqa will be more prevalent in everyone’s listening habits. It’s the musical outlet for Mariah Parker, who calls Athens, GA home; she’s kicking back and offering a more linguistic approach to modern hip-hop. I love the soulful vibe that rests in between the verses she’s putting out, not to mention the lines that open and close this track. Ultimately, it’s her flow and her sharp turn of words that elevates this tune above others, offering true poetry at a blistering pace. Nod your head, and revel in all that lays before you as we await the release of Model Minority on February 23rd via HHBTM.

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