Sometimes a song is just too good to skip by, and if you’ve covered that song, shouldn’t you feel obliged to cover the video version? No? Well, this single from the Smallgoods is one of my favorite tracks of this year, and this video is pretty special. It begins with two explorer types, lost in the wilderness, frustrated with one another. That is until they see a satellite or star drop from the sky, dropping them knowledge via geometrical laser work. They awaken to find food and booze, and exuberance takes over; I love the go-to stick antlers move. Lost in the Woods will be out sometime in June on Lost and Lonesome (seems like the perfect home, eh?).
I’m not usually one to go revisit rarities and obscurities; it’s a dark hole I sometimes can’t get away from once I’ve journeyed that way. That said, I’m also not one to shy away from great tracks, like this exclusive track (previously only available on 7″) from the forthcoming Tuung collection, This is Tuung…Magpie Bites and Other Cuts. This is the sort of track where I feel like the band has found the most success, spinning subtle folky numbers into playful electronic numbers; it’s like if you got really drunk and decided you wanted to sound like a mixture of Arab Strap and Hot Chip, maybe with a touch of Boy Least Likely To along the way. The song speaks for itself, as does the band’s previous work, so maybe, just maybe, I’ll peep into this wormhole of an obscurities collection; it’s out on June 28th via Full Time Hobby.
The Catenary Wires history is perhaps far deeper than their discography, but in their short time, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey have already worked with some of my favorite labels in Elefant, WIAIWYA and Matinee…and now their sophomore release is slated for new powerhouse, Tapete Records. This fresh single puts the band’s dynamic at the forefront, relying upon the interplay between the two, trading vocal duties with one another, uniting in certain instances to maximize the harmony; Amelia has this sparkling nostalgic movie star tone, while Rob has this more forlorn croon. The string arrangement dropping in just before the 3 minute mark keeps listeners aware that both the music and voice will be broad sweeping on Til the Morning; it’s out June 14th via Tapete.
The recent history of Film School seems to be a modern success, if ever there was one. They brought minimal expectations to 2018’s Bright to Death, hoping a few people would remember their early work, and they did indeed; people raved over the successful return. So, here we are in 2019, and the band have readied a new set of tunes, and a new EP on the horizon. Our first listen is this beautifully hazy pop number, swimming in and out of propulsive rhythm work and shimmering guitars. Amidst it all is Greg Bertens steadying voice, softly draped across the fuzzy melody of the track, sort of just hanging out there seducing the listener. Expect the EP to drop this summer via Hauskat Records.
Shormey Adumuah isn’t a household name as of yet, but one can bet that you’re likely to find her influences hanging about your record collection; she’s pulling from Toro y Moi to the Temptations to ABBA, leaving just a little slice of heaven she’s crafted all on her own. Her latest single is this shimmering slow jam that uses subtle details to suck you into the tune. You’ve got this keyboard/organ line that seems to sort of stutter on repeat throughout, never losing pace even whilst Shormey slows things down with her vocal delivery; I dig the pop emphasis during the chorus. Get into this now, and prepare for Boogie Island Vol. 1, out May 10th via Citrus City.
I think if Mammoth Penguins had the US press behind them, they would be able to win over every indie rock fan with a penchant for pop sensibility; they remind me of my own top rated bands like Bad Moves, Weakened Friends or a louder Rosie Tucker. The riffs in their latest single are heavy and sharp; there’s a few moments when they have this jagged stutter that added an extra layer of hook during the verses while the rhythm section intoxicates you in their own spot-on fashion. Plus, at the helm is one of the most powerfully distinctive voices from Emma Kupa; I think this is my favorite performance from her in the three singles we’ve heard so far, especially with the playful “oohs.” So, who needs the US press…I know this band rules and I’m stoked to hear the entirety of There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, out on Fika Recordings on April 26th.
There’s all sorts of sub-genres within the realm of indiepop; you’ve got the frantic jangling sort, the twee as fuck, the nonchalant bedroom pop and you’ve got the swinging croon. I like to bounce all over, but it seems Nah are out to perfect the crooning side, and they’re pretty damn near close with this new single. This number features this understated guitar shuffle working beneath, backed by a swinging rhythm section that drives the song forward; I also never shy away from a band with a sweet harmonica solo that actually fits the track. Ultimately, the majesty of the song stems from the vocal interplay between Sebastian and Estella; it’s like they’re singing to one another from opposite sides of the room, and we’re all caught up in the melodious dialogue. Put this on play and don’t look back!
I don’t know how to explain my adoration for this new track from French outfit Trumpets of Consciousness, but one things for sure, I’ve been playing it happily for the last hour. For one, it’s seemingly an homage to my wife, Stephanie; we like to go out on Saturdays. Musically, the song’s got this weird amalgam of sounds, at times sounding like Phoenix, then twisting into this extravagant sibling of Radiohead, then slinking back to this intoxicating bounce that one can only find in French pop of the best sort. And if the song doesn’t do it for you, then surely the video will; it’s clever stop-action footage matched perfectly to the tune. Their new LP, Approximate drops this Friday via Echo Orange.
RayRay and I were both big fans of Kosmonaut; they had some tragically overlooked tunes, but now we’ve got news (thanks Wally!) that Stephen Maughan has formed new act The Memory Fades. They’ve recently released the She Loves the Birds EP, and by recently, I mean today. Listening through the four tracks, I’ve come to the unfounded decision that the band are made up of equal parts Lucksmiths and Galaxie 500, with J Spaceman doing the studio recording…of course, none of that is true, but I think it will help craft an image of the group in your mind. Think slow burning pop songs that crawl inside your brain and take over. You can get a handful of limited copies from Sunday Records if you’re into it.
Only a day away from the release of their new LP, and Night Schoolhave convinced me of their talents with the release of “Marigold.” It’s a track that really hits home for my listening tastes, be it the voice or the guitar work, I’m hung up on it all. The vocals have this dreamy drift to them, draped angelically atop the bounce of the drum work; I like how there’s real clarity in the lyrics despite that ethereal vibe. And, of course the guitar work is perfect; it has that angular sharpness our friend Stevsie (Tres Oui/Mean Jolene) always weaves into his songs, and its presence here definitely adds to my intoxication. Disappear Here is out tomorrow via Graveface Records.