Swan/Koistinen Share Diagnosis

This is a special song, written at one point for a special moment, celebrating and sharing the stories of two co-survivors and what it means to live as a sick woman. The two voices here are Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen, both whom have battled diseases and bring you music to enlighten us about their experiences. This number deals with the powerful emotions of diagnosis, but in telling that story, the depth is established by the song’s arrangement; it’s sparse and emotional, aided by the string work of Owen Pallet and light electronics/piano bubbling from the depths of the song. The Swan/Koistinen EP will be shared with the world this coming May via Soliti.

Fresh Tunes from Daphne Tunes

How does one write about a friend without feeling like you’re blowing smoke up their ass? I loved working Santiago during his tenure with Growl, but this Daphne Tunes stuff he’s been working on is quite possibly some of the best pop music coming out of the city of Austin. I think the delicate approach he and his band have taken to these recordings creates such a refined sound that it’s hard not to marvel at what’s coming through your speakers. Santi’s voice comes across stronger than ever, and I love the way the guitars duel with one another as he hangs his vocal notes at the end of each stanza, letting them drift through your living space. Such a special track, and just one of a handful he’ll be playing at our ATH vs SOTO SXSW show on March 10 at Hotel Vegas!

The Smallgoods Announce Lost in the Woods

It looks as if the Smallgoods were not calling it quits, they were merely on a hiatus, and now, seven years later, that has come to an end; the band just announced their return and a new album to come this June. It’s been about a dozen years since their last proper release, and they’re still writing these soaring pop tracks that seemingly survive on melody alone. Don’t get me wrong, the sonic texture is bright and meaningful, but the slight tonal changes that rise and fall are pure bliss; it’s like the best indiepop and power-pop mash-up you never knew you needed…one might even call it the twee Nada Surf (and I mean that respectfully). Lost in the Woods will be released in June via Lost and Lonesome.

We Show Up On Radar Share Crumb for Erin

I’ve really enjoyed the early listens from We Show Up on Radar; they’ve been vibrant and clever, but this new track gives us a slightly different viewpoint of the artist. This track is all about the storytelling, all about the map being made in hopes that Erin will come home. The arrangements behind the voice, from the horns to the gently strummed guitars adds this forlorn emotional vibe…that is until the synth lines in the final thirty seconds, giving us a bit of upbeat promise as the song fades to black. Zanzibar Whip Coral, the album on which this song appears, drops on March 22nd via Fika Recordings.


Andrew Golding is Dragon Welding

Pretty sure a bunch of the indiepop nerds were really excited with recent Wolfhounds collection of the John Peel Sessions getting out again, but I’m really interested in what Andrew Golding is doing as Dragon Welding. Both of the tracks available for streaming seem to employ looped sounds, with Golding doing the work to build in his own textures. “The Builders” is this six minute trance, propulsive and posturing all at once. “These Are Dangerous Times” works acoustic bits into a dense track that often plays upon the Notwist comparison hanging about in the band’s bio. The self-titled album will be released on March 15th.

Listen to More Martha

It seems like pop-punk bands are once again a dime-a-dozen, although admittedly there’s an abundance of more talented acts. So, let me clear the rest out of the way, the only band you might need right now is Martha. Their new album Love Keeps Kicking is non-stop hits, filled with catchy choruses and huge riffs that led me to playing my meanest air-guitar as I walked my daughter through our suburban neighborhood. This tune below is just one of the many great numbers, dealing with the subject of a shitty situation in a surprisingly uplifting manner. This band rules. This song rules. This album rules. Get a copy when Dirtnap drops it in April.

Francis Lung Offers Pop Opus

I’m a sucker for a broad sweeping pop song; the sort that always seems built to grab hordes of listeners and never look back; such is the latest single from Manchester’s Francis Lung. The front of the song opens with this dancing piano, bouncing jollily into the vocals which don’t pull back on the harmonies. I love when the cymbal work seems to crash right as a certain melody rises or falls, as they do here, bringing me to the bigger point. There’s huge production value too, from strings to textured vocal layers, all encompassing the broad pop sensibility before us. Enjoy.

Reptaliens Announce Valis

I knew this new Reptaliens LP was right around the corner, so I’m glad the secret is out, as I adored FM-2030. Our first listen from the forthcoming LP offers up a woozy dreampop sound. Synths float in heavily, often seeming as if they’re in and out of tune; they get matched up with these grooving bass lines that will certainly have you bobbing your head. It’s all spliced up by layered synths and sharp guitar parts; it’s short and sweet, easily consumable. Look for their new album Valis to drop via Captured Tracks on April 26th, as well as huge Spring tour that brings them to SXSW.

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