Sure, it’s just the beginning of April, but I’m going out on a limb and reserving a spot for this new En Attendant Ana LP in my personal Top 20 of 2018. The album is ten tracks of non-stop insatiable pop, with more enough grit to put them just outside the indiepop arena. Here, you can here the guitar work pushing fast, while the vocals cast another sonic image, giving off something slightly prettier. It’s slight, but just the faintest hint of contrast throughout this song, and the Lost and Found LP, keeps your interested time and time again. If, like me, you can’t wait for this album, it will be available on CD/Digi on Friday, but drops on vinyl in June…all via Trouble In Mind.
This delighting tune from En Attendant Ana just goes to show you that you can’t pigeonhole labels any more than you can pigeonhole bands. Sure, I already adore Trouble In Mind Records but by adding this French quintet, it’s basically seems like I should just donate all my spare money to the label…it’s going there anyways. The notes here hint at jangling pop, but the band swing in with these charming vocals, almost like early Camera Obscura. There’s a natural energy that indiepop fans will adore, and I’m stuck on the flourishes, like light horn touches as guitars anxiously ring out, or perhaps just the constant forward movement of the tune pushing ahead. Another example of fine pop picked up by TiM; look for Lost and Found on April 6th (June for LP).
The Love-Birds first came to our attention with their excellent Filled with Hate EP for Empty Cellar Records. Now, they’ve landed on perennial powerhouse Trouble In Mind Records for the release of their new LP. We find them treading interesting ground on this new single, somewhere between playful folk and steady power-pop. Little textural flourishes, like the “woo woo,” little keyboard notes or the speedy way the song closes, define the lasting impression of this single. Look for their In the Lover’s Corner to drop on May 25th.
I’ve been writing about Connections pretty much nonstop since I discovered them a few years back via a friend at the record store. They’re back with exciting news…a new LP and a new label; they’ve just signed up with Trouble In Mind. Our first listen has the group readying a steady rock number, heavy on DIY attitude, but filled with infectious hooks. The guitars and drums crash down emphatically, matched by the band’s vocal performance. Perhaps my favorite thing is that the group are just banging out rock n’ roll hits; there’s no pretense, no BS, just swagger and hooks. Foreign Affairs will drop on May 11th.
Olden Yolk is a name you should be familiar with already, but if you’re just catching on, be warned that this is a record that seems destined to be in a lot of conversations for the remainder of 2018. I love how we get to glimpse the band finding their sound on this album, with Shane Butler taking over vocal duties on this latest ditty…though Caity Shaffer offers some solid vocal support. I love how intricate the guitar sounds, though I’m sure that’s just my lack of musical inclination…just has something spiritual about it. Be sure to keep your eye out for the band’s self-titled debut on February 23rd via Trouble In Mind.
The majority of early press for Olden Yolk probably relies around Shane Butler’s role in Quilt; that’s all well and good, seeing as it’s a good starting point. But, on the band’s latest single, it looks as if Caity Shaffer will get accolades…deservedly so. For the first half of the track, we get a sort of warped pop number, ringing guitars uplifting Shaffer’s voice all the way to the swell of the chorus. What struck me as the finest moment actually comes in at the 1:47 mark, completely changing the time and beat of the track…similar to what my faves Deep Time have done. It’s fleeting, but it’s an interesting touch that elevates the tune in some fashion. The group are set to release their self-titled album on Trouble In Mind on February 23rd.
Ever since Metalmania dropped a few years back, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of New Zealand’s Salad Boys. What I didn’t expect was a record that was good in every single way, and hopefully establishing the group as one of the stronger bands in the guitar pop realm. Take a song like “Psych Slasher;” it hits hard from the get go, rushing distorted jangling guitars, but just as you think the band are here brandishing a bursting tune, they pull it back, ever so slightly to reveal a soft blanket of pop. Overall, this is a balanced effort, from the spoken word stylings of “Scenic Route to Nowhere” to the bright jangling pop of “Under the Bed,” all indicating a band hitting peak form in songwriting. Press play below, and you won’t hear a bad tune; This Is Glue is available this Friday via Trouble In Mind.
When listening to this track, the knowledge that Olden Yolk is the project of Shane from Quilt might inform your listening. That’s well and good, but what you should also note is the indulgence in the true atmosphere of psychedelia crafted in the track below. Notes billow like smoke in a dimly lit room, with time taken to really let the guitar licks to find their own way into the world. The vocal performance is quite captivating as well, especially when joined by a heavy vocal accompaniment that’s sure to entrance you. The debut self-titled LP will be released by Trouble in Mind on February 23rd.
It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
We’re just about to wrap up the musical year with lists and all sorts of silly lines, but in looking ahead to next year, Salad Boys are high on my list of anticipated acts. We get a new tune from the band today in lieu of their impending This Is Glue. One of the things I’m most excited about is that the group seem to have fleshed out their style; this song has this youthful urgency in some of the vocal delivery, though it pulls back for a calming interlude that’s filled with melody and synths. They jump to the end with one more bit of ramshackle rock…and like me, you’ll be thirsting for more. The LP drops on January 19th via Trouble In Mind Records.