There’s not pigeonholing the Hecks, and I think we’re all better off for that. We’ve heard a couple of tunes off their forthcoming album, My Star. A quick listen might show the band as a fun times no-wave pop spectacle, but that’s precisely why I think you’ve got to listen to “Heat Wave.” This track broods and pulses; it’s washed in fuzzy electronics with the vocals riding the vibe in a purely indifferent fashion. As any aficionado of pop would tell you, the sounds on this track, old or new, just sound like what it would be like if we were all real cool. The band moves and shifts, so there’s really no telling what their LP will bring you going forward, but we’ll know when it drops on October 11th courtesy of Trouble in Mind.
I really love how the new stuff from this forthcoming Hecks record has me guessing at every corner; they easily have me outsmarted. I spent the first minute and a half of this new single think this is what Shellac would sound like if Steve wanted to write a dance record. But, eventually, the synth work sneaks into the song, sort of washing out the balance of this angular riffs and smoothing out the vocals into this retro R&B vibe from the MTV era. Then all of a sudden it becomes this eccentric jam breakdown throwing everything (including the kitchen sink) into the mix and coming out on top with this funky coda. This is the 3-in-1 pop song that has you coming back for more; it’ll be on My Star, dropped by the kind folks over at Trouble in Mind on October 11th.
Okay, so maybe this Possible Humans isn’t exactly a reissue, per se, but maybe just a world-wide release so you can all enjoy what those 200 folks over in Australia were able to get their hands on back in April. Everybody Split garnered raves from P4k, and of course, ever with a finger on the Aussie pulse, Trouble in Mind jumped on board to give the band’s debut a broader release. All that leads us to the track below; it’s different than say your Twerps or your RBCF, at least here. Weirdly, this track sounds an awful lot like what GBV would sound like if they found/wanted a proper studio recording; the chords (both guitar and vocals) sound worn out, like their on their last breath. That modest pace builds the tension, allowing for the song’s latter half to really let the guitars/vocals free, taking off on their own before returning home. If you have this LP, you’re lucky, but if not, TiM has you covered on August 2nd.
Rays already won me over with their 2017 self-titled debut, so it makes sense that I’d already be prepping my wallet for an adventure to the local shop to pick up their newest. But, it’s not out for a bit still, so we can just enjoy the brand new song they’ve just dropped. This track steps in line with the claim that the Cali outfit have refined their sound a touch, looking more at TV Personalities and Cleaners than perhaps their earlier work suggested. I still love how the guitar seems to twinkle in the midst of all the sonic madness; that’s not turn our heads from the matter of fact vocal delivery, offering a certain sense of calm amidst the frantic bounce. You Can Get There From Here drops on November 9th via Trouble In Mind.
If you weren’t convinced by the first single from The Shifters we shared with you, then perhaps you’ll realize what you’ve been missing with their latest. Listening through again and again, the song works like a polished version of Television Personalities; it employs bits of humor and constant melody. The chorus offers a nice turn in the track, utilizing backing vocals to further entice listeners with pop sensibility. For me, the band’s success (and its on display in this video) is that there’s a sense of enjoyment that seeps through your speakers; you can feel the band having a blast, perhaps leading to you sharing the same sentiment in listening. Have a Cunning Plan is out September 21st via Trouble In Mind.
If you’re one of those that think’s guitar pop is out of fashion, then perhaps you should take a moment to sit back and listen to this new track from Connections. There’s a slight jangling shuffle to the guitar, while the rhythm section steadies the ship. It’s like a super casual Teenage Fanclub just came over to play you their demos without throwing full force on the distortion pedal; even the melodic presentation of the vocals harkens to the purest of power pop. Don’t worry, they throw in a quick little guitar solo, just to show you they can. The band will drop Foreign Affairs via Trouble In Mind on May 11th.
In a year where Trouble In Mind seemingly can do no wrong, we’ve now got another track from the label’s latest signing, The Love-Birds. This song has these rising and falling guitar chords, leaving plenty of space for the vocals to do the same. I like how the slight jangling turns into a more distorted cascade of noise as the song unfolds into a close. The vocals also carry a slight rasp/warble, forcing the listener into close attention…begging you to dive into the content. Pretty impressed with the way this band’s evolving; their debut In The Lover’s Corner will drop on May 25th.
You’re going to have to face it; there’s really nothing out there like Sunwatchers at the moment. Sure, you had hints of the psychedelic noise with late Mars Volta, but it never delved into the realms of free-form jazz like this bunch does with their keys/sax work. Plus, while other acts of the same ilk seem to rely upon over-indulgence, or jamming, everything about this latest single reeks of purpose. The guitar line slithers about from the get-go, backed by the drums, awaiting the arrival of the keys; eventually the sax joins in and they break all confines of modern pop structures. If you’re willing to take a chance on rocking outside the norm, then be sure to grab II from Trouble In Mind Records on February 2nd.
While we were out galavanting at ACL, this Salad Boys tune quietly dropped in our laps, and regardless of who covered it then, I’m tossing it up today. Metalmania went largely unnoticed, but that mostly has to do with our own poor efforts, as it clearly was a notable release in my book. Now the New Zealand act are prepping This Is Glue, and if ever there was a modern band that encompassed the region, well, then this surely would be it; listen to the way that guitar runs in circles around your inner ear, matched by a sublime soft melody. Look for the new LP to drop on January 19th of the next year via Trouble In Mind (who else)!
There are some musicians that inevitably supercede all others, and when new music arrives you stream it, buy it, play it over and over. Such is my interaction with Greg Ashley, who has just announced the release of a new album. Our first listen has him working out some broader musical territory; he opens with some careful guitar picking and soft vocals, then moving into an almost lounge exploration of balladry. This would be enough to grab me, but he continues his expansion with a heavy handed eruption that wraps up the tune. You know you’ll find me playing his new Pictures of Saint Paul Street quite frequently when it’s released by Trouble in Mind on June 30th.