When you first hear the heavy country vibe from the new Pink Chameleons tune, you immediately feel the weight of the song; it’s a nod to a classic sound where ballads ripped emotions from your soul. But, here you find the band turning a slightly brighter corner during the chorus, almost lifting the listener out of their chair…spiritually of course. It’s a pretty high standard the new group have set for themselves, but with a debut album on the horizon, it seems this tune could be a benchmark for the greatness that is to follow. The current single is available from Finland’s finest, Soliti.
It’s always good to have a band on your radar as reliable as Herzog; they seem to consistently release music that you know you’re going to love…and their new single isn’t going to let you down. The track has this alt-country twang to the guitars, though there’s still plenty of crunchy riffs in the band’s delivery; it’s a mash-up of indie and country, without sounding like Americana, more like warm power-pop. The video accompanying the lead single is quite sad with the central figure ending his night alone atop his skateboard with LP in hand; it’s a hard knock life kid. Me vs You, their first album in five years, drops on February 22nd.
Okay, so a version of this song has been floating around for a bit, but now we’ve got this version and its accompanying, with the announcement that the song will appear on the new Le Superhomard LP! It’s a pulsating electro-leaning indiepop jam from the French outfit, with nods to their influences like Air and Stereolab. Plus, the brand new video seems perfectly with the star of the video being none other than a “paper girl,” along with other striking visuals. Meadow Lane Park will be released by Elefant Records on February 22nd, and hopefully it gets a great deal of much-deserved coverage.
El Palacio de Linares already have me in their corner, but I’m diving full in on the band’s forthcoming effort, Largos Agotadores. Once their latest single starts, there’s a quick verse before we’re thrust forward in these upbeat twanging guitar lines and precision percussion. As the song moves, I’m repeatedly charmed by the band’s combination of male/female vocals; it completely captures that emotional appeal that so often makes music timeless in its presentation. And, just because they like to toy with your emotions, the band pull back momentarily to work the vocal atop a lightly strummed guitar, just before bounding off happily. The group’s new effort will drop on January 31st via Pretty Olivia Records.
If there’s one thing last year’s SXSW showed us it was that Stella Donnelly has a bright career in front of her. She could hold a room on her own with her presence, but more important was her biting wit. She’s not afraid to call people out in song, but she doesn’t do it in a fashion one would find laborious. In her first single from her debut, she’s calling out men and their inappropriate behavior; I appreciate how she approaches her views through a certain pop sensibility, stuck in your head all day and forcing you to listen to what she has to say. Beware of the Dogs will be out on March 8th via Secretly Canadian.
Sharon Van Etten is poised for great things in 2019, at least if you read all the cool blogs and what not. I’ve always enjoyed her work, but I’m admittedly on the fence with the new sound. Her voice has always had this emotional sprawl and surprising range, but that’s always been draped over some great guitar work. This time around, the vocals have the same power, but there’s less guitar and more prominent electronics. It still pulls at your emotions, and Van Etten can still draw you in on her voice alone, but, I just am not connecting like I once did. But, who am I to say…make your own choices. You can do that when Remind Me Tomorrow drops on January 18th via Jagjaguwar.
Hemhora and the Glass Band is a conglomerate pop group, made up of various members of Heligoats and Hungry Mountain. Together, these members are crafting dramatic pop music, built to maximize emotion for every listener. How’s that done? Well, you’ve got to take care with the song’s craft, from rolling notes of bells or strings being carefully plucked, it all builds upon itself, allowing the vocals really bring things home. Speaking of the vocals, they walk the fine line between Eef Barzelay and Travis Morrison, so it has this traditional folk feel with just the slightest bit of oddity, continuing the band’s draw for listeners. You’ll find enjoyment below, and if that is indeed the case, then might you consider picking up their Helix Pattern Blues via Greyday Records.
If Tullycraft isn’t on your radar, and you consider yourself a pop fan, please go back and revisit the band’s catalog (I’m particularly fond of Disenchanted Hearts Unite). Now, more to the point is the charming new single they just dropped to celebrate their forthcoming album, The Railway Prince Hotel. It comes with a wonderful animated video, matching the playful mood of the track itself. Sean offers up the majority of the vocals, but don’t worry, as the sound wouldn’t be complete without Jenny in there to make sure Sean doesn’t get too much of the pop sensibility credit. Couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up a week than with this here tune; look for the new LP in February via HHBTM.
I was tempted to write this entire post in Spanish, but the red lines from my spell check were driving me crazy. This is the second single from Juan Wauter‘s new album, La Onda de Juan Pablo, with this song revolving around a stop in Mexico City. If you’ve spent any time in the city, or the country, you might recognize some of the signature sounds filtering through Wauter’s tune, like the stellar accordion; it also just feels like being in that city, lively and calm all at once. While the whole album is in Spanish, you’ve got to give to Juan for going out on a limb and tracing his Latin roots and spinning it into accessible tunes. The new album will drop at the end of January via Captured Tracks.
Portland’s Shadowgraphs are about to drop their newest album this Friday, but what better time than the present to drop another single from that LP. In my repeated listens, I can definitely hear the band’s psychedelic influences shining through, particularly in the last few moments of the video. But, peel that away for a minute and imagine someone like J. Spaceman jamming out with a huge dollop of pop sensibility, and you’ll have a perfect way to picture the band. There’s this natural driving force behind it, with the vocals constantly seeming like they’re trying to escape the video through your speakers and slink into your living space. Another Time hits on Friday via Golden Brown Records, so grab it while its hot.