Cold weather is creeping in through my window, and I’m trying to hold onto every extra ounce of energy possible over here, which is great since there’s this Hot Shorts video to share with you. It’s a quick pop ditty, opening up with muted guitar riffs and vocals for a good thirty seconds or so. Drums drop in, the song bursts off with this anthemic chorus that you’ll find yourself screaming in a matter of seconds. It’s a no frills pop rocking journey that ends just as soon as its started, so press repeat. Or better yet, go buy I Understand and I Wish to Continue via Icecapades Records.
I honestly didn’t think that I could have a better Thursday, and then this Spinning Coin ditty popped right into my life. Having loved the pop tilt-a-whirl that was 2017 Permo, I had high high expectations…but this my friends, this is the tops. There’s so much to unpack, and I’m kind of freaking out. The vocals have multiple layers, rising to this crackling fragility, returning to this almost playful operatic vibe, and all the while able to coolly slide back in with some “do do do dos” to leave you hooked. In the guitar work, you get this magical twirling, as if you’re spinning about in a huge expanse of knee-high grass without a care in the world. It’s all magic, and then the backing vocals just push you over the edge of the pop cliff, leaving you joyously tumbling into a warm bed of melody. Hyacinth will be released by Domino imprint Geographic in February of last year.
Just a bit ago, Death Valley Girls dropped their excellent new LP, Darkness Rains, and while they just got back from a stint with the Distillers, they’re making their way across the States again with Crocodiles, stopping in Austin for Levitation Festival. The video fits today perfectly, splicing live footage of the band with horror flicks. But, more importantly, you’ll find the charm of the band in this particular tune. It’s heavy and playfully spooky, but being me, I always gravitate towards the really bright pop moments in their songs, like the semi-angelic seance of a chorus on this one. Just trying to spotlight all the great acts coming to Austin next week, but if you’re not here, check out their LP, available now via Suicide Squeeze Records.
Pretty sure I’ve been waiting for this new Blues Lawyer LP for my whole life, or at least it seems that way. Somehow the Bay Area four-piece craft these insanely catchy pop songs with a little bit of the traditional slacker/DIY ethos. There just always seems to be this influx of energy and sugar in their songs; they inevitably bounce around my head for hours after they’ve been played…a sure fire sign of a hit if you ask me. There’s all sort of pigeonholing you could do here too; jagged riffs, male/female vocal interplay, etc, but why not just let ourselves have some fun with our music all over again? This tune is off the group’s new LP, Something Different, out November 8th via Mt. St. Mtn.
I was stumbling through the pages of shows for the week, trying to map out my week, and in doing so, I came across this band MILLY; I’d heard about the band from the Dangerbird Microdose series, so I just sort of dug in and really fell in love with this tune. The band play tonight at Empire Control Room here in Austin. It’s definitely got this vibe that’s on par with what I’ve been listening to the last few months; it has this intimacy, with multiple vocalists playing a role in the song. I love that, but I’m also drawn to the fact that it has this feeling like we’re all sort of fading away, disappearing into the pieces of matter, shattered by the ringing of the guitars here. It’s a cool vibe, so get on it.
Dehd have been high upon my list of great acts to hit the ground running in 2019; their Water LP (Fire Talk) garnered lots of raves. And, just when you think you know a band, they go and grow into something bigger and more badass; you can still here the slight surfy jangle hanging out here, but it’s spun entire differently. This track, and the accompanying video, belongs to Emily Kempf and her performance. She takes her vocals to the next level, skirting around the edges of traditional pop superstars by adding just the faintest gruff texture to her deliver. I’ll take new songs from this band any day.
A few weeks ago, I went out of my way to encourage you to listen to Olivia’s World and their latest track; I even vaguely reference Rose M’s participation, but I suppose if you don’t come out and say it, no one’s like to do the research. Alas, the band’s back with a video for the tune, so maybe that’s a chance to get you caught back up in the joy of this tune…plus, for what its worth, this track belongs on repeat all day. I kind of figure that folks are getting back into the jangle a little, or maybe they’re just going to look into the band’s current Aussie locale as reason to get in on the tune. Regardless, the track rules, and it’ll be released on the new EP, out October 25th via Lost Sound Tapes.
Not so long ago I was really digging on the first single from Behavior‘s forthcoming Spirits and Embellishments record, so I’m coming back to the group to see they dropped another tune from the LP. Something in the band’s sound is so very hypnotic; in this tune it seems to be the stationary guitar riffs and that deepened thump of the percussion that has this almost animalistic nature to it. It allows for the vocals to sort of just hang out, take on this indifferent persona that radiates LA cool; it’s like the band doesn’t really give a fuck what your musical expectations are, and in that, they draw you into their little circle. I’m looking forward to this LP; it drops next week via Post Present Medium.
I don’t often gravitate towards live performance recordings, but it seems fitting considering the aims of Avery Hellman’s project, Ismay. The debut LP is filled with various field recordings and the trickling of nature, perhaps an homage to Hellman’s rural California upbringing, or perhaps just the lifeblood of humanity. For me, I was drawn to two things in this track: the vocals and the fingerpicking. The vocal delivery and storytelling reminds me of early Joanna Newsom; it’s distinctive and sort of takes on its own soul as notes land emphatically here and there, sort of rising and falling with each breath…not to mention the crystalline rise in pitch. In regards to the fingerpicking style, it helps the vocal delivery, sort of giving it a natural rhythm, or perhaps its the other way around; the accent from the fiddle/violin is an added bonus. This tune appears on Songs of Sonoma Mountain, out in February of 2020.
If ever there was a non-punk version of Parquet Courts, then that award would go to this brand new track from Good Morning, off their new LP. It’s weird, it has one foot in that sort of nonchalant cool, while also kind of looking back upon the dreaded “dole-wave” sound of the band’s homeland; I can even here parts, however, that sound an awful lot like they just picked up where Beat Happening left off. You just don’t come by good consistent pop bands nowadays, but this bunch has been doing it for sometime. Speaking of, today they release Basketball Breakups, and they’ll be in North America at the end of the month…so sample these tunes before they come to the streets of your town.