I’d like you set aside 8 minutes of your time to listen to the brand new track from Dark Tea. Last year, Gary Canino and his project released a self-titled album, and it seems there’s a brand new effort on the not so distant horizon. I love how the song opens with this muted strum dueling with a Western-meandering slide guitar; it sets up the latter half of the song perfectly, building a landscape for what’s in store. Eventually, that cascading guitar gets darker and the air gets heavier; there’s an ominous tone that leads towards this restrained freakout…fuzzy guitars, repeated vocal lines…just drifting into the ether. For now, this is all we have, but rest assured a new LP is on the way at some point via Fire Talk.
Alabama’s Wray are a new act on my radar, as of today, and I’m grateful that this ear candy finally worked its way into listening rotation. Throughout the tune, the band use a steady backbeat, propulsive in nature, adding just the slightest hint of energy to a tune that stretches beyond 6 minutes. There’s a wash that coats the song, though it wavers between a foggy sensation and a glittering sparkle in the distance. It’d be easy to pigeonhole this as mere shoegaze/dream pop, but it felt more like a spiritual journey, like a musical out-of-body experience…perhaps you’re in need of such a journey. The band will release Stream of Youth/Blank World on June 5th via Earth Libraries.
Honestly, I have no idea who Alex Izenberg is, but I’m going to spend today correcting that mishap by listening to his debut, Harlequin; for now, I’m stuck on this new gem he’s just dropped. He’s got this soulful croon to his vocals, and the song itself seems drenched in R&B rhythms. There’s all these little nuances lurking in the nooks and crannies, which elevates the song’s emotional pull, not to mention making it every bit as current as anything else you’re likely to hear; it’s one of those tunes straddling the past and the present. This tune appears on a new 7″ available from Domino Recording Co.
Honestly, as I was reading about Francis of Delirium, I realized I hadn’t really heard of bands from Luxembourg (there’s this fun list to browse). But, this duo would likely fit into any scene anywhere in the world; it’s a blend of the introspective rock and anthemic pop that we all secretly crave. For me, there’s a nostalgic feel in the guitar notes, almost like they’re ripped straight from some classic 90s band, then dolled up for the swelling burst of euphoria that crashes down through the chorus. Jana Bahrich does brilliantly, contrasting the quiet personal moments with bold brightness; I was particularly drawn to the emphatic closing, almost angrily pushing the song to a close. It’s a pretty special introduction to the band, and should turn your attention towards their All Change EP slated for release this summer.
Calum Newsom used to play with Amyl and the Sniffers, which should warrant your attention, though his sound under his Candy moniker is far different, if you ask me. This tune’s much less punk, and much more pop oriented; the bass line alone just reeks of folks looking to kick up their heels and have a blast. Honestly, there’s an understated jingle to it, which makes me think fondly of the early stuff from the Drums. It’s Monday, about to get rainy, so may as well hold onto some dreamy pop vibes before the day descends further into darkness.
Dias Raros comes out on May 1st, and if you’re not paying attention to Melenas right now, tienes un mes para preparar! What I’m trying to say is that the band is set to drop one of the best pop records you’re going to hear this year, I swear it. Their sound on the latest single is steeped in nostalgic pop vibes; the chords are spritely and jangly, with a steady vocal coursing through the song’s entirety. It’s like they’re the coolest thing on the Earth and don’t even care; they just throw this melody-induced jangler out there with indifference, forcing listeners to tap their toes. Don’t you want to tap your toes? If so, grab Dias Raros from Trouble in Mind Records.
It’s been a minute or two since we last heard from Zachary Vito. Last year, in fact. But, he has found himself stranded in California amidst the current crisis, and what’s an artist to but write a great song. He’s holed up with his new roommate Casey Golden, so they’ve pieced together some footage and offer you this really delicate pop ballad. I love how the guitar sounds solemn and sunny all at once, but mostly I’m in love with Vito’s vocal performance on this one. There’s this warmth and intimacy, it reminds me of singing to my daughter late at night, quietly letting listeners drift into their own headspace. Vito’s calling this a demo, as he hopes to go back and re-recod the tune when times are better for us all…but if you ask me, not much needs to be done here.
There are tons of great records on the slate for this Spring, but one that’s really high on my personal list is the forthcoming Feral LP from Australia’s RVG. I’ve been raving about the band for years, and they were my favorite SXSW acts two years ago…and now we’ve got a new tune. I was hooked immediately, as this has that sort of muted surf vibe opening into these crisp guitar lines that hop about your earholes. Romy’s vocals have a calming influence on the guitar, with the two elements trading the song’s focus back and forth. Another promising single from a record I’m sure to love; Feral is out on April 24th via Fire Recordings.
We here in Austin have known about how much you’ll love Why Bonnie for some time, and now that they’ve got a new EP on the horizon, it’s only fair that we hip you all to that too…in case you hadn’t heard. Perhaps my favorite thing about this single is how it illustrates the band’s ability to move between their quieter inclinations to full on raucous moments; it perfectly captures their live force, which isn’t always easy to pull off. I think the song’s fade out also adds a nice little layer, putting the finer details into tune with little odd notes like bending strings and violin accompaniment. Voice Box is out April 10th via Fat Possum Records.
While “Sick Days” was likely written before this coronavirus pandemic, the new video from Sleuth comes at an apt time, particularly in the way it was recorded, with each member filming while in isolation. You’ll likely find some similar ground if you’re laying low and staying safe. Musically, the song has this casual bounce at the get-go, like happily plodding along and telling stories with an old friend. At the 1:16 mark, the song jumps off and gets a touch boisterous, using gang vocals to build up the song’s exuberant nature. It’s a great song, with a relatable video; you’ll find the track on their new album Gold, which is scheduled to drop on May 29th via Lost Sound Tapes/Jigsaw Records.