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.
I don’t know how many of you are paying attention, but if you’re not listening to Benjamin Woods and his project, The Golden Dregs, then you really are missing out on something special. The last single from the forthcoming Hope is for the Hopeless has him channeling something darkly beautiful, something along the lines of Cohen or Cave…and its not just the baritone speaking. My favorite line comes around 2:30: “and the Jesus on the dashboard is shaking/cause he knows there’s no way home.” But, this isn’t all clever word play and idealistic homage, there’s some incredible craftsmanship, particularly in the way the tinkering piano moves into the more prominent performance just after the 3 minute mark. The LP is out on September 27th and you’ll be sorry you don’t have it, if that happens to be the case.
There aren’t a whole lot of artists that I think are universally revered, but I know that Jeffrey Lewis has long been one such musician, at least in the circles I run about. He’s a wordsmith at heart with this dry sense of self-deprecating (for mankind) humor, with some similarities to the likes of John Darnielle mentioned often. His new album will be handled under the name of Jeffrey Lewis & the Voltage; the Voltage seems apt as there’s definitely some sonic oomph added to this first single; Lewis’ role is much as it’s always been, all the way down to his deliver, but that energetic blast is an interesting twist…or at least one I never noticed before for some reason. Lewis has found himself a US home for the release of Bad Wiring, dropping on November 1st via Don Giovanni.
Two of my favorite voices from Australia, Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton, are teaming up again to release their 3rd album working together; they’ve both released wonderful solo records this year as well. In this video, the duo seem to be having a dinner party, built around the making of pasta with a bunch of pals. Emma takes the reins on the vocal duties for this number, with slight backing vocals provided during the chorus. The subject matter here involves self-love, and the inevitable drive to get out of bed and seek it out. Their new album is titled Take the Reigns, and it will be released by Osborne Again/Bobo Integral on October 18th.
This post gets to be the first of the day because the song’s been out for 24 hours and has popped up where all the cool kids gravitate. Normally I stay away from such things, but I’ve always sort of felt like the Comet Gain were simply a band solely for me. I can still remember the first time I stumbled upon Casino Classics in a chat room for nerds in the late 90s. I still say City Fallen Leaves is my favorite. Alas, the new stuff. I think my favorite on the new LP is “Bad Nite at the Mustache,” but the chorus on “Mid 8Ts” is just so striking that its bound to get stuck in your head all day long. Listening now, I just don’t get how more people don’t adore the fuck out of this band. Just go listen. Fireraiser Forever is out October 11th via Tapete Records.
At the moment, two labels I can always look to for solid releases are Meritorio Records and Kingfisherbluez; they’ve teamed up together to release the new LP from Ontario’s Capitol. Honestly, this video’s opening 20 seconds grabbed me; it was as if I was hearing the track from the other room; it was a teaser that opened up into this dreamy jangling guitar line bouncing right into my heart. That guitar continues along, mingling with this slightly hazy vibe that walks the tightrope between dream pop and shoegaze. But, what I have been gravitating towards is the deepness in the vocals; it sounds weird, but they sort of resemble Matt from the National…I wouldn’t expect it to work but it totally does. Doesn’t hurt that the video’s a lyric film disguised as a karaoke scene. Good tunes are hard to come by, so turn to labels you trust; these two great labels will release Dream Noise on October 25th!
I’m a sucker for singles; I get songs stuck way inside my head, like the latest single from Brooklyn’s Shadow Monster. For a two piece, this tune packs a lot of punch, a combination of the distortion ringing out from Gillian Visco’s guitar and the crashing cymbal (and fill) work put down by drummer John Swanson. Visco has this softness to her voice, also present in the guitar notes beneath the first layer of fuzz; it builds this slow moving tension, moving back and forth like a pendulum of impending release. Just at the two minute mark we get that glorious emotional release (somehow it sent me down a Get Up Kids wormhole), but it’s a glorious way to close out with some cacophony. The band will release their album Punching Bag via Dadstache Records on October 11th.
They’ll be celebrating the release of this new single at Our Wicked Lady in Brooklyn on 9/4.
As I was sitting down to listen to this song, I was imagining myself dancing around my living room, entertaining the wee 1 year old that crawls about our house; it has an energetic uptick in the sample percussion. But, when Chris Stewart’s vocals come into play, they’re heavy and dark; they almost evaporate that pop sensibility in the best possible sense. It creates this great juxtaposition that definitely lands well on my end, straddling the highs and lows of music, much like we do in life. To me, this feels like the most intimate Black Marble album to date, so it’s not surprise that it is being handled by Sacred Bones Records; they’ll release Bigger Than Life on October 25th.
I’m pretty anxiously awaiting the US arrival of Good Morning; I’ve been jamming to the band for several years, and this will the first time to step foot on our soil (as a band anyways). It looks like they’ll be doing so with a new record, their second this year, in tow, as today they announce Basketball Breakups with a brand new single. This song and its accompanying video are equally charming. The guitars have this tornado of light jangle working around the casual vocal delivery; the video is entirely filmed inside an IKEA, though I’m a bit bummed they didn’t seem to sample the meatballs. Some bands get prolific and then they get boring, but Good Morning seems to be taking it all in stride, and our ears are better for it. Their US tour runs from October thru November.
Back in 2018, HOLY released All These Worlds Are Yours; it was this kaleidoscope of pop that seemed about as near as perfect as one was like to find. Now, the project is back with a brand new single, one that hopefully leads into an album at some point. This go round, it’s less an amalgam of pop influences, and more just straight pop songwriting, almost an homage to lounge singers. It most recently seems like something Jonathan Bree might offer up, being melodic and charming while also demonstrating a slight flare for fantastic. Hannes Ferm’s artistic touch is always stunning in my opinion, so fingers crossed for more real soon.