This week’s been a real struggle; I feel like it has to be Saturday, yet its Thursday? Whatever, I need to rock this day into gear, so I’ll turn us all towards this new Love Sport jam. It instantly feels like you’re out of control, as discordant guitar lines feel like they’re hurtling towards disaster. Then another guitar line comes in to settle things down, drive the song forward with intensity and purpose. Still, the vocals feel like they’re harnessing the band’s wild side, especially when the vocals get their backing reinforcement, often done in a euphoric howl. They’ll be releasing their excellent new And Justice for All LP on May 22nd via Soliti Music.
If your first introduction to LA’s Mamalarky was the riotous single “Fury” back in January, you might be surprised by their latest single, as it offers up a different view of the group…though one that’s always been part of their sound. This short number uses some of the same sharp guitar sounds ringing out, though they’re crafted in a jazzier progression, similar to what we’ve come to expect from bands like Dirty Projectors. Livvy’s vocal control is incredible, going for playful to soulful to angelic, all in the span of a few moments. The video is fun and spirited, starring Livvy herself using whatever she can for al little bit of classic air guitar work.
Okay, so this track’s probably a few days old by now, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw some support behind one of my favorite voices in indie rock, Murray Lightburn. On this new jam from the Dears, I definitely feel the power in his voice drawing me in, balancing his baritone with those rises to a higher note, matched by the softness of Natalia’s voice in all the right places. And, like much of their previous work, they use lush arrangements to add depth to every note, layering it on top of Murray’s acoustic guitar and Natalia’s piano lines; they still craft this orchestral rock magic that I’m drawn to nearly 20 years after I first heard them play. The band release their new record Lovers Rock next week!
Wire were originally planning to release 10:20 on Record Store Day this year, but like so many things, we’ve got to make adjustments, so they’re rescheduling the release for the end of June. But, that means they’ve got to tease our interest, as if they needed it, by offering up another single from the LP. This tune seems like just a good old-fashioned guitar pop song; it’s got a driving rhythm and this guitar line that seems to be running laps around my living room as we speak. Softened vocals from Newman caress the slightest hint of rough edges into these smooth little doses of pop for easy consumption. 10:20 is out on Pinkflag on June 19th.
My relationship with Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is sort of a trouble one; I know the band are capable of some really great singles, but I’ve never quite fawned over them as much as everyone else (I can just think of a few who might’ve done it better). Up through this current album cycle, I’ve been sitting on the sidelines, but “Falling Thunder” is a track that feels like this is the single I will put on all my playlists. I love how the vocals fall from the high notes during the chorus, crashing into me in this blissful pop moment. This doesn’t feel formulaic, and they’re playing up the vocal melody far more often than I feel like they normally do, which really benefits their craft. Sideways to New Italy is out on June 5th via Sub Pop.
I’m sure that Bad Moves wrote their latest single long before we found ourselves in this situation, but it definitely seems an appropriate hit for this world pandemic. It could just as easily work for our current political regime; we’ve all just been overwhelmed for the last four years. But, great music can set us all free! Enter Bad Moves, who seem to acknowledge that even at the world’s end we’re all still capable of having a good time. This is perhaps my favorite thing about the group, and always has been; they write these joyous pop tunes, disguising their messaging in the lyrics…you can be angry and still write a hook! Their new album Untenable will be out on 6/26 via Don Giovanni.
I’m really looking forward to the release of Darren Hayman‘s new album, Home Time, so when a new single pops up, you know damn well I’m going to throw a few words behind it. On this number, he’s spliced together footage from the band members various home videos during lockdown, done a nice little wash of colors and thrown it behind this beautiful song. It might be my favorite of the singles that have leaked their way into the world; I love the backing vocals from Laura K and Hannah Winter, perfectly adding harmonic layers to Haymans tunes…particularly the charm right before the 2 minute mark. Home Time is out May 22nd via Fika Recordings.
First, Devon Williams drops A Tear in the Fabric today after a six year hiatus; it’s a great collection of pop songwriting that’s unrivaled by most; you can stream it HERE, or buy it from the revered Slumberland Records. But, right now we’re here to share the video from one of the album’s standouts (they’re all standouts in my ear), “Borderline.” For many, this will be one of the easily accessible tunes, akin to Wild Nothing; it’s drenched in this wash of pulsing synth work and sharp guitar riffs, with Williams’ voice dancing around the track in unison with the pounding drums. Mike Cullen’s video matches that mood with these bright visual images, fading in and out of your screen; it’s like a kaleidoscope of pop sketches…kind of matching the collection of Devon’s work throughout the years. Love the song? Be sure to pick up A Tear in the Fabric today.
Fresh off the release of the wonderful Kebab Disco, Neutrals turned right around and dropped their Rent/Your House EP, with proceed going directly towards RAICES and Border Angels. Below you’ll find a fresh new video dropping today for the tune “Rent;” the video is made up of images of Scotland shot on Super 8 film by Sandy Carson and spliced together to match this track. It’s one of the shorter tracks on the record, rushing in rambunctiously like all hell’s breaking loose with only Allan’s voice steady enough to right the ship here. A quick little punky jaunt for a good cause? Stream the whole EP on Bandcamp!
We’ve covered Grand Union in the past, though it’s been a few years since we’ve heard from the Norwegian group; today they’ve got a brand new single to share with the world…and it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for this morning. It’s this huge traditional power pop sound, fueled by dueling guitar parts and great melodic vocals that float on the top of the mix. Slight little mood changes in the chorus offer up just the slightest wrinkle, with the lyrical kind standing up defiantly against the killing frost; you even get a nice little guitar solo flare too, just so the band can flex their musical muscles. But, like all great pop songs, it gets out of its own way and closes in less than 3 minutes, leaving you refreshed, and perhaps, going back for more. Oh, and if you want another charmer, you should check the B-Side for this single HERE.