Evan Myall has spent the better part of the last decade in Sleepy Sun, but we’re here to focus on his solo work today, as he readies the release of a new LP in May. It’s a pretty gentle pop ballad, working with a steady bounce from the drum beat and a nice melodic vocal that winds its way around the instrumentation. I loved that the string arrangements, building in the song’s lushness, came in almost instantly; they gave the song this depth and elegance that permeates through its entirety. His self-titled album is being released on May 8th via Royal Oakie.
Back when Mint Field released Pasar de las Luces the band was living in Tijuana, crafting these spaced-out psychedelic tunes; they were one of the highlights of my 2018 SXSW. Now, they’ve moved to Mexico City, signed to Felte Records and prepared a brand new single for us. Our first listen has some obvious changes in the band’s sound, though not entirely stepping away form where we first heard them. Here, they’ve sort of flipped the script…instead of filling the negative space with atmospherics and noise, they’ve just left it completely open, letting the notes resonate in that emptiness. There’s a burst of their old selves coming through at the 2 minute mark, but the song seems to move in a more meditative state, much like the tune’s accompanying video. Still, as interesting as ever.
If you listen to the latest single from Katie Von Schleicher, your enjoyment is going to be two-fold. First, Katie and director V Haddad are donating their budget for this video to Safe Horizon (providing support/promotion justice to victims of domestic violence); this especially important considering that abuse often goes unnoticed and unreported during a situation like our current quarantine. Second, the song’s another great tune from the forthcoming Consummation LP; I think I was already hooked upon hearing that angular guitar chugging away in the front of the mix, all before Von Schleicher even entered the picture with her smoky vocal charms. The video’s a lot of fun, capturing women/non-binary artists remotely capturing simple joys to the sound of the song; I’m surprised we’re not seeing more videos like this at the moment! The new LP is out May 22nd via Ba Da Bing.
A few years ago, Christelle Bofale seeming came out of nowhere and dropped this brilliant Swim Team EP in the middle of Austin that had me floored. She released her single “Miles” a bit ago, and we were more than happy to cover it then, but why not encourage you to enjoy the visual representation of the song. I love the solemnity of the solo scenes in the clip versus the joyousness of the group shots, perhaps a nod to the thematic element that our friends/communities give us life. Just felt like you should listen to this song as many times as possible, so here we are. And, if you haven’t heard Swim Team, now is as good a time as any to enjoy it…available from Father Daughter Records.
One of the great things about the new Melenas (formerly Melons) LP is that the group managed to craft an entire LP that’s as diverse and deep as you’re likely to hear this Spring. Inside Dias Raros you’ll find some spinning pop numbers, some moderate rockers, a slow burn or two…and some spots that incorporate them all beneath a dense psychedelic haze…which is the song we’re sharing today. It opens with this propulsive kraut beat, pushing the song as these synth lines craft this wobbly-wonk that almost has you bobbing up and down as the melody via the vocals joins you. Eventually, they move into a dense fog of lush arrangements with the core pop sensibility remaining part of the whole; it’s a lovely sound which I’m told nods to a Spanish Stereolab. Their album drops on May 8th digitally via Trouble in Mind, with a debut in shops about a month later.
Pure Protein has deep roots in the Mississippi music scene that gave us such acts as Dent May and Dead Gaze (among others), but M.W. Powell left the comforts of home to forge his own path out in California. On his latest single he steps into the territory where bedroom pop and dreaminess intertwine, though the melodies you’re hearing probably owe more to Powell’s fondness for 90s pop rock hits (it also reminds me of Denver Dalley’s Statistics project). The recording captures this intimacy you want from your favorite songwriters, though the chorus moments like “I’ll just pass out in the park” really dig their industrious pop claws into your skin. You’ll be able to get your hands on Winner Goes Home, the debut album from Pure Protein on May 8th.
Listening through this week, I realize I’ve got to keep bouncing around genres; it’s possibly the only thing keeping me sane, moving back and forth and back again. For me, Tidy is hitting the spot today with their brand of pop punk harkening to my favorite period of late 90s emo stylings. There’s an earnestness to the songwriting, like you’re hurdling towards the end of times (aren’t we?) and you’ve given up being afraid. The vocals are melodic, yet when pushed they have just the faintest harshness to make punk fanboys feel included. These Canadians will be releasing their Trying EP this Summer!
A sophomore albums is always a struggle; you’re going to second guess yourself, question whether or not you’ve topped what came before. Or at least, that’s how I imagine it from behind my computer screen. For Mark Allen Piccolo, it seems he’s less interested in “topping” his debut, but rather maneuvering his songwriting in a different direction; he chose to layer each song on his daily commute to school in California, forcing him to build each track bit by bit. What that leaves us with is this multi-layered tune, begging to peel back loops and beats to reveal the central melody that courses through; it’s like Beck, if only he’d been weirder and less into Scientology. Just be sure to leave careful breadcrumbs, as its easy to find yourself lost in the rich musical tapestry Piccolo has crafted here. You’re going to get similar results too by picking up Word of the Day; out May 1st via BotCave Records.
Next week we’ll all finally get to hear the long awaited sophomore LP from RVG, one of the band’s I’ve been raving about for the last few years. Today they share their video for “Perfect Day,” which is just this huge twinkling pop song. The song uses these sharp guitar chords that seem to shine right through your speaker with Romy working her lyrical charms. One of the things I’m starting to notice with the collections of songs we’ve heard is how clean they sound, and I do mean that in a good way; it’s like the group just upped their pop sensibility with sights on being the biggest pop act in Australia. Feral is out April 24th via Fire Recordings. Oh…and the great video was shot by Geoffrey O’Connor of Crayon Fields fame!
Earlier on in the year, Zachman released their latest EP, Patterns; it was a collection of four songs that showed the band pushing themselves to expand into their various musical tastes. For me, I love Johnny Zachman’s voice; it has this faint Ben Gibbard vibe that makes it constantly feel like home when you’re listening…as is the case in this tune “Outsiders.” Still, their music isn’t exactly an homage, there’s a harshness and exploration within the confines of the tune, like what occurs at the 50 (and 1:56) second mark. They’ve also outdone themselves with the video treatment here, building a storyline to match the music made entirely of ads from drive-in movies. Be sure to check out the whole EP HERE.