There’s this building tranquility in the forthcoming LP from John Mark Lapham’s Old Fire project, and perhaps no track on the album better epitomizes that than this carefully constructed new single, featuring Julia Holter. Everything about this tune feels like slow-motion, like some sort of glitch in the matrix where you can see/hear the goings-on, but only watch from your window. Julia’s voice is actually a sample Lapham used from “World,” but he’s almost made it robotic, which only increases the solitude of the vocal in the midst of this ever expansive tune. It’s really a quieting journey you won’t want to skip in this chaotic mess of a world. Voids will be out on November 4th via Western Vinyl.
John Mark Lapham has teamed up with a bunch of our favorite vocalists to flesh out his latest Old Fire project, with participation from the likes of Adam Torres, Emily Cross…and as you’ll see below, Bill Callahan. While the song is a cover of the underrated John Martyn, I think the composition, film work and Callahan give the song a complete makeover. For starters, the black and white imagery leaves you emotionally naked while watching, as if it’s you being buried beneath the dirt in the video clip. The piano and string work add to the drama, but ultimately Bill’s voice just hits you. There’s something about those deep tones, a sweetness whose melody seems like a light turned on in the darkest of tunnels. I get the feeling we’re in for a moving collection when Old Fire releases Voids in November via Western Vinyl.
Everyone needs a crunchy indie rock tune in their day, and you’re not going to find a better one than this new Wilder Maker track, featuring V.V. Lightbody on lead vocals. On my first few listens, the song has this sort of nostalgic rock vibe, like an updated version on what attracted us to Fleetwood Mac. As the tune moves on, there’s this understated little band from the riffs, channeling good old classic indie rock vibes…the sort that get your feet stomping and your hands clapping. V.V. Lightbody’s performance is perfect for the track too; they add in this sort of smokiness that’s brimming with confidence. I love when the vocals and the drum seem to kind of snap into place together, picking up the energetic tick just a bit, at least in my old ears. Male Models will be out next week via Western Vinyl.
Feel like we delved into some heavier notes this morning, so reckon I should toss in something a little gentler, a little mid-morning cleanser of sorts. This new Lean Year tune is striking, and there’s really not another cliche way to spin that. For starters, the setting of the song is this stark atmosphere, a sort of warbling synth builds the backbone, with a bare piano twinkling as strings work into the fold. Emilie Rex’s vocal performance is brilliant, especially as it hits the 4 minute mark; she has these notes that seem to cut right through you, though they still maintain this element of fragility and nakedness. Combined, you have this moving piece that feels like it touches on the grief that surrounds their new album, Sides; it’s out on September 2nd via Western Vinyl.
We’ve been covering Wilder Maker for several years now, and I’m really excited with their new album, Male Models, being announced, courtesy of our friends over at Western Vinyl. Gabe Birnbaum’s songwriting and lyricism is something we should all cherish, but what they’re doing in this track really sees the band hitting their musical stride as a whole…with an added bonus performance by Katie Von Schleicher. In a way, it reminds me a lot of the Glands or something in Jason Lytle’s solo catalog; it’s rooted in this almost Southern spirit, tinged with boogie, but not afraid to try and push those boundaries into weird pop realms. Male Models drops on July 29th.
Nightlands will be releasing the Moonshine EP next week via Western Vinyl, and what the project is offering up seems pretty interesting, at least when you see it as a stop-gap between records. We got a Brinsley Schwarz cover, and now we get this more ethereal piece. At times, it feels like the track is this sort of dreamscape, with twinkling little nuances swirling to create this special soundscape that definitely feels like an expanse…be it frontier or space…it’s just this massive space that lets your mind wonder, which is perfect for this time of the year. Let your mind drift and enjoy the new tune.
Dave Hartley’s Nightlands project has undergone some recent changes, mostly due to a change in locale, with Dave moving from Philly to Asheville. In his new home, Hartley was able to really focus on his craft, touching up the details on the Moonshine EP, and writing enough songs to finish up a new full length (coming your way in 2022!). In announcing his new EP, Dave is sharing “Hymn to Me,” originally recorded by Brinsley Schwarz back in 1970. I love how he takes that sort of paisley folk sound from the classic rock era, and sort of coats in this more modern dreamscape, giving it this openness and breathing some of that fresh Asheville air into the song. The Moonshine EP drops on December 10 via Western Vinyl.
Next week, Carter Tanton will be releasing his new self-titled album over on Western Vinyl Records, and of the singles we’ve shared or heard, this one might be my favorite of the lot. The song’s power is this resonating vocals that seems tethered to the guitar work, so much so that they never seem too far away from one another. Tanton’s vocals are glass-fragile, as if they’re about to shatter the minute they cross through your speakers; you’ve got to love the intimate presentation here, like sitting in on a studio session for one of your favorite songwriters. This song’s all emotion, no frills; it drops with Carter Tanton next Friday!
When Carter Tanton went to record his latest LP, he called in his friends in the War on Drugs to serve as the backing band for his project. But, as he sat on the recordings, he opted instead to strip the full band sound and go with this more delicate approach, as you get here on the latest single “Uneven High Places.” This song, like many on the record, steps on the back of gentle piano notes to set up the emotional pull; the notes at times almost seem like they’re tip-toeing through your speakers, careful not to wake anyone sleeping. Tanton’s voice echoes, like its soul is trapped in some glass box, struggling to release every intimate note. You’re not likely to find a more personable tune out there today. The self-titled LP is out May 7th via Western Vinyl.
Up until now, I felt like I’ve been holding it together; I’ve mostly retreated to good reliable pop tunes to keep my spirits up the last few months. But, this week the damn seems to have broken, and this Logan Farmer track seems to be part of that. The darkness of the cinematography in the video accompanied by the solemn tones of the piano/guitar that opens the track kind of pull you beneath the murky water of your own mind. There’s hints of promise on the horizon in Farmer’s voice, however, dangling little syllables out into the night sky, letting them drift into the ether. Just sit back and absorb this one. This tune appears on Still No Mother, out on August 21st via Western Vinyl.