Listening through to the latest from Skirts is quite a mind-fuck, but in the best way possible. Bounding piano lines call to mind an old school saloon feel, not to mention the bending guitar lines giving off a forlorn Western tilt. But, Alex Montenegro’s voice has this pure pop sincerity you don’t get to encounter too often; it just feels honest and available, as if you could read Alex’s emotions right through the vocal tones. It’s contrasting, sure, but it’s also cohesive, illustrating the ability of Montenegro to lead us by the reins as we journey through the Skirts musical journey. Great Big Wild Oak is out July 30th via Double Double Whammy.
Today seems like as good a day as any to just push out a bunch of incredible endearing pop rock tunes out into the world, so why not share this new video from Zachman! First, the song’s got tons of Austin love in it, with the footage covering the area near ATX’s Pennybacker Bridge, and being shot/directed by our friend Roger Ho! Still, the song has to offer something too, right? From the galloping drum lines to those ringing guitar jangles, it’s hard to find yourself not captivated by the natural exuberance that pervades this track. Plus, the video carries that spirit with a smiling performance from Johnny Zachman that shines right through the screen; his infectious spirit makes the song all the more endearing for me. You’ll find this track on the band’s forthcoming Lotto EP, but if you need a dose of that joy, stop by and catch the band sharing it live on June 23rd over at the Far Out Lounge.
Ready for your wormhole of great tunes? Well, let me introduce you to Jungheim, a songwriter I only recently heard about when Solidarity Club Records dropped Songs That Piss Men Off; the entirety of the EP is taking songs from the classic tropes of rock n’ roll and stealing them from the cis male perspective, and refashioning them. The five songs in this EP are these lushly arranged ballads, pulling at your emotions with every note; it somehow made me feel like indie rock wasn’t bland again, such is its refreshing presentation. Seriously, if you feel like indie rock got stuck, just spend 20 minutes here. Plus, if you like it, and you like cassettes, you can jump and grab it along with a fine roasted coffee from the label curators at Solidarity Club: Buy HERE. Then go down that hole and fine more from Jungheim to love; I know I did.
Ever come across a song and feel like you’re not cool enough to be enjoying it? Or maybe its just too much fun and you feel like you’re going to drown in the hipness? Well, that’s how I’m feeling about this debut single from UK outfit Wet Leg, who just signed to Domino. The song’s got this driving rhythm to it, fueled by a pummeling drum beat that just has us running at full speed. But, the vocal delivery is definitely on par with that pseudo-spoken word vibe that’s been super popularized of late; it leads to an infectious hit that encompasses the best bits of rock n’ roll, delivering pure unadulterated fun. Pretty sure I’d have no problem being an extra in this video. Looking forward to more!
As of late, I keep associating music with the moving pictures in my mind, and when it comes to the latest from Pony Hunt, I can’t help but visualize a scene where rain splatters upon windows, water descending in bullets as the song’s notes fall away. The whole tune is filled with this melancholic beauty, such that you’re just sitting there, awestruck, waiting to be crushed by the weight of this tune. Give in to the feeling, and you’ll likely find yourself rewarded ten-fold. The band’s new album, VAR!, will drop on July 23rd via Wing and Wing.
The Chairman Dances are one of those bands that you treasure, keeping to yourself, except, when you can’t, because you want everyone to enjoy. You’ll find this single on the forthcoming LP, the Strength of Your Arm, which comes out at the end of July. For me, this song flirts with branding itself as sort of an indiepop tune, though you could easily just file it under a mellow brand of exploratory indie rock. The vocals are feathery, with light jangling bits coursing through the tune; I’ll be honest, however, as I feel there’s some resemblance here to the early charms of Death Cab, with the group really working to build in some textural elements throughout.
Acid Dad seem like one of those bands that truly benefited from the pandemic that wrecked the music industry in so many ways; they were able to craft their own studio (and guitars) to work on completion of their latest record, Take It From the Dead. Clearly, the band are still honing in on psychedelic vibes, which I don’t mind, but they seem to be operating a little bit in that cleaner arena where bands like Woods hang out. It’s like re-imagining classic rock vibes, which I think the band admittedly epitomizes, offering up the lyrical line “I’m still searchin’ for the sound.” Take It From the Dead is out July 16th via Greenway Records and Reverberation Appreciation Society.
Still lurking over some of the great tunes I missed out upon while I was on vacation, and this track from Cincinnati’s Sungaze is high upon that list. The band, while living on the fringe of dream pop, seem to incorporate a bit of Midwestern sentimentality to their style; something about it feels like you’ve just sort of begun the long trek West, wondering in search of something meaningful. I love Ivory Snow’s heavy voice too, it adds this perfectly sleepy feel to the tune, giving it that dreamy quality ya’ll all know I love! The group is set to release This Dream on August 13th.
I have this weird feeling that Bnnywill be high upon folks talking points list when their debut record finally drops; I’m already holding them in high esteem. I love the nakedness of this tune, just the solitude of the presentation is really striking, to me anyways. Not sure which feels lonelier, the vocals of Jess or that guitar, but either feels like its just hanging in isolation, waiting for our discovery. There’s also this very slight tonal change around the 1:10 mark that really made this song stick out in my mind, so if you’re looking for little flourishes to charm, check that brief moment. Everything will be out on August 20th via Fire Talk.
This Massage LP better not sell out before I get paid, though admittedly, it should definitely be on everyone’s radar. The latest single has this wistful vibe, something akin to a movie scene where the passenger stares longingly out a window hoping/praying for a better day than today…or at least that’s how I’m hearing it. Plus, the jangles and the synths give the song this wash that sounds incredibly similar to Another Sunny Day’s “You Should All Be Murdered,” and that is 100% reason alone to steam this song and tap your toes. I mean, how many great songs can this band write? We’re going to find out when Still Life drops on June 25th.