Cool Sounds Announce Bystander

It seems like just yesterday that Aussie outfit Cool Sounds released More to Enjoy (or Sleepers EP), which was one of my 2019 favorite Aussie releases…but they’re back today with the announcement of Bystander, a new LP for 2021. It begins with almost a forlorn outlook, almost presented like a soft ballad with just these careful little vocal notes. But, keys start to bounce, just before the 1 minute mark; you can feel the ground swell of full band pop rock, and we’re so lucky when it hits. I love the guitar cutting a rug across the front of the mix, giving a little old school classic rock a nod…at least in my ear. The new LP will drop in February of next year…and I have a feeling it will be every bit as rewarding as this song here.

Old Fashioned Bleeding Hearts Share Head North

I’ve been sitting on this song from Old Fashioned Bleeding Hearts for a few weeks now, waiting to share it, and it feels like the perfect way to start off a Friday…the last Bandcamp Friday of the year! In the first minute or so, you get this soft pop vibe, perfect for cruising through immense landscapes and “heading North.” At the 1:30 mark, there’s a twist, a jump up if you will, just a brief moment in time for the duo to employ some really strong hooks that soar, blowing through the song like the breeze when your windows are down. This is definitely one of those songs that just stays with you all day long.

Have Another Jam From Yung

The entire ATH staff has truly embraced the young Danish band Yung over the last several years, having consumed everything they send our way. A testament to this fandom, Nathan shared a new album announcement from the band earlier this month, and also let go on a new single called “Above Water”. Well today I am climbing aboard the hype train of the new Yung album by releasing to the masses this slick new song, “Such a Man”. I’m continually stunned by this band’s ability to offer dashes of indie rock, but with this dark, post-punk, somewhat aggressive, and majorly in your face vibe. Dig on that.

Yung will release new album Ongoing Dispute on January 22nd via PNKSLM.

Shame Share Snow Day Lyric Video

Probably a redundant post on my end, as I keep talking up the new Shame record. Perhaps there just isn’t too much on the heavier side of things that I’ve been able to get into this year (Idles sounds like a shitty Hot Snakes/TxisR). So here comes Shame, building in the song with this anxious post-rock for the first minute before the vocals enter the fray; they stick to their own formula in bits, though the release here is tamped down on its first entry, and honestly, an afterthought for me. What I do love is the melodic venture the song takes around the 3 minute mark, almost charming listeners before starting to sputter into discord and noise. I am interested to know why a lot of the band’s videos feature the lot in motorized vehicles, but save that for another time. Check out “Snow Day,” an homage to the 2000 hit movie! Drunk Tank Pink drops the day before my birthday (1/15) on Dead Oceans.

Stream Pop Filter’s New LP, Donkey Gully Road

Not more than a handful of months ago, we were treated to the debut LP by Pop Filter, a group largely made up of the songwriters from the Ocean Party; it was a glorious visit from old friends; they also took some time out to share a Rock n’ Recipes with us. Those old friends were able to get back together and write an entire new album, which they sort of dropped out of nowhere today. They chose not to offer singles, celebrating the release as its own standalone story, and in that, we all get the joy of listening to the whole thing together! Right now, I’m stuck on “Tree Change” as my favorite, but I reckon that’s because I’m in a sad bastard sort of Thursday. Love this group so much. Donkey Gully Road is now available via Bobo Integral.

Tele Novella Share Never Video

You ever turn on a song, and it just brings back memories, things you’d long forgotten? Well, I turned on this great new Tele Novella tune, and here I am flooded with nostalgia…and in a way, its not even my nostalgia. It feels like its from an unknown moment of timelessness, somewhere, me sitting in some breakfast nook with a cup of coffee and music playing in the background. It’s some beautiful ballad, and I reimagine my father or mother doing the same thing, only twenty years prior. It’s a weird feeling, but there’s something about a band and a song that can move you in that manner, transport you to a time you might not even know existed…but in doing so, there’s comfort, solace…and for me, that was this gem of a tune. It’ll appear on the group’s new LP, Merlynn Belle, out via Kill Rock Stars on February 5th.

Van Mary Share Hug

There’s no sense in keep Austin’s Van Mary as one of our own little secrets; its time Emily Whetstone and company were let out into the world…and “Hug” might just be the key to getting your attention. The song was written during the early days of quarantine, with Whetstone missing the camaraderie and joy that her friendships brought her; this might just be the most relatable tune from 2020. Musically, I love the layers, like this onion of pop waiting to be peeled by the listener. At first, the skin of the song is this darkened ballad, Whetstone working her vocals over a gentle strum; once that layer’s discarded, the song meets up with some meandering nuance before the drums take the track up a notch; it all culminates in this soaring sonic exploration that leads to the Emily’s voice winning you love with its range. You end the song feeling like you’ve been along for this journey of isolation, and you, too, are looking for that hug…this song is a hug from Van Mary; enjoy the warmth. Expect a full LP later in the Spring!

Stephen’s Shore Share Skogen

One of the first records I’ll be buying next year has to be this new 7″ EP from Stephen’s Shore, and with another single dropping today, that’s pretty much a guarantee. While the first single offered those pristine indiepop jangles, they pull the blanket back just a bit, revealing a hint of slight psychedelic flourishes. Sure, soft jangles in the background, but the foreground guitar seems to rise from smoke-filled lounge; it shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the band play up the softness of both styles, giving us this perfect little pop concoction that you’ll enjoy for the rest of today (and beyond!). The Brisbane Radio EP drops on January 22nd via Meritorio Records.

Gustaf Share Design Video

Brooklyn seems to be the hotspot of the day, with that Fixtures tune earlier and now a brand new tune from Gustaf; their Mine 7″ drops this Friday via Royal Mountain. This tune here is the B-Side to that release, and draws on that sort of arty post-punk style, though I love how they never shy away from a little nod to a nice hook. There’s always this sense of playfulness, even when the band attack modern desires as constructs of our own design…or at least that’s my interpretation anyways. Plus, the video tosses in just enough fun that you can tell the band would be one hell of a live show…if that was a thing. Check the vid!

Fixtures Share Jay’s Riff

All those cool kid year end lists are out, but there’s still great music to be had in 2020; the new Weak Automatic EP from Brooklyn’s Fixtures is one such release that’s landed on my radar for this Friday. This short new ditty before Friday’s release should tip the scale in the band’s favor; it employs a nice little riff that rocks right through, on the corner of Jangle Street and Fuzz Road. Still, the band have some playful little harmonies working through their jams that maximize the endearing quality they bring to the musical table. You might even find just a hint of a toe tap in there too. Weak Automatic is out Friday via Bobo Integral.

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