New Music from Viking Moses

Viking Moses is the moniker of songwriter Brendon Massei, and he’s finishing up the work on his next album, Cruel Child; it’ll come out in early next year via Epifo. Today we’ve got one of the album’s standout tunes, and it’s a seemingly simple track, working with little more than guitar and vocals. That said, there’s this natural emotive quality that lurks in these songs; it’s a connection between your speakers and Brendon that is some rarely accomplished. Each time I press play here, I tend to think back to last year and a Ted Leo solo set I caught that kept me captivated for over an hour. Viking Moses presents the same passion and knack for songwriting, so go on and hear for yourself.

Power Pop from Sam Hoffman

Listening through to this Sam Hoffman track, I’m struck by his melodies; they have this dreamy sense of longing, letting all of us look on to bigger and better days. Behind those notes rides a crunchy guitar, giving the song a gritty backbone that builds contrast for the two distinctive sound. That’s all before I even mention the harmonies by the backing bunch behind Sam; that really makes things jump off the tape and through your speakers. If you’re looking back over the year and wandering if you missed anything, then go on out and listen to Fairweather, Sam’s debut LP.

Turn Up This Bad Sleep Tune

This might be one of the last songs we post in 2018, and honestly, I think I would be super happy if that’s the case. It’s an energetic pop rock tune from Olympia’s Bad Sleep, and I can’t get it out of my head. The vocals have this innate hook, even whilst being shouted at the top of the lungs. The rhythm section really keeps the song jumping up and down, and the guitar work is gritty and explosive. If you’re looking for a band who sounds like they’re having a hell of a time playing together, then look no further! You can grab the band’s self-titled LP from the folks over at Square of Opposition; it drops in January.

New Pop Jam from Pure Mids

Want to slide into this Monday with some smooth pop vibes? Then go ahead, slide right on into this new Pure Mids tune. The track has this natural pulse pushing through by way of some heavy electronica. But, while that leans towards dance floor-ready pop, the tune has this breezy vibe that courses through the vocals, giving an almost atmospheric touch to the track. Whether you’re in need of a late night pick me up or just an early morning hop in your step, you can’t go wrong with this tune. Hoping to hear more from the group in the very near future as rumor has it that they’re working on more new stuff.

New Music from Nick Garrie

Nick Garrie released the stunning The Nightmare of JB Stanislas back in 1969, but went mostly quiet, despite how revered his work was at the time. Luckily, Elefant got him to reissue it, which led to a few more albums on various labels in the following years. Now, word has come that we might see a new LP in 2019 via Tapete Records….at the very least we have a new single. His music seems timeless, even now, gentle and soothing, with the focus on great wordplay. It’s going to be hard for you to listen to this song and not feel someone pulling at your insides, tugging every emotion out of you.

Brand New Pop from Azure Blue

Having already released the Fast Falls the Eventide LP earlier this year, Azure Blue is back with another sensational electro-pop single to warm your hearts. The synth work throughout definitely nods to 80s soundtrack scores, though with perhaps a heavier bend on pushing the natural hooks. But, you don’t have success until you combine those hooks with Tobias Isaksson’s voice; he has this naturally hushed calm that rides atop these songs, charming passersby from the get-go. No word on when exactly the new album will hit, but we’ve been promised it will be ready by next year via Matinee Recordings.

Everyone Needs More NOV3L in Their Life

Listening to NOV3L I can’t help running through the various memories in my mind at all the great dance parties we had when kids started revisiting classic acts like Gang of Four…eventually leading us into the realm of Franz Ferdinand and various like minded acts. I mention those two because the Vancouver act, who’ve just announced their debut EP seem to combine the styles of the two in a fresh fashion. The guitars are angular and sharp, just like GoF would rock in their heyday, but there’s still this pop sensibility that pulls folks out of their bar stools and onto the dance floor. Geez….you really need this in your lyfe. Look for the debut EP via Flemish Eye Records on February 15th.

New Music from Sunwatchers

Sunwatchers are a band that requires patience and a thirst for exploration. They open their new single by lulling you into submission with a repeated rhythm section lines before guitars begin to weave in and out of your headspace; just after the one minute mark the guitars get serious and heavy, adding grit to the meandering music. The journey continues, passing by saxophone squawks and rhythmic pulses, finally reaching a crescendo of sorts just before you reach the four minute mark. And yet, even once the sonic levels are raised, the band isn’t done, happy to let the music recede just a little bit, lulling you back into homeostasis. The band will drop Illegal Moves via Trouble in Mind on February 22nd.

RayRay’s Top Songs – 2018

When it comes to ATH and our areas of expertise, I like to think I’m the go to guy for song lists and bad ass playlists. If you’re doubting me, just ask anyone who used to attend our council meetings back in the day and they will assure you I know what’s up. So I spent some time going through my 2018 most played and most liked songs to create a playlist for you and your kin. Somehow I ended up with 45 songs… Why 45? I honestly have no idea, that’s just how it came out. After the jump you will find full song list and a few playlist streaming options.

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Pop Hit from Rat Fancy

Rat Fancy have graced our pages many a time before, and I even included them in my suggested acts to catch last year at SXSW. They just dropped a new tune with a heavy-handed pop vibe that should jump on your radar today. The riffs and bass lines are gritty, almost grungy, though Dianna always has this polished glint to the way she releases her vocals. It’s hard to turn away from the hooks they craft, letting waves of pop sensibility bash you over the head…not a bad thing in my book. No word on a new release, but let’s hope something new comes our way in 2019.

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