Admittedly, it’s only March, but my favorite LP of this year has to be this brand new Martha tune, so I’m going to back that up with sharing this delicious song. This song encompasses everything I love about Love Keeps Kicking. It’s energetic in every way, but there’s this natural sense of having a blast that seeps through your speakers. Here, it comes your way via this male/female vocal barrage, aided by the anthemic backing shout. Just when you think you’re getting too old to listen to proper pop-punk Martha are kicking down your door with antoerh emphatic jam! The new LP will be out via Big Scary Monsters/Dirtnap on April 5th.
Institute is one of those band’s that pushes you off the fence; you either love the band or you hate ’em…and they could probably care less either way. Me? I love it, and so I welcome news of their forthcoming release, Readjusting the Locks. According to the press release, the band have trimmed the fat down on this record, focusing all the tracks into a concise 29 minute album run. You can get that here, where the song is ominous and haunting, almost like it’s stalking the listener from the get-go. I love how the drums pound angrily while the guitars dance in the opening moments, making way for the steadied delivery of the vocals. This new LP will be out on May 17th via Sacred Bones Records.
The days seem longer of late, which always has me in a permanent state of daydreaming. Today, I found the perfect soundtrack tune to those dreams when Flower Crown announced their new LP, Sundries. It’s that sort of melancholic guitar pop with just a hint of bedroom recording thrown in for good measure. The vocals come across like whispers from a ghost, sort of haunting the song’s mix as the guitars sparkle sharply. There’s a few moments when I feel a certain pop sensibility swell that resembles Michael Stipe, but maybe that’s just my old ears. Anyways, Sundries sounds promising already; it will be released May 24th via Crafted Sounds.
We’re not too far away from the release of Six Lenins, but this is the sort of single that keeps me coming back to the Proper Ornaments. The musicianship is crisp, falling under the vein of that sort of post-psychedelic vibe where guitar notes get sharper and melody gets just a bit more focus; they wind it all around this propulsive backbeat. Plus, the breathy vocals really add an extra element that gives the song this natural sense of longing/searching; it’s as if the song is out looking for its best friend, and that friend is me. Look for the new LP to drop via Tapete Records on April 5th.
Last year Japan’s DMBQ unleashed Keenly via God? Records, Ty Segall’s imprint for Drag City. As album’s never die, the band have unleashed their video for standout track, “No Things,” hoping to keep their name in your consciousness. The video is as visually disrupting as the song is sonically; it’s filled with mostly live footage, spliced with various other bits that flash across the screen. Sound wise, it’s a barrage that begins with a heavy riff, akin to Black Sabbath, before blasting off into it’s own no-holds-barred sonic exploration. Quiet moments are hypnotic, giving you momentarily respite before the band tear right through your speakers. If you dig the record, it’s out now in the States.
I love the ambition of New Me, trying to release a song a month for their debut LP, but sharing the tracks along the way. Today we’ve got the newest tune, a soft bouncing pop number. After the brief opening, the song’s in your face pretty much the entire time; it doesn’t follow a traditional verse chorus verse pattern, at least in so far as it comes across to the listener. It seems a half-hearted plea for a lover to stay over, though the doom of the world hangs heavily, as if love is no longer something needed as we’re all hurtling towards the end. Stay tuned as I reckon the group will have a new jam in April!
When we first heard Melby, it was easy to categorize the group’s debut EP as something in the vein of modern psych-tinged pop music. But, as we ready ourselves for their debut LP, it seems like the band have broadened their sound, embraced their pop leanings and charged into the unknown. This new single has the group carefully crafting a vast expanse of tight guitar work, leaving singer Matilda with this perfect playground to traipse about as she coolly delivers her lines. Here, the band is in no rush, drawing things out so as to captivate the audience; they’re begging you to just let yourself go and follow them into the unknown. None of This Makes Me Worry is out on April 12th via Rama Lama.
I was fortunate enough to catch Wand this past week; I left with one thought, that this was not the same band I’d seen a handful of times before. Cory Hanson seems to be guiding the band into newer, bolder directions…and I can’t really think of a Wand LP that sounds exactly like the one before that. This song has this pulsing groove that almost seems to emulate the sound of a ringing fire alarm; it’s a sound that works in contrast to Hanson’s almost Yorke-like vocal performance. Still, underneath the pulse lives noodling guitar work and tight percussion, perhaps the remaining mark that this is still Wand. Laughing Matter will be out April 19th via Drag City.
I’ve been covering Das Kope for a hot minute, and he quietly dropped another tune online while we were hustling out at SXSW. While there’s that same dreamy wash over synth beats, it’s restrained for the first 45 seconds; once that volume jumps up you can hear comparisons to other pop constructionists like Washed Out. I do love how his voice is recorded as a whisper throughout, drawing the listener into the track, which can then turn jarring when the volume blasts…it’s a nice little switch. Feel like Das Kope is once again on the right track, so listen to see if you’re on my side here.
Maybe this is the year that The Ballet jumps onto everyone’s radar, and if not, I’ll at least be here to cover their latest release, Matchy Matchy. It’s the duo’s newest album, and their are obvious comparisons to the likes of Jens Lekman or Magnetic Fields, especially in the literary wit that comes with the songwriting…maybe even the self-deprecation of Stephin Merritt. There’s a little bit of kitsch to this track, which, in my opinion, means that everyone will find a piece of this track to latch onto, whether that be in the instrumentation or the song’s subject matter. Matchy Matchy will hit on May 17th via Fika Recordings.