I’m a bit late to this one, and by that I mean that three days is entirely too late to share the joy of the new BVs track for you. We’ve always loved the group, but this new single has them taking their buoyant brand of pop to the top; I almost jumped right out of my chair and started bouncing about in my classroom. That crushing guitar line shoves you right through the door, with this faint since of longing hanging about in the tones, all of it making me feel like I’ve finally found a musical home. It’s energetic and magical and you’ll find that you can’t pull yourself away. I didn’t even realize how much the band were huge sports enthusiasts either…as you can see in this fun video! They’ll drop Taking Pictures of Taking Pictures via Shelflife and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten on February 16th.
As the year draws to a close, we get to spend our year jamming out to some of the stuff we maybe missed, or perhaps something slid into our listening rotation out of nowhere, so here we are with Coucou Babe. The project is a dreamy pop act out of Austria, though with roots tied to Nashville. When I listened, I recall the earlier days of Beach House, taking these clever little keyboard driven soundscapes and building them with a wash of atmosphere and foggy vocals carrying a bit of wonder. Just a fun way to start off the week, as we know you’ll all be clamoring for year end lists; try something new instead!
Wishy might be hitting at the perfect time, gathering lots of buzz due to the pedigree of songwriter Kevin Krauter and Nina Pitchkites. Today they’ve unleashed the third single from their forthcoming LP, offering up the brand of joyous 90s style pop that would have fit perfectly in the soundtrack of My So Called Life. There’s just the faintest hint of distorted guitar work buried deep in the mix, but giving off a bulky edge. Otherwise, the song completely churns in the waters of dreamy pop; the vocals have this great comfort, allowing you to sort of melt right into them. It’s a perfect little gem, and one that continues to raise the hype for the Paradise EP; it drops December 15th via Winspear.
I know Spotify is the devil, so please pass judgment knowing that I know it’s the devil, but I can’t turn my back on the beast…not to mention, the ease of access for everyone, which is where Spotify dominates the market. Alas, yes, I’m using Spotify for my playlist…until Bancamp offers me something better, but even they can’t be trusted anymore! So, I’ll just wrap up last week on my one! ATH Wrapped! We covered a lot of music, with some heavy-hitters like Real Estate, JAMC and Ducks Ltd. popping off with new stuff. There was a ton of tuneage from Australia: Pop Filter, Sachet, The Brights, Alluvial Nuggets and Good Morning. Plus, I’m flipping a coin between the Umbrellas and Bolis Pupul for my fave track of the week. What’s yours? Find out below!
Two great Australian acts release brand new records today, and oddly, both are being released by great Spanish record labels; but, they both come from different parts of the country, so there’s that?
Sydney’s The Brights have released Oyster Rock! today via Meritorio Records. It’s a collection of pop songs with little bits of Western twang lingering in the songwriting. You’ll find a few upbeat numbers, with most tracks working on a pensive point that allows the melodies to sit quietly with you for hours afterwards.
Pop Filter, up in Melbourne, are like the indie rock hydra; you cut off the head of one songwriter, and there’s another equally gifted craftsman’s head popping up. With so many songwriters, Cono feels refreshing at every turner, tossing out subdued little pop nuggets and bouncy bops of badassery. LP courtesy of Bobo Integral.
Quietly going about their work, No Museums have always had a really special place in my listening rotation. They’ve crafted these intimate listening situations, continuously evolving and continuously releasing great LPs. Today, there’s a new single (and a new album) I wanted to turn your attention towards, as it represent a very underground pop turn that I hope you’ll find charming. After a quick sound bite, guitars ring out brightly, buoyed by an established heavy groove beneath them. That groove allows the song to have natural movement, even though the vocals and mood of the song may feel weighed down with emotion. Here’s to hoping you love this song and go check out their new LP, the Lighter Darker Age.
When reading all the press around Grandaddy‘s return, there was likely skepticism around the influence of bluegrass leaking into the record. But, with this second single, one can definitely hear how Jason Lytle is capable of stretching influences into something quite moving. He’s always had this lightness to his vocal delivery, and it shines through here, allowing the song’s mellower feel to really blossom into this sparkling pop opus. It’s a solid reminder that sometimes the simplest formulas allow the space to make art expansive and personal. Looking forward to hearing all of Blu Wav; it drops February 16th via Dangerbird Records.
Those of you in the know will surely recognize James Dutton’s name as a member of both Flywheel and the Cannanes, but as of 2020, he’s been working on his new project, Alluvial Nuggets. We’re told there’s an album on the horizon, with our first sample coming via this film shot by James himself on an iPhone 7, much to the chagrin of his family. Musically, there’s something so calming about the delivery of Dutton’s vocals; they faintly remind me of Jeff Tweedy, particularly when the striking string arrangements bend around each syllable. Within the confines, you’ll find some joyful moments that will clearly resonate; I particularly love the monosyllabic hums that begin around the 1:33 mark. And, while things seem fairly melancholic, there’s a pronounced stomp and excursion in the tune’s latter half, perhaps hinting that we have no idea what we can expect when this whole record drops next year. What we do know is we’ll be listening thanks to Lost and Lonesome; they’ll keep us posted on the LP next year!
I’ve definitely been indulging my dance/electronic tendencies this year, looking for a nice little pick-me-up in this stressful year. With that, this Bolis Pupul tune has certainly found its way to my heart…and my listening rotation. The song, and the forthcoming Letter to Yu, are all written with Bolis’ deceased mother in mind…a love letter of sorts. This tune has a softened bounce to it, almost hiding there; when the chorus hits there’s a tiny adjustment that teases the track’s hook, but the subtlety keeps it buried deep in the tune. Watching it along with the accompanying video should certainly hold your interest, then having you, like me, looking towards the album’s release; Letter to Yu drops in March via DeeWee.
A few years have passed since Non La release Not In Love, which is one of my daughter’s favorite records to grab off the shelf (she’s really into pink!), so I was really pleased to hear that DJ On has signed his project on to work with Mint Records. Listening through this single, you can definitely hear the slight change in direction DJ, mostly as it feels a little more minimal upon the first minute or so. Still, the track certainly explodes, giving you that hook-laden punch that drives home all lyrical content from On. Visually, the video pays homage to the moments of “queer joy, love and tenderness,” hopefully shining a ray of light through the darkness of our times. There’s a new record in the works, but for now, you’ll have to just enjoy the hell out of this track.