I was lucky enough to find that new Azure Blue release from Matinee Recordings last Friday, and the esteemed indiepop label has turned around and shared another new gem, this time from The Royal Landscaping Society. It’s going to be hard not to listen to this on repeat as often as one can; it offers up this dreamy guitar line that mixes it up with this deep tone and sharp percussive element, the sort that makes the dream pop/shoegaze kids swoon. Then comes the voice, bringing in a calming melody that doesn’t really go too far outside the song’s comfort zone…until the 2:12 mark (and the 3:16 mark). Here, the keyboards rise in, a strummed guitar line is apparent and the vocals swell, just a smidge. I’m so in love with this track. Keep your eyes peeled for a 7″ later this year on Matinee.
When Lachlan Denton lost his brother Zac (of Ocean Party fame) unexpectedly last year, he was overtaken by emotion; he did what he and his brother had been doing for a long long time…he penned some tunes to try and write his emotions out into the world. The first tune we’ve heard from the LP is “This Christmas,” which has me pretty damn near close to tears. In the lyrics you’ve got a brother promising to keep his brother’s memory alive, though that promise comes with the knowledge that those memories will also bring sadness. Musically, there’s this wonderfully gleaming guitar line; it twinkles and sparkles in the front of the mix, much like Zac when he was fronting OP. A Brother will be out on July 19th via Osborne Again/Spunk/Bobo Integral.
It’s supposed to rain here in town this weekend, and as a guy who likes to plan and map out the soundtrack to his life, I wanted to have the perfect song to stare longingly outside while water beads up on the windows at home…lucky for me I found this Loving tune. It’s this beautifully unassuming number; it allows for both the music and your mind to wander about. Built upon a gentle guitar and piano line, the voice really sets you up for that dreamy vibe, almost giving you the chills it’s so powerful. This tune comes with the announcement that the band have signed to Last Gang Records, so we should expect release news sometime in the near future.
Tobias Isaksson seems to be no a roll the last couple of years with his Azure Blue project, settling into a groove of releasing pop gem after pop gem; he released “Shine On” late last year, just a few months after the release of the excellent Fast Falls the Eventide. Quietly, Matinee Recordings has uploaded a new song with the promise of the forthcoming Images of You album. This song features steadied electronic pulses; Tobias excels at layering his sonic bursts atop one another until they seem like one endless pop pulsation. His voice has always had this natural soothing warmth, perfectly fit to his brand of pop…and this tune is no different. Look for the new album to come sooner rather than later, though no official date is out there.
It’s been a wonderful week for Emotional Response Records, what with news bits from Neutrals and Seablite, but new of the an Eleventh Hour Adventists might be the biggest news of the week. The band is made up of Jowe Head (TV Personalities, Swell Maps) and Jasmine Pender (Rotten Bliss), so you’re getting two revered artists who’ve always played by their own rules. This first single is something of a mix between folk ballad and haunted sea shanty, with both Pender and JH trading vocal duties throughout. However, just like their meeting, things are not of the ordinary with these two…skip just to the 4 minute mark (if you need proof) for the brief noise experiment symbolizing the duo’s desire to manipulate tradition. Who knows where their self-titled LP will leave us, but one things for certain it will be anything but boring; it drops on June 7th!
I first got turned on to Holy Tunics when they dropped Butter Dish last year, so I’m really stoked that Hit Parade Lemonade Supersonic Spree has been announced. I think you’ll find that this new single from the record fully employs the band brandishing their best power-pop. In the opening guitar lines you almost get this grungy college rock vibe, which fits the initial vocal burst. However, “bahs” and harmonies jump in on the chorus, satiating your pop needs for the day, or for these 2.5 minutes anyways. Good marker for this might be a band like Sloan, though feel like they’re going just a notch above in their volume production here. If you need guitar pop, then I suggest you keep an eye out for the new LP; it drops via the esteemed Meritorio Records on June 14th.
They’ve also got the following tour dates in July:
In case you weren’t anticipating the new Halfsour LP enough, I wanted to reaffirm that next weeks Sticky release will be well-worth your hard-earned dollars. I think the meat of this song is top of the line, Grade A rock n’ roll. It opens with this bobbing bass line and this knife-work guitar, letting Zoe tease you into the track. Once they hit that 1.10 minute mark, the song drops into some of the best guitar pop I’ve heard this week, with Zoe’s voice soaring through your stereo (or probs your laptop). it’s like a fucking tractor beam of rad pop music that you just won’t let you pull away. Sticky drops next Friday via Fire Talk and Disposable America.
If you’ve learned anything about me over these last 10 plus years it’s that I’m the truest sucker for a good pop song, and I was no match for this Chris Staples tune. At first, I was drawn to Chris’ voice; it has this gentle whispering intimacy that sort of makes me nostalgic for the kid I was in the late 90s. But, as I spun it a few more times, there’s these little underlying musical hooks; I love the layering of the guitar tracks upon one another, with one strumming and the other one coursing throughout..kind of reminds me of ol’ Al Hambone JR, particularly in the chorus. I don’t know; this is the way to rule a Friday. His new record Holy Moly will be out on June 28th via Barsuk.
If that bobbing bass line that opens up this new single from Neutrals doesn’t get you, then I think you might want to call a doctor. That didn’t work? Well, maybe take into account the group features members of Terry Malts, Cocktails and Giant Haysticks? That should do the trick. But, if you’re still struggling, then let the rhythm push you on, then await those circular guitar lines that up the ante on the songs natural enemy. You might get a little offset with the deadpan delivery of the vocals, but those of you with punk rock in your veins should be more than ok. With only a handful of demos to their name, Kebab Disco aims to be a pretty powerful debut; it’s available for pre-order from Emotional Response.
I don’t think enough folks appreciate the work that’s being done by B Boys (the band not the breaker — though they can break, I’m sure). Two albums in of incredibly spastic art rock with a sharpness like no other current band, and still we fawn over the imitators. Today they announce Dudu (I’m thinking its a reference to the Brazilian soccer player), and man, they do so in brilliant fashion. Those angular guitar daggers jump right in, keeping that off-kilter drive alive while the vocals are half-spoken half-wailed emphatically through your speaker. I think what I’m digging on upon first few listens is that there’s this heavier riff keeping the song pushing forward; it’s not all angles and what not…plus that rhythm section rules. The group look to be working pretty hard on the road, with dates scattered from July to September (hopefully with Dumb and Omni…if I’m picking my dream line-up); Dudu drops on July 26th via Captured Tracks.