Joshua Powell Releases Skeleton Party

Joshua Powell is dropping his latest record Skeleton Party out into the world today, and I wanted to celebrate that by backing him up with some love for this track, “Sad Boy at the Skeleton Party.” Sure, there’s some heavy riffs in this jam, which tie into Powell’s psychedelic inclinations, but his voice always transports me somewhere else; he reminds me of old school Brendan Benson the way he hits some of those high notes to bridge the rock with the melody. Feel like this hits all the Friday notes, kicking out the heavy riffs and still making things feel like there’s just the faintest hint of pop. If you dig, check out the whole LP; it drops today!

Shoestrings Announce New Album, Expectations

Nearly thirty years after dropping their first single, Shoestrings have emerged from the quiet to drop their most confident record to date, Expectations. It makes sense that this record came about after the duo did some work for Swedish project Djustin, as there’s a very clear lineage to that delectable brand of Nordic synth pop; I keep thinking of Red Sleeping Beauty as I play this on repeat. I will say, rather than merely playing on the formula, Shoestrings definitely make this sound their own; they create these little mini-movements that punctuate their harmonies…see the great drop in at 3:11. If you’re in the mood for dense synthesized pop, then you’re going to want to press play, maybe even open it in another screen so you can press repeat. Expectations will be out on November 5th via Shelflife.

Jessica’s Brother Shares Caroline

In the associated press of the latest single from Jessica’s Brother, it states the this is the “sound of a band coming together and getting caught up in a rush starting afresh.” I love that, as you get the feeling that their second LP is going to have this urgency, this combination of their various influences fusing together to complete one musical entity. This new single has a bit of a nice little folk shimmy to it, like running and leaping through piles of leaves with a friend, grinning all the while. The fiddle work is the perfect accent to the band’s sound here, putting on those pastoral finishing touches to this campfire singalong. Their new LP is titled Just Rain, and it drops on November 26th via Fika Recordings.

Tears to Go Share Electronics SIngle

We’ve featured Tears to Go previously, having been fans of Elena’s previous band, When Nalda Became Punk, and now that there’s another single, its time we get that one out in front of you. As you’ll notice, her solo work is still dwelling in the pop realms, though its clearly taken on a more dreamy element to things, which puts in the vein of like-minded acts such as Beach House. This tune’s obviously (just look at the title!) is filled with a wash of synth work; it has a very nostalgic feel to it, though I love when the vocals rise up just a bit in the chorus. Patronizing Self-Help will be out on October 15th!

Ovlov Return with Buds LP

Are they together? Are they not? Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, as we should also just sit back and appreciate that Ovlov have announced a brand new EP. To me, the band always sound like what J Mascis has been chasing for years, stirring up a pot of melody and noise, but with a DIY attitude. You get these matter-of-fact lyrics here, delivered almost haphazardly, like a private conversation, which steadies the song. But, what’s always appealing about an Ovlov tune is that they manage to kind of create this storm around that sense of calm, not unlike some cliche hurricane analogy; everything is bringing destruction, except, of course, those vocals. Buds sounds like a ripper and it’ll be out on November 19th via Exploding in Sound Records.

Black Marble Share Preoccupation Video

So I missed running this tune yesterday, so I figured I’d remedy my mistake by running it now. I’ve made clear my adoration with Black Marble, and this track is no different from those moments. I think Chris Stewart has really worked hard here to toy with his vocal delivery; he’s drawing you in, giving rise to little subtle bits of melody from the dark confines of his electronic work. Honestly, I haven’t heard anything from this record that I don’t like, so you can bet I’ll be grabbing a copy of Fast Idol, out on October 22nd via Sacred Bones Records.

Exclusive Album Stream: The Smallgoods – Lost in the Woods

It’s been almost 15 years since The Smallgoods dropped their last album, but with Lost in the Woods scheduled to hit Friday, we were fortunate enough to snag an early listen to the record for you. When we first brought you news of the band’s forthcoming LP, we said that the band aimed to drop bold pop rock, railing against a stale musical climate! While I love the record’s opener, I think a great way to sample the goods from this album is to jump to track two, “Where’ve You Been All This Time;” I’ll go out on a limb here and say this sounds like Dear Catastrophe Waitress era Belle and Sebastian, swelling with arranged sounds and striking power. But, things aren’t always full of bombast; I’m totally in love with “Satellite;” it feels like the perfect pop song and thus I dare you to find a better one to have on repeat today. Shit, now I can’t stop pressing play on “A Month of Sundays;” this record is filled with twists and turns, each equally rewarding. Just imagine yourself on a scavenger hunt of every great pop sound in the last 30 years, but instead of tripping over 30 years of songs, you’ve got the only 10 tunes you’ll need today! Lost in the Woods drops Friday via Lost and Lonesome.

Neckbolt Announce Midwestern Drawl

I’ll be honest, sometimes the Austin scene gets a little stale; it tends to feed off of its own bravado, then implodes to champion what sells…but honestly, its felt mostly safe as of late, until I heard this new track from Neckbolt. The band is comprised of various local figures, and a few out-of-towners, but they’re building this deranged twang-core that feels like an unholy Texan amalgam. Those gritty blues guitar sounds are fuzzed beneath this heavy wash of atmosphere, dripping with tambourine presence. Honestly, it’s like taking acid house vibes from the UK, throwing in sort of the dark experimental side of Liars, then throwing it all on stage in Marfa; it pretty much rules. Midwestern Drawl is out November 5th via Spider Dispatch Unit.

Weakened Friends Announce Quitter

A few years ago, a show opportunity fell into my lap; I had the opportunity to book a primo venue for a day time SXSW show, but I had to do it in 48 hours before the show took place. Lucky for me, I know some people, and was fortunate enough to have Weakened Friends take the stage. They played in the early afternoon with such ferocity that it awoke everyone from their early SXSW slumber. Today the band announce their new album, Quitter, which is coming out via Don Giovanni Records; they’re doing it with the blasting pop rock jam that should get you as excited as I am for the LP. Sonia’s voice is phenomenal, and just the right amount of catchy hanging in there. Just turn it up super loud and thank me later!

Japan Review Share Kvetch Sounds

What on Earth is this beautiful sound coming from the latest Japan Review single? Immediately my ears filled with these discordant angular riffs, just heavily jangling, bouncing notes off one another to create this dense background of anxiousness. Moments later, synth work rolls into the picture, polishing the song like a fine gem, letting the melodic vocals calm your nerves as drums snap at the mix from below. Every sound works against each other, and in crashing together, they mix and leave you blanketed with this sublime piece of artful noise. I’m totally floored by this tune, and hoping that the whole of their new LP, Kvetch Sounds, lives up to this track; it’s out on October 29th via Reckless Yes.

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