In case you haven’t noticed, I’m super high up on my love for Romantic States, and now with the title track from the group’s forthcoming Ballerina LP, I’m just going all in. For me, this track’s all about Ilenia’s performance; she seems so calm, yet so expressive in the slightest ways…like syllables with emphatic punch or dropping off at the last second. Behind her is the steadying rhythm section and the slightly jangling guitar chords; it’s like they’ve sponsored an indiepop seance and decided to write the whole score; you’re captivated with no room to escape, luckily. Their new LP will be out on November 6th via Gentle Reminder Records.
There were whispers a few months ago that Woolen Men would be returning with a new LP, and I’m so glad they’re back, and doing it in perfect fashion, if I say so myself. It’s really hard to pigeonhole the group as they’re one throwing so much in the mixture that it’s just an amalgam of glorious rock n’ roll references. You’ll hear a brightness in the crisp guitar notes at the beginning, while the vocals take on this almost Ian MacKaye yelp to them. But, the guitars get a little bit grittier, they start to fray at the edges, chords begin to sort of dance anxiously about..all the while the vocals steady the show. Eventually, everything descends into this chaos, riffing and shooting this way and that…then a quick chirp from those bright guitars brings us full circle. Their new effort Human to Human will be out on November 22nd, just before the cool kid list party starts, so save this bunch a spot.
We’re about a week or so away from the release of the newest release from El Lago, and they’ve left us with one corker of a track. There’s definitely a braver sound than we got on the band’s first LP; the guitars open with this immediate squall, feeding back in seeming anguish. That’s countered by Lauren’s voice, which, at times, takes on this quivering Bjork quality to it. But, when circling back through the song, it’s the gentle crest of the song that really seals it. The group bring back in their pop sensibility, peeling away the layers to bring in this clean glimmering sound that looks back on the band’s early work. The Pyramid EP is out on October 25th.
Been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Caroline Sallee and her project, Caroline Says…until today. Today we got news that there’s a new Ohio River EP coming out in the not-to-distant future, courtesy of Western Vinyl. The song is said to be about returning to a quaint Southern town whilst looking through a new lens; finding a fondness in the past, but perhaps a bit of sadness in the realization that nothing stays the same as our memories. Musically, it’s perfectly matched with the river image, as the song sort of moves in that fashion; the musical waters are twisting, snaking, crawling to the mouth of the . It’s there we find Sallee’s vocals, washing over the song, lapping at the melodic edges with this smoky grace. The band will be on tour with Hovvdy throughout the end of October and into November; the EP drops on November 22nd.
People are surely missing out if they haven’t turned an ear towards United Waters; I’ve been really enjoying the few song’s we’ve heard from Coma to Coma, including this new track. If you removed the vocals, just for a minute, you get this strange land where slowcore meshes with the guitar pop tendencies of Galaxie 500; it’s heavy and yet filled with this huge wash of pop sensibility. Reinsert the heavy vocal tones and you get this exercise in patience and reflection, a rarity in the climate; you can feel yourself looking back at the world as you sit and let the song wash over you. Believe you me, this is another reason to keep any eye on this outfit; their new LP drops on November 8th via Drawing Room Records.
Everyone should be listening to this song from Stars on Fire today, so grab a friend, bring them over and set this song before them. You can revel in the driving force of the guitars, peeled back ever so carefully to reveal these bright sparkles of melody. There’s just something about it that feels so special, something that feels like the world finally understands me. There’s almost a nostalgic indie rock in the guitar, as if Thurston Moore wrote these riffs, but its spun behind this fuzzy blanket of soft vocal lines that are maximizing the tracks’ melody. Definitely needed this song; look for the Songs of the Summer to drop on October 25th via Emma’s House Records.
As we draw near the end of the year, there’s only a handful of records I can think of that have my attention, and this Fran LP is definitely one of those. There’s this unending sense of playfulness in the music crafted by Maria Jacobson and her team, and its buoyed by the performance in this video as well. You’ll hear these slight upticks of vocal inflection a that are most assuredly digging their hooks into you as you listen; still, you can also find a smooth softness that helps carry the melody through the bounce of the riffs and rhythm. A Private Picture drops on November 15th via Fire Talk.
It seems Young Guv is going to continue his shapeshifting ways on Guv II, as he shares another track from his forthcoming album. It’s interesting, as there’s this sort of soft power-pop vibe stomp that circles back and back again, but the it’s been the harmonies in the song that have really drawn me into the track. Honestly, I can’t help but hear touches of the Grateful Dead when they weren’t jamming lurking in this tune, only furthered by some of the “everything and the kitchen sink” work going on in the song’s latter half. Looking forward to seeing how this all ties together when Guv II drops next week via Run for Cover Records.
You know I’ve got to back our new Oklahomies up North in Husbands; we’ve already covered the first track from their forthcoming LP, so why not back the next one, eh? The group are crafting this lush pop, partly rooted in the dreamier landscape of now, but also kind of nodding to the fun side of guitar pop. For me, this song is all about the hook in the emo-ish shout of “there’s nothing left to see;” it gives the track a certain youthfulness that will keep you circling back for enjoyment. Stoked to have another tune, and looking forward to the band’s After the Gold Rush After Party LP, out early next year!
Even as the year begins to head towards the exciting landscape of meaningless year-end-lists (our site included!), Austin’s still buzzing with fresh tunes all over the place. Just yesterday, we got a couple of new tunes out there that we really enjoyed, so I’m flexing for the ATX…and oddly, both of these have a personal connection here. So…
First up is the new tune from Astrobleme, the project of Matthew Shepherd; he plays in a few bands we like, such as Feverbones (we put out their LP) and Abram Shook, among others. His new tune’s got this blossoming pop sound, though it incorporates these slight dreamy touches to embellish the edges of the song. I love his guitar play here too, which may surprise you since he’s best known for his talent behind the drum kit. He promises more tunes to come.
On the flip side of the Austin coin is Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band, who’ve sort of exploded onto the scene with their psychedelic flute-core and great live shows…the band also features one of my former students on drums (he also played in Tres Oui). Here, however, they’ve got this heavy space-age sound, fueled by these deep riffs and electronic flourishes. They’ve got a new LP coming out on Castle Face, so you’ve got John Dwyer’s blessing.