Kevin Linn’s Sad Eyed Beatniks project will be dropping the new album, Claudia’s Ethereal Weaver, next Friday, but there’s one more beautiful sample to grab your ears before the release date hits. This really feels like one of those perfect tunes written in a bedroom that surely drove the neighbors crazy; it’s got this intimacy and sharpness in the vocals, though the volume of the mix almost makes it feel like its a full-on rock n’ roll hit. There’s just something that swells in this song, as the jangling riffs and heavy beats come crashing billowing through your speaker; it’s like a lo-fi tape recording disguised as noise rock, and I absolutely love it! The new album is out January 28th via Meritorio Records.
London outfit Bollards are crafting some funky punky dance grooves, disguised with some clever modern touches that’ll have you scratching your head wondering why you’re having so much fun. Their new single has this propulsive nature to it, and these sharp guitar line that get some added punctuation from the cymbal and drum work. Honestly, there are moments when you recall the best of Chk! Chk! Chk!, but then the band get more explorative, dragging in some hazy washes of atmosphere to catch you off guard. The band’s debut Harbour Dance EP is shaping up to be a nice introduction to an exciting new act.
We’re avowed Shout Out Louds fanboys over here, and while Adam Olenius voice has dominated the band’s sound throughout their releases, the latest single builds in another layer, keyboardist Bebban Stenborg. Her voice offers the band this new layer of velvety pop that serves as the perfect foil to Adam’s voice, particularly when its set up in the open expanse of pop songwriting. I’m enjoying that the band seem to have evolved, and while the track’s not filled with that anthemic urgency from their earliest works, the melodic hooks are still driving the songwriting; I’m really a sucker for the way Bebban and Adam join up at the song’s closing moments, charming us in unison. If you dig, the band will be releasing House on February 18th via Bud Fox Recordings.
Our friends over at Spared Flesh Records gave us a heads-up that they’d be releasing a cassette compiling the latest singles from Philly’s Toe Ring next week, put together as the Footage EP. I figured it was my duty to share a jam or two, seeing as I’m super in love with the band’s sound. They’re building on this heavier post-punk vibe, and in the lead single “Collapsed Mine,” they sound like a wicked witch covering Blondie, and I don’t mind that one bit. Then you get a more frantic, punkier grind working over these thumping drums rolls. Some of these singles have been out for a bit, but you can get your hands on a physical copy on January 26th courtesy of Spared Flesh.
Maybe it’s the last fact that I’ve played the last few Red Pinks and Purples LPs to death, but there’s something about listening to Glenn Donaldson that just feels like coming home to your loved ones and curling up on the couch together. It’s one of the biggest reasons that I love his songwriting; it just feels safe. Understated jangles dominate the musical element behind Donaldson’s voice here, with a nice steady bit of drumming, all of it operating as this silver serving platter on which Glenn’s voice crests. Hoping for this buoyed songwriting streak to continue, so we’ll get more music soon. Speaking of soon, Summer at Land’s End, the new LP, is out on February 4th via Tough Love/Slumberland.
Austin’s Good Looks has been banging about for a few years now, but they’re finally ready to drop their debut LP, Bummer Year. On this first single you get Tyler Jordan’s drawl stretching across an expanse of West Texas, vast and open, with little behind it aside from a light light strum and cymbal. Suddenly, the bass and drums drop in and the song begins to soar, with Jordan’s vocals stretching even further in the chorus. Really, it’s all about the chorus throughout, pushing the band into a more traditional rock territory that bridges the band’s home state and the modern musical climate. Expect good things from Good Looks, with Bummer Year out on April 8th via Keeled Scales.
I hope you’ve clicked on this tune expecting a great bit of punk rock to come blasting through your speakers; Kindsight is going to let you down, but I’m still totally in love with this track. Immersing you immediately in this wash of distorted guitars battling with this melodic noodling note, it sets the scene for the entrance of Nina Hyldgaard Rasmussen; the song pulls back just a bit to let her establish control over the track. The empty space in the tune gets filled back with that heavy riff work, creating this composed nature balancing the melodies of Rasmussen’s voice with the band’s tendency to throw in a bit of blossoming noise. You can expect this perfect control of pop songwriting when the group drop their album, Swedish Punk via Rama Lama Records this March.
After being relatively quiet the last few years, Matinee Recordings has come out this year swinging. First, dropping a Lucksmiths reissue (always a good thing) and now they’ve introduced me to the Saint Larsen, the new project from Stefan Larsen of Northern Portrait. But, while Larsen’s known for his indiepop licks, this first single seems a bit more along the lines of classic songwriting, though spun with that wistfulness I always associated with good indiepop. There’s this slight euphoric twist just after the 3 minute mark that punches this big hook you’re going to want to enjoy. Look for a full length album later in the year!
Wanted to be sure that I had my daily dosage of Swedish pop rock covered, so here we are with the latest single from No Suits in Miami (guess they’re not Miami Vice fans!). I love the way the jangling drops in right in step with the bounding rhythm section, jointly giving the song a little caffeinated feel. Of course, I wouldn’t swoon so much if the vocals didn’t capture that dreaminess, coating the song in this sort of hazy melody. Listening carefully, there’s some brief moments when all the haze and dreaminess gets pulled back, leaving you with the simplest charms the band has to offer. If you’re now, or ever were, a fan of Sarah Records, then you’re likely going to want to invest time in this Swedish lot. Look for the band to release their album Nothing Ever Happens later this year.
You’ve to got to trust your friends when it comes to their musical suggestions, so when a friend sent me over this Darto compilation, grabbing tunes from years of hard work, I realized I’d be remiss if I didn’t give it a little mention out there. This particular tune is sort of a musical meditation, toying with various genres; you get this slowcore build that erupts providing this cavernous realm the band utilizes to usher in their sance. But, at the 1.5 minute mark, the tune twists, evolving into this stripped down bit of oddball folk, textured with striking arrangements that carefully allow the tune to crawl under your skin. The Tolting LP compilation will be out on February 4th.