Our friends over at Emotional Response Records snuck in a few gems into their latest compilation, a collection which culls 2018 and 2019 releases together…but I’ve been drawn to this new jam from San Fran’s Seablite. The band released a stellar EP in 2017, and this has them ushering in that special blend of bouncing pop music that can only make your day 100 times better. It opens with these sharp little guitar stabs, then a punctuated drum beat and we’re off to super rad fun times. The vocals are really soft and dreamy, helping spin the listener about in their bedroom. It’s Tuesday, and this is my absolutely favorite track of the week. Look for Grass Stains and Novocaine in May of this year.
Smiile have graced these pages many a time, so it’s always nice to have the band return to our pages, especially with brand new music. This number has Jake taking the song’s central focus, both in the accompanying video and the vocals. He’s got this voice that sounds light in presentation, but heavy in tone; it’s sort of the vibe the whole song offers listeners. There’s this natural light to the song that seemingly seeps through, though perhaps that’s just the “mystical” aspect vibing through my speakers at the moment. But, the one thing missing (if you can even say that) is the perfect foil to Jake’s voice. You can hear that in the second track the band released! And because they’re from Austin and we love them…both videos are below! Look for a new EP this Spring.
I’m going to make a bet that I was one of the earliest fans of the Drums. And, years down the road I’m still out here appreciating all the fun the band bring to the table, including encouraging me to get my dance shoes on my feet. On this track, I love the guitar stabs that seem to provide the listener with some energetic pulse; it’s juxtaposed with the electronica behind the vocals, allowing for a dreamier side of things to seep into. Perhaps a bit kitsch on the lyrics, but that’s just a reminder that you can have fun and not take life so seriously. Look for Brutalism on April 5th via Anti.
When you first hear the heavy country vibe from the new Pink Chameleons tune, you immediately feel the weight of the song; it’s a nod to a classic sound where ballads ripped emotions from your soul. But, here you find the band turning a slightly brighter corner during the chorus, almost lifting the listener out of their chair…spiritually of course. It’s a pretty high standard the new group have set for themselves, but with a debut album on the horizon, it seems this tune could be a benchmark for the greatness that is to follow. The current single is available from Finland’s finest, Soliti.
Been spending most of this year getting weird on my own, so I figured this new Flat Worms rocker could up the ante on my listening game. There’s a few too many seconds of ghostly sampling to begin, but when the guitars knife their way right into the track, you can feel that natural urge to run amok like a crazed fan. I’m totally hooked on the pogoing bass line here, dancing in step with the angular guitar chords walking you across a tight rope of frantic noise; it works well with the indifferent approach of the vocals, crafting the perfect juxtaposition. You’ll find their new EP on February 8th via God? Records.
The ten tracks that make up the debut album from Exasperation show a band confident in their craft, willing to wear their various influences openly. Album opener “Pyre” has this almost spastic punctuated vocal, before it twists into a crunchier blasting riff ride. It’s matched by songs such as “Devil’s Gate,” which has the faintest smell of Les Savy Fav in the angular guitars and vocal delivery. Still, while things often seem sharp and treacherous throughout Paradise, a soft underbelly exists within that only reveals itself when one pulls back layer after layer, song after song…like on “Sludge Plow.” It’s a power ballad of sorts, calm in its appearance, emphatic in its chorus. Venture forth listener, peel back the layers and uncover the secrets of Paradise.
I’ve got a lot of respect for Shane Natalie, not the least of which is attributed to his day gig as a Special Education teacher (RayRay and I both teach too!). Of course, you can also look at his Good Shade project where Shane plays all the instruments and writes all the parts. His guitar style is similar to label-mates such as Marked Men or Steve Adamyk; it’s furiously rushing from the get-go, racing alongside your ears all the way to the song’s finish. And, it wouldn’t grab my ear of Natalie’s voice didn’t have the slightest penchant for pop leanings when he stretches it. Good Shade will release Way Out on February 15th via Dirtnap Records.
Long ago my infatuation with Bleeding Gold Records led me to Oh Well Goodbye; the band brandished this lo-fi brand of post-punk that I found pretty intoxicating. Now the band are back with a new EP on horizon, and this sprawling darkened pop tune. The first couple of moments are built upon this brooding guitar line, angry in fashion, while breathy vocals bubble up beneath the surface of the murky mix. This much I expected, but the added element that elevates the group’s sound is the band’s willingness to explore the darker textures within the confines of their own music, hunting for those perfect notes to accent the swirling guitar lines. You’ll be able to find the band’s brand new EP on February 15th via EDILS Records.
It’s always good to have a band on your radar as reliable as Herzog; they seem to consistently release music that you know you’re going to love…and their new single isn’t going to let you down. The track has this alt-country twang to the guitars, though there’s still plenty of crunchy riffs in the band’s delivery; it’s a mash-up of indie and country, without sounding like Americana, more like warm power-pop. The video accompanying the lead single is quite sad with the central figure ending his night alone atop his skateboard with LP in hand; it’s a hard knock life kid. Me vs You, their first album in five years, drops on February 22nd.
Chris Richards, who sings on this track, played a huge part in my musical collection as far back as 2000, but that’s another band and TK Echo is another entity entirely. That being said, you can’t help but feel a slight tinge of nostalgia when his voice comes through your speakers. This song kicks into gear immediately, stomping in with percussion and a warm wash of keyboards soothing your soul while Richards vocals burst through. You can definitely hear the emphasis on the rhythm section, though Chris never seems to be one to skirt pop nods of late, and my enjoyment is all the better for it. The band’s self-titled EP comes out January 25th.