Austin act Genuine Leather always seem to have something up their sleeve, and this week’s no difference as they’ve just shared a brand new track from their forthcoming EP. At the moment, the band seems super-intent upon just rocking anthemic pop songs. I can hear little hints of Elvis Costello curl in the vocals delivered, while also hearing a nod to power-pop heroes across the board. It’s infectious and hits hard, especially if you’re willing to let your speakers hit full blast. You’ve got appreciate the band’s push to craft a pop song within the confines of 3 chords…and pull it off no less. Their EP is slated for release later this year, but you can catch the band at Mohawk tomorrow night (9/21) with Blood, Nick Adamo, Reen & the Renegades.
3108 has a decent resume with some powerhouse labels like Jigsaw Records or Trouble in Mind, but at the moment it seems that Kyle Hill is out on his own, so he’s offering up a few samples of the next LP he hopes to drop. Right away there’s this infectious fuzz with this twinkling pop vibe working behind it; it sort of feels like twirling with the snow falling happily upon your face. I love the late keyboard solo in the song’s latter half, providing this playfulness that gives the song an added vitality that’s often overlooked. There’s a couple of more tunes HERE if your’e so inclined.
Even in our own backyard, things slide by, which probably isn’t aided by me choosing to stay home more often and kick it with my rad kid…so please, I apologize for not pointing you earlier to how great Sasha and the Valentines are. I just caught them playing at our friend Maud’s birthday party, and while I knew the rest of the acts would be great, I was caught off by how entrancing this act was. Their EP, dropped at the end of May has these slightly dreamy pop tones, perfectly coated in musical atmospherics right where they need to be. One of the things I loved live, which lives in the recorded version, is the way singer Sarah holds onto monosyllabic notes; it definitely provides a hypnotic effect you might enjoy. These four songs are great, I’m sorry I missed them. But here they are now.
I always like to move into Mondays with something a little bit calming, something that seems to have sensation of easing into the week…so here I am with this wonderful Shikoswe track. While the first 50 seconds feel like my day, slowing moving along, there’s a nice uptick in the energy around 53 seconds that I couldn’t turn away from when listening; it added an underlying energy that crafted that dream drift we all search for…at least for fans of the genre. The chorus “it’s all the same” is a sublime slice of pop sensibility surely soothing several of you. Look for this track on the new album Back in the Tall Grass.
One thing you can be assured of in life is that we’re never too far away from a release from the Black Watch; they never seem to lose steam behind the songwriting of John Andrew Fredrick, and we’re all better for it. They’ve just announced a new 7″ with a fresh B-Side that I wanted to share with you, as its filled with these perfect little pop moments you won’t wanna miss out on. In the first minute, you get an introduction to the band, of sorts; John’s voice hangs heavy and deep, working behind a driving rhythm section that’s pushing the track forward…but a good ear will hear the tonal switch right at 1:08, giving rise to the band’s pop sensibility. Down the road, there’s this heavy jam of sorts, bringing in some psychedelia albeit briefly. Then at 2:06 the vocal delivery seems almost hurried, more urgent…right before dropping into that nice pop turn we alluded to earlier. Find me a better tune, I dare ya! You can order the 7″ now from Hypnotic Bridge!
It’s Friday, and on Friday’s you deserve a good solid guitar driven slacker anthem, something that casually catches your ear and takes you into a weekend of blissed out fun. In regards to this Zells tune, I love the seeming crunchiness of the guitar sound, though it gets spliced by a nice little guitar noodle starving for attention; it’s matched by the vocals, with a backing vocal also grabbing for that star, grabbing for your ear. It would seem that all this would work against success, but somehow, the band manage to make it sound like a joyous pop number that burrows deep into your soul. Their No More Heroes EP will be out on October 11th courtesy of Crafted Sounds.
Annabel Allum has some great songs beneath her belt, but perhaps my favorite thing about her songwriting is her ability shape-shift between genres in her work. In her latest single, she opens up the song with this powerful sort of indie rock, but there’s just the hint at softness in a few of the guitar notes and the backing vocals. Still, there’s a firmness that explodes in the chorus, forceful as guitar noise swirls around her lyrics and drums come crashing down; it’s like the quietloudquiet phenomena, only the quiet has more of a vibrant swing to it. Her new EP, Gravel Not the Grave, will be out on September 13th via Killing Moon Records.
It’s really hard not to fall in love with Surf Curse; they haven’t really dropped a bad note since they’ve burst onto the larger scene this year (they haven’t really set a foot wrong, period). Their latest single, as the video would hint, has this natural brooding to it; it’s both ominous and dreamy, with notes occasionally cascading off through the tune that allow for the flare of artistry. What really gets me is the faint quiver in the vocals; it’s both fragile and intimate, giving us the briefest glimpse into the soul of the duo. Their debut album Heaven Surrounds You is out on September 13th via Danger Collective, and if there was a band I was wishing success upon, its this bunch.
I’ve been careful with Rose Dorn up until now, not quite sure if I would buy into the hype surrounding the super-young LA act; you can’t fall for everything from a town of smoke and mirrors. That said, some songs are just great songs, like their latest single “Collar.” This is sort of a downtrodden number, mood wise, but I was first struck by the layering of the vocals at the very beginning of the song; there’s something about it that’s both youthful and sort of ghostly, like it will haunt you forever. That is especially true when the chorus drops in and the band let the chords take a little more power on and build in the male backing vocals. Ultimately, they’re crafting these beautiful pop nuggets that seem so effortless, which is perhaps even more impressive considering singer Scarlet just graduated high school. They’ll drop their debut Days You Were Leaving via Bar None Records on August 23rd.
When Bodega dropped their debut LP last year, it seemed, to me at least, like a refreshed version of early Parquet Courts; Ben Hozie had a similar delivery to the aforementioned, with the band walking the line between art/postpunk. Now here we are with the announcement of a fresh new EP, and at times, a fresh new sound. Ben still has that matter-of-fact lyrical delivery, though he seems to have softened the notes on the ends, stretching them into song. Guitars still have this sharp fuzziness, but there’s textured layers built in, supporting the band with this underlying pop sensibility. The brief instrumental starting right before the 1:30 mark might be some of the best bits the band have crafted to date; it’s clear they’ve really grown their sound, and I can’t turn this song off. It’ll appear on a new 8 song Shiny New Model EP, out on October 11th via some label called What’s Your Rupture.