Spent the great deal of this morning on the heavier side of shoegaze, so lets pull back a little as the wintry weather creeps in by spending some time with Ian Wayne. Ian’s vibe kind of reminds me of the middle ground between recently popular acts like Twain and Hovvdy; it offers a gentle vision that will appeal to fans of the delicate side of indie rock. It’s the perfect sort of tune for just staring blankly off into space, accepting the world that surrounds you as the notes seep into your skin. This song features on Ian’s new album, A Place Where Nothing Matters, which just dropped last week!
Sonic Jesus have two things going for them, at least in my book: One, their were remixed by Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3; Two, they shared a split with our local Austin faves, The Black Angels. That’s a win already, and we haven’t even started the talk of the band’s newest single. It begins with this stabbing electronic note, complimented by a slow rhythmic pulse just beneath. Eventually, guitars come in shadowy forms, haunting the corners of the track, just as the vocals hold this mysterious power amidst that rhythmic electronic stab. This tune will feature on the band’s new album, Memories, dropping on November 30th.
Not in the too distant past, An Ocean of Embers covered Moose‘s “Last Night I Feel Again” (Reprise 1991), and they’ve finally touched it up and added an acoustic version, as well as instrumentals to craft their own single. I love that you get to hear the acoustic version because it really offers up that soft underbelly that so many folks seem to ignore in favor of guitar noise reverberating through their speakers. The latter half of the original cover gets awfully noisy at the end, building perfectly into the acoustic version should you choose to stream it all. Enjoy!
Behind the walls of distorted guitars usually lives a pop band, at least that seems to be the case when we’re talking about Waves of Dread. The band open their latest single building that noise wall, but it quickly recedes in favor of these calmly beautiful vocals; they stay steady and sit in the midst of everything around them. It’s almost like they’re building music in the vein of Teenage Fanclub, only with dreams of being on the heavier side of that musical spectrum; I’m pretty sure I love anything this group comes up with. If you grab it HERE, you get a bonus track, but you’ll have to wait until the 10th of December to hear the band’s new EP.
We’ve been hyping up the release of Gorgeous Bully‘s latest for a wee bit, and the day has finally arrived for you to give Closure a listen. While I expected the album to have some fuzzy bangers, like the opener “I’ll Be True,” I didn’t expect the softer side of things to shine quite so brilliantly. You get it on the album’s second track, “Gum,” offering up a sound that’s reminiscent of everything rad in Australia at the moment. But, while not always as upbeat, there are other soft, and even sad, numbers like “Tripping” and “Happiness.” It gives you a mix of everything that’s great about the project; you can grab it for the NYP option HERE, as well as order the vinyl LP!
San Diego’s Los Shadows have one thing that the rest of the dream pop acts…a sound rooted in Latin rhythms. The opening guitar lines sound like an homage to the beach, but immediately the drums roll in crafting this vibe that’s unlike anything out there. They move it into these smoothed out dreamy croons that crest atop the front of the mix; it ends up giving the song this natural swinging sensation that I cannot escape…nor do I want to. There’s a funky closing minute that definitely brings the Latin vibe full circle. While this single is brand new, you can check in on the group’s other work HERE.
David Lance Callahan has been part of the music community as long as I’ve been alive (30+ years); he’s been part of both The Wolfhounds and Moonshake, but we’re getting to here him below entirely on his own. He’s crafted this delicate, pastoral tune, perfect to take us all into the Winter seasons,offering warmth for those close listeners. Callahan recorded these tunes at home, simply, utilizing little more than guitar and a sampler, with a few friends thrown in to provide the harmonies; the technique definitely provides the listener a certain intimacy that brings you into the world of the songwriter. You’ll find this track as an A-side tune for the SLR30 Single Series, and odds are you’ll find a new album in the works for 2019 as well. Don’t worry if you didn’t sign up for the SLR30SS, as Slumberland generally has a few extras on hand.
The driving rhythm and the angular guitars, as always, sucked me right into this track from Primitive Lips. It has this heavy vocal quality, almost a resigned indifference, which works in direct contrast to the song’s natural uplifting spirit. It’s almost like the band fancy themselves as the reincarnated Echo and the Bunnymen, only they want to throw a dance party first. You’re stomping your feet, you’re swinging around, but you’re not biting your bottom lip, you’re just staring longingly at the floor. A pretty carefree hit in my opinion; it could use your ears.
The Cosmos are a now defunct rock n’ roll outfit from San Fran, featuring members that went on to participate in bands like Terry Malts and Dominant Legs, among others. Not too long ago they compiled their songs from the 2001-2004 years, and gave them a proper tape release. Why does that matter today? Well, for one, if you listen, you’ll see they were ahead of their time, as I can hear tons of modern acts in the stuff they were creating. Also, the band just decided to up and let you download that compilation of songs for absolutely free, though I warn you, these are working musicians and they all deserve a few bucks from you. Slow news week, so why not write about shit that rules?
There are a handful of artists that craft these really beautiful soundscapes that are infused with energy and airy vocals; they build the sort of world we all want to live inside. Lately I can look at Peel Dream Magazine who might be looking at Stereolab…and now we’ve got Marble Arch. They’re doing something similar, even adding a bit of that ringing jangle guitar to the front of the mix before washing over it with synths and precision drum work. The vocals are submerged in the mix, faintly audible, utilized for both lyrical intent as well as an added instrument. The Parisian outfit are really something to be on the lookout for; keep your eyes out for Children of the Slump early next year via Geographie.