Admittedly, I’m drawn to a distinctive voice and Sam Swinson of Ohtis definitely fits that bill. Still, the band’s latest single wouldn’t be successful if there instrumentation weren’t working in their favor as well. I love the slide guitar and the light strumming that’s in the very front of the mix; it works well with the seemingly tribal percussive elements. Lyrically, it’s a touchy subject, with Swinson commenting on his own travails during a seemingly low point during his life. But, perhaps we’re all the better for it, as it serves as the foundation for a wonderful song. The group will release Curve on Earth on March 29th via Full Time Hobby.
It’s always nice to imagine an album with this or that song included, though I don’t think Wild Nothing‘sIndigo really needed any additional flourishes. Although, with that said, this leftover definitely has that shimmering pop that gets right with me. That murky chord that opens before the wash of keyboards coat it, struck me immediately; it’s great how Jack plays between elements of light and dark in his sonic textures. Still, his latest LP showed great control of the hooks that are central to this song, so it would have been nice to see where you would have slid this one into the mix. Who knows, right? At least now we have this new version to enjoy.
We were really excited to hear news of the debut Whoa Melodic LP late last year, and now we’ve got our second single from the self-titled album. This track seems perfectly built for those Sunday afternoons spend enjoying the sunshine on your back porch. There’s a great melody (I mean, melody has to be in every song, right?) that casually sits back in the mix, relaxing behind the sunny guitar chords and the soft beat of the drums. Pop songs like this don’t exist too often, so I’ll gladly welcome anything on par with this ditty. Look for the debut February 1st via WIAIWYA.
Those of you still distraught over the disbanding of Ultimate Painting will be more than happy to know that The Proper Ornaments are still going, which is James’ other band (among many). They’ve got a new record titled Six Lenins, with the first single a song for John Lennon. Interestingly, it’s almost a bedroom pop hit. Sampled percussion and keys walk you into the track, working mostly with the the rise and fall of the voice; there’s some guitar work, but it’s not the dominating feature of this tune. There’s something subtle about this track, unassuming in its presentation, you’ll find it seeping into your soul like only the best tunes can. The album will drop on powerhouse label Tapete Records on April 5th.
Perhaps no one in the indie spectrum has been on a quicker ascendancy than Twain, particularly after all the praise awarded to Rare Feeling. What I love about this new track is that it’s employing piano work as the song’s backbone, along with some minimal percussive elements. There’s something special about the way those ivory notes sparkle in your ear, especially when matched with the deepened voice of Mt. Davidson. They’ve still got guitar skipping through the background in a shimmering fashion, but the patience to pull in the listener with the piano is something to marvel. This track appears on the new effort The Two EPs, which is being released by Keeled Scales on January 25th.
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.