The world is an absolute mess right now. Assuredly so. But, one good thing we’ve slowly started to see is the great music being crafted in this solitude. Today, for instance, our friends at Chapter Music have gathered 14 tracks for a new compilation titled Midnight Meditations; the goal is “to help listeners through long dark nights of the soul.” My first few runs through, and I’m drawn to the R. Edwards (of Dick Diver) track quite a bit. But, just as I say that, I get another run through of label founder Guy Blackman and his number is pretty striking too! I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out the special performance by Sarah Mary Chadwick too. Honestly, there isn’t a single song worthy skipping here. Feel like your soul needs musical accompaniment on its daily journal? Maybe it will find solace in these 14 songs.
Just a week ago, we got the news that Tough Age had a brand new record on the horizon, and not even a week later we get another single to make sure we don’t have to wait too long. This run you get Jarrett handling vocals, and his delivery very much feels in the vein of those acts bordering on the edge of C86; I feel like recent Boyracer tunes align well here. Musically, everything is jittery and bouncing, though just a hint rough around the edges; its the perfect scenario for a good rock n’ roll show where you’re frantically jumping about with all your mates, screaming at the top of your lungs. In short, this song makes you feel like you’re having the time of your life. Be sure to take part when Which Way Am I is released on August 7th via Mint Records.
There’s so much to love about this post and song, so bare with me. For starters, this track appears on the forthcoming Exitos Varios Compilation…a compilation organized by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers; the proceeds go to United We Dream, an organization that aids undocumented immigrants; as a human, let alone a Texan, this is an issue of great importance. Second, a few years ago I managed to grab Jackie Mendoza at the last minute on a very last minute SXSW show at Barracuda (RIP); she was just starting to make a name for herself on her solo work, and this one here feels really special. On the tune Mendoza says this”is a song about refusing to cave into the pressures of changing the ways I express myself as a Mexican-American musician.” Why would you want to when it sounds this fucking good? It’s like old-school trip-hop with a vibrancy that can only be expressed by a person straddling two distinctive cultures. Buy the Exitos Varios Comp tomorrow HERE.
The Illness is a fairly new band to me, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I was initially drawn to this tune because of the inclusion of Steve West (Pavement’s drummer). There sound seems familiar, though I can’t pinpoint precisely why I love it it so much. At times, there are some VU feels working in there, though you can also hear a touch of David Berman in the vocals. Still, it’s the little flourishes in the studio that really brought this track to life for me. It could be the ittle brass notes in the middle background, or maybe the way the guitar strum works into a more focused electric buzz; I think I even heard a faint bird chirp, which could just be a lost note popping its head out. It’s that sort of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink feel, yet still executed well enough to sound perfectly organic. Loving it, and if you do too, you’ll find it on the band’s new 12″ out July 10th via Sea Records.
For the most part, we’ve recognized Waves of Dread as this mysterious consortium crafting these noise filled gaze numbers; the sort you expect to ruin your eardrums in the live setting. But, with a new EP on the horizon, they’ve also begun to show their hand, and perhaps dip a toe or two into a more ethereal water. Not only is their latest single striking because of its brevity, it also has this billowing haunt to it, like a ghost from your past following you, your heart racing as you feel the hairs on your neck stand up…and then it fades out. I’m very interested to see how this all ties together when the group release II at the end of July.
I was in love with Fear of Men; I was even fortunate enough to book them for our Welcome to the Jangle party a few years back. But, they’ve been relatively quiet for the past four years or so…until today. Today the band share their first new single in some time, and with it, we get a glimpse at a band expanding their sound. Sure, that saxophone will get the billing for “Favorite New Toy,” but I think some of the pulsing electronic notes really give this darker edge contrasted against the sparkling notes of singer Jess Weiss. It’s a powerful lyrical piece too, one that perhaps we’ve overlooked before; Weiss seems intent on reclaiming life on her terms, particularly if you listen to the line “I hope you see this/That I’m not going to break.” I missed this band. More to come…I hope.
While Pop Filter might be a new incarnation, the band’s members have been writing songs together for quite some time. One of the core songwriters, and is Lachlan Denton, whose voice always feels like home to me, whether its in the song he penned below, his solo work or his various other projects (with Emma Russack for one). Little keyboard stabs flesh out the tune from the start, building in some ambiance while the drums right the ship and the Denton stretches his voice across so perfectly. I love the crisps notes of the guitar; you can almost hear the warmth of the strings as they vibrate sound. The outfit will release their debut Banksia in August of this year!
Feel like its been a hot minute since I’ve caught on to some really solid indiepop vibes, so when I got this tune from Films on Song it kind of made me swoon a bit. It has all the traditional elements I pine for, like jangling guitars walking a tightrope between angular and dreamy. Of course, the vocals have this baritone delivery and the percussion gives the song its marching orders, steadying the pace and propelling the tune forward. As of right now, no official words on a release or anything of that sort, but a good song is a good song, so get after it below.
I love when you hit upon a band that’s somehow creating music that feels nostalgic, yet presses forward with its own vision, like the latest from Slight Of. There are definitely guitar bits that feel every bit as if I’m reliving my earliest days as a tape collector in the 80s. Still, that’s unfair to label it as some sort of throwback, as the song moves in other directions too as the track progresses. For one, the vocals have that feel as if Jim Hill is gasping for breath, almost like he’s channeling some sort of indie pop crooner. Weave it all together, with just a slight hint of every day pop hooks and you’ve got a winner…or so says I. Other People will be out on August 28th via Dadstache Records and Figure 2 RC.
Been a few years since we’ve heard from Colorado’s shoegaze outfit A Shoreline Dream, but they return with news of a fresh new album, Melting. Listening through this first single, I’m indulging the heavier tendencies of my listening habits; the band definitely feel like they’re toying with the heavier side of the genre, as opposed to the dreamier bits most recently popularized. I love that they still maintain a cocoon of pop sensibility, almost as if its quietly cowering as the noise swirls around overhead. Those of you looking to gaze at your shoes while noise echoes in the caverns of your ear, go ahead and pre-order Melting; it drops on August 21st.