Kiwi Jr have a slew of really great records under their belt, so it’s no surprise they’ve got the support of Sub Pop. I spent a lot of time with both Football Money and Cooler Returns, so I’ve got high expectations for the forthcoming Chopper LP. This new tune sees the band kind of branching into this warm pop territory; it reminds me a lot of the last Strokes record (which I don’t mind); I think the fading vocal in the chorus hits just the right notes. It’ll be interesting to hear the whole of the record, as it seems like the band have less of a Pavement nod and a bit more polish this go round…still, a good jam is a good jam, and this is certainly one of those. Chopper is out August 12th.
Jimmy Hewitt, aka Lost Film, is one of my favorite current indiepop songwriters, but he’s mostly been quiet the last few years, focusing on his great label, Relief Map. But, today a fresh new single is ready for your ears, built with “not much more than an electric guitar, a drum machine and distorted synthesizers.” The simplistic beat just keeps your toes tapping and your head bobbing, while the dreamier guitar edges wrap themselves around each melodic note Hewitt has created. Jimmy’s voice takes the track into that hazy jangle sound, dreamily draped over that natural kick. Looks like this song is part of a greater collection of tunes written during the pandemic, so we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
I have a feeling that if you’re writing about best tunes for the week, this new Living Hour track definitely has to be up there (if not, one of my favorite tunes of the month). I got hooked on the crashing guitar opening, but love the contrast as the tune quickly slides into a more mellow space, leaving lots of room for notes to ring sharply in your ears, allowing all those notes and vocals to kind of hang in the air. All that said, the song eventually slides back into the heavier notes, but I love how the mix keeps it heavy, though quiet; the vocals still have their dreaminess, even when coated with the distortion. A perfect balance between fragility and noise awaits you. The group will release their new LP, Someday is Today via Kanine in September.
Launder is sure to be a name shared by everyone this year, as they’re already one of those “wary of the hype” acts due to tons of early coverage, including my own. Songwriter John Cudlip has even enlisted the help of Jackson Phillips (Day Wave) and Cole Smith (DIIV) to help build up his soundscapes…and this time he adds French artist Soko on the vocals to flesh things out. Hype or not, the sound of this tune alone illustrates why Launder is such a commodity, taking the elements of dream pop and shoegaze and putting some polish atop to create these perfect pop nuggets. Happening may be a debut LP, but it’s sounding more and more like a seasoned artist hitting their stride; it drops on July 15th via Ghostly.
When we began this blog back in the day, I covered Gentleman Jesse quite a bit; his work as a power pop revisionist had my attention from the start, and I felt like Leaving Atlanta was tragically overlooked. So, here we are a good ten years later, and Jesse Smith returns; he quietly dropped Lose Everything last Fall, and now there’s a brand new EP he’s working on for Third Man Records. The EP features a cover of “True” by Atlanta band the Fans, as well as this stomping ripper co-written with Greg Oblivion. Grab the Compass EP over HERE.
Strangely, when this new track from Hellrazor drops in, I thought to myself, “I wish this is what that new Hum record sounded like.” But, with that spacey noise up front, the noise recedes, opening up this tune to a bit more of a melodic draw, pulling back the covers on the band’s pop tendencies. Still, you can hear the thump of the drums, tempered since their opening pummel; they take the chorus and help launch the song into this wall swell of ferocious noise, albeit one with a softened underbelly. Plus, those in need of the heavy fix get a mid-track breakdown with furious drum work that doesn’t quit until your ears are bloodied and the song crawls to a close.
Austin’s electronic scene is always bubbling below the surface of the Spoons and Sweet Spirits, so its nice to see an act like Panjoma come back into play after a long hiatus. They recently released their Sun & Moon EP, and with that, we’re revisiting it with this brand new video from the closing track, “Bleeding Sun.” While various track on the EP feature vocals from Mary, this tune in particular is all instrumental, perhaps an audio representation of the EPs journey, animated with these vivid colors that mix and meld, as the beats and glitches do in the song itself. It’s a welcome return, so feel free to sit back and absorb the sounds.
As we move into the summer season, I start to indulge a bit more in my musical sweet tooth, which is great since there’s this new Silver Liz tune giving me my fix. “Oooh hooo” opens up the track, and instantly you’re sucked into that dreamy voice, intoxicated as it bends the notes around this very light jangle. Still, whilst loving it, I didn’t become addicted to this track completely until the moment where the band pull back the music and let Carrie Wagner’s voice continue to shine on its own, almost in that Hope Sandoval fashion…and each time the band employ that little trick I get a little weak in the knees.
In a little over a month, we’re going to have a new Vintage Crop LP to enjoy, and for my meaningless two cents, it’s shaping up quite nicely. There’s a new track out from the LP, and despite it’s punky garage tendencies, the band are slowing things down to mix up the vibe; imagine Amyl and the Sniffers coming down off that sugar high…this song is the crash in musical form. Building in gang vocals on the song’s back half adds some texture to the tune, giving it this bubbly effervescence. Kibitzer is out on June 24th via Upset the Rhythm and Anti Fade.
I’ve definitely been enjoying the jams from Automatic‘s forthcoming album, Excess, but I’m certainly a bit wary too. I mean, how does a band come out swinging with this mellowed post-punk and slick production; it feels like its a direct response to the 70s punk bravado…spun through this more futuristic lens. This new track crawls under your skin like some microscopic organism, embedding itself in your being as it seductively drops the chorus on repeat. The band are three for three with their singles, so I’ve got nothing but excitement for the forthcoming LP; it drops officially on June 24th via Stones Throw.