Perhaps this hit on yesterday’s news cycle, but I’m an avid Flight Mode fan, as I’ve been covering the Norwegian band for several years, even remarking about how their TX ’98 EP sounded exactly like living in Austin during that period. Today, the band announce they’re working with Tiny Engines to put out a compilation of sorts, taking two EPs, plus a brand new one, and putting them all to vinyl! The new EP has its first single below, and it continues to show the growth in the songwriting; it no longer embraces nostalgia, but channels those influences into a sound that sounds effervescent, bubbling over with pop sensibilities! Really excited to hear more new stuff; you can pre-order the LP version right now; The Three Times LP drops on February 2nd!
I’m a sucker for a Wednesday morning propulsive track, so when I heard the latest tune from Canadian outfit Aus!Funkt I was enamored. The entirety of this track works on the backbone of this steadied drum beat, snapping in all the right spots. There’s a guitar line that runs through the tune, trying to play catch up; you can hear it burst and breathe with a bit more fury in certain spots, but for the most part, it’s aiding the rhythmic pulse. All of this gets tossed in with call-and-response vocal delivery dropping hints about our need to get our global act together. Pump it and check the new Can You Make It Alright EP!
Reading back through the pages on this site, you might find some loose strings tethered to Finnogun’s Wake. In fact, you should definitely recognize the voice, as this is the new project from Royal Headache frontman, Shogun; he had one of my favorite rock n’ roll voices of the last decade, offering something inherently soulful to the indie scene. His voice, as it always did, slides right into this perfect blend of noisy, distorted guitar lines, letting the track walk this tightrope between indie rock banger and pop tune. Of course, Shogun’s voice always comforts, and remains one of my favorite An early version of this is floating about, but the newest version down below will appear on the Stay Young EP, out in January via What’s Your Rupture.
If you’ve been reading this site, for a few years now we’ve been huge supporters of South Korea’s Say Sue Me. Well, they’re finally returning to the States, and playing one of their few North American shows here at Austin’s The Parish. They’ve mastered the art of writing infectious pop sounds, and as they’ve shown with recent singles like “4am,” they’ve begun to expand that sound into something more complex and textured. I caught them twice on their last visit, and their sets were spot-on musically, leaving me with a sense of joy that I don’t always get at the end of a set. They’ll be joined by Austin up-and-comers, Skateland. Show starts at 7:30, and you can still grab tickets HERE.
Okay, so, there’s very little out there in terms of coverage on Content Blocks, mostly because the band’s so new they don’t even have all the cool kid socials set up. But, they do have a great pedigree, considering members of the project worked together in Pop 1280. Not, with Content Blocks, they’ve locked into this groove driven beat work, dense in its production, but also with this variance of indifference in a lot of its delivery. That works to their benefit, as it allows the tune to take on a more pensive, exploratory note; I, however, locked into the stabbing synth lines punctuating the tune near the 4 minute mark. Hopefully we hear more from the group sooner than later.
Chicago outfit Friko have just signed on to work with ATO Records for their debut LP, and what better way to drop that information than by rocking out with a fresh single? For me, this song succeeds because of the juxtaposed storytelling, one from the musical element and one from the vocals. You press play and a wailing guitar hits you right in the face, something akin to that shoegaze stuff the kids are super into on TikTok. But, as the vocals walk into the frame, they mold the track into something more gentle, careful to step around the cracks of noise so as not to let the song erupt. You can feel the tension working behind the song, even the vocals start to falter. And finally, they can hold back no more, letting go as the visuals match the explosive climax. If you dig, the band will release Where We’ve Been, Where We Go From Here via ATO Records in February!
This post goes out to all my Stereogum heads; you know who you are! Wishy was named one of the Best New Bands of 2023, and you know what, I’m not arguing here. Today, they’ve got a brand new single, with Kevin Krauter featured on the vocal front. Krauter’s voice has this pleasantness that lets you sink right into your chair. Musically, the band are playing with this sort of post-grunge alternative style, using these crunchy guitars that maybe have all the growl stripped out of them; it gives the tune some heaviness, despite still feeling like a huge pop track. You’ll find this song on the Paradise EP, out via Winspear on December 15th.
It’s likely that you’ve heard Jon Brion‘s work, even if perhaps you weren’t aware. It’s more likely that you’ve heard Mo Troper‘s work, particularly if you’ve hung around on our site for a minute or three. Good news, Mo Troper is covering Jon, but he’s dedicating an album’s worth of material to tracks Brion never officially released, or at least in terms of a collection of tunes, such as 2001’s Meaningless. Interestingly, Troper’s version, like his own latest opus, plays high upon the pop heartstrings; I love the way he’s polished his voice into something distinctive and sugary. There’s a mid-tune guitar noodling, tying the work of Brion and Troper together. Whether you’re listening to this as a fresh Mo Troper bit, or from the Jon Brion aficionado, you’re going to be instantly rewarded. Toper Sings Brion will be out next Friday via Lame-O Records.
When Welcome Strawberry sprang onto the scene last year, they were blasting us with the perfect balance between noisy bits and tasty melodic morsels. They’ve got a new Scared to Look EP coming out Friday, and for this tune below, they’ve mostly pulled the noise away to reveal a warm blankety of meditative melody. The entirety of this track falls in love with this dreamy guitar line that works over a thump that’s merely meant to keep the pace. Sprinkles of ambience shimmer in the far off distance, but they always seem intent upon staying out of the way of the vocals, so the song’s more pop-centric. New EP is out Friday via Cherub Dream Records.
It may not have been a week covered in big names, but there were tons of ridiculously quality tunes dropped this last week. We had tons of ATX stuff, from Daily Worker to Wet Dip to S.L. Houser to Voxtrot, so we were all over that. I fell in love with Dumb Things, which is the Aussie outfit opening up this week’s playlist. But, it’s probably a toss up for me whether the new track from The Witching Waves got more plays than that new Weakened Friends. A ripper of a week with some new names we hadn’t come across before like Amelia Coburn, so give the whole mix a Monday morning spin.