It’s really great to watch the evolution of a band’s sound over a few years, like we’ve been fortunate enough to do with Waves of Dread. They’re still churning out these tunes that likely fall under the realm of dream pop/shoegaze, but it’s clear that they’ve pulled back the shattering wall of noise, or perhaps just covered it up with a nice little throw blanket. In doing so, the song’s seem to have this resonance, like this echo of beautiful noise that truly does make create an astral quality that matches the title. Though, I must admit at one point my mind went to an image of my running at dusk amidst a heavy Spring shower…it was slow-mo and very cinematic. This song has those feels.
When things go a little too pop, I always try to balance that, so I’m lucky that Melbourne’s Gutter Girls dropped this brand new ripper to squeeze into today’s coverage. From the get-go, the group jump right in letting those jagged guitar chords rip through your speakers. The vocals come in, howling atop that heavy punk sound, controlling the listener from the moment you press play. There are some gang vocals tossed in, doubling down on the band’s tenaciousness, which I can only imagine translates to a great ball of energy in the live setting. So, if you need a little rock n’ roll palate cleanser, have at it folks!
Matinee Recordings is wrapping up the end of this shitty year by trying to brighten the horizon, offering you some singles to look forward to in 2021. They’ve got two new jams to share with you today, from Northern Portrait and Royal Landscaping Society. Northern Portrait give you a heavy jangle feel, packaged in really neatly woven melodies; they’ve added some great layers on this song, giving you a bit of punch with your pop cocktail. They’ll have a brand new LP coming your way next year! Spanish outfit The Royal Landscaping Society offer you this blend of pulsing electronica and indiepop; I grinned every time that chorus dropped in, gentle and charming, bursting with euphoric feels! And don’t forget that heavy guitar solo in the song’s latter half to boot. This single comes with a cover of They Go Boom!’s “The Gift.” They’ve got a 17 track album coming your way next year, so keep your ears ready! Just be sure to visit Matinee frequently as the news seems pretty constant (and great) right now!
Somehow this new Foliage LP skipped by my usual listening rotation, but I’ve really been enjoying the whole the self-titled record. Manuel Joseph Walker is crafting these dreamy pop numbers, often woven around gratifying little hooks looped together. One of my favorites on the most recent LP is this upbeat jam, “Industry.” It’s got this heel-kicking toe-tap to it, while Walker’s get layered upon each other building in this warm texture that adds depth to this nostalgic pop bent; I’m just a huge sucker for the tones of the guitar on this particular tune. It’s Friday, you like new stuff, so give it a listen.
Having been away for nearly 12 years, Sleep Station is making a welcome return, at least for this listener. David Debiak crafts the blend of Americana that seems to bleed over into the realm of casual pop, the sort that hits right at home for my personal tastes. There are those forlorn bending guitar lines, but Debiak’s voice seems to have this melodic hop to it, springing atop the gentle strums. I love the spritely bounce that comes near the 1:40 mark, just leaving me this little pop nugget to carry with me in my pocket. You’ll find this song on the new LP, American Rust.
It’s been a really big year for all things old school Athens. First, there was that Pylon box set, and then came the Love Tractor reissue of their 1982 self-titled debut. We reached out to Mike Richmond to throw a few questions his way, and in return he offered to share his recipe for Veggie Breakfast with Sausage. If you love what you hear, you can grab the LP in various formats from HHBTM (who graciously helped us get in touch with Mike!).
With the London quartet Dry Cleaning now calling 4AD their home, they opted to release this new single to celebrate the new union…accompanied by an incredible video to boot. I love how the band stick to their simplicity, which is where they first started drawing from the likes of the Feelies and Pylons. At times, this definitely harkens to a sort of early 80s post-punk feel, though the edges aren’t as sharper, almost worn down by time; that effect matches the mood of Florence Shaw’s very matter of fact vocal delivery throughout the song. Plus, you get that bobbing bass throughout, giving you enough of a groove that the tune echoes in your brain long after the time’s run out. Betting 4AD are pretty stoked to have this lot on board.
Three singles into the new Alex Maas record, and this is by far the one that will stand out to me before I go and listen to the Black Angelssinger’s solo record. On first listen, there’s this reverberation through your speakers, almost sort of allowing the notes a bit of levitation just outside your ear. On my end, I’m giving my appreciation to the intimate folky nature of the track; it’s as if the song was meant to serenade the masses before a worker’s march…perhaps tying into Maas reflections on looking inside society for a bit of good. Luca is out on December 4th via Innovative Leisure.
Down here in Austin, our friends over at Keeled Scales have been raving about the incredible songwriting prowess of Katy Kirby, and today…lets hope the world is listening. She announces Cool Dry Place with this incredible video for “Traffic,” a song dedicated to a former partner who seemed determined to revel in his own trials rather than realize that “nobody has it better than you.” Her sound, perhaps influenced by her childhood singing in church definitely has a pop bent to it, though you can hear her pulling away from those tendencies. Honestly, take the work of my favorite Rosie Tucker and maybe sprinkle a little sugar on top; it’s got this great playful vocal that’s highly rewarding. You can grab the debut LP (it’s a Vincy Vaughn reference right?) on February 19th from Keeled Scales.
The moment we’ve all been expecting has come to be; Shame, today, announce their brand new LP, Drunk Tank Pink. There have been hints that something was in the air since the release of Songs of Praise…but I’m actually referring to the musical style they’re brandishing on their latest batch of singles. They seem to have discarded the formulaic call and response post-punk that’s become quite the fad, instead favoring a more elaborate approach, often slowing things down to let notes ring out and build that internal tension for the listener. There’s still a solid release, but there’s time to reflect, rather than just be bashed over the head by blunt rock. Drunk Tank Pink will be released the day before my birthday on January 15th via Dead Oceans.