On Friday we’ll get to hear the new LP from Mike Donovan (Sic Alps, Peacers), and just before the release, we get one final peek into what’s coming our way. To my ears, this sounds like where pop music wanted to go in the late 60s/early 70s; it has this elegance to it that’s constantly reaching towards a grand climax. Donovan’s voice never lets it go there, sounding like he’s afraid to get there, so he holds back in the mix, sort of haunting the song before a guitar line abruptly shoots the track to its close. There’s so much in this tune, despite its brevity; you can have all of Exurbian Quonset this Friday via Drag City.
Last week I shared another track from the forthcoming Seablite LP along with news of the Pre-Order, but just a day later they dropped another tune and this video. I had to wait a bit to post it because I know you guys are fickle, and need some Seablite space…but now I’m ready to get back at it. This track pulls away from the jangling pop side of things and moves into the shimmering realm of dream pop. I think the rhythm section still holds things really tight, propelling the tune forward while the guitars seem to swirl and dip in and out of your ear holes. I love how you can sort of tie the album title into the two sides of the band, with their jangling leaning towards the more playful “Grass Stains” and this track here bending towards “Novocaine.” Grass Stains and Novocaine is out June 7th via Emotional Response.
There are two things working in favor for Ezra Furman; he’s constantly shape-shifting his sound and he’s mentioned Jay Reatard as one of the artists he looked to in the recording of his new album Twelve Nudes. This new single definitely has things high upon the energy front, a la Jay, blasting forth with furious pace from the very get-go. He even seems to have adopted his own frantic stylings for the vocals, forcing the lyrics to bounce out in even step with the pace of the track; the lyrical content is a straight shot towards how many folks feel in today’s world where none of seem to be ok. Twelve Nudes will be out on Bella Union on August 30th.
It’s been almost three years since Simon Lam of Nearly Oratorio has released any music, at least music of his own (he’s a producer and part of Kllo). But, there’s a new EP on the horizon, and I was struck by this tune and it’s stark nakedness. Two minutes is dominated by a forlorn piano and Lam’s fragile voice, almost built upon breaking. In the far off background, backing vocals start to enter in angelically, just as Lam raises his own voice towards the rafters. Maybe its R&B, maybe its pop, but ultimately, its captivating; keep an eye out for A Comforting Fact on June 6th.
You may know Grace Gillespie, currently based out of London, from her work with 4AD’s Pixx, but if not, get ready for the bluesy sounds of her newest single, “I’m Your Man.” This track unfolds slowly, which is perfect for sleepy starts to the week on this Monday. Gillespie’s vocals walk the line between falsetto and crooner, which compliments the doo-wop, vintage feel of the track. There’s a lovely balance between slow-burn in the verses and a bit of a bite in the choruses and it feels like Gillespie will soon be taking her spot amongst the ranks of her contemporaries and fellow psych pop crooners Molly Burch and Angel Olsen. Take a listen below and fall for Grace Gillespie.
I was lucky enough to find that new Azure Blue release from Matinee Recordings last Friday, and the esteemed indiepop label has turned around and shared another new gem, this time from The Royal Landscaping Society. It’s going to be hard not to listen to this on repeat as often as one can; it offers up this dreamy guitar line that mixes it up with this deep tone and sharp percussive element, the sort that makes the dream pop/shoegaze kids swoon. Then comes the voice, bringing in a calming melody that doesn’t really go too far outside the song’s comfort zone…until the 2:12 mark (and the 3:16 mark). Here, the keyboards rise in, a strummed guitar line is apparent and the vocals swell, just a smidge. I’m so in love with this track. Keep your eyes peeled for a 7″ later this year on Matinee.
When Lachlan Denton lost his brother Zac (of Ocean Party fame) unexpectedly last year, he was overtaken by emotion; he did what he and his brother had been doing for a long long time…he penned some tunes to try and write his emotions out into the world. The first tune we’ve heard from the LP is “This Christmas,” which has me pretty damn near close to tears. In the lyrics you’ve got a brother promising to keep his brother’s memory alive, though that promise comes with the knowledge that those memories will also bring sadness. Musically, there’s this wonderfully gleaming guitar line; it twinkles and sparkles in the front of the mix, much like Zac when he was fronting OP. A Brother will be out on July 19th via Osborne Again/Spunk/Bobo Integral.
It’s been a crazy week here and I’m looking for some nice tunes to close out the week and send me into a relaxing weekend. Oddly enough, I’ve found my weekend jam from Parisians Fiasco and their latest single “Spring Thorns”. For me the band has a unique and interesting approach to a largely overdone shoegaze/coldwave genre. The song has a nice and bright guitar, husky vocals, and this feeling of urgency as if the song might just come off the rails at any point.
Fiasco will release a new EP entitled Duel on May 24th via in silico records.
It’s supposed to rain here in town this weekend, and as a guy who likes to plan and map out the soundtrack to his life, I wanted to have the perfect song to stare longingly outside while water beads up on the windows at home…lucky for me I found this Loving tune. It’s this beautifully unassuming number; it allows for both the music and your mind to wander about. Built upon a gentle guitar and piano line, the voice really sets you up for that dreamy vibe, almost giving you the chills it’s so powerful. This tune comes with the announcement that the band have signed to Last Gang Records, so we should expect release news sometime in the near future.
Tobias Isaksson seems to be no a roll the last couple of years with his Azure Blue project, settling into a groove of releasing pop gem after pop gem; he released “Shine On” late last year, just a few months after the release of the excellent Fast Falls the Eventide. Quietly, Matinee Recordings has uploaded a new song with the promise of the forthcoming Images of You album. This song features steadied electronic pulses; Tobias excels at layering his sonic bursts atop one another until they seem like one endless pop pulsation. His voice has always had this natural soothing warmth, perfectly fit to his brand of pop…and this tune is no different. Look for the new album to come sooner rather than later, though no official date is out there.