I’m sitting over here, fully expecting this Alexalone record to be absolutely huge, ready to cheer on a few folks I know involved in the project. For me, this feels like the track that could really hook people, as it has the immediacy that you mightn’t have found in the first few singles. Alex and Hannah combine their voices in an almost meditative state, matched by the steadiness of Sam’s drums and the guitar chords, strangely feeling like an incredibly unexpected homage to Sonic Youth. Of course, that wouldn’t be complete without the explosiveness, which you do get as a sort of semi-chorus of feuding noise. Please make Alexaloneworld huge; it’s out August 13th via Polyvinyl.
Looking for some short and sweet rock music to brighten up your day and get you ready for the weekend? Well, then you need look no further than this new single “City of Police” from Chicago quartet Stuck. It is most definitely a song inspired by the post-punk genre but offers a hell of a lot more intensity and passion in it’s 2 minutes than most things I am currently hearing on the scene. I think you’ll dig it as well.;
XOR is the solo project of Secret Shame bassist Matthew, and next week he’ll be releasing his debut solo record. For the last single before the release, it seems he’s aiming to hit right at the heart with the catchiest tune on the release. At times, the warmth of his vocals lines up with the synth work he’s crafted, melodically seducing the listener with these synthesized harmonies. If you’ve been caught up in the work of Black Marble or Soviet, or hey, maybe you like the last few New Order records, then you’re going to find yourself pressing repeat on this tune for a long time to come. Look for XOR next Friday!
Harry the Nightgown is a new duo out of the Cali scene, featuring Sami Perez of Cherry Glazerr/the Shes and Spencer Hartling. I think the two play really well off each other, reminiscent of the Babies in that facet, sort of two contrasting voices that somehow seem to fit together like a wonderful little puzzle. The duo employ some minimal beats/synths to build their sound, and it works well, with some spots leaving tons of empty space in the track for the beats to remain minimal so that Perez can let her voice sparkle. Now that they’ve signed with Dangerbird, time will tell where they head from here!
This is the year when that funky brand of post-punk and indifferent vocals seems to really be making its mark, and I mean that in the best way. Add DC’s BRNDA to the group, offering this art-laden pop grooviness to the mix; the vocal delivery has its very own hook to it, which allows the musical element to kind of take its own course. Little nuances pop up and disappear just as quickly, due mostly to the song’s brevity; the band come in and deliver a quick pop punch, then fade away and let you press repeat. If you dig it, you can grab the group’s Do You Like Salt from Crafted Sounds; it drops on August 20th.
Every time one of the new singles comes out from Geoffrey O’ Connor‘s new LP, I’m just floored. For starters, there’s this timelessness to his craft; the thumping guitar line that rolls through the core of this track in an understated fashion serves as this tether to the listener’s emotions. But, thus far, O’ Connor seems to have found the perfect foil for every track, and having Sui Zhen guest on this tune does not hurt. Geoffrey has this more baritone nature, like a heavy melodic sigh, but Sui Zhen sparkles, effectively bobbing and weaving back and forth between the two distinct voices, creating this dreamy freefall sensation. Do I want more? Yes please! Geoffrey’s new LP, For As Long As I Can Remember is out on August 6th via Chapter Music.
Looks that we have a pop-centric focus this morning, bringing in another great tune from the Umbrellas and their forthcoming LP. This tune reminds me a lot of the band’s label mates, Jeanines, but perhaps that’s mostly revolving around the brevity and the sharp jangles hanging in the thick of the tune. But, where they make things their own is where they take the urgency and stretch it out, adding in this sort of 60s girl-group vocal harmonizing, ending up giving the song a dreamier feel. The rhythm section gives you the immediacy and bounce, but you can sit back and let it wash over you a bit more, calmed almost by the melodic nature. The band release their self-titled debut on August 6th via Slumberland.
Let’s face it, everyone wants to be Stereolab this year, or last year, or really, just period. And why not. But, imagine taking some of the more psychedelic and progressive movements of the aforementioned French outfit, and just replacing them with high octane pop moments. This is exactly what Le Pain are doing with their debut single, sort of exchanging the elements that might have made Stereolab weird or inaccessible (to some), then flipping it by going pure pop. You get hints of other like-minded acts like Alvvays, as the vocals are coated in this sugary sweetness that’s certainly undeniable. Pretty bold opening statement from the young outfit, if you ask me.
I wonder how some great bands get overlooked, particularly when they seem built for the enjoyment of the masses. The Shivas are one such band, and they’ve always crafted these hook-laden jams, my personal favorite being “You Make Me Wanna Die.” Today, they announce their new record Feels So Good//Feels So Bad, and do so with this swinging number that out their infectious quality on display. At times, it has this natural swinging psychedelic boogie to it, which is definitely tickles the ears; I think they up the ante by adding the emphasis of the vocals, letting the song sort of soar and pop in all the right places. Of course, the band are masters of choruses, and this one here is the best piece little piece of ear candy you’re going to get to chew on today. Fingers crossed this jam and this record put the band in front of more ears; the new LP is out on September 24th via Tender Loving Empire.
The title of this song seems to fit the story of the latest album from Damon & Naomi with Kurihara; the whole of the record seems like a letter to their friend and collaborator, Kurihara. Here we’ve got dreamy vocals from Naomi, riding on the crest of waves, crossing that vast distance of ocean in order to reach the shores of Japan. I love how there’s a guitar that cascades across the song’s middle, like another shared memory among companions, being told by another narrator, though clearly tied to the storytelling of both song and LP. You can feel the song reaching across the distances, yearning to find solace in long-lasting companionship. You’ll hear this tune on A Sky Record, out August 6th via 20-20-20.