If you’ve read the pages of ATH over the years, you must know that we are all huge fans of Los Angeles based outfit Film School. The band recently dropped their 6th studio album entitled We Weren’t Here just this past September which has seen heavy rotation around our offices. Of course if you have yet to check out the new album, might I recommend you hit play on this new single/video for album track “Said Your Name” to give yourself a reason to check out the entire full length. Overall things have a very new wave vibe in both sound and visual but also with that intimate, shoegaze touch we know and love from Film School.
After dropping the excellent Still Life earlier this year, Massage turned around and announced the Lane Lines EP last month. There’s a new tune circulating, which is a cover of the classic Ivor Cutler Trio tune, “I’m Going in a Field.” They drag the original into a sort of paisley landscape, toying with jangling guitars, while still allowing the emotive quality of the tune to remain the focus. I know the band is based in LA, but this track feels like it should take place in the foggy realms of San Francisco or London, giving it this timelessness that’s sure to win new fans of the group. Look for Lane Lines via Mt. St. Mtn. on December 10th.
Ben Harrison recently released his Lift/The Bend 7″ under the Stutter Steps moniker, and today we’re here to encourage your listening by sharing the new video for the A-side. The video was shot on Super 8 by Dan Finegold, giving this sort of grainy feel to the visual presentation, which covers a lot of scenic shots featuring Ben and his guitar. One of the reasons I love the video and the track is that the two seem really complimentary. The song has this Americana feel, but with Harrison, he adds a bit more bravado and punch, brining in some of his power-pop stylings from earlier releases; it fits well with lots of striking landscape work, tying the two pieces together. If you’re digging, you can grab the 7″ courtesy of Blue Arrow Records HERE.
I guess with all these year end lists, we start to look forward to what’s in store for January, and one of the records that seems like a no-brainer around here is the new LP from Kids on a Crime Spree. We’ve got a new Christina Riley (Artsick/Boyracer) directed video coming our way, with the video footage seemingly working in contrast to the thumping pace of this track. The guitars bang away furiously as the drums thunder and smash in the background; it’s all creating this infectious cacophony you can’t ignore. Mario’s voice is perfect here, wound with this earnestness and melody that always seems like it’s trying to play catch-up to the rest of the tune. Not sure anyone’s delivering pop music this delicious; Fall In Love Not In Line will be out on January 21st via Slumberland Records.
A few weeks ago we ran a new track from Peter Bogolub’s project Loops & Loops, and now I’ve got another track you might enjoy today. This one has a similar guitar that creates this sort of openness, but instead of letting the song meander into the sonic landscape, Bogolub employs catchy beats on loop with handclaps to really pull on the listener’s need for fun. There’s a slight little speed pick up in the chorus that serves to give the song that perfect wrinkle that elevates it above a lot of other lo-fi bedroom pop of the moment…I mean, for me anyways.
I haven’t written my Best of 2021 yet, mostly out of laziness. But, you can be sure that one thing that’s going to pop up on it is Uncommon Weather from The Reds, Pinks and Purples. That being said, Glenn Donaldson and company have already turned around and prepared another LP for release in early 2022 (I think that leaves room for another LP at the end of 2022 too!). Today there’s another wonderfully subtle pop tune, such that it will cure whatever ails you today. There’s something about Donaldson’s voice that feels like a parent comforting a child, at least that’s the way I’d like to imagine. The soften vocals and light jangles seemingly point to a brighter horizon, even amidst grim imagery like my favorite line “walking in the rain/hoping it won’t stop.” Just please, prepare to empty your wallet to buy all the Donaldson tunes in 2022. Summer at Land’s End drops at the end of January via Slumberland/Tough Love.
On the heels of their Keesh Mountain EP, Wombo return with a brand new single…and a tour announcement. I love that the band describes this tune as “the balance between chaos and structure;” it definitely fits with my listening habits. The guitars throughout the song do have that dangerous edge, particularly when the song opens up. But, it’s Sydney Chadwick’s voice that drives the song, letting the guitars and drums work around to create the balancing act while she steadies the ship. Just a really solid tune with these slow burning riffs and smoky vibes that easily sedate you as you kick back and immerse yourself in their latest jam. They’ll be kicking off a nice tour in March of next year that starts at SXSW, then sort of bounces around the middle of the States, so keep an eye out.
Seems like we’re opening up our Wednesday musical journey with some mellow vibes, and I don’t mind that one bit as we settle into the week with this new track from Fortunato Durutti Marinetti. Listening to this new track from the forthcoming Memory’s Fool, you get little hints of Bill Callahan or maybe even Destroyer; it’s stripped back music with a powerful vocal performance. Somehow, even as the vocals come across almost spoken, they hang on the cusp of melodic, accented by these careful choral backing notes, punctuating the Marinetti’s voice. This is the sort of track that feels almost meditative, so be sure to dip your toes in this calming pool as you get your day moving; Memory’s Fool will be out on Bobo Integral come February 25th.
Nightlands will be releasing the Moonshine EP next week via Western Vinyl, and what the project is offering up seems pretty interesting, at least when you see it as a stop-gap between records. We got a Brinsley Schwarz cover, and now we get this more ethereal piece. At times, it feels like the track is this sort of dreamscape, with twinkling little nuances swirling to create this special soundscape that definitely feels like an expanse…be it frontier or space…it’s just this massive space that lets your mind wonder, which is perfect for this time of the year. Let your mind drift and enjoy the new tune.
There’s something nostalgic in the craft of the Smashing Times; it’s definitely a sound that seems steeped in classic guitar pop sounds that evolved out of the early 90s; think Galaxie 500 with a little more risk. The vocals on this new tune have this distinct delivery, like they’re sung half-heartedly, save for a few spots where they really get belted out. For me, this song’s all about the guitar sound, churning over and over like billowing smoke blowing through my speakers with this sense of melodic yearning. There’s some slight jangles, a tinge of psychedelia, and it’s all just so glorious that I can’ really imagine you loving a better song today. The band will release this tune on a 7″ which you definitely need to pick up from Painter Man Records before it comes out this weekend!