What do you get if you combine members of REM, the Minus 5 and I Was a King? Well, the No Ones! The supergroup has an album and an EP under their belts, and they’ve decided that they’re going to bring us another jam, and hopefully that means another record! Personally, this is track might be my favorite they’ve written. It’s got the perfect guitar sound, walking that fine line between punk and pop, and the vocals even have just enough bite to give the song a hint of attitude; it sounds like what I maybe wish the Replacements had evolved into, great songwriting and a touch of badass-ery. Turn it up friends.
Post-punk Icons Essendon Airport released a special 7″ in 1980 (the year of my birth!) with vocalist Anne Cessna, but the celebration of Chapter Music’s 30th perhaps has lured the band back…and rewarded us with a new single. The A-side is the sort of brilliant pop that was so exciting on the band’s 7″, mixing various textures in a fashion that many would like describe as modern trip-hop; it pulses and curls beneath your toes, inching its mood through your entire body. On the flipside, you get a more pensive sound, something that illustrates the group’s musicianship overlapped with poetry; I found that aligning it with artists like the Books seems apt on this tune. This new 7″ is available through Chapter Music, who will host a celebratory 30 year party in November, where Essendon Airport will take the stage!
One of my favorite picks from this year is the Swedish Punk LP from Danish outfit Kindsight. They’ve just returned with a fresh track that I probably want to play all weekend long, as its got that sort of presence you can’t escape. Nina’s voice has this power to it, which is on full display throughout the song, but the band sets her up to kind of rise like a sort of phoenix; they’ve got these stuttering guitar notes, quieted backing vocals and little nuance that completely fill your musical cup until its overflowing with the emotive vibe of the vocals. There aren’t a whole lot of folks doing it better than this lot right here; the single’s out today courtesy of Rama Lama Records.
Austin’s Dress Warm have a familiar sound, which should hopefully endear them to the locals, and you as well. They’re crafting these bedroom guitar pop songs, reminiscent of acts like Good Morning or Hovvdy; they even have some overlapping layers and a solo that remind me of Real Estate. So you’ve got these great little touchstones that can easily let you drift towards the weekend, riding atop the melodic wave they’ve crafted here for you. This is the sort of Friday tune that just makes you feel good, so press play again and again until your mood settles.
Secret Shame have been really high upon my personal radar the last few years, and this new single is a reminder of the band’s sound that first caught my ear. Heavy drums set the scene while dreamy guitars dance and jangle in the song’s foreground, occasionally giving into the inclination to drop your foot on that pedal and let noise ring out. What I love here is the restraint. Other acts, and maybe even Secret Shame set up the perfect spot to kind of soar and be loud in the chorus, but this whole song has this sort of calm to it, offering a bit of heavy respite. The weight of the song comes through, but the melody never strays too far away. The band will release Autonomy on October 28th.
The bobbing and weaving that immediately opens this tune sets of the new Ciel single as a certain banger; it has this heaviness that’s perfect for opening up the group’s new Not in the Sun, Nor in the Dark EP. Michelle’s vocals through the verses are sort of crystalline, reminding me at times of Clementine of Cherry Glazer; it sets up the chorus to unleash a heavier punch that really claws at your speakers in an attempt to deliver a melodic punch of noise to your ears. They’ll drop their new EP via Jazz Life on October 7th, and I reckon they’ll head right back into the study to write more sweet jams like this one.
I’ve been really hyped on the newest release from Adults, as they’re providing me with that UK pop punk that combines frantic energy with little bits of math-y pop punk, and I’m glad they’re dropping a nice little ditty for us today. This one is all about the opening guitar work, fighting chords working over each other for stardom, building the tension and rushing into action. It’s here the vocals unite, offering a bit of melodic call and response before settling into the calm of the chorus. Working between passionate and reflective, the song’s like the perfect Adults sampler, giving you their best in a burst of 2 minutes. Their new LP, For Everything, Always will be out October 14th via Fika Recordings.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to totally fall for the new Alvvays record immediately. I knew it would be good, that was just a given. But, today with two new singles, it’s like they’re leaving us these tasty little breadcrumbs to follow on our path to enjoyment. On one side here, you get a fuzzier bit of grungy pop, sounding like many of the band’s choruses, only stretched. Then you flip it and you have this almost new-wave meets psychedelia spun through a pop lens, a la Broadcast or the like. Each of these tunes, while sounding every bit like Alvvays, seems a touch different than what the band have given in other singles, so its like a smorgasbord of pop gems waiting to be devoured. Blue Rev is out October 7th via Polyvinyl.
Free Time will be dropping Jangle Jargon next week, and before it hits, there’s one more little tasty morsel to get you on board. Like most of the tunes we’ve heard thus far, this single works in parts, though culled together seamlessly. Starting off with this sort of natural chug, it then opens into this childlike chorus, punctuated by the move towards a jangling crisp guitar that moves us into stage 3…all before returning to stasis. The second go round, Dion is joined with backing vocals, giving into this sense of hope and elation that brings us to the song’s close. Bedroom Suck Records release Jangle Jargon on September 30th.
Wednesdays are typically celebratory, as we’re nearing the week’s end, and a little respite from life. But, in listening to this new single from Matt Kivel, the vibe is all about reflection, allowing us to revel in the moment, taking the time to find balance. You can easily find that in the mood, particularly with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy adding in vocal work to texture, but Kivel’s commentary also seems pertinent, hitting on our desire “to seem perfect, to feel no pain, to construct something without dissonance;” it’s that eternal human aspiration, and this song dwells on our continuous trials to find that moment. So take some time and sit with it today, dwell and be present. Matt’s new album Bend Reality – Like a Wave will be out October 14th via Pedro y El Lobo.