The last we heard from Seattle’s Cozy Slippers they were dropping the A Million Pieces 7′ for the esteemed Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten…and they pop up out of nowhere today with a brand new single of bouncing pop rock, at least on the A-side. “When Will When Come” is this infectious pop tune of driving rhythm and soaring vocals from Sarah and Barbara; they use a semi-dreamy style and fuse it with a whole lot of bop. But, flip to “Be Alone With Me” and they blend in this rad college rock feel; I kind of get classic Juliana Hatfield vibes on it, and I don’t mind that one bit. Really great to see the band up and running, so lets hope we get more from them soon!
I’ve been covering Tape Waves since their earliest days on Bleeding Gold Records, so its great to hear that the band have signed up with one of our favorite labels Emotional Response for their next LP. And, because you can’t really announce a new record without a single, they’ve thrown us one of those to boot! The song’s got this steady rhythmic bounce to it, giving the song a sturdy background that enables Kim and Jarod to craft the perfect slice of Friday dream pop. Kim’s voice are perfectly softened against the crystalline guitars sparkling behind her; this feels like a very Sarah adjacent pop sound, along the lines of early Heavenly or recent acts like Luxembourg Signal. Some sharpened guitar chords dance about in the song’s middle, giving a nice dose of joy to the listener as the tune fades to a close. Look for Bright on June 4th!
I’m not going to lie; I haven’t thought about Kings of Convenience in some time; they’ve not released new music in almost 12 years…though I’ll cop to checking in on Erlend from time to time. They return today with a new single and an announcement of Peace or Love, their brand new album, and honestly, not much seems to have changed between Eirik and Erlend. They’re still using incredible acoustic guitar play to mold these wonderful melodies, then intertwining their voices majestically, all of it aided by some feathery string arrangements to build in some texture. Honestly, this gives me the feels and takes me back to the early 00s, and I don’t mind that one bit. Their new LP is out June 18th.
Being a fan of Aquarian Blood, this tune was already destined to be a personal favorite, but it might also be the sort of tune that weasels its ways into the core of mainstream indie coverage. To me, it sounds like the Horrell’s are channeling an old school K Records aesthetic, though integrating it into their own brand of Tennessee folk. JB and Laura’s voices never felt so compatible as they do right here; this feels rooted in the song’s message that “love sees us through.” Personally, I love the careful acoustic notes, spontaneously interrupted by another guitar note that seems to be creeping down the scaled stairs after each mini verse, evolving into a hint of psychedelic exploration. Bending the Golden Hour is out on May28th via Goner Records.
I’ve been really high on the new Packs tunes; I love how Madeline Link seems to escape the trappings of super formulaic pop rock…at least in my mind, she’s not hitting the highlights like I’ve heard others do. For one, the guitar work here almost seems in demo form, the mix keeps it grounded, leaving listeners with the perfect slice of a pseudo-grunge riff; I can easily here the wrong person trying to blow up the volume there, but its softer side allows for Link’s voice to hold the whole of the song without much interference. Speaking of that voice, how are you not mesmerized by it? Has the perfect pitch and tone; I’m super stuck on it. Take the Cake will drop on May 21st via Fire Talk.
Our list of albums to look forward towards as the year ramps up includes this forthcoming LP from The Telephone Numbers. While the track may feature the slightest of acoustic jangles, its the work behind Thomas Rubenstein’s voice that really elevates the song. String arrangements are the most obvious, like a hand from the the heavens sprinkling magical melodic dust, sweeping across the song to coat it in this textural warmth. Behind that light jangle you can also hear another guitar line, sort of dancing a jig around the front of the mix, but it adds punctuation to both vocals and guitar notes, giving Thomas a pop hero’s welcome. The Ballad of Doug is out June 25th via Meritorio/Paisley Shirt.
Next week, Carter Tanton will be releasing his new self-titled album over on Western Vinyl Records, and of the singles we’ve shared or heard, this one might be my favorite of the lot. The song’s power is this resonating vocals that seems tethered to the guitar work, so much so that they never seem too far away from one another. Tanton’s vocals are glass-fragile, as if they’re about to shatter the minute they cross through your speakers; you’ve got to love the intimate presentation here, like sitting in on a studio session for one of your favorite songwriters. This song’s all emotion, no frills; it drops with Carter Tanton next Friday!
We’re over a year or so into this pandemic, and we’re all tired. For me, the Zoom meetings, the lack of interaction with my students, etc just drains me, so this tune from Verandan (who I adore) is perfectly fitting, both in sonic feel and thematically. To paraphrase Ville Hopponen, the tune’s about putting work behind you at the end of the season and sailing off into the unknown…be it tragedy or adventure…you take it all on openly. Interestingly, the music feels similar, to me. It begins with pushing the musical boat out to see and raising the sail, catching a gust and moving a little quicker. But, the seas are mostly calm here, so you’re carefully cutting through the sea to an unknown destination. This single comes to you courtesy of Soliti!
It’s always nice to see what Father Daughter puts out; they’ve been the quiet powerhouse label for years, probably as long as we’ve been running this silly site. Today they announce the signing of Mui Zyu, the project of Eva Lu, currently based out of London. With that announcement comes a great new single/video, packaged together beautifully, leaving us with hopes of a powerhouse release down the line. Lu’s voice is striking on its own, a calm in the storm of the heavier tones created around the vocals; you’ll find the the voice surrounded by this cavernous beat-laden brooding and black and white footage. Inside the tune you’ll find a few brief moments of angelic pop rise, but the reward only comes with the juxtaposition with the whole of the song.
Oddly, I think I just now realized that Tuesday’s in Australia are still release days (I think?); we used to do that in the States until it seemed more fun to use corporate Fridays. Alas, today you can stream (and buy!) the brand new 7″ from Partner Look, featuring members of Cool Sounds/Pop Filter. The A-side has this deliciously infectious stabbing guitar riff that punctuate Anila’s vocals as they try to match the drum beat; the chorus opens up into a more dreamy affair, building in these group harmonies that are certain to share their charms…particularly when the harmonies are interrupted by the yelping vocal from the background…as if two-like minded souls were having an argument. Flip it over and you’ve got a more steadying indie rock feel, pretend Parquet Courts just got really really stoned, only you get a hipper vocal from Dainis. Again, you get a great chorus, ultimately making things as memorable as anything you’ll hear today. The 7″ is available today via I Heard a Whisper.