I feel like I needed a solid kick in the ass this morning, something to get me up out of my own way and jumpstart the day…so here I am with the latest single from Skux. It’s a grungy little rocker, blasting out its energy from the get-go; it’s all guitars and drums just driving you furiously towards an unknown end. All that energy and fury seems fitting for a song about the end of a relationship, but what’s special is what Ayisha Jaffer’s voice offers in its performance. Jaffer has this controlled howl that hides the faintest pop sensibility, which ends up bringing some calm over the verses and choruses. The band will release the Kudis EP on August 23rd.
I think perhaps it was Built to Spill that really allowed me to like the jam; I’d been pretty averse to the concept since that one guy in the kitchen would play Phish on repeat during my college days. And now, I have a fondness for it, even some Phish moments, but I have my own ideas about it, which is where this Wet Tuna track fits in. There’s this huge expanse in the song’s sound, like we’re exploring something together as we listen; sure, there’s extra noodling in there, but it doesn’t get out of control, nor repetitive. While sparse, the vocals have this rootsy indie rock vibe to them, which could see the band line-up next to various acts on either side of the genre (see my above markers!). For me, rule one in a jam is that it shouldn’t feel like a jam; it should be wrapped up in a tight little 5 minute bow and put to sleep…and that’s done here, so I’m all for it. Looking forward to exploring Water Weird with you all when it drops on October 12th via Three Lobed Recordings.
I feel like it’s getting to the point where any time that I see a new release pop up from Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten that I should just expect greatness. Luckily, when it comes to news of a fresh 7″ from Cozy Slippers, I was already up to date on the band, having been a fan of their Postcards EP (Jigsaw 2018). Their return has those early jangling notes turn more into a woozy dream vibe; they still have the same sharpness, but they meander just a bit on the edges, which actually opens the song up for one of those classic vocal performances. There’s an earnest to the lyrical delivery; it almost feels as if you can hear it as an homage to Jett or Harry in their hey-day…it sparkles but brims with bravado. The new 7″ will be available this Friday via KUS.
So maybe Pony in the Pancake are playing a little into the season here, but their new track “Summer Has a Way” is a pretty infectious little ditty. The tune’s got this little bit of surfy jangle to the guitar work, along with some steady bounce that really helps lift the song’s energy. Plus, the way the vocals are delivered in this casually emphatic fashion makes them perfect for those late night parties with all your friends as you sing along to the chorus. The band will have a new record out on September 20th via Five Kill Records, and I expect it to keep up with the vibe as it’s titled Summer Sun.
It’s the time of year when releases come hard and fast, everyone trying to cram music in between their Fall tours and what not; I mean, we have 3 releases on our label in the next two + months, so you know the rest of Austin is busy. Two things I missed while on a brief beach vacay were these new jams from TVs Daniel and Annabelle Chairlegs.
TVs Daniel is the most recent project from all around rock n’ roller Daniel Fried; he’s also the key element in acts like Video and Bad Sports (amongst others). I love this track for its huge buzzsaw guitars disguised beneath a penchant for anthemic arena rock; the subtle backing vocals are a really nice touch. This track appears on a 7″ for Italian label, Wild Honey Records. It pretty much rules.
Annabelle Chairlegs are everyone’s Austin favorites; they’re the band that all the bands love…they even appeared on the Slack Capital Compilation we put together with Eric of Big Bill and First Human Records. This new single has this swagger lurking in the midst of psychedelic waves; I love the tenacity of the vocal performance. This tune should pop up on a sophomore LP any day now.
Deeper dropped their stunning self-titled LP last year via Fire Talk, and we did a lot of coverage on that album; I even booked them at my super-last-minute SXSW show, where they killed it. Now, the band are back with the announcement of a new 7″, featuring a John Maus cover and this new track below. I love the immediacy of the rhythm section here, offering up an energetic bob of right from the get-go. They don’t stray too far either, bringing in some discordant angular guitar riffs to craft the contrast where they vocals can weave in and out. This tune’s super rad, and they’ll have the 7″ on hand when they hit the road with label mates Dehd this Fall.
Austin based amigo Matthew Squires has long been a favorite around these parts and we are totally excited to hear he is returning this year with new music. For a preview of what the new album might sound like, Squires has just released this new single called “Strange Day”. At first, it sort of sounds like older, quirky material we’ve always known, but then it slowly evolves about two minutes in with a louder guitar, faster pace, and heated vocals. Might sound like a Neil Young song to some if you know his older material, and that’s perfectly all right with me.
Squires will release new album Visions of America on August 30th.
Dry Cleaning are the latest UK act to arrive on our shores with loads of anticipation about what they have to offer. Musically, there’s similarities to the post-punk stylings of various acts, with the most hyped being Shame/Black Midi; it’s the sort with these jagged guitar lines coming in all angles while the disaffected delivery of the vocals crafts an odd balance. But, what I like about Dry Cleaning, especially on this number, is the Florence Shaw’s approach to writing the lyrics; this tune is comprised of bits of commentary from various places, like Youtube comments or TV advertisements. It adds the actual word art to what often gets lumped in as art-rock; this here is an elevated version of what we’ve all been bankrupt on selling. The Sweet Princess EP drops August 16th via It’s Ok.
Suggested Friends have popped up on our site before now, so its nice to see them return with the announcement of a new album, Turtle Taxi. Musically, their sound fits right in with a lot of the guitar-pop of the modern day, slightly nodding towards OG emo sounds, but here they also seem to take on a hint of power ballads. I love how the vocals have this soft melodic power; the voice seems unassuming, but the pitch control and delivery clearly indicates the song’s emotion lives there. Sure, you can hear bits of other acts here, but at the moment, there’s nothing I’ve heard that sounds quite like this act; I’m looking forward to Turtle Taxi, out on Fika Recordingsand HHBTM come October.
Elizabeth is one of my favorite Australian voices; she’s previously been the leader of the wonderful Totally Mild, though her attention is now 100% on her own project. This video completely captures the feelings of the track’s lyrics, showing Elizabeth isolated in the foreground while parties rage on behind her, where she misses her ex partner. I found the track has this subdued enchantment; the guitars ring carefully while the beat stays calm and steady, building the tension for the release of the chorus. Clearly, Elizabeth owns the song, drawing you in with her powerful performance…she’s just incredible. Her debut solo effort, The Wonderful World of Nature will be out on Our Golden Friend on November 1st.