I like the immediacy of this new track from Noble Son; it hits the listener right off the bat with its guitar circling the stomp of the drum work. A playful piano line adds an extra layer to the song just before Adam Kirschner delivers his first vocal line. He’s got a distinctive set of pipes, but I love the operatic power it holds the most, soaring above the mix in a marvelous fashion. It’s strange, but perhaps the best compliment I can offer this tune is that I never hear the same thing…at times I am attracted to the unfolding bounce, other times it’s the tinkering piano line…all pointing to an album of great promise. Joy in Violence will be self-released on March 30th, with a slew of Canadian tour dates around the release.
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard new tunes from Amen Dunes, but I’m definitely enjoying this track that comes with the announcement of a new LP. The first thing that struck me is the propulsive tone of the percussion; it sets the perfect pace, steady and pushing the tension. It’s fitting because Dylan McMahon’s voice definitely doesn’t seem steady; he holds onto notes and syllables until there’s almost nowhere else for them to venture. He still has a folk affection in the voice, but the sound of this single hints that the band’s new LP might be a little bit broader than what we heard on Love. Sacred Bones will be releasing Freedom on March 30th.
Just as I was lamenting a shortage of great indiepop vibes in the 2018, it looks like the world was destined to prove me wrong. Today A Certain Smile announce the release of their debut album, bringing the sound of Portland’s indiepop to our ears. The track rushes forward from the get-go, employing little touches of shoegaze in the guitar to go along with more traditional jagged lines stabbing through the mix. Vocals from Thomas Andrew provide that fireside warmth that pop fans crave, sending out wave after wave of melodious lines through your speakers. The debut album Fits and Starts will be released by the band on March 9th, and it’s sure to be a gem.
SXSW Music Festival Wristbands will be priced at $169 (including tax) and will sell out quickly. Sales are limited to Austin area residents. All advance sales will be online. Individuals may purchase one wristband for themselves and one for another person whose name must be provided at the time of purchase. Online purchase requires a credit card with a billing zip code in the Greater Austin area. A list of zip codes is available at wristbands.sxsw.com/music.
There’s a certain broad-sweeping emotion in the music being crafted by Eric Benoit; his latest single is exactly what we’ve come to expect as we look forward to the release of his new record, Heartrender. Opening with a deep guitar line with just the faint hint of buzz from the recording builds a stark landscape for Benoit to carefully float his voice. He seems like he’s not in any rush as he just quietly croons, some notes quivering in the mix. You should definitely keep your ears peeled, as the song erupts into a close. Look for the release on January 26th.
While he’s only got one album under the name of Josh T Pearson; he’s been writing important music in the state of Texas for several decades…perhaps most prominently in Lift to Experience. He’s putting all that behind him, offering his most straight-forward collection of tunes on his new record, The Straight Hits. There’s some sonic similarities that have always been in Pearson’s songwriting, but I love the way he seems to interpret the history of Texas music in his own brand, from the drawn out growl to the stuttering delivery during the verses. This album is meant for immediacy, and on this round, he’s accomplished his feat; look for the album to drop on April 13th.
Melbourne’s always been a hotbed of music, but as of late, it’s become increasingly diverse…so just add Exek to the list of band’s pushing the boundaries. This new single has a darkened un-pop feel; taking pop structures and infiltrating the standard tropes with humor, indifference and a slinking saxophone line. There’s an industrial feeling to the track, in reference to emotions rather than the music); it’s as if the band’s offering this song from the empty innards of an incomplete skyscraper. The band will be releasing Ahead of Two Thoughts on Superior Viaduct on January 26th.
There is already a horde of great albums coming our way in 2018, but one of the one’s at the top of my list is the new record from Totally Mild (they’ll also be in attendance at this year’s SXSW). The group just released their new video for “Lucky Stars,” which is dominated by the performance of songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell. Her voice is powerful, with just a hint of fragility on some of the notes left hanging; she’s all alone in the video with her piano, furthering her role as an incredible force that will surely be heard all over the rest of the year. Look for Her to be released on February 23rd via Chapter Music.
Feel like its been a slow start to 2018 for indiepop fans, but luckily it looks as if Math and Physics Club are ready to give us a cure. Today, the band shared 3 songs, 2 which we haven’t heard yet to tease their latest effort, Lived Here Before; its being released by Matinee in the US and Fika in Europe. The first thing I notice about the two new songs is that they carry a softer tone, almost akin to early Death Cab stuff. I think of the three songs we’ve gotten to hear, “Dear Madeline” is definitely the one keeping my attention this morning. I hear its cold out there, so hopefully this dosage of pop will keep you warm until its release on January 26th.
If you’re willing to brave the cold; it’s going to be warm inside Barracuda tomorrow night…and not just because it’s indoors. You’re going to get a chance to catch Yumi Zouma touring in support of their most recent album, Willowbank; it’s filled to the brim with hook-laden pop music of the electronic pop sort. Plus, the night will also be filled by two of our favorite local acts, Kay Odyssey and Blushing. We heard that Blushing will probably have their brand new Weak EP on hand before it’s street date, so head there and pick you a copy for yourself.