What on Earth is this beautiful sound coming from the latest Japan Review single? Immediately my ears filled with these discordant angular riffs, just heavily jangling, bouncing notes off one another to create this dense background of anxiousness. Moments later, synth work rolls into the picture, polishing the song like a fine gem, letting the melodic vocals calm your nerves as drums snap at the mix from below. Every sound works against each other, and in crashing together, they mix and leave you blanketed with this sublime piece of artful noise. I’m totally floored by this tune, and hoping that the whole of their new LP, Kvetch Sounds, lives up to this track; it’s out on October 29th via Reckless Yes.
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Thanks for having us ATH. Its a real honour to be allowed to take over the hall for a day! Our home – in rural Kent, England – is a
Having returned with the excellent Cul-de-sac of Love, the Lodger seem to be back in full swing with their songwriting. Last week they released this charming track, a bouncer if you will, jumping right off with a pounding piano and drum stomp. For me, this is something that feels very much like the band are hitting their stride once again, with one foot firmly in the history of Brit pop, and one banging out hook-laden pop as we push forward into the future. Throwing this up, just in case you, like me, missed it a week ago!
When it comes to the softer brand of lo-fi, there are certain things that definitely allow me to immerse myself in the musical element, one of which is a distinctive voice. Miranda Elliott, the songwriter behind Old Man of the Woods, has this way of letting her voice seemingly quiver, rising up and down from syllable to syllable, forcing enchantment on listeners. The music here seems to be made of this jangling strummed loop, naked at first, then adding a further texture to the song to elevate the arrangement; this is the brand that gets me on board! Look for the debut, Votives, on October 15th via Totally Real Records.
Having worked in production for years, Will Crumpton is ready to work out his own tunes on his debut EP as Orton. His lead single from the track seems to detail his journey, with the title “Your Way” referencing how he came to find strength in his own musical decision making. I love the heavy vibe coursing throughout, sort of this deep wash of darkened tones, pushing forth with this cavernous sound that gets occasional accents from distorted atmospherics. Crumpton lets the feathery notes of his voice float in and out, careful to keep the song’s production equal, so the emotive quality is maximized for listeners. Sparring EP will be out on October 29th via Phlexx Records.
It’s been a busy year for Parker Longbough, releasing an album and an EP, but we’re not even done yet, so we’re pleased to inform you that he’ll be releasing another record, Off Front Street. One of the great things about Longbough is his storytelling, and its what fills this record (and song), with his lyrical work resembling Doug Martsch to a certain degree, making the mundane leap from the speakers. This track has a circular nature to it, musically speaking, with this guitar ringing in and out of the mix, allowing Longbough to focus on his storytelling while the song buzzes behind him; it’s punctuated by this emphatic drum work, primarily on the cymbals, punching up the hooks as you go through. You can file this tune somewhere between the Pacific Northwest of the late 90s and Elephant 6. Off Front Street drops on October 22nd via Wilderhood Music.
Last week I might have gotten a little carried away; my wife and newborn son were spending a lot of time resting, so I was just hanging out writing about songs all week…something a teacher, soccer coach, dad and label owner typically can’t do. So, this week’s playlist of last week’s hits might be a little longer than usual, but you’re going to be all the better for it. I hope you have a wonderful Monday my friends, and enjoy the jams here!
I’ve been posting a whole lot of singles and stuff this week, mostly because I like to over-indulge and see who is listening. No one, apparently. But, why not wrap up this week of working harder than I ever have before by sharing some cool records I liked that drop today? Yeah? Ok.
Smoke Bellow – Open for Business (Trouble in Mind)
If you’re into that new Dry Cleaning album (and you should be), then see how far this Baltimore outfit can take that sound…pushing to a weirder, albeit synthesized, world. Like Kraftwerk covering Dry Cleaning at a Halloween party for art school kids.
Sweet Nobody – We’re Trying Our Best (Daydream Records)
I’ve written about every single on this album, and could easily make comparisons to the likes of the Beths or Alvvays…all good things. If you’ve got a sweet tooth and need something to snack on, press play.
Hits – Cielo Nublado (Paisley Shirt Records)
You ever wonder what Sarah Records would sound like if they got transported to the future about 20 years? Well, pretty sure that Hits have given you the answer to that question, so if you’re looking for ramshackle pop, you’ve come to the right place!
TC Superstar – As Seen on TV
Austin’s dance party drop their latest record today; it’s 9 songs of catchy hooks ready for you to invite your friends over for the night to celebrate the joys of life. Stomp about until the neighbors complain about the noise.
Sorry to inform you that this week is indeed Goner Records week, as the label have announced yet another banger of a tune, along with the announcement of the new Low Life album. This is great news, as we were big fans of Downer Edn, so to know that From Squats to Lots: The Agony and XTC of Low Life is just around the corner makes this a wonderful Friday. When this opens up, the drums are thunderous, furiously rushing us into this tornado of guitar swirls, lifting us and dropping us, lifting us and dropping us. The vocals are rather direct, and almost without emotion, adding to the pseudo-industrial nature of the track. Personally, a few listens through, and I kind of imagine this as a dark-wave response to Les Savy Fav, particularly when you get to the chorus; it just feels very Tim Harrington. The new LP is out on November 5th.
Mata Kopa is a Swedish based musical duo consisting of Miranda Raeder and Boris Grubesic. Since 2015, the duo has released a debut LP and spent tons of time touring all over Europe while building a name for the band. This year the Stockholm pair just dropped an EP entitled Go Buy the Sun, which features this standout track “Deep End”. On first listen, I was immediately drawn into the incredibly dreamy sounds and the impressive vocals of Raeder. Think Alvvays but with the occasional need to bust out some slick guitar spasms.
What’s in the California water these days? Semi Trucks are the latest from the Golden State to brandish this blend of lo-fi bedroom pop that feels like the waves rolling ashore on a windless day. It’s like you’ve walked into some den of sin, smoke billowing in your eyes, and as you wipe it away, you can make out this quiet band in the corner; they’ve got a soft tambourine and this distorted guitar conducting a seance with everyone in attendance. All the while, the vocals seem caught up like the smoke, swirling and twirling around you with every breath taken. Leave breadcrumbs as you listen, as you’re likely to get lost in the caverns of this tune. The band will release Vs. California via Meritorio on November 26th.