I’m a few days late to the party on this one, but that doesn’t mean you should be like me and miss this lovely track from Mk.gee. It’s a pretty low-key one, but totally fits the gentle vibe that seems to be hitting the spot for me with the fall. Mk.gee is the moniker for Michael Gordon, who is making delicate tunes that sound like they’re coming to you from the bottom of a lagoon. Echoey instrumentation and vocals kind of waft your way in waves on “New Year,” as he ruminates on the passing of time and that hollow feeling that comes with ringing in another year. This track is from Mk.gee’s new EP, which will be out this Friday, 11/16.
As the year’s end comes nearer, I’m revisiting notes and such things I’ve made to remind myself of what I really enjoyed. Somehow, I skipped over writing about the Whip Hand, even though it made it into my indiepop list, so I aim to remedy that now. The band walks the careful line between indiepop and shoegaze, utilizing these sharp jagged guitar chords to encourage toe tapping, whilst drawing out vocal notes in a dreamier fashion. Their album Sometimes, We Are, just dropped in October, so you can still go out there and be cool by discovering it and sharing with your friends…like me! Grab the album from Lady Sometimes Records.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Juan Wauters; his last release was back in 2015 with Who Me. But, worry no more, as he’s finished up some traveling through Latin America and will return with La Onda de Juan Pablo. His travels began in Puerto Rico, where the following tune was begun; he was struck by a couple of characters playing boleros, thus crafting his own. It immediately has this almost traditional light-hearted vibe, particularly in the supporting vocals. You’ll also note that Wauters is singing entirely in Spanish, something that continues through the whole of the new album. I know I’m fond of the style, and if you find yourself in the same boat, look for the new album on January 25th via Captured Tracks.
This track may already be Cool Music Blog certified, but I like it, so I’m going to share it with you anyways, dear reader. And The Kids sure have a hit on their hands, and I expect this isn’t the last you’ll hear from this crew of Massachusetts indie rockers. “Champagne Ladies,” harnesses the energy of frustrations not into apathy, but something quite catchy. With a chorus of “Life is a bastard/Life wants to kill you/don’t get old,” you’ll be remiss not to sing along. Personally, what really tipped the scales for this one for me was the sick electric guitar riff that hits around the 2:30 mark. Not to mention, this crew has put together a solid video that is both quirky and earnest, with front person Hannah Mohan belting their heart out with a fierce and steady glare directly at you. And The Kids just announced their debut LP,When This Life Is Over, which will be out Feb. 22.
Man Toronto based outfit Tallies are quickly becoming one of my new favorite bands of 2018. Having already won my heart with “Beat the Heart” a month ago, the band now return with this hit new single “Watercolored Shoegaze”. As the name suggests, this certainly falls into the shoegaze genre but with some elements of 80s alt-rock thrown in to keep things interesting. If you haven’t yet, it’s time you check out Tallies and the beautiful voice from Sarah Cogan.
Tallies will release their self-titled debut LP on January 11th via Kanine Records.
You’ve got to trust the people you know, and it seems like almost every one of my favorite Austin artists (not to mention folks who we’ve worked with) have worked with Shawn Jones and his project, The Lovely Sparrows. But, he’s been relatively quiet since 2011, moving out of the city limits to refocus on his craft. It seems he’s returned with a pocked full of some of the best songs he’s written. On this number below, I was immediately struck by the driving bass work, and the subtle jangle of guitar dancing in step with the drumming of Matt Shepherd; it’s perfectly matched in production, adding these delicate layers that build the song up. He’s also always been a masterclass lyricist; I’m particularly keen on the line “if it’s artificial baby let it die.” You’ll definitely want to be sure spend a great deal of time with Shake the Shadow, out on November 16th via Abandoned Love Records.
For Austin fans, there’s a release show on 12/13 over at Barracuda.
It wasn’t hard to convince me to play this new Monteagle track; I was stuck right away with the guitars ambling across the stick/snare percussion. Then Justin Giles Wilcox sort of moseyed on over with his gentle croon; I think the hidden charm is the slight vocal change during the chorus, offering up a slightly higher tone whilst still holding onto the natural sense of longing in the tune. It seems like Wilcox is hitting that sweet spot in his songwriting abilities, and we all get the benefit of those gifts; look for Midnight Noon on November 30th via Fire Talk.
Not too long ago I raved about “Losing Touch,” the latest single from Way Dynamic, so today I’ll treat you to the video version, if only to reignite your interest in this great song. I don’t know how you can be a pop fan and not enjoy the feathery vocals draped over the strummed acoustic guitar and minimal rhythm section present here. And, don’t even get me started with how ridiculously good that chorus is. The band release their new EP, What’s It All for Now, this Friday. Shout out to our friend Lach whose playing drums in the video! Go listen to this song a lot, right now!
I feel like RayRay should be writing about Rick Rude (the band’s named after Ravishing Rick Rude, right?), as he’s our resident wrestling guru, but I just love this new single the group dropped before the release of Verb for Dreaming on Friday. It hits you write from the start, jumping in with this rolling drum beat before the guitars completely envelope the listener. The vocals seem almost as if they’re gang vocals, giving each note this added dose of emphasis; they’re begging to be screamed en masse, however, feel free to sing along on your own! If you dig it, the LP drops Friday via Exploding In Sound.
B.Gray and I met at a Twilight Sad show, many many years ago when a land named Emos still existed. So, of course, we’re both still huge fans of the band. They’re currently in the release cycle for their new album It Won/t Be Like This All the Time, and now we got another listen. This number seems to take a slight emotional nod from their earliest days; it has that same softness that builds tension. It moves into a heavier pop zone, allowing for James to take control of the song and the listener, as he’s always done. Look for their new LP via Rock Action Records on January 18th.