Everybody’s doing it! I’m a follower! Mostly I just wanted something to do while food prep is going on about the house. So, I’ve looked through this year’s LPs, determined which ones I played the most. These lists are arbitrary, so there’s no sequencing as of now…just my favorites, thus far in 2018. I’ve even included a playlist too!
- Way back in 2015, Santiparro released the spiritual folk masterpiece, True Prayer; I raved about it over and over. But, in about a month he’ll be releasing his brand new LP, The Talon, and we’ll gladly support the artist again. The below single is indicative of his markedly new approach this go round, branching out into new sonic territory through his close work with produce J Ashley Miller. The opening minute uses a guitar in the distance with some sort of electronic gurgling lurking as Santiparro lets his voice search for that spiritual high ground. Strings momentarily envelope the sound, and you can feel the song beginning to build into an extravagant pop opus. Not surprisingly, he still seems to be seeking a better world, for himself and for us…one of the many reasons I’m still drawn to his work. The Talon might be his bravest work to date, so be sure to keep a look out for it on August 3rd; pre-order HERE.
Alexa X is the new project from Michaela Newman. The road to this song includes being a pop-folk duo and some solo work away from the digital landscape. But alas, the synths came calling and Alexa X found a background for the voice that had been there all along. The time spent writing and in studio for anything but a synth shows through in a building and brooding, sparse and tense tale about taking a chance. Solid first single, staying tuned.
Up until this point, Bodega have given us some great arty-punk stylings, catchy and thought provoking. But, destined to be more than a one-trick pony, the group are sharing their most straightforward pop song just before the album gets dropped. This song is Ben’s homage to a friend he lost back in 2007, and you can hear the lasting impact Charlie had on him…if you’ve lost someone in your own life, you can immediately relate to the lyrical content, as if it was ripped from your own journal. It’s good to see the softer side of the group, a sign that you can still be surprised by the New York outfit. Endless Scroll drops this Friday via What’s Your Rupture.
A friend turned me onto this great new tune from Talent Show this week, and I figured it only works if I return the favor and return it your way. Once you press play you’re rushed right into the track, with the every instrument rushing for the finish line at the song’s end. But, what I find completely interesting about the track is that in some way the vocals of James Hewiston have an odd similarity to Damon Albarn; they sort of seem to hang out there indifferent to the music surrounding them.
I’m really impressed by the sounds coming out of the Ophelias camp in lieu of their next LP. Their latest shared composition is a wondrous take on modern indie rock aesthetics. Of course, I’m drawn into the way the intonation is changed in each syllable of the vocals, not to mention the way voices seem layered upon one another. But, the power of the vocals wouldn’t be as strong if it weren’t for the surrounding accompaniment; the swelling string works adds great depth. Almost everything seems like its running in a huge loop, as if the band were listening to tons of early trip-hop and decided to spin it in their own direction. They release Almost via Joyful Noise on July 13th.
It’s a crazy thing to travel abroad right now as an American with everything that’s going on (wrong) in our country. One can feel embarrassed, guilty, or even ashamed to admit your nationality while trying to blend in with the locals and keep your voice down. What better way though to bring people together, regardless of background or political affiliation, than a massive, 3 day music festival. Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavik allowed the wife and I to act as locals while soaking up some great new Icelandic music and enjoy the weather, the food, and the culture.
For more thoughts and pics from the grounds, hit the jump.
What!? Another band from Melbourne, Australia that rules? This time the band is The Shifters, and they’ve just announced they’ll be releasing their debut LP via Trouble in Mind Records. Our first listen has this rad bouncing rhythm line with matching guitar cuts jangling to keep the pace; it strangely grips you and never lets go. The subject matter, and accompanying video, seem to be taking a knock on a very ordinary life…which is weird because I’m working now, and then going to the gym…are these guys mocking me!? Doesn’t matter, the song is precisely what’s made the group a hot item; they release Have a Cunning Plan on September 21st.
As just about anyone knows about me, the slow burning, emo genre has always held a truly special place in my musical heart. With that said, you’ll understand my love of a song like this one called “Gone Away” from Seattle based rock band Dismal Thinkings. It reminds me of some of the best old school stuff from the genre like Mineral or Sunny Day. If you’re compared to bands such as these, RayRay is going to jam it all day.
Dismal Thinkings will release blanketfort on July 20th. Pre-order.
We’ve already written about the forthcoming Mikey Collins LP, but I’m here to encourage you to look into this new single. It opens with light little keyboard dance, with a teasing bass line just underneath…soon the cymbals and snare get a work out as Collins enters the picture. All this is really to set up the listener for the sublime chorus, where Mikey’s joined by a female counterpart; it’s not far off from the hook-laden work Mikey pulled off behind the kit in Allo Darlin. I like how he stretches himself just a bit before the 3 minute mark, elongating the syllables to maximize melody. You can grab his new solo LP Hoick right now from Fika Recordings.