I keep waiting for all the folks who clamored over the Dry Cleaning LP to jump on board with Wombo and their new Keesh Mountain EP. Sure, it’s not exactly identical, but the willingness to deconstruct everything in the punk/pop sphere and rebuild it in their own fascinating manner. I mean, everything seems out of whack here, and Sydney’s vocals almost feel like they were sped up through some tape recording method to sound more frantic…but it all comes together perfectly. It’s like this weird blend where everything seems disjointed and swirling about you, then it all ends up tied in a nice little bow. The new EP drops today courtesy of Fire Talk Records.
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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
I’m not really sure there’s an artist at the moment that makes me feel like the world hold this infinite promise, at least not as much as Thomas Rubinstein’s voice does on the latest Telephone Numbers tune. Sure, those ringing guitar tones don’t hurt too, but really this song for me is all about Rubinstein and the song’s textured arrangements; I love a sweeping string bit, probably more so than the next guy, so match it up with one of my favorite guitar sounds and I’m in. Then Thomas throws in that chorus and I’m shook, as the kids say. Just give me the record already! Look for The Ballad of Doug via Paisley Shirt/Meritorio Records on June 25th.
We’ve been following Deuce through their first few singles from their forthcoming self-titled debut LP, but this new video absolutely floored me. Kayleigh’s voice is just striking; I immediately thought of Angle Olsen, albeit with a little less smokiness; it just hangs heavily across the old track, dripping with weighted emotion. You can also kind of hear a little lineage between the duo’s sound and early Beach House, that dream pop sound driven by the video’s black and white tint. If you were looking for the band to make a musical statement, this might be the piece that solidifies the two as something to keep an eye upon. Deuce will be out on June 16th via Dinosaur City Records.
Twenty year old Nathan was very much still in an emo/pop punk lifestyle when he encountered Kings of Convenience; it was one of those bands that kind of had me turning a little softer in my tastes, taking up some of the other pop styles in the indie sphere and really getting lost. So, here they are with their first album in a decade, and not a lot has seemed to change…though admittedly, this one does have a more “adult” vibe to its craft. Their music has always been about the vocals and the melodies they share together, not to mention the intricate crossing of guitar lines. I’m still a big fan. Peace or Love is out June 18th.
Just a few hours North of us here in Austin, you’ll find Skirts, the project led by songwriter Alex Montenegro. Interestingly, while I can see Alex’s approach fitting into a scene with acts like labelmate Lomelda, her sound also seems rooted in North Texas sounds. The guitar work has this quiet feel, but a close ear hears it brimming with this fullness, this weighted sound that’s huge, reminding me of Bedhead, in a sense. All this to say, there’s the perfect contrast between Montenegro’s crisp crystalline voice and the brooding nature of the guitar work throughout, all of it fitting perfectly into this grainy family footage video. The band will be releasing their debut Great Big Wild Oak via Double Double Whammy on July 30th.
There are tons of bands looking back at the emo days, some reimagining, some just trying to pull it off the best they can. For me, Oslo’s Flight Mode are one of the few who seem to pull it off with actual sincerity. I tend to think of bands like Braid and Mineral, before the brand was more pop than rock, when it was fueled by overlapping guitar lines and soft (emotional) vocals. You get that here in this new single from the band’s forthcoming Tx ’98 EP, which is where singer Sjur was living, and I was too, so perhaps that’s why I’m tapping into his nostalgic revisiting; the EP is being released by Sound as Language on June 25th.
Wandering what’s hot from Australia? I mean, I usually am. That’s where I found the latest tune from Loulou, which should definitely have you keeping your eye on the band’s brand of rambunctious indie rock. The band name references to Eddy Current and Parquet Courts, but I can hear bits of Wedding Present in the guitar playing; I also hear touches of our friend Santi (Growl/DaphneTunes), though I’m sure that’s purely unintentional. This trio keeps churning out these great bops that wear badges from your favorite genres, yet always seem to somehow escape being perfectly pigeonholed; they’re creating their own recipe of rock n’ roll and I’m totally on board.
Originally created as a solo outlet for Berenice Deloire, Good Morning TV has now expanded into a full band, and we, the listeners, get the benefit of this expansion. We slide into the booth right next to Berenice, casually relaxing in the gentle pop waves and churning guitar lines. But, drawing nearer the two minute mark, the band starts to really come to life, awakening themselves and the listener by bursting in with this billowing noise that delivers this rewarding vibrancy. Then it all fades away, leaving us satiated but wanting more! We can get more when the band release Small Talk via Geographie Recs on June 18th.
Over the last few years, we’ve managed to get lots of coverage up on LA’s Justus Proffit, so I’m going to take sole responsibility for his signing to Bar None Records (that’s how it works right?); he’s also recorded an EP with Jay Som, so maybe it wasn’t ALL me. Alas, there’s now a really strong slowcore ballad for you to enjoy, with hints at a new record, plus an accompanying video to boot. The song’s got hints of Elliott Smith, as I’ve said before, where there are moments that Proffit’s voice feels like little more than a whisper worked over carefully crafted guitar lines. He’s begging you to come sit with him, let him share his stories with you. There’s something about his song that haunt you, something that just seems to get absorbed by your soul as you press play.
CIEL wowed me when the dropped their debut EP; it featured one of my favorite tunes of 2020, so seeing them continue with that success in 2021 has been huge. This latest single is like taking the dreamiest elements of what Alvvays does, building in a more shoegaze guitar sound, giving it a heavier vibe, albeit one with this sparkling light star in the song’s horizon. That star is Michelle Hendriks, opening up to the audience on some of the demons that lurk in her past; it’s a dark subject matter matching the song’s tone, though the band’s approach make sure it never shies to far from great pop moments. Keep on keeping on, CIEL.