I will admit that I was hooked the first time I heard Genesis Owusu; musically he reminded me of a pop version of Dizzee Rascal, offering quick rhymes with a super distinctive voice and sprinkle of pop. Then you throw in all the visual video work done for the tracks, like the one featured below, and it feels like a throwback to those over-the-top hip-hop videos of the early 90s where every setting seemed like it cost a million dollars just for the costumes. So, this new tune…it’s a driving tune with that thumping push that makes Genesis style attractive; I will be seeking out some variation on his LP, but for now, I’ll take this banger, and wait until Struggler hits on August 18th via Awal/Ourness to give a final verdict.
If you were anywhere near SXSW this past year, you were likely turned onto Lifeguard; they were one of our favorite acts of the festival, dropping these mature performances that went beyond their age. They’ve just announced their first release for Matador Records, which is a combination of an old EP and a fresh one to get you excited for their future. Listening through, it sort of reminds me of At the Drive-In during the Vaya EP; they’ve got this masterful balance between hypnotic pulses and artful noise; you’re being pulled and pushed while the lyrics seem to echo more of a mantra than a typical mantra. Look for everyone to rave about this trio; they drop Crowd Can Talk/Dressed in Trenches on July 7th.
If I were to be honest here, I admittedly haven’t thought about the Clientele in quite some time. That’s not to say I don’t listen to their record, only that time, and my continuously rapid consumption seem to have passed them by these last few years. But, that being said, there announcement of I Am Not There Anymore, their first LP since 2017, is a welcome bit of news. Interestingly, the band still sounds very much the same as they always have; you can hear it in the ornate guitar lines and vocals. That said, the density in their work seems to be lighter this go round; their inclusion of jazz and bossanova elements seem to give some feathered pop flurries to what’s in store. Looking forward to hear what this all sounds like when it comes together; the new LP is out on July 28th via Merge Records.
When Shane Renfro returned to Texas from LA, you figured new things were in the mix for the leader of RF Shannon, and we get a glimpse of that on the first single from Red Swan in Palmetto. Through the first few moments, the intricate guitar atop light percussion creates that open cosmic country feel I associate with the band. But, when Renfro’s vocals come into play, there’s something that feels a bit new; his vocals are really up in the front of the mix, and while they pull on those hazy boots, they feel a little bit more prominent in their role in the tune. It’s interesting, as with previous works, the vocals felt like part of the great expanse the band created, but here, it feels like you’re getting a lullaby from a parent while the sounds of nature flicker on outside your window. Really excited to hear where the rest of Red Swan in Palmetto takes us; we’ll find out on May 26, courtesy of Keeled Scales.
When we caught Far Caspian during SXSW I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the set; I felt like I had pigeonholed Joel Johnston in that sort of post-dream pop realm. But, in that set, I got a glimpse of what was in the works with the Last Remaining Light, definitely leaving a lasting impression on me. This new single works on multiple levels, at times merging math-y tendencies with those dreamy moves, although the nature of Johnston’s voice leaves you with an element of the pastoral. It’s like the world somehow found the next Gravenhurst then forced them to become the next Pinback, and if that makes sense, you’ll totally get why I love this track. The Last Remaining Light is out July 14th.
We here at ATH have been championing Austin’s most captivating band for some time; I screamed it so loud I put out a Being Dead 7″, and I hope you heard because the band are ready for breaking out with their new LP. Of all the songs on this album, those that are first being introduced to the band will surely get a feel for the group’s vibe. They fill their sets with classic hooks, vocal duets, breakdowns, improvisation plus more, and you get the entirety of that feel if you listen from start to finish. Ultimately, they’re like the supreme house band for Sour Patch Kids; they’re sweet and sour and incredibly lovable. I promise you when I say you’ll be adding When Horses Would Run to your LP collection; it drops July 14th via the Bayonet.
I would like to formally apologize to Snooper as we’re currently too cheap to pay for the tilde key on general posts. But, I won’t apologize for my love of the band, who I raved about having caught a few delicious SXSW sets. They donned windbreaker tracksuits, which, having now heard the single from their debut LP, makes complete sense, as I’d like congratulate the band on being the first athleti-punks. Sure, other groups have played frantic tunes, but here, you feel as if you’re running full steam; the rhythm’s punishingly furious, and the vocals are like sharp inhales as your body begins to lose oxygen. Those guitar lines dashing through are like bonus points you get each time you pass someone on your way to a musical victory. I can’t wait until we get to hear the whole of Super Snooper, out July 14th via Third Man Records.
What happens when you get three great indie labels together to release a new LP? Well, if you ask me, bringing Skep Wax, Howlin’ Banana, and Hidden Bay all together to release a new LP from Special Friend, then you’ve got the guarantee of a solid batch of songs. Our first listen is the hypnotic tune below, working with this guitar shuffle that circles beneath the surface of dual vocal work. There’s something in the way the guitar feels like its rushing you forwards that’s thrown in juxtaposition to what’s the melodic overlapping from the vocals. In a way, it sort of sounds like something Sonic Youth would have put out if they were into lo-fi indie pop…warranting a positive nod on my end of things! We’ll give you more updates on the release date of Wait Until the Flames Come Rushing In when we’ve got em’.
Today feels like one of those days where I’m just absolutely in love with listening music; it’s lifting my spirits and bringing in this absolute sense of wonder. One of the acts I’ve been enjoying is Soft Walls, the project of UK based Dan Reeves. This single is almost this meditative piece of guitar pop, letting the guitars shine in the very front of the mix as they ring in this bright pattern that returns again and again. For me, the joy is how the vocals seems sort of hidden in the mix, hanging just behind, or so it seems, everything else, providing the listener with this sort of spiritual release. If you’re digging it, Soft Walls release True Love on May 5th!
Today is looking an awful lot like it’s a dedicated Aussie Friday, which I’m totally okay with to be fair. So, we’ve got another new tune from Summer Flake, who tossed a single our way just before Halloween. This one has this old sort of Hope Sandoval vibe to it, with these layered vocal pieces that really create sort of the first wall of the band’s sound; it’s got this powerful weight, holding all the melody in one spot. In the second wall you’ll get these rolling drum hits, giving the track movement so as to coincide with the fiery guitar licks cutting through your speakers. This track is the title track from the new LP, One Less Thing, which will drop via Rice is Nice next February.