The work of Ben Woods and his project The Golden Dregs has always been high on my list of acts I wish more people would jam. Today, we’re sharing this new tune from Ben in anticipation of his forthcoming debut LP, Lafayette. There’s a lot going on in this track that you’ll find enjoyable, at least in my opinion. For one, there’s a classic Strokes-ish guitar sound that operates just behind the vocals in the mix. Then, there’s just a slight energetic discordant moment, settling the track back into the gang vocals for the chorus that are sure to charm your socks off. Lafayette is being handled by Art is Hard Records and Krautpop, releasing on Friday the 25th.
Don’t be scared off by the distortion ringing out when you press play; it only takes a matter of moments for Wedding to turn on the pop charm. Quick drum punctuation allows for the group to enter the scene with their slightly smoky group vocal delivery; it sort of reminds me of a weird place where Woods were happily popping off to Supergrass (then again I’ve just been jamming a whole lot of Supergrass lately). In under two minutes you cruise through the track, with just enough grit to keep you interested; the band have just announced they’ll be releasing a new flexidisc 7″ via Art Is Hard Records and their Eyes & Ears zine.
I’m just throwing this out there, but if the right people, whoever they are, listen to this new track from Emily Isherwood, people will be clamoring for her music for years to come. We get to spend the first minute of this track with Emily’s voice working over some very very light musical flourishes in the distance (rimshot and backing vocals); it feels almost fragile, as if it could break while she softly whispers her lines. But, then percussion and a swell of pop noise circles to life her, and the song, up…only to return to the contemplative moments. One last rapturous pop burst coats the song’s end as Emily quietly sings “oh no oh no oh no” as the song fades away. It’s a special number, and one you’ll do well not to ignore. Expect a release from Emily later this year via Art Is Hard.
While it’s a bit of a bummer that Art is Hard didn’t roll out their usual Singles Club this year, the good news is that their still going to be sharing their great tastes with other releases. One of the first to pop up on our radar is the debut LP from The Golden Dregs. Musically, the song feels like a runaway train; the drums and guitars have a driving feel to them that’s inescapable. When Ben’s vocals enter the picture, they’re the calming force that holds the song together, ensuring you’ve got something to sink your teeth into whilst feeling out of control. Exciting things are afoot here; look for Lafayette on May 25th.
Birdskulls have been on my radar for some time, having appeared previously in one of the many singles from Art Is Hard. Today the label, and band, announced that they’ll be releasing a brand new self-titled 12″. Musically, the song’s a straight-ahead rocker, almost reminiscent of early 00s pop-punk, though the vocals during the verses seem to carry a bit more indifference. It’s just one of those great jams that packs a bunch of substance and joy into a pummeling little burst of fun; I expect that their new EP will carry much of the same; it drops on March 2nd.
It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
You knew I’d be posting about this, even if you saw the track pop over the weekend, as I’m an avid supporter of Art Is Hard Records…particularly their Singles Series. Perhaps my adoration comes because they always introduce me to new acts from overseas that probably don’t get much press on my side of the pond. Adults have this youthful vibrancy, but also this distorted punch…similar in my mind to the sweeter moments of Joanna Gruesome or perhaps early Los Campesinos. Regardless, you throw a hook in with some male/female vocal trading and I’m hooked. Check this new jam for sure.
I keep going back to the Art Is Hard page, hoping to find the new track from their Postcard Series (where is it!), but instead found this nice little jam from Mush. The group have just finished up a Double AA 7″ for the label, and you can fall in love with one of the tracks below. My ears hear little bits of Omni in the guitar chords, but also a touch of Ought in the way the vocals are delivered, as in they’re super casual. They take the latter half out for a joyride of jangling guitar jams, so keep your ears ready. Look for the new 7″ to be released on November 17th.
Every month I anxiously await the release of a new single from Art Is Hard for their Postcard Series. Today, the released September’s single from Slonk. This number has more of a folk vibe to it, especially when it comes to the swelling chorus. I’m really digging the vocals too, as they remind me a lot of Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, taking on a slight rasp that sounds like its coming deep from within the soul. The Postcard Series is great, so if you’re into that, grab it HERE.
Just a few weeks after dropping their Penrose Winoa LP on Art Is Hard, Oro Swimming Hour have dropped another new tune. Of course, it’s a special blend of warped bedroom pop with the beautiful little combined vocal harmonies. The guitar is featured prominently here, almost jangling from the way the track was recorded. This is just a one off hit the band recorded to make up for missing a show in the UK, but I think it continues to illustrate just how gifted the songwriting is with this duo.