Introducing The Natural Lines

Matt Pond is one of those musicians who almost feels like close family at this point as I’ve been listening to his music since the very beginning and covering his tunes in the earliest days of ATH. Seriously, one of our very first posts back in 2008 was about an EP from Matt Pond PA. Wild. Well wild as it is, here in 2022, Matt Pond is rebranding himself under the name The Natural Lines which is still mostly Pond solo but also with the help of a revolving door of friends and musicians. To kick off the new project, Pond is sharing this single called “The Problem is Me” which is a lush, atmospheric take on folk inspired indie rock, of which Pond has made himself famous over the years. Love the new project/direction.

The Natural Lines will release this track as part of a new EP entitled First Five, out October 14th via Bella Union.

Tim Burgess Shares Typical Music

Not going to lie here. I went through 97 emails of songs released today, or songs I should be into, and not one hit, not until I got to the end of the stretch and hit on this Tim Burgess track. It should come as no surprise, seeing as I’m a big Charlatans fan, that I’d adore his recent work. It seems like his solo stuff has only grown in quality through his albums. I mean, here, I’m just happily bopping my head and spinning around to the chorus of this tune; something about his work just feels so light-hearted and playful, and therein lies the charm that I keep coming back to time and time again. Typical Music is out in September via Bella Union.

Modern Nature Shares Performance Video

Modern Nature‘s latest album, Island of Noise, received a ton of accolades, though it still seems like folks passed it over on its release back in November. Perhaps their new video for “Performance” will entice you to visit the island, if you’ve yet to make it their for your first visit. The song revolves around the percussive elements, with Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting) making sure the nooks and crannies are filled out on the edges, though still allowing plenty of space for thoughtful meditation on the your state of being. This whole LP feels timeless, almost avoiding genres and pigeonholing altogether in favor of crafting a listen that rewards with each spin of the record. It’s available now via Bella Union, and out digitally on January 28th.

Penelope Isles Deliver Another Hit

The Brighton based brother/sister songwriting duo Penelope Isles have long been a running favorite around the ATH offices, so naturally we are incredibly excited for their upcoming album. Hopefully you will share in our excitement with the band’s latest single entitled “Terrified” found below. For me, these new singles, and this new album, truly show a band growing into their sound with more pop sounds blended in with their already dreamy, sort of shoe gazy, indie rock vibe. This will likely be near the top of our year end lists.

Penelope Isles will release new album Which Way to Happy on November 5th via Bella Union. Pre-orders are live now.

New Music from Karen Peris

Somehow, I’ve been listening to the Innocence Mission for 20+ years, longer than most bands that get constant rotation in my playlist. In fact, I usually play songs from the band’s catalog to help my daughter fall asleep each night, so despite all the raves for Karen Peris‘ new track, I feel like I’d be doing myself an injustice by not pointing it out. This one’s a family affair, with Peris’ husband and children adding to the song’s embellishments; I think we can all agree the moment the song’s sweeping strings come across its difficult not to be awestruck. There’s just something so comforting about her distinctively gentle voice; I just want to nuzzle in the notes. You’ll find this song on A Song Is Way Above the Lawn, out this October via Bella Union. Excuse me while I go listen to Befriended.

Modern Nature Share New Track

When Modern Nature released How to Live, everyone I knew was quietly praising the work of Jack Cooper’s new project. But, not even a year on, the band is back with a brand new collection of songs, or at least 7 new songs. Our first listen is quite an expansive tune, though it feels much quieter in some respects. Things feel muted, while Cooper almost seems to deliver his words in a spoken fashion; I loved the horn work that comes alive in the first chorus, adding this jazzy touch to the song that gives it this poetic nature. This new record, Annual, will be released on June 5th via Bella Union.

Ezra Furman Announces Twelve Nudes

There are two things working in favor for Ezra Furman; he’s constantly shape-shifting his sound and he’s mentioned Jay Reatard as one of the artists he looked to in the recording of his new album Twelve Nudes. This new single definitely has things high upon the energy front, a la Jay, blasting forth with furious pace from the very get-go. He even seems to have adopted his own frantic stylings for the vocals, forcing the lyrics to bounce out in even step with the pace of the track; the lyrical content is a straight shot towards how many folks feel in today’s world where none of seem to be ok. Twelve Nudes will be out on Bella Union on August 30th.

Pleased to Meet You Modern Nature

When Ultimate Painting abruptly disbanded, I wondered what would come of Jack Cooper. He’d released stuff with Mazes, as well as his own solo stuff, so we knew he’d be okay…though how okay I didn’t know…until now. His new project is titled Modern Nature, a joint venture with Will Young (Beak>, Moon Gangs). Our first listen is a majestic construction piece of slow-core, filled with layers that build upon one another as the song inches its way forward. Tickling guitar lines are aided by great cymbal work and the heavy softness of the vocals; the song moves forward and some horns and electronic flourishes begin to bubble from beneath the surface. This is absolutely gorgeous, and not at all what I would have expected, so I’m all the better for it. How to Live will be put on August 23rd via Bella Union.

Seductive Pop from Pavo Pavo

Pavo Pavo are just a few short weeks away from their sophomore release, but I’m surprised more people aren’t clamoring and fawning over the group. The opening is rather playful, feathered vocals hanging behind finger snaps, light percussion and a thump. While that in and of itself has me head over heels for the song, there’s this angelic bliss that gets churned just after the 1 minute mark, right before fading away into a propulsive groove that rides the song to its close. And, then there’s string arrangements too! Seriously, why isn’t everyone in love with this!? Mystery Hour drops on January 25th via Bella Union!

Jonathan Wilson Shares Lovely Video For “Me”

Jonathan Wilson shared a new video for his track, “Me,” yesterday and announced a string of tour dates in support of his most recent release, Rare Birds, which came out on Bella Union not too long ago. The track is a soft rock gem, but a deeply contemplative one at that–Wilson thinks over his place in the universe while also lamenting overthinking about himself. He finds himself in dirt holes and then staring into the sun, while the track starts to really take off. About three minutes in, you get this break from the build and everything explodes. Even the video switches from bleak shots to psychedelic, animated visuals. I’m shocked I missed out talking about this record before it was released, but better late than never, right? You can pick up your copy here.


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