The Beths Prep Expert in a Dying Field

There aren’t too many people making pop rock as good as Elizabeth Stokes and The Beths; today the band announce their brand new LP, Expert in a Dying Field. This new jam kicks off in true Beths fashion, using sharp drum hits and tightly tense guitar notes to raise Stokes’ voice into the forefront. I love how they pull back the punches just before the minute mark, setting up another verse in perfect fashion. I do hear some noisier elements, or at least some flare in the background, which was promised in the press release; it’s pretty pronounced with the ripping guitar solo and smashing close. Time will tell if they can balance the noise and the pop, but so far so good! Expert in a Dying Field is out on September 16th via Carpark.

SXSW Interview: Ed Schrader’s Music Beat

This year we’re getting a fresh Ed Schrader’s Music Beat LP called Nightclub Daydreaming, and with that, we also get a bunch of performances at SXSW. We caught up with Ed to get a few words about life on the road and jump into his forthcoming shows here at SXSW. Check out this thirsty jam from the new record and read about the group below.

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Ducks Ltd. Share Sheets of Grey Single

If you talked to anyone that picked up Modern Fiction last year they’ll likely tell you there’s not a bad tune on the Ducks Ltd. LP; it’s non-stop jangling goodness. So if you go back to their debut EP, the band are currently operating at a high level, incapable of writing a bad song. Thus, they jump right back in with a brand new single to take on the road for their Spring tour with Nation of Language. Jumping off with a pounding rhythm and those swirly-whirly guitar jangles, they suck you right into the pop storm. My ear keeps getting drawn to this underlying guitar line that’s super bright, reminding me in a way of some Field Mice vibes.

Ducks Ltd. Share Under the Rolling Moon

I’m worried about Ducks Ltd.! They’re about an album and a half into their career as a band, and they’ve already endured a name change, and now, they can’t stop writing great infectious pop songs. What happens when the well dries up? Will it? Their new album has already featured on these pages with various singles, and that’s before we even get to this heavenly little gem. The drum work and the bass bobbing are clearly driving this car as fast as it can go, rushing to the melody. But, the attraction is that the melodic notes of the vocals seem to kind of work at harnessing the energy, almost absorbing it in order to stretch the song out into something slightly dreamy. The band drop Modern Fiction on October 1st, and there’s not a song you’ll want to skip.

Ducks Ltd. Share How Lonely Are You

One of the things that I love about Ducks Ltd is that they up the jangle with this rushed presentation of those chords; it’s that skittering kick that really sells the start of their latest singles. Add in the rhythm section that the duo constructed together in various apartments, and you’ve got this incredible sound that definitely nods to Sarah (particularly some of those Another Sunny Day singles!). The video features Tom and Evan walking around the Niagra Falls area, though each doing it from opposite sides of the border…perhaps playing into the thematic message of the song itself. And all this before I even mention the lovely falling melodies of the vocals, which get a touch up from labelmates the Beths. Their new LP Modern Fiction will be out on October 1st via Carpark Records.

Ducks Ltd. Announce Modern Fiction

After much success with their ATH approved Get Bleak EP, Ducks Ltd. found themselves a new home on Carpark Records, and now they’ve got a brand new record on the horizon. Our first listen has them channeling all things Aussie pop (despite haling from Toronto), with those quickly jangling strums dissected by a more angular guitar; the song runs at full speed instantly, pushing the pace and the melody from the get-go. I love how both sides of the vocals seem to have this wanderlust to them, from the indifference style on the verses to the more exuberant feel of the chorus; they always feel like we’re out there searching for joy together. If you didn’t listen to me with Get Bleak, then perhaps Modern Fiction is the one that will convince you of this band’s greatness; it drops on October 1st!

Ducks Unlimited = Ducks Ltd + New Tune

Not sure what the reasoning, though I’m assuming its legal issues, but Ducks Unlimited have decided to change their name to Ducks Ltd. What? Who cares? Well, for one, I do. But also, the name change comes with the signing to Carpark Records. That also comes with an added bonus, as the label will be reissuing the delightful Get Bleak EP (which I’ve raved about before), only with added bonus tracks. The tune features below features their solid jangling rocks, that sort of Billy Elliott toe-tapping fun, though I think the calming nature of the vocals is finally sinking in with more listens; it was always upbeat indiepop, but that soft underbelly is definitely resonating with this jam. Seriously, more people should make tunes like this. The reissue drops on May 21st.

Madeline Kenney Back At It Again

Oakland based songwriter Madeline Kenney has slowly built a name for herself over the last four years with two solid albums under her belt and tons of positive press building on the interwebs. Kenney recently announced her new album coming out next month called Sucker’s Lunch and this new single, “Double Hearted”, just came my way to promote the record. With this record being produced by Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak, one can sort of hear those subtle hints and sounds woven in perfectly with the always captivating voice of Kenney. This is another perfectly crafted tune in the ever growing catalogue of Kenny’s hits.

Madeline Kenney will release Sucker’s Lunch on July 31st via Carpark Records. Pre-orders are live now.

The Beths Share Out of Sight Video

As much as I adored, and still do, Future Me Hates Me, I think I’m most impressed by the slight tweaks the Beths are adding to their musical repertoire. Sure, I’d love another dozen rockers I can sing atop my lungs to my neighbors on my job, but you can’t make the same record over and over. On their latest single, you can still hear remnants of the first LP; Elizabeth Stokes has such a distinctive melodic delivery…a certain sharpness in how she drops certain syllables. Still, the rest of the song employs the use of space and patience, almost hinting at what we’d typically call a big pop rock ballad. Catchy and open, this might be the best tune we’ve heard from the new LP yet. Jump Rope Gazers is out July 10th via Carpark Records.

The Beths Share I’m Not Getting Excited

It’s going to be really tough to follow up Future Me Hates Me, but the Beths are sure aiming to top their debut with what we’re hearing from Jump Rope Gazers, their follow-up. Their latest single comes with a rad stop-motion video organized by Sports Team, and adds a personal touch to the album. Singer Elizabeth Stokes says the song alludes to her own fears that even though things get exciting, she’s always waiting around for the proverbial ball to drop and things to get shitty. Oddly enough, that feelings seems rather pertinent as we all face down whatever the hell comes next. All I can say is that at least we’ll have another great pop rock tune to sing-along to when this new LP drops via Carpark on July 10th.

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