Looking back at a few things I missed while folks are thinking of a “holiday,” I was shocked at my own faults as I missed the announcement of the Zells and Baked working on a new split release for Crafted Sounds, titled Queensburgh. For my two cents, Baked come across like a really heavy version of Pedro the Lion; the vocals have that similar syllabic fade, like a wave of emotion washing over you, only to ebb away. Still, there’s a heaviness in the riffs, keeping you cool. For their part, the Zells seem stoked to bring you the sunnier side of pop, kicking off a track that brings in a steadier toe-tap throughout, which for some reason reminds me of all the Wilco-indebted pop-punkers of years past. Totally cool. The split EP will be out on November 2nd via Crafted Sounds.
It’s Friday, and you obviously know that Bandcamp has the goods; I myself have already spent a nice little amount on things, with probably more I’ll need to grab as the day goes on. So, with that, here’s a few albums that popped up today that we’ve mentioned already in our single coverage, but hope you’ll spend a little bit of time with today…or maybe you’ll call them our Bandcamp Friday Recs. Do whatever, just enjoy some great new music on Friday.
Do you ever just get connected to a riff and have it running through your mind all day? Well, that’s what happened when I played the latest single from Gaadge, accompanying the news that they’ve got a fresh LP on the way at the end of the Summer. I’m infatuated with the playfulness of that sharp guitar line working directly in opposition to the gritty bundle of noise being unfurled through your speakers at the same time. There’s only one little verse, as this track’s all about juxtaposition and volume, but those in need of a lyric line or two will consider themselves satisfied. Crafted Sounds will release the band’s new records Somewhere Down Below on August 4th; order it HERE.
Friday’s are great days to just get lost in an album, because let’s face it, none of us are really focused on work right now anyways. We’ve got some stellar ways to spend your day here; feel free to just press play and check back in to the world in a few days. You deserve it!
Flowertown – Time Trials (Paisley Shirt Records)
1 part Cindy + 1 part Tony Jay = Genius. Seriously, the first LP this band put together was great. But, they were like, you know what? We can totally do better. And they did. Not a bad track here. Just imagine yourself loving pop music but getting stuck in your best dreams. That’s this record!
BRNDA – Do You Like Salt? (Crafted Sounds)
Why yes, I do like Salt. I also like this record from BRNDA a whole lot. All of you kids that are super into that Dry Cleaning LP, but secretly hoping for a little bit more of a groove have come the right place. This band takes that post-punk/no-punk brand and gives it a swift kick in the ass. Your Friday needs it!
The Suncharms – Distant Lights (Sunday Records)
Having mostly been quiet for the last 30 some-odd years, legendary act The Suncharms recently started to pop back up in 2018, with a couple of tunes for the heralded Slumberland 30 Series. Today, you get treated to an entire record of delightful pop tunes, perhaps a little softer around the edges, but I promise you’re all the better for it!
The Arctic Flow – Lost You Long Ago (Sunday Records)
Sunday Records thought releasing one great was fine, but releasing two in one day is even better, so here we are with the follow-up to Umbrella (2017). Brian Hancheck’s songwriting has always had this incredibly strong emotional pull to it, and it doesn’t seem like he’s holding anything back on this record. It’s like a softcore jangle pop record, certainly built to woo you as your drift into a Friday afternoon.
This is the year when that funky brand of post-punk and indifferent vocals seems to really be making its mark, and I mean that in the best way. Add DC’s BRNDA to the group, offering this art-laden pop grooviness to the mix; the vocal delivery has its very own hook to it, which allows the musical element to kind of take its own course. Little nuances pop up and disappear just as quickly, due mostly to the song’s brevity; the band come in and deliver a quick pop punch, then fade away and let you press repeat. If you dig it, you can grab the group’s Do You Like Salt from Crafted Sounds; it drops on August 20th.
If you haven’t gotten into Pittsburgh’s Gaadge yet, now is the time, just before they drop Yeah? next week via Crafted Sounds. Today I’m stoked to give you a new single, harping on the band’s brand of “slackergaze,” toying with the genre and its expectations for loud noise. Here, the verses definitely employ the slacker aspect, relaxed and chilling on your sofa as you pass the joint to your friends. Little billows of heavy brooding bubble up, maybe through the walls of the apartment you share with your neighbor, but they never get to loud, allowing the band to sink into the cushions of their steady groove. Yeah? drops next Friday, the 19th!
It’s another round of Bandcamp Friday recommendations! Of course, we’d love you to consider our label ATH Records, and also Slack Capital…but we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you to a few new things you can grab today!
First, Will Johnson is surprisingly releasing this follow up to last year’s Wire Mountain. He’s one of my favorite Texas’ voices, period, and to have a brand new LP worth of tunes to enjoy, well, we’re all in for a treat. El Capitan is available on vinyl through Keeled Scales.
Another great record being secretly released today is Merce Lemon‘s Moonth. Musically, Merce’s work recalls the clever wordplay of Rosie Tucker, and perhaps a musical nod to the likes of Lomelda; it’s the perfect bedroom pop record that makes you wish you could keep it a secret from the world…except you can’t because it’s too good! Available via Crafted Sounds.
Buddie will be releasing their new Diving LP here in a few weeks, but seems only fair they tease us with one more tasty musical treat before the album drops. Starting it off, they tease a slow burner, then offer a slight twist that speeds up the pace just a bit; I thought it was a cool touch illustrating the band’s attention to detail. The dual female/male vocal delivery on this number really captures your ear; it’s the hook that draws you into the tune, naturally. There are several moments when I expected the band to sort of just unleash and bring crashing pop noise down on me, but they push it back, postponing that release until the very last moment; I can imagine how exhilarating that would be in the live set! If you’re into the tune, Diving is out August 4th via Crafted Sounds.
Admittedly, Merce Lemon was not a name I was familiar with until earlier this year when Crafted Sounds sent the “Moon (Demo)” our way. But, that’s one of my favorite tracks of this year, so to have her turn around a few months later with a collection of new songs is quite exciting. I’m fascinated by how full this song feels, despite falling beneath the 1.5 minute mark. Opening with Lemon’s voice offers that songwriter vulnerability, and there’s almost just a hint of twang hanging on the notes. Soon, a steady percussive element breaks the track open, giving it sort of this rambling pop feel, raising the song’s bar even higher. Short, sure, but another bit of endearing spectacle. Look for Moonth on August 14th.
Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t heard of Merce Lemon, but our friends over at Crafted Sounds tossed us a few tunes to turn us on to her before the announcement of Ride Every Day. It’s a compilation tape taking a few of her releases, adding some bonus material and a polished version of this really striking tune below. It’s one of those songs that seems so simple in its construction, but it feels like a gut-punch, just hitting you right where your emotions are. Mostly just vocals and a light strum, with some added key notes in there, yet you will keep coming back to this song before the day’s up, I swear. This will be out on March 14th via Crafted Sounds.