As this new album from A Place to Bury Strangers begins to take shape before the Interwebs, I’m starting to really be drawn into the goings-on. This track opens up with an emphatic drum march and discordant chords swirling about. Vocals enter in a spoken fashion, with a more prominent role for Lia Simone quite noticeable. The trio let loose on the noise too, but in a much more controlled fashion than we’ve previously heard from the band; it leaves you to focus on the band’s message in this track: “there’s only one of US.” Pinned definitely feels like its that proverbial onion with layers waiting to be peeled; it drops via Dead Oceans on April 13th. They’ll also be part of this year’s SXSW festival…playing near 100 times.
I’ve always been a casual fan of A Place to Bury Strangers; I’ve loved some singles, but never felt truly convinced by the fan. That might change if their new single is any indicator of what’s in store on the group’s fifth album, Pinned. They’ve always had a nod to industrial vibes in their craft, but this round, that comes out in a more ominous way; it’s almost like the group are gasping for their last breath as the central guitar groove drives home the minimalistic percussive element. It’s a striking number, surprising in the limited instrumentation…a sign that this new LP could be something special; look for its release on April 13th via Dead Oceans.
A friend, knowing my affinity for old school soul and R&B, sent me this new Durand Jones tune from his forthcoming self-titled LP with his band the Indications. It’ll only take a few seconds for you to realize the pipes on Jones mean business; think Leon Bridges but with more range. But, while the voice is a powerful instrument, the musicianship has to be present in order to really knock it out of the park; you won’t need to look much further than the first few minutes to see how solid the rhythm section is with these guys. Durand Jones & the Indications will be released by Dead Oceans/Colemine Records on March 16th, with pre-orders offering up a bonus 7″.
For the 8 or so people who read this blog on the regular, you’ll likely be aware of my affection for all things Oceanic, primarily New Zealand and Australia. So, with year end lists in mind, I thought I’d offer up my personal takes on the best tunes to come out of the area in 2017. There’s no particular order, just my sixteen favorites of the year.
There’s even a fun little playlist at the bottom for you to enjoy!
This may be yesterday’s news, but the song is too perfect not to share. Marlon Williams has a new album coming out on Dead Oceans, and he’s shared a new video for the lead single, “Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore” which features vocals from Aldous Harding. Just when you thought that Williams’ vocals couldn’t get any more soulful and moving, you add that extra level of Aldous Harding to the top and you get something so beautiful and perfect that you’ll want to drown in the sound all day. Simple, yet sweeping, the track puts the vocals at the center, letting them creep over you like fog. Take a peek at the video below and then get excited forMake Way For Love, which will be out February 16 of next year.
Shame signs to Dead Oceans with a ton of UK hype behind them. It’s definitely going to be interesting hearing out the rest of the band’s tunes come across; this single’s great, but you could see an album of like-minded tracks wearing you out. It works around a bit of call-and-response punk ethos, though you can clearly hear that the band has a pop-centric focus…be it in the chorus or in some of the guitar sounds. It’s a good introduction, but we’ll hold out on full fandom until their debut drops in 2018.
Kane Strang‘s debut album for Dead Oceans is really high on my list of things to look forward to this year, and today he’s dropped another video to tease us. This song is a subtle number, built mostly around the building of emotion…and its eventual release. Kane strums the guitar during the verses, then erupts into a shimmering bit of pop for the chorus. Something about the structure here reminds of really early Ben Kweller, just spun slightly in a more modern approach. It’s pop rock for those holding on to being cool…Two Hearts and No Brain will help keep us all cool on June 30th.
Kane Strang was high up on my list of must-see artists at SXSW this year, and I was fortunate enough to catch him a couple of times. He has this ability to take the modern indie stylings of Oceanic pop and combine them with really infectious hooks; I heard a lot of nods to early Weezer in his performance. That being said, this song holds steady during the verses, offering a slight energy pick up, which quickly turns into an airy pop dosage that fades with the closing of the song. I promise you that his new album, Two Hearts and No Brain, will be something to make your musical world a better place; it hits on June 30th via Dead Oceans.
It sounds as if Kevin Morby is venturing into territory resigned for poets, and with this new single, it sounds like he’s doing so with great success. The musical accompaniment to his lyrics/voice is pretty minimal…using trickling little notes and really light percussive taps. Sure, there’s a really slight pick up near the song’s end, but this track serves notice that great tracks don’t always need expansive music to accompany them, and perhaps the quietest tracks are the loudest. Morby will be dropping his latest, City Music, on June 16th via Dead Oceans, surely furthering our infatuation with his craft.
In the last few weeks, Dead Oceans announced they’ll be releasing Alex Lahey‘s B-Grade University EP. You take that, and great quality music, and there’s going to be some buzz for Alex when she comes into Austin in a few weeks. We caught up with her to have her answer our SXSW questionnaire. Click on to read her responses and check her latest video! Read more