Introducing: The Drug Rugs

The Drug Rugs are a five piece, jangly indie rock band hailing from Halifax north of the border. Though the band is young and new to the scene, you’ll immediately notice an incredibly grown up and mature sound. Take for example this new single “Sandbar”. It manages to blend elements of driving rock like Springsteen with more modern sounds of shoegaze and pop music. It’s a beautifully constructed track.

The Drug Rugs are currently hard at work on their debut EP with a potential release date in the fall.

Seazoo Ready Their Debut Album, Drop New Single

Having already written about the forthcoming Seazoo album, I’d be remiss if I didn’t drop this new single. While it opens noisily, all things considered, the group settle into a subtle groove, riding guitar lines and shared vocal duties. There’s a noisy little ambling in the song’s mid-point, allowing the group to flex their songwriting chops. But, little keyboard notes trickle in, joined by the male/female vocal duet, crashing down in pure pop fashion, taking us to the song’s end. Another little ditty that pretty much guarantees the band will have a hit on their hands when Dig is released on January 26th.

Meet New Austin Supergroup All Eyes

What do you get when you take former and current members of Octopus Project, The Sword, Ume, Skate or Die, Midnight Masses and Stiletto Feels all into one? You get a supergroup, of sorts; you get All Eyes crafting a brand of music you’re not likely to hear anywhere else in the Austin landscape. This tune opens with a bit of doom and gloom (perhaps the Sword influence), but the string samples hint at pop sensationalism. You don’t have to wait long to hear Jordan from MM spin her vocals atop the chorus. It circles back for the crashing rock moment, surrounded by swirling bits of noise, and then back again. You’ll never be able to pigeonhole these guys, and thank goodness for that. The band will have their live debut over at The Electric Church this Saturday night, with Teevee, Fire Walk with Me and This Cold Night. Go meet this great new Austin act!

New Single from Vow

vowAnother week, and another track from rising label, The Native Sound: Vow’s “Green Light”. Musically, Vow often times resembles the construction of Beach House, though they seem to have polished off those atmospheric edges in favor or more direct contact with the listener; there’s an immediacy that comes with the delivery of of Julia’s powerful voice. It even takes a nice turn in the latter half of the song that recalls the early days of Metric. Ultimately, it leaves you with this soaring bit of indie rock that you’ll spin time and time again. Look for the band’s debut LP, Kind Eyes on May 27th.

Light Folk from Amaroun

amarounWhen names like Eels and Sharon Van Etten get thrown into a presser, I’m going to pay attention. Amaroun does definitely have some similarities, particularly in the slight gruff quality that spreads from her voice, but the music here seems far more intimate. There’s power in this song from the get-go, but it spreads and blossoms once the backing accompaniment fills in some of the sparse moments, swelling with these intoxicating moments that make it hard to pull yourself away. This single is her debut, so look for more from her in the future.

Shelf Life Sounds Pretty Stellar

shelfsFor the last several years I’ve had a penchant for bedroom pop, wrapped in warped tape sounds, mixed with oddity a la Coma Cinema. This project from Philly’s Shelf Life reminds me of that, though the recording is a bit stronger, relying more upon the craftsmanship of the songwriting than on the process of lo-fidelity. The project is set to have its debut, Everyone Make Happy, released in September via Lefse, and this first single indicates a pretty remarkable start.  Tracks like this don’t just spring up every day, which is why I’m going to fawn on this all day long. You with me?

Nice Little Tune from Diamond Youth

diamondzI wanted to find some tunes this week that really put some rock n’ roll back on our pages, but it’s been fairly hard in all honesty.  This track from Diamond Youth comes relatively close, but there’s still this soft underbelly that lurks beneath the pop sensibility of the tune itself. The guitars definitely have a powerful ring, but you’ll be able to see the band twist the knife into your heart by offering something with a central melody. You’ll be able to get more of a feel of the band when their debut album, Nothing Matters, reaches the masses on May 19th via Topshelf Records.

Digging This New Wolf Colony

paradiseThere’s a spot in my music rotation for music that’s got a beatastic drive to it, yet wrapped tightly around an operatic voice.  For a long while, that spot was held for Patrick Wolf, but it looks like Wolf Colony is going to try and take up those reins quite soon. He’s structured his latest single with dominant beats, albeit infectious ones, and then that voice just soars throughout the track.  It might not be my everyday fare, but I’m definitely feeling it today.  If it’s your bag, then look for his debut, Unmasked, on March 3rd.

Another New Tune from The Echo Friendly

echofriendlyRecently I tossed up a cover jam from duo, The Echo Friendly, but we’re back with our first taste of the band’s original work for their upcoming album, which is scheduled to come out later in 2014. Listening through, it’s got a driving hook that centers around the vocal delivery of Shannon Esper.  The guitar line shimmers with a bit of a discordant ring to it, and the beat only serves to emphasize the forward push of the track.  It’s definitely a catchy tune that still holds a bit of grit in its teeth.

Evans the Death – s/t

Rating: ★★★½ ·

When you sit down to put a Slumberland Records release on the old turntable, you’re pretty much assured that you’ll find some sort of comfort or joy within the various revolutions.  But, when I put on the self-titled debut of London quintet, Evans the Death, I had no idea that it would bring an abundance of vibrant joy my way; it’s all over the place in the best way, and every individual will have his or her own favorite jam.

Don’t let that bubbling bass line that opens the record’s “Bo Diddley” fool you.  If you wait a few minutes, you’ll see the star of the band is clearly Katherine Whitaker.  Her soaring vocals clearly transcend the music itself, and its affect is almost immediate; at times it comes off punky, other times pristine–this is just the first track.  But, let’s not make her the sole reason your buying this album!

“Catch Your Cold,” the second track on Evans the Death is the song that really lets the band’s prowess seep into your ears. Those ringing guitars played at lightning fast speeds give you that classy indie pop sound we all adore, and companied with Whitaker’s darkly-tinged vocals, it’s just a brilliant track.  You’ll find it in similar territory as the group’s first single from the release, “Telling Lies,” which might just be the most unassuming smash hit of the year.  While the rest of the group has this jagged approach to their guitar playing, Whitaker has your head spinning about with her remarkably strong pipes.

Surely, you’ll notice that a great deal of this first effort from Evans the Death is full of upbeat numbers, but, what makes this a more than adequate debut are the mellower numbers stuck within, leading you away from the monotony.  “Morning Voice,” while holding onto some noisier elements, is largely a quiet song, if only in sentiment.  Katherine comes across in an entirely different manner than she’s been presented up to this point, seemingly frail beneath those gentle vocal touches.  The more I played this track, the further I fell for it–you probably will too. You’ll encounter similar circumstances when you wrap up the record with “You’re Joking.” It’s a lightly strummed closing track, again putting Whitaker prominently at the forefront of the band’s sound.  There’s not louder guitar bursting forth here, but it’s not needed here, as the emotional quality lays solely with their female leader.

For a debut, this is a pretty stellar release, as the band comes across extremely accomplished with a powerful leader at the helm.  You can look beyond some of the songs that have a tendency to sound similar, choosing to find the unique qualities lurking within.  With more time, the whole record eventually sinks in together, leaving you with an enjoyable album you’ll want to play over and over. We can thank Evans the Death for that.


Download:Evans the Death – Telling Lies [MP3]

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