Being a fan of Aquarian Blood, this tune was already destined to be a personal favorite, but it might also be the sort of tune that weasels its ways into the core of mainstream indie coverage. To me, it sounds like the Horrell’s are channeling an old school K Records aesthetic, though integrating it into their own brand of Tennessee folk. JB and Laura’s voices never felt so compatible as they do right here; this feels rooted in the song’s message that “love sees us through.” Personally, I love the careful acoustic notes, spontaneously interrupted by another guitar note that seems to be creeping down the scaled stairs after each mini verse, evolving into a hint of psychedelic exploration. Bending the Golden Hour is out on May28th via Goner Records.
Australia’s Michael Beach just dropped his latest LP, Dream Violence, and now we’re treated to the really creative video work of Sophia Mero for “Metaphysical Dice.” When listening to this tune, its really all about the way that they song is textured, and it depends on what your ear draws you towards. At times, the incredible bass work is just driving the song, pulsing and bobbing and you can’t pull away. But, as you focus there, the jangling guitars in the distance start to gain more resonance, seemingly rising through the mix to take control. Through it all, Beach has this fascinating vocal delivery; it’s like a call to prayer, powerfully stretching the melody across the entirety of the tune, beckoning you to heed his words. If you dig, the LP is available via Goner Records!
I’ll go out and admit that I didn’t love Aquarian Blood until I caught them live touring behind A Love That Leads to War. There was something about that night, playing at Hotel Vegas, with a scattered crowd that just connected the dots between artists and music. Laurel and JB Horrell were presenting this spirited performance that felt more like a bluegrass seance, yet somehow felt right at home amongst the tattooed cool of the venue. They return today with a new single and a new LP, Bending the Golden Hour, and it very much feels like its still destined to haunt my musical bones; the guitar work is careful and ornate, using the Horrell’s overlapping vocals to beg you to come into the musical world they’ve created. It feels like the 2 have found their home in the music they’re crafting together, and as they open the doors and invite us in, we should be obliged to spend a few moments with their work. Bending the Golden Hour is out May 28th via Goner Records.
When Michael Beach first announced Dream Violence with “De Facto Blues,” I got exactly what I expected, considering the last time we heard from him he’d been on tour with Thigh Master; it was all energy. But, if you’ve heard his songwriting, you had to know there was a heartbreaking ballad just hanging in there. On this new tune, it’s built around Michael and this lonesome piano line from the get-go; it presents this solitary figure, delivering this personal performance that’s crushes your soul in the best way. But, Beach builds in this buoyant pop moment around the 1:12 mark, where it begins to open up the song into this delicately woven opus; strings pull at your heartstrings; keys exploded the galaxy behind Michael’s striking pipes. This one’s got all the damned feels! The new LP drops on March 19th via Goner/Poison City.
We’ve been covering Michael Beach for several years now, whether it be his solo work or his role in ATH faves Thigh Master, he’s always given us just the right rock dosage. Now we’ve got news from overseas that he’s going to be working with Goner Records for his new LP, Dream Violence (and Poision City in Australia). Honestly, my favorite thing are the two sides of Michael’s voice here. He starts off with this calming croon, something that seems to settle the rambunctious guitar work that opens the tune. But, just as soon as you’ve adjusted, guitars start to ring heavier and Beach takes on this primal howl that pushes everything to the very edge. Flare and discord marry and scuttle about in the midst of it all, creating this maniacal rocker burdened by its desire for pop sensibility. You can’t go wrong turning this one up real loud! The LP is out March 19th.
Optic Sink is the new project from Natalie Hoffman (NOTS) and Ben Bauermeister (Magic Kids); they’ve just announced their debut felt-titled album via Goner Records. While the presser hints at a wide range of sounds, our first listen is this pulsing electronic number, matched up with this visual enhancer. For me, the song sort of strips the humanity from Hoffman, offering an almost sterile machine-like vision, devoid of emotions in its presentation. Perhaps its a last gasp, a final attempt to hold onto all that we hold dear as we struggle with loss on so many levels. Whatever it may be, it’s definitely cool to my ears. The LP will be released on October 2nd.
Had some mellow tunes on the playlist for today, so felt like we need something fresh and loud to knock down the doors a little, which works since Archaeas just announced their debut LP today. The band began as the project of Violet Archaea while coming to terms as a trans artists living Kentucky, though its since been fleshed out to a trio. Thematically, the album is a nod to Wild Zero, where Guitar Wolf help a trans heroine save Earth, but it also pulls into play the “anxiety and pressure of living in today’s world.” You can feel that in the song, you can feel the angst, the push back against the shittiness of everything around us, which only serves to drive the song home. Their self titled debut drops on September 18th via Goner Records.
Sometimes your allegiance to a label opens up doors you hadn’t expected, such as my willingness to spend time with anything Goner Records releases…like Bloodshot Bill. The songwriter brings something along the lines of a more updated version of Johnny Cash…maybe we can just brand it as punkabilly…as it certainly seems like it shares that lineage. Whatever be the case, I’ve just really enjoyed this song…been playing it all morning on and off; it’s like a palate cleanser of sorts, something refreshing when the rest of the world sounds the same. The new LP, Get Loose or Get Lost, will be out later this year via Goner.
You’d think a band comprised of members of Ex Cult and NOTS (formerly) would have some sort of monstrous presence in a new project. But, that’s exactly why I love Aquarian Blood, and in fact, why I’ve always loved rock n’ roll. This isn’t a banger, or a ripper; it’s a stripped down ballad that’s about as intimate as they come. The vocals are wholly solemn, almost weary from a live well-lived. I guess for me, the band just hit that sweet spot of not-quite folk; you can hear the musical lineage on both sides of the coin, particularly with the great arrangements fleshing out the tune. This tune will be on A Love That Leads to War, the new LP out October 11th via Goner Records.
Plus! If you’re in Austin, you can catch the band with Thigh Master at Hotel Vegas tonight!
As of right now, Thigh Master are the perfect 2 for 2 with their singles; they won with “Mould Lines” and “Entity” might be even better. I love the frantic attitude that opens this tune with its devil-may-care faux jangle; it’s got this natural bravado that seems wholly unintentional. But, for me, the pop sucker, it’s that slight turn starting with “I’m looking for an entity” in the chorus that makes my pop ears stick right up in the air! It’s hard to sound casual and cool with this buoyant bounce just riding right on through until the end. Now For Example will be out worldwide on September 27th via Goner Records!