With singles dating all the way back to the mid-80s, it’s hard to believe that this year will mark the debut LP for Bristol outfit The Flatmates. They drop this new single today with the announcement of their self-titled album, and like the band, it seems to straddle decades of style in its sound. Opening with buzzsaw guitars and smashing drums it almost feels like they’re working in Ramones territory, but that’s before singer Lisa Bouvier comes into the picture. She’s got this voice that seems like its riding the edge of pop singer and punk; there’s a softness coated in a definite attitude that’s simply intoxicating. Their debut is being handled by HHBTM Records and The Subway Organization.
Our friend Mike Turner works hard running HHBTM Records, as well as Crashing Through Publicity. I reached out to him, as I did with many friends, asking him for his own curated list for Best of 2019. We thought it’d be fun to pair his love of BMX with music from 2019…so, looking back, here we are.
Next week that new Rat Fancy LP is going to drop, and you won’t be able to stop playing it from start to finish, so why not get into another little tease from the record? Here we’ve got this poppy bounce that’s been all dolled up in fuzz and crashing cymbals to drive home the emotive hook. I love how they tease it out too, giving you twenty seconds to build the tension before it all comes crashing down on your ears in the best way possible. Plus, I love how there’s this nostalgic feel to Diana’s voice, like she decided she could do it better than the Runaways. Anyways, Stay Cool is out on June 7th via HHBTM/Solidarity Club Records.
Friday’s are supposed to be fun! And, I couldn’t think of a better way to have fun than to play this joyful new tune from the forthcoming Rat Fancy LP. We’ve talked previously about Stay Cool, and now we get the title track in all its bouncy glory. Diana sounds really great here, especially when she delivers the slight tonal change whilst saying “don’t be sad;” that might be my favorite musical moment of the week. Throughout the tune, there’s this guitar that’s sort of jigging in and out, jangling except when it’s pushing the full shred. Be advised, this song’s going to make you smile from ear to ear; it appears on the new LP, out June 6th via HHBTM Records.
When I first heard Rat Fancy‘s Suck a Lemon EP, I was hooked; it was about 15 minutes of pop-laden fuzz rock that I couldn’t put down. But, that was all one hot minute ago. Today we bring you news that the band have announced their debut LP, and they’re doing so with in typical infectious fashion. The song itself is like a more raucous version of what the band teased on their EP; Diana sounds more confident and things are just a little more scuzzy texturally…and they never shy too far away from pop sensibility. For me, the video is one of the reasons I love this band; you can feel the energy of Diana and Greg as they jump about on whatever screen you’re watching this on; you want to be there, you want to be them. Sometimes, this old world of ours is crazy and frustrating and confusing, so why not just go out and make some trouble! Stay Cool will be out on June 7th via HHBTM and Solidarity Club Records.
As someone who runs a label (and works on this web site), a lot of folks outside Austin probably assume it’s a full time gig. Truth be told, my main gig is as an 8th Grade Teacher, then a soccer coach, then the site and the label. It got me to thinking of all the other small labels that are out there that I follow closely; they’ve all got their own stories, their own side hustles to make things work in order to bring you the music they believe is the best. So I reached out to a few of them of them to see if they’d briefly share their stories; today we have words from Lost Sound Tapes, The Nothing Song, HHBTM and Arrowhawk Records. Read more
If Tullycraft isn’t on your radar, and you consider yourself a pop fan, please go back and revisit the band’s catalog (I’m particularly fond of Disenchanted Hearts Unite). Now, more to the point is the charming new single they just dropped to celebrate their forthcoming album, The Railway Prince Hotel. It comes with a wonderful animated video, matching the playful mood of the track itself. Sean offers up the majority of the vocals, but don’t worry, as the sound wouldn’t be complete without Jenny in there to make sure Sean doesn’t get too much of the pop sensibility credit. Couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up a week than with this here tune; look for the new LP in February via HHBTM.
Thirty years into the career of His Name is Alive, and the band still remain vital to the musical realm. Today they release a brand new single from their forthcoming record, Black Wings; it operates in three stages. The first 45 seconds are filled with ambient electronics and very light strings with light vocals floating through the noise. In the middle, synths seem more distant, as the focus moves to the pop vocal performance in the foreground; it should be noted here that this record evolved out of playing around with acapella harmonies and sound. Then the tracks spends the waning minute elegantly fading out…light strings, vocals as instrument and a careful wash of synth work…who else could pull that off as perfectly? Black Wings is a double LP, set for release on April 6th via HHBTM.
Great Lakes have been hanging around for the better part of two decades, but they’ve changed quite a bit since their early participation in the Elephant 6 Collective. For starters, the only surviving member from the original line-up is Ben Crum, though the rest of the players in the band have been about for the last several records. But, more importantly, the sonic landscape has changed with age, finding the band channeling a more Americana leaning. The rock element is definitely apparent on this number, though the expansive sound of organs, layered guitars and gang vocals broaden those brushstrokes. While it may have that rock swagger, something about the song just feels like home, feels like comfort. The group are set to release Dreaming Too Close to the Edge on April 9th via HHBTM/Loose Trucks.
You’d be excused if Tunabunny haven’t quite landed on your radar, but you’d also be missing out on one of indie rock’s special secrets. They’re set to release their 5th album, a 28 song double LP titled PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr, hitting on June 23rd via HHBTM. Rumor has it that this is their response to the White Album, and our first listen should put you on notice that you’re in for a great ride. The subtle groove working beneath the track is sublime, but the vocals have this seductive sugar to it that allows the band to walk the fine line between artand pop sensibility. If you can’t find yourself falling head over heels for this tune, then I think your speakers are broken.