Last year Athens rapper Wesdaruler released Ocean Drive via our friends over at HHBTM, which was my first introduction the songwriter. Now, going into July 4th, he and a few friends have written this “Fuck Trump America” anthem, and considering the state of the world its required listening. The lyrical content seems spot on for those that I hope frequent this site, but we can’t rest on our laurels; I spent several days driving through small-town Texas and believe me that Trump enthusiasm is still very real and very dangerous. Personally, I love Linqua Franca‘s verse on this track; she has this way of hitting syllables in the bounce that just make things so effortless. She’s also got a podcast with Dopeknife, who raps on the verse too; you can hear them at Waiting on Reparations.
I really wish folks would look overseas as of late when thinking of great pop rock. Sure, we’ve got tons of great stuff over in the States, but the UK is on a hot streak of hit making, particularly with Suggested Friends. Their latest single cuts all the bullshit and gimmicks often employed, instead just giving you the hooks right on top with these huge belting vocals and crunchy guitars ringing out in the background. The latter moments even employ a bit of a stomp to gather up all that joy and tie it up in a nice pop bow for your ears. Turtle Taxi is one hell of a record, so sample this tune and grab the LP before its October 4th release date from Fika Recordings/HHBTM.
It would be super easy to lump Suggested Friends with the rest of the great pop-punk coming out of the UK, and while there are 100% definite similarities, the title track from the band’s new LP seems to offer glimpses at a larger sound. They adhere to an affinity for anthemic licks and vocal hooks, but things seem spun around a more pop-centric vibe rather than the punk side of things; the mood after the 1 minute mark has me reminiscing about Allo Darlin. Ultimately, the band have just crafted these gems that are singalong worthy and infectious as ever, so you’re likely to have these tunes stuck in your head all day long. Turtle Taxi drops in October via Fika Recordings and HHBTM!
Suggested Friends have popped up on our site before now, so its nice to see them return with the announcement of a new album, Turtle Taxi. Musically, their sound fits right in with a lot of the guitar-pop of the modern day, slightly nodding towards OG emo sounds, but here they also seem to take on a hint of power ballads. I love how the vocals have this soft melodic power; the voice seems unassuming, but the pitch control and delivery clearly indicates the song’s emotion lives there. Sure, you can hear bits of other acts here, but at the moment, there’s nothing I’ve heard that sounds quite like this act; I’m looking forward to Turtle Taxi, out on Fika Recordingsand HHBTM come October.
British duo Skinny Girl Diet aren’t here to live up to your expectations, nor they hype of their super fans like Iggy Pop and Viv (of Slits fame). They’re here to take back everything that’s been taken from them from as women and as artists; the only way they know how to do it is to leave their emotions and politics bare before the ears of the listener. Today, they announced Ideal Woman, their second LP, and in doing so, they’ve shared this shredding single, heavy-handed from start to finish; it’s the sort of song that makes any modern rock outfit seem soft. The new LP is being handled by HHBTM, dropping on January 19th of next year!
Of all the groups with Elephant Six lineage, perhaps none are as willing to participate in sonic exploration as Marshmallow Coast. Immediately, Andy Gonzales throws you into new wave nostalgia; pulsing synth work and robotic autotune. Guitars soon cut through to join in on the fun, all the while you still get that insatiable pulse that serves as the song’s heart. But, if you listen carefully, there’s definitely these nice little pop flourishes, particularly in the soft melodic vocals that sit in the distance near the tune’s latter half. If you’re willing to get out of your cool kid comfort zone, you’re really going to enjoy the group’s new LP, Memory Girl; it drops on November 9th via HHBTM.
Just this past April Graham Smith and Kleenex Girl Wonder released Vana Mundi, but he’s already returning with his second offering of 2018, White Lacuna. The music he’s crafted for the last 25 years is perhaps best described on the poppier side of the college rock world; think Harvey Danger with a little bit more literary word play. And it’s not just the literary quality, it’s the way those lines are delivered, with certain syllables supplying added emphasis to the song’s musical quality. For my two cents, I think the chorus is worthy of your listening alone; the guitars sparkle in the front of the mix, while Smith brings out a smoothed vocal melody that certainly pulls you into the track. White Lacuna will be out later this year via Reasonable/HHBTM.
We tried to hype you all to Eureka California for SXSW this year, and we’re right back on that glorious hype machine screaming for you to turn this track up real loud. Jake opens up this track, singing atop a steadied guitar line; you can feel the tension bend as Marie begins to build the force from the background. Then bang…distortion, smashing cymbals and a crunchy bit of guitar pop come ripping through your speakers; it’s the perfect execution of the quietLoudquiet concept. If you haven’t gotten into this band yet, well, I’m sorry, but you’ll get a chance when the group drop their new Roadrunners LP on May 4th via HHBTM.
One of our favorite duos from Athens, GA just dropped a brand new tune off their forthcoming LP. Like all great track from Eureka California this one drops in at just over 2 minutes, but it packs a ferocious punch. Drummer Mary Uhler is back there furiously pounding her kit, setting a quick pace that forces Jake to push ahead with both vocals and guitars. It’s a breakneck speed, indie rock speaking, but the slight vocal inflection in Jake’s voice give just the slightest hint at pop sensibility. They’re also going to be one of the hot tickets at SXSW, with everyone clamoring to catch them live. Roadrunners will be released by HHBTM on May 4th. Check the song out below, with their SXSW dates included.
March 14: SXSWaterloo Day Party @ Waterloo Cycles
March 15: HHBTM Official Showcase @ Seven Grand
March 16: New Granada Day Party @ Gingerman
March 16: Crashing Through Publicity & Tiger Bomb Promotions Day Party @ Beerland
March 17: Athens in Austin Day Party @ Side Bar
Sometimes you’ve got to dig to find the gems, but hopefully at the end of 2018 Linqua Franqa will be more prevalent in everyone’s listening habits. It’s the musical outlet for Mariah Parker, who calls Athens, GA home; she’s kicking back and offering a more linguistic approach to modern hip-hop. I love the soulful vibe that rests in between the verses she’s putting out, not to mention the lines that open and close this track. Ultimately, it’s her flow and her sharp turn of words that elevates this tune above others, offering true poetry at a blistering pace. Nod your head, and revel in all that lays before you as we await the release of Model Minority on February 23rd via HHBTM.