Album Stream: Phantom Handshakes Be Estranged EP

A few weeks back we introduced you, or so we hoped, to the new project of Matt Sklar and Federica Tassano named Phantom Handshakes. Tomorrow, they’ll drop their brand new Be Estranged EP, but you can sample it here first!

The opening tracks set the stage for a dream pop meets jangle world; the guitars twist and turn in that angular post-punk dance I dig, while Federica lets her heavenly voice weave in and out of those chords. Still, you get a touch of respite in “At Rest” coming in with more oa subdued pop performance by Tassano; it’s all about her voice, despite the twinkling behind her. Jump ahead to “You Are an Idea” and you’ll find my favorite number of the 7; there’s a purity to the presentation, its clear of all pretense, giving listeners this purely elegant pop song. “Drift Away” is the perfect closing send-off for this EP; both the title and the effect of the song have you sailing away on this pillowy cloud of escapism. Be Estranged will be available on all platforms tomorrow! All proceeds go to Color of Change.

Fort Not Drop Another Charmer

I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear the whole of the new Fort Not LP; we’ve already been teased with two delectables, and now we’ve got another. I love how there’s an implied nod to indiepop in the band’s sound, though here, they kind of pull back just a little bit to craft this timelessness you only get in the purest of pop purveyors. For me, it’s the vocals pulling that off; they have this sort of breezy warmth, like basking on the beach as they crash into your face. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that its coming out on one of my favorite labels of the moment, Meritorio Records; they’ll release The Club is Open on September 18th.

Jan Flu Share Sports EP

I first caught wind of Japanese jangle pop outfit Jan Flu via a collection of demos back in 2017. They’ve been quiet since, though out of nowhere they sent us their new Sports EP, so it seems only fair we would encourage you to listen along. “Lacrosse” is a standout hit; it’s the infectious sort of pop music that pulls us in immediately. I loved the bouncing rhythm of “Tennis,” and the way the vocals were delivered on that tune were particularly charming to me. Honestly, the more I listen, the more I’m just excited that this EP exists at all; its such a rewarding listen, I think you’re best suited to spend the rest of your day spinning these 6 songs!

Sorry I Missed This: The Crystal Furs Beautiful and True

I’m having to circle back on this new album from the Crystal Furs, as it slipped by my coverage when it initially dropped a few weeks ago. We were big supporters of the band when they were one of the few indiepop gems of Texas, and that’s not changing now that they’ve upped and moved off to Portland. Their new album Beautiful and True actually feels more like a nostalgic indiepop record, which for me is my favorite of the genre. You’re going to get these brimming melodies throughout each track, with the rhythm section tossing out this haphazard bounce while guitars churn those sharp jangles in your ears. I think my favorite standouts are “Hey Maxine,” “The Robber Barons of Lombard Street” and “Pretty Mind,” but we encourage you to get in on your own favorites. The LP was released in limited numbers via Subjangle, but is still available digitally.

Films On Song Share New Single

Feel like its been a hot minute since I’ve caught on to some really solid indiepop vibes, so when I got this tune from Films on Song it kind of made me swoon a bit. It has all the traditional elements I pine for, like jangling guitars walking a tightrope between angular and dreamy. Of course, the vocals have this baritone delivery and the percussion gives the song its marching orders, steadying the pace and propelling the tune forward. As of right now, no official words on a release or anything of that sort, but a good song is a good song, so get after it below.

Remington Super 60 Shares Still Near

I really needed something soothing this morning to kind of temporarily let the pain of the world subside, or at least get outside my own head for a moment. Luckily, Remington Super 60 had a delightful new single to share with me (and you!) off their forthcoming EP, and its that sort of dreamy indiepop that makes you feel like you’ve been wrapped up in some oversized weighted blanket, calming every bit of your soul. It’s that subtle brand of pop with quieted rhythms working beneath a melodic softness, seeping into your skin carefully…you could use that right now, I’m sure. We’ll keep you up to date with more details…but as of now…this new EP is slated for the fall.

Kevin Hairs Drops New Single + Video

Kevin Hairs has had some time on his hands, but he hasn’t sat idly; instead he’s busied himself with art (check his pet portraits!) and music. Today, he’s sharing a new two-song single of bouncing pop tunes that I’d love you to hear. “House of 1000 Roommates” is this subtle jangling pop rocker; his voice has this soothing tune here, giving the track a layered dreaminess that’ll make you swoon. Flip to “Clean Punk” and you have more of a rocking number, albeit one that fits into Kevin’s style. The drums have that sort of machine gun snare hit, with the guitars taking on more of a jagged edge. Both tracks are available on Bandcamp today, so be sure to pick them up right now as a portion of proceeds go to NAACP!

But, Kevin also wanted to share a brand new video for his tune “Subdued at the VCU,” which was on his More Magic, More Magic EP; it dropped in April, but now we get the video treatment with animation done personally by Kevin. You can grab that HERE…also on Bandcamp, so another way to get good music and support a better world.

Nah Share Under the Radar Video

Nah are a band we’ve covered fairly frequently over the past few years, and it seems their debut album is finally on its way to us! Today the band share “Under the Radar,” a song about championing the underrated bands you’ve discovered along your own personal journey; I feel like we can definitely feel that on our end here at ATH. For some reason, Sebastian Voss’ voice really feels close to a young Jarvis on this tune, which I don’t mind one bit. Plus, what would a great pop song be if you didn’t include a nice little horn solo (check the 3:30 mark)!? Always great to hear a band crafting well arranged pop tunes, and Nah never shy away from that approach. Look for their debut LP via Shelflife in September!

New Indiepop from The Slow Summits

There’s a certain brand of indiepop that seems perfectly suited for the Nordic countries like Sweden and Finland; I say this because The Slow Summits (Sweden) have just dropped a brand new track that nods back to the perfect sounds of Cats on Fire (Finland). The sound in my brain brings that sort of precision drumming to set the tone, while the guitars do their jangling jig in a circular fashion. Of course, its also all about the vocals, innately dramatic and distinctive, aided here by the appearance of Kajsa Ritso, building in the charm alongside Anders. Go on, give it a listen.

Lost Tapes Share Six by Six Video

Last year’s The Bill EP was a really great listen from Lost Tapes; it was four incredible pop tunes that had the duo working at the peak of indie pop. One of the highlights was “Six by Six,” using these softened melodies from Pau and RJ to entrance the listener; it was dreamy in feel, but buoyed by the percussive bounce throughout the song’s duration. The video is using found footage pieced together to kind of draft the song’s narrative; I’m particularly interested in this punk rock kid dancing about in his bedroom…feels like someone had a camera in my childhood home. It’s a great reminder of the longevity of great songs, showing us that years later the song still has the charm. This EP is available courtesy of Shelflife.

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