Chanel Beads Signs to Jagjaguwar + Drop New Track

This is the first I’m hearing of Chanel Beads, and I’m definitely spending some time with the previous work of the project; they’ve just signed to Jagjaguwar, and dropped this new single that’s the perfect texturized bit of pop. In a sense, the track reflects the murky pop sounds of the Radio Dept, albeit spun with a more sterile feel, perhaps owing to the project being based in New York City. They layer beats, strings, vocal samples, creating this sublime relaxation, with each little accent piece nearing climax, only to be dragged back into the song’s core. It’s the perfect bit of dreary dream music you’ll need to get you over the hump today.

Gordi Release Burn All The Time Machines Video

Our resident Australian Sophie Payten, under her recording name Gordi, has been consistently pumping out new music over the last year or so and seemingly working harder than most anyone else I know. I absolutely loved her album Our Two Skins from two summers ago, and I am already diving deep into her new Inhuman EP out today. In celebration of the new EP release, Payten has also shared a new lyric video for the track “Burn All the Time Machines”. If you aren’t just absolutely entranced and captivated by Payten’s vocals and atmospheric depth, well I’m not sure you are a living and breathing human. Happy Friday!

The new Inhuman EP from Gordi is streaming now on all platforms.

Have Another Cut Worms Tune

In case you missed it somehow, Max Clarke has a giant new double album coming out on October 9th via his Cut Worms moniker. Several tunes have already been dropped from the upcoming LP, but I am finding myself particularly drawn to this new one called “Every Once in a While”. It features the always engaging, almost Buddy Holly style vocal delivery of Clarke along with an expertly crafted, and beautifully recorded singer/songwriter track. Clarke is an expert at toeing that line between true country and a more Americana, songwriter style.

The new Cut Worms double LP, Nobody Lives Here Anymore, is due out on October 9th via JagJaguwar.

Gordi Releases One More Single

Over the last month or so I must have been asleep while Australian based musician Sophie Payten, known musically as Gordi, released several stunning singles to preview her upcoming album. Well I stay asleep no more and am very pleased to share with you all this mesmerizing new single called “Extraordinary Life”. It is a truly haunting, yet lovely piece of music which seemingly combines songwriter elements like Joni Mitchell with a dash of some darker qualities like The Knife. Somehow the breathy, hushed quality of the vocals combines to work perfectly with the piano, sparse drums and plucked guitar. Not something that would typically fall in my wheelhouse, but I am struggling to resist hitting play on this one over and over again.

Gordi will release Our Two Skins on Friday, June 26th via JagJaguwar.

Nap Eyes Share Mystery Calling

The more I hear from the new Nap Eyes LP, the more I can’t wait to get my hands on their new LP, Snapshot of a Beginner. In this track, the song seems to rely upon the patience, both in Nigel’s songwriting craft and in the listener; there’s just this overwhelming feeling of calm that arises as you listen through the lyrics. On those, to me, it also reflect moments of patience, making nods to the mundane activities that often lead us to the daydreams of the world’s mysteries, only to find that the best mystery is probably all that’s around us…that’s how I see it anyways. Look for the new LP on March 27th via Jagjaguwar.

Nap Eyes Announce Snapshot of a Beginner LP

I feel like Nap Eyes are one of the great unassuming bands out there; they’ve got a songwriting consistency that we all hold near and dear, though they often seem to go quietly unnoticed for their gifts. Perhaps that’s about to change with Snapshot of a Beginner, the band’s new LP; there’s promise of more punch and larger arrangements added to their poetic craftsmanship. It’s prevalent on the new single “Mark Zuckerberg” with a definite rocking element pushed through by the stomp of the snare and heavy riffs. Still, the greatest moment comes at the 1:41 moment with the line “transcendence is all around us;” it’s this beautiful moment that lets your mind and body drift away. The new LP is out on March 27th via Jagjaguwar/Royal Mountain.

Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

Rating: ★★★½☆

Of all the solo-powerhouses in the indie rock / folk world, few have resonated with me quite as much as the work of Sharon Van Etten. At this point, I’m sure you’re quite familiar with her story: small time broody indie-nobody quietly releases album after album of her own unique brand of raw and powerful music that sits well with fans of The National, Bon Iver, Beirut. Oddly enough, these incredible records like 2014’sAre We There,and 2012’s Trampfailed to push Van Etten into the main fray of the indie world. Cut to 2019: she’s on billboards in NYC, playing Jimmy Kimmel, and pretty much every music publication under the face of the sun is talking about Sharon.

The first thing I noticed at her ACL Festival performance back in October, at which she played a few of the tracks from her new record, is that the guitar was missing. While these tracks–what I came to find out would be the singles for this release–came with a hard bite, the meat of most of the songs were heavy synths played by the inimitable Heather Woods Broderick. We got a bit of a taste of this direction onAre We There,though it was always countered with guitar, be it acoustic or electric. Singles “Comeback Kid,” “Jupiter 4,” and “Seventeen,” as they were released all confirmed this synthy-almost-pop approach, but Van Etten’s sulky vocals kept them grounded in her classic style. On “Comeback Kid,” we have big drums, wailing synths, and Van Etten’s voice as commanding as we’ve ever seen it. “Seventeen” sees her downright screaming, whereas “Jupiter 4” seemingly brings us back to the kind of track we’ve come to expect from Van Etten.

Each of these songs, and the whole record for the most part is a look back on past. This perspective shines brightest in the leaps SVE takes on “Jupiter 4” and “You Shadow.” The former is seeping with desperation and longing to be loved and the insane anticipation of stumbling into something good: “It’s true, that everyone would like to have met / a love so real.” The track a gorgeous love song–though it’s heavy in atmospheric synth, you get a little bit of guitar cutting in, but Van Etten’s vocals take the center. This song is a leap: like most SVE tracks, it’s rooted in this slow pace that seems ominous, but the lyrics are some of the most heart-warming we’ve ever heard from her. She confesses this love continues to move her now: “Turning the wheel on my street / my heart still skips a beat.” This song is a sincere and steadfast confession of being moved by the power of loving someone else, which is a feat to accomplish without sounding corny or trite.

“You Shadow” comes later on and takes the approach of a sing-song-y taunt you’d expect to hear in an argument between teenagers; it’s actually probably the most ‘pop’ track we’ve ever heard from SVE and it’s infectious. Though simple, the song’s melody gets wedged in to your head. The crunchy sounds are juxtaposed well by lighter, bouncy keys. The whole number has this laid back groove to it, but the casualness of the beat and the smooth delivery from Van Etten is contrasted highly in the bridge, where we get the sweeping power vocals once more. It’s a weird combination, but the result doubles down on the strength of the words Van Etten jeers: “You ain’t nothing / You never won.” One moment she’s telling us a story from the perspective of someone emotionally removed, bitter. Next in the bridge, she’s right back in the moment, spilling with emotions and raw anger.

SVE made a lot of bold sonic changes onRemind Me Tomorrow and the two tracks I described were examples of these choices paying off in a big way, but the rest of the album doesn’t always offer that same kind of payoff. I find myself not quite connecting with every song as I’d like to, and as I have in the past. Don’t get me wrong, in the end,Remind MeTomorrowis a good record, but it pales in comparison to her past two albums both in songwriting strength, and in musicality. Sharon Van Etten is immensely talented and well-deserving of the moment she’s having, but this record feels less vulnerable, which is what I’ve always found to be a ridiculously compelling factor (if not the most compelling factor) of her music. Oddly enough, though the sound is bigger than she’s ever done before, Van Etten is emotionally guarded behind those buzzing synths.

Perhaps with revisited listening the guard will come down, Remind Me (to listen again) Tomorrow.




New Music from Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten is poised for great things in 2019, at least if you read all the cool blogs and what not. I’ve always enjoyed her work, but I’m admittedly on the fence with the new sound. Her voice has always had this emotional sprawl and surprising range, but that’s always been draped over some great guitar work. This time around, the vocals have the same power, but there’s less guitar and more prominent electronics. It still pulls at your emotions, and Van Etten can still draw you in on her voice alone, but, I just am not connecting like I once did. But, who am I to say…make your own choices. You can do that when Remind Me Tomorrow drops on January 18th via Jagjaguwar.

New Cut Worms Video

Admittedly, I can’t help but think of early Tallest Man on Earth when I listen to Cut Worms. But, also in all fairness, we covered those early releases quite a bit, so it makes sense. All that being said, there’s a little bit more of a pop swing in the sound, as opposed to a clear Dylan predecessor. Take the 2 minute mark and the rushed stutter and burst, before that forlorn harmonica reappears and crafts a sense of wonder and longing. This song will feature on his debut album, Hollow Ground, dropping on May 4th via Jagjaguwar.

Love This New S. Carey Video

S. Carey‘s latest video really hits home for me, and not just musically. I used to live in Yellowstone. True story. And, I’ll admit, I wish I had Carey’s tune in my car as I drove throughout the park on errands and what not; it does perfectly match the setting and ambiance of traveling through the park. But, be warned, as they actually don’t hit the park until about the 1.5 minute mark; they go through some other locales, equally as majestic. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s just a damn good song, but I’m going to keep watching this video on repeat for a bit. You’ll find this track on the latest LP, Hundred Acres, via Jagjaguwar.

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