Wanted to toy with some space age folk vibes today, so we turn to Levoneh, the project of Ross Kirshebaum and friends. The band will be releasing their new LP, Ground, via Cruisin Records/Lost Sound Tapes in a few weeks, and this new tune illustrates how the project takes meandering folk tune and buries it all beneath layers of texture. At times, guitars bend or just vibrate on one note, adding this sort of jazziness; there are other moments where the percussion and atmospheric production toys with your mind, exploding before quietly receding to the background. Always enjoy adventurous brands of folk tunes! Ground drops on March 18th.
You ever fall in love with a band on the very first track you hear? Well, admittedly, I didn’t know much about 22 Halo until today when our friend Jon over at Lost Sound Tapes shared that he’d lined them up for a new tape. And, so I pressed play. Sweet seductive discord! Those crisp guitar notes rang out immediately, united almost instantly with thudding rhythm and heavy vocals, and I couldn’t pull myself away from the tune at all. Then there’s a counter vocal, balancing the track with this perfectly feathered vocal that takes some of the more angular notes and forces them to feign smooth. They seem like one of those bands very much caught up in the current music climate, yet wholly unique, so I’m here for it. “Ripple” is just a tease at what’s to come with Garden Bed, out October 29th via Lost Sound Tapes!
A few days behind on the world, but who really cares, as I’m always on board for a good tune from Olivia’s World. The first minute and beyond seems more like an intoxicating drink, seducing you into the song before the group decide to let you in on their joyousness. Alice’s voice has this natural pop embellishment, which sits perfectly in the song’s fuzzier moments that are crafted in the song’s latter half. Those of you hunting for a song that feels heavy yet somehow is uplifting will take note of this number. Tuff 2B Tender will be released on April 23rd via Lost Sound Tapes.
In less than two weeks, Lunchbox will be dropping After School Special, their enchanting new LP. But, in listening to this brand new single, I think the world over is going to have some strong feelings to the track’s thematic message; it’s set “against the backdrop of the ever-changing Oakland cityscape,” with a friendly ghost frolicking about town to emphasize that all the things we love and hold dear, “nothing can ever stay the same.” Of course, two decades of pop from Tim and Donna definitely feel familiar, giving off a sense of comfort amidst the harrowing theme. I love how the horns sort of burst through those jangling guitar stabs and push the pop envelope just a bit more. There’s no such thing as too much pop! After School Special will be out on October 30th via Slumberland Records/Lost Sound Tapes.
There’s a big bunch of indiepop fans that have been clamoring for the Very Most‘s new LP, and now that it has finally come to fruition, I’d like to highlight the occasion by streaming the album for you! Needs Help works on so many levels; you can relate it to the fact that Jeremy Jensen felt his songs need the help of other vocalists, or maybe you relate to the various reflections on the difficulties we all face when we try “to change our life for the better.” Musically, it hits a lot of the sweet pop notes I adore. “Her Three Year Old Laugh…” offers some great Belle and Sebastian nods, while “To Just Be Good” reminds me of The Popguns with dense arrangements and twinkling melodic vocals. Personally, the song I’ve listened to the most the last couple of days is “Mirasticles,” and I think that’s one of the great things about this LP as it seems to cover so many bases for huge pop nerds like myself. It’s available to you via Lost Sound Tapes!
Jon over at Lost Sound Tapes is always reliable for his tastes, and admittedly, I haven’t been checking in as frequently as I should, which is how these two new releases on the label slid under my radar.
First, you get Daisyworld by Neutral Shirt, which harkens to a sort of sparkling indie rock vibe, taking on these sunny moments, and maybe wearing them with a bit of a heavier sentiment, like “Permanent Blue.” There are some upbeat rockers too that I’ve been taken by, so might I suggest you give “Salton Sea” a listen.
Next, you can enjoy 5 Demos from Boosegumps, the project of Heeyoon Won (Free Cake for Every Creature). Here, they’re offering this super intimate glimpse into their life and writing. Personally, I’ve been really taken by “Perfect Autumn Day;” it reminds me of those blissful moments on the early Rilo Kiley LPs. Give a listen.
One of my favorite releases this year was the Not in Love LP by Non La, which was released by trusted labels Lost Sound Tapes and Kingfisher Bluez. We’ve covered various singles, but as we’re all clamoring for live music at now, DJ has opted to reward his fans with a home concert you can watch again and again! All five tracks performed live can be found on the supremely rewarding Not in Love LP; I like that DJ even leaves in just a touch of the on-stage banter; it’s like we’re all right there living the show with him. I think my favorite jam of this bunch is “YR Man,” though I’m also partial to “Come On.” Just needed another excuse to hype Non La, and here it is!
While “Sick Days” was likely written before this coronavirus pandemic, the new video from Sleuth comes at an apt time, particularly in the way it was recorded, with each member filming while in isolation. You’ll likely find some similar ground if you’re laying low and staying safe. Musically, the song has this casual bounce at the get-go, like happily plodding along and telling stories with an old friend. At the 1:16 mark, the song jumps off and gets a touch boisterous, using gang vocals to build up the song’s exuberant nature. It’s a great song, with a relatable video; you’ll find the track on their new album Gold, which is scheduled to drop on May 29th via Lost Sound Tapes/Jigsaw Records.
If you haven’t gotten to listen to Non La‘s debut Not in Love LP, then this is your chance to correct your mistakes. It’s a refreshing pop rock record that reminds me, to a degree of the early Diet Cig stuff. It has that same infectious quality, and a simplicity that allows for the earnestness of the songwriting to sparkle in the forefront. There’s just something about no frills good old fashioned rock n’ roll, and its on full display in this video, only furthering my belief that you’re life will be infinitely better the moment you take a chance to grab the LP from Lost Sound Tapes and Kingfisher Bluez.
Near the end of last year we heard the first tune from the Not in Love EP from Vancouver’s Non La; I was struck by the earnestness of the tune, but also how brazenly catchy the track was. Here’s another tune off said EP, equally hook-laden as the first tunes we heard. There’s just something freeing about everything DJ On is writing at the moment; I can just envision going to a show and bouncing up and down around the club, screaming at the top of my lungs along with everyone else in the room. These are sing-a-long hits that make you feel good about the world, so go ahead, make the world yours today. The whole EP is out on February 14th via KingfisherBluez/Lost Sound Tapes.