Since the inception of this site back in the 00s, Abram Shook has been a constant feature on these Internet pages…either as a solo artists or one of his various projects like Feverbones or Great Nostalgic. Next week, he’ll be releasing his new LP, the Neon Machine, and while it definitely has his imprint, I think a lot of folks will be surprised by the sounds. For me, the synth pulse, albeit in a smooth fashion, was an unexpected twist; it’s interesting how some of those notes match the rhythm of Abram’s vocal delivery. Speaking of his vocals, there’s this velvety soulfulness that it far more pronounced than anything he’s done; I think the “with your time” line is the only time when I was like “yeah, this sounds like Abram, 100%.” It’s a really impressive shift into new territory, and I can see this getting some Neon Indian comparisons for those with careful ears. The new LP is out August 16th via Western Vinyl. He’ll be out on the road through October with White Denim, mostly through East Coast/Midwest; check some of those dates HERE.
Canadian outfit No Museums generally gives us something new to listen to each year, and it looks like we’re on the cusp of a new LP as the band have just uploaded a new tune/video. It’s definitely a track built upon the tension of the guitar chords, pushing the train (mail train?) along with very minimal percussive elements; they’re hiding out there in the woods while the guitar is up front in the mix. The vocals sort of hang in the middle of the tune, like traditional slow-core…not overbearing, but just audible enough for you to be hooked on the lyrics. It looks like The Artifact is Nothing is going to be a great guitar album; and there are hints we’ll hear it before May is up!
It’s been a few years since we last heard from Lost Tapes with their collection, We Thought It Was Okay at the Time. One thing’s for sure today, the band definitely are doing okay right now, hitting that musical sweet spot of my personal tastes. For starters, there’s a wash over the track, matched by some of the shadier attributes of the accompanying video; this haze hangs on to the vocals too, giving off this dream state. But, just beneath that fuzzy pop is this stuttering jangle pop; it’s sounds a great bit like “Rip It Up” by Orange Juice, which is a sure-fire dance number for me and my wife. Not every day you come across a number that hits the dream pop and the jangle at once; this tune appears on the group’s new EP, out on Shelflife on February 22nd.
Not sure why it’s been so long since I’ve mentioned the legendary Dan Mangan on our website as he’s been a busy guy over the years. Maybe we just aren’t that good at this… Regardless, Dan is currently working on a new album and has offered a delightful new tune called “Troubled Mind” as a preview of the new material. Contrary to his usual singer/songwriter genre, this track has much more of a driving rock sound to it sort of similar to something you might hear from Spencer Krug/Moonface. Though the sound is light and cheerful, the lyrics play nicely as a counteracting agent to create a balanced mood. I’m happy to say that it’s put me back on board the Dan Mangan fan wagon.
Mangan will release a new album sometime later this year on Arts & Crafts.
Last October, Nap Eyes blew into Austin on the backs of Alvvays; I hoped, and prayed, that people would show up early, remembering the perfect morning when I caught their set in a small room during SXSW the year they dropped Thought Rock Fish Scale. Today they return with news of a brand new record, and our first taste leaves off exactly where we left the band. The vocals are given in almost haphazardly spoken manner, and I love how strong they are in the front of the mix. What I didn’t expect, and am appreciative of at this moment, is how crisp the guitar licks sound on this track…even when ramped up to jangling speed. The band are set to release I’m Bad Now via Paradise of Bachelors on March 9th.
While I’m enjoying going through all last week’s tunes, it would be hard to overlook that there’s a new Destroyer tune floating out there today. He’s perhaps one of the most distinctive voices out there in the music world, and he puts that voice on display for this song’s opening two minutes. For that period, the song’s pretty sparse, but then it expands with furthered textures…keyboard, guitar and more pronounced percussion. He’s titled his new record, ken, and it will be out come this October via Merge Records.
It sounds as if Kevin Morby is venturing into territory resigned for poets, and with this new single, it sounds like he’s doing so with great success. The musical accompaniment to his lyrics/voice is pretty minimal…using trickling little notes and really light percussive taps. Sure, there’s a really slight pick up near the song’s end, but this track serves notice that great tracks don’t always need expansive music to accompany them, and perhaps the quietest tracks are the loudest. Morby will be dropping his latest, City Music, on June 16th via Dead Oceans, surely furthering our infatuation with his craft.
Traditionally, I wouldn’t post a lyric video…but seeing as this song isn’t available any other way yet and it’s in Portuguese, it might just require such a post. Well, there’s that and the fact that I really enjoy the work that Boogarins have been doing…this new jam included. You’ll definitely hear moments of the band’s exploratory psych tendencies, but I also like the art-pop moment that comes from the line “that will not let me see the sun/they will not let me see the sun;” it’s possibly my favorite moment on the track. Their new LP, Manual, will be available on October 30th via Other Music/Burger Records.