If you were anywhere near SXSW this past year, you were likely turned onto Lifeguard; they were one of our favorite acts of the festival, dropping these mature performances that went beyond their age. They’ve just announced their first release for Matador Records, which is a combination of an old EP and a fresh one to get you excited for their future. Listening through, it sort of reminds me of At the Drive-In during the Vaya EP; they’ve got this masterful balance between hypnotic pulses and artful noise; you’re being pulled and pushed while the lyrics seem to echo more of a mantra than a typical mantra. Look for everyone to rave about this trio; they drop Crowd Can Talk/Dressed in Trenches on July 7th.
Through two albums, the Goon Sax have been nearly flawless with their brand of jangling guitar pop, but as they announce Mirror II, their third LP, it sounds like they’re taking some chances. In this tune, both the video and the song seem to have this heavy anxiety, almost a sense of foreboding; it’s a weight that even seems to hold the chorus down, with Riley and Louis seemingly holding back where they’ve been buoyant before. Still, that little change has me drawn to the tune like a moth to the light; I particularly like Riley’s vocal performance just as the song fades to nothing but synths and drums at the 3 minute mark. They’ve changed things up a bit, while still managing to sound wholly like the vibrant pop band that seemingly sprung out of nowhere; I’ve got to applaud them for pushing their sound into new territory. I look forward to hearing more from Mirror II…out July 9th via Matador Records.
As someone who haphazardly writes about songs I enjoy, I generally have words or phrases that get stuck in my repertoire. Sure, there’s a bit of laziness in that, but when you’re rocking four jobs, that’s just how it be. For me, Mdou Moctar and his band never seem to fit into any of those categorical descriptors; however, the band does resonate with my listening experience. On this particular love song, I can’t help but turn over the word familial, something that swells with the feeling of a strong relationship. Perhaps that’s leaked over from the press release about the video’s turn towards displaying the love of friendships…or perhaps its the vocals when sung by everyone in unison, rising through the speakers. Whatever it is, it leaves you with a sense of belonging, a feeling that you’re a whole part of this world, and thus, I’m super attracted to this hypnotic tune. Look for Afrique Victime to drop on May 21st via Matador Records.
If you browsed through some of the more reputable end of year lists in 2019, I hope you caught Ilana: the Creator in some of those, as Mdou Moctar left us with a release that have very few peers in the grand scheme of things. Today, the Tuareg guitarist celebrates signing to Matador Records by sharing a brand new single, which should appear on a brand new LP slated for next year. The skill set in guitar work is phenomenal; its what I imagine folks who like King Gizzard would enjoy if they had less boring tastes. Mdou explains how the song is about how we lose ourselves in the midst of relationships, allowing envy and jealousy to control our lives; he hopes the he does not succumb to such a way of being. Just check this fire!
I’m approaching this whole Belle and Sebastian project with a little trepidation, as I’m still fearful of being bamboozled like I was with Storytelling, but as of this moment, Belle and Sebastian are two for two with the song’s we’ve heard from their score for Days of the Bagnold Summer. This particular tune is all about my love for Stuart’s voice; it’s the central focus of this song’s duration, save for the forlorn trumpet solo. Murdoch works his vocals around lightly plucked guitar notes, aided by the aforementioned trumpet and some swelling string arrangements. Matador Records will release the Original Soundtrack on September 13th, and I’m holding my breath that it all sounds this special.
Now, I enter this period of Belle and Sebastian with a little trepidation, as I was not a huge fan of 2002’s Storytelling release. But, I feel like the announcement of The Days of Bagnold Summer score comes with a delicious gem streaming below. It begins with this rolling tension and brooding bass line before twinkling guitar notes sparkle and shine in step with Stuart’s voice. I don’t know if it’s the score mentality or the current mind to songwriting, but there seems to be the perfect amount of space left between verses and choruses; it makes everything seem so gran that I can’t help but to actually be excited for this release. The soundtrack will be out on September 13th via Matador Records.
In fact, the Internet did say there’s a new Belle and Sebastian track out there…it’s one of the tracks that will feature on the band’s release of three (3!) new EPs. The band remains one of the finest purveyors of pop music to this day and age, and to have 3 albums with their own story seems fitting…especially as they did something similar back in their early days. Just take a moment of your day, relax and enjoy this new song off of EP #2. The collection, called How to Solve Our Human Problems, will be out on February 17th via Matador Records.
Still trying to figure out why this album isn’t titled Kurt and Courtney, but I suppose Lotta Sea Lice will suffice for now. The song below is a great one, though I’m sure that we all figured combining the prowess of these two great songwriters would be as such. Still, I’m drawn to the endearing quality of the video, with both artists being filmed in their everyday lives on their respective sides of the pond. It drives home the sentiment of the bond between two intercontinental friends playing great music, while also driving home the fact that all our favorite artists are just regular old folks. Look for the release on October 13th via Matador Records.
We’ve fawned over Julien Baker about as long as everyone else has, and we’ll continue that adoration as long as she’s writing tracks like the one below. It’s the A-side to a forthcoming 7″ on Matador Records, celebrating her signing, as well as the reissue of her album, Sprained Ankle (March 7th). For such a young artists, she sure sounds confident on this new tune…whilst still maintaining a sense the sense of intimacy that makes her so endearing.
ACL Festival is this weekend, and while a great deal of the acts are well-known, the fest is still scoring some great acts on the undercard, like Lucy Dacus. She’s been writing some incredible songs that seem to have gone about rather quietly, which is unfortunate, for you. Matador Records released No Burden earlier this year, and it’s filled with these tracks that take personal recordings, and expand them into something wholly intoxicating. I mean, just listen to “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” and tell me that you’re not rushing to find out more about her. I included the track below to do some of the work for you. And while you’re all about Radiohead this week, don’t forget you paid to see tons of tunes, so schedule yourself some time at 2:30 over on the BMI Stage on Saturday.