This Ben Woods track has been floating around for a few days in the Aussie circles, but I keep coming back to it, so I wanted to make sure I had it up on our end here. The tune barely moves, almost remaining stationary to allow for the emotive pull to be built on the vocals and the ambient effects. Ben’s voice, forever fragile, sucks you in; then he trades verses with Lucy Hunter of Opposite Sex, giving you this trade-off between narrators, all the while this open expanse of light musical flourishes just seem to hang and vanish in thin air. Special tune from a special songwriter; look for Dispeller on July 15th via Meritorio/Shrimper/Melted Ice Cream.
Strangely, as the summer comes, which is usually my heavy jam season, I’ve been mellowing, looking for more moving pieces, like this Ben Woods track. Ben just announced a new LP titled Dispeller, and I’m totally awe-struck by this lead single. It’s a combination of bedroom strumming and sampled noise used to structurally build the sound. There’s this slight tonal shift that gets me every time he drops it in; he’ll deliver two lines, then twist the tone into this slightly more melodic charm. Plus, every time the song builds into cacophony, it all seems to make perfect sense, only raising the bar on the modern trends of songwriting. Dispeller is out in July via Shrimper/Melted Ice Cream/Meritorio.
We’re just a month or so away from the new Monnone Alone LP, so you’ve got to dip your toes into the warm water in Mark’s pool of pop. This new single quickly slides into this huge ringing chords, meant for arena rock status, but brought back to Earth by the softened jangling style of Monnone’s guitar play. While I love that big sound, bordering on crunchy power pop, I think I’m in love with the vocals on this tune; they kind of hang out there on a laundry wire of pop, blowing in the wind, occasionally gusting with these delighting notes that rise and fall so effortlessly. And if that wasn’t enough, how about the song’s fade out, just budding with infectious pop bravado. Stay Foggy will be released on September 3rd via all the usual pop purveyors: Lost and Lonesome/Meritorio/Emo Response/Royal Mint.
It doesn’t seem like Summer of the Mosquito was released almost 2 years ago! Alas, Mark Monnone, formerly of the Lucksmiths, is at it again with a brand new 7″ under his Monnone Alone moniker, and hinting at an LP later in the year! Feuding guitar sounds open the tune, one bringing in fuzzy edges and the other a light-hearted beach stomp, giving off this sort of bewildering pop sensibility. And, while I love the steadfast pop quality, I think the true winner here is Mark’s vocal performance; he doesn’t seem to miss a note, almost as if he’s singing at some beachside lounge resort, making all the kids scream and swing about as they spill their Mai-Tais in the sand. You want to take a bite out of some truly great pop music? Then give this one about 12-13 spins; I know I certainly have. Like the Beach Boys, but honestly, better. The 7″ is out at the end of March via Lost and Lonesome/Emotional Response/Meritorio/Royal Mint. Here I go skipping down the hallways of our school screaming and bouncing “I’m going to lose my mind!”
Two things I love, Spanish indie labels, and a really great cause. Over in Spain, a bunch of the independent labels (like Bobo Integral and Meritorio) got together and gathered some rare and new tunes, put them all together, and are now releasing it under the title Music For Gloves. Each label has offered up some rarities in an attempt to raise funds to buy gloves for the hospitals on the frontline of this pandemic. I know we’ve got friends all over the world, so if this is of interest, this a great place to listen to new music and help raise funds. Here’s a new demo from my favorites, El Palacio de Linares.
We’re a few weeks away from Horn if You’re Honky, the brand new record from Girlatones; it’s one of the records I’ve been most looking forward to in this busy Spring season. Their newest single has this sprightly bounce to it, using these playful guitar lines and precision percussion to give the song a hop and a step that will surely lift your spirits. The warmth of the chorus adds in a layered melody and pop sensibility that’s so brief and delicate that it slides into your subconscious begging to be played on repeat. For my two cents, the track helps illustrate the variance on the new record, which actually has me more excited. I’ve loved every single thus far, and none of them sound exactly alike, so we’re all in for a collection of 10 solid hits! Horn if You’re Honky drops via Meritorio and Lost and Lonesome on March 20th.