We fell for the charms of Phil Sutton’s solo outing Love, Burns when he shared the splendid “Gate and the Ghost;” it’s a must have track for anyone in love with the purity of pop. Today, we get to hear the B-Side “It’s a Shame,” which features Hewson Chen of Lake Ruth on lead guitar. I like the slight adjustment in the approach, perhaps offering a glimpse at the various influences Sutton toys with in his songwriting. In part, there’s a definite paisley pop feel operating with some steady electronic organ, but as the tune progresses you can hear a sort of Spaghetti Western guitar coursing through, adding in this ominous touch that may (or may not) allude to the track’s theme. It’s like we’re all waiting for our pop hero to climb the mountain of indie rock with the setting sun behind him, casting this glorious shadow that is Love, Burns. If you’re inclined, the 7″ is immediately available from KUS in Germany, but there will be some stateside copies ready within the next month. Plus, a full LP is on the way for next Spring.
Up until now, it seems that new brand of post-punk has been sensationalized and dominated by boy bands (Shame, Fontaines DC, Idles, etc)…and all that’s well and good, but I’m glad that Gustaf is here to throw a wrench in that whole push. The New York outfit has much more of a pop sensibility about their work, which is owed to the rhythm section; it definitely has that Entertainment nod when those riffs come cutting into the song’s core…followed by that call and response vocal closing. Honestly, I love how refreshing this sounds; it doesn’t sound formulaic or like a costume, and I love that about it. The band celebrate this rad tune by signing with Royal Mountain Records; they’ll drop a 7″ on December 4th.
We’ve gotta rep the Texas scene, even beyond Austin, so when I heard this new track from K. Campbell drop the other day, I knew I had to share it with you immediately. It’s solid piece of power pop, falling somewhere between the landscape of Nada Surf and Teenage Fanclub, which doesn’t seem a bad place to find yourself. Soft melodic vocals glue the track together nicely, and the noisier bits get sanded along the edges, really polishing off the pop sensibility in the perfect way. If this is your style, as it should be, there’s a wonderful 7″ that features this track available HERE.
Phil Sutton has played in some incredible bands, such as Pale Lights who we’ve covered countless times. But, his focus right now is on his solo project, Love Burns; there’s this great new 7″ he’s recorded with a bunch of heavy-hitting friends that will be released on October 23rd. When I first turned this on, I felt awed by how his voice seems to soar; it works perfectly in the song’s stark opening and still carries on when the track pushes forward with more layers. Speaking of said layers, there’s enough texture to create this thickened pop feeling, though with enough restraint to still make everything feel so airy. This is the perfect lesson in how to build a perfect pop song! The 7″ will be available on October 23rd via KUS!
The Sour Notes are one of my favorite local Austin acts, particularly as they’ve really come into their own over the last few years. But, this is about two of their songwriters using a more electronic approach to exercise their musical muscles as Memory Keepers. Last week they dropped the Forskalii 7″, which features a nice Primal Scream cover (rumored to be praised by the band!). In this video for the A-side, the pulsating synths get mixed with live footage from the band’s last show, courtesy of photographs from Vineet Gordhandas; you’ll also find some great texture work, layering guitar lines and synth lines just beneath the wash of Jared’s vocoder-modified voice. It’s always fun when you try to tie the two bands together, trying to see where their pop sensibilities united in their different approaches to craft. Plus, if you enjoy it and grab the 7″, the band are donating all those funds to the NAACP-LDF…so everyone wins.
Late last year I was super into Capitol when the Canadian band dropped Dream Noise, and here comes the band around the corner with this striking new single. It opens with this sparkling dream pop, accented by these dancing sharp guitar jangles. Suddenly the space opens up and Josh Kemps solemn vocals enter the picture, blanketing the dreamy ambiance in this indifferent sense of cool; his voice gets a little help by the appearance of ELIO, who really does add an extra melodic charm that playfully trades lines with Kemp. If you’re a fan of the track, be sure to grab the 7″ from Meritorio or Kingfisher Bluez; it’s out on July 29th.
Honestly, I have no idea who Alex Izenberg is, but I’m going to spend today correcting that mishap by listening to his debut, Harlequin; for now, I’m stuck on this new gem he’s just dropped. He’s got this soulful croon to his vocals, and the song itself seems drenched in R&B rhythms. There’s all these little nuances lurking in the nooks and crannies, which elevates the song’s emotional pull, not to mention making it every bit as current as anything else you’re likely to hear; it’s one of those tunes straddling the past and the present. This tune appears on a new 7″ available from Domino Recording Co.
When I willingly gave away my money to the Slumberland Single Series I had no idea what to expect, and I’ve been really fortunate to get some gems coming to my doorstep. But, with the announcement of new 7 inches coming from both Pale Lights and Odd Hope, I don’t think I could be any happier that my money was well spent. This Pale Lights single might just be my 2nd favorite track of the year thus far, pretty easily I might add; it’s the brand of pop I’ve always adored, which is perhaps greatly in part to the work of Slumberland. With Odd Hope, it’s just always great to hear new songs from Tim; his work has been an important part of my life, despite just a couple of releases. You couldn’t ask for more, and yet here we are; both 7 inches drop on April 23rd.
London outfit Pynch just popped up on my radar, thanks to Speedy Wunderground; the popular label will be releasing the band’s newest single as part of their on-going Single Series in December. I immediately loved the way the guitar sort of jittered its way right into the tune, dancing atop the steady rhythm section. Then the vocals entered the picture, sort of carrying this natural sense of wonderment; the voice just seems to sort of evaporate into the ether as each line’s delivered, matched by some spacey keyboard notes. It’s just one of those pop tunes that ultimately leaves you begging to hear it again and again. Float off into the world with this tune, and grab it HERE.
All year long, the Sour Notes have slowly been releasing 7″ after 7″, and we’re really excited to share with you the B-Side from the latest Shoulda/Enough 7″. This song gives a glimpse into the band’s process, and their desire to do multiple 7″s in a year. it came to be after the band switched gears and changed directions on another B-Side, ultimately sticking with this track as it touches on the concept of pursuing your art despite the uncontrollable factors that sit in your way. Musically, I feel like the band are in a great place, especially when lining things up with my tastes; Jared’s voice sounds really solid hanging in the midst of those huge guitar sounds. This is guitar pop at its finest!
The band celebrate the release of this new 7″ with Thelma & the Sleaze, Royal Forest, The Black Drumsetand Fanclub on Friday over at Cheer Up Charlies. Event info HERE.