I really wonder if we’ll all look back sometime and realize just how incredible the shape-shifting ways of Angus and Liars truly was; I know thinking back on They Threw Us All in a Trench… that I couldn’t have imagined where the band would have ended up some 20 years later. Still, I have a soft spot for Angus’ approach, and this round it seems he embraced collaboration in the earliest stage, pulling in jazz drummers and multi-instrumentalists to fill out the soundscape he’s envisioned. The song operates with this throbbing heartbeat, darkened by synth notes and Angus’ haunting delivery, but as it unwinds, drumming becomes erratic in nature, off-beat even at times…every stone overturned reveals a new musical perspective. Personally, the melodic vocals just after the 2 minute mark are my personal highlight here…but that’s just basic old me. This tune appears on The Apple Drop, the new LP hitting on August 6th via Mute.
You might recognize Lizzie Loveless as one of the members of TEEN, but she’s out on her own and teaming up with Egghunt Records to bring you her new record come this September. Personally, I love that the song seems to have two sides to it, perhaps alluding to Lizzie’s sentiment about spiraling out of control as you fall too deeply in love with someone. The front half is steady, like a darker version of the Blow, using catching rhythms and a real sleek vocal that teases you to join in the fun. Then the beat and the pace thicken, textures are added and the song spirals in a different direction, almost a meditative pop hook that’s more like a heavy 80s dance party. This is for sure a jam, and they’ll be releasing You Don’t Know in September.
We’ve really tried to make sure that Ama was on your radar throughout the last few years; Blair Robbins’ project has been one of my absolute faves for some time now…so here we are with the band dropping Both/And over the weekend. You might catch the homage to Elliott Smith in the record’s title, but I assure you the songwriting here is far more than a mere nod. Take my favorite track, “I See You See,” with it’s wind-swept guitar notes and airy vocal performance; the chorus has these notes that will draw in fans of Alvvays and the like. I’ll be honest, I spent a lot of time with this whole LP this weekend, and its honestly one of the most complete records you’re going to hear this week…each song’s a separate hit. Just sit back and start your day here.
I’m not going to lie; I haven’t thought about Kings of Convenience in some time; they’ve not released new music in almost 12 years…though I’ll cop to checking in on Erlend from time to time. They return today with a new single and an announcement of Peace or Love, their brand new album, and honestly, not much seems to have changed between Eirik and Erlend. They’re still using incredible acoustic guitar play to mold these wonderful melodies, then intertwining their voices majestically, all of it aided by some feathery string arrangements to build in some texture. Honestly, this gives me the feels and takes me back to the early 00s, and I don’t mind that one bit. Their new LP is out June 18th.
Next week, Carter Tanton will be releasing his new self-titled album over on Western Vinyl Records, and of the singles we’ve shared or heard, this one might be my favorite of the lot. The song’s power is this resonating vocals that seems tethered to the guitar work, so much so that they never seem too far away from one another. Tanton’s vocals are glass-fragile, as if they’re about to shatter the minute they cross through your speakers; you’ve got to love the intimate presentation here, like sitting in on a studio session for one of your favorite songwriters. This song’s all emotion, no frills; it drops with Carter Tanton next Friday!
Feel like the best way to keep rocking on a Monday morning is to drop more killer rock n’ roll, of the pop sort, of course. As we near peak running time (I’m a summer time runner) for me, I’m looking for a good hit for the playlist, and I think “Trevor Philippe” might just have what it takes. On the front end, you’ve got a sweet bit of garage style riffs running furiously while drums force you to tap your toes; I love the who gives a fuck approach of the vocals too; they don’t seem to have a care in the world. Plus, when the song decides to get a little heavy, I don’t mind that one bit either; it’s hard to wax philosophical about just good old fashioned pop rock…but find one today that treats you like Johnny Mafia. They drop their new album Sentimental on Howlin Banana Records on May 21st.
I was super surprised, yet grateful, that Austin’s The Dead Space had returned after their hiatus a few weeks back, and with another single for you, hopefully you can join in the excitement over at ATH. It instantly opens with this cascading guitar line, immediately raising your anxiety level as Jenny Arthur furious pounds on drums. The rhythm controls the verses, as Quin’s guitar skitters in and out of focus, letting his voice haunt you in this cavernous manner. I love that the band never chooses the obvious release, and in fact, sometimes its the absence of that which keeps drawing me back into their tunes; they’re not here to offer you your formulaic brand of darkened indie rock. Look for their new album Chlorine Sleep to drop on May 7th via 12XU.
Michael Angelheart has spent the better part of the last decade playing in Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, a band that had him bouncing back and forth between Melbourne and NYC, not to mention the various tours around the world. In that time, he was able to record a bunch of tunes on his own with friends from Real Estate and the Ocean Party (both bands we adore), and now those are all put together in one great record. As you’d expect, the record is filled with great little guitar pop tunes like standout single “What If You,” though I’ll admit I’m really partial to “Holding on for the High” and “LSD (Got a Hold On Me).” There’s bound to be something for you all in here, so dig into Michael’s Best of Vol. 1 2012-2017.
If you’re in the Austin area and you caught the great 101x Homegrown show last night, you might have gotten an early listen to the latest from our ATH Records label, Space Tan. We got that first tune out there last night via our friend John, and figured it only makes sense that we share the exciting news with you as well, right? So, below, you get a listen to “Summer Song,” the first tune off Space Tan‘s Inti Raymi; we’ll be putting the album out on a very limited cassette on April 30th. Click below to check out the fuzzy pop stylings the band will be offering you come the end of the month!
With North Street Air on the May release horizon, I reckon I should throw some support behind Holiday Ghosts. While the band hail from the UK, they very much have the feel of a solid Aussie outfit, sort of blending the lo-fi aesthetic with scuzzy janglings and dueling vocal melodies, always packing pop sensibility with every note. In fact, I’m pretty sure no single song you’ll hear today has as much celebratory exuberance; you only need to look at the childish joy omnipresent in their latest video! North Street Air drops on May 21st via Fat Cat Records.