There are two things working in favor for Ezra Furman; he’s constantly shape-shifting his sound and he’s mentioned Jay Reatard as one of the artists he looked to in the recording of his new album Twelve Nudes. This new single definitely has things high upon the energy front, a la Jay, blasting forth with furious pace from the very get-go. He even seems to have adopted his own frantic stylings for the vocals, forcing the lyrics to bounce out in even step with the pace of the track; the lyrical content is a straight shot towards how many folks feel in today’s world where none of seem to be ok. Twelve Nudes will be out on Bella Union on August 30th.
I don’t think enough folks appreciate the work that’s being done by B Boys (the band not the breaker — though they can break, I’m sure). Two albums in of incredibly spastic art rock with a sharpness like no other current band, and still we fawn over the imitators. Today they announce Dudu (I’m thinking its a reference to the Brazilian soccer player), and man, they do so in brilliant fashion. Those angular guitar daggers jump right in, keeping that off-kilter drive alive while the vocals are half-spoken half-wailed emphatically through your speaker. I think what I’m digging on upon first few listens is that there’s this heavier riff keeping the song pushing forward; it’s not all angles and what not…plus that rhythm section rules. The group look to be working pretty hard on the road, with dates scattered from July to September (hopefully with Dumb and Omni…if I’m picking my dream line-up); Dudu drops on July 26th via Captured Tracks.
As a Texas based blog, we’ve got to rep the state whenever possible, especially when its an act we’re already committed to: Young Mammals. They’ve recently announced Lost in Lima, their new LP…and below it the album’s title track; they had me hooked before hearing the song when they name dropped Wire and Neruda in the recording process. For my two cents, this song is bordering on jangle; it’s got its own bit of fog that sort of hangs over the group, which actually makes the pop sensibility billow through your speakers as things progress. I love the softness of the vocals, like a nice bit of frosting on an already delicious cake. The new record will be out on Wallflower Records on June 22nd.
GRMLN, currently out of Osaka, Japan, has received a slew of positive praise on ATH over the last several years. It’s crazy because we’ve seen the group go from a post-emo sound, to a more garage rock sound, and then even to a more polished Strokes style sound. Well it seems like we are headed back in time a bit as this new single “Half Moon Bay” harkens back to the beginnings of the band with a more dream pop/mellowed out vibe. Personally, I love it when a band becomes known for one thing and then throws us all for a loop with something totally different. I’m loving this one.
A new album is coming from GRMLN soon with a release date not yet announced. Stay tuned.
Last year I spent a decent portion raving about Lafayette, the latest LP from The Golden Dregs, and it looks like 2019 might have another album in the works from Benjamin Woods and his project. We’ve got a new secret, offering up this smoky ballad, working over trickling piano lines while a throbbing pulse works beneath the mix. Benjamin delivers one of his strongest performances, though the arrangements in this song also deserve attention. I love how he’s left a lot of negative space out there, hanging and waiting to be filled…sometimes by nice cello work, other times by tinkering ivory keys; it’s a thoughtful turn in Woods’ songwriting craft, one that indicate grand ideas will be coming our way with that new album, slated for release later this year.
Admittedly, there’s something nostalgic in the sound that Tom Morris is crafting under his Swim Camp moniker. He’s just released Barlow Hill, and while listening I was thrust back to the late 90s where I was filling my CD collection with Jade Tree/Polyvinyl releases. But, that doesn’t mean this sounds dated, and in fact, is quite the opposite, fitting right into the modern fold of indie rock. As you listen through, you’ll feel the intimacy, as if Morris is performing in your living room; you can feel the hum of the guitar strings as the waft through your speakers. It’s a glorious listen from the start to finish, so indulge in the joys of this listen.
Man A.A. Bondy is one of my all time favorite songwriters to come out during the rise of our website. He has always had a knack for simple, yet emotional and powerful songs capable of evoking real feelings. For eight long years we haven’t heard much from Bondy, until he dropped two new singles late on Friday afternoon. The first one, entitled “Killers 3”, is just an absolute beauty in songwriting. It’s Bondy at his best with a slow burning, atmospheric track featuring some sick organ playing. He’s also released a new song called “Images of Love” with a bit more of a dancy vibe to it which is certainly a cool change from the songwriter.
A.A. Bondy will release new album Enderness on May 10th via Fat Possum Records.
Long time fans of Lust for Youth might shudder at the thought, but it seems like the band have completely embraced their pop sensibility for their new self-titled LP. Our first listen has this pulsing brightness, breaking through the cavernous darkness usually present in the group’s tracks; the production seems a little bit more lush, with vocal turns that charm like at 1.30 mark when the line “it hurts my eyes to see you walking by yourself.” That seems to be the theme here, a brighter sonic future, but still holding onto a grim disposition in regards to the world’s state of affairs, both personal and global. Sacred Bones will be releasing this self-titled LP on June 7th.
The ten tracks that make up the debut album from Exasperation show a band confident in their craft, willing to wear their various influences openly. Album opener “Pyre” has this almost spastic punctuated vocal, before it twists into a crunchier blasting riff ride. It’s matched by songs such as “Devil’s Gate,” which has the faintest smell of Les Savy Fav in the angular guitars and vocal delivery. Still, while things often seem sharp and treacherous throughout Paradise, a soft underbelly exists within that only reveals itself when one pulls back layer after layer, song after song…like on “Sludge Plow.” It’s a power ballad of sorts, calm in its appearance, emphatic in its chorus. Venture forth listener, peel back the layers and uncover the secrets of Paradise.
Feels like cheating offering up two Dan Francia tracks in one week, but I’m super stuck on Dan’s vibe. It’s part collage, at least in the actual recording, with Dan culling his friends to record with him. But, for me, the draw is the huge emotional pull that flows through the speakers. He teases the listener here for the first minute and half, offering up vocals and lightly strummed guitar…it builds with percussion and electronics…then it bursts exuberantly through your speakers, stretching your lips into a huge smile. Sometimes you want the music you love to make you feel good, and this song definitely strikes that note on my end. Come Back to Life is out on January 25th via Exploding in Sound.