Introducing Colored Lights

Over the past dozen years or so, I’ve been covering the music of Frode Stromstad, one of the key songwriters in I Was a King/The No Ones. Today, news came our way that Frode has a new project titled Colored Lights, and we’re more than happy to share the first little taste of what’s in store. Personally, I can’t escape the familiarity of Frode’s voice; it seems to sit perfectly in this song, like a small little boat casually resting atop the water as the song ripples through your speakers. Emotional impact is almost immediate, matching up the light strum and percussion with Stromstad’s voice…and then it’s gone, fading away with a gentle bit of noise exploration. The band will release their self-titled LP via Bobo Integral on September 22nd.

Lakes Region Share Echo, Drop Vital Signs

I am a little late to the game on the latest release from Australia’s Lakes Region, but I aim to rectify my error by sharing one of my favorite tunes from the new Vital Signs LP. “Echo” lives in the dream pop realm, with these swirling guitars filtering through your speakers like wisps of smoke. Pete Bridle’s voice, however, unlocks the secrets the song, coming across like a last grasp of grandeur, one more attempt to stretch the melodies into the beyond. This is what you’ll get through and through on Vital Signs, a record that feels like its slow burning along the edges, leaving these glowing little embers of warm pop.

Grrrl Gang Sign to Trapped Animal Records

What a big day for Indonesian outfit Grrrl Gang, announcing their signing to Trapped Animal Records, with support from KRS and Big Romantic for distribution world-wide. Thumping drums rip through your speakers as soon as the volume gets up, with the classic play of quiteloudquiet from the vocals to hit you right in the face. I love how the backing vocals build into a full group formation, soothing the ears right as the song draws to a close. A bit of a growl, a bit of sweetness, and a whole lot of promise; Grrrl Gang will drop Spunky! this September, but you can pre-order HERE.

Obligatory Teenage Fanclub Post

Yesterday there was news that Teenage Fanclub would be releasing a fresh record, and since I’m late to the party and you likely already heard the single, we’ll start our day here. Now, perhaps this is a bit of a stretch, but as someone who was raised by a hippie, this feels like this is the Grateful Dead season of the band. The melodies, which have always been brilliant, seem to take on this more almost pastoral sensation, with the whole group sort of riding on this locomotive rhythm guitar. Sure, there’s the lead guitar sliding in here and there in its own slithery manner, but I promise you, if you slid this track in a remastered version of Workingman’s Dead, it wouldn’t be out of place. Their new album, Nothing Lasts Forever, is out on 9.22 via Merge Records.

Max Bien Khan Announces When I Cross It Off

If you are in search of a little bit of an introspective singer-songwriter, with just a hint of humor and self-deprecation, then try on New Orleans artist Max Bien Khan. You can easily here where Khan might slide into bed next to Silver Jews or the like, but there’s a touch more twang in the songwriting. I like that, as its definitely something that’s close to home for us, plus it sort of brings about that campfire/group party vibe, which makes sense as Max’s bandcamp describes his music as “partying to someone’s diary,” so the intimacy checks here. Good tune, mellow summer vibes; When I Cross It Off is out on July 7th.

The Underground Youth Share I Thought I Understood

If you were looking for something that to throw on your post-punk playlist, might I suggest this new track from Berlin (by way of Manchester) outfit The Underground Youth. Those opening guitar lines tickle you, pricking your ears up before the rhythm section joins in with this bobbing groove that sets the mood for the exploratory nature of Craig Dyer’s voice. Deep and melodic, his voice feels both reflective and pained in this presentation, aided by the way the background billows around him. They’ve just finished up their 11th LP in 15 years; Nostalgia’s Glass will be out on August 14th.

RVG Return with Common Ground Video

I am back with another piece in my ongoing series titled “Everything That RVG Does;” today, we have the latest video from the Aussie group’s forthcoming Brain Worms album. When I first heard this song, the guitar tones caught my ears instantly; they take on those Oceanic ringing notes perfectly. But, Romy drops in this great tonal change at the 1:39 mark, and I have to tell you that it’s one of those powerful moments you might not even notice until the 3rd or 4th time through. Blink and you’ll miss it, so go back. Honestly, the space left in this song to fill with emotive vocals really does the trick; it’s one of my top two tracks on the record. If you’re enjoying the one, don’t forget Brain Worms is out on June 2nd via Fire Records.

Laurence-Anne Announces Oniromancie LP

Wanted to kick off this Wednesday with a bit of spooky pop vibes, and Montreal’s Laurence-Anne is the perfectly bewitching pop spectacle to accomplish that feat. For starters, the announcement of the new Oniromancie LP comes with this silhouette video, already building to the mystery surrounding the artist’s work. Then, once you press play, you’re greeted by these warped vocal samples, disorienting at first, then moving into more traditional fare. That groove dropping in had me, setting up the vocals for this sort of tumbling delivery that never seems to give you a chance to breathe. Cool vibes only on Wednesdays; Oniromancie is out September 9th via Bonsound.

Melenas Announce Ahora New LP

I am an (at times) over-enthusiastic Melenas fan. So much so, that on their last album cycle I think called them the Melons for the entirety of a whole post. Today, they bring us news of the follow up to Dias Raros; it’s slated to be released this fall via Trouble in Mind Records. Aside from the video just coming off as really cool and stunning (if you’re taking in the scenery), but this song has me so exited; it reminds me of No Shouts No Calls-era Electrelane, drawing on motorik beats and funky disco propulsion to push the narrative…in Spanish no less! It all feels so futuristic and hopeful, and I can’t turn the damn thing off! You can grab the Ahora on September 29th!

Estrella del Sol Shares Figura de Cristal

Estrella del Sol really won me over with the first single from her forthcoming record, and next tune picks up, building otherworldly pop music that’s equally as mesmerizing as it is haunting. At times the vocals are barely audible, lurking in the shadows; it’s almost like listening to the score for some magnificent Kubrick movie, albeit one set in Latin American. You’ll hear this light pulse, the heartbeat just faintly warbling beneath the atmosphere; it creates the perfect cinematic feel that should hopefully turn some heads towards Figura de Cristal; it’s out via Felte on June 30th.


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