The quarantine has kept songwriter Asa Morris rather busy, having already released 3 EPs this year, so why not drop one last one in there before we wrap up the shiftiness that is 2020. I love the hidden feel of the vocals, as if they’re whispering to me from somewhere down the hallway. Musically, there’s this really subtle melodic fall; it first happens in the song around the 50 second mark, and its admittedly the moment that I found myself swooning over this tune here. Loud & Sad is the name of Asa’s new EP, and if it sounds like this, you’re surely going to be hearing from me again.
I always love the stuff that Lost Tapes release; they seem to have this knack for crafting just the right brand of melodic pop that lets the mind wonder. With their latest single, I can’t help but think of myself rocking gently in a nice hammock, breezily blowing in the wind as I let my eyes rest and my mind escape the mundane daily rituals. Things seem so clean and perfect in the way the duo work their songs, and in doing so, they create these nuggets of pop joy; it’s like unwrapping your Christmas present early and realizing nothing else in this moment matters. They’ll be releasing the Quoting Salter EP on December 4th via the esteemed Sunday Records.
In my never ending quest to find some new tunes which offer a unique take on older genres, one need look no further than this new track “Doomer” from Melbourne based band Obscura Hail. The group, lead by Sean Conran, take elements of grunge rock and a sludge rock style and pair them effectively with some nice poppier elements and impressive vocal work. I especially love the unique fuzz sound coming through on the guitar throughout the song to give the track some real teeth. You gotta love this one.
Obscura Hail will be releasing a new EP entitled Siren on September 8th via Dot Dash/Remote Control.
A few weeks back we introduced you, or so we hoped, to the new project of Matt Sklar and Federica Tassano named Phantom Handshakes. Tomorrow, they’ll drop their brand new Be Estranged EP, but you can sample it here first!
The opening tracks set the stage for a dream pop meets jangle world; the guitars twist and turn in that angular post-punk dance I dig, while Federica lets her heavenly voice weave in and out of those chords. Still, you get a touch of respite in “At Rest” coming in with more oa subdued pop performance by Tassano; it’s all about her voice, despite the twinkling behind her. Jump ahead to “You Are an Idea” and you’ll find my favorite number of the 7; there’s a purity to the presentation, its clear of all pretense, giving listeners this purely elegant pop song. “Drift Away” is the perfect closing send-off for this EP; both the title and the effect of the song have you sailing away on this pillowy cloud of escapism. Be Estranged will be available on all platforms tomorrow! All proceeds go to Color of Change.
So I’m only a week or so late here, but I really wanted you to wake up on Friday with something special: the new Insomniac Dreams EP from Teen Idle. It’d be easy to pigeonhole this is as something akin to dream pop or shoegaze, particularly since its been released by Sunday Records. But, I think that sells Sara Abdelbarry a little short. Sure, some of those touches are omnipresent, particularly in the pacing of each track, or maybe even that haunting guitar sound we know and love. Take, for instance, “Dreaming,” which seems more like an exorcism of personal demons, a song that feels like escapism. For me, the aforementioned genres are all about building emotion through their sonic texturing, and I love that; I love that experience. This, however, this whole EP has emotion just dripping through it. Sure, you can lose yourself in the emotive qualities of the musical notes, but I beg you to just sit there and feel along with the entirety of this EP. Grab it from Sunday Records!
Austin rabble-rousers The Midgetmen aim to make amends for their five year recording absence by dropping the It Is Now Recursive EP on July 24th. Our first listen to the band’s newest output is a furious little 2 minute number, and an exercise in using one lyrical line for the entirety of a song (they warned you!). I love the way the song opens up, encompassing that live sound that’s rare to get on tape; kind of makes me want to run around my living room screaming along while I pour beer all over myself. It’s riotous and pure fun, with a nice little guitar flare in the song’s middle; everyone gets a solo! Plus, if you grab the EP, you’ll get a remix version of this tune that hints at the band’s future foray into more electronically enhanced grooves! If you need a song to get you up, load a bowl and hop on your yard work, this is the one!
It’s rare to find a song that really transfixes you and transports you away to somewhere else, but that’s just what this song “18 Wheeler” from Cumbria based artist Arran George is doing for me today. The tune is superb at combining a simple acoustic guitar with a bedroom pop approach and some subtle effects here and there. You can also find yourself getting totally lost near the end during the last 45 seconds or so of the song. It’s a stunner.
Arran George will feature this song on a new EP entitled Born Under a Pylon out later this year.
For the most part, we’ve recognized Waves of Dread as this mysterious consortium crafting these noise filled gaze numbers; the sort you expect to ruin your eardrums in the live setting. But, with a new EP on the horizon, they’ve also begun to show their hand, and perhaps dip a toe or two into a more ethereal water. Not only is their latest single striking because of its brevity, it also has this billowing haunt to it, like a ghost from your past following you, your heart racing as you feel the hairs on your neck stand up…and then it fades out. I’m very interested to see how this all ties together when the group release II at the end of July.
Having written one of my favorite albums of 2019, Cool Sounds are back with a brand new EP on the horizon. The songs on Sleepers EP were written over the past couple of months, surprisingly offering up a light-hearted feel, despite the dire situation surrounding us. Opening with a light strum and gentle percussive stomp, the band begs you to circle around the campfire and join them in their chorale vocal approach; it’s that united melody that made me immediately feel as if I was part of something better, bigger in the world. Plus, the middling “nah nah nah” don’t do a damn thing to diminish the inherent joy of this tune. Look for Sleepers on July 31st!
We first wrote about Chris Rutledge and his Atlanta based project Attic Fowler way back in the good ‘ol days of 2015. Though I’m honestly not sure what Rutledge has been up to since then, he just sent along this stunning new track called “Neighbors” for us to premiere today. For me, this is just about as perfect a dream pop song can get in that defined genre. What I enjoy most about the song is the ability to take those super bright, dreamier, pop elements and intertwine them with really nice elements of driving indie rock. Loving this one today.
Attic Fowler will release a 3 song EP called Easier sometime later this year.