We’ve got tons of coverage on Connections here on our site, going way way back. But, last week they made us super happy, announcing a new record, again on our fave, Trouble in Mind Records. They dropped a single with the below video, highlighting the juxtaposition between nature and humanity. Personally, this feels like a road trip, from the backseat of my dad’s car. There’s something in the hurried jangling that rings through the speakers that feels like the world zooming by quickly, with an earnest singer soothing my soul through the headphones of my old Walkman. While it might give me some nostalgic daydreams, the label and the band are constant evolving with the new sounds, so be sure to keep your ears peeled for Cool Change, coming your way in March.
It’s that time of year when I start going through tons of old emails I’ve saved and then forgotten, for whatever reason that is. One of those projects was Swiss outfit Penkowski, who just recently dropped Final Destination Disneyland. If you’re taking your first bite of the LP, it’s got this brash post-punk feel, which is why I wanted to share “Raining.” It’s this thoughtful piece of art pop that kind of has this crooning swagger; it’s hanging out in the middle of this raucous record like some sort of drunken karaoke singer, serenading an audience full of sullen hipsters…they’d absolutely love it, like we do. Give this jam a listen, then turn up the volume and listen to the whole LP!
Our first glimpse into Robert Forster‘s new album was the heartbreaking “She’s a Fighter,” which detailed Forster’s wife current battle with cancer. On this new single, Robert takes on that personal level all over, yet in this instance, it feels like something that could aptly be applied to any listener’s life…it’s that timelessness that always draws me into Robert’s work. The video reveals Robert dancing and singing in his kitchen, and perhaps my favorite moment comes right after the 3 minute mark. Robert takes to soloing, and form there, the song ventures into familiar Forster territory, where you get to hear the past and present of his songwriting all collide into this beautifully warm pop track. I’m not going to lie here…this might be one of my favorite post-GB Forster tracks, period. The Candle and the Flame is out on February 3rd via Tapete Records.
Well, in case you needed a blast to get some energy to deal with your family, we suggest trying out Venice’s Strawberry Fuzz. While the sound hits heavy, mixing in various genres to grab all the fans they can, the band have a particular “no bullshit” policy in their craft. They’re out here just smashing through your speakers, detailing all the ways in which the singer Colby Rodgers manages to waste his time. As his voice peaks, it turns from bravado into a primal yell, pummeling your eardrums, just as the song’s done all the way through. If you’re digging, this is just part of a 3-song teaser via CandyShop, letting you know what’s on the way.
A year ago to this very day, we here at ATH, in conjunction with Skep Wax and other friends, helped Swansea Sound get their debut LP out into the world. Well, today we’re here to share a brand new single from the band; it’s a straight pop rock ripper that’s taking the piss out of all those pocketing dollars on the backs of artists (and football players too). Hue’s rocking the lead vocals, but behind the chugging guitars you can hear Amelia offering up an added layer of sweetness…a surefire way to charm this listener. This track appears on the Music Lover EP, with a couple of added holiday tunes done up in Swansea style, all courtesy of Skep Wax!
If you haven’t boarded the train to Spice World, might beg you to join, as the band seem set on releasing a pretty timeless record at the start of next year. There’s something in the vocals that brings about this striking familiarity, like a friend’s on your porch detailing their latest yarn. It provides this naturalness that’s been drawing me in like some sort of crazy pop tractor beam. Behind those vocals, you get a steady tapping of the feet, like bouncing a baby on your knee as guitar notes flirt with jangling. It all comes together perfectly when you hit that chorus, adding in the backing vocals to maximize the saccharine core that makes this group so endearing. There’s No I in Spice World drops to the world on January 20th via Tenth Court and Meritorio Records.
The Golden Dregs have been all over these pages the last few years, and I was super excited to hear that 4AD had picked up on the band for their new album, On Grace & Dignity. This brand new single has that deepened croon from Benjamin Woods, offering up this sort of forlorn enchantment meant to set you up for the chorus. When that chorus hits, the song spins right into exuberance; backing vocals join in, horns blast and the whole world twists and turns joyously, which perhaps what sums ups Woods’ songwriting best…pensive and playful. The new LP drops on February 10th via the aforementioned 4AD.
I typically do not go all in on holiday singles, but I will, however, go all in on anything coming from Dropkick, as the band haven’t led us wrong just yet. They’ve just announced a quick little two track single, recorded amidst the mapping out of their new LP, which should come in 2023; the single’s possibly meant to be a little stop-gap and tease while we wait. As with anything Andrew Taylor is penning, there’s a nice little strum, toying with the ability to ring out sharply if necessary; the vocals add in that holiday spirit, brining you the warmth of your favorite festive drink. Why not start off your day with this tune, eh?
I love the way the music Elison creates feels like its stuck between two worlds, which is often where I find myself as a listener. Their latest single toys with the more ethereal edges of dream pop, though only in the chorus, allowing the song’s clarity and pop affection to shine in the bubbly verses. You can’t stop tapping your feet, letting your toes dance inside your shoes, lost in the swirling hooks of the melodies here. Still, walking that fine line is where the band seem able to perfect their sound, flirting with listeners who love the dark corners just as much as we love an anthemic hook.
You can already find a slew of great LPs you’ll want to fawn over in 2023 on the slates, but might I suggest you add Dublin’s Soft on Crime to that mix? Today we get to share the group’s new single, along with the announcement of their debut, New Suite. For some reason, this track takes the modern power-pop vibes, though it feels like its being spun through the story of Elvis Costello. It’s got this sort of jittering hipness to it, frantic in all the right spots, then bursting with the hooks when you hit the chorus. It’s a reminder that rock n’ roll can still be a hell of a lot of fun. Look for New Suite to drop in February of next year!