Feel like we should start our Monday’s coverage off by going super heavy, and there’s no better way to do that than by turning up this new track from the Acharis first. Their first single from their forthcoming LP had them sort of playing with the poppier side of the dream/gaze realm, but this new one is full-on heavy massacre shoegaze. You can hear the weight of those distorted guitars, crushing against your speaker, trying to get out into the world. Sure, the vocals have this central smoothness to them, but don’t be fooled. I love the breakdown in the end; you can hear these emphatic emotive howls from the background, adding further darkness to the tune. The band will release Blue Sky/Grey Heaven on November 5th.
Oakland duo The Acharis are gearing up to release their latest album come November, and our first little teaser find the band dwelling in this territory that seems all their own, perhaps aided by legendary producer John Fryer. This polished beat opens up the song, seemingly almost losing itself in the pulse, at times almost slowing to a near stop. Drums enter the picture, carefully building a touch more pace, allowing Mila Puccini to deliver this wonderful harmonic voice; it feels like it belongs in a perfect indiepop tune somewhere. But, the song starts to get worked up, adding in all these industrial-natured textures, giving the song this violent aura that your ears can’t seem to escape. When it stops, the warped pop nature might leave you not knowing what to make of it. But, one thing’s for sure, you’re going to want to add Blue Sky/Grey Heaven to your listening queue come November 5th, courtesy of Zum Media/Cranes Records.
We’re already looking ahead towards Friday, and with that in mind, we’ve got a release on Friday from Smile Too Much that I’d like you to keep on your radar. The lead single has the best juxtaposition you could ask for, combining a strong mix of fuzzed out gazing-guitars matched up with the calmed bubblegum pop of Maggie Aytac (ex-Heartlights) voice. I love the guitar line that seems to kind of weave its own story amid the contrasting imagery of the song, serving as this alternative lifeblood to the song’s middle section. If you like what’re you’re hearing from the Oakland outfit, look for their debut self-titled EP via Dandy Boy Records.
I think most people who buy records and tapes tend to have their go-to labels, and it’s great to have a reliable source for good tunes. The last few years, Paisley Shirt Records has been bringing us a pretty solid catalog of great pop tunes, and now they’re adding Oakland’s Blue Ocean to that mix. For me, listening through to the album’s opener, it’s like listening to DJ Screw, only if you were into really heavy shoegaze and indiepop. The song’s core is this bouncing rhythmic pop pulse, but its been chopped and screwed by this thunderous wall of feedback and noise; I get that that analogy does not work for everyone out there…but the tune speaks for itself! The whole self-titled album is out on April 16th (though you can find some of the tunes elsewhere!).
If you thought post-punk was heading down the middle of the road as of late, then maybe you need to turn towards Fake Fruit today. The band draw inspiration from the likes of Pylon and Wire, and you can definitely hear that sound burrowing through the guitars on this new single. But, Hannah D’Amato solidifies the group as a powerhouse with her performance; I love how she’s got this huge booming voice, but she’s capable of softening it up to draw in that slight dash of pop sensibility into play…just watch out when she decides to let forth an emphatic howl. Can’t get this jam outta my head! Look for their self-titled LP to drop via Rocks in Your Head on March 5th.
In case you weren’t hip to the news, Christian Singles is the solo moniker of Rob Miller, who has played in Mall Walk and Blues Lawyer; he’s just announced Maybe Another Time. While the songs were recorded during quarantine, the album was influenced by news that Miller’s father’s cancer had returned…forcing him to face issues of family and forgiveness. While he’s working over synthesized beats, the song snakes its way around that pulsing sensation, honing in on a very new wave sound, only reimagined through the pain of the world that surrounds us. If your’e digging it, the LP will be released by Mt. St. Mtn. this October.
There’s not a ton of information about Awful Sirs out there, other than the fact that the band call Oakland home. I guess all I know at this point is that I’m really hooked on this ditty they just dropped; its kind of scuzzy and garage-y; you know, it employs those rough around the edges, not quite surf licks. But, that rhythm section gives the song this natural pogo bounce, making your whole life worth jumping about…even when its not! In fact, this seems to be the band’s specialty, as their entire new album Looking Up is chock full of like-minded hook-laden pop rockers.
Oakland based songwriter Madeline Kenney has slowly built a name for herself over the last four years with two solid albums under her belt and tons of positive press building on the interwebs. Kenney recently announced her new album coming out next month called Sucker’s Lunch and this new single, “Double Hearted”, just came my way to promote the record. With this record being produced by Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak, one can sort of hear those subtle hints and sounds woven in perfectly with the always captivating voice of Kenney. This is another perfectly crafted tune in the ever growing catalogue of Kenny’s hits.
Two of my favorite labels, Trouble in Mind & Upset the Rhythm, are teaming up to release the new LP from Naked Roommate. Honestly, the band reminds me a lot of Aussie outfit Holy Balm, perhaps with a nod to the Blow; it’s like house music, but stripped of the reliance on the beat. In leaving the song specially open, they’re allowed to build in their own artistic notes, while still grasping onto our preconceived concepts of what makes a song. Amber Sermeno’s vocals have this matter of fact delivery (which is where I felt the Blow reference), though when she puts emphasis on syllables, they seem to echo through cavernous hallways, ringing out as the beat skips along beneath. Cool vibes going on, so give a listen. Do the Duvet will appear on September 4th.
Wow, it has been quite a long time since we last wrote about Oakland based homies Rogue Wave. They’ve been mostly silent the last couple of years, but return today with this lovely new track called Aesop Rock. For me, it’s a nice return to some of their hook laden, catchy rock numbers from earlier albums like Asleep at Heaven’s Gate. It reminds me of why I used to really dig this band and draws me back into their infectious sound.
With this single release Rogue Wave is asking fans to donate to the Tipping Point Community – an Oakland-based organization raising money for families in need throughout the Bay Area during these difficult times.