It’s strange. Last week, I was complaining that the tunes were drying up as its nearing the end of the year. And here we are, RayRay and I getting a solid 20 songs up, plus interviews and coverage of Levitation. Guess we crushed it, along with our friend JWagner, who gave us some solid Babe Rainbow coverage. Personally, of all the tracks I loved last week, that Heather Trost tune is just a flat out star; I need ya’ll to get behind me on this! Our Aussie friends in Deuce also dropped us a new ditty, plus we got a new Tubs announcement out there. Tune in and let us know what you’re loving.
Phantom Handshakes will be dropping their new latest LP in a little over a week or so; it’s shaping up to be even more special than the previous release. With this new single, the band highlight their ability to kind of maintain this melodic dreaminess, keeping the song tethered to that central piece, which in this case comes from Frederica’s voice. Where other acts might push to be overly explosive, or push the beat beyond the vocals, this duo hold it in place, allowing the listener space to let the mind wonder in and out of consciousness as they draw their ears towards the speaker. A Passport to Remain is released on November 3rd.
Lots of coverage running around last week, and with ACL in town, there was some coverage of shows and what not. We ended the week throwing up some streams of our favorite LPs that dropped too. But, ultimately, you came here for the tunes, and we had lots of them. Personally, I loved new stuff from I Was a King, Heather Trost and Field School, not to mention the little twist in expectations thrown in by the latest from Smashing Times. RayRay loved some rockers from S.C.A.B and Fluung, and they’ve all been conveniently added for your listening pleasure below. Browse, and head back and see what we had to say if you’re so inclined.
I’m getting to a point in my life where I almost don’t even have to listen to a Phantom Handshakes tune, as I know it’s going to be right up my alley, and spin in my head for months. This new single might be my favorite piece, however, as the heavy chug of the guitars sets up the perfect contrast for Federica’s voice; she’s floating through this song like a whispering angel, hanging just on the cusp of the blossoming jangles and brooding chugs. It’s dream pop for those in favor of escapism, and listening in, your mind sets out on vacation, drifting towards euphoria. This new single also comes with great news that the band will be releasing A Passport to Remain, their new LP, this November.
Our coverage last week was pretty steady, and we got to hear some great new stuff…so here we are with our weekly recap to start off your post holiday blues at work. We got some great ATH favorites offering up new stuff, with Winter and Phantom Handshakes getting fresh tunes out there. We also ran some great footage from Constant Follower of their performance atop a monument in Scotland, which I highly suggest you getting into, so I threw a jam in there from that performance. Lot of great stuff, with over an hour of jams to whet your whistle this morning.
One of my absolute favorite dream pop acts, Phantom Handshakes, has a new single out this week, and they’ve given us an advance listen we’d regret if we didn’t share with you immediately. Understated jingles hang on the horizon, waiting for the drums and synth washes to catch up, while Federica’s voice coos atop the mix. Once the opening verse kicks in, my focus immediately shifted to that vocal; it has this really unique way of hanging a tonal switch at the end of each syllable. There’s also a moment when she steps away from the sort of shimmering nature, and delivers this softer melodic vocal that perfectly slides into the mix. Toss that performance in with the classic twinkling guitar sound, and you’ve got yet another hit on your hands; I hope we get a follow up to No More Summer Songs real soon.
There were some great new tunes last week, and I certainly can’t get enough of some of the LPs that dropped, which we pointed you towards on Friday. The Dehd track that hit last week is for sure one of their best of late, but I’m still really partial to jamming to that Guy Capecelatro III album. Some intriguing tunes from the likes of Maria Chiara Argiro, Team Play and Rose Mercie make a nice appearance in this weeks track-listing, plus there’s a bunch of other tunes to get you started on Monday morning.
I was super in love with No More Summer Songs, the debut LP from Brooklyn’s Phantom Handshakes; they’ve just returned with this little pop delicacy to sneak into your day. Listening through, the musical elements feel really dense, but in a certain manner, they stay out of the way, letting Federica’s voice sparkle in the front of the mix. Having spent a lot of time with the band’s work, this might be her best vocal performance; she has masterful control over the melodic tones, letting them hang in the air as the guitars rise from behind to support. Flat out, the band rips. Plus, all digital sales have proceeds going to Emergency.
Weirdly, I felt like I didn’t cover too much last week, but apparently we got in at least 15 new songs, plus a few extras. I’m getting pickier in my old age, but mostly just figure you read Stereogum first, so no need to cover what they’re covering in their Premature Ejaculation column. I started out this week’s playlist with a cover from Screaming Females, but bookend it with the OG from The Selecter, cuz why the fuck not. Our friends Humdrum had a new hit, and that glorious Papercuts LP finally dropped in. It’s Monday, and there’s jams…I’m just over here listening to the first wave British ska.
We’ve been covering New York’s Phantom Handshakes for quite some time over here, but now they’ve turned us onto another artists, as they just dropped this catchy pop ditty with Edinburgh’s Swiss Portrait. This song works steadily on a solid beat, working that snare to its catchy best; the guitars swirl and jangle behind that, wrapping the track in this emphatic bit of jangling pop music. Federica’s vocals add the dreaminess you’re seeking, playing from the distance like some angelic whisper weaving in and out of the core of this track. Not sure if this is a one-off tune, or something larger at play, but we’ll keep you posted…for now just enjoy this hit.