When I first turned on this new track from Koalra, there was something hypnotic that completely captured me; there was this lingering darkness in the drum sound that just got under my skin. It set me up perfectly to fall in love, as the minute mark introduces this melodic high-toned voice; it soars, lifting the track and your spirits up in the mix. And, then there’s a heavier vocal resonance, matching the heavy march of the drum beat, letting the guitar line wiggle and churn up the muddy melody waiting to soar as the song pushes forward. One minute of listening will have you clamoring to hear Disasterclass, but like us, you’ll have to wait until it releases on December 22nd.
Give yourself a full 25 seconds to immerse yourself in this jam from Portland’s Babytooth; if you do so, you’ll be absolutely sold on their pop rock styling. Distinctive vocals toy with the modern indie fare, but that 24th second immediately sells you on the band’s promise; it brings with it this bounding energy that magically courses right through, punching you right in the teeth. Somehow, the song still manages to maintain that intimacy, as if you’re the long attendee at a secret Babytooth house show meant only for you. You can feel a bit of an edge waiting to get out here, and I think if you spend some time with the group’s self-titled LP, you’ll find exactly what you need. Babytooth is available today via Antiquated Future.
Over yonder in Portland, Corvair have quietly been making a name for themselves as masters of great pop tunes. The duo are set to release Bound to Be next Friday, so they’ve offered up one more little treat that should have you on board. There’s a steady brood to the group’s pop vibes, particularly in this song, almost as if its just quietly creeping through your speakers. But, when they hit the chorus, there’s this shimmer, this glowing ember of melody that you just can’t shake; it opens up the track into this wider expanse that keeps me coming back. Bound to Be drops June 23rd, so you’ve been warned!
SXSW is on the horizon for all of us, so we’re pushing forward with our coverage of acts, hoping we can introduce you to a few folks you might want to catch when you’re out and about. So today, we’ve got Portland’s Foamboy, who are working on getting an album out into the world before the end of the year!
Considering it is unseasonably warm here in Texas, though quite nice, I’m still looking for some sunny day pop to squeeze into my daily playlist, like this new Blue Canopy. This project is helmed by Alex Schiff up in Portland, who was one of the songwriters for Modern Rivals. Guitars twist and churn at the get go, waiting for the percussive element to slide its way into the picture; it creates this natural bob of the head, bouncing with the snappy drum hits. Schiff’s vocals have this wistfulness to them, adding to the dreamy textures applied throughout the track, intermingling with the jangly bounce. Fun way to start out a Thursday, no?
The Internet age makes it nearly impossible to cover all the great music out there, but this new record from That Hideous Sound finally made its way over to me this past weekend. Another great group from the current Maine scene, and this one’s for all you fans of heavy riffs spun through the bedroom wash cycle. What I mean by that is you get this intimacy and recording vibe that makes it seem like its been honed and polished in solitary, though the riff works and musicianship allows every song to loom larger than life. “I Feel Better” is an obvious hit, but as I keep going through, I tend to gravitate towards the title track, “Wasted Life;” there’s something about that tune that just gets me. Wasted Life just dropped via Repeating Cloud Records, so get at it!
There’s tons of great stuff out there in the musical world, but I’d love to turn your attention towards the other Portland…Maine that is. That’s where we meet Midwestern Medicine, that today, release their new album, The Gold Baton. It’s difficult to categorize the sound here, as it’s got lots of little nods here and there. One thing you’ll definitely get from the vocals is this supreme intimacy, that sort of vocal that seeps into your soul. At times, the band feel like a stripped down version of Galaxie 500, with careful guitar work providing this melody that overpowers you, begging you to hit repeat. Spend a little time with this tune, and if you’re taken by it, go give The Gold Baton a listen.
Though I often tout my current affliction for all things loud and/or in the soul genre, it is always nice to be brought back down a bit for something slightly more intimate and focused. Garrett Hobba, who records under the moniker The Soft Hills, has offered a new track called “Maple Smile” which proves to do exactly that. This will be for fans of say airy, Americana inspired music with just the slightest hint of twang driving things forward. It’s definitely helped center me today.
The Soft Hills will release this track as part of a new album entitled Viva Chi Vede due out on July 22nd via Black Spring Records.
I hope you people are enjoying our SXSW interview pieces as things really start to heat up with show announcements and schedules coming out at a rapid pace. It’s crazy that we are seeing what might just be a somewhat “normal” festival this year. I don’t know about you, but I am so very ready to get back out there and discover new music. Today I am carrying on with out interviews, this time from Portland based outfit MAITA. Hit the jump for the full interview with some tunes.
I wonder how one of the bands that sprang out of the early Elephant 6 era could completely miss my radar when they dropped a new release! I aim to rectify that by sharing the Minders newest release in streaming form below. As the title alludes, there’s tons of psychedelic nods throughout, though I’ll be frank, as the album feels a lot sunnier and poppy than you might be led to believe. For example, listen to “Let’s Go Driving!,” which feels like a reimagined Dead tune, spun with sunshine and hooks. Of course, there’s also the more sullen vibes you get on “Astoria,” though I’m a sucker for the buoyant hooks of “Magic Anorak.” If you’re looking for classic indie pop sounds, then dive into Psychedelic Backdrop.