Another January release I’m excited about here is the new LP from Portland’s Reptaliens. Now, with this record, the full songwriting was paired down to just Cole and Bambi Browning, and while I’ve enjoyed previous releases, the switch in approach seems to have provided the perfect vehicle for Bambi’s voice. There’s just something coyly playful, but also sort of indifferent in the way each lyric is dropped out there into the world. Her performance in the chorus takes on a softer melodic tone, but I think it has a stunning contrast, giving the sound this sort of solid base to carry on its own adventures. Those little nuances included a mix of spaced guitar licks battling for space with the surfier nots, both constantly pushing to keep track with the voice. This is for sure a tune and a half! Multiverse is out on January 21st via Captured Tracks.
When Captured Tracks drop a new song or album, I’m usually in for a good listen (though I still blame them for the 30 emails a day I get from suburban white kids who “sound like Mac Demarco!”), especially when it has to do with Reptaliens. I remember listening to FM-2030 several years back and wondering where all the hype was for this group, but so it goes right? Well, their first single from the forthcoming was built from nostalgia, but in the songwriting process and the video from Tristan Scott-Behrends; the video employs all sorts of nostalgic nods that any kid growing up in the 80s/90s would surely catch. Musically, I like the subtle pop groups the band bring to the table, as they’ve always done. In a way, it has this sort of lounge-y feel, though with the psychedelic notes, I’m sure you’re envisioning one of those drug-fueled parties with go-go dancers and flickering lightwork coating the walls. Wherever my brain is, I’m enjoying the new tune from the band…and looking forward to Multiverse, which drops on January 21st.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of our time covering Portland’s Alcopops, who’ve crafted this perfectly delicious little fuzz pop Devil EP; it’s out in the world now, so I wanted to revisit some of the various reasons I love it. From the first track “Sins,” you get these huge chugging riffs, though I’ll be honest, you can hear some of the indie rock history of the Pacific NW in the band’s arrangements. ‘”Seventy Two” plays a little bit softer, hanging on the band’s more melodic tendencies; I’m a big fan of the warmth of the chorus on that jam. “Try Not to Laugh” takes on a more exploratory fashion, spreading its wings and exploring the noise the band have created, with a nice little curtain of heavy vocals draped atop. Then, just like that the EP closes with “True Bugs,” featuring this huge squalling guitar that crashes into the listener in the best way possible; it’s like getting hit by a storm only you get back up and run right into it. My only complaint? There’s only 4 songs, so lets hope the group get right back to writing more jams.
Well, just another case of the Mondays here, so feel like getting wrapped up in some sort of dark electronic blanket to cozy up next to my computer before my kids come in today. This new Sex Park tune just dropped, and it’s got some great things working for it, which works for me. The tune kind of takes on this shimmering sort of electronic pop, akin to maybe Black Marble at current. But, what really drew me in was the vocals here; I’ve heard tons of bands doing dark electronic pop after all. I love the deepness of the vocals; they remind me of Majical Cloudz and a voice I really miss. This tune appears on the band’s forthcoming LP, but it’s also on a split 7″ for Dowd Records!
Just about a month ago, our Portland based friends in The Shivas announced the release of their new album Feels So Good // Feels So Bad coming on September 24th via Tender Loving Empire. After releasing new tune “If I Could Choose” in July, I am now quite excited to share this new single called “Undone”. If you aren’t listening to these new singles and growing anticipation for this new album, you are truly missing out on one of the best forthcoming albums of the year. We love this band.
As of late, a lot of the music that comes across the desk has been fairly similar. I don’t dislike it per se, but I’m just maybe worn out by the lack of differentiation. Of course, then there’s this Phone Voice tune, which shares some similarities in its construction and verses. But, I’m a fan of sparkling moments, and the chorus in this song has a tonal change that absolutely captivated me, so much so that I just keep playing the track on repeat; there’s a familiarity to it that keeps encouraging me to press repeat. It’s a good little jam, and one that might encourage you to look towards the Cradle Tape for more like-minded joyous moments.
Feel like its best to start out a Monday with a powerfully moving tune, like the latest from Maria DeHart. She’s got this voice that will obviously remind folks of Hope Sandoval, and the musical style isn’t too far off either…though its definitely distinctly of her own making. I love how the heavy synth wash of the atmosphere works in direct contrast to the soft strum of the guitar; it all gets even better when you cross that three minute mark and more texture comes into play here. Enjoy this track off the Quarantunes EP, and admit to yourself its okay to get lost on this Monday!
Maya Stoner is hitting all the right notes for me with her new set of songs for the Tired and True EP. I thought the choice to kind of have a brief lead-in set the song up perfectly for this single, not to mention that chorus has everything you need for a hit. It has this effortless swagger and cool, almost giving the song an uplifting bounce. As the track goes down Stoner doesn’t shy away from throwing a little heavy jam in there, all before bringing back the intoxicating chorus, this time featuring a little guitar solo. Floating Room will drop the new EP on October 30th.
Over many years time, I have grown to love the musical stylings of Portland based geniuses The Parson Red Heads. Somehow the band has continued to evolve from what I considered a fairly straightforward indie rock band into a more alt-country, bright folk sounding ensemble. With a new album on the way, TPRH just dropped this new single called “All I wanted” and I am yet again impressed by the maturation of this group. This song has so many beautiful elements involved and it progresses so nicely that I’ve decided you simply have to listen to it right now. Ok go.
The Parson Red Heads will release this song a new album entitled Lifetime of Comedy due out on November 13th via Fluff and Gravy Records.
At this point, I’ve heard several tunes from the forthcoming Floating Room EP, and damned if its not a wonderful listen; I think the first single should be enough to whet your appetite. At first, it has this bold sort of angular approach, akin to some of the work that Cate Le Bon’s been doing…kind of off-kilter pop. But, what makes it the winner of the day is how quickly it moves into a fuzzy riff-drivern pop rock vibe; it’s almost like Maya Stoner just wanted to create her own space where Le Bon and Alvvays held equal import to the songwriting process…truly a special listen, if you haven’t gone here already. Tried and True is out October 30th.