Been looking for something that could get my day up and rolling, something that could give me that energetic boost to jump into, which is where Long Island’s Pin Cushion come into play. This song opens with a little bit of jumping around, but then it just takes off rolling, sort of giving you that sort of sped up shanty sound…though I’d be lying if I didn’t say I heard a little of Ted Leo in the opening verses. They break it all down in the end, giving more of a thrashing sputter, illustrating they’re not tethered to just one sound, leaving plenty of of room to go this way and that when they’re new album finally comes out! Stay tuned on that front!
It’s been a busy year for Parker Longbough, releasing an album and an EP, but we’re not even done yet, so we’re pleased to inform you that he’ll be releasing another record, Off Front Street. One of the great things about Longbough is his storytelling, and its what fills this record (and song), with his lyrical work resembling Doug Martsch to a certain degree, making the mundane leap from the speakers. This track has a circular nature to it, musically speaking, with this guitar ringing in and out of the mix, allowing Longbough to focus on his storytelling while the song buzzes behind him; it’s punctuated by this emphatic drum work, primarily on the cymbals, punching up the hooks as you go through. You can file this tune somewhere between the Pacific Northwest of the late 90s and Elephant 6. Off Front Street drops on October 22nd via Wilderhood Music.
When I first stumbled upon Icarus Phoenix, I kept it close; it was something so special and personal that I didn’t want to share it, not yet anyways. But, I realized that wasn’t fair because Drew Danburry’s songwriting is just too brilliant to keep locked away. And so here we are, a week away from the release of No Tree Can Grow to Heaven Unless Its Roots Reach Down to Hell, with one final gem to share. “Eddie King” is great storytelling from Danburry, and in a sense reminds me of a pop rock version of Jeffrey Lewis. The song’s got these little bits of cascading guitar to give some punch, yet it still has that personable feel you get from an Icarus Phoenix release. Plus, you have to give credit to Drew, as he hand drew and animated this video. Look for the new LP from Telos Tapes next Friday, September 10th.
Next month, those on the outside of the UK scene will get treated to the charms of Th’ Sheridans, the London duo who’ve been crafting delightful pop rock for the better part of the last decade; they’ll be releasing a career-spanning compilation titled Pieces of General on September 10th. Today we get to treat you to a remastered version of “I Don’t Wanna Be Dismembered,” which originally appeared as a stand-alone single last year. The song operates with this ringing guitar accompanying Adam Sherif’s voice; you get through almost 1.5 minutes before the drums even enter the fray, but when they join up, you start marching and singing along, letting yourself go as Sherif’s distinctive voice flutters in front of those huge riffs that never seem to fade. Despite the song’s lo-fi aesthetics, it still has this impactful punch you can’t escape, particularly if you’re ready to digest the seriousness of the lyrical content. If you dig it, as you should, be sure to order the album from Reckless Yes before the September 10th release date!
Sometimes, the indie scene gets a bit stale. One artist gets big, then everyone wants to mimic the style, so it becomes watered down and boring (see Mac Demarco/Phoebe Bridgers). But, that’s why I’m super into Sweden’s You Thant. Imagine being super into the Refused, showing adoration political themed pseudo-hardcore. Then, you’re like, you know what, fuck it, I love Kraftwerk and New Order too, so why not throw it all in a blender and make our own sound. This, my friends, is what you get from You Thant, and their hot tune “Fa$t Food Experience.” The beat’s propulsive, pushing you running through sterile streets of capitalist worlds, but the vocals from Julius Gudmundsun seem to growl at you, rallying you to join him in his anger. Definitely a fresh take on the indie sound; you’ll find this tune on Dinner for Two, out via Samjan Records.
John Roseboro‘s spent much of this year prepping us for the release of his debut album, and for those not in the know, “MFL” is a great little introduction to John’s work. For me, the narrative of making mistakes and forgiveness is something relatable for all folks, or so I hope; it’s made all the more accessible by the narrative nature of John’s songwriting here. The song takes a light bossa nova feel, using sharp little guitar notes combined with wonderful horn arrangements to give the song some added depth. It’s the sort of relaxed summer vibe we all enjoy, so sit back and just wait for John’s debut to hit later this year!
A few weeks ago we shared a knockout track from Sweet Nobody, and they’ve turned around to drop another hit from their forthcoming We’re Trying Our Best. Admittedly, in the song’s first 3 seconds, they turn around and offer this sugary pop feel that’s akin to fellow popsters Alvvays. Then you get these subtle little dance guitar cuts, shuffling the mix just beneath the creamy delight of Joy Deyo’s vocals. Digging deeper, the song has a bit of insight into Joy’s struggle with a chronic genetic illness that led her to encourage her partner to find someone new so they wouldn’t have to deal with the struggles and pain. Luckily, it led to nothing, but it ties into the thematic elements coursing through We’re Trying Our Best; sometimes all you have is what you’re giving, and hopefully, those that truly love you come to that realization. Perhaps it’s one of the great things about indiepop, bringing dark narratives to bright music so we can all take part in the joys and sorrows of life. The LP will be available on September 17th via Daydream Records.
Today seems like as good a day as any to just push out a bunch of incredible endearing pop rock tunes out into the world, so why not share this new video from Zachman! First, the song’s got tons of Austin love in it, with the footage covering the area near ATX’s Pennybacker Bridge, and being shot/directed by our friend Roger Ho! Still, the song has to offer something too, right? From the galloping drum lines to those ringing guitar jangles, it’s hard to find yourself not captivated by the natural exuberance that pervades this track. Plus, the video carries that spirit with a smiling performance from Johnny Zachman that shines right through the screen; his infectious spirit makes the song all the more endearing for me. You’ll find this track on the band’s forthcoming Lotto EP, but if you need a dose of that joy, stop by and catch the band sharing it live on June 23rd over at the Far Out Lounge.
At this moment, I’m not sure anyone’s writing timeless pop music quite like Quivers; Sam Nicholson has dialed into peak songwriting, and with his band’s arrangements, they’re crafting some truly unforgettable tunes. This latest single opens much the way you’d expect, with semi-wayward jangles and Nicholson’s voice; the steady beat keeps things moving, giving the listener this undeniable connectedness. Soon, a synth note twinkles in the far off night sky, matched by some very faint backing vocals that build towards a burst…a shooting star of pop falling across the song’s skyline. While all this goes on, sit back and watch the great video animated by Jordan Thompson of the Ocean Party; I’m a big fan of the line work there. But, the song’s not done, as the vocals swell, joined by more of a backing chorus, letting the guitars ring silent as the song fades into a tinkering piano line that eventually disappears into the world. Just another string pop number from the forthcoming Golden Doubt, out on June 11th via Ba Da Bing/Bobo Integral/Spunk.
I’ll admit, I’ve grown a bit weary with your everyday indie rock brand, so hearing this new track from Proper Nouns really kicked the door down and let the rock back into my life. Spencer Compton might not feel it yet, but he’s got an uncanny resemblance to my man-crush Ted Leo, both in his distinctive vocal hiccup and the way he brandishes his guitar; its mapping out that boundary between punk and pop. His voice has this natural swing to it that just sets up the song; it has this natural rising action, topped off with this cool swaggering climax that’s perfect if you turn it up real real loud. I didn’t know how much I needed this until it was right in front of me. Feel Free is being released on April 23rd via Phone Booth Records.