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.
Parisien quintet Hobby have just announced their brand new 7″ EP for the esteemed Hidden Bay Records. The group, formerly known as Deaf Parade, aim to strike right at the heart of the indie rock cognoscenti, driving rhythm and chaos into a tightly wound ship of infectious rock n’ roll. Just imagine pop fans taking notes from early Sonic Youth and deciding you can indeed have your cake and eat it too; you get the phenomenal energy bounding throughout, touches of explosiveness and a nice little dose of pop hooks to keep you circling back to press repeat. You’ll love it, and you’ll love the accompanying video; the 7″ is available on December 11th.
In less than two weeks, Lunchbox will be dropping After School Special, their enchanting new LP. But, in listening to this brand new single, I think the world over is going to have some strong feelings to the track’s thematic message; it’s set “against the backdrop of the ever-changing Oakland cityscape,” with a friendly ghost frolicking about town to emphasize that all the things we love and hold dear, “nothing can ever stay the same.” Of course, two decades of pop from Tim and Donna definitely feel familiar, giving off a sense of comfort amidst the harrowing theme. I love how the horns sort of burst through those jangling guitar stabs and push the pop envelope just a bit more. There’s no such thing as too much pop! After School Special will be out on October 30th via Slumberland Records/Lost Sound Tapes.
I’ve been an unabashed fan of Flying Fish Cove since the release of their remarkable debut, At Moonset; they went on to release another EP and a delightful cover of “Shallow” by Heavenly. Today we are fortunate to bring you the news that the group have the Veridian EP ready for you, and they’ve made this announcement by sharing their scene by scene remake of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” video. Dena’s crystalline voice has this sparkle to it as she spins lyrics about “mythical love, memories, and finding profound deep understanding.” Recently the band has shrunk to the core of Dena and Jake, which I think benefits them, at least on this track, forcing them to layer the track with textural notes, using various guitar sounds, swelling vocal arrangements and light electronic notes. Another endearing entry into an already lovable catalog; the Viridian EP goes out today, grab it HERE!
As an avid fan of the Black Watch, I think the forthcoming record has the possibility to be one of their strongest to date. You can hear John Andrew Fredrick really pushing himself sonically, especially when you take into account the earlier single from the new album, “The Nothing That Is,” offering us a slightly playful disco sound. Here on the new single, the band swirl the guitars around your ears, almost in a disorienting fashion. The rhythm section pounds away, steadying things, matched by the solemn delivery of Fredrick; I love how there’s a great vocal foil too, bringing in a touch more melody to the heavier tones John offers. Is it possible that after all the albums and all the years that the Black Watch are just now hitting their stride? We’re definitely in for a ride when Fromthing Somethat drops on October 23rd via Atom Records. (Photo by Brendan Holmes)
Earlier this year, Girlatones released one hell of a sophomore record, Horn if You’re Honky, and they’ve turned right around to give us another offering this year by way of the Short & Sweet EP. I was pleased to find that the band would be taking on a similar downtrodden mood, as was present on the standout single from HiYH, “Get to the End.” I was happily basking in my solitude while listening here, when a sudden uptick in the sound perked me up; you’ll hear a slight tonal bounce around the 1:30 mark, offering up this tiny sparkle of promise before receding back to the solemn notes of the verse. Despite its shifting moods, you’d be missing out if you didn’t hear the faintest dash of hope on the horizon in the band’s pop sensibility. They’ll release Short & Sweet on October 2nd via limited cassettes! (Photo by Izzie Austin)
Nah… have been on our minds since we first heard their Summer’s Falling EP in 2018, and while we’ve been waiting for a full LP, they’ve dropped in a single here and then to keep our eyes (and ears) on the prize. Their debut self-titled LP is a week or so away, so we’re happily sharing another single to encourage your purchase. For an indiepop band, they sure offered a nice twist on the opening here, giving us more of an almost classic rock chug bouncing back in forth in our speakers. When Sebastian enters with his curled croon, the song softens up a little bit, though there’s still some heavy-handed riffs hanging back there; I just loved the energy this song pushed forward from the start. All that said, the group does start to see-saw back towards the purely indiepop side of things around the 2 minute mark with Estella Rose poking her voice into the fray. Once there, the song bursts into this euphoric dream state of swirling melodies and squawking horns, riding the song to an emphatic close that’s both catchy and boisterous. Nah drops on September 23rd via Shelflife.
Our friends over in Stiletto Feels are ramping up the push towards their sophomore LP, Push Back, the follow-up to 2015’s The Big Fist. Predominantly the project of Geoff Earle, he’s surrounded himself with some local heavy-hitters to build up the band’s sound, featuring members of Ume, Octopus Project, the Sword (and Skate or Die). This song trickled out earlier this summer, but now there’s a video treatment to the track to further entice you, filmed solo by Earle so as to follow social distancing guidelines. I love Geoff’s enthusiasm, moving between punching the air and playing some air piano as the film moves about downtown Austin. Musically, I love the contrast between some of the percussive elements hard-hitting and Earle’s drawn out croon of the chorus; it builds in that natural hook that keeps listeners interested. The band drop Push Back on October 2nd.