About a year out from the release of Living in Disguise, Flower Graves return with a psychedelic visual adventure…that’s not to mention the song’s sonic delight. The accompanying idea for this new single utilizes bright flashes and a technique that seemingly melts bright colors into one another, forming visuals along the way; leave breadcrumbs so you don’t lose yourself in the trance inducing jaunt. Turning to the musical element, you’re going to get rewarded there as well. Guitars cascade, creating this lush cavernous world; you can feel the guitars echoing through walls, sound reverberating through endless passages. The vocals share a similar attitude, densely coated, squeezing through crevices and calling to you like a haunted siren beckoning you to follow. It’s a pretty remarkable tune, and one we think you’ll fall in love with immediately; brought to you courtesy of Wallflower Records.
When Jennifer Wilson dropped Quick Beat Save back under the name Buildings and Food, I was really blown away. The album employed these subtle beats that engrained themselves in your mind, then they were wrapped in the warmth of Wilson’s quieted vocals. As she gears up for her sophomore album, it seems the work is as impressive as ever. Our first listen gives you pulsing beats pushing the song forward as little turns of knob build in some textured electronic layers. When Wilson enters the picture, she seems to slink into the comfort of the song, almost hanging back in the mix so as not to overpower with her performance. Careful ears will reveal the tiniest of twists and turns, like the seeming uptick near in energy near the 2:43 mark; it’s these little nuances that make Buildings and Food so rewarding. Up Down Strange Charm will be out on September 25th!
I reckon that Missoula, Montana isn’t on every one’s list of music hotbeds, but Anything Bagel Records has been pretty great at supporting the scene; they’re keep that push going with their latest release, the new LP from Fantasy Suite, One on One. The band is led by husband and wife duo Zoe and Lukas Phelan; they’re brandishing an affinity for classic country twang all mixed up with a little bit of that quirky pop you might have found around Athens. “False Reality” kicks things into gear with this sort of jingling guitar that opens up for a steady strum and Lukas’ vocals; I like this as the starter as there are some playful elements poking out that really set the scene for the whole LP. Zoe gets to take the lead on the following “Basketball,” which introduces a bit more of the band’s country ethos. It’s her next performance in “#1” that really won me over, bringing in a slow churning dreamier element with her vocals…you can hear just the faintest fragility in her voice too, creating that perfect intimacy between listener and performer. They mix in a slightly different vibe later on with “Take Time,” which might be the most traditional indie rock song, but the album’s latter half has a couple of numbers that recall the best of Beat Happening: you should listen to “Inside the Ring” and “Full Kitchen” to catch my drift there. From start to finish, One on One is endearing and diverse, guaranteeing you’ll have plenty to adore here; the album is out this Friday and you can grab it HERE!
It’s Monday, so I don’t want to ruin your musical week, but you’re all going to love this brand new track from Half Dream; it’s going to keep getting played in your head all week…sorry about that. Paige Berry owns this song; her voice falls somewhere between Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, mixing heavy tones with angelic sparkle that rises in the mix. I love how the band sets the song up, Berry and a few riffs riding through the Texas countryside before the drums drop in to thicken the mixture, adding in a natural hook to bury the song deep within your subconscious. This track appears on the band’s forthcoming Monster of Needing EP, which drops on April 2nd. But, if you’re in Austin, the group celebrate the release of this new single this Thursday at Hotel Vegas; you can find out more details HERE.
Been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Richmond’s Big Baby, but better get acquainted now as they’re brandishing six delicious new pop tunes you’ll want to consume…and we’ve got the lead single below for you. The band, fronted by Ali Mislowsky (also of ATH faves Young Scum), start with a heavy three second tease; they collect themselves, and they’re off. The guitar chords seem to be dancing and swirling around your ears, all the while the rhythm section keeps your toes tapping. In the vocals, you this coolly delivered warmth, but the hook is all about the falling notes in the line “can’t get you out of my head.” If you’re into the sugary sweetness on display, be sure to grab the Fizzy Cola EP from Hidden Bay Records or Jigsaw on January 10th!
There’s a whole lot of alliteration in that headline, but there’s a whole lot of reasons to listen to Chicago’s The Hazy Seas too. For one, you can’t tell me that as soon as those guitars start dancing their way into the scene that you’re not just tapping your toes incessantly. The rhythmic pulse adds extra bounce too, giving this song great energy to push things forward. Interestingly, there’s nice juxtaposition with the vocals, coated and cloudy, kind of this dark solemnity, which matches up with the song’s lyrics taking on the subject of making tough decisions and feeling lost while others look on at your life. The group will release their debut LP in early January of next year, so keep your eyes peeled.
It’s Tuesday, so it’s time to turn your stereos way up and have yourself a little fun, and what better way than with some fresh power-pop from Wild Flowers of America. The video is a sort of homage to the stylistic choices of late 70s/early 80s Elvis Costello videos, and to be honest, the song’s not too far off either. It starts with this almost muted guitar riff, harnessing the natural pop energy behind those riffs, only to unleash them in the chorus in a grand fashion. I definitely appreciate the good old rock n’ roll solo that closes the tune out; this is some of the best pop rock you’ll hear all week! This jam appears on Lost in the Salvation Army, out this Friday via Crutch of Memory Enterprises.
I hadn’t heard Sanders Smith’s solo work as Soft Maybe, but as a fan of Wrinkles, I was definitely pleased to hear his solo work. I was immediately sucked in by the playful delivery of his lyrics, as he seemingly bounces from syllable to syllable, putting emphasis where it will match the guitarmony; it builds in a natural hook, allowing the song to go its own way when necessary. The first time that happens (just around the 1 minute mark) is where I knew I had fallen in absolute love; I’m always going to fall in love with coy backing vocals. For me, it sounds a lot like all your garage rock faves of the late 00s, though pulling away those distorted guitars for a more crisp pop sound filled with fun hooks. This ditty will appear on the debut LP, Domestic Nature, available on November 13th via Anything Bagel.
It’s funny that Portland trio Lubec have titled their new EP Against Nature; it feels like the perfect fit to the band’s sound at the moment as they take all these forces and work them against each other. Five seconds into the track and the guitars come crashing through the speakers; it has this discordant math-iness to it, which, in a sense, sort of recalls the style of Braid/Hey Mercedes. But, you contrast that sort of brash artiness with the group’s inclination towards pop sensibility, which is present here through Caroline’s vocal work, juxtaposed with the rougher surface. You could flip that too, talk about the heaviness as it would relate to a thunderous Northwest storm, only to find itself in a calming middle moment, moving to a fade out that forces reflection…it’s the precise way in which this very tune unfolds; the perfect amalgam of nature’s forces, all acting at once, against each other, and yet together. Such is the great execution of this song…and EP. Look for it this Friday via Disposable America.
I’ve been covering the Finnish music scene for the last several years, and generally, I feel as if I’ve got a fair understanding of the musical landscape. That said, Cats of Transnistria always keep me guessing, as they seemingly do within their own works; they’ve evolved into this sort of brilliant slow-core pop act that fans of Bedhead or early Low would fawn over. Here, you feel the emotional tension build for over 2 minutes before the vocal notes dare peek into the track. From there we add textures, and at times, it seems like we’re losing touch with melody, losing ourselves in this discordant moment, only to be calmed by the warm blanket of song. I love the little imperfections, or the ones that seem as such, illustrating a desire to capture every emotion in its present state, perfect or not. This is cinematic brilliance captured in song form, which is what we can expect when Aligning drops via Soliti Music on November 29th.