Bart Davenport‘s latest solo effort, Episodes, feels like an instant classic, covering vast musical territory with bewildering storytelling…such as the track “Holograms,” which gets a video treatment today. At times, the song’s rhythm section brings in this groovy glam stomp, with the emphasis on the boogie; that boogies leads into the more Southern inspired guitar grooves that noodle their way, battling for supremacy. Bart, as the video presents, is the song’s centerpiece, however; he carries the song with this mixture of velvety seduction and natural bravado; I personally love the cascading pitch when he exclaims “because I’m terrified.” If you haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with the new album, now’s as good a time as any to give it a listen; it’s also available via Tapete Records. Plus! If you’re in the great LA area, you have a chance to catch Bart live at the Permanent Records Roadhouse on May 19th with Earth Girl Helen Brown.
Greek outfit Sugar for the Pill will be releasing their debut LP next week, but we’ll be out and about at SXSW most likely, so wanted to make sure we’re up and at ’em by throwing our support behind the group’s new effort. We’ve got a brand new single too, so you win either way! This track is filled with these cascading guitar lines, shimmering behind the vocals, which I think tends to give the track that shoegaze mark, but a closer ear will reveal some extra elements that have me excited about what the band brings to the table. The rhythm section is bouncy, offering up catching lines that have you tapping your toes, so you get a little post-punk inflection in the tune. Plus, there’s these gang shouts that pop up in the chorus and at various other points, breaking through the dreaminess and giving a more punk ethos to the tune. So, while you’d like to lump them in with your like-minded dream gaze acts, check out how they turn it into something wholly their own. Wanderlust is out March 18th via Shelflife Records and Make Me Happy Records.
JR Kurtz has made his name as the drummer for a slew of acts, from CSS to Frenship, and tons more. But, he’s taking the reins on his own, and releasing Dream Warrior under the name of Libby Beard. Today we’re sharing a track that I think captures some of his admitted influences from Sonic Youth and Sebadoh to These Arms are Snakes and Junior Boys. His matter-of-fact delivery gets smashed to pieces by walls of feedback, turning the song into a sort of West Coast heavy surf feel, done within the confines a one-bedroom art studio. Personally, I’m digging the great vocal climb that rides in around 2:30, so be sure to give it a peep if you can; Dream Warrior arrives on March 11th.
The year’s had some great pop tune, though I’ll be honest, as I’m not quite sure that anything’s really delivered the supreme jangle that I deserve! Well, that all changes today when Salt Lake Alley announce their sophomore LP, on Shelflife no less! From the moment you press play the guitars skate and shimmy, sort of skirting around you speakers as the beat bounces lightly in the background. I love how Mikael and Gustav seem to be trading off vocal roles on this song, adding this real dynamic punch that charms a pop fan like myself. Oh, and please please hang out just pass the 1:37 mark as there’s one hell of a guitar solo just waiting to make you swoon over the hooks. Their new LP, It Takes Two won’t be out until 2022, but you can enjoy the first sample below!
It’s been a hot minute since Kids On A Crime Spree dropped their debut We Love You So Bad EP, though they’ve managed to sprinkle in a 7″ here or there. Luckily, a wait for new music has paid off, with the band announcing today that they’ll be releasing a new LP, Fall In Love Not In Line, early next year. The band wastes no time opening up with this fast shredding guitar line and a furiously pounding rhythm section, both parts trying to see who can beat the other to the finish line. But, central to the band’s success is Mario Hernandez’ vocals, offering up this soft melodic underbelly to the track, though still seemingly tethered to a faint punk ethos that keeps the song’s edge. Feel like the thematic nod from the lyrics ties perfectly into all of our lives, and also into the band itself, with the refrain of “when can I see you again.” Pretty sure this song rules, and you’re going to want to grab the LP! Fall In Love Not In Linedrops on January 22nd via Slumberland Records.
The year 2021 seems like the year music really feels like it started to reawaken in Austin, which is where we get to meet Silver Tapesand their new Forever Home EP. The band is the project of former Shy Beast Drummer, Drew Silverman, producing his own mixture of heavy textures and hard snapping beats. In this tune, the track carefully begins to unfold, working in the opening minute as this sort of textured pop opus, working over synth stabs and careful melodies. For me, I got hooked when the song drops in with this heavy riff that just sort of explodes the foreground and then shimmers all over the place, clouding the speakers with melodic fuzz. Silverman bounces all over the place on this EP, searching for the sounds that match up with the EP’s themes of loss, nostalgia and security. The full EP is out November 5th, so be on the lookout to double down here.
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!