Friday Album Streams: Echo Ladies, Swansea Sound, Sharp Pins + More

It’s Friday, and while you gaze towards the weekend, maybe you need some musical recommendations to get your day started. I’ll try not to wax philosophically on these, as we’ve covered singles and what not heading into the album releases…so without further ado.

Swansea SoundTwentieth Century (Skep Wax Records)

Members of Pooh Sticks, Heavenly return with another great collection of pop rock with a subtle political bent.


Echo LadiesLilies (Rama Lama Records)

Dark, noisy and beautiful. One of my favorite releases this year I wish more people could put their ears upon.

Friday BoysDepressed Gang (Self-Released)

Good old fashioned punk rock from here in Austin. Now with more hooks! Friday’s jams from Friday Boys.

Kath BloomFinally (Chapter Music)

Chapter Music celebrate the 1990s recordings of Kath Bloom with the first ever vinyl release of Finally.

Sharp PinsTurtle Rock (Tall Texan Records)

Another “first ever” release for the solo-project of Kai Slater of current Lifeguard fame, courtesy of Tall Texan Records.

DAIISTARGood Time (Fuzz Club)

New up-and-coming Austin act drops their debut LP. Sweetness amidst walls of noise.

Echo Ladies Share Coming Home Video

Malmo trio Echo Ladies have been heavily featured on our site as of late, but there’s something a little different on their latest single. Previously, with other singles from Lilies, they’ve toyed with a dark nature, but on this one, they’ve completely crossed over towards the dark side. Every layer of the track seems weighed down by reverb and distortion, building this huge wall of noise that surrounds Matilda’s voice. And, try as she might, the vocals can’t escape the dark grasp of the tune, with the vocals almost pleading to escape this noisy, musical cage; it’s the perfect little pop contrast to make sure you fall in love. Lilies is out on September 8th via Rama Lama Records.

Echo Ladies Share Fabrik

After being out and away from the Internet, I couldn’t help but slide right back to the swing of things…and what better way than with this killer track from Malmo’s Echo Ladies. Like a lot of the Scandinavian acts, the band brings about this punishing darkness, driving synths that seem rooted in dark house music; think of acts like Lust for Youth for instance. About 20 seconds in, a synth line washes in with this playful bit of pop structure, opening the song for Matilda’s voice to swirl atop the driving rhythm. I love the way the band still leave space, letting this elegance hang out in the air for a bit before sliding right back into it. Echo Ladies will release Lillies on September 6th via Rama Lama Records.

Kindsight Share Tibet Singles

Kindsight combine elements of nostalgic indiepop sounds with the fuzziness of the current climate that’s overtaken Scandinavia, and the greater world. But, following the success of their Swedish Punk LP, the band have slowly been expanding their sound with a batch of new singles. I was immediately enamored by the back and forth between the vocal parts of this song, toying with the listeners willingness to indulge in the band’s joyous nature. Still, there are two punch elements that course through this song, dropping in elements of noise and a more furious indiepop sound that adds that grit, illustrating just how far the band are willing to go. This song brought to us courtesy of Rama Lama Records.

Echo Ladies Share Latest Single, Awake

We wanted to start off your Tuesday with something that’s a little bit brooding, something a little bit on the darker side of our pop affectations, thus this new single from Malmo’s Echo Ladies. My first hook on this song was the sort of club vibe from the rhythm section; the beat work has this sort of static skip to it, balanced by the dark bob and weave of the base line. Matilda’s vocals are what give us the hope of a brighter tomorrow, riding along the balance between shimmering and dreamy, hitting these tones that are able to walk amongst the song’s shadowier moments. The group will be releasing Lilies on September 8th via Rama Lama Records.

Echo Ladies Sign with Rama Lama Records; Drop New Single

One of the hotbeds of Swedish music is the stable at Rama Lama Records, who today announce the signing of Echo Ladies, along with a fresh single from the Malmo outfit. The darkened texture is set up from the get-go, with this cavernous ambiance and deep rhythmic pulse. I loved the dark-wave feel there, but the hairs on my arm didn’t raise until that guitar started jabbing into the mix, offering up this sort of post-punk texture that evolves into a dreamier world when Matilda Botwid begins to stretch the band’s performance with her voice. I love how the track just closes out emphatically too, pushing this gale-force volume right through your speakers. Looks like they’ll have a new LP before the year’s up, so we’ll keep you posted on that one!

Talking Flowers Sign with Rama Lama Records

When I want to know what is cool in Sweden, I look to labels like PNK SLM and Rama Lama Records. The latter just agreed to work with Malmo artist Talking Flowers, releasing a double single to celebrate the signing. The release is a great way to get introduced to the songwriter Astrid Lagerstedt; it’s got two sides to her songwriting, both which I’m definitely enjoying today. “Storytelling” is a smoky soul number with Astrid scrawling her vocals across this funky mix of electronic sounds and a rolling bit of drum work. “Bedroom Wall” is more of a songwriter’s piece, a light strum working with the power of voice; it’s something you’d likely find on Keeled Scales here in the States. Give it a listen, and let’s celebrate this beautiful partnership.

Kindsight Share Madhouse Breakout Multitool (SXSW Artist)

I was a big fan of Swedish Punk, the debut LP from Kindsight. After a bit of adoration, I finally get a chance to catch the band live next week when they come to Texas for SXSW. In preparation, the band have dropped a wonderful new single in anticipation of their journey, and also in the midst of working on their sophomore LP. It highlights the band’s penchant for song movement, bringing in soft little melodies that blossom into charming bits of buoyant indie rock. They’re one of those bands playing a brand of indie rock that seems completely built on their own terms and not on the trends, so it feels familiar yet fresh. They’ve got shows set up for SXSW, so be sure to follow them on their socials to see see where they’re playing. This single comes to you courtesy of the band’s label Rama Lama Records.

Mary Anne’s Polar Rig Share Latest Single

Every time the folks at Rama Lama Records send us a new song from Mary Anne’s Polar Rig, I have certain expectations. Good ones, mind you, but expectations. Their latest single, however, threw me for a huge loop. The first minute or so sheds the abrasive nature they usually bring to the table, favoring a bit more of a clean shimmer, almost sparkling with Malin’s vocals carefully moving the song forward. Elements of noise begin to creep in, though done with restraint to elongate the emotional pull; even as the volume seems prominent that shine on the melodic center is clear, almost shielding the listener from the barrage in the distance. It’s a nice little mixture of everything the band excel at; Makes You Wonder is out on March 24th.

Mary Anne’s Polar Rig Announce Makes You Wonder

It’s hard breaking through the US/UK press to offer refreshing music, and to be honest, if folks aren’t given stuff directly, they’re not always likely to seek out the good stuff outside of the geo-musical landscape. Good thing we’ve got some connections in places like Sweden bringing us the goods from Mary Anne’s Polar Rig, who just announced their new LP, Makes You Wonder. This Malmo duo isn’t really playing by any rules or expectations; they rip through their songs with sharp riffs and explosive moments. It’s all delivered in an off-kilter manner, keeping the listener on their toes, turning unexpectedly one second then tossing melody right in your face. Malin’s vocal performance is so primal at times, it’s hard not to be captivated by what’s coming through your speakers; it reminds me of that 2002 EP from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in a lot of ways, so I’m completely on board here. Makes You Wonder is out in March via Rama Lama Records.

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