Austin label Keeled Scales are clearly some of our favorite people; they’ve pretty much exploded into one of the best labels in the US, so we’re glad they had a few moments to list out their 10 Most Listened to LPs of 2019!
Be sure to visit their SITE and check out all the great releases; I’d start with this year’s Jordan Moser record, then maybe hop back to that Julia Lucille LP (if you were asking me!). They’ve also made us a great playlist of their favorite tunes from this year, as well as some hits from their artists, all after the jump!
After the last single shared from Black Belt Eagle Scout, I was anxiously awaiting another from Katherine Paul. This go ’round we’ve been graced with a far subtler, but just as moving, track in the form of “Indians Never Die.” Filmed on theThe Ancestral Lands of The Chinook, Chinnuk Wawa, and Tillamook Tribes, the video is vastly gorgeous– sweeping landscape shots command your attention. The instrumentation is quiet, just the gentle plucking of a guitar, and a stark percussive motif that lingers through the whole song. “Indians Never Die,” visually shows Paul in both traditional Indian garments and skinny jeans with her guitar–the constant tapping rhythm a reminder that Paul is a combination of past and present, two selves existing, both essential to the other. Black Belt Eagle Scout will release her album,Mother of My Childrenon September 14.
I’m not sure what exactly I expected from a band entitled Black Belt Eagle Scout, but “Just Lie Down,” gives the kind of edgy darkness that some part of me knew was coming before I pressed play. Heavy percussion and squealing guitars greet your ears as soon as you press play; a dark introduction to the track which leads me to believe it comes after a solid jam on the forthcoming LP,Mother of My Children. About a minute in, the proper portion of the song begins, and you get the vocals of Katherine Paul, which are all reserved power, conveying emotional vulnerability as well as pure lushness. The track is a slow-burning beast of alt-rock goodness, making me excited for the September 14th release ofMother of My Children on Saddle Creek Records.
If the sounds we’re hearing are any indication, we’ll end up spinning Sam Evian‘s latest LP quite a bit. He begins this track much like the accompanying video, allowing things to casually just cruise through your speakers. But, most importantly is how carefully he treats each guitar note; he’s got a hold of something that allows him to bend and turn each distorted note however he wishes, giving listeners an almost jammed out journey through time. Soft where it needs to be, forceful when called upon, Sam’s latest has it all. This tune is the title track off his You, Foreveralbum, dropping on June 1st via Saddle Creek Records.
Sam Evian, nee Sam Owens, originally came to my attention on Need You, his collaboration with the adored Chris Cohen. Today, news comes our way that there will be a new record from Sam, titled You, Forever. Our first listen has these softened vocals churning throughout, solidifying the track’s natural melody. But, Owen’s seems willing to throw down on some jams too, building some extensive solos into this track (and some sax too). It ends up being a crunchy hook-laden jam, something you might expect from a Kurt Vile in the early days. This new LP will drop June 1st via Saddle Creek.
Are you ready to dance the day away? Well, then you’ve come to the right place, as Twinsmith are trying to their damndest to get you out of that chair and onto the dance floor with “You & I.” This song has all the trappings of a summer banger– infectious synth riffs that spiral through the whole tune, bombastic percussion which encourages head bobbing and tight knight guitar riffs. I personally like how the track’s instrumentation screams radio hit, but the vocals are pared down to that of a classic indie rock gem. Take a listen and get on board before Twinsmith blows up.
Their new album,Stay Cool, will be out July 14 viaSaddle Creek Records.
It’s no surprise that Brooklyn’s Big Thief keep rolling out the hits as they approach the release of their sophomore album. The group has been hard at work making a name for themselves and when they release singles like “Shark Smile,” you can’t help but fall for them. This track is as devastating as it is gorgeous–Adrianne Lenker’s smoky vocals and the dark lyrics pack a heavy one-two emotive punch. The song lingers in this simmering swirl of folk rock with piercing electric guitar that throws a little snarl in there. Take a listen below.
As the musical climate seems to pull from our parent’s music catalogs, looks like we could add Twinsmith as one of the acts polishing off smoothed out pop tropes. It’s like a wonderful combination of yacht rock and your favorite 80s movie soundtracks…and that’s not to knock the band in any way. Their hooks are infectious, yet not overstated, allowing you to slide right into the natural groove. The band have just signed onto Saddle Creek for the release of their album, Stay Cool, which will hit stores on July 14th.
I first had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Big Thief a few months back when they stopped into town and opened for Here We Go Magic. Instantly, their live act caught my attention– the striking and unique vocals of front lady,Adrianne Lenker creating a distinct impression from the start. I’m pleased to share with you a single from their upcoming album,Masterpiece, with you today. “Real Love” plays with the start/stop format of a track, and combines folk and rock aspects. My favorite aspect of the song is the way the vocals mirrorand play with the guitar parts, making the track come across as simultaneously soft and jagged. Take a listen and get ready for this band to be all the rage in internet land… and check them out at SXSW!
Masterpiece will be out May 27th via Saddle Creek Records.
I’ve admitted to my adoration for Rural Alberta Advantage, but I was slightly skeptical with their last single, but it seems like this new one has things right back on track. There’s just something about the vocals that always stick with me; it’s as if they don’t quite fit the music, yet they clearly fit perfectly into the band’s well-crafted sound. It sounds like country-stomping indie rock, and not the Americana sort, but somewhere more developed, somewhere less-traveled perhaps. I look forward to the group’s new effort, Mended with Gold, which comes out on September 30th via Saddle Creek Records.