Honestly, I thought about foregoing a year-end list this year. I mean, if you read our site, you know what we love. But, list making can be fun, especially if you really really love music. My criteria was simple, and not based on what I think is “best,” but rather looking at the stuff I listened to the most, and eventually bought (or was gifted). Popular locals for my Nathan Wrapped have me living on an island in between San Francisco and Australia; label of the year would be Trouble in Mind (congrats to Bill and family!); genre would be: most awesome. Again, this is one man’s personal tastes, take it for what its worth.
While it seemed like a slow week, in my brain at least, there was lots of really great stuff to cover over on the site. We were happy to host the new video from Seablite, so be sure you drop in and give it a couple of looks. Plus, our Rock n’ Recipes features returned with Spain’s Melenas, who dropped their new Ahora LP on Friday. Plus, Austin was alive and kicking with new stuff from Molly Burch, Semihelix and Sun June. Seeing our old friends in Pop Filter return to the fold was just a little cherry on top of a great week of music. There’s lots more for you to find in this playlist!
Lemon Lights, the brand new LP from San Francisco’s Seablite, is out this Friday, and we’ve had it as one of our most-anticipated releases as we near the end of the musical year. Up until now, the group have offered their perfect blend of dreamy pop-gaze, though they’ve mostly been playing up the dark side, particularly with “Pot of Boiling Water.” All that to say, I think the new single offers a glimpse of the band in complete control of their vision, perhaps even bringing out some of their best tricks to guarantee they leave us with a standout LP. When I first heard it, it kind of reminds me of that sort of acid-house influence creeping into the dream/jangle realm of the current climate; it’s got this secret wash that keeps locked into a playful groove. Jenn Heard’s video plays up to that sensibility, throwing in some light-hearted magic to tie into the whimsical approach on the single. Lemon Lights is a must have; grab a copy from Mt. St. Mtn. on Friday!
Just because we took Monday off last week, it didn’t mean we were taking it easy; I think I posted 11 things in one day, simply because there’s been so much great jams to get turned onto. Austin had tons of representation with TVs Daniel, Motorsports, Friday Boys, DAIISTAR and Feeling Small, but my own love for Spanish-language pop was made all the better with tunes from Melenas and Mint Field coming our way. Teenage Tom Petties were back for the attack, with a new album announcement. Plus, there’s some reissue news with Kath Bloom and Single Bullet Theory getting coverage. So yeah, music! Whoohoo!
Whether on accident or luck, some bands just hit all the right notes with certain songs; for me, the new Seablite track is precisely a band blending various moments in music into one cohesive ball of blissed pop. Lurking in the shadows of the song (and video!) you’ll hear this gothic tendencies, but as easily as we could dive in there, other elements begin to rise through that wall. Feedback and a wall of noise blow in from behind, then hang about in the atmosphere, billowing with the faintest discord in the distance. All of it coats the airy vocals sitting in the middle, waiting to find their way to your ears. Sure, there’s tons of adjacent sounds here, but it’s been a minute since I’ve heard it executed this well! The band will release Lemon Lights on September 29th via Mt. St. Mtn.
Okay, so I’m back in school and coaching women’s volleyball, which of course meant we couldn’t dare draw near the 40 or so tracks we covered the week prior. But, that being said, there were some really special tunes, and some of my favorites popping up in here. Blue Ocean and Seablite announced new LPs, while the Smashing Times dropped another stellar single to whet our appetites. Local favorites Single Lash and Sun June both announced new releases too, so it was a pretty solid week. Oh, and that Optic Sink jam was so good, we might have accidentally overlapped and posted it twice! Stream below!
Another day and another dollar I’ll likely have to send to Mt. St. Mtn., particularly now that they’ve announced a fresh new LP from Seablite. Although they’ve sprinkled in some singles and an EP, we haven’t had a proper LP since 2019, so I’m excited to hear what’s finally coming our way. And, after spending several minutes running through the new single, I really like how they’ve come out. Sure, there’s some dreamy/gazey moments that are still wrapped in there, but something about the vocals really has me leaning towards those 90s alternative rock vibes. It’s a nice twist, allowing the band’s murkiness (also there in the video) to hang in the air, while still driving home this pop aesthetic they seem to have perfected, letting the hip kids indulge from all the various angles. Lemon Lights is out on September 29th!
We’ve been big Seablite stans since the release of Grass Stains and Novocaine, and with that, it’s been really nice seeing the growth, in both their popularity and the quality of their songwriting; the band also features Andy of Chime School, so extra bonus points on all fronts. News just hit that they’ve got a remarkable new 7″ coming out via Emotional Response, and well, this first single doesn’t let us down one bit. I love how the pounding drums open up the track, setting this furious pace behind the cascading wall of guitars; it’s creating this contrasting tension that really drives home the melodic draw. And, while they’re nice and quiet, I think the setting and tones of the vocals are spot on perfect for the band; they seem to crest in just the right spots, so hats off to the final mix master on this jam. This 7″ will be available on January 1st.
This site has paid tribute to the work of Andy Pastalaniec with his work in various projects from Cruel Summer to Seablite, but now Andy’s earning his own stripes with his project, Chime School. This last week Slumberland announced they’d be working with Andy on his debut LP, which at this point, sounds like a fun-filled collection of indiepop ditties. There’s plenty of jangling going on in this lead single, though I’ll admit that the vocals actually feel like they might fit right into a 90s alternative pop playlist; there’s just something about the nostalgic warmth there that sets Chime School outside the modern fare…I love the clarity in those notes for sure. I mean, it’s a band from San Francisco, which is so hot right now, musically speaking. It’s also a band on Slumberland, so you get reliability. And, the tune rules, so pre-order the eponymous debut!
Don’t act like we haven’t been hyping up Seablite over the last year or so, and don’t act surprised when I throw another tune your way from the group! I love the latest recording; the band’s trademark fuzz is buried really deep here; still feels like your speakers are broken, but allows for the diamond to come out of the rough. And, boy, does it ever! The vocals come and rise to this sort of crystalline pinnacle, shining at the top of the cymbal crashes and rolling fuzz from beneath. They’re just keeping at the great tunes here. Look for High Rise Mannequins via Meritorio Records and Emotional Response on February 21st.