If there’s a general feeling in the world, it seems to revolve around our future and our fears for what comes next for humanity. Paws, on their latest single, have captured that anxiety and built it up into the perfect piece of swelling pop rock. Personally, I’m a sucker for the way huge riffs and smashing drums rock you right into the track, before the riffs get peeled a way to reveal a warmed vocal driving home the tune’s melody. Backing vocals buoy the hook too, allowing the lyrics to really resonate with the listener as the band question our decisions as humans “under dog.” New single pops up on Paws new self-titled LP, out October 27th via Ernest Jenning Record Co.
You’re likely reading this post about All-American Rejects and wondering…”how does this fit the site?” Well, we’ve all got to start somewhere, and I have no shame in saying there were a few months back in 2002 where I was fortunate enough to travel around with the band and poorly sell t-shirts. But, honestly, I was in the band’s orbit from an early age, and the fact that it’s been 20 years since they took off from Oklahoma and never looked back (except Mikey, who still calls it home) is pretty amazing. So, wanted to celebrate their achievement of rocking out for over 20 years (they’re on tour now!) by posting this rad record and its reissue treatment; it now has the rare “Cigarette Song” on 7″ packaged within the LP! Grab it HERE! And, if you buy it and look in the liner notes, maybe you’ll recognize a name hanging about.
Give yourself a full 25 seconds to immerse yourself in this jam from Portland’s Babytooth; if you do so, you’ll be absolutely sold on their pop rock styling. Distinctive vocals toy with the modern indie fare, but that 24th second immediately sells you on the band’s promise; it brings with it this bounding energy that magically courses right through, punching you right in the teeth. Somehow, the song still manages to maintain that intimacy, as if you’re the long attendee at a secret Babytooth house show meant only for you. You can feel a bit of an edge waiting to get out here, and I think if you spend some time with the group’s self-titled LP, you’ll find exactly what you need. Babytooth is available today via Antiquated Future.
Sliding into Richard Tripps‘ new single felt like curling up on my couch with my family; there’s something so familiar and comforting, in both the voice and the light strum of the songwriting. That light-hearted strum fits perfectly with the weighted tones of Tripps’ voice, but when little pops of accompaniment rise here and there, the song begins to take hold of you emotionally. When you hit the chorus, Richard switches his tones to something a bit softer, with little bell notes and a forlorn guitar sliding into the background. It’s the sort of gentle pop that deserve more attention, so if you dig it, be sure to stream the whole new LP now; find it HERE.
Frode Stromstad is really putting his songwriting into overdrive, having fairly recently released an I Was a King LP…now he’s got his new project Colored Lights set for their debut LP. When you press play, you’re instantly greeted by this groovy pulse, setting up this steady backbone for the track to ride upon. Frode’s vocals take on these fantastical notes, hitting tones somewhere between nostalgic yearning and futuristic hope; his performance is definitely one of the selling points of this track. Mixing up tidbits of psych and power pop, you’re going to definitely hear sprinkles of all your favorite genres coming in from the latest Colored Lights single; they drop their self-titled debut on August 22nd via Bobo Integral.
How does one develop the soundtrack to the perfect “Summertime Drive?” I mean, we all have our different expectations, but in the case of Tom Herman Jr, perhaps he turned to road trips with his father, who plays drums on the tune here. The vibe here almost seems to be one of American nostalgia, albeit one through a slightly psychedelic lens. In both the video footage and this track, there’s this natural feel of exploration and wonder, like we’re all constantly stumbling upon new lessons as we hit the road ourselves. So, you owe it to yourself to discover what Tom and his father have built for you on this slow burning psych trip. Look for a self-titled album from Chitinous Mandible on June 30th.
Over the past dozen years or so, I’ve been covering the music of Frode Stromstad, one of the key songwriters in I Was a King/The No Ones. Today, news came our way that Frode has a new project titled Colored Lights, and we’re more than happy to share the first little taste of what’s in store. Personally, I can’t escape the familiarity of Frode’s voice; it seems to sit perfectly in this song, like a small little boat casually resting atop the water as the song ripples through your speakers. Emotional impact is almost immediate, matching up the light strum and percussion with Stromstad’s voice…and then it’s gone, fading away with a gentle bit of noise exploration. The band will release their self-titled LP via Bobo Integral on September 22nd.
Try listening to Island of Love and imagining them as anything other than a Southern American band channeling classic alternative rock with a bit of attitude. But, the band are from London, so they’re far removed from the history of blending some of the sounds you’re going to here in their latest single, making this new drop all the more likeable. You’ll hear some of that swampy blues style in the guitar work the instant you press play, but they add in a bit of tenacity that really makes the whole of the tune seem refreshing. There’s no frills, but it’s all flare, so keep an eye out for their debut self-titled LP from Third Man Records on May 12th.
It seems like there are a lot of folks out there falling in love with Greg Mendez, and with these latest singles hitting today, I imagine there will be more folks digging through Mendez work. Honestly, as a blogger for the last 15 years or so, I’ve admittedly used the Elliott Smith comparison a lot, but in these two songs, the album’s final two tracks, I feel as if we’re as close as we might ever get to finding another voice so meaningful. There’s this fragility in Greg’s voice, something that just lets his words hang effortlessly in the air, waiting to find a person who needs the comfort his voice will offer. All of this is layered carefully atop a light strum, giving off that intimacy that makes you feel as if you’re in on the secret. Greg Mendez, the album, will be out on May 5th via Forged Artifacts/Devil Town Tapes.
One record that should definitely be on your radar for the upcoming month or so is the brand new LP from Greg Mendez. I’ve been a fan of his work, and this new single has this really playful vocal delivery in the verses that almost seems too playful and charming for its own good. He spins that right into a more calmed chorus, almost whispering to the listener through the line “but then somebody said.” I don’t want to pigeonhole Greg by any means, but if you’re looking for vibes in the vein of Elliott Smith jamming in a studio session with Tony Molina’s solo work, well, then here you have it. And if you have the time, read the lyrics as you listen, as I’m still totally in love with the way he’s breaking up the syllables and the lines in the main verse section. His self-titled LP will be out on May 5th via Forged Artifacts and Devil Town Tapes.