We’ve been hyping up the release of Gorgeous Bully‘s latest for a wee bit, and the day has finally arrived for you to give Closure a listen. While I expected the album to have some fuzzy bangers, like the opener “I’ll Be True,” I didn’t expect the softer side of things to shine quite so brilliantly. You get it on the album’s second track, “Gum,” offering up a sound that’s reminiscent of everything rad in Australia at the moment. But, while not always as upbeat, there are other soft, and even sad, numbers like “Tripping” and “Happiness.” It gives you a mix of everything that’s great about the project; you can grab it for the NYP option HERE, as well as order the vinyl LP!
San Diego’s Los Shadows have one thing that the rest of the dream pop acts…a sound rooted in Latin rhythms. The opening guitar lines sound like an homage to the beach, but immediately the drums roll in crafting this vibe that’s unlike anything out there. They move it into these smoothed out dreamy croons that crest atop the front of the mix; it ends up giving the song this natural swinging sensation that I cannot escape…nor do I want to. There’s a funky closing minute that definitely brings the Latin vibe full circle. While this single is brand new, you can check in on the group’s other work HERE.
David Lance Callahan has been part of the music community as long as I’ve been alive (30+ years); he’s been part of both The Wolfhounds and Moonshake, but we’re getting to here him below entirely on his own. He’s crafted this delicate, pastoral tune, perfect to take us all into the Winter seasons,offering warmth for those close listeners. Callahan recorded these tunes at home, simply, utilizing little more than guitar and a sampler, with a few friends thrown in to provide the harmonies; the technique definitely provides the listener a certain intimacy that brings you into the world of the songwriter. You’ll find this track as an A-side tune for the SLR30 Single Series, and odds are you’ll find a new album in the works for 2019 as well. Don’t worry if you didn’t sign up for the SLR30SS, as Slumberland generally has a few extras on hand.
The driving rhythm and the angular guitars, as always, sucked me right into this track from Primitive Lips. It has this heavy vocal quality, almost a resigned indifference, which works in direct contrast to the song’s natural uplifting spirit. It’s almost like the band fancy themselves as the reincarnated Echo and the Bunnymen, only they want to throw a dance party first. You’re stomping your feet, you’re swinging around, but you’re not biting your bottom lip, you’re just staring longingly at the floor. A pretty carefree hit in my opinion; it could use your ears.
The Cosmos are a now defunct rock n’ roll outfit from San Fran, featuring members that went on to participate in bands like Terry Malts and Dominant Legs, among others. Not too long ago they compiled their songs from the 2001-2004 years, and gave them a proper tape release. Why does that matter today? Well, for one, if you listen, you’ll see they were ahead of their time, as I can hear tons of modern acts in the stuff they were creating. Also, the band just decided to up and let you download that compilation of songs for absolutely free, though I warn you, these are working musicians and they all deserve a few bucks from you. Slow news week, so why not write about shit that rules?
While I’ve spent a lot of time jamming the latest Papercuts records, this new tune from Shadowgraphs is trying to align itself with a similar vibe. There are definitely still some light psychedelic references, particularly in some of the layered guitar parts. But, scrub that a little bit, and beneath the surface is this huge pop sensibility, bursting dreamily through your speakers. A slight bit of fuzz gives the sound this heaviness, which really allows for the vocals to sort of float off into the ether. The band are releasing Another Time on November 30th via Golden Brown.
As the year’s end comes nearer, I’m revisiting notes and such things I’ve made to remind myself of what I really enjoyed. Somehow, I skipped over writing about the Whip Hand, even though it made it into my indiepop list, so I aim to remedy that now. The band walks the careful line between indiepop and shoegaze, utilizing these sharp jagged guitar chords to encourage toe tapping, whilst drawing out vocal notes in a dreamier fashion. Their album Sometimes, We Are, just dropped in October, so you can still go out there and be cool by discovering it and sharing with your friends…like me! Grab the album from Lady Sometimes Records.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Juan Wauters; his last release was back in 2015 with Who Me. But, worry no more, as he’s finished up some traveling through Latin America and will return with La Onda de Juan Pablo. His travels began in Puerto Rico, where the following tune was begun; he was struck by a couple of characters playing boleros, thus crafting his own. It immediately has this almost traditional light-hearted vibe, particularly in the supporting vocals. You’ll also note that Wauters is singing entirely in Spanish, something that continues through the whole of the new album. I know I’m fond of the style, and if you find yourself in the same boat, look for the new album on January 25th via Captured Tracks.
You’ve got to trust the people you know, and it seems like almost every one of my favorite Austin artists (not to mention folks who we’ve worked with) have worked with Shawn Jones and his project, The Lovely Sparrows. But, he’s been relatively quiet since 2011, moving out of the city limits to refocus on his craft. It seems he’s returned with a pocked full of some of the best songs he’s written. On this number below, I was immediately struck by the driving bass work, and the subtle jangle of guitar dancing in step with the drumming of Matt Shepherd; it’s perfectly matched in production, adding these delicate layers that build the song up. He’s also always been a masterclass lyricist; I’m particularly keen on the line “if it’s artificial baby let it die.” You’ll definitely want to be sure spend a great deal of time with Shake the Shadow, out on November 16th via Abandoned Love Records.
For Austin fans, there’s a release show on 12/13 over at Barracuda.
It wasn’t hard to convince me to play this new Monteagle track; I was stuck right away with the guitars ambling across the stick/snare percussion. Then Justin Giles Wilcox sort of moseyed on over with his gentle croon; I think the hidden charm is the slight vocal change during the chorus, offering up a slightly higher tone whilst still holding onto the natural sense of longing in the tune. It seems like Wilcox is hitting that sweet spot in his songwriting abilities, and we all get the benefit of those gifts; look for Midnight Noon on November 30th via Fire Talk.