I don’t often get struck by vocals as much as I might have been at a younger age as a music fan, but when I turned on the latest tune from Sweden’s Wy, I’ll admit that Ebba’s voice just hit me immediately. The song’s barely even begun, almost like the duo are still tuning when suddenly she just belts out the first notes; she’s got this huge voice, yet almost instantly she pulls it back to quietly lull you into the core of the track. She plays with that dynamic throughout the song, alternating between striking and softness, but its the songwriting that really gives the tune/vocals clarity. Every note seems purposeful, careful not to get in the way of the other notes, tying everything together in one ridiculously wonderful pop tune. You can find this track on the group’s new Marriage LP, out May 7th via Rama Lama Records.
Continuing to ride that Buffet Lunch train, with the Scottish outfit only a few short weeks away from the release of The Power of Rocks. The guitar licks on this tune seem to roll in like the accompanying waves of the video (an ode to Coldplay!), though Perry O’Bray’s vocal delivery helps to take those rolling angles and give them a bit of emphatic stomp. Then, the band open up the space in the song, filling it with little bits of electronics and wood blocks to give the tune its patented wonkiness…not to mention the additional backing vocals in their sort of robotic indifference. Every corner of this record sounds great; its out on May 7th via Upset the Rhythm.
Since they released their debut LP in 2018, Breathe Panel have mostly been quiet…until today. They return with this softened brand of guitar pop; utilizing comforting melodies and the faintest of jangling guitars for their charm offensive. I love how everything in this song, from the video to the name to the style all seem to tie into one great release; the colors change outside the window as the trees blow ever so gently in the wind…exactly as that’s happening outside our own window. This is a pop tune at its very purest, asking for little more than three minutes of your time today; it will surely be time well worth it.
Sometimes I feel like a one man party train for Los Esplifs, but I just can’t get enough of their album Estraik Back. It’s full of these Latin rhythms blended with a modern flare and sprinkles of psychedelia; it’s more or less the perfect record for those willing to step outside the ordinary world of indie rock. Every time I put on a track like “Otro Pais” or “Perro Rabioso,” there’s just this overwhelming sense of freedom; my body and mind just sort of let go and I escape into the music this Tucson outfit has crafted. Here’s to hoping folks take a chance on the full listen; your spirit certainly won’t regret letting go!
I’m really glad this Drea the Vibe Dealer’s EP dropped in my inbox this week; it’s just the sort of mix of cool songwriting that makes me see the promise in the indie world. Drea’s been using songs she composed solo in her bedroom back in the day, then taking them to a proper studio and transforming them into these brilliant pop tracks; she even goes so far as to lay it all out saying her goal was “blending post punk, jazz, trip hop and existential lyrics.” Sure, its three songs but you get so much, even within the confines of each track. Like on “Sacrifice” you get this bold, heavy sort of trip-hop meets seductive rocker, and while it holds onto that, a jazzy little underbelly can be heard as Drea wraps her mesmerizing voice atop the mix. It’s a cool listen I hope you’ll give Priestess of Vibrations Pt. 3 some love too!
Are you ready to get your summer playlist jacked up? Yeah you are! You want that perfect hit for cruising through the streets, warm breeze blowing through your hair; I know you do! Well, luckily, we get news that French band Pastel Coast is going to be dropping their follow-up to Hovercraft this summer via Shelflife Records/Groover. Listening through, its frantic pop, with a little bit of indiepop flare to it, but to be frank (“Hello, I’m Frank!), the song is super reminiscent of Phoenix before they became mainstream crossover darlings. Think about Phoenix circa It’s Never Been Like That, particularly “Rally.” The same sort of hook-laden pop potential courses through this Pastel Coast tune, but just as you’re about to pigeonhole the sound, the band seduces you with a counter melody that draws out the song’s approach, dipping their toes in a dreamier bit. You get it all here, and most of all, you get to revel in a great pop tune; Sun will drop this June!
All sorts of great news as of late, and now lets add a new EP from Fresh to our reason to celebrate! The song’s got these huge stomping pop rock hooks, bouncing emphatically with the rhythm section, almost seemingly build for riotous performances in the live setting (just wait for that anthemic breakdown!). Kathryn Woods lets her voice soar above it all, penning lyrics about alienation and dealing with your problems, no matter where you find yourself out in the world. If you’re in the mood for joyous rock n’ roll with relatable subject matter, then give a listen below…and keep an eye on the outfit; they release The Summer I Got Good at Guitar on April 30th via Special Subject Records.
You might not have heard Evan Kallas and his Ovaltine project before, but I’m hoping to change that as we share news of the forthcoming Help Yourself LP. Listening through the album’s first big single, you’re going to get little breadcrumbs to Kallas’ songwriting process…I can hear little pieces of Pavement/Malkmus, as well as some of the math-y stylings of Pinback; the song has plenty of space too, allowing those pieces to sort of ebb and flow, ultimately colliding into one solid tune. I just appreciate the craft in the project, sort of like a tightly wound ball of yarn waiting for you to unravel it and find the pop gem hiding in its delicious center. Help Yourself is out on May 7th via Anything Bagel!
Sure, I can talk your ear off about indiepop (and probably 2nd wave emo too), but this year I’ve really been diving back into a lot of Latin music. I’ve spent a lot of time in Latin America, and the musical element of each country is both unique and central, so been stoked to enjoy this Okute release coming your way. The band is a collective from Cuba, so it should make sense that their first single is titled “Quiere La Rumba,” since the rumba (or rhumba) is a very Cuban-specific style of dance. Of course, with a modern spin, you get a little bit of experimentation, with the band really highlighting their musicianship and willingness to explore the style in between moments of the more traditional feel. Plus, below you get that single and a short video on the album/style! Their debut album Okute! is out on June 4th via Chulo Records. Listening to stuff like this makes me think of how music is the lifeblood of some of these countries…so if that’s your vibe, join me.
It’s been a couple of years since we’ve gotten fresh new music from A Place to Bury Strangers, but with the announcement of the Hologram EP, we welcome a new track from the band. It begins with some cymbal and snare work, burrowing into the background before the song erupts with squalling guitars; I keep thinking you can hear vocals from new drummer Sandra Fedowitz in there too, but then I go back and forth thinking I’ve been fooled by the group. Oliver Ackermann’s voice is this heavy haunt in the tracks front end, playing somewhere between J Spaceman and the Gallagher brothers (and I don’t mind that). Plus, you get the added bonus of a hypnotic video to accompany your listen! Hologram will be out July 16th via Dedstrange.