Of all the groups with Elephant Six lineage, perhaps none are as willing to participate in sonic exploration as Marshmallow Coast. Immediately, Andy Gonzalez throws you into new wave nostalgia; pulsing synth work and robotic autotune. Guitars soon cut through to join in on the fun, all the while you still get that insatiable pulse that serves as the song’s heart. But, if you listen carefully, there’s definitely these nice little pop flourishes, particularly in the soft melodic vocals that sit in the distance near the tune’s latter half. If you’re willing to get out of your cool kid comfort zone, you’re really going to enjoy the group’s new LP, Memory Girl; it drops on November 9th via HHBTM.
Everybody who’s anybody is in Eyelids; the group consists of various members of GBV, Decembrists and the Jicks…to name a few. As of right now, we’ve only got the lead track to listen to, but boy is it a doozy. There’s definitely nods to the various members guitar pop resumes, those this is spun in a softer manner, fluffier almost. I guess in my ears its like a great power pop song, but with all the power sucked out…though I like the nice noodling guitar on the song’s back end. Sucker for harmonies and “oohs”? You’ll want to get in on the listen. Maybe More is part live, part Peter Buck (from some band REM) recorded sessions…you can grab it HERE.
Pressing play on the latest track from Magpie, I almost expected the group to have swung over to the world of Black Sabbath; the riffs are definitely hard and heavy from this Melbourne outfit. But, beneath the rolling smog riffage is a bubbling pop curiosity, as well as an abundance of self-awareness. Singer Leish explains that the song came about as a way of expressing her guilt towards being white/middle-class in Australia; she spits it out in a venomous manner, perhaps the reason she says her songs are “incredibly therapeutic.” Into Space will drop on November 2nd via Psychic Hysteria.
Athens-based Gumshoe have been penning cleverly solemn Americana since 2011, coming to the attention of many with their Christmas single, “Santa Lock Up Trump.” But, the group, led by Andy Dixon, are gearing up to release The Governor’s Brother on November 16th…and we’ve got the group’s first single from that release below. It begins as sort of a wobbly folk number, setting the scene for Dixon to enter with his deep sorrowful tones. Yet, a close ear will find that this balladeer might be more apt to make you laugh than cry, with lines like “I drink Robitussin/And play putt-putt golf.” Plus, I love the twang of the guitar that solos through the track’s latter half; it’s a nice layer of emotional depth added to the tune. Give a listen, have a laugh and relish in the joy of a good Gumshoe song.
Having already released Brushes with Happiness earlier this year, The Wave Pictures are back with the promised second LP, Look Inside Your Heart. Dave’s distinctive voice is, as per usual, one of the stars of this single; he has this particular way of weaving syllables around one another and polishing them off with a nice little melodic quiver. Of course, the band’s music this go round is quite enjoyable; it feels a lot like where Vampire Weekend could have gone had they grown as tight as this trio; the guitar sound throughout is sharp and spiritually lifting. The new album will be released by Moshi Moshi on November 9th.
There are two big reasons to share this new track from Kramies. The first, is fairly easy, as Jason Lytle of Grandaddy worked on this song, so that sort of cements the important if Lytle believed in it enough to work on it. Second, I feel like I’ve really been missing a good quality sad-bastard folk songwriter since the passing of Nicholas John Talbot; I’ve been searching for something, something ethereal that helps you escape your everyday world. I think the care given to this track, from the way the vocals were recorded to the atmospheric touches that bring the song to life, helps establish that mood. This tune appears on Of All the Places Been & Everything the End, the new LP dropping on October 19th.
Michael O is perhaps most known for his work in the Mantles, but his solo work has been equally as remarkable…in my book anyways. Just you go check out Really? and tell me what you think. Regardless, he’s back on the solo tip, with a new 3-track EP for Fruits & Flowers…with one of the delighting tunes running below. This song has this communal feeling to it, as if you’ve been sitting around jamming with Michael for sometime. The strumming steadies the melody, while the string arrangements are a nice textural touch in the far off distance. Just makes you feel better about the world knowing this song’s out there. The new 7″ comes out October 19th!
Just this past April Graham Smith and Kleenex Girl Wonder released Vana Mundi, but he’s already returning with his second offering of 2018, White Lacuna. The music he’s crafted for the last 25 years is perhaps best described on the poppier side of the college rock world; think Harvey Danger with a little bit more literary word play. And it’s not just the literary quality, it’s the way those lines are delivered, with certain syllables supplying added emphasis to the song’s musical quality. For my two cents, I think the chorus is worthy of your listening alone; the guitars sparkle in the front of the mix, while Smith brings out a smoothed vocal melody that certainly pulls you into the track. White Lacuna will be out later this year via Reasonable/HHBTM.
The opening guitar chord, accompanied by bass, crafts this disorienting pop vibe the minute you press play on this new Lens Mozer tune. But, once Lens jumps in with this voice, you’re transported into the backseat of a car cruising down the coastline with wind at your back. That vibe gets ridden, then the playfulness is upped a bit when breathy vocals jump in to play just after the 2 minute mark. You ride that feeling out until the end as the song fades away into your memory…and if you like it, you’ll be sure to grab Don’t Stop at the end of 2018 via Plastic Jurassic.
Philadelphia’s SOLD might not be a household name at this point, but here’s to hoping you spend some time getting to know the group now…especially as they have a new EP on the horizon. The band’s musical diversity keeps the below single interesting, starting off with this bounding opening that definitely draws from the band’s indie rock influences. Different vocals in the song’s middle bring the track to life; I think one even has an almost folk-y drawl, which is contrasted by the song’s natural haunting; there might even be some Arcade Fire yelps too! Then the guitars cascade down in an angular fashion, like pelting rains, matched by similarly fashioned vocal lines. Feels Unreal comes out today courtesy of Hits Direct Records.