Philip Frobos Announces Debut

It’s always a joy when a band or songwriter changes your perception; I think I especially relish the unexpected, like when I put on this new tune from Philip Frobos. As one of the members of Omni, I figured I had his sound locked down, and while I was in the wheelhouse, he definitely has given me a sort of fresh approach. This track sort of harkens back to the earlier days of post-punk when bands kind of deconstructed the angst and energy, letting the chords speak for themselves. It’s being described as lounge-punk, and I get that, but I think in its purest sense, it’s sort of anti-punk, moving away from the generic structures in search of new presentation. Philip’s debut solo album Vague Enough to Satisfy will be out October 1st via Upset the Rhythm.

Smile Share Hideout Single

It shouldn’t take you too long to realize why I’m pulling for Italian outfit Smile; I mean those furiously jangling guitar chords that open the song right up gripped me immediately. Interesting, instead of adding in the casual soft vocals that you’d expect to match up with the guitar work, the lyrical content here is much more spirited, akin to all the great college rock of yesteryear, perhaps due to the band’s love of REM and Husker Du. This track is the first new single since the band’s sold out The Name of the Band is Smile LP, which came out earlier this Spring via Subjangle.

Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton Announce New Album

Two of my favorite songwriters have teamed up once again! Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton (Pop Filter) have reunited for another record, which based on the first single, will likely be filled with charming pop numbers you’ll play time and time again. We open here with this jangling piano line, something akin to a classic rock feel with Lachlan narrating the storyline. Quickly, guitars begin to ring a bit more, there’s a swell and suddenly Emma joins in to lift the song’s spiritual connection. The song travels back to another verse/chorus before the rest of their friends join in the fun to “take solace” in the togetherness. They’ve titled the new record Something is Going to Change Tomorrow, Today. What Will You Do? What Will You Say, and its out on October 8th via the always reliable Bobo Integral/Spunk Records/Osborne Again.

Alexaone Share Electric Sickness

I’m sitting over here, fully expecting this Alexalone record to be absolutely huge, ready to cheer on a few folks I know involved in the project. For me, this feels like the track that could really hook people, as it has the immediacy that you mightn’t have found in the first few singles. Alex and Hannah combine their voices in an almost meditative state, matched by the steadiness of Sam’s drums and the guitar chords, strangely feeling like an incredibly unexpected homage to Sonic Youth. Of course, that wouldn’t be complete without the explosiveness, which you do get as a sort of semi-chorus of feuding noise. Please make Alexaloneworld huge; it’s out August 13th via Polyvinyl.

XOR Share Final Single from Self-Titled Debut

XOR is the solo project of Secret Shame bassist Matthew, and next week he’ll be releasing his debut solo record. For the last single before the release, it seems he’s aiming to hit right at the heart with the catchiest tune on the release. At times, the warmth of his vocals lines up with the synth work he’s crafted, melodically seducing the listener with these synthesized harmonies. If you’ve been caught up in the work of Black Marble or Soviet, or hey, maybe you like the last few New Order records, then you’re going to find yourself pressing repeat on this tune for a long time to come. Look for XOR next Friday!

Harry the Nightgown Sign to Dangerbird

Harry the Nightgown is a new duo out of the Cali scene, featuring Sami Perez of Cherry Glazerr/the Shes and Spencer Hartling. I think the two play really well off each other, reminiscent of the Babies in that facet, sort of two contrasting voices that somehow seem to fit together like a  wonderful little puzzle. The duo employ some minimal beats/synths to build their sound, and it works well, with some spots leaving tons of empty space in the track for the beats to remain minimal so that Perez can let her voice sparkle. Now that they’ve signed with Dangerbird, time will tell where they head from here!

BRNDA Share Do You Like Salt

This is the year when that funky brand of post-punk and indifferent vocals seems to really be making its mark, and I mean that in the best way. Add DC’s BRNDA to the group, offering this art-laden pop grooviness to the mix; the vocal delivery has its very own hook to it, which allows the musical element to kind of take its own course. Little nuances pop up and disappear just as quickly, due mostly to the song’s brevity; the band come in and deliver a quick pop punch, then fade away and let you press repeat. If you dig it, you can grab the group’s Do You Like Salt from Crafted Sounds; it drops on August 20th.

Geoffrey O’ Connor Shares What a Scene ft. Sui Zhen

Every time one of the new singles comes out from Geoffrey O’ Connor‘s new LP, I’m just floored. For starters, there’s this timelessness to his craft; the thumping guitar line that rolls through the core of this track in an understated fashion serves as this tether to the listener’s emotions. But, thus far, O’ Connor seems to have found the perfect foil for every track, and having Sui Zhen guest on this tune does not hurt. Geoffrey has this more baritone nature, like a heavy melodic sigh, but Sui Zhen sparkles, effectively bobbing and weaving back and forth between the two distinct voices, creating this dreamy freefall sensation. Do I want more? Yes please! Geoffrey’s new LP, For As Long As I Can Remember is out on August 6th via Chapter Music.

The Umbrellas Share Near You Video

Looks that we have a pop-centric focus this morning, bringing in another great tune from the Umbrellas and their forthcoming LP. This tune reminds me a lot of the band’s label mates, Jeanines, but perhaps that’s mostly revolving around the brevity and the sharp jangles hanging in the thick of the tune. But, where they make things their own is where they take the urgency and stretch it out, adding in this sort of 60s girl-group vocal harmonizing, ending up giving the song a dreamier feel. The rhythm section gives you the immediacy and bounce, but you can sit back and let it wash over you a bit more, calmed almost by the melodic nature. The band release their self-titled debut on August 6th via Slumberland.

Le Pain Share Troisime Groupe

Let’s face it, everyone wants to be Stereolab this year, or last year, or really, just period. And why not. But, imagine taking some of the more psychedelic and progressive movements of the aforementioned French outfit, and just replacing them with high octane pop moments. This is exactly what Le Pain are doing with their debut single, sort of exchanging the elements that might have made Stereolab weird or inaccessible (to some), then flipping it by going pure pop. You get hints of other like-minded acts like Alvvays, as the vocals are coated in this sugary sweetness that’s certainly undeniable. Pretty bold opening statement from the young outfit, if you ask me.

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