It’s Friday and you’re about to blast into the weekend, but before you do so, you better feast your eyes (and ears) on this brand new track from River Gods. While the message might give a glimmer into all the work we often put into failing/struggling relationships, you wouldn’t know it based on the huge hooks from the LA based three-piece. I love the way Shiraz sort of hangs his syllables out with the words “tell me what you want”; it’s like a pop hook fishing line…and based on the huge riffs behind him, he’s ready to reel in any pop rock fish in this pond…myself included. It’s two minutes of huge hooks wrapped up in a fun video; you can find this tune on the new album, Let Me Live, which is out on July 26th via Dadstache Records.
Friday’s are for repping Texas, so we turn at this moment towards Motorcade, a Dallas act filled with musicians who’ve been working in the scene longer than we have. It opens up with this darkened post-punk punch, but it quickly unfolds to reach the more pop oriented vibes of new wave; it features a bold chorus that really reaches for the skies, stretching the vocals with an emphatic keyboard wash behind it. At about the 2.5 minute mark, there’s a nice little aside that flirts with elements of dream pop too, so you get a bit of everything in this number…not to mention it’s rather catchy. Give a listen.
Trickster Blues hasn’t even been out a year, and Shane Renfro and RF Shannon are already prepping for another release later this summer. Our first listen to the new stuff below seems to have some slight changes, though revolving around elements that have always been there. For one, the spacier side of folk seems to only bubble up ever so often; this is a much more direct folk number. I think peeling that away, ever so slightly, puts a more distinctive pull on Renfro’s voice, getting the listener to really fall for the track. The new effort is titled Rain on Dust, and should be out in August via local label Keeled Scales.
Dude. Sometimes you press play on a press release and all of a sudden your toes start tapping and you scramble to find out more. This is exactly what happened last night as I listened to Girl Friday; it should come as no surprise that they’ll be accompany the Beths through NA this July. They’ve got that a very Oceanic guitar pop sound, at least on the first 2.5 minutes of their new single; it’s filled with wonderful harmonies and crisp guitar lines. But, one that 2.5 minute mark hits, they turn the song upside down, taking a more raucous approach that’s just as powerfully stunning as the opening minutes. I love a band that can do whatever the fuck they want and still make it sound super cool. Look for their Fashion Conman EP on June 28th via Hardly Art.
Swedish act Kluster got a lot of time on this site back in 2018 with the release of their Civic LP…and now they’ve got a brand new single to share. This number definitely shows the band’s songwriting approach, filling in the track with these little twists and turns that take you on little jaunts within the tune itself. Guitars and fuzz weave in and out, but personally, I’m really taken by the build that occurs just after the 3 minute mark; the group vocals quietly rise until the guitars crash in and out noisily before a nice pop wash coats the top and draws the song towards its close. Give it a listen, won’t you.
What? You didn’t get enough Terry last year with I’m Terry? Well, lucky for you and I that the band have something new up their sleeve by way of the Who’s Terry? 7“. Pulsing electronics kick the song off, eventually submerging beneath the front of the mix to serve as the song’s heartbeat. Ringing guitars come in, matched in their pace by a steadied vocal delivery that marches you through the track, fading away just enough for a nice little crisp guitar solo. There’s even some faint audio that almost sounds like the band sitting around at practice in the track’s latter half; it’s charming, drawing your ear even closer. At this point, I don’t really see Terry writing a bad tune; they just keep crafting hit after hit; this one drops on Upset the Rhythm on July 19th.
I’ve spent a great bit of time covering Shrouded Strangers in the past, but it’s been a hot minute sine Teleport Beach (their last LP) dropped. Luckily, the band reached out to us and pointed me in the direction of a few new songs they’re sharing to get you amped for Night Prancing. Upon my first listen, the band still employs their affinity for fuzzy pop stylings, those these seem to have evaded the traditional pitfalls of pop music as of late. Honestly, when I first heard these tunes, it almost sounded like a more fuzzy version of Grandaddy (or what I envisioned for old Elf Power); it makes me giddy thinking of the great potential this song holds. The whole LP drops on June 25th via Infinite Repeats/Burger Records.
Felt like there was going to end up with a heavy dosage of rock n’ roll today, so I had to balance that out; it’s a good thing I stumbled upon this Berg track to do just that. The song’s production has this rolling gentleness, almost like an effortless ride up and down through the hillside. Alexandra, the songwriter behind the project, has this voice that mixes pristine studio qualities with this natural soulfulness; it’s matched with the perfect arrangements, accenting her voice where needed, but mostly adding textural layers to build your emotional pull. It’s clear she’s turning heads, having recently caught the ear of Faris (from the Horrors) who has aided in the craft coming through your speakers…with more on the way soon.
I find myself inexplicably addicted to Alien Tango. There’s definitely an oddball sense of humor, in both the song’s construction and the video work we present you below. But, peel back some of the oddity and you’ll hear some really exciting things going on in the work of Alberto Garcia Roca. The beat here has this forceful video game punch to it, bordering on glitchy; these electronic sounds get layered upon one another, yanked back from time to time to reveal these marvelously intoxicating melodies. It honestly reminds me of when I fist fell into Animal Collective and found them super-exciting; I get those same vibes, do you?
I’m not really sure what to call Fashion Brigade…I suppose brigade would be easy, but it seems more like a conglomerate of great artists working together to round out the bits and pieces of great art. Today, there’s a couple of new pieces from the forthcoming Fvck the Heartache, both featuring established artists like Jo Schornikow of Phosphorescent (and recent LP on Keeled Scales) and Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos. Jo’s track has this true post-punk indiepop vibe; the guitar’s almost sound like a distorted and poppier Cure song, with Jo softening things with her notes. Greta’s performance is like a Tony Molina sized juggernaut; it almost sounds like an unfinished Stephin Merritt pinned tune. Both tracks will appear on Fvck the Heartache, out this summer via Gentle Reminder Records.