I was fairly bored with yesterday’s run of the mill tunes and emails, that is until I stumbled across this track from new Brighton outfit, Ciel. I think perhaps I fell in love with its anti-pop construction. There’s this definite quiet delivery of the verses that seemingly set you up to fall in love with a big hook-laden chorus, but that never comes. Instead, the band ride out the enchantment with a brooding pulse before slipping back into another verse; they just ignore modern constructs, and execute in the dreamiest fashion possible. They’ll be releasing their debut Movement EP this Spring, so keep a lookout.
Kluster B, formerly Kluster, caught my attention a few years ago with their debut album, Civic, but they’ve been mostly quiet since that time. Today they return with a new single, signalling a new LP on the not too far distant horizon. In the song, I feel as if they’re taking notes from the likes of early Pinback, drawing on indie rock influences and fusing them with bits of jazz structure and pop moments. Linnea’s voice haunts the tune during the verses, and shimmers in the chorus as the guitars clang noisily, eventually leading towards a closing that could easily slide into the best of dream pop vibes you’ll hear this week. Keep an eye out for a new LP with their label Rama Lama.
On Friday, we’ll get the release of the posthumous Basic Plumbing, the project Patrick Doyle was working on before his untimely passing; he’s also known for his time in Veronica Falls and Boys Forever. When I first heard this track, I was immediately drawn to the guitar sound; it felt both poppy and heavy, especially when matched by the drumming; darker tones continued when Doyle offers a soft croon in the verse. Still, I’ve been gravitating towards the slight switch in the song’s mood that comes in just before the 2 minute mark; it’s ever so slight, but definitely draws on Doyle’s penchant for pop sensibility. Proceeds from the record will go to LA’s LGBT Center and UK’s Calm
Looks as though today’s coverage is going to revolve a great deal around a few bands that are so great they’ve probably slipped under your radar, like Kleenex Girl Wonder. The band has primarily been the outlet for songwriter Graham Smith, and while they’ve been active pretty recently with LPs Vana Mundi and White Lacuna, this post is here to celebrate Ponyoak, the band’s classic 1999 LP (you can stream it HERE). It’s a great collection of Smith’s songwriting, particularly if you consider he crafted the songs at the age of 18; you’ll hear nods to GBV and the Beatles alike. But! If you pre-order the LP now, you’ll get a bonus download that includes demos and out-takes from the recording session, including the tune that’s featured below; you can hear more of the bonus tracks over HERE.
Every year, Emotional Response brings us a collection of the best female led punk and indie, with a nod to the Slits in the compilation’s title, Typical Girls. Today we bring you news of Volume 5 with a great track from Color TV; it’s a pop rock gem heavy on hooks, with a huge chorus that’s destined to find itself engrained in your brain for the rest of the day. The rest of the compilation bounces around the globe bringing hits from the likes of Spain’s Linda Guilala, Australia’s Slag Queens and Scotland’s Vital Idles…not to mention about 12 other acts you should have on your regular rotation. Typical Girls Volume 5 will be out via Emotional Response on February 21st.
I feel like Nap Eyes are one of the great unassuming bands out there; they’ve got a songwriting consistency that we all hold near and dear, though they often seem to go quietly unnoticed for their gifts. Perhaps that’s about to change with Snapshot of a Beginner, the band’s new LP; there’s promise of more punch and larger arrangements added to their poetic craftsmanship. It’s prevalent on the new single “Mark Zuckerberg” with a definite rocking element pushed through by the stomp of the snare and heavy riffs. Still, the greatest moment comes at the 1:41 moment with the line “transcendence is all around us;” it’s this beautiful moment that lets your mind and body drift away. The new LP is out on March 27th via Jagjaguwar/Royal Mountain.
With Mo Troper‘s Natural Beauty just on the horizon, he’s sharing another track to entice your ears. This one definitely feels like it’s got an old school emo sound to it, and mind you, I’m not knocking that at all. It reeks of emotion and intimacy, while still sounding powerful behind the burst of the guitar chords. I love the moment that begins with the line “when we were young” just at the 34 second mark; its just the perfect pop nugger to devour. Something about Mo just makes me happy; if you’re in the same boat, check out his new record Natural Beauty on Tender Loving Empire on February 14th.
Last year was a really big year for Seablite; their album Grass Stains and Novocaine broke through a crowded landscape to find its way onto Good Morning America’s Top 50 LPs of 2019. Still, they’re not resting on those successes, returning with a brand new 10″ EP for Emotional Response. Kicking in with a trademark bit of fuzz, the song jumps right in with a jangling buzz and shimmy, giving you some noise that will let you tap your toes too! The vocals are really gentle, almost just riding out the edge of the feedback; I think the chorus is really really special, building on the natural warmth and pushing it further by curling the notes around little guitar stabs. This band is on an incredible roll, so be sure to get acquainted with them now. High Rise Mannequins will be out on February 21st.
Sometimes you just want to drift off into the weekend; this track from Alabama’s Witch’s Wall should help you do just that. The notes are soft and gentle throughout, occasionally playful and purposefully thoughtful. A steadiness in the song’s craft allows for the vocals to come in like breaths of air, released into the ether and folding themselves into the melodic texture of the track itself. There’s a more pronounced pop sensibility in the song’s latter half, though a careful ear will still find the band meandering through the finer details just beneath the mix. Their self-titled will be out on April 3rd via Cornelius Chapel.
With singles dating all the way back to the mid-80s, it’s hard to believe that this year will mark the debut LP for Bristol outfit The Flatmates. They drop this new single today with the announcement of their self-titled album, and like the band, it seems to straddle decades of style in its sound. Opening with buzzsaw guitars and smashing drums it almost feels like they’re working in Ramones territory, but that’s before singer Lisa Bouvier comes into the picture. She’s got this voice that seems like its riding the edge of pop singer and punk; there’s a softness coated in a definite attitude that’s simply intoxicating. Their debut is being handled by HHBTM Records and The Subway Organization.