Seattle’s Night Hikes are new on my radar, though I’ve now got my ear focused on the act going forward. They’ve just dropped their new album Chalice, and in order to get you caught up in the storm, I thought I’d share one of my favorite tunes from the LP with you. It’s an atmosphere of dreaminess, with sharp guitar notes hinting at a positive energy flowing through the core, which leaves the space for Olivia Goodby’s vocals.Her vocals are the central force, serving as the glue that holds the whole tune together as things jangle and churn behind her, adding a calm melodic touch to it all. You can grab Chalice now from Normcore Vegan.
It’s always good to follow your friends, as they’ll always turn you onto something good, which happened to me with CLAMM. It might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you hear Melbourne, but the young trio offers up this riotous rocker that punishes from out the gates. Drums start pounding amidst this nervous wall of feedback, then meet the stalking of the lyrics, almost as if we’re being circled by this dangerous force about to tear through our ears. The group are set to release their debut Beseech Me in January.
I’ve been completely onboard with the first two Mo Troper LPs, so it only seems fitting to jump on board with his new one Natural Beauty, just announced on Friday. It’s clear through his growth that Mo’s intent upon banging out hook-laden pop songs, not too far off from where the early works of the New Pornographers dwelled. Even then, some of Troper’s devein-may-care attitude from his early days seeps through, which ends up sort of leaving you with this fuzzy guitar pop stomp that you’ll have spinning in your head for hours. Natural Beauty will be released by Tender Loving Empire on February 14th.
I get that the language barrier makes the average pop fan turn away from the non-Anglophiles, but you’re missing out if you haven’t jammed to Fantasmamidi; I absolutely to listen to their self titled LP (HERE) and tell me you don’t love it. None of that really matters at the moment, as I want to turn my attention towards the band’s latest single off the forthcoming Letargo. Not to jump to conclusions, but the word translates to lethargy, which seems to have a sonic impact on this single; it’s far slower than the previous fare, though equally as special. The guitar lines have these deep tones that are accented by these sparkling electronic notes. In the vocals you have this solemn delivery, sort of like looking back with fondness on the band’s early sound. Looks like the new LP will be handled by the great Discos de Kirlian.
If you thought 2018’s Lost and Found was a brilliant pop record, you better get prepared to be blown away by En Attendant Ana‘s follow-up, Juillet. Their opening single alone packs this incredible punch, moving through the various stages of intoxicating pop. You get thirty seconds of this dreamy performance and soaring vocals; the vocals stick around, but the band build in this furious rhythmic pulse accented by little angular guitar plus and machine gun drum rolls. But, the band wouldn’t have landed on such a special label like Trouble in Mind if they weren’t willing to push boundaries and expectations; they spend a good part of the song’s latter half flirting with discord and experimentation, only to bring back the vocals to complete the full pop circle as the song draws to a close. Could your favorite song of the year just now be popping up? Yeah, yeah it could. Juillet will be out on January 24th via TiM.
I was really blown away by 2017’s Field Ceremony (Shelflife), the last long player from Estonian outfit Pia Fraus. Since then, they’ve slowly begun to round out the noisier bits into this really beautiful dream pop; it’s the sort that takes all these little atmospheric layers and bundles them together in tiny little pop nuggets. For instance, the vocals almost seem to match, and then again they almost don’t; they seem like these ethereal echoes dancing around one another, which works sublimely with the feathery jangle of the guitars. As I’m writing this, the weather’s damp and rainy, and nothing else seems more fitting than this tune. The band have a new 5 track EP scheduled for early next year via Seksound, but in the meantime, head to their site and hear some remixes of this single!
It’s weird to think of Scott and Charlene’s Wedding as a great little secret, but sometimes it still feels like that, even after their growing collection of releases. Today they return with the announcement of their new EP, When in Rome, Carpe Diem…and an accompanying single. This particular number seems far more rooted in the nostalgic rock of the States, as opposed to the band’s home of Australia. There are some understated jangles in the guitar lines, but the curl of the vocals definitely makes me think about everything in my dad’s record collection from the 60s/70s; I don’t mind that notion not one bit. Looks like the new EP will be dropped at the end of November.
Feel like I’ve been away from really broad sweeping pop music for a minute, but when I hear the Just Joans, they bring me back to a safe place, a place shared by like-minded American acts like the Magnetic Fields. Everything they do is witty, and often self-deprecating, but it’s also the finer details in their craft that make their songs so lovable. Here, it’s the sort of forlorn sentiment of the track that brings that wry smile to your face when you discover it truly is a love song. I think the vocal interplay is quite successful too, balancing out the narrative approach of the tune. Fans of orchestral pop and clever lyricisms will surely feel right at home with this tune; I expect the same from the group’s new album, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of the Just Joans, out January 2020 via Fika Recordings.
Thomas Pronai has a pretty extensive music career in Austria, both as a musician and engineer, but for many folks, myself included, The New Mourning is our first introduction to Pronai’s work. It’s already got the backing of James from Ultimate Painting (who recorded it) and Pete Astor (who plays on it), so you know that it’ll easily get my stamp of approval…oh, and it’s being release by KUS (easily one of my favorite labels). The song they’ve presented from their new single is this not quite psychedelic pop ditty; it has this bright guitar presentation, with the slightest hint of that acid washed world. That said, its the vocals that sort of take on a mantra of their own that really seals the deal…the simplest little line and yet its been stuck in my head all morning. Give a listen and grab it HERE.
Feel like I’m spending a great deal of my space on writing about Aussie acts today, and I’m quite okay with that fact; I particularly am fond of this new Poppongene tune. At first, it sort of slithers its way into your listening; it seems unassuming, just catchy vocals over some quick percussion. But, as the song picks up, Sophie begins to add more energy to her performance, just as the guitars begin to jump off more emphatically to boot. All of a sudden, the track has its hooks in you, letting the vocals sort of drift into the slightest realm of dreaminess during the chorus; it’s a nice pop moment totally stuck in my head. This tune will appear on a forthcoming EP.