Those of you in the know will surely recognize James Dutton’s name as a member of both Flywheel and the Cannanes, but as of 2020, he’s been working on his new project, Alluvial Nuggets. We’re told there’s an album on the horizon, with our first sample coming via this film shot by James himself on an iPhone 7, much to the chagrin of his family. Musically, there’s something so calming about the delivery of Dutton’s vocals; they faintly remind me of Jeff Tweedy, particularly when the striking string arrangements bend around each syllable. Within the confines, you’ll find some joyful moments that will clearly resonate; I particularly love the monosyllabic hums that begin around the 1:33 mark. And, while things seem fairly melancholic, there’s a pronounced stomp and excursion in the tune’s latter half, perhaps hinting that we have no idea what we can expect when this whole record drops next year. What we do know is we’ll be listening thanks to Lost and Lonesome; they’ll keep us posted on the LP next year!
I’ve definitely been indulging my dance/electronic tendencies this year, looking for a nice little pick-me-up in this stressful year. With that, this Bolis Pupul tune has certainly found its way to my heart…and my listening rotation. The song, and the forthcoming Letter to Yu, are all written with Bolis’ deceased mother in mind…a love letter of sorts. This tune has a softened bounce to it, almost hiding there; when the chorus hits there’s a tiny adjustment that teases the track’s hook, but the subtlety keeps it buried deep in the tune. Watching it along with the accompanying video should certainly hold your interest, then having you, like me, looking towards the album’s release; Letter to Yu drops in March via DeeWee.
A few years have passed since Non La release Not In Love, which is one of my daughter’s favorite records to grab off the shelf (she’s really into pink!), so I was really pleased to hear that DJ On has signed his project on to work with Mint Records. Listening through this single, you can definitely hear the slight change in direction DJ, mostly as it feels a little more minimal upon the first minute or so. Still, the track certainly explodes, giving you that hook-laden punch that drives home all lyrical content from On. Visually, the video pays homage to the moments of “queer joy, love and tenderness,” hopefully shining a ray of light through the darkness of our times. There’s a new record in the works, but for now, you’ll have to just enjoy the hell out of this track.
Seems like only yesterday when we were writing about Ducks Unlimited, but the last few years they’ve been operating under Ducks Ltd, charming folks with their sharp guitar licks and indiepop tendencies. Today they offer a fresh track, letting us know there’s a brand new LP on the horizon in February. The duo have gathered friends from Ratboys and Dehd, among others, to flesh out their sound, warning us that we should expect a big sound on their second full-length LP. Harm’s Way will be out on February 9th via Carpark Records…and based on the first single, folks are already lining up at the shops to grab a copy.
Redbud has spent some time this year working on creating really stellar videos for their most recent releases; today they’re out to share a new one for “Kin,” which has appeared in various versions on their last two EPs. This track’s all about the joys of friends, as portrayed by the picnicking foursome in the park; the park and the band also playfully engage with nature throughout, which is another underlying theme of the tune. Musically, it’s a light indiepop shuffle, working somewhere between bossanova and ethereal pop; they employ lots of textured vocals too, adding depth to the melodic underbelly. And, if you’re in the Austin area, they’ll be on board to celebrate Howdy Gals Anniversary at Mohawk on December 15th.
One of the biggest reasons I’ve always appreciated the work of Good Morning is they very much seem like a working class sort of band. They don’t get caught up in the hype and all that nefarious industry business; they just seem to hunker down and work out their songs, tour a bunch, then come back and work on more songs. Today, we get the gift of two fresh tracks from the group, both equally charming in their own light. “One Night” is definitely a shift in sound, offering a vibe that’s much more inclined to focus on the vocals, at least initially. Then the song sort of shoots off, taking on this choral approach that stretches the songwriting. “Real I’m Told” is a bit more closer to home, but some of the production work here seems like the band have hit upon that same territory as Kevin Morby, bringing in great songwriting with just a hint of sly pop sensibility. Stream them both below!
A few weeks back, when The Umbrellas dropped the spritely “Three Cheers,” I couldn’t be happier; it was the perfect taste of joyous indiepop to tease what was coming our way. Now, we’ve got the band turning a different note on “Echoes,” offering up a more solemn note, though tightening the band’s grip on pop sensibility. The hook on this one is all about the chorus where the guitars shuffle and the vocals try to play catch up, giving off this shimmering sparkle that overwhelms with emotion. And, just as you settle into the vibe, there’s a little guitar breakdown, opening into the male vocal role, serving as a little aside, but wholly fitting. It all leads to the exuberant bop that closes, with the vocals dancing on the notes and fulfilling all our wishes of joy. Fairweather Friend hits on January 26th via Slumberland/Tough Love.
Admittedly, there’s probably not much more to the story of JAMC that I can personally add, other than I’ve enjoyed the band the four times I’ve caught them after their most recent resurgence. They’ve got 40 years of rock n’ roll under their belts, and now, they’ve got a brand new album to go along with it! The opening minute or so of the record’s first single has a very British feel to it, somewhere in the cool waters between Blur and Spiritualized (or Spacemen 3 if we’re looking to avoid anachronisms). But, then the band makes it entirely their own, dropping in those trademark heavy guitar walls. As the tune builds, the song’s title gets repeated, giving off this rhythmic pattern that locks the vocals in step with the groove. Glasgow Eyes drops on March 8th via Fuzz Club!
I’m loving that Australians are still intent on keeping rock n’ roll going; it seems like a dumb strategy to just stop sharing music for an entire month (plus), but at least we’ve got a new Velociraptor tune. This track is pure pop joy; it’s got that attitude you likely found in early Hives and Strokes records, but in being honest, the band has totally ramped up the pop sensibility. The vocals have this natural hook to them, kind of curling syllables like you’d expect from a Billy Idol impersonator; it’s the sort of performance that gets you energized at any point of your day, so if you’re in need of a kick, it’s right here! This is our first taste of the group’s new album, Computer Future, coming next year vi Coolin’ by Sound.
Austin’s surprisingly feeling a bit wintry, and with that, my mind begins to drift to more restful days, lighter feels musically speaking, which is where this new Loving track found me. For me, there were two things that truly drew me into the depths of the tune: the velvety vocals and the light percussion. The percussion work is so light, and yet feels so prominent, it’s almost like fallen branches crackling beneath your feet as you wander down some snowy patch; the vocals add that wistfulness, carrying you on the wings of the wind, floating you along with the perfect melodic touch. This track appears on Any Light, out in February via Last Gang Records.