Prepare yourself for a special single here, with the latest from Boston’s Anjimile coming along with the announcement of Giver Taker for Father/Daughter Records. At first, they reel you in with the powerful vocal performance, mostly working operatic notes over a quieted picking of guitar notes. My fascination grew, like a traditional linear plot. The song begins to build in light rhythm/percussion; you get some small layered conflicts via little flourishes in the distance, then the song begins to roll forward, still propelled by voice. The 2.5 minute mark reaches the song’s climaxes before it all begins to subside, ending abruptly and fading out. Giver Taker will be out on September 18th.
Admittedly, Merce Lemon was not a name I was familiar with until earlier this year when Crafted Sounds sent the “Moon (Demo)” our way. But, that’s one of my favorite tracks of this year, so to have her turn around a few months later with a collection of new songs is quite exciting. I’m fascinated by how full this song feels, despite falling beneath the 1.5 minute mark. Opening with Lemon’s voice offers that songwriter vulnerability, and there’s almost just a hint of twang hanging on the notes. Soon, a steady percussive element breaks the track open, giving it sort of this rambling pop feel, raising the song’s bar even higher. Short, sure, but another bit of endearing spectacle. Look for Moonth on August 14th.
Another week and another single from the forthcoming II EP from Waves of Dread. This tune continues to illustrate the group’s expanding sound beyond their origins, while still leaving one foot in the realm of shoegaze. This one’s dreamy, but it almost feels like it kind of has some reference points to that sort of acid-house vibe, messy and explorative all at once. Still, when the song pulls back for the opening lyrics, the pop attributes pop their head up, delicately draping melody across the track. Stoked at the ever expanding palate of the group, and we expect to hear more next week as they’ve promised a single a week until the II EP drops!
It’s strange to know you’re saying goodbye to something that meant so much to you, on a personal level, which is the case for Sea Pinks. I think I came into the project due to Neil’s role in Girls Names, but in the long-run, I think I found SP to be much more meaningful and long-lasting. This phenomenal four song Crocuses EP sees the band taking an indefinite hiatus, and while that’s sad, I’m really grateful for these last four tracks. I’ve previously mentioned how much I adored the upbeat shuffle of “Crocuses,” an immediate toe-tapper. But on the EP, it gets followed by this sprawling pop rocker, “Running Down the Clock,” employing sharp guitar turns and this rising vocal with just enough swagger to keep the feeling of cool. You get a touch of post-punk meets Mats in “Secret Garden,” but I think that “What Just Happened” is a great way to go out for the group. The titular nod could be mere coincidence, though I suspect it was intentional. The guitars are super crisp with just a hint of hipness in the vocal. I’m going to miss this act, but interested to see what comes next. Enjoy the last EP!
Last year Athens rapper Wesdaruler released Ocean Drive via our friends over at HHBTM, which was my first introduction the songwriter. Now, going into July 4th, he and a few friends have written this “Fuck Trump America” anthem, and considering the state of the world its required listening. The lyrical content seems spot on for those that I hope frequent this site, but we can’t rest on our laurels; I spent several days driving through small-town Texas and believe me that Trump enthusiasm is still very real and very dangerous. Personally, I love Linqua Franca‘s verse on this track; she has this way of hitting syllables in the bounce that just make things so effortless. She’s also got a podcast with Dopeknife, who raps on the verse too; you can hear them at Waiting on Reparations.
The world is an absolute mess right now. Assuredly so. But, one good thing we’ve slowly started to see is the great music being crafted in this solitude. Today, for instance, our friends at Chapter Music have gathered 14 tracks for a new compilation titled Midnight Meditations; the goal is “to help listeners through long dark nights of the soul.” My first few runs through, and I’m drawn to the R. Edwards (of Dick Diver) track quite a bit. But, just as I say that, I get another run through of label founder Guy Blackman and his number is pretty striking too! I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out the special performance by Sarah Mary Chadwick too. Honestly, there isn’t a single song worthy skipping here. Feel like your soul needs musical accompaniment on its daily journal? Maybe it will find solace in these 14 songs.
Just a week ago, we got the news that Tough Age had a brand new record on the horizon, and not even a week later we get another single to make sure we don’t have to wait too long. This run you get Jarrett handling vocals, and his delivery very much feels in the vein of those acts bordering on the edge of C86; I feel like recent Boyracer tunes align well here. Musically, everything is jittery and bouncing, though just a hint rough around the edges; its the perfect scenario for a good rock n’ roll show where you’re frantically jumping about with all your mates, screaming at the top of your lungs. In short, this song makes you feel like you’re having the time of your life. Be sure to take part when Which Way Am I is released on August 7th via Mint Records.
There’s so much to love about this post and song, so bare with me. For starters, this track appears on the forthcoming Exitos Varios Compilation…a compilation organized by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers; the proceeds go to United We Dream, an organization that aids undocumented immigrants; as a human, let alone a Texan, this is an issue of great importance. Second, a few years ago I managed to grab Jackie Mendoza at the last minute on a very last minute SXSW show at Barracuda (RIP); she was just starting to make a name for herself on her solo work, and this one here feels really special. On the tune Mendoza says this”is a song about refusing to cave into the pressures of changing the ways I express myself as a Mexican-American musician.” Why would you want to when it sounds this fucking good? It’s like old-school trip-hop with a vibrancy that can only be expressed by a person straddling two distinctive cultures. Buy the Exitos Varios Comp tomorrow HERE.
For the most part, we’ve recognized Waves of Dread as this mysterious consortium crafting these noise filled gaze numbers; the sort you expect to ruin your eardrums in the live setting. But, with a new EP on the horizon, they’ve also begun to show their hand, and perhaps dip a toe or two into a more ethereal water. Not only is their latest single striking because of its brevity, it also has this billowing haunt to it, like a ghost from your past following you, your heart racing as you feel the hairs on your neck stand up…and then it fades out. I’m very interested to see how this all ties together when the group release II at the end of July.
I was in love with Fear of Men; I was even fortunate enough to book them for our Welcome to the Jangle party a few years back. But, they’ve been relatively quiet for the past four years or so…until today. Today the band share their first new single in some time, and with it, we get a glimpse at a band expanding their sound. Sure, that saxophone will get the billing for “Favorite New Toy,” but I think some of the pulsing electronic notes really give this darker edge contrasted against the sparkling notes of singer Jess Weiss. It’s a powerful lyrical piece too, one that perhaps we’ve overlooked before; Weiss seems intent on reclaiming life on her terms, particularly if you listen to the line “I hope you see this/That I’m not going to break.” I missed this band. More to come…I hope.