When I think of King Tuff, I tend to think of his heavy garage rock riffs and distinctive voice; it’s just a sound that was super memorable during his earlier periods, not to mention some great live sets. But, with his new record, he’s taken the fuzz down a bit, or perhaps turned it up and left the heaviness at home. In his latest single, the song takes on more of a pub rock vibe, kind of stomping through the verses with this crooning bad-assery. But, when the tune opens up in the chorus, it turns more towards a kind of open bit of psychedelic pop, taking on more melody than I admittedly expected. It seems like the gaps between releases have allowed the songwriter to mix it up a bit, so I’m excited to see where Smalltown Stardust lands when it drops in January via Sub Pop.
Kiwi Jr have a slew of really great records under their belt, so it’s no surprise they’ve got the support of Sub Pop. I spent a lot of time with both Football Money and Cooler Returns, so I’ve got high expectations for the forthcoming Chopper LP. This new tune sees the band kind of branching into this warm pop territory; it reminds me a lot of the last Strokes record (which I don’t mind); I think the fading vocal in the chorus hits just the right notes. It’ll be interesting to hear the whole of the record, as it seems like the band have less of a Pavement nod and a bit more polish this go round…still, a good jam is a good jam, and this is certainly one of those. Chopper is out August 12th.
As I’m sure many of you know, Jenn Wasner is a long time favorite around the ATH offices with her years spent fronting Wye Oak and also in her side project Flock of Dimes. Her release last year, Head of Roses, was high on my list of top albums from 2021 and I’m sure some tracks snuck into DJ nights in the Spring. With such a stellar release, Wasner surely had a ton of material in the bank so it comes as no surprise to see her putting out an album of unreleased gems, bootlegs, and live recordings. Head of Roses: Phantom Limb will see a digital release on April 15th and features this stunning new track called “It Just Goes On”. Wasner’s voice is still one of the strongest and most enchanting in the music world today.
My relationship with Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is sort of a trouble one; I know the band are capable of some really great singles, but I’ve never quite fawned over them as much as everyone else (I can just think of a few who might’ve done it better). Up through this current album cycle, I’ve been sitting on the sidelines, but “Falling Thunder” is a track that feels like this is the single I will put on all my playlists. I love how the vocals fall from the high notes during the chorus, crashing into me in this blissful pop moment. This doesn’t feel formulaic, and they’re playing up the vocal melody far more often than I feel like they normally do, which really benefits their craft. Sideways to New Italy is out on June 5th via Sub Pop.
One of the acts I’m most excited to catch at SXSW (should it go ahead as planned) is Moaning; we had the band share a quick interview last week. Today, they’re back with a brand new tune and accompanying lyrical video. The song tackles the issues of fighting with the thoughts within your own mind; it’s about battling those demons and looking for ways to make it stop. Musically, it’s a little bit more of a brooding number with the guitars kind of crafting a backdrop rather than pushing the tune’s agenda. Despite the heavy connotation of the lyrics, there’s a budding pop moment curling through the chorus, which is worth a visit. Look for the group’s Uneasy Laughter on March 20 via Sub Pop.
We’re really excited for Moaning to drop their new LP, Uneasy Laughter…and instead of the traditional LP release show in LA, the band have opted to spend their whole week in Austin during SXSW playing the shit out of those songs. From what we’ve heard so far, it rules…plus it never hurts to have Sub Pop in your corner. Get to know the band after the jump!
Moaning‘s always sort of been on the periphery of my listening. I’ve thrown on a few songs here and there, seen them live, but never wholly invested myself in the group. This might be the single that changes that. It has these heavy synth-driven tones from the get-go, and that gives the song this sort of weightiness amidst the song’s pop structures. I was really sold, however, around the 2:20 mark; there’s this huge explosion of pop momentum that turns the song on its head; it might be one of my favorite moments in music this year; they then go and turn it on its edge with some more angular post-punk exploration. Their new LP, Uneasy Laughter, will be out on March 20th via Sub Pop…and yet another band today that will be playing at SXSW.
As we ease into the weekend I am needing a bit of an upbeat tick in my music to prepare myself for fun, heat, and football. Funny enough, my Canadian friends from Montreal in Corridor have provided a perfect summer weekend track with their new one “Domino”. Regardless of if you can comprehend the French lyrics, you have to admit that this song is super easy to fall into with those jangly guitars and expertly crafted drum/bass pieces. Enjoy.
Corridor will release new album Junior on October 18th via Sub Pop Records.
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A little ways back, Omni announced that they’d signed to the giant Sub Pop, and today they’ve shared that a new album is on the way! Networker will be the Atlanta trio of post-punkers’ third full length LP, and it will be gracing our ears on November 1. From the sound of “Sincerely Yours,” it appears that we’ll be getting more of what we love from Omni–impossibly angular guitar riffs, the playful, yet full of swagger vocals delivery of front man Phillip Frobos and crisp percussion. Part of the allure of any Omni track is that you know exactly what you’re getting into, but that doesn’t make you any less inclined to hang on every word and riff. Take a listen below and pre-order Networker here.
With the new Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever LP hanging out there, waiting to drop in June, it seems only fitting that they’d drop another tune. Of the batch of tunes we’ve heard from the group on this album cycle, I feel like this is the best of the bunch. There’s an openness to it, something reinforced by the driving visuals included in the video. Also, you can definitely hear just a hint of a Go-Betweens influence in some of the vocal pieces. Charming, thoughtful guitar pop always has a home here; look for Hope Downs on June 15th via Sub Pop.