Friday Album Streams: Perennial, Kelley Stoltz, The Black Watch and More

It’s Bandcamp Friday, so you should ideally put your money where your mouth is, or where your support is…like going over to ATH Records and clearing out some of this stock for super cheap! Or, you can check out the records below that we’ve been enjoying and now encourage you to pick up. Despite all the issues with the current industry, even with what was once the home for independent artists, you can’t go wrong listening to the tunes below and grabbing a copy. There’s rock, pop and even bands from Lockhart!


PerennialArt History (Ernest Jenning Record Co)

The Black WatchWeird Rooms (Atom Records)

June JonesProximity EP (Chapter Music)

Kelley StoltzLa Fleur (Dandy Boy Records)

Good LooksLived Here for a While (Keeled Scales)

Last Week’s Jams (5.8 – 5.12)

Last week kicked off with a bang; we covered a whole bunch of tunes right off the bat, only to kind of fade towards the end of the week. Still, we managed to get up 20 tunes you should listen to, though the Mope City single isn’t out there yet on streaming services. Some Austin love came our way with Tearjerk and Balmorhea getting solid mentions, while we couldn’t help but to continue our fawning over Night Beats and their latest barrage of bangers. Threw in some new Shelflife releases from Lost Tapes and Youth Valley, and in the end, the new stuff from Shrapnel and Special Friend definitely won awards for my faves of the week. You’ve got an hour of legendary streams below!

The Black Watch Share More Lies from the Government

When looking at the credits on this new Black Watch single, I was definitely intrigued by the fact that’s it was recorded in my own backyard. That, of course, isn’t the only reason I adore this tune; I feel like with 21 albums under their belt, the band are just now reaching peak form. This song has all the feels you want, particularly if you flirt with the mistress of post-punk; inside you’ll find machine gun drum hits, jangling guitars snaking around the whole tune, washes of keys, and the ultimate solace in the soothing vocals from John Fredrick. We’ve been promised that album 22 is already ready to go, so keep an eye out on news of that release!

The Black Watch Release The Neverland of Spoken Things EP

My personal faves, The Black Watch, quietly released their new The Neverland of Spoken Things EP via Bandcamp over the weekend, sneaking it under the radar! It won’t officially be out until the first weeks of September, but you know I can’t hold back on posting about the band. The lead track here will appear on the band’s forthcoming LP, slated for a release in 2023, but the next two are exclusives to this release…and personally, I’m totally drawn towards “Precious Little.” There’s something about the repeating guitar line, waiting for its turn to ring out in a more traditional fashion; it almost gives the song that motorik rhythm, though spun by the webs of guitars rather than percussion. For me, where some bands would wrap it up and call the song done, the Black Watch aren’t afraid to let the guitars noodle and open up a bit, riding the jam to the end. Always a pleasure to hear this band at work.

The Black Watch Release Now & Then Video

Always a big fan of The Black Watch, so when a new album and single hit, you know you’re likely to find it here, though probably not as eloquently as John’s own words. Through the first few singles of Here & There, we find Fredrick and company seemingly stretching their sound, at least in terms of the arrangements that are built around the core songwriting. In a sense, this feels a bit sedated, a bit like a tune that could provide the record with a sort of balance. The accompanying video provides a sort of meditative set of black and white imagery to accompany the tune’s natural drift. Feel like this is a great place to spend some time today, and then perhaps you’ll feel as I do and grab a copy of Here & There from Atom Records.

The Black Watch Announce Here & There LP

You didn’t think 2021 would finish off without another LP from the Black Watch, did you? Fortunately for us, John Andrew Fredrick has never seem fully satisfied with his work, so he’s constantly evolving, and he’s done so through the course of 19 releases. But, now we come to the latest, Here & There, where’s he aimed to add a little more of an untraditional approach to his pop repertoire. John wanted to move away from songs that had ‘proper bridges or pre-choruses,’ thus giving more space in the songs for movement…and the added string arrangements of Ben Eshbach (2 time Emmy winner!). Below you can still hear the textured layers of guitars working in unison to create towering cliffs of noise, crumbling to reveal his velvety pipes. But, where he’s historically had some immediacy with the vocal/lyrical structure, that’s stripped away, leaving the song with this vast bit of space, letting the guitars create their own musical journey for the listener. Here & There will drop on November 12th via Atom Records.

The Black Watch Share Drip Drip Drip Video

If you thought a band couldn’t surprise you after 18 LPs, I think the Black Watch are out to prove folks wrong. The entirety of Fromthing Somethat gives you a variety of sounds and styles, while still being tethered to the songwriting of leader John Fredrick. I actually like the almost sedate nature of this number, mostly working over a heavy strum. It matches the darkened nature of the video, with clusters of color drifting in to form images upon a black background. Fredrick has a slight rise in certain moments in the song that almost lean towards Bob Pollard similarities…but perhaps I’m stretching too far with my pigeonholing! Alas, its just another great track from a band that never ceases to impress me. Fromthing Somethat is out now via Atom Records.

The Black Watch Share the Lonely Death of Mary Hansen

As an avid fan of the Black Watch, I think the forthcoming record has the possibility to be one of their strongest to date. You can hear John Andrew Fredrick really pushing himself sonically, especially when you take into account the earlier single from the new album, “The Nothing That Is,” offering us a slightly playful disco sound. Here on the new single, the band swirl the guitars around your ears, almost in a disorienting fashion. The rhythm section pounds away, steadying things, matched by the solemn delivery of Fredrick; I love how there’s a great vocal foil too, bringing in a touch more melody to the heavier tones John offers. Is it possible that after all the albums and all the years that the Black Watch are just now hitting their stride? We’re definitely in for a ride when Fromthing Somethat drops on October 23rd via Atom Records. (Photo by Brendan Holmes)

The Black Watch Return with Fromthing Somethat

I’m an avowed fan of the Black Watch, and I reckoned this whole quarantine would be more than ample time to get John Andrew Fredrick enough time to muster up a new record…and sure enough, here we are with Fromthing Somethat. Unlike the previous 19 LPs, John brought these songs almost fully formed to the band, used one or two run-throughs, then had them recorded. There’s an innate spirit to a band finding its feet beneath a song, and you can grasp that here on this first single. It’s a sinister disco vibe, club-happy and purely pop oriented; I found it surprising on first listen…and that’s always refreshing when you’re about 19 albums into a career. ATOM Records release the new LP on October 23rd.

The Black Watch Share Crying All the Time

When you talk about prolific indie rock vets, you usually hear Guided by Voices, but around these parts, you always hear me talk about the Black Watch. The band consistently push out great content, forever sounding like themselves, and yet never sounding like they’re treading the proverbial water. On the band’s new single, the track seems almost like a meditation; the lyrics are delivered almost like a mantra, you can tell the care in the way Fredrick puts emphasis on every last syllable, all the way to the chorus line of ‘crying all the time.” Never boring, and never sounding like their finished, the Black Watch will return in January with Brilliant Failures via A Turntable Friend Records.

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