After much success with their ATH approved Get Bleak EP, Ducks Ltd. found themselves a new home on Carpark Records, and now they’ve got a brand new record on the horizon. Our first listen has them channeling all things Aussie pop (despite haling from Toronto), with those quickly jangling strums dissected by a more angular guitar; the song runs at full speed instantly, pushing the pace and the melody from the get-go. I love how both sides of the vocals seem to have this wanderlust to them, from the indifference style on the verses to the more exuberant feel of the chorus; they always feel like we’re out there searching for joy together. If you didn’t listen to me with Get Bleak, then perhaps Modern Fiction is the one that will convince you of this band’s greatness; it drops on October 1st!
This Friday we’ll be treated to the much anticipated debut album from PACKS, but before we get there, we should just indulge ourselves in one last little grungy ditty; I mean you can never really get enough of this lot if you ask me. They crank the song out in under 2 minutes, so they get right to it, with Madeline teasing the listener along over a mild guitar before the rest of the band drops in, and things get turned up into a classic pop rocker. I think one of the things I love about this band is how quickly they go from rock to really subtle pop nuances, even if they last for a mere three seconds, like Madline’s annunciation of “hand” at the 1:17 mark. Just good old clean fun. Take the Cake is out Friday via Fire Talk Records.
For many of us, “Silvertongue” is our first listen to PACKS, and what a way to start things off! It’s 3 minutes of fuzzy riffs and cooled vocals that announce the band as an act we should all have on our radar this year. Personally, I love the space the song gives to the guitar work, letting it ring out in various spots to keep the edge of the song there as singer Madeline Links lets her voice fade atop those riffs; it just gives the song more of a distinct feel, like it’s not being dialed in with a formula. My two cents anyways. Plus, better news is Take the Cake, the debut LP, will be out on May 21st via Fire Talk/Royal Mountain.
One of the hottest labels last year, at least in consistency was Fire Talk Records, and they’re back this year with a new LP from PACKS on the horizon. The first single from the Toronto outfit is a fairly stripped down affair, at least in the front of the mix. Songwriter Madeline Link spent much of last year holed up and penning tracks, many about the loss of freedoms so many of us face during this on-going pandemic; that informs the attitude with this quieted intimacy, though the arrangements behind her add buoyancy to the song, filling out the space behind her voice with these distorted textures. We’ll have more on the new LP when the time comes!
Phew, what a week/month it’s been for everyone here in the ATH offices. As we near the end of what seems like an endless 2020, it seems appropriate that I would seek comfort from our Canadian neighbors of the north. Offering me this comforting sound today is Toronto based outfit Hollow Graves and their bright and warm new tune called “Far Out Summer”. With shoegaze rooted in the core of the song, it can certainly be a bit hazy, but I’m loving that the band has really brightened things up bouncy guitars and an almost airy feel. It’s as though the Beach Boys wrote a popping shoegaze song.
When Jennifer Wilson dropped Quick Beat Save back under the name Buildings and Food, I was really blown away. The album employed these subtle beats that engrained themselves in your mind, then they were wrapped in the warmth of Wilson’s quieted vocals. As she gears up for her sophomore album, it seems the work is as impressive as ever. Our first listen gives you pulsing beats pushing the song forward as little turns of knob build in some textured electronic layers. When Wilson enters the picture, she seems to slink into the comfort of the song, almost hanging back in the mix so as not to overpower with her performance. Careful ears will reveal the tiniest of twists and turns, like the seeming uptick near in energy near the 2:43 mark; it’s these little nuances that make Buildings and Food so rewarding. Up Down Strange Charm will be out on September 25th!
Little is known about Toronto based musician Jacqueline Tucci at this point since she is brand new to world of online music. She’s so new to the scene in fact that this new single called “Fear” is actually her debut of original material. Exciting! It’s a rather bass heavy, raw, and emotionally driven track with honest lyrics and well timed drums and guitars. It’s a truly promising debut from this young artists. Stay tuned for more as we receive it and check say hi to Jacqueline on bandcamp now.
I often steer clear of the six minute song, at least when it comes to posting things on the site; some folks just don’t have the patience these days to indulge in what’s around them. But, this Mimico tune caught my ear the moment I heard it. While they’re psychedelic tendencies definitely unfold as the song traverses the galaxies, the core musical elements offer up this bopping bounce of dream pop that I can’t help but to encourage you to indulge…just a bit. This exploratory pop tune features on the band’s new album, Hi Action, out in October via Hand Drawn Dracula.
If I told you where Ducks Unlimited hailed from, you wouldn’t believe me, so I’ll leave you guessing. But, you’re going to immediately fall in love with this song, especially if you’re a fan of acts like the Go-Betweens or RBCF; they operate with that similar approach, melding hook-laden melodic guitars and these casually indifferent vocal lines. I loved the emphatic punch of the chorus, but I was pleasantly surprised when the string arrangement entered the picture right around the 2 minute mark, adding another textural moment, just upping those comparisons to the GBs. This track will appear on a brand new EP slated for a Fall release.
As we are now in full on summer mode, you should be thinking about building your perfect summer playlists. Today I offer you a great, upbeat summer tune called “High Top Kicks” from Toronto based outfit Fake Crush. The song has a lovely driving guitar with sing a long style vocals and tons of energy to boot. It should be perfect to compete for your best song of summer.
Fake Crush will be releasing a new LP sometime this fall.