Last week there were tons of tunes that caught my ear, but admittedly, I couldn’t get to it all in one sitting. Still, there were a couple of gems I really loved I wanted to highlight right quick: The Green Child’s “Low Desk” and David Nance’s “When the Covers Come Off.”
The Green Child tune is the first single from the forthcoming Shimmering Basset LP for Upset the Rhythm. Mikey Young (Total Control, ECSR) and Raven Mahon (Grass Widow) have both been featured on several occasions on this site, not to mention the countless acts Mikey’s helped along the way. Chilled out pop stylings with a nice little futuristic electronic twist. No one doesn’t love this song.
David Nance seems to be reverting back to a more roots-oriented vibe for his forthcoming Staunch Honey LP for Trouble in Mind (11/13). It’s got this sort of rough-edged folk mentality, something that’d likely go real good with a nice glass of whiskey and a nice fire on a starry night.
Next Friday, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve ordered a copy of Do the Duvet, the debut LP from Oakland’s Naked Roommate. You see, this is the dance record for these anxious pandemic/political times; it’s clever and hypnotic, yet antagonistic and evasive; you’ll move the whole way through. Take, for instance, “Repeat,” the latest single. For 45 seconds, passive listeners will hear just another electro-pop groove. Sure, that’s omni-present in the beat-making, but wait for Amber Sermeno’s vocals to join up; they come off playful and fun, but there’s this sort of flare of disdain as she’s shouting “look good/smell good.” As the voice fades for a mid-track interlude, you get these little guitar lines dancing in between the beats, teasing the reentry of the vocals. It bursts and blooms, eventually fading away as “repeat” hangs in the distance atop carefully constructed pop notes to draw the tune to a close. If you grab the album on September 4th from Trouble in Mind/Upset the Rhythm, you’ll be ready to shake it, or, as might be preferred, lay on the floor and let the refined subtleties of the band’s craft lift your soul.
Two of my favorite labels, Trouble in Mind & Upset the Rhythm, are teaming up to release the new LP from Naked Roommate. Honestly, the band reminds me a lot of Aussie outfit Holy Balm, perhaps with a nod to the Blow; it’s like house music, but stripped of the reliance on the beat. In leaving the song specially open, they’re allowed to build in their own artistic notes, while still grasping onto our preconceived concepts of what makes a song. Amber Sermeno’s vocals have this matter of fact delivery (which is where I felt the Blow reference), though when she puts emphasis on syllables, they seem to echo through cavernous hallways, ringing out as the beat skips along beneath. Cool vibes going on, so give a listen. Do the Duvet will appear on September 4th.
Those of you scrambling to get your hands of angular no-punk better be ready for the new LP from Lithics; it’s a collection of 13 jittery pseudo-pop rockers like the album’s title track, “Tower of Age.” One of the best things about this song, like many on the album, is the band doesn’t waste any time; their newest single starts immediately, tossing out sharp guitar stabs that step aim to dodge the spoken lyrical delivery of Aubrey Hornor. Things get frayed near the 30 second mark, momentarily shattering the momentum before the solid rhythm section takes the song back on track. Frantic and thought provoking in a quick burst, closed out by the fading of Hornor’s voice in your speakers; it’s another spot on single! Tower of Age is out on June 5th via Trouble in Mind Records.
One of the great things about the new Melenas (formerly Melons) LP is that the group managed to craft an entire LP that’s as diverse and deep as you’re likely to hear this Spring. Inside Dias Raros you’ll find some spinning pop numbers, some moderate rockers, a slow burn or two…and some spots that incorporate them all beneath a dense psychedelic haze…which is the song we’re sharing today. It opens with this propulsive kraut beat, pushing the song as these synth lines craft this wobbly-wonk that almost has you bobbing up and down as the melody via the vocals joins you. Eventually, they move into a dense fog of lush arrangements with the core pop sensibility remaining part of the whole; it’s a lovely sound which I’m told nods to a Spanish Stereolab. Their album drops on May 8th digitally via Trouble in Mind, with a debut in shops about a month later.
Dias Raros comes out on May 1st, and if you’re not paying attention to Melenas right now, tienes un mes para preparar! What I’m trying to say is that the band is set to drop one of the best pop records you’re going to hear this year, I swear it. Their sound on the latest single is steeped in nostalgic pop vibes; the chords are spritely and jangly, with a steady vocal coursing through the song’s entirety. It’s like they’re the coolest thing on the Earth and don’t even care; they just throw this melody-induced jangler out there with indifference, forcing listeners to tap their toes. Don’t you want to tap your toes? If so, grab Dias Raros from Trouble in Mind Records.
Today rules. There’s so many rad tunes, but one you can’t miss is this fresh single from the new Lithics LP. The first two minutes of this track are all about the deliciousness of the rhythm section; the bass line alone is the perfect background for everything that follows. Aubrey Hornor’s vocal delivery has its own sort of bounce, almost like the pulse of the song revolves around her lyrics. It all sets up perfectly to allow the various guitar chords to knife their way in and out of the rhythm, splicing up these little angular sonic notches. It all crashes around the 2 minute mark where the song erupts into this jittery noise. Tower of Age is going to rock your socks; the album is out June 5th via Trouble in Mind.
I was starting to get worried this week wouldn’t offer a whole lot of hits, then I remembered that Spanish quartet Melenas were dropping this great video from their forthcoming new album. This tune’s a jittery little rocker with this hook built in by way of backing vocals and a pounding drum beat that sets your toes tapping away furiously. There’s a middling section where the band flex their skill with a small psychedelic voyage before returning to the insatiable “ba ba ba” line that keeps ringing out in my head. Plus, if you haven’t met the band, you get a great introduction via the sitcom style presentation in the video. Their new album Dias Raros is out May 1st via Trouble in Mind Records!
I’ve spent a lot of time as of late listening through the forthcoming LP from En Attendant Ana, and I think the diversity of the listen is really going to force people to pay attention to the work of the Parisian outfit. This new single still flirts with the sonic experimentation that’s prevalent throughout the record, but the innate hook in the song is undeniable. The song’s latter half has the repeat of “in/out” that sort of entrances you; it leaves you with a sense of playfulness, while building a textural layer that elevates the band beyond your average purveyors of pop. Juillet will be out on January 24th via Trouble in Mind Records.
In case you didn’t know, Juillet, the new LP from En Attendant Ana, is ready to blow you away next year. I’ve spent a good deal of time with the record, and this has to be one of my favorite tunes on there; I got hooked immediately on the opening, sort of teasing you with this sharp meandering guitar line that precedes this heavy rolling drum beat, setting the groundwork for the vocals to come bounding through the track. Once they’re in, you’re tapping your toes with the melody, guitars swirling and churning through your ears. This is how I want my pop music! The band drop that new LP via Trouble in Mind Records (who did a great year end list for us HERE) on January 24th, so if you haven’t pre-ordered, rectify that immediately!