Weirdly, I felt like I didn’t cover too much last week, but apparently we got in at least 15 new songs, plus a few extras. I’m getting pickier in my old age, but mostly just figure you read Stereogum first, so no need to cover what they’re covering in their Premature Ejaculation column. I started out this week’s playlist with a cover from Screaming Females, but bookend it with the OG from The Selecter, cuz why the fuck not. Our friends Humdrum had a new hit, and that glorious Papercuts LP finally dropped in. It’s Monday, and there’s jams…I’m just over here listening to the first wave British ska.
Last Friday I ran some great albums for you to stream, but one slipped past me, and I’m aiming to rectify that error by sharing the latest LP from US Highball with you today. We’ve covered hits like “Double Dare” and “Let’s Save Bobby Orlando’s House,” so you should know exactly what you’re in store for by listening; you get a good 12 songs of infectious power-pop that’s sing-a-long ready. Plus, your listen should also keep in mind that you’re also get a little bit of dry humor, which only makes the group all the more endearing. A Parkhead Cross of the Mind is available via Lame-O Records/Bingo Records, but go ahead and stream the whole thing below just for your enjoyment.
I’ve been a fan of James Hindle and Calvin Halliday since their Pooches days, and their latest US Highball single takes their jangling joyousness and spins it in a little bit more sedate tone. It’s not that the duo lose any of their melodic hooks, rather they just soften the edges, putting them more in line with the likes of Lucksmiths or Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness; I don’t mind that one bit. It’s a classic pop sound, soaked in harmony and sampled beats, whetting the appetite for the release of their forthcoming A Parkhead Cross of the Mind, dropping on March 25th via Lame-O Records.
We hit it hard last week, mostly because we’re gearing up to see how this whole SXSW thing goes down. Plus, there were tons of new songs dropping everywhere. Two of my favorite Austin artists, Rad Gnar and Twain (he’s from Austin now dammit!) dropped new tracks, so that rules. Plus, the Jeanines dropped what might be the best pop song of the year, though the Stereogum comment section likely disagrees. We’re also including all the jams from artists we talked to that are heading our way for SXSW this year, so check tracks from the likes of Paul Jacobs, Phebe Starr, Teke Teke and more!
Man, there’s a seemingly infinite amount of great tunes coming out this week, and while I know a lot of this has bounced around, one of the charmers I hit upon is the latest from US Highball, the Glaswegian pop outfit readying their new LP for Lame-O Records. “Double Dare” is the perfect way to jump into the new album, toying with the jangling riff work, though still hyper-reliant upon the combined melodic focus of Calvin and James. Tossing in a synth solo mid track just illustrates the band’s willingness to really take a spin and have some fun with their craft. I’m a sucker for this chorus too, particularly when that drum rolls across the background. A Parkhead Cross of the Mind is slated for release on March 25th.
As a big fan of the Pooches, it makes sense that I’m so infatuated with U.S. Highball, the new project from James and Calvin. Just over a year ago, they dropped Great Record, and they’re back with Up to High Doh dropping at the end of this week! Before you’re there, they may as well entice you with this melodic pop rock ditty; its just a little something to whet your pop whistle. That’s the great thing about the duo; they’re crafting these songs coming in at just under two minutes…so you press play, swoon, digest and then press repeat. That’s how it happens, right? Be sure to pick up the new LP this Friday.
I really needed these songs from Glaswegian act U.S. Highball, and feel even greater knowing they come with an album announcement, meaning more is on the way. There’s just this natural joyousness to the duo’s sound; I mean, the opening “Hall of Heads” is pretty much just a play on our tastes, but quickly turns into this delighting pop tune I can’t get out of my head. “Don’t Travel Far” is a little meatier; there’s jangling guitars, textured synth/beats and a really incredible use of melody that will keep me circling back just like their guitars. Speaking of said album, it’s titled Great Record, dropping on July 12th via Lame-O Records.