Steven van Betten Shares New Single

When you first hit play on this Steven van Betten tune, you might suspect that it’s just another sunny beach vibe going through your speakers. That being said, there’s this playful little quick rising vocal that’s what turned the song into more of a coy bit of bouncing pop, almost hanging its hat on a nod to baroque brands of indie rock, albeit done merely with the joyous rise of notes. I sort of get an early Cate le Bon nod here, especially in the vocals, so I appreciate a little bit of risk getting thrown into the modern plot of bedroom pop. You’ll hear more great songs on Steven’s new LP, Friends & Family, out October 27th via Future Gods.

Pachyman Share Sale el Sol Video

I’ll finally get to catch Pachyman when he comes through at the end of October for Levitation; I love the way he’s working Latin sounds into a modern take on dub, sort of branching out between the two styles. For me, this song is a sunny meditation on the grooves of Pachyman, with the rhythm working beneath the sharp little bits of jangling guitar notes, while we get our musical narrator sashaying through this brightly colored video. It’s all about settling in, embracing the chill cool vibes coming through your speaker with the sun up over your head. Switched-On is out Friday via ATO Records, with a huge tour to follow, so keep any eye out friends!

PACKS Share Honey, Announce New LP

Seems like only a few months ago that PACKS had dropped their sophomore album, and in fact, it was just a mere six months. But, when creativity strikes, why not ride it out; the band have announced they’ll be dropping Melt the Honey in January of next year. With that, the news has to have an accompanying single, right? We’ve got that, here, as the band lock into their swaggering style, sort of like anti-grunge; it’s got the riffs but doesn’t necessarily push the rock. For me, the win on this tune comes from the switch to the chorus, playing into a bit more of breezy charm that lets Madeline Link pull you further into the tune. Melt the Honey is out on January 19th via Fire Talk.

Upchuck Drop Crashing Video

You’d be forgiven if you thought that Kim Deal was playing bass on this new Upchuck track, though you’d also be forgiven for completely sinking right into the track and falling in love. It’s a smart move, as I was totally sucked into the tune, then my hair got blown back as the drums rolled and singer KT let a throated-howl soar through my speakers. I love how it walks the line between edgy and spirited, sort of like a sly wink to the listener that the world may seem grim, but you can still have a kick ass time if you’ve got this tune as part of your soundtrack. Bite the Hand That Feeds is out on October 13th via Famous Class.

Sun June Share Mixed Bag Single

There are a lot of really great songs in the Sun June catalog, but if I’m being honest, “Mixed Bag” might have quickly risen to the top of my charts. Something about it feels like home, something that feels like Texas (and yes, I know there’s a mention of Texas, so its more than subliminal!); it feels like a cruise down the road with a carload of your best friends, windows down as the night’s just cool enough to feel a breeze, and still warm enough to make you sweat. Despite it feeling like a Texan teen dream, digging deep reveals all these striking little earworms the group carefully laid into the mix on this tune. Bad Dream Jaguar is out on October 20th via Run For Cover.

Semihelix Share Renovate

Of all the acts in Austin, a band that I’m always happier than not to hear from is Semihelix; they’ve promised a new 7″ before the year’s up, so we wanted to make sure they had your attention. While their last single was hitting some dreamy jangles, this one seems to peel it all back, driving the sweetness home in the presentation. For me, I absolutely love Geannie’s vocals here, particularly when they get dubbed for the backing vocals too. There’s a nice little sonic turn too, letting the track dwell in some late 90s rock n’ roll territory as it draws to a close, with an added bit of piano thickening up the mixture here. We’ll keep you posted when we know more about that 7″!

Dancer Share Love Video, Announce New EP

If you haven’t caught on to Dancer at this point, you’re likely missing out on some of the best music-makers in the the UK right now; you’ve got members of Nightshift, Robert Sotelo and more combining to bring this brand of post-punk your way. Honestly, there’s something in their craft that sounds like a more pop-centric brand of Life Without Buildings. The vocals have that vibe where they feel almost distant, though they clearly have that melodic draw that keeps you focused. Circling around the vocals are these angular riffs that sparkle and twist around a thick rhythmic groove. They’ve just announced the As Well EP, which will be out on October 13th via Gold Mold Records.

Feeling Figures Share Movement Video

On their last trip around the singles market, Feeling Figures offered us this brooding bit of indie rock that felt like it had drifted from the Pacific NW all the way over to Montreal. This go round, well, they’re adding in a bit more “movement,” should I say, bringing this frantic energy that kicks off a bit of riotous bounce. Personally, I love the way the guitar lines seem to be work in opposition, one sort of meandering about in the mix while the other pairs with the rhythm section to drive the song forward; they somehow meet and fuse from time to time, creating this synergy that livens the vibe. Plus, the vocals have this almost maniacal how, pushing this snotty playfulness that I absolutely love. Spend some time here, and grab Migration Magic from K/Perennial Death on November 24th.

Fleur Bleu-e Release New Single

We covered the first single from French outfit Fleur bleu-e, and they’ve got another new tune that really feels perfect for a reflective Thursday listen. It reminds me a lot of Bones Garage, the Israeli band we worked with on our label, sort of melding classical pop vocals with a dreamier, janglier guitar underbelly. Here, the vocals enter the picture first, with a sort of warped guitar echoing in the background; it allows you to kind of relax as the melody laps at your ear. With continued patience, the song begins to reveal itself with sharper guitar notes that playfully tickle your ears and ask for you to dive into the depths of the band’s sound. This tune’s brought to you courtesy of Pan European Recording.

Braden Lawrence Shares I Don’t Wanna Die in Texas

You likely know Braden Lawrence as part of The Districts, but for now, he’s stepping out on his own to release his own LP, When You Lose the Light. On the latest single, there’s definitely a bit of hyperbole running through the lyrical work, though the story has its roots in a dying van on the road between Santa Fe and Dallas. For me, I love the way the sliding guitar shoots across the background, bending at the turn while Lawrence and backing vocalist India Coombs do their part to make the listener swoon. There’s something about their interplay that reminds me of a distant Rilo Kiley, albeit through a more modern folk twang. Plus, you get lots of great video footage here, which should encourage you to grab the LP; it’s out September 29th via Anxiety Blanket Records.

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