With the London quartet Dry Cleaning now calling 4AD their home, they opted to release this new single to celebrate the new union…accompanied by an incredible video to boot. I love how the band stick to their simplicity, which is where they first started drawing from the likes of the Feelies and Pylons. At times, this definitely harkens to a sort of early 80s post-punk feel, though the edges aren’t as sharper, almost worn down by time; that effect matches the mood of Florence Shaw’s very matter of fact vocal delivery throughout the song. Plus, you get that bobbing bass throughout, giving you enough of a groove that the tune echoes in your brain long after the time’s run out. Betting 4AD are pretty stoked to have this lot on board.
Down here in Austin, our friends over at Keeled Scales have been raving about the incredible songwriting prowess of Katy Kirby, and today…lets hope the world is listening. She announces Cool Dry Place with this incredible video for “Traffic,” a song dedicated to a former partner who seemed determined to revel in his own trials rather than realize that “nobody has it better than you.” Her sound, perhaps influenced by her childhood singing in church definitely has a pop bent to it, though you can hear her pulling away from those tendencies. Honestly, take the work of my favorite Rosie Tucker and maybe sprinkle a little sugar on top; it’s got this great playful vocal that’s highly rewarding. You can grab the debut LP (it’s a Vincy Vaughn reference right?) on February 19th from Keeled Scales.
The moment we’ve all been expecting has come to be; Shame, today, announce their brand new LP, Drunk Tank Pink. There have been hints that something was in the air since the release of Songs of Praise…but I’m actually referring to the musical style they’re brandishing on their latest batch of singles. They seem to have discarded the formulaic call and response post-punk that’s become quite the fad, instead favoring a more elaborate approach, often slowing things down to let notes ring out and build that internal tension for the listener. There’s still a solid release, but there’s time to reflect, rather than just be bashed over the head by blunt rock. Drunk Tank Pink will be released the day before my birthday on January 15th via Dead Oceans.
Parisien quintet Hobby have just announced their brand new 7″ EP for the esteemed Hidden Bay Records. The group, formerly known as Deaf Parade, aim to strike right at the heart of the indie rock cognoscenti, driving rhythm and chaos into a tightly wound ship of infectious rock n’ roll. Just imagine pop fans taking notes from early Sonic Youth and deciding you can indeed have your cake and eat it too; you get the phenomenal energy bounding throughout, touches of explosiveness and a nice little dose of pop hooks to keep you circling back to press repeat. You’ll love it, and you’ll love the accompanying video; the 7″ is available on December 11th.
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.
It may have taken six year for the follow-up to Trouble in Paradise, but it seems that was well worth the wait for us all, as Tele Novella appear to be at the top of their powers. Honestly, it almost feels like a different band, and Natalie, who has always had an incredible voice, only seems to have upped the ante on her singing prowess; she’s got such control over her pitch and tone that she seems to rise and fall at her every whim. Plus, the band’s artistry extends beyond the confines of recorded sound, with an incredible video being paired with the tune too. I’ve run out of mundane adjectives here, but I can truly say that this feels like something very huge; Merlynne Belle will be out February of next year courtesy of Kill Rock Stars.
Been real weird lately, but I feel like the Australian scene is just hitting that sweet spot, and Permits are just another act that feels like they’ve kind of weaseled their way into my soul. I love the sort of garage-y swagger, almost falling off the rails, opening that sets the tone on their latest single. Still, not to be stuck in one direction, they take a left turn right before the 1 minute mark, almost with a little that sort of arrogant assuredness you’d associate with Jarvis Cocker…and suddenly the song opens up into something you never saw coming. It’s a roller coaster of incredible pop sounds, which makes Time Permits a promising release; it’s out on November 26th via Tenth Court.
Brooklyn’s Fixtures are not content to just offer us simple little pop nuggets, at least not if we aim to digest their great new single off the forthcoming Weak Automatic EP. For me, it’s this swirling mixture of all sorts of influences worn right out there on their sleeves. At times, the vocals give the song that hip nod of cool popularized by Lou Reed. But, there’s also this propulsive nature that courses through the tune, somewhere in between krautrock and Broken Social Scene; it feels like the kind of tune that could built to a mass explosion of sweat and euphoria in the live setting. This tune should catch a lot of ears, and if those ears belong to you, be sure to check in on Weak Automatic, released via Bobo Integral on December 4th.
Today seems a fitting day to share the new video from Alex Maas of the Black Angels, as the track revolves around the issue of shootings, which is surely an idea for those walking into polling stations. The song is sort of a seance, a contemplative track matched by a colorful video, lulling you into the mystery and the message. But, despite that ominous feel of the song (and of today) Maas assures us that “there’s a lot of good in” the world as a whole, so we should celebrate those moments, and use art to focus on the changes we can make elsewhere. Or maybe that’s how I see it. This song features on Alex’s new solo LP, Luca, out December 4th via Innovative Leisure.
This morning, I’m really being taken by voices, and Jordan Paul has one of that I can’t seem to escape. It’s got this fragility to it, while also having this strange familiarity, like a mix between Buckley and Drake. Behind him is this open space that really lets him carry the song purely on the back of his pipes. Now, that does’t mean there’s not a nice bit of arrangement working through here, giving him just the right amount of angelic lift in all the right spots. The Canadian musician will be releasing Already Gone shortly, so enjoy a nice little settling mood with Jordan Paul.