The Illness is a fairly new band to me, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I was initially drawn to this tune because of the inclusion of Steve West (Pavement’s drummer). There sound seems familiar, though I can’t pinpoint precisely why I love it it so much. At times, there are some VU feels working in there, though you can also hear a touch of David Berman in the vocals. Still, it’s the little flourishes in the studio that really brought this track to life for me. It could be the ittle brass notes in the middle background, or maybe the way the guitar strum works into a more focused electric buzz; I think I even heard a faint bird chirp, which could just be a lost note popping its head out. It’s that sort of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink feel, yet still executed well enough to sound perfectly organic. Loving it, and if you do too, you’ll find it on the band’s new 12″ out July 10th via Sea Records.
I was in love with Fear of Men; I was even fortunate enough to book them for our Welcome to the Jangle party a few years back. But, they’ve been relatively quiet for the past four years or so…until today. Today the band share their first new single in some time, and with it, we get a glimpse at a band expanding their sound. Sure, that saxophone will get the billing for “Favorite New Toy,” but I think some of the pulsing electronic notes really give this darker edge contrasted against the sparkling notes of singer Jess Weiss. It’s a powerful lyrical piece too, one that perhaps we’ve overlooked before; Weiss seems intent on reclaiming life on her terms, particularly if you listen to the line “I hope you see this/That I’m not going to break.” I missed this band. More to come…I hope.
Looks like I’m spending a lot of my coverage today over in France today, as Cloud Factory is another outfit hailing from overseas I’ve been bouncing around to this morning. Alice kind of lulls you into this false sense of safety the way she opens the track with this sort of quietly dreamy vocal, but there’s no time to fuck around as the song bounds off energetically, matched by a more frantic vocal. I love the ever so slight change around the 1:40 minute mark, throwing out a momentary bob that has this sort of garage rock indifference. Stoked to hear what the rest of Cloud Factory #1 entails; it drops on July 3rd via Howlin Banana!
This Fall, our friends over at Geographie will be releasing Full Time Bored, the brand new long-player from Born Idiot. This past week, they dropped this brand new single, which I’ve taken quite a liking to this morning. It’s a subtle pop number, almost as if it draws inspiration from the modern bedroom pop tendencies; it feels almost quite and soothing. That said, this is a full band affair, meaning you get a little more texture and swell to the band’s sound, adding that depth that more often than not lacks in the bedroom genre. Stoked to hear another great release from the folks over at Geographie; this drops in October!
Kevin Hairs has had some time on his hands, but he hasn’t sat idly; instead he’s busied himself with art (check his pet portraits!) and music. Today, he’s sharing a new two-song single of bouncing pop tunes that I’d love you to hear. “House of 1000 Roommates” is this subtle jangling pop rocker; his voice has this soothing tune here, giving the track a layered dreaminess that’ll make you swoon. Flip to “Clean Punk” and you have more of a rocking number, albeit one that fits into Kevin’s style. The drums have that sort of machine gun snare hit, with the guitars taking on more of a jagged edge. Both tracks are available on Bandcamp today, so be sure to pick them up right now as a portion of proceeds go to NAACP!
But, Kevin also wanted to share a brand new video for his tune “Subdued at the VCU,” which was on his More Magic, More Magic EP; it dropped in April, but now we get the video treatment with animation done personally by Kevin. You can grab that HERE…also on Bandcamp, so another way to get good music and support a better world.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Boyracer released their 13th album in April; 30 years in the scene, working with the likes of Sarah and Slumberland…and perhaps just now hitting that sweet spot. “Stand By Yr Words” is a quick burst of fuzzy pop punk, coming in at just over 1 minute; it does a great job of summing up the sounds you’re going to find inside On A Promise. You get the aforementioned fuzz, high-octane riffs and a big dose of melody; the balance between the melody of Penny and Christina against Stewart’s gruffness is the perfect balance. Plus, they throw in some horns, which are prevalent throughout the record too. If you dig the song, go stream the entirety of On A Promise right HERE; or just pick it straight up from Emotional Response.
Admittedly, I wasn’t entirely aware of Gordon Koang until earlier last year when Music in Exile began to work with him in Australia while he sought to secure permanent residence. Today he announces his new 11th studio album, Unity, doing so with the release of “Tiel e Nei NYwal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem with Anyone).” He crafts the song using his own modified string instrument, combing his voice with the strummed notes and dripping them atop the percussive element. What’s drawn me to Gordon is the positivity in his voice; it seems like its always been there, even as he’s fought to find a permanent home outside of his native Sudan the last six years. Give a listen; it drops on August 14th.
I’m not sure how familiar you are with Corasandel at this point in your life, but I assure you, as I’ve done in the past, this band is simply brilliant. Today I’m really happy to share a brand new tune from the band, being released as a digital single by the ATH revered Shelflife. The band are categorized under ambient-shoegaze, and I can see those elements here, but I also feel like they’ve also begun to blend into slight bits of post-rock and slowcore; it doesn’t really matter because you can’t pull yourself away. It does open up crafting an ambiance, mild notes floating on top the mix. Soon, feathery vocals enter the fray, soon joined by these thunderous drums; there was a moment around the 1 minute mark where I felt like the world stopped; I saw myself spinning in some cliche space moment. I love how the sonic arrangements begin to push the sound just as the vocals do; the song, in its own fashion is filled with this urgency that bursts forth into this elegant soundscape that closes the song. The single’s out officially on June 26th!
Always one of our favorite local Austin labels, Western Vinyl have just added Photo Ops to their roster…and announced the release of Pure at Heart. Terry Price is the songwriter behind the project, originally from Texas, he’s bounced his way through Nashville and now on to LA. “Play On” is an optimistic and energetic tune, an ode to what Price calls “the power pop side of my vision for the record.” It definitely has that natural bounce to it, and the thematic view is that despite the “strange times” we can kind of push forward and hopefully find some positivity on the horizon; its okay to feel shitty, but with music we get a little bit of light…so I hope. Pure at Heart is out on September 18th.
Dehd are just so hot right now! Those of you that were super into the band’s debut Water will still enjoy the simplistic approach to their craft. But, as we continue to hear more from Flower of Devotion, that sound has branched out, broadened at the mouth of their musical river. There’s this surfy dreaminess to the guitars this round, though there still feels like there’s plenty of space for the song to move about, allowing Emily to come in with one an incredibly strong performance of her own. She toys with the listener just a bit, quivering with some notes, almost distorting the delivery of the song’s title “flood,” but I couldn’t help other than to feel drawn in, enamored with the tones of her voice as guitars buzzed and nipped at my ears. Flower of Devotion is out on July 17th via Fire Talk.