The work of Finnish outfit Ghosts on TV can be disorienting, particularly if you let the beat of this tune distract you from the track’s meaty core. Drums are hit furiously, creating the blastbeat effect that makes you feel as if your speakers are torn. While I’ll admit it takes a moment for your ears to adjust, the song eventually opens into this beautiful stretch of shining pop. That, too, eventually fades, as the group continue on midtrack to explore a more post-rock territory, with thunderous drums meeting cascading guitar notes as they jettison off into the horizon. The group will release their self-titled LP via Soliti Music on April 14th.
During SXSW I was fortunate enough to catch several bands more than one time; in some instances it was accidental, but in the case of RVG it was very much purposeful. They’re phenomenal live, with Romy’s passion on full display. Today, the band share their latest single, “Squid,” which offers a glimpse at the brooding darkness that courses through their new album. This song seems to beg listeners to avoid looking in the rearview mirror, albeit from the perspective of Vager as a squid. The band played this during their sets here in Austin, and it was definitely, like the recorded version, a powerful display that delivers a wallop to the listener’s ears. I still say the band is making indispensable pop music people will discover and discover again, years down the road, so don’t miss out and be sure you’re ready to grab Brain Worms when it releases on June 2nd via Fire Records.
Currently digging through a lot of my emails from the last week, and lo and behold, there’s one in here mentioning new band the Toads, compiled of various folks from Shifters, Parsnip and Ausmuteants (among others). Sound wise, it’s this edge-driven riff work that rings through your speakers, cutting down across the strings to create this anxiousness that’s balanced by the rhythm section. Listening in, the bass line walks you through the track, bobbing atop the stomp of the drums, ultimately leaving plenty of room in between for the vocals to come off like a highly caffeinated spoken-word impersonator. Great opening track to the group’s new In the Wilderness LP, out June 9th via Upset the Rhythm/Anti Fade Records.
Sure RayRay and I have been out and about at this SXSW thing, but coming home to a fresh Cindy track is a right up there with that New Order show I caught. Honestly, I want to study the band’s execution; they remind me of Bedhead in a strange way, as they’re able to captivate with pure emotion, although the movement on the surface seems minimal. Slight little touches like layering piano in the closing moments build this beautifully textured swell of dense pop music. Going to die on this hill that this might be one of the best group’s in Indie Land at the moment. Their new album Why Not Now will be out April 14th via Mt. St. Mtn.
When I think about the sound’s that London’s Pynch are crafting, it feels like they’re rooted in the New York scene of the early 00s, specifically anything with James Murphy’s hands on it. There’s that underlying pulse that feels like it’s ready to explode at any moment and drop a hook that’ll stick for days. But, rather than delve into the easy path of build and release, the band let the song sort of shimmer on the edges, holding onto the release to let the song explore the edges of pop territories. If you’re digging on it, the band release Howling at a Concrete Moon on April 14th.
If you needed the perfect pairing for your music listening, then I beg you to dive right into this new track from Jonathan Bree, featuring fellow New Zealander (and former bandmate) Princess Chelsea; the vocals of the two serve as the perfect foil for one another. Musically, just imagine a world where Daft Punk decided to turn their electro disco vibes into a live band; it doesn’t help that a certain Niles Rodgers helped on the latest from Jonathan, adding just a bit of classic funk flare to the tune. It’s a pop style without peers, if you’re asking me, so keep an eye out for Pre-Code Hollywood, dropping on April 14th via Lil Chief Records.
Being introduced to the new LP form Monde UFO has really allowed me to kind of let my brain venture out into the outer regions of the indie realm. If you peel away the layers, you’re likely to find a light-hearted bit of bedroom pop bouncing through your speakers. But, I don’t want to peel those layers as they offer up this careful bit of tropicalia; it also feels organic rather than mere mimicry of the style, which is one of the reasons I appreciate the band’s willingness to go beyond the standard. They’ll drop Vandalized Statue to be Replaced with Shrine on April 21st.
If there were a band in the indiepop/power pop realm that I feel folks were overlooking, I think I’d have to put UK outfit Dropkick right up near the top. They’re churning out these gentle pop numbers, just left of the dial, but with all the melodic hits that make pop so incredibly endearing as a genre. I love that their latest video has the band just doing what they do best, playing in their own studio space; there’s no pretense or drama…just good old fashioned pure-pop songwriting. The band will release The Wireless Revolution on April 28th!
If you read these pages from time to time, you might have read about the moving performance I caught from Constant Follower last year, not to mention the incredibly intricate brand of folk they’ve been writing. Recently, the group announced a collaborative album with Scott William Urquhart, which only adds another delicate layer of guitar work to Stephen McCall’s moving pieces. Here, I love the openness running through the track; the tune allows the song to find its own way, leaving space to breathe and allow the musicianship to shine through. The writing all came about organically, inspired by the poetry of Norman MacCaig, to whom McCall is indebted. Together they will release Even Days Dissolve on April 14th, so prepare to delve into one of the year’s most intimate listening experiences.
We used to cover Crocodiles quite a bit when the band first hit back in the late 00s, but I’ll be honest, I kind of just got caught up in the shiny new toys. But, when I heard this new track, I couldn’t help but be excited for the band and their forthcoming LP on Lolipop Records. It’s the sort of furious and bratty punk meets pop that I really love; it’s got a driving rhythm, gritty guitars running fast, and all of it with a big swelling hook that keeps you coming back for more. Felt like this was the perfect Monday morning energy all of you need today! Their new album Upside Down in Heaven will be out on April 7th.