Honestly, as I was reading about Francis of Delirium, I realized I hadn’t really heard of bands from Luxembourg (there’s this fun list to browse). But, this duo would likely fit into any scene anywhere in the world; it’s a blend of the introspective rock and anthemic pop that we all secretly crave. For me, there’s a nostalgic feel in the guitar notes, almost like they’re ripped straight from some classic 90s band, then dolled up for the swelling burst of euphoria that crashes down through the chorus. Jana Bahrich does brilliantly, contrasting the quiet personal moments with bold brightness; I was particularly drawn to the emphatic closing, almost angrily pushing the song to a close. It’s a pretty special introduction to the band, and should turn your attention towards their All Change EP slated for release this summer.
Calum Newsom used to play with Amyl and the Sniffers, which should warrant your attention, though his sound under his Candy moniker is far different, if you ask me. This tune’s much less punk, and much more pop oriented; the bass line alone just reeks of folks looking to kick up their heels and have a blast. Honestly, there’s an understated jingle to it, which makes me think fondly of the early stuff from the Drums. It’s Monday, about to get rainy, so may as well hold onto some dreamy pop vibes before the day descends further into darkness.
Dias Raros comes out on May 1st, and if you’re not paying attention to Melenas right now, tienes un mes para preparar! What I’m trying to say is that the band is set to drop one of the best pop records you’re going to hear this year, I swear it. Their sound on the latest single is steeped in nostalgic pop vibes; the chords are spritely and jangly, with a steady vocal coursing through the song’s entirety. It’s like they’re the coolest thing on the Earth and don’t even care; they just throw this melody-induced jangler out there with indifference, forcing listeners to tap their toes. Don’t you want to tap your toes? If so, grab Dias Raros from Trouble in Mind Records.
It’s been a minute or two since we last heard from Zachary Vito. Last year, in fact. But, he has found himself stranded in California amidst the current crisis, and what’s an artist to but write a great song. He’s holed up with his new roommate Casey Golden, so they’ve pieced together some footage and offer you this really delicate pop ballad. I love how the guitar sounds solemn and sunny all at once, but mostly I’m in love with Vito’s vocal performance on this one. There’s this warmth and intimacy, it reminds me of singing to my daughter late at night, quietly letting listeners drift into their own headspace. Vito’s calling this a demo, as he hopes to go back and re-recod the tune when times are better for us all…but if you ask me, not much needs to be done here.
There are tons of great records on the slate for this Spring, but one that’s really high on my personal list is the forthcoming Feral LP from Australia’s RVG. I’ve been raving about the band for years, and they were my favorite SXSW acts two years ago…and now we’ve got a new tune. I was hooked immediately, as this has that sort of muted surf vibe opening into these crisp guitar lines that hop about your earholes. Romy’s vocals have a calming influence on the guitar, with the two elements trading the song’s focus back and forth. Another promising single from a record I’m sure to love; Feral is out on April 24th via Fire Recordings.
We here in Austin have known about how much you’ll love Why Bonnie for some time, and now that they’ve got a new EP on the horizon, it’s only fair that we hip you all to that too…in case you hadn’t heard. Perhaps my favorite thing about this single is how it illustrates the band’s ability to move between their quieter inclinations to full on raucous moments; it perfectly captures their live force, which isn’t always easy to pull off. I think the song’s fade out also adds a nice little layer, putting the finer details into tune with little odd notes like bending strings and violin accompaniment. Voice Box is out April 10th via Fat Possum Records.
While “Sick Days” was likely written before this coronavirus pandemic, the new video from Sleuth comes at an apt time, particularly in the way it was recorded, with each member filming while in isolation. You’ll likely find some similar ground if you’re laying low and staying safe. Musically, the song has this casual bounce at the get-go, like happily plodding along and telling stories with an old friend. At the 1:16 mark, the song jumps off and gets a touch boisterous, using gang vocals to build up the song’s exuberant nature. It’s a great song, with a relatable video; you’ll find the track on their new album Gold, which is scheduled to drop on May 29th via Lost Sound Tapes/Jigsaw Records.
I hadn’t heard of Bu until this track rolled in, and now I’m pretty sure I’m going to spend my day browsing through the entirety of their tunes. The tune offers up this buzzing wall of noise to start things off, but you can hear the band’s natural tendency towards pop sensibility just behind the curtain of feedback. The guitars jitter and dance, then cut in angularly as the first verse comes into play. Songwriter Josh Healy has this calming delivery, softly rising into the melody when needed; the guitar dances off here, seemingly running away from the distortion behind it…particularly fond of the little stutter at 2:14. Keep an eye out for this bunch going forward; these are good jams!
Last fall, we teamed up with Resurrection Records to co-release the sophomore LP from Austin’s Mean Jolene; Try Harder was an excellent follow-up to Salty, with the band taking on a streamlined focus after some line-up changes. One of the standout tracks, and my personal favorite “Dark Harmony” today gets the video treatment, directed by the band’s drummer Adam, and edited by guitarist Stevesie. The thing I love about this song is the sort of understated anthemic nature; it’s like they’ve slowed down this big arena rocker so they can draw you in with the sweet voice of Jolie. It’s hard not to be charmed by this one, especially when accompanied with the band at their exuberant best in the video. Go grab the Try Harder HERE.
Radio Dept has always made it easy to retreat into their music, crafting these little pop nuggets beneath a sort of murky surface, like seeing the sun through a cloud of smoke. Today they’ve got a brand new track, and it might just be one of my favorite they’ve released in years. It opens with this tempting atmosphere, cut through by shimmering guitar notes, slowly picking up pace. Then it jumps off into this bouncing rhythm that soon finds a companion in the whispering vocals to elevate the track; I like how the slight guitar buzz builds in from the distance, then recedes. There’s just something about this song that fits perfectly into this rainy day and rainy times.