Friday, September 23, 2022

Elk City - "Your Time Doesn't Exist"

Elk City is a New Jersey band that features members of Versus, Luna, and Feed. If you know any of those bands, you're going to have a little bit of an idea of what they sound like. Their new single, "Your Time Doesn't Exist," has a timeless quality. It doesn't sound like a throwback, and it certainly doesn't sound modern. Their press release compares them to bands like 10,000 Maniacs, Throwing Muses, Jefferson Airplane, and The Fiery Furnaces, and I hear that all in here. It's classic, edgy, vintage psychedelia mixed with 80's college rock, but all with a modern feel to it. "Your Time Doesn't Exist" has that familiar but completely unique sound to it that music fans strive to find with new artists.

You can watch the video for "Your Time Doesn't Exist" below. Above the Water is due out October 21 on Magic Door Record Label, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Elk City, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Pumpkin Witch - "Wandering on the Moonlit Manor"

It was only last week that we brought you a new song from Pumpkin Witch, but they're already back with another new song! "Wandering on the Moonlit Manor" sounds like a horror movie soundtrack in the best possible way. It sounds like the best John Carpenter scores but amped up a bit and meant to be listened to in the foreground. This is just eerie, disturbing music that is perfect for lovers of Halloween and everything spooky. If there was a Nightmare on Elm Street movie that had one of the teenagers fall asleep in the chill out room of a rave, this is what it would sound like once they started dreaming.

You can listen to "Wandering on the Moonlit Manor" below. The Return of the Pumpkin Witch is due out October 13 on Deathbomb ARC, and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

Maple Run Band - "Tears of a Fool"

Northern Vermont's Maple Run Band have a unique take on modern mainstream roots and Americana. Their latest single, "Tears of a Fool," is an upbeat, cheery song despite being called "Tears of a Fool." It has a bit of a twang to the song, but just a slight twang. Instead of being throwback country, Maple Run Band have crafted a song that's more of a throwback 70's rocker. As heartfelt as the song is, there is also an odd sense of fun and joy to it. It may be sad, but it's fun sad.

Vocalist/songwriter Trevor Crist says of the band's upcoming album:

“Over the lockdown portion of the pandemic, I really spent a lot of time playing the Rhodes piano and the Hammond organ. Our first album was very acoustic guitar driven, but this one was really built on keyboards. We wanted to really tap into that retro-vintage country sound, but produce it almost like a 70s soft-rock album.”

You can listen to "Tears of a Fool" below. Used to Be the Next Big Thing is due out on the fall. For more on Maple Run Band, check out the band's website.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

VAZUM - "Double Stellium"

Detroit deathgaze duo VAZUM have released a new single. "Double Stellium" is a goth post-punk track that is just oozing with distortion and feedback. It starts off with a hypnotic burst of fuzz that seems like it may go on forever before settling into the focus of the song. "Double Stellium" is a dark and swirling song that finds beauty in the darkness and noise. While it's mostly elements of post punk and shoegaze, you'll hear some hints of metal in this one, too. The song tends to be at its best while utilizing the double vocals of Zach Pliska and Emily Sturm into the hypnotic depths.

You can watch the video for "Double Stellium" below. VAZUM are planning for an album release in the spring along with a US tour. For more on VAZUM, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Guts Club - "Cliffs/Walls"

Photo by Sabrina Stone

The latest from Guts Club is about ten times heavier than what we normally cover, but I simply can't resist this one. "Cliffs/Walls" is a ten minute epic of just pure noise and drone. It's a brutal song slathered in feedback. I couldn't say that Guts Club are metal, but they do brush up against metal a bit for this one. "Cliffs/Walls" is more of an experimental doom song. It's impossibly loud right from the start as the song just builds and builds in scope. A lot of experimental or noise songs tend to be mostly about the art and less about being loud and causing an emotional reaction. "Cliffs/Walls" is pure emotion. Like a lot of the music we bring you, Guts Club aren't going to be for everyone, but if this clicks with you it's going to click hard. 

The band says of their new song:

“'Cliffs/Walls' is a meditation on grief and how we navigate a world overflowing with extreme loss and devastation. Some of us let it pass through us, some leap directly into it, others fight it, violently, until we’ve surrounded ourselves with walls too brutal to overcome. There is no resiliency; it is just knot after knot of trauma that we can only attempt to loosen or avert.”

You can listen to "Cliffs/Walls" below. CLIFFS/WALLS is due out January 13 and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Guts Club, check out the artist's website.

Mamalarky - "Shining Armor"

Photo by Connor Fields

Mamalarky are continuing to make some of the more unique versions of indie rock out there today. The band's latest single, "Shining Armor," is this bizarro version of R&B mixed with indie rock. It has this light yet funky feel to it, and unlike most indie rock, this one is actually a fun song. It's very danceable, as long as you don't mind dancing awkwardly to a rapidly changing beat. "Shining Armor" is reminding me of a more laid back version of Guerilla Toss. It's a noisy and chaotic song that is oddly pleasant and almost soothing at times.

Singer Livvy Bennett says of the new song:

"This song goes out to conveniently anonymous YouTube haters. 'Shining Armor' is an invitation for anyone who has shit to say about how I play guitar to go ahead and reveal themselves and play a little song for us! When I wrote this I was getting a bunch of comments about my gender and appearance and how that corresponds with how I play guitar. The only response was to covert that anger into something that's genuinely so fun to play."

You can watch the video for "Shining Armor" below. Pocket Fantasy is due out September 30 on Fire Talk Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Mamalarky, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

9.29 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space9.30 - San Diego - Public Square 10.1 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room10.2 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo 10.4 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill10.6 - Sacramento, CA - The Starlet Room10.7 - Reno, NV - Off Beat Music Festival 10.9 - Portland, OR - Polaris Hall10.10 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project10.13 - Fort Colins, CO - The Coast10.14 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive11.1 - Asheville, NC - Static Age 11.2 - Nashville, TN - DRKMTTR11.3. - Richmond, VA - Get Tight11.4 - Washington, DC - Comet Ping Pong11.5 - Philadelphia, PA - Silk City11.6 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right 11.7 - Boston, MA - O’Briens 11.8 - Montreal, QC - Brasserie Beaubien 11.9 - Toronto, ON - The Baby G 11.11 - Fort Wayne, IN - The Brass Rail11.12 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s 11.13 - St. Louis, MO - the Sinkhole11.15 - Athens, GA - Flicker Bar11.16 - Atlanta, GA - 529

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 16 September 2022

Artist: The Beths
Album: Expert in a Dying Field
Quick Thoughts: The Beths are the best indie/alternative rock band going right now. I said it because it's true. Experts is another incredible entry in a discography of what is now three great releases, and the band shows no signs of slowing down. There's not a bad song on here, and they know how to make a tight rock song. One of the best of the summer.
Songs of Note: "Silence is Golden," "Knees Deep," "Head in the Clouds," "I Told You That I Was Afraid"

Artist: Tysk Tysk Task
Album: You're Sorry More
Quick Thoughts: There's not much I can say about Tysk Tysk Task that Ken hasn't said better in his many live reviews and song highlights. What I will add is that the band walks a fine line between careful and chaotic in a way other bands would fail, and what it means is a memorable record that has all the dark horse qualities for an album that will stick with you. A mandatory listen this week.
Songs of Note: "Contagion," "Rosegold," "I Need This"

Artist: DOMi and JD BECK
Album: NOT TiGHT
Quick Thoughts: I joked with Ken that I am "learn about new music from The New Yorker years old," but that's how I learned about the modern jazz-but-not-quite stylings of DOMi and JD BECK. The duo feel like they're making jazz music for people who don't like jazz (like me), and it just works. This won't be to everyone's taste, but I have to admit: it was to mine.
Songs of Note: "NOT TiGHT," "TAKE A CHANCE"

Artist: Well Wisher
Album: That Weight
Quick Thoughts: Well Wisher offers up a powerful, hook-laden indie rock record that feels crunchy and raw in all the right ways. I don't have a ton to say about it - it's one of the more well-done indie rock efforts of the last few months and Well Wisher is an act you should keep on your radar.
Songs of Note: "Need You Around," "29," "Miserable," "That Weight"

Artist: Darkswoon
Album: Bloom // Decay
Quick Thoughts: I always love when bands sound like what their name evokes. Darkswoon is a dreamy, gothy-sounding band that really impressed me on this album, and the heavy gloom that permeates the post-punk framework here just works. Of all the albums out this week, this is probably the one I'm most excited to get back to.
Songs of Note: "Bloom Decay," "Under Glass"

Artist: Starcrawler
Album: She Said
Quick Thoughts: Wanted to highlight this: if there's a such thing as modern indie glam, Starcrawler might be it. Riffs for days, soaring choruses, it's the total package. They're a really underrated and underappreciated rock band, and deserve your attention.
Songs of Note: "Roadkill," "Stranded"

Artist: Lissie
Album: Carving Canyons
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of Lissie for ages, and this latest album is the closest I've felt an album was to her early work as anything she's done of late. This feel a lot like classic Lissie, and that means some great songwriting and some catchy hooks to go along with some really introspective lyrics. If you're not on board yet, by all means, it's time.
Songs of Note: "Sad," "Chasing the Sun," "Night Moves," "Unlock the Chains"

Artist: Rina Sawayama
Album: Hold the Girl
Quick Thoughts: If you closed your eyes and heard this on its own, you might be convinced it's a Lady Gaga record. That's how solid this listen is from top to bottom. The edge that a lot of her debut had is gone, but in its place is a really great pop record that deserves your time. Loved this one.
Songs of Note: "Hold the Girl," "This Hell," "Frankenstein"

Of note:

* Herva - Seez (Very Aphex Twin-esque.)
* Gogol Bordello - Dolidaritine (A return to form of sorts.)
* Death Cab for Cutie - Asphalt Meadows (They've fully become a dad rock band and I'm cool with it.)
* Klangstof - Godspeed to the Freaks (There's an alternate timeline where this is Radiohead.)
* Cari Cari - Welcome to Kookoo Island
* Hickeys - Fragile Structure
* (The London) Suede - Autofiction
* Turin Brakes - Wide-Eyed Nowhere
* Marina Allen - Centrifics
* Rhett Miller - The Misfit
* Swim Team - Hurricane
* Jesca Hoop - Order of Romance
* Elizabete Balcus - Hotel Universe
* Maggie Lindemann - SUCKERPUNCH
* Al-Qasar - Who Are We?
* Pencey Sloe - Neglect
* Kai Whiston - Quiet as Kept, F.O.G.
* The Black Angels - Wilderness of Mirrors
* Whitney - Spark
* Jónsi, Sin Fang, Alex Somers, Kjartan Holm - Sounds of Fischer Vol. 1
* LYZZA - Mosquito
* Djo - Decide
* Sotnos - Care About Nothing
* Gloria de Oliveira and Dean Hurley - Oceans of Time
* More Kicks - Punch Drunk
* Laundromat - En Bloc
* Cosey Fanni Tutti - Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes


* Molly Lewis - Mirage
* VTSS - Circulus Vitisus
* Blood Wizard - Imaginary House
* Jordie Lane - The Empty House Tapes, Vol. 1
* Iron and Wine - Lori
* Ela Minus and DJ Python -
* They Are Gutting a Body of Water / A Country Western - An Insult to the Sport
* Kynsy - Something to Do With Love
* carina - spaceout!
* Blood Orange - Four Songs

Also out:

* Marxist Love Disco Ensemble - MDLE
* Brittle Brian - Biodiesel
* Ali McGuirk - Til It's Gone
* Crack Cloud - Tough Baby
* Lorne Berhman - A Little Midnight
* Clutch - Sunrise on Slaughter Beach

Mae Krell - "tooth fairy"

Photo by Alex Lyon

New York's Mae Krell has released a new single that combines indie/bedroom rock with soul. "tooth fairy" is a lo-fi version of soul. While the genre tends to usually be about big production and sound, "tooth fairy" is a stripped down and intimate version. DIY soul isn't a sound we're used to, so this one comes across as quite unique. Plus, just to keep the indie rock spirit alive, Krell adds some odd little unexpected flourishes which contributes to the original vibe of the track while it still sounds completely familiar.

Mae Krell says of her new single:

I wrote it after I found out that someone who used to be my best friend moved to the city where I grew up. It felt like tearing open an old wound that I didn’t know I had, and also put me in a spot to question: if the chance were to arise, would I want to give them a second chance? That’s something I’m still trying to figure out.”

You can listen to "tooth fairy" below. For more on Mae Krell, check out the artist's website.

Elizabeth Moen - "Synthetic Fabrics"

Photo by Alexa Viscius

The latest from Chicago's Elizabeth Moen takes a few different sounds we cover quite a bit here but blends them up in a way we haven't heard before. "Synthetic Fabrics" has elements of indie rock, pop, soul, and garage rock. Moen's vocals are the obvious soul element, and they would be worth talking about alone. But "Synthetic Fabrics" has this truly odd and unique blend of jangly indie rock guitars that have a little garage crunch to them. Plus, she adds in horror movie strings and the whole thing seems to be playing at a speed it wasn't recorded at randomly. Not off by a lot, just a slight amount. It's one of the more unique sounds that doesn't quite match up with Moen's captivating vocal delivery that stops just short of being quirky.

Elizabeth Moen says of her upcoming album:

“This album is an accumulation of great friendships found through learning the hard way about love and other life lessons. It’s filled with good times, bad times, and lots of time spent on the road around the world to write it, make it, and afterwards figure out what to do with it. I’m so happy to finally share this record that embodies what making music means to me: connection and introspection.”

You can listen to "Synthetic Fabrics" below. Wherever You Aren't is due out November 11 and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Elizabeth Moen, check out the artist's website.

Margo Price - "Change of Heart"

Photo via Facebook

If you had told me that Margo Price was going to stray from her classic country sound, I would have been furious and refused to like any new music purely on principle. However, her new music and new sound is completely irresistible. "Change of Heart" is this funky rock and pop song with nary a hint of Price's typical country sound. If anything, "Change of Heart" is more New Wave influenced than country. To me this sounds like Tom Petty's early 80's dalliance into New Wave while keeping some classic rock and country roots intact. At this point, Margo Price can do literally no wrong, and I'll accept anything she wants to throw at me with glee.

You can watch the video for "Change of Heart" below. Strays is due out January 13 and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on Margo Price, check out the artist's website.