Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Oompa - "Closer"

Oompa, "
nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, poet, rapper, and educator, who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids n’ them," has released a new single, and if there is any justice in the world, Oompa will be a household name by the end of 2021. "Closer" is mainstream hip hop at its very best. It starts off more R&B than hip hop, and it turns out Oompa can sing. Really, really sing. The hip hop element is still really strong with "Closer," but Oompa has brought in an electronic and pop side we haven't seen from her previously. "Closer" is an absolute masterpiece, and it really deserves your immediate attention.

You can watch the video for "Closer" below. For more on Oompa, check out the artist's website.

Wonderflu - "Mad College"

Photo via Facebook

It might be a little strange to listen to a band called Wonderflu at this point in 2020 during a global pandemic, but we won't hold that against them. The Parisian band's newest single, "Mad College," is a glorious 90's throwback. This song feels like the mid-90's, when grunge was mostly faded away and everything was called "post grunge," which was really just power pop with crunchy guitars. "Mad College" is much more Fountains of Wayne and Superdrag than Nirvana and Alice in Chains. It's a fun indie rock song, and there can never be enough of those.

You can watch the video for "Mad College" below. Bubblegum, the new EP from Wonderflu, will be out November 27 on Influenza Records. For more on Wonderflu, check them out on Facebook.

Alex Lahey Covers The Ramones

I had made an agreement with myself that I wasn't going to post any more Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but I couldn't wait with this one. Alex Lahey has been a blog favorite since her 2017 album I Love You Like a Brother. When I first saw she was covering the Ramones' classic holiday song "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)," I knew it would be good. But, this cover? It's so good! Lahey has always skirted the line between pop and alternative/pop punk, and her cover definitely goes on the side of pop, but the Ramones were always a pop band, just faster and heavier. This cover is an absolute delight, and the perfect choice for Lahey!

In a Facebook post, Alex Lahey explains her choice of covering this Ramones' Christmas classic:

"A fun fact about me is that I love Christmas songs. I’ve always wanted to do one and I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally dipped my toe into the pool of yule and have created my very own version of the Ramones festive classic ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)’! This one goes out to the kid in high school who made fun of my HEY HO LET’S GO tshirt I wore on casual clothes day in year 8."

You can listen to Alex Lahey's cover of "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" below. You can get your very own copy of the song here. For more on Alex Lahey, check out her website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 20 December

Artist: Partner
Album: Never Give Up
Quick Description: Second album from a favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: You don't take yourself too seriously, or you get high a lot.
Overall Thoughts: We unironically love Partner here, and for good reason: they're a ton of fun and have the musical chops to back it up. There's no "Everybody Knows" here, but that's okay - the adventure into odd proggy territory at times feels natural and this listen, overall, feels like one that's likely to stick with me for a while.
Recommendation: Definitely a good time.

Artist: Sara Noelle
Album: Cover the Blue
Quick Description: Gorgeous folky tunes.
Why You Should Listen: You already love this type of music.
Overall Thoughts: We missed this one earlier this year, and with an EP out this week, it was worth highlighting this listen as a pretty, intricate piece of singer-songwriter folk. In a week that doesn't have a lot like this for once, it's worth catching up with.
Recommendation: Make some time.

Artist: Cartalk
Album: Pass Like Pollen
Quick Description: An outstanding indie/alt release we missed.
Why You Should Listen: There's a ton to love here from start to finish.
Overall Thoughts: Another one we missed, but wow, I'm glad I found it. Cartalk is the name for a solo musician who makes some of the best sort of indie music that dabbles in various genres, all with some realness sprinkled throughout. The album has such an interesting tonal trajectory, with peaks and valleys of tempo and volume that sets it apart for me. They have such a great sound that I can't wait to hear what comes next - until then, I'll just keep this on repeat until I'm sick of it.
Recommendation: A must listen.

Artist: Anna McClellan
Album: I saw first light
Quick Description: Latest from the Midwestern singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: This is fun and quirky without being grating.
Overall Thoughts: I hate how the term "twee" has an air of condescension around it. Anna McClellan probably fits that oeuvre, but definitely deserves to be taken seriously. This is a light, poppy album with an undercurrent that makes you pay a little attention. In a few ways, it reminded me of some of the anti-folk I loved 20 years ago. So if that's your thing...
Recommendation: ...give this a shot.

Artist: Grandaddy
Album: The Sophtware Slump.....on a wooden piano
Quick Description: Does what it says on the tin.
Why You Should Listen: You may have forgotten after all these years, but The Sophtware Slump is a great album.
Overall Thoughts: I've resisted talking much about the glut of pandemic releases we've seen. Reimaginings, acoustic efforts - I don't fault any act that has lost touring revenue for trying to get a little of it back, but a lot of it isn't the most compelling stuff. This is different: it's basically Jason Lytle recording on a four track, and it allows the beauty of the songs to really take center stage instead of the hypertechnological sheen placed over the original release.
Recommendation: If you're a fan, check it out.

Artist: Mamalarky
Album: Mamalarky
Quick Description: Debut album from some indie artists associated with acts you love.
Why You Should Listen: This has a lot of potential to go along with it being a fun listen.
Overall Thoughts: People will come to Mamalarky either from Cherry Glazzer or White Denim, and I don't know if I'd necessarily class this along with those acts. But why bother? Mamalarky is its own thing, and the sort of psych-punk angle they're playing at has a DIY feel with some professional polish. I liked this a lot on first listen, and you might, too.
Recommendation: Should be part of your rotation.

Of note:

* The Bug and Dis Fig - In Blue (An interesting listen.)
* 5 Billion in Diamonds - Divine Accidents
* The Dirty Knobs - Wreckless Abandon
* Eric Hilton - The Impossible Silence
* Babeheaven - Home for Now
* The Young Fresh Fellows - Toxic Youth
* J. E. Sunde - 9 Songs About Love
* Kelsey Johansing - No Better Time
* The Suitcase Junket - The End is New
* Cecile Believe - Plucking a Cherry From the Void
* The Suitcase Junket - The End is New
* Ricky Eat Acid - When they align just so, memories of another life bleed into my own
* Laura Fell - Safe From Me
* King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - K.G.


* The Network - Trans Am (Green Day.)
* Weezy Ford - All at Once (This is great.)
* Kelsey Waldon - They'll Never Keep Us Down
* Tank and the Bangas - Friend Goals
* Shygirl - ALIAS
* Soccer Mommy - color theory (selected demos)
* Grand Pax - Wavey
* Jenn Champion - Donating Your Body to Science: What You Need to Know
* Lissie - Thank You to the Flowers
* Lindstrom and Prins Thomas - III
* Phoebe Bridgers - Copycat Killer
* XYLO - Outsiders Club
* Sara Noelle - Four Songs
* Routine - And Other Things
* The Jjen - The Jjen
* Thys and Amon Tobin - Ithica
* Georgia Ruth - Mai: 2
* Magdalena Bay - Mini Mix, Vol. 2
* Dirty Projectors - Ring Road
* Annie Hamilton - Annie Hamilton EP (Reimagined)
* girlcrush - girlcrush
* October and The Eyes - Dogs and Gods
* Austra - HiRUDiN REMiXED

Also out:

* Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Idiot Prayer
* Dream Wife - IRL

Eddie Mooney and The Grave - "Lockdown Baby"

You're not going to get more old school than Eddie Mooney. Mooney has been in bands since 1974, most notably British bands The Fortunes and The Dakotas. Now he has a new band, and a new song. Eddie Mooney and The Grave's new single, "Lockdown Baby," is old school garage rock with a pop punk edge you wouldn't exactly expect from a sixty three year old. It's a fast, bouncy song, blending garage rock, power pop, pop punk, and proto punk perfectly. Also, as the title would suggest, it's a love song for the quarantine era.

You can listen to "Lockdown Baby" below. The song is available as a single on Still Unbeatable Records. You can get a copy via the label's Bandcamp.

BlabberMouf featuring EllMatic and Malev Da Shinobi - "All Set"

Photo via Facebook

If you're in the mood for some early 90's throwback hip hop, the latest from BlabberMouf is perfect for you. The Netherlands rapper has joined with EllMatic and Malev Da Shinobi for "All Set." The song totally throws back to early 90's hip hop like Young Black Teenagers, Fu-Schnickens, and The Pharcyde. They even throw a hint of reggae into the song to truly capture that old school feel. It's the kind of party jam that is going to remind many of us (myself included) of our high school days.

You can listen to "All Set" below. Blast Masta Blab, the new release from BlabberMouf, will be out December 4. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on BlabberMouf, check out the artist's website.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Mariel Buckley - "No Surprise"

Photo by Sheena Zilinski

Country music is such a great outlet for humor, and it's a shame more artists don't use it, except in a huge, goofy Adam Sandler-esque way. Edmonton's Mariel Buckley has the subtle humor country deserves. "No Surprise" has an old school honky tonk feel without seeming hockey or cliche. How old school is "No Surprise?" Buckley brought in Skinny Dyck to produce the song and record it on analog tape. In a classic country style, it's a break up song about finally seeing past the glorified image of your ex. And... it's simply a great song. The style is nailed, despite how modern the subject matter may be.

Mariel Buckley explains the new song: "'No Surprise' is the harsh moment of truth when sobering up from love's beer goggles. It's humour to repress the pain, the wincing smile after a stiff drink when we finally see things as they truly are. Can you really be surprised that someone who's let you down time and time again has let you down, again?"  

You can listen to "No Surprise" below. The single is available now via Birthday Cake. You can get a copy here. For more on Mariel Buckley, check out the artist's website.

Stormstress - "You Can't Hurt Me Now"

We don't cover a huge amount of metal or hard rock here at If It's Too Loud, so you know when we do it's gotta be killer. Formed during a bomb cyclone and under the Hunter moon, Boston's Stormstress, consisting of mirror twins Tanya Venom (lead vocals/guitar) and Tia Mayhem (bass/vocals) and their friend Maddie May Scott (drums/vocals), have released a new song. "You Can't Hurt Me Now" is throwback metal for 2020. It's the kind of thrashy metal with actually sung vocals that you rarely get these days. It's heavy and fast and just drives straight at the listener. This will remind you of the days when metal was cool. 

You can watch the video for "You Can't Hurt Me Now" below. The song is available as a single on Stormstress' Bandcamp. For more on Stormstress, check out their website.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Sierra Ferrell - "Jeremiah" / "Why'd Ya Do It"

Before you listen to the two new songs from Nashville's Sierra Ferrell, you should probably sit down. Make sure you're not doing anything that requires too much of your focus, because you're going to need it for these songs. "Jeremiah" is country, but it's country not really like anything you've heard before. There's just the slightest hint of jazz, and maybe some groovy 60's vibe poking around in there. But, despite how unique it is, there is something familiar and mainstream about it. 

And then you'll hear "Why'd Ya Do It.' As much mainstream as "Jeremiah" may have, "Why'd Ya Do It" is a strange song. It has some Eastern European influences, skirting into gypsy music territory. It's almost like Gogol Bordello were influenced more by country than punk. But, there is still some pretty serious mainstream appeal here. It could be because of Sierra Ferrell's voice. As odd and unique as her music may be, there is no way anyone with a voice like hers isn't going to appeal to everyone that hears it.

You can listen to "Jeremiah" and "Why'd Ya Do It" below. The two songs are available now, with a full length due on Rounder Records in 2021. For more on Sierra Ferrell, check out her website.

Berk/Lehane - "An Irishman for Christmas"

Berk/Lehane is the pairing of Simone Berk (Kid Gulliver, Sugar Snow, Whistlestop Rock) and Jerry Lehane (The Dogmatics). It's the kind of Boston grouping you would never think of, but once it's here, you know you've needed it all this time. Their song, "An Irishman for Christmas," is obviously a Christmas song. And it's not a song that's a rock song about Christmas. "An Irishman for Christmas" is a Christmas song dipped in Boston rock 'n' roll. The two first came together when Jerry Lehane reached out to Simone Berk about her song "Queen of the Drive In" with Whistlestop Rock. Eventually this led to the "
Boston-Irish-Interfaith-Romance-folk-punk" you can listen to today!

You can listen to "An Irishman for Christmas" below. The song is currently available via Bandcamp. Let's hope this leads to many more songs from the Berk/Lehane collaboration!