Friday, December 3, 2021

Kim Gordon - "Grass Jeans"

Kim Gordon released her first solo album back in 2019, and now she's released a new single. "Grass Jeans" keeps the vibe of Gordon's album No Home Record but it's also the closest she's sounded to vintage Sonic Youth since Sonic Youth. "Grass Jeans" has the electro rock and art rock sound that her album had, but there's also some strong hints of early No Wave Sonic Youth. There is a ton of noise and aggression here, but you can also groove to it. 

Obviously, Kim Gordon is not going to be a fan of the recent anti-abortion laws in Texas. "Grass Jeans" is a fundraiser for Fund Texas Choice. In a Facebook post, Gordon says of the new song:

"I often get asked 'Can music change things for people in a political landscape?' Hell yes it can . . . but it takes a listener, an audience to make it anything. So please join me in helping to protect and keep accessible a woman’s right to choose her fate by purchasing this song and supporting Fund Texas Choice and their collective efforts to secure abortion access for all. Thank you. It means so much."

You can listen to "Grass Jeans" below. You can get a copy of the song here. For more on Kim Gordon, check out the artist's website. For more on Fund Texas Choice go here.

Arny Margret - "intertwined"

Photo by Guðmundur Kristinn Jónsson

Iceland's Arny Margret has just released her debut single. "intertwined" is a gorgeous song that straddles the line between singer/songwriter and folk. It's composed of Margret's vocals and acoustic guitar. The song is stunning in its simple beauty. Margret has this instantly compelling vocal style that feels perfectly familiar despite not sounding quite like anyone else. "intertwined" is a mesmerizing debut single that is going to have you rushing to all of Margret's socials to make sure you don't miss a follow up.

Arny Margret says of her new single:

“Past experiences kept coming back to me while I was alone, and all these feelings mixed with the weather and the trees somehow. I dreamt about these things, and I came up with the lyric ‘our pasts are intertwined,’ as if you’re connected to someone even if you don’t want to be.” 

You can listen to "intertwined" below. The song is available as a single via One Little Independent Records, and can be downloaded at Bandcamp. For more on Arny Margret, check out the artist's website.

PIQSIQ Cover Tchaikovsky

PIQSIQ (pronounced "pilk-silk") are an Inuit sister duo (Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik) that have released a cover of Tchaikonsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker Suite. It's a holiday classic that you've heard to death if any of your kids are into dance. But PIQSIQ's rendition is an a capella version. It's just vocalizing for a classical instrumental song. This is obviously not for everyone, but if you're a fan of Petra Haden's a capella releases, or just enjoy odd little songs to put on a holiday playlist, you're going to enjoy this one.

You can listen to PIQSIQ's take on "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" below. The song is available for download via Bandcamp. For more on PIQSIQ, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Century Egg - "Mirror"

Photo via Century Egg

We've been really digging the Mandopop of Nova Scotia's Century Egg, despite not really understanding what defines that genre. Their latest single is exactly what we love about them. It's punk-ish with a hard pop side that doesn't cross into pop punk at all. It has that early alternative edge and DIY sound and feel that you would get with a band like Beat Happening, but more modern and far more pop tinged. "Mirror" is filled with grungy guitars, driving drum beats, and harmonized vocals throughout. It's a fun, uplifting song despite the subject matter. According to the band, "Mirror" is "... about the struggle of depression and how dark things can feel even when there are bright sides," which I think
we can all relate to after the past almost two years... and more.

You can listen to "Mirror" below. The song is currently available as a single via Forward Music Group, and can be downloaded over at Bandcamp. For more on Century Egg, check out their Facebook

Home Fires Burning: A Holiday Compilation from Red on Red Records

Red on Red Records just celebrated their first anniversary, and they've quickly become a go to label for fantastic local multi-genre rock. Their new holiday music EP shows off that diversity perfectly. Home Fires Burning: A Holiday Compilation from Red on Red Records starts off with "Reindeer Twist" from Stupidity and featuring Keith Streng from The Fleshtones. It has this early punk meets rockabilly sound of bands like X or The Cramps, but a toned down one for holiday consumption. It also includes "An Irishman for Christmas" by Berk/Lehane which came out last year. It's a song by Simone Berk (Kid Gulliver, Sugar Snow) and Dennis Lehane (The Dogmatics) that's a holiday power pop song about wanting an Irishman for Christmas despite being Jewish. One of our favorite Boston punk bands, Linnea's Garden, gives us "All Eight Nights" which, in true Linnea's Garden fashion is a double entendre about lasting all eight nights. This one is more of a singer/songwriter affair with an electric guitar instead of their more bombastic full band songs. "Coat of Snow" is the offering from Cold Expectations and is a little power pop song with some New Wave-ish elements. Justine's Black Threads close out the EP with their Americana version of "Angels We Have Heard on High."

You can listen to "All Eight Nights" below. To get your copy of Home Fires Burning: A Holiday Compilation from Red on Red Records, head over to the label's Bandcamp.

Loopy Ferrell featuring Asian Doll - "Profit"

Photo via Facebook

As you've probably guessed by now, I'm a much bigger fan of 80's and 90's hip hop than modern, but I do love modern hip hop that sounds like old school hip hop. The latest from Mt. Vernon, NY's Loopy Ferrell hits that old school sound that I love. "Profit" features Asian Doll on a verse and has that mid-90's feel to it. Production is minimal and there isn't even a shred of R&B shown here. This is pure hip hop, with the edge that it missing in most modern songs from the genre. This is oddly reminding me of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Of course, "Profit" isn't a pure throwback. It does sound much more like 2021 than 1995, but it's great to see current artists looking back to their influences like this.

You can listen to "Profit" below. In the Loop We Trust, Vol. 1 is due out sometime in December. For more on Loopy Ferrell, check out the artist on Twitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Laura-Mary Carter - "Blue's Not My Colour"

With Laura-Mary Carter's debut solo mini album due out on Friday, we have a third single to listen to before the release. So far the songs released off Town Called Nothing have been country adjacent. They're more rock songs with some elements of country. "Blue's Not My Colour" is Laura-Mary Carter's most country song released so far. It may not be a full on country song, but there is plenty of twang here. It's the kind of song that moves country into a newer direction into the worlds of indie rock and alt-pop, kind of the way Aaron Lee Tasjan and Tristen do. "Blue's Not My Colour" is the kind of genre blurring track we seem to be moving towards, where a song isn't necessarily purely country or rock or pop. This is music that cares more about being good or interesting instead.

Laura-Mary Carter says of the new single:

"'Blue's Not My Colour' is about to wanting an uncomplicated relationship. I was listening to a lot of music like Patsy Cline at the time and I thought I want to write a type of love song but flip the script with a little bit of humour to it."

You can watch the video for "Blue's Not My Colour" below. Town Called Nothing is due out December 3. You can pre-save/pre-order the mini album here. For more on Laura-Mary Carter, check out the artist's website.

Sofia Talvik - "A Memory of Snow"

Photo by Jonas Westin

We've become huge fans of Sweden's Sofia Talvik here at If It's Too Loud..., and one thing we look forward to every year is her Christmas single. This year's is "A Memory of Snow." It starts off as a very traditional folk song that sounds more Celtic than anything else. It's absolutely lovely, and it's the kind of holiday song that even those who hate holiday music can love. "A Memory of Snow" just feels like winter and evokes memories of staying inside cozy by a fire while it snows outside. And then the song changes to a more modern folk song while keeping the traditional base. It's the exact kind of song that has made us love the music of Sofia Talvik.

You can listen to "A Memory of Snow" below. The song is available as a free download via Bandcamp. For more on Sofia Talvik, check out the artist's website.

Wet Leg - "Too Late Now" and "Oh No"

Photo via Facebook

It's been a long, long time since a band has had the level of buzz that Wet Leg has. There have been articles written about how the Isle of Wight based band have millions of streams and only two songs, but luckily for us all they've just doubled that number! "Too Late Now" is Wet Leg's version of a ballad. It starts off as this gorgeous, otherworldly indie rock song. It's this mellow and spacey song that is swirling around itself... for the first half at least. After that it turns into a faster paced dance friendly song that is bordering on Brit pop while still keeping that spacey feel. 

For their second new single, Wet Leg has given us "Oh No." "Oh No" is this wonderfully oddball song that dances right up to the edge of punk but never quite works up the ferocity for that. Since it's Wet Leg, the song is oddly danceable despite being disjointed. It's almost like a post punk band decided to play a rave and failed miserably while accidentally crafting a brilliantly bizarre song. 

Oh, and both of these songs are some of the most fun ones you'll hear all year.

You can watch the video for "Too Late Now" below. You can listen to "Oh No" here. Wet Leg's self-titled debut album will be out April 8 on Domino Record Co. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Wet Leg, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

First Listen: New and Missed Releases for 26 November

Clearing the decks...
Artist: Kylie V
Album: Big Blue
Quick Thoughts: This album is incredible, and I hate that I missed it early on. Kylie V has done something truly special here in that it's a unique voice and tone while still feeling as familiar as a lot of recent efforts. This will likely end up on a few year-end longlists, including mine, because it's that good.
Songs of Note: "A Story If You Want It," "On My Mind"

Artist: Galactikraken and Jonathan Young
Album: Starship Velociraptor
Quick Thoughts: This will be divisive for most people, but think about if The Darkness did synth rock and you might scratch the surface of what's going on with Galactikraken. It's an absolutely insane album of music that is loud and caphophonic, but is somehow still incredibly compelling. I know this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it's certainly mine.
Songs of Note: "Glory or Gold," "Settle It With a Swordfight," "Storm the Castle," "Jetpack Race"

Artist: Calva Louise
Album: Euphoric
Quick Thoughts: This is a sneaky great record. It's alt-rock with a bit of a radio-friendly edge, and if you don't struggle with the foreign language efforts, a lot to love here. I didn't want this to get lost in the shuffle, so know that this one is absolutely worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Free To Be Lost," "Ephemeral," "Belicoso," "Alcanzar, "The Odds," "Mafalda"

Artist: Karen Peris
Album: A Song is Way Above the Lawn
Quick Thoughts: A folky, quiet effort that has some real legs. It's reminscent of Bedouine in many regards in that it feels like it transported itself from decades past and is here to sing to us now. If you like the quieter folky efforts, give this a spin.
Songs of Note: "Superhero," "I Would Sing Along," "Map for the Orange Daylight"

Artist: Baby Bulldog
Album: Little Ripper
Quick Thoughts: Alt-indie rock with a little bit of attitude. Steph Barker is the drummer for L.A. Exes, and this first solo album is just a lot of fun. I don't have a ton to say about it except that I think it's really great and scratches that alt itch perfectly. Give it some time.
Songs of Note: "Daddy," "You"

Artist: Nell and The Flaming Lips
Album: Where the Viaduct Looms
Quick Thoughts: Nell Smith is a 13-year-old Flaming Lips fan who is also a songwriter and musician. She struck up a friendship with Wayne Coyne after dressing as a parrot at a Lips concert, and now we get an album of Nick Cave covers with Nell on vocals and the Lips on instruments. I can't really get into Nick Cave (it's all me on that point), but this is probably my favorite Flaming Lips-related listen in some time, and I'm very interested to see what else we get from Nell Smith in the future. Just a fascinating, wonderful album.
Songs of Note: "Weeping Song," "O Children," "Red Right Hand," "The Ship Song"

Of note:

* USS/Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - The Science & Artfunkel Victory Lap (Answers the question as to what would have happened if Seattle grunge discovered drum machines.)
* Blockhead - Space Werewolves Will Be the End of Us All (Via frequent Aesop Rock collaborator.)
* El Michsels Affair - The Abominable EP (Not really an EP, but instrumental/alternative takes of their most recent effort.)
* Handsome Jack - Get Humble
* Andrea von Kampen - That Spell
* Inca Babies - Swamp Street Soul
* Nina June - Meet Me on the Edge of Our Ruin
* Pye Corner Audio - Entangled Routes
* Bent Knee - Frosting
* 7038634357 - Permanest
* Remedy - Remedy Meets Wu-Tang
* Julie Doiron - I Thought Of You
* Eris Drew - Quivering in Time
* Sincere Engineer - Trust Me


* The Centaurettes - Cute to be Mean
* 7038634357 - My Way Out
* Christian Lee Hutson - The Version Suicides
* Jessica Winter - More Sad Music
* MarthaGunn - Caught Up and Confused
* Hayley Mary - Fall in Love EP
* Lars Fredericksen - To Victory

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues/Christmas:

* Various Artists - @0 (A collection of ambient music, really good stuff.)
* BEGINNERS - A BEGINNERS Guide to Christmas
* G. Love and Special Sauce - Coming Back Home for Christmas
* Allie X - Cape God (Deluxe)
* Helmet - Live and Rare