Friday, July 1, 2022

Workhorse - "No Photographs"

Photo by Chelsea Farquhar

Hailing from Adelaide, Australia, Workhorse have combined two of our favorite musical elements in such a way that we can't believe it hasn't been done before. When you first hear that "No Photographs" is a blend of the surf rock of Link Wray and the 90's dream pop of bands like Mazzy Star and The Sundays, it might sound like an odd combination. But, once you think about it, that might be an absolute dream of a sound. Workhorse have created this gorgeous, lush, and menacing mixture of sounds for their new song, and for those of us of a certain age this one is thrillingly new and familiar all at once.

Harriet Fraser-Barbour (aka Workhorse) says of her new single:

“I have this huge reliance on photos to provide me with proof of experiences. This is the result of many things, but a bad memory being one of them. I am always afraid that I will forget something significant and I struggle with the thought that a moment can feel hugely profound and then just get lost in my mind or fade away into my memory. That’s the kind of sentimentality that makes me a memory hoarder - constantly collecting or keeping things that serve as reminders of people and times that have felt significant to me. This song is about a holiday which marked a point of change within a relationship that I held very dear. It was a painful time of transition, and where I would normally be desperate to capture memories I instead found myself unable to take photos. Wary of constantly shifting boundaries and perhaps a self protective kind of safeguarding of myself and my memories for the future.”

You can watch the video for "No Photographs" below. No Photographs, the album, is due out August 12 on Dinosaur City Records. It can be pre-ordered here. For more on Workhorse, check out the artist on Facebook and Instagram.

Sierra Ferrell Covers John Anderson

Photo by Mama Hot Dog

John Anderson is a blind spot in my country music knowledge, but after hearing Sierra Ferrell's cover of his song "Years," I may need to change that. Ferrell has become an absolute master of cover songs, and her version of "Years" may be her most mainstream sounding song yet. While she has nailed that old timey country, jazz, bluegrass, folk, etc. sound that skirts on the edge of hokey without ever going too far, this is a straight up classic country song. Hearing Ferrell stay so true to the original without straying far from it shows a deep reverence for John Anderson's work that will have you wanting to check out the country legend's entire catalog.

You can watch the video for Sierra Ferrell's version of "Years" below. Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson is due out August 5 on Easy Eye Sound, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Sierra Ferrell, check out the artist's website.

Nora Brown - "Little Satchel"

If you like folk or Americana in any form, you're going to adore the latest from Nora Brown. Brown is a sixteen year old banjo player and singer who plays roots music in its most pure form. Her latest single, "Little Satchel," is just Brown's vocals and her banjo, and you won't really need or want anything else. Brown is impossibly talented for any age, let alone a teenager. "Little Satchel" is such a compelling song because of the talent involved and because it's so bare bones. If you haven't jumped on the Nora Brown bandwagon yet, you're going to want to before the new album comes out.

You can listen to "Little Satchel" below. Long Time to Be Gone is due out August 26 on Jalopy Records, and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. For more on Nora Brown, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Winter Wolf - "Eye of the Wolf"

It's not too many bands that list Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Motorhead, and Biohazard as influences, but most bands aren't Winter Wolf. The New York/New Jersey band have released another single from their upcoming EP. "Eye of the Wolf" shows off all of those influences. It has that unhinged classic soul and R&B sound of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the blistering and pummeling metal of Biohazard, and Motorhead to bridge the gap between punk and metal. It's a song that grooves just as hard as it rocks, and adding some Screamin' Jay Hawkins to punk and metal is always going to be welcome around here.

You can listen to "Eye of the Wolf" below. Unwell is due out July 2 on Academic Punk Records. For more on Winter Wolf, check out the band's Facebook.

Eerie Wanda - "Sail to the Silver Sun"

Photo by Anna Tadic

If you're an artist who goes by Eerie Wanda, you'd have to work pretty hard to make me not like you. Luckily, the musical project from Dutch/Croatian artist Marina Tadic would be beloved even without the great name. Her latest single, "Sail to the Silver Sun," is hard to nail down. It's a relatively minimalist song that contains elements of alt-pop, folk, indie rock, New Age, jazz, and probably some more that aren't jumping out at me. If this was the 90's, we could just slap the "alternative" label on is and just be done. It's probably best to just call "Sail to the Silver Sun" haunting. Tadic's vocals drone on in an almost upbeat manner, while the music is decidedly downbeat and also droning. It's a compelling song that helps push Eerie Wanda back to the forefront of our thoughts.

You can watch the video for "Sail to the Silver Sun" below. Internal Radio is due out September 23 on Joyful Noise Recordings. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Eerie Wanda, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Momma - "Motorbike"

Photo by Sophie Hur

Brooklyn's Momma are releasing their new album Friday and have released one last single in case we just can't wait. (We can't.) "Motorbike" shows off everything we love about Momma. It's a song steeped in 90's alt-rock and power pop, with this one leaning a little bit more into modern pop-rock than previous singles have. It's fuzzy guitars, vocals that sound like Shirley Manson going slacker, and impossibly catchy everything with huge choruses. Momma's upcoming album has Album of the Year contender written all over it, so you're going to want to jump on this one ASAP.

Allegra Weingarten says of her band's new song:

“I wrote this song about a boy I had a crush on who really wanted nothing to do with me. The song is basically just fantasyeven though it’s about a real person, it’s also about how we can make up elaborate ideas of who other people are in our heads, and get so caught up in these fake scenarios that they kind of end up feeling real. I wanted the song to feel like you’re escaping something, because my daydreams about this boy and his motorcycle were definitely an escape from my life at the time.”

You can watch the video for "Motorbike" below. Household Name is due out on Polyvinyl Record Co on July 1. For more on Momma, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

08/12 - Providence, RI @ Fete Music Hall !
08/13 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground !
08/16 - New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place !
08/17 - Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony !
08/19 - Richmond, VA @ The National !
08/20 - Norfolk, VA @ Haw River Ballroom !
08/21 - Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre !
08/23 - Orlando, FL @ The Beacham Theater !
08/24 - Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor !
08/26 - Birmingham, AL @ Saturn !
08/27 - Knoxville, TN @ The Mill & Mine !
08/28 - Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall !
08/30 - Bloomington, IL @ The Castle Theatre !
08/31 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre !
09/02 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall !
09/03 - St Louis, MO @ The Pageant !
09/04 - Columbus, OH @ The Athenaeum Theatre !
09/06 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre !
09/07 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre !
09/09 - Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore !
09/12 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall #
09/14 - Toronto, ON @ The Drake #
09/16 - Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village # 
09/17 - Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club #
09/20 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza %
09/21 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios % 
09/23 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop %
09/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo %
09/25 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room % 
09/27 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar %
09/30 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk - Indoors ^
10/01 - Dallas, TX @ Three Links ^
10/02 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall - Upstairs ^ 
10/04 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl ^
10/07 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's #
10/08 - New York, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg #
! w/ Snail Mail
# w/ waveform*
% w/ Pardoner 
^ w/ teethe

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Doki Doki - "I Was Killing It Man"

Allright, everyone... time to feel old. Doki Doki are being called a punk supergroup, which makes me feel ancient because the members look so young to me. Plus, it features members of Dog Party, Grumpster, The Moore Family Band, and Small Crush, none of which I've previously heard of. A week ago the song premiered on Fortnite Radio, so I'm just about to retire.

But... Doki Doki's first single is amazing. "I Was Killing It Man" is this blistering punk song that is as noisy and in your face as it is melodic. It's a total scream along angry punk song, but vocalist Lucy Giles can carry a tune better than any other noise punk singer I've heard. Doki Doki also add in some classic Nuggets style garage rock sounds in the song, and you know that just makes it even more impossible to resist. 

You can watch the video for "I Was Killing It Man" below. The song is available now as a single via Asian Man Records, and can be downloaded over at Bandcamp. For more on Doki Doki, check out the band's Instagram.

Well Wisher - "Need You Around"

Photo by Okie Dokie Studio

In their press release, New Jersey's Well Wisher are described as both indie punk and pop punk. Their latest single, "Need You Around," fits both of those perfectly. As poppy as the song is, it never quite falls into the stereotypical trappings usually associated with pop punk, even though it is definitely pop punk. And the song has just enough of a fun quirk to it to fit into indie punk. It's a fun love song to front leader Natalie Newbold's partner and is just dripping with emotion and sentiment, in the best possible way.

Natalie Newbold says of the new song:

“'Need You Around' is about fragility and the need for others’ love. After playing a pretty isolating solo show in Jersey City, I wrote it in my head on the drive home. The song is largely for my partner and visual collaborator, Jenna Murphy. The rain was really coming down that night, just pouring, and it was sometime in late Spring; I hadn’t really eaten very much, so needless to say, my ride was a little uncomfortable. As I spiraled through the looping highways of North Jersey to get home, all I could think about was getting there, curling up in bed with Jenna, and how the whole debacle made me feel so grateful for her comfort, safety, and love."

You can watch the video for "Need You Around" below. The songs is available as a single via Egghunt Records with an album due out in the Fall. For more on Well Wisher, check out the band's website.

Wilder Maker featuring Felicia Douglass - "A Professional"

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

The latest single from Wilder Maker keeps on that Americana meets indie rock song we've come to love from the New York band, but this one adds a few new elements. In keeping with the theme of their upcoming album, "A Professional" brings in guest lead vocalist Felicia Douglass of Dirty Projectors. The song stops shy of being a dance song, but there are some electronic-ish elements on display. There are also some traces of neo-soul dancing around the edges here. It's a relaxed song that has enough elements to sound instantly familiar but not like a rehash of things that have come before.

Singer/Songwriter Gabriel Birnbaum says of the new song:

“’A Professional’ dips into the feeling of digital isolation, the way the physical world has become less real and more ghostly, less mysterious and more quantifiable. It's inspired by this recurring experience I have, usually traveling, where I’ve been alone all day and I suddenly want to connect very badly with people I care about. I fire off several texts and sit there waiting for the phone to light up, with this strange feeling that everyone I know might have vanished. As soon as I imagined Felicia singing this song, I knew she’d be perfect for it, and she was. I'm so happy and grateful she was able to do it.”

You can watch the video for "A Professional" below. Male Models is due out July 29 on Western Vinyl,  and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Wilder Maker, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 24 June 2022

Artist: Soccer Mommy
Album: Sometimes, Forever
Quick Thoughts: Soccer Mommy continues to get better with every release she puts out. The fidelity is higher, but the songwriting is such a significant step forward that this demands attention. I love love love this album and I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to it.
Songs of Note: "Bones," "With U," "Shotgun," "Don't Ask Me," "Fire in the Driveway," "Feel It All the Time"

Artist: Boy Jr.
Album: Pay Attention to Meee
Quick Thoughts: Boy Jr. has, somewhat suddenly, started killing it on TikTok, and while those words might be incomprehensible to a lot of our readers, it's a big deal. Her previous EP, Starter Pack, has a few of my favorites from her, but this album shows that she's capable of a lot of interesting songwriting. "Meet Me In the Middle" in particular highlights her unique songwriting abilities in perhaps the best way since "Drop at 1:01." Overall, I hope this album makes her huge.
Songs of Note: "Narcissist, Baby," "Smart Man," "Meet Me In the Middle"

Artist: Petrol Girls
Album: Baby
Quick Thoughts: We know we don't live in a simulation, because no one would write a script or algorithm where an angry political album like Baby gets released on the same day Roe v. Wade is overturned. The album does not shy away from difficult topics or controversial stances, and they make no secret about where those stances sit. It's basically a perfect punk record for our times, so check it out.
Songs of Note: "Preachers," "Baby, I Had an Abortion," "Clowns"

Artist: G. Love
Album: Philadelphia Mississippi
Quick Thoughts: G. Love is somewhat legendary in many circles, and his blues/rap-R&B album here has no right to be as great as it is. I really enjoyed this, and especially given how this had every chance of going off the rails, it ends up doing a good job of not falling into self parody. A solid listen on a whole.
Songs of Note: "Love from Philly," "Mississippi," "I Ain't Living"

Artist: Hackensaw Boys
Album: Hackensaw Boys
Quick Thoughts: The Hackensaw Boys continue to put together some great roots music, and deserve to be talked about more than they are. This self-titled effort has some truly catchy listens, and is a pretty great listen in a busy week. If you haven't gotten into them yet, now is as good a time as ever to start.
Songs of Note: "Mary Shelley," "Cages We're Grown In," "Strangers"

Artist: Caleb Nichols
Album: Ramon
Quick Thoughts: Caleb Nichols sometimes channels Britpop and sometimes channels Elliott Smith and sometimes just does his own thing, and all of it ties together in an album that really, really impressed me. I hadn't heard of Nichols before this week, and of the new artists I've discovered as of late, he is absolutely one I'm looking forward to learning more about. An excellent singer-songwriter record.
Songs of Note: "Dog Days," "Run Rabbit Run," "Captain Custard," "Jerome"

Artist: Maggie Carson
Album: The Dark Was Aglow
Quick Thoughts: We love Spirit Family Reunion here, and Maggie Carson, singer/songwriter/banjoer, has a solo album worthy of similar adoration. It's mostly her and her banjo, but the songs feel lush and rich even while sparse, and they feel like they'd be right at home at some sort of outdoorsy sing-along. I really loved this surprise of an album, and I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time with it.
Songs of Note: "From Here to Anywhere," "Here Among Us," "Waiting"

Of note:

* Dilettante - Dilettante
* Lipphead - In the Nude
* Deau Eyes - Legacies
* Regina Spektor - Home, before and after
* KITIMOTO - Vintage Smell
* Peter Rowan - Calling You From My Mountain
* Canyons and Locusts - Roll the Dice
* GRMLN - Lost Days in Lake Biwa
* Long Neck - Soft Animal
* Motherhood - Winded
* Zola Jesus - Arkhon
* Ex-Hyena - Moon Reflections
* Red Ledger - Comfortably Stagnant
* Tim Heidecker - High School
* Young Guv - GUV IV
* Joan Shelley - The Spur
* Damien Jurado - Reggae Film Star
* Katie Alice Greer - Barbarism
* Caamp - Lavender Days


* Half Waif - Portraits
* Greet Death - New Low
* Josin - Traveller
* Wolf Alice - Blue Lullaby
* October and the Eyes - Who Upset You?
* Freedom Fry - Falling
* Weezer - SZNZ: Summer
* Lydia Luce - Garden Songs
* Zoon - Big Pharma
* KALI - Maltman and Effie
* Empress Of - Save Me
* Planet 1999 - this is our music
* Careen - Careen Love Health

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Ska Punk International - Songs for Mom Volume 2 (Ska covers album for charity, lots of good stuff here.)
* Madonna - Finally Enough Love (Remix album spanning her whole career.)
* A Place to Bury Strangers - Hologram: Destroyed and Reassembled
* Third Eye Blind - Unplugged

Also out:

* Conan Gray - Superache