Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Quicksand - "Inversion"

Post hardcore legends Quicksand are back with a new single! The New York based band just put out "Inversion," and if you've been a fan of them since the 90's, you're going to be quite pleased with this new one. As you may have noticed, as any metal or hard rock band gets ready to release new music every article you read insists that it's a return to form or their loudest album in years with multiple exclamation points. "Inversion" is a relatively mellow song, but Quicksand standards. It's still heavy, but it's what Quicksand should be sounding like in middle age. It's loud, but not as loud, and a few steps slower. But aren't we all. Plus, it is Quicksand, so expect some gloriously noisy guitars.

You can listen to "Inversion" below. The song is available as a single via Epitaph Records. For more on Quicksand, check out the band's website.

Prateek - "Wrong"

Photo by Holly Rike

Boston's Prateek has released a new single that is much more serious than the previous "If I were a dog." "Wrong" is a song about how racism is ingrained in people more than they realize, and how an offhand remark can haunt someone for years afterwards. Prateek's use of just his vocals and guitars give this song an intensely personal feeling. It showcases the power folk music can have in the right hands. "Wrong" is a powerful and important song, that can be as uncomfortable to listen to as it is beautiful.

In a Facebook post, Prateek explains the new song:

"In college, I hooked up with a white girl who told me I was the first non-white guy she’d ever 'done anything with.' What seemed like a flippant comment haunted me for the next nine years in ways I couldn’t quite put into words until 1) I learned how to write songs and 2) a global pandemic broke out... POC can’t hide from racism because it is, indeed everywhere. So we might as well face it head on."

You can listen to "Wrong" below. The song is available as a single on Pitch & Prose, and is available for download via Bandcamp. For more on Prateek, check out the artist's website.

Lucy Dacus - "Hot & Heavy"

Photo by Ebdizru Yil

We're rabid fanboys of Lucy Dacus here at If It's Too Loud..., so we couldn't be more thrilled by her latest single. "Hot & Heavy" starts off in the trademark Dacus fashion: starting off quiet and contemplative, and then slowly building into a giant indie rock/folk epic. As the new song starts, that is what it sounds like it is building to, until "Hot & Heavy" takes an unexpected turn into more of a pop sound. If anything, it sounds more like something from her 2019 covers project than it does 2018's Historian. But, as someone who tends to reject pop, this is a welcome turn that keeps just enough of the indie rock and folk sensibilities of her previous releases to keep me enthralled.

Lucy Dacus says of the new song:

I thought I was writing ‘Hot & Heavy’ about an old friend, but I realized along the way that it was just about me outgrowing past versions of myself. So much of life is submitting to change and saying goodbye even if you don't want to. Now whenever I go to places that used to be significant to me, it feels like trespassing the past. I know that the teen version of me wouldn't approve of me now, and that's embarrassing and a little bit heartbreaking, even if I know intellectually that I like my life and who I am.”

You can watch the video for "Hot & Heavy" below. Home Video is due out June 25 on Matador Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Lucy Dacus, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video!

Fri. Sept. 10 - Richmond, VA @ The National
(Julien Baker Headline/Lucy Support, + special guests)
Sat. Sept. 11 - Richmond, VA @ The National
(Lucy Headline/Julien Baker Support, + special guests)
Mon. Sept. 13 - Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom %
Tue. Sept. 14 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West %
Wed. Sept. 15 - Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl %
Fri. Sept. 17  - Dallas, TX @ Trees %
Sat. Sept. 18 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall- Downstairs %
Sun. Sept. 19 - Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn %
Mon. Sept. 20 - San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger %
Wed. Sept. 22 - Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole %
Fri. Sept. 24 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel %
Sat. Sept. 25 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory OC %
Mon. Sept. 27 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore %
Thu. Sept. 30 - Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theatre $
Fri. Oct. 1 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom $
Sat. Oct. 2 - Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre $
Tue. Oct. 5 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge $
Fri. Oct. 8 - Iowa City, IA @ The Englert Theatre $
Sat. Oct. 9 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue $
Mon. Oct. 11  - Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre $
Tue. Oct. 12 - Columbus , OH @ Newport Music Hall $
Thu. Oct. 14 - Toronto, ON @ The Opera House $
Fri. Oct. 15 - Montreal, QC @ L’Astral $
Sat. Oct. 16 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues $
Mon. Oct. 18 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground $
Wed. Oct. 20 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer ^
Fri. Oct. 22 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club $
Mon. Oct. 25 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
% = w/ Bachelor
$ = w/ Bartees Strange
^ = w/ Shamir

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 9 April 2021

Artist: Departure Lounge
Album: Transmeridian
Quick Thoughts:
Songs of Note: "Australia," "Mr. Friendly"

Artist: Claire Rousay
Album: A Softer Focus
Quick Thoughts: Claire Rousay has produced some interesting music for a few years now, and (with the understanding that her more esoteric field recordings-style has some limited appeal), this could be a real breakthrough. This album is a gorgeous mix of often-sparse electronics that feel like they exist in real time, and it makes for a super interesting listen. A lot of buzz aorund this one, and rightly so.
Songs of Note: "Peak Chroma"

Artist: Emily Kinney
Album: The Supporting Character
Quick Thoughts: We're Emily Kinney fans here, both of her singing and her acting. This album has some of her most accessible moments yet, such as with "When the Midnight Fireworks Start," and yet it still retains the sort of charm we've come to enjoy from her albums. Great for longtime fans and for newcomers alike.
Songs of Note: "Genetic Makeup," "When the Midnight Fireworks Start"

Artist: PONY
Album: TV Baby
Quick Thoughts: A debut album I've been waiting impatiently for, this is a nice slice of indie rock with hints of pop-punk sprinkled throughout. PONY is not forging any new ground here, but they are providing solid musicianship and super catchy songs along the way anyway. It's going to be difficult not to be charmed by this one from the start.
Songs of Note: "Chokecherry," "Couch," "My Room"

Artist: Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi
Album: They're Calling Me Home
Quick Thoughts: Rhiannon Giddens continues to excel at wonderful interpretations of folk and the musical canon. A second collaboration with Francesco Turrisi, this is just an absolutely wonderful listen and should be a required inclusion in your weekly rotation.
Songs of Note: "Avalon," "Waterbound"

Artist: Assertion
Album: Intermission
Quick Thoughts: Featuring the guy who was in both Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate, this actually sounds a lot like what you'd expect those two bands to sound like combined. It's anthemic, loud post-rock with an emo feel, and it really worked for me. Really one you need to hear to understand fully.
Songs of Note: "Down in the Depths," "Defeated," "Deeper in the Shallow," "Supervised Suffering"

Artist: Yoshinori Hayashi
Album: Pulse of Defiance
Quick Thoughts: Ken sent this one over to me and it was very unexpected. I was pretty into acid house and the like for a while, and this really gave me the same vibes as when people on IRC tried to get me to take ecstacy and go to a rave. This is probably more complicated than your typical house music from decades past, but it's still a great listen on a whole.
Songs of Note: "Twilight," "Flow"

Artist: Sarah Cicero
Album: Cold Immaculate Opposite
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to highlight this EP because it was really my favorite listen of the week. These two songs in particular, "Atticus" and "Indifferent," just got trapped in my head right after hearing them, and I don't want this to get overlooked in a busy week. Put simply, Sarah Cicero is absolutely someone to watch.
Songs of Note: "Atticus," "Indifferent"

Of note:

* Bill MacKay and Nathan Bowles - Keys
* The Pink Stones - Introducing... The Pink Stones
* The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Dance Songs for Hard Times
* The Blips - The Blips
* Sufjan Stevens - Meditations
* Frances - Wonder
* Small Black - Cheap Dreams


* Elaquent - Bedtime Stories II
* Skullcrusher - Storm in Summer
* Samantha Crain - I Guess We Live Here Now * Sorry - Twixtustwain EP
* HÆLOS - Somnum
* Francis of Delirium - Wading EP
* Andy Bell with Pye Corner Audio - The Indica Gallery EP
* Evan Greer - Spotify is Surveillance

* Boyfriend Machine - The Youth Stalk the Garden at Night

Live albums/Compilations:

* Doe - Sincerely, Doe: Live at the Lexington
* Camp Cope - triple j - Live at the Wireless
* The Orb - Abolition of the Royal Familia (Guillotine Mixes)
* Future Funk Squad - Reunified Forms
* Sorry - Home Demo/ns vol I
* Sorry - Home Demo/ns vol II

Also out:

* Tunic - Exhaling
* Cheap Trick - In Another World
* Peggy Seeger - First Farewell
* Parker Millsap - Be Here Instead

Green River Festival Reveals Mindblowing 2021 Line-Up!

The Green River Festival is always a highlight of any year. They've just released the line-up for the 2021 edition, and somehow this is just the initial line up. It's safe to say that this is by far their most exciting line-up ever! As always it skews heavily towards folk/Americana, but they've truly outdone themselves this year. Headliners for the three days are Jon Bastiste, Shakey Graves, and Ani Difraco, which would be thrilling enough. The other announced bands include long time If It's Too Loud... favorites like Drive-By Truckers, Deer Tick, and JD McPherson, alongside more newly discovered favorites like Sierra Ferrell, Twisted Pine, Rachel Baiman, and Bella White (who I just discovered over the weekend and haven't even had a chance to post about yet!) Plus, there are other artists we're big on like Valerie June, Mandolin Orange, Bonny Light Horseman, Charlie Parr, and Rebirth Brass Band that are all playing. 

Green River Festival will run August 27-29 at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield, MA. You can find more information and tickets here.

Montener The Menace featuring Wordsworth, Rah Digga, Masta Ace, & Fatlip - "High Noon"

Hailing from South London, Montener The Menace has just released the most classic old school hip hop single in years. First, the single is called "High Noon" and it has a slight old west vibe to it. A rap song with a western theme is something you'd hear in the late 80's/early 90's, but I can't think of another song since that used that theme. Second, he brought in four classic American rappers for the song. It features verses from Masta Ace, Rah Digga (Flipmode Squad), Fatlip (The Pharcyde), and Wordsworth. Just having those four team up is enough to get us to listen. Luckily, "High Noon" is a killer old school hip hop song. If you're a fan of pre-1995 hip hop, this song is going to be impossible not to enjoy.

You can watch the video for "High Noon" below. The song will be available as a 7" single via Certain Sound Records. You can pre-order a copy on the label's Bandcamp. For more on Montener The Menace, check out the artist's Twitter.

Century Egg - "Do You Want to Dance?"

Photo by Century Egg

Based in Halifax, Century Egg make this impossibly charming version of garage pop. "Do You Want to Dance?" has the fuzziness and edge of garage rock but the sheen of pop. Sure, those sound like complete opposites, but Century Egg pulls it off. At times the song feels like it's wildly careening through decades from the 1960's to present day, all while sounding like a cohesive song. It's groovy, melodic, and punk at times. It's a fun song that is guaranteed to suck you in, no matter how much of an aging music snob you may be. (We speak from our own experience on that one...)

You can listen to "Do You Want to Dance?" below. Little Piece of Hair is due out May 7 on Forward Music Group. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Century Egg, check out the band on Facebook.

Bill Janovitz - Live From Q Division Studios

Throughout the pandemic and quarantine, Bill Janovitz has been doing virtual happy hours livestreams. Back in February he left his house and recorded one in Q Division Studios in Somerville. That one has been remixed and released with the snappy title Live From Q Division Studios. It's a twenty one song "warts and all" release. With the exception of Laura St. Clair joining him for vocals and maracas on two songs, it's just Janovitz and his guitar or a piano, playing a ton of Buffalo Tom (including "Treehouse" and "Taillights Fade") and solo songs, plus a few covers, including "Little Mascara" by The Replacements. As someone who has been desperately missing his monthly shows at The Burren (located a few blocks from Q Division), this is a great temporary replacement until we can go back. 

You can listen to "Treehouse" below. Live From Q Division Studios is available on Bill Janovitz's Bandcamp. For more on Bill Janovitz, check out his website.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Lilac Queen - things are different now

According to their Bandcamp profile, Lilac Queen are "Massachusetts shoegaze." While their new EP (technically only two songs) fits into the shoegaze category, it's a little too energetic and bouncy to truly be pure shoegaze. Instead "fences" and "piles" are a shoegaze/emo hybrid. "fences" in particular really hits harder on the emo (or at least pop punk) side of things. "piles" is a little harder rocking and follows a grungy loud/quiet/loud format spectacularly. Shoegaze can be a very tired and repetitive genre, even for those of us that love it. It's nice to see a band like Lilac Queen expand the genre to include some new sounds.

You can listen to "fences" below. things are different now is available as a download via Bandcamp. For more on Lilac Queen, check them out on Facebook.

E.GG - "Keep Me On"

E.GG is a Filipino Canadian hip hop artist that recently moved from Winnipeg to Toronto. His latest single, "Keep Me On," is one of the rare songs that feels completely fresh and familiar at the same time. As it starts off with a sung chorus, it feels like most rap songs out there for the past twenty-plus years. Once E.GG starts rapping the song takes an interesting turn. His flow is truly unique. It's laid back but with its own cadence. It's an almost jerky style that demands you pay attention, which doesn't usually happen with hip hop this laid back. 

You can listen to "Keep Me On" below. The song is out now on Birthday Cake Media. You can find a copy here. For more on E.GG, check out the artist on Instagram and Bandcamp.