Friday, January 19, 2018

Refrigerator - "Cardboard Death Elevator"

Photo by Kristi Engle
I feel like I should remember Refrigerator much more than I do. They were active back in the mid to late 90's, which were my glory days of going to shows and college radio. Instead, their name sounds familiar, and maybe I played them on my radio show? The only good thing is I have a LOT of history to catch up on.

Refrigerator is set to release their eleventh album next month. "Cardboard Death Elevator" is the first song from that album. It's a great mixture of singer/songwriter fare mixed with minimalist noise rock. It starts out with a bare minimum of instrumentation, with an occasionally strummed guitar and and even more occasional piano flourish over a quiet beat, with Dennis Callaci's vocals being the main focus. It does eventually morph into a swirling guitar crescendo, which provides a huge relief, but even that is fairly quiet and minimal. Overall, it's an awkward, haunting song that won't be for everyone. But, if this sounds like your thing, you'll end up loving this.

You can listen to "Cardboard Death Elevator" below. Refrigerator's new album, High Desert Lows, will be out February 9 on Shrimper/Revolver. It can be pre-ordered here. For more on Refrigerator, check them out on Facebook.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ruby Boots - "Don't Talk About It"

We're less than a month away from the release of Ruby Boots's highly anticipated (by us) new album, Don't Talk About It. There's a new song we can listen to from the album, the title track "Don't Talk About It." The new song is more of a ballad than the previous single "It's So Cruel." Like "It's So Cruel," "Don't Talk About It" is just dripping with cool. It's this slick sounding almost torch song, with Ruby Boots's southern twang by way of Australia. While there's definitely a country feel to the song, it's as much of a Nancy Sinatra style song as it is country. Like I said, everything she touches just drips with cool.

You can listen to "Don't Talk About It" below. Ruby Boots's new album, Don't Talk About It, will be out February 9 on Bloodshot Records. You can pre-order your copy here. It will feature The Texas Gentlemen and Nikki Lane backing her up. For more on Ruby Boots, check out her website.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for January 12

Sorry for the delay. You'd think a three day weekend would be long enough to do this...

Album of the Week:

Artist: cupcakKe
Album: Ephorize
Quick Description: Surprising, great rap music from a new face.
Why You Should Listen: You wish Lizzo had more edge.
Overall Thoughts: And I recognize that it's unfair to compare cupcakKe to Lizzo because, surface-level, they're both larger-than-Hollywood-standard black female rappers, but I got the vibe from it before seeing the album cover. And while the album was pretty great early on, it's when "Duck Duck Goose" hits that you realize you're hearing something special, and not just because it's one of the dirtiest songs I've heard in some time. The beats are great, cupcakKe has a great delivery, and there's not much of a flaw here except that it might feel more like a novelty in future listens. I hope not, because this has a lot of lasting power if she keeps this up.
Recommendation: A must listen this week

Artist: SKYGGE
Album: Hello World
Quick Description: Electronic stuff off the beaten path.
Why You Should Listen: It's on trend, but different enough to maybe draw in people who like different things.
Overall Thoughts: SKYGGE starts us off with a different feel, and while it trends its way back to the center in later songs, this is perhaps most noteworthy for just how it tries not to do the same old thing. It doesn't always work, but it works often enough where I definitely enjoyed this listen and will go back to it. Worth it in a short week anyway. Reading up on it now, there is an artificial intelligence aspect to this that might explain the experimental bits, so it's definitely a conversation piece at worst.
Recommendation: A good listen.

Artist: Typhoon
Album: Offerings
Quick Description: Post-rock(?) from a buzzworthy band.
Why You Should Listen: Looking for something a little complex and heavier.
Overall Thoughts: I'll admit to this not quite being my speed as well as initially thinking this was a reunion effort from a different act. I can see why people like this, and there's a lot of great musicianship here, it just didn't grab me the way I wanted.
Recommendation: Worth a listen, but you'll know quickly if it's for you.

Artist: The Prids
Album: Do I Look Like I'm in Love
Quick Description: Another one on the darker side, but more melodic.
Why You Should Listen: You dipped your toe in the goth scene in high school, didn't like it, but still enjoy dying your hair once in a while.
Overall Thoughts: For someone who was obsessed with upbeat power poppy alt-rock stuff all last year, I shouldn't have enjoyed this late-2017 album as much as I did, but here we are. The first two songs set the tone, with solid melodies and harmonies to go along with a little bit of a heavier/darker tone. It's a tough mix to get right, and plenty of acts have failed at it. The Prids, at least on this album, nailed that balance, and it's something worth hearing.
Recommendation: Definitely should get in your rotation.

Artist: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Album: Wrong Creatures
Quick Description: Latest from the band still trying to escape their early sound while not completely abandoning it.
Why You Should Listen: If you've jumped off the bandwagon, it might be their best album since their sophomore effort.
Overall Thoughts: BRMC is a tough band. You can't help but wonder how much the "they're just a new Jesus and Mary Chain" got to them considering their entry into folk and what have you, but this latest album looks back at that era a bit while informing their growth as a band. It's an interesting listen that, frankly, I'm unsure I'll care to hear again, but it did get me interested in BRMC after a pretty long absence from my music player.
Recommendation: Be wary.

EPs of note:

* Heather Maloney - Just Enough Sun
* Lou Rebecca - Lou Rebecca
* LPX - Bolt in the Blue
* Doe - Mutiny on the Balcony

Also out:

* Various Artists - Doctor Demento Covered in Punk (this is fun but sometimes exhausting)
* Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross No Crown

Loma - "Relay Runner"

Photo by Bryan C Parker
Loma is a newly formed band of people you're already familiar with: Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record. The three musicians got together in a house in Texas to create their debut self-titled album. While Emily Cross sang the songs, all three ended up playing every instrument involved in the recording at some time or another. Also, it was an odd time to be recording an album, as Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski started off the project as a married couple but no longer were at the end of the recording.

"Relay Runner" is an oddly charged song. It plods around with it's own pace, and comes across like Wilco experimenting with more electronics while trying to recreate their Yankee Hotel Foxtrot days. Instruments seem to come in and out of their own free will, almost taking turns but not quite. It creates a sound that's not quite challenging art rock or alternative pop, but straddles the middle somewhat.

You can watch the video for "Relay Runner" below. Loma's self-titled debut album will be out February 16 on Sub Pop, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Loma, check out their website. Their current tour dates are below the video.

Fri. Apr. 6 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Sun. Apr. 8 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg
Wed. Apr. 11 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
Fri. Apr. 13 - Portland, OR @ MS Studios
Sat. Apr. 14 - Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Tue. Apr. 17 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Thu. Apr. 19 - Taos, NM @ Taos Mesa Brewing
Sat. Apr. 21 - Austin, TX @ North Door
Thu. Apr. 26 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Fri. Apr. 27 - Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight
Sat. Apr. 28 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room
Tue. May 1 - Charlottesville, NC @ The Southern
Wed. May 2 - Washington, DC @ DC9
Fri. May 4 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
Sat. May 5 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sun. May 6 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Tue. May 8 - Montreal, QC @ L’Esco
Wed. May 9 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
Thu. May 10 - Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx
Fri. May 11 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Photocomfort - "Long Way Home"

I suppose one of the benefits of us dropping the ball and taking months to tell you about a new song from an artist is the shorter wait for the next single. We finally discovered the latest single from Photocomfort, "Rose Colored Glasses," last week, and now here's the second single from her upcoming EP, "Long Way Home."

The subject matter of "Long Way Home" is near and dear to me, in that I usually think that I'm the only one who does it: It's about driving around alone just to work stuff out in your head. It's always nice to find others with your own quirks, and that doesn't even bring up the song musically. "Long Way Home" is sonically stunning. It reminds me of this mostly passed over era of the mid to late 90's when female artists were breaking into the mainstream with gorgeous but challenging music, like Tori Amos and PJ Harvey. Photocomfort is somehow taking music that sounds mostly electronic and making it sound fully organic.

You can listen to "Long Way Home" below. Photocomfort's new EP, Understudy, will be available sometime in the spring. For more on Photocomfort, check out her website.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Shopping - "Wild Child"

Photo by CJ Monk
We brought you "The Hype" from Shopping back in September, and this Friday will finally see the release of their new album, The Official Body. Waiting four months to release a second single from an album is virtually unheard of nowadays, but we finally have "Wild Child" to listen to. "Wild Child" fits right into the classic post-punk sound of Shopping's previous two albums, but is much more danceable and funky in the way that "The Hype" was. The song is a lot of fun in a way any type of punk subgenre is usually lacking. 

You can watch the video for "Wild Child" below. Shopping's new album, The Official Body, will be out January 19 on FatCat Records. If "The Hype" and "Wild Child" aren't enough for you and you can't wait until Friday, You can listen to the full album at NPR Music. You can pre-order the album via Shopping's Bandcamp. For more on Shopping, check out their Facebook and Twitter

Friday, January 12, 2018

Marlon Williams - "What's Chasing You"

Photo by Steve Gullick
I was blown away by Marlon Williams's debut self-titled album. It was my #9 release in 2016. Late last year he released "Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore," which was the first song off his second album, Make Way For Love. For whatever reason, it just didn't work for me and I assumed he'd be a one and done artist for me.

"What's Chasing You," the second single off Make Way For Love, is proving me wrong. It leans a little bit more on the torch song side of Marlon Williams with maybe just the slightest hint of the Americana sound and none of the indie rock feel his debut album had. The mix of all three was what drew me in, but "What's Chasing You" still works. It's this smooth soulful sound that is a total throwback to the 1950's with just enough of a modern slant to not end up being Sha Na Na. Plus, the video underscores the serious sound of the song with a shirtless Williams frolicking on a beach.

You can watch the video for "What's Chasing You" below. Marlon Williams's second solo album, Make Way For Love, will be out February 16 on Dead Oceans. It can be pre-ordered here. For more on Marlon Williams, check out his website. Tour dates are below the video.

Thu. Feb. 22 — Bristol, UK @ Louisiana
Fri. Feb. 23 — Manchester, UK @ Night & Day
Sat. Feb. 24 — Dublin, IE @ Whelans
Mon. Feb. 26 — Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts
Tue. Feb. 27 — Leeds, UK @ Community Room
Wed. Feb. 28 — London, UK @ Scala
Mon. Mar. 5 — Montreal, QC @ Petit Campus
Tue. Mar. 6 — Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Thu. Mar. 8 — Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Fri. Mar. 9 — Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sat. Mar. 10 — Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
Tue. Mar. 13 - Sat. Mar. 17 — Austin TX @ SXSW
Sun. Mar. 18 — Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Mon. Mar. 19 — Dallas, TX @ Three Links Deep Ellum
Wed. Mar. 21 — Nashville, TN @ High Watt
Fri. Mar. 23 — Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
Sat. Mar. 24 — Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sun. Mar. 25 — Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Tue. Mar. 27 — Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thu. Mar. 29 — Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Sun. Apr. 1 — Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Tue. Apr. 3 — San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
Wed. Apr. 4 — Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram
Wed. Apr. 11 — Brussels, BE @ AB Club
Thu. Apr. 12 — Cologne, DE @ Yuca
Fri. Apr. 13 — Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Noord
Sat. Apr. 14 — Hamburg, DE @ Nochtwache
Sun. Apr. 15 — Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar
Tue. Apr. 17 — Oslo, NO @ Cafe Mono
Wed. Apr. 18 — Stockholm, SE @ Kagelbanan
Fri. Apr. 20 — Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
Sat. Apr. 21 — Munich, DE @ Orange House
Sun. Apr. 22 — Vienna, CH @ Chelsea
Tue. Apr. 24 — Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
Wed. Apr. 25 — Zurich, CH @ Bogen F
Thu. Apr. 26 — Besancon, FR @ La Rodia
Fri. Apr. 27 — Paris, FR @ Point Ephemere
Sat. Apr. 28 — Utrecht, NL @ Ekko

Caroline Rose - "Soul No. 5"

Photo by Matt Hogan
With "Soul No. 5," Caroline Rose continues her move away from the Americana of 2014's I Will Not Be Afraid to her new sound. And that new sound? It's hard to define. "Soul No. 5" is definitely less in your face and delightfully abrasive as "Money" is. Instead, it's more upbeat and melodic, with Rose rap-singing the verses. The aesthetic, along with Rose's choice of wardrobe in her accompanying videos remind me of License to Ill era Beastie Boys meets Scottish indie poppers Bis, with some Missy Elliott thrown in. But it's not hip hop at all. It's a confusing mix of contradictions that somehow works to make a near perfect sound.

You can watch the video for "Soul No. 5" below. Caroline Rose's new album, LONER, will be out February 23 on New West Records. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Caroline Rose, check out her website. Her current tour dates are below the video.

Thu. Jan. 11 - Chattanooga, TN @ JJ’s Bohemia w/ Ron Gallo
Fri. Jan. 12 - Memphis, TN @ Growlers w/ Ron Gallo
Fri. Jan. 13 - Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s w/ Ron Gallo
Wed. Mar. 14 – Sat. Mar. 17 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
Fri. Mar. 23 - Austin, TX @ Antone’s w/ The Weeks
Sat. Mar. 24 - Dallas, TX @ Dada w/ The Weeks
Sun. Mar. 25 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa w/ The Weeks
Tue. Mar. 27 - Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
Wed. Mar. 28 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Thu. Mar. 29 - Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight
Fri. Mar. 30 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Sat. Mar. 31 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
Tue. Apr. 3 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
Wed. Apr. 4 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Thu. Apr. 5 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
Fri. Apr. 6 - New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine
Sat. Apr. 7 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
Fri. May 18 - Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Music Festival

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Juliana Hatfield Will Be Covering Olivia Newton-John

In my single digit years, I don't think I loved a singer as much as Olivia Newton-John. I listened to the Grease soundtrack obsessively, which is now disturbing since it includes the phrase "pussy wagon," but that's a whole different story. Olivia Newton-John absolutely dominated the early 80's, and I feel like her song "Physical" was played at every one of my mom's aerobics classes I was dragged to. She was the soundtrack of my early youth. In the 90's, it might have been Juliana Hatfield. Being from the Boston area, her songs were prevalent on every radio station, I saw her an impossible amount of times in my college years, and this is without any complaints.

Well, my two worlds will be colliding on April 13 when Juliana Hatfield releases an entire album of Olivia Newton-John covers. I absolutely love it when an artist expresses a gushing fandom for their heroes, particularly when their heroes don't exactly fit into what's considered hip at the time. It truly shows an honesty and what they actually like. No official recordings are available to listen to as of yet, but I scoured the internet (ok, I did a 10 second YouTube search...) and found video of Juliana performing "Physical" as the Q Division holiday party last month. It's cell phone quality, but it shows Juliana attacking the Newton-John classic like the 90's alt rock god she is.

Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John will be available April 13 via American Laundromat Records. You can pre-order your copy, which you know you want, here. The tracklist is below.

  1. I Honestly Love You
  2. Suspended In Time
  3. Have You Never Been Mellow
  4. A Little More Love
  5. Magic
  6. Physical
  7. Totally Hot
  8. Don't Stop Believin'
  9. Please Mr. Please
  10. Hopelessly Devoted To You
  11. Xanadu
  12. Dancin' 'Round And 'Round
  13. Make A Move On Me
  14. I Honestly Love You (Reprise) *CD, Cassette & Digital Only.
Video via YouTube user john doherty:

Superchunk - "Erasure"

A new song from Superchunk is enough to get excited about. Now imagine if Superchunk brought in more indie rock royalty to help them out with the song. That is exactly what is happening with "Erasure," the new song from the Chapel Hill legends. Not only have they brought in Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields, Future Bible Heroes), but they also have Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield, both supplying backing vocals. That in and of itself is beyond thrilling, but the song is also fantastic just on it's own. It's that brand of bouncy but just noisy enough indie pop rock that Superchunk pretty much invented. When you do something as brilliantly as Superchunk do this sound, why screw with a perfect formula?

You can listen to "Erasure" below. Superchunk's new album, What a Time to Be Alive, will be out February 16, obviously on Merge Records. It can be pre-ordered here. For more on Superchunk, check out their website.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ron Gallo Covers Nada Surf

Photo by Tom Bejgrowicz
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Nada Surf's classic album Let Go. The band has an upcoming tour to celebrate. Nada Surf is also producing an album of covers of every song on Let Go with proceeds going to the ACLU and The Pablove Foundation. So far we can listen to one song on the album: Ron Gallo's take on "Happy Kid." Ron Gallo's album, Heavy Meta, just narrowly missed my top 10 of 2017, so this is a perfect combination. Despite Nada Surf curating the album, they seem to be giving bands freedom to make the songs in their own style. "Happy Kid" fits right into Gallo's sound, in that space where roots rock and garage punk fit together. It's definitely louder and noisier than the original, but that's exactly what I would have wanted.

You can listen to Ron Gallo's take on "Happy Kid" below. Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf's Let Go will be available digitally on February 2 and on CD on March 2. The album will also feature covers by Aimee Mann, The Texas Gentlemen, Holly Miranda, Charly Bliss, Adia Victoria, and more. You can pre-order the CD through Nada Surf's website and on iTunes.

Spirit Family Reunion - Solo Recordings

Just last week I was discussing how long we've gone without anything new from Spirit Family Reunion. Back in November 2016 we had a charity single, but it's been almost three years since the release of the fantastic Hands Together. Well, I think they might have heard me since yesterday marked the release of Solo Recordings. Back in the fall, Spirit Family Reunion singer Nick Panken embarked on a solo tour with Ian Felice of The Felice Brothers. On the heels of that, he's released a six song EP of solo recordings. While Solo Recordings is much more somber and less of a joyous celebration than your typical output from Spirit Family Reunion, it is still a collection of beautiful and thoughtful acoustic songs that will be loved by any fan of Spirit Family Reunion. 

You can listen to my personal favorite song on Solo Recordings, "In the Manner That it Came," below. Solo Recordings is available now via Bandcamp. Spirit Family Reunion have one show coming up at The Ashokan Center in Stone Ridge, NY. For more on the band, check out their website.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

First Listen: Recent New Releases

Hey, thanks! I missed you guys, too!

We had a few new releases this weekend, so a quick hit of some of the Christmas break releases before the floodgates open back up.

Artist: Computer Magic
Album: Super Rare
Quick Description: B-sides/rarities collection from the indie electronic artist.
Why You Should Listen: Computer Magic is always great, and even her non-album stuff is solid.
Overall Thoughts: No complaints here - even as a b-sides collection, this scratches the itch of what I needed from Computer Magic when it came out. No specific highlights, but it doesn't matter: if you like the lo-fi indie electronic stuff, this is worth listening to right now.
Recommendation: A good listen.

Artist: Jeff Rosenstock
Album: POST-
Quick Description: Latest album from the indie power popper.
Why You Should Listen: Rosenstock has now put out three straight solid listens.
Overall Thoughts: Jeff Rosenstock is great. I loved his last album, and POST- is different enough to feel new and fresh while still having a lot of the same style and substance that has made Rosenstock's solo career so great. "All This Useless Energy," "Powerlessness"... it's all great. And? At least for now? You can download it for free. So go do that.
Recommendation: A solid listen to start the new year.

Artist: The Dogs
Album: The Grief Manual
Quick Description: Loud, brash rock music.
Why You Should Listen: The Christmas carols have you looking for something heavier.
Overall Thoughts: This isn't really my thing, but Ken sent this over and I have to say, it definitely felt different than anything else I'd heard recently. It's a little uneven, and might be that spot where it's too much for some people but not enough for others. Still, if you're looking for new music...
Recommendation:'s worth a try.

Artist: Lemuria
Album: Recreational Hate
Quick Description: Latest from the alt-rock act.
Why You Should Listen: They're well in line with current trends.
Overall Thoughts: In what was a year of so many great female-fronted alt-rock albums, Lemuria ended the new year with a pretty solid effort. If I'm being honest, it probably wouldn't have changed my best of the year calculus, but it definitely deserves more attention given that it came out in such a late time of year. If a song like "Christine Perfect" doesn't get you going, I'm not really sure why you read this blog at all.
Recommendation: Definitely one of the great listens of the last six weeks.

Also out:

* Blake Rules and Netherfriends - Kids Trap 2 (absurdity that does what it says on the tin)

Photocomfort - "Rose Colored Glasses"

The upcoming EP from Photocomfort was recorded in a cabin on Lake Winnepesaukee, a place I spent an insane amount of time as a child. I couldn't help but check out the music, and fully expected some acoustic/rootsy tracks since it was recorded in a cabin in New Hampshire. I don't think I could have been more wrong. The first single from the EP, "Rose Colored Glasses," is more along the lines of electronic tinged late 90's singer/songwriter fare. It's being compared to Alanis Morrissette and Dido, but I'm hearing a lot more of From the Choirgirl Hotel era Tori Amos. There is just too much dissonance and uncomfortable feelings in the beauty of the song to not make that connection for me. 

You can listen to "Rose Colored Glasses" below. Photocomfort's new EP, Understudy, will be available in the spring. For more on Photocomfort, check out their (her?) website.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Citrus Clouds - Ultra Sound

We're a little late bringing you this one... actually, a lot late, but I think you'll agree this is worth it. Less than a year after the release of Imagination, Arizona's finest shoegaze band, Citrus Clouds, are back with Ultra Sound. They have described their sound as "desertgaze," but on Ultra Sound it feels more like beachgaze. Maybe it's just the two weeks of subfreezing temperatures we've had in the Northeast, but a song like "Ocean Eyes" takes the dark and dreariness out of your typical British shoegaze and injects it with some southern California chill. "You Loved Me First" goes even further into the laid back vibe in the most reverb friendly way possible. "Life Happens" picks up the tempo just a bit without being overly energetic. If My Bloody Valentine's Loveless is widely considered to be one of the greatest albums of all time to nurse a handover, Ultra Sound might be the best album to nurse a hangover to after a night of no regrets.

You can watch the video for "Life Happens" below. Ultra Sound is available now via Bandcamp. For more on Citrus Clouds, check out their Facebook.

Friday, January 5, 2018

QWAM - "Dirty Feet"

Photo by Karen Sophia Colon
Back in November we brought you "Doggy Door," the debut single from Brooklyn's QWAM. With their debut EP due in two weeks, they've released a second single, "Dirty Feet." "Dirty Feet" has a bit of a late 80's/early 90's Seattle mixed with mid 90's power pop sound to it. It's not really grunge, but more grunge adjacent like a band like The Gits would have been. But they bring in the insanely catchy pop hooks of mid 90's bands like Letters to Cleo or that dog., but with a ton more attitude. And then there's this insane 90's punk breakdown at the end.

You can listen to "Dirty Feet" below. QWAM's debut EP, Feed Me, will be out January 19. It can be pre-ordered now on Bandcamp. For more on QWAM, check out their Facebook.

Jodee Lewis - "Buzzard's Bluff"

Photo by Heather Hornbeak
As what is considered country gets more and more popular in the mainstream, there is also a resurgence of throwback country that harkens back to the roots of how country started. Jodee Lewis will be considered that, but she truly has a unique sound. Her latest single, "Buzzard's Bluff," has the feel of old school country in the vein of Merle Hagard and Dolly Parton, but is just a bit too pop to be old school. That's not to say that Lewis is the modern definition of pop country, since she actually sounds like, you know, country. The song ends with a killer fiddle solo, so it can't truly be pop. "Buzzard's Bluff" is one of the few songs that new and traditional country fans might be able to agree on.

You can listen to "Buzzard's Bluff" below. The album Buzzard's Bluff will be out in April. For more on Jodee Lewis, check out her website.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Boston Calling 2018 Looks Pretty Great

This is apparently the week that every single major festival is going to announce their line ups, and most have been rather... underwhelming. I know that middle aged dads aren't exactly the target audience for music festivals, but we like to think we're "with it" here. Regardless, I've only seen about 3-5 artists per festival that I've cared about, and that has gone down as I realize that the Belly they've booked is the wrong Belly.

That's why we're excited about Boston Calling this year. The headliners aren't all that thrilling (pretty sure Eminem is playing every festival this year, but yay for Jack White!) and of course The National are playing,  but as you go down the poster we start getting more intrigued. Fleet Foxes, St. Vincent, and The Decemberists are beloved by young and aging hipsters, plus they booked the right Belly and Pussy Riot. You go even further down and find Big Thief and Charly Bliss, who have been two of our favorites the past couple of years. Way down on the bottom line is the most exciting for us, with Third Man Records' artist Lillie Mae in what I believe is her first New England performance, and our beloved local indie rockers Weakened Friends and hip hop stars STL GLD. 

Boston Calling is selling early ticket packages now. For more information on Boston Calling, check out their website.

Olden Yolk - "Takes One to Know One"

Photo by Daniel Dorsa
We were huge fans of Quilt's 2016 album Plaza. While we wait for something new from Quilt, we can at least bring you something Quilt adjacent. Shane Butler, of Quilt, is about to release the debut album from his project with Caity Shaffer, Olden Yolk. Right now we have one song from that album. "Takes One to Know One" melds a few different genres. It has a definite folk feel to it, but has far too much noise and psychedelia to be considered folk, even freak folk. It reminds me a lot of late period Sonic Youth, where there were some jam elements to their noise, which had taken a decidedly more chilled out approach. The eight minute length of the song doesn't hurt any Sonic Youth comparisons. It also has a bit of James Jackson Toth's various incarnations of Wooden Wand. It's an intriguing sound that makes us look forward to February.

You can watch the video for "Takes One to Know One" below. Olden Yolk's self titled debut album will be out February 23 on Trouble In Mind. For more on Olden Yolk, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Stonefield - "Delusion"

Just when you thought we'd be tapped out of great Australian bands to bring you, along come Stonefield. Consisting of four sisters (Amy, Sarah, Hannah, and Holly Findlay), Stonefield's newest single, "Delusion," is a bizarre blend of psych rock with some more mainstream elements. It's perfect for pych rock diehards that didn't get their fill with five albums from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard last year, but there are some more folk friendly late Beatles-esque vibes in there, too. That's not to say their sound is light and poppy, because it borders on old school Black Sabbath psychedelia, too. Like I said, it's a bizarre blend.

You can listen to "Delusion" below. You can get your copy via Flightless Records here. For more on Stonefield, check out their website. Their current tour dates are below the video.

February 2: Sydney @ The Lansdowne
February 3: Melbourne @ The Curtin
April 2: Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg Theater
April 9: Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg Theater
April 16: Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg Theater
April 23: Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg Theater
April 27: Austin, TX @ Levitation Festival
April 30: Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg Theater

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hero Fisher - "I Let Love"

Out of the two of us, Jeff is definitely the pop fan. A lot of the pop music he sings the praises of I just ignore, knowing it's not for me. There are a few exceptions, but it's a mostly ironclad rule for me. This is why I'm surprised by how much I like this new song from Hero Fisher. "I Let Love" lands in the alternative pop that sometimes squeaks into the mainstream these days. It's well produced and mostly pretty. What pulls me in is the fact that it's mostly pretty. Unlike most pop out there today, "I Let Love" has a swagger to it, with a slight sense of menace just under the surface. Hidden in the pretty pop is a general feeling that something is wrong, and a darkness usually missing in the genre. Plus, it has an interesting story from a songwriting aspect. The song follows different characters throughout their day, like a musical version of David Linklater's Slacker.

You can watch the video for "I Let Love" below. Hero Fisher's new album, Glue Moon, will be out at some point. (I can't seem to find any release date info...) For more information on Hero Fisher, check out her website.