Monday, September 30, 2019

Rosa Bordallo - "Citadel"

Photo by Varvara Mikushkina
While we loved the gorgeous simplicity of Rosa Bordallo's debut single, "Lost on the Coast," her follow up is decidedly more rock. "Citadel" isn't quite a punk rager, but compared to the previous song this one shreds. Beneath Bordallo's vocals creeps a growling guitar just waiting to be unleashed throughout the song. When it finally does it absolutely tears away, barely in control. The aggression within the song is due to the subject matter. According to Bordallo:  

"'Citadel' is about Capitalist vultures in the concrete jungle. A balls-to-the-wall angry eff you to the 1 percenters who suck us dry. I wrote this out of frustration with the myth of New York ('if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere') that attracts bright and ambitious folk who may not realize what they're getting into until it's too late."

You can listen to "Citadel" below. Reef Walker, the debut solo album from Rosa Bordallo, will be out October 18 on Time Castle Recordings. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Rosa Bordallo, check out her Facebook.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Three Free New England Festivals This Weekend!

Summer is over, which usually means the end of free outdoor concerts. Somehow New England decided to squeak out three more free shows this weekend, with something for every fan of rock based music!

Boston Local Music Festival
September 28 and 29
City Hall Plaza, Boston MA
To me, this seems like a direct response to Boston Calling. It's right at Boston Calling's first location, and Boston Calling previously included a September show. This one features fifty Boston based bands over three stages for two days! With any festival this large, there are a lot of bands we're not hugely familiar with, but there are a bunch we know and love! You get the mainstream alternative rock of blindspot, the synth pop of Pyramid Thieves, the experimental hardcore punk of DNZL, the garage rock/pop of Carissa Johnson, the glam punk of The Knock Ups, the garage rock of Salem Wolves, and the Celtic punk of The Gobshites!

New England Roots Festival
September 28
Downtown Nashua, NH
Now in its fourth year, the New England Roots Festival is taking over downtown Nashua, NH. This festival focuses on the mainstream folk side of things, with The Ballroom Thieves, Parsonsfield, GoldenOak, and Town Meeting taking turns on the main stage. I've been a couple of times, and it's always a laid back event. Despite the enormous talent that has played here, the crowds always seem fairly small, especially for a free downtown event. But, that can be a much preferred way to see bands for many of us, so this one is highly recommended!

Skate Park Rager
September 28
Trinity Skate Park, Providence, RI
This one we're probably (definitely) too old for, especially since it takes place at a skate park, but it's a free show featuring Providence noise legends Lightning Bolt! It also features Baby Baby and The Hammer Party, both of which we aren't familiar with at all, but if they're playing with Lightning Bolt they've gotta be at least kinda cool, right?

The Springfields - "Sunflower"

Since the band featured Ric Menck and Paul Chastain of The Velvet Crush, I feel like I should be familiar with The Springfields. However, they only released five singles between 1986 and 1991, so I can forgive myself. Slumberland Records is reissuing these singles as Singles 1986-1991, and we can listen to "Sunflower" right now. "Sunflower" is a gorgeous, shimmering indiepop song. It has equal parts the sunny pop of The Byrds and the twee feelings of Belle & Sebastian. It's a gorgeous song that sounds perfectly of its time and like it could have been released for the very first time last week. 

You can listen to "Sunflower" below. Singles 1986-1991 will be released on Slumberland Records on November 15. The reissue can be pre-ordered here. For more on The Springfields, check out Slumberland Records's website.

The Devil's Twins - "Love Vigilante"

Photo via Facebook
We're a little late to The Devil's Twins bandwagon, but consider us fully on board. Their latest single, "Love Vigilante," is a bit more organic and rootsy than their typical releases. It's more Americana/blues, but Nicole Coogan's voice brings the metal, despite how laid back the song may be, especially at the beginning. Jeremiah Louf's vocals have a more laid back feel, giving the song a great intensity in comparison with Coogan's. And then the song brings in a killer hard rock electric guitar solo, melding the whole thing into a roots/blues/metal hybrid we all need right now.

You can listen to "Love Vigilante" below. For more on The Devil's Twins, check out their website. If you're in the Boston area, they have an upcoming show at Atwood's Tavern with Carissa Johnson on October 12. That show cannot be missed.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Suitcase Sam - "Growing Up"

Suitcase Sam has completely nailed the country/rock genre with his latest single, "Growing Up." Even though the song hearkens back to the early 70's glory days of that style, it feels completely timeless. According to the press release, Suitcase Sam wanted to make an album that sounded like it was released in 1972. Well... he accomplished that goal. "Growing Up" is a rambling country rocker in a style that doesn't quite get made like this anymore, and that's kind of a shame.

Suitcase Sam says about the album: "When I was compiling the songs for this record, I was searching for sonic cohesion, a body of work that sounded like...a body of work. But looking back, in hindsight, I realize each song is about fucking off. Whether it’s jumping on a train or a bus and taking off without a care, or seeing that your situation is going sideways and having the insight to remove yourself before it all goes ka-bloo-iee!"

You can listen to "Growing Up" below. Goodnight Riverdale Park, the debut album from Suitcase Sam, will be out October 11. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Suitcase Sam, check out his website.

The Sheila Divine - "Kurt Cobain"

On the anniversary of the release of Nevermind, The Sheila Divine released a new single, "Kurt Cobain." According to a Facebook post from singer Aaron Perrino:

"I remember the first time I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit on WBNY in 1991. I drove to the record store the following day, which was September 24th 1991, as they were unboxing Nevermind. Nirvana was my favorite band after that for quite some time. I wrote this song called Kurt Cobain imagining what he might be like if he were alive today."

"Kurt Cobain" is a mid-tempo song that sound optimistic, but asks if Cobain were alive today "Would he be a middle aged legend slightly balding / Railing against corruption and the greed / Or a millionaire rock star with a winery / Island hopping on a yacht at sea." It also asks if Jimi Hendrix would be "An elder statesman with a sound of rage / Railing against all that we’ve become / Or a baby boomer me too what is mine is mine / Damn this world I’ll take it all with me." It's a question I always wonder, especially since so many of their contemporaries seem insistent on tarnishing their legacies to the point of ruining the connection we have to the music of our youth. It's a fitting song to be included on what is most likely The Sheila Divine's final album. It's a time of reflecting on what could have been and reminiscing about what was.

You can listen to "Kurt Cobain" below. Beginning of the End, the upcoming album from The Sheila Divine, will be released sometime this fall. For more on The Sheila Divine, check them out on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The I Want You - Ferris Wheel

We've been heavily into The I Want You for some time. Their blend of psychedelic, glammed out power pop is kind of our jam here. Their latest EP Ferris Wheel is more of exactly what we want. It's four fun as can possibly be rockers from the late 70's/early 80's time period of power pop while somehow keeping a modern edge. They even throw in some New Wave in songs like "Watershed" just to try to hit every single musical urge you might have. "I Want You to Be Happy" is slowed down a bit, but they crank up the groove that much more.

You can watch the video for "Ferris Wheel" below. Ferris Wheel, the EP, is out now via Bandcamp. For more on The I Want You, check out their website

Hallelujah the Hills - "Folk Music Is Insane"

Photo by Courtney Brooke Hall
Boston's Hallelujah the Hills have a new single, and it's everything we hoped for. "Folk Music Is Insane" is a rollicking blend of near-folk and near-noise rock. For the majority of the song, it's a rambling folk rock number, with plenty of piano and fiddle. It would never be confused with traditional folk, but it's on the lines of more mainstream modern folk without sounding pop. And then these odd and great flourishes of noise come hammering in. It's these two parts that sound completely different from each other yet blend together perfectly that makes "Folk Music Is Insane" an instant favorite for us.

You can listen to "Folk Music Is Insane" below. I'm You, the seventh album from Hallelujah the Hills [How on Earth has one of my "new" bands released seven albums already?], will be out sometime in the Fall. For more on Hallelujah the Hills, check out their website.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 20 September

A fairly busy release week:

Artist: Tracy Shedd
Album: The Carolinas
Quick Description: Dreamy, fuzzy indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: Tracy Shedd has a unique voice and presentation overall.
Overall Thoughts: I don't know why this caught me so well this week. Maybe it's because of the summery feel to go along with the 80-plus degree weather this past weekend, maybe it's because I was looking for something that felt brighter and more optimistic on the surface? Either way, this was a superlative listen this week and one you would probably enjoy in any week.
Recommendation: A definite highlight this week.

Artist: Fitz and the Tantrums
Album: All the Feels
Quick Description: Mainstream dance/soul rock group back for more.
Why You Should Listen: If their popular success got you off the bandwagon, this is a good opportunity to get back on board.
Overall Thoughts: I haven't stopped being a fan of Fitz, but I can understand why songs like "Handclap" or "Out of My League" could be off-putting to those who were really, really into songs like "Moneygrabber" or "Dear Mr. President" from their debut. This album, however, feels like the perfect mix of what made them great at the start and what made them famous in the middle. Just a fun, interesting listen that's worth your time and energy.
Recommendation: A great listen from this act.

Artist: The Juan MacLean
Album: The Brighter the Light
Quick Description: Dancey goodness from the Providence-based techno act.
Why You Should Listen: If you know them via LCD Soundsystem, this is a great reason to jump on board.
Overall Thoughts: I loved this album on first listen, likely because it is more a compilation of their last few years of singles. So as someone who likes his fair share of dance/techno music, this was just brilliant from start to finish given the lack of filler to go with the killer. I've loved "Get Down (With My Love)" for some time now, and this album simply builds on it with song after song of great, fun dance music. If you like electronic stuff, or if you're willing to break out of your standard listens, don't miss this one.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week.

Artist: Twen
Album: Awestruck
Quick Description: Long-awaited debut album from this indie rock act.
Why You Should Listen:They're a buzzworthy band with great songs.
Overall Thoughts: I feel like I've been waiting for this album forever, but really it's just been a solid number of advance singles to get me hyped for this. A great listen from top to bottom, there's so much to love here both as a complete unit and with songs like "Waste" and "Awestruck." Get on the bandwagon.
Recommendation: Worth your time.

Artist: Lauran Hibberd
Album: Everything is Dogs
Quick Description: Debut EP from a rising singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: These are four amazing indie pop songs.
Overall Thoughts: "Hootchie" has been my song of the summer, and finally getting an EP with three more songs of similar quality is probably the best present I could ask for this week. I rarely highlight EPs in these posts, but I'm making an exception here because Hibberd is so good and deserves a lot more attention. Do not miss out on this EP, and start the summoning circle for a full-length.
Recommendation: Best release of the week.

Artist: Brittany Howard
Album: Jaime
Quick Description: Solo album from the Alabama Shakes frontwoman.
Why You Should Listen: It's not a Shakes record, but so much more layered at the same time.
Overall Thoughts: I highlight this because it's a really interesting album on a whole. Howard clearly had a vision in mind for this, and it needs to be taken in as a complete package rather than as bits and pieces as a result. So many influences shine through, and such a singular idea is being portrayed, that it's destined to end up on a lot of end-of-year lists. People will be talking about this one, and it's worth some time in your rotation this week.
Recommendation: A solid listen.

Of note:

* Liam Gallagher - Why Me? Why Not. (I'll say it: this is the most Oasis-sounding post-Oasis record from an Oasis-aligned act since they broke up.)
* Vivian Girls - Memory (A worthy, familiar return.)
* Ciderdown - It Leaves Stains (Looking forward to more from this act.)
* Isabelle Stillman - Middle Sister (Missed this one earlier, but don't sleep on "That Salinger Novel.")
* Chastity Belt - Chastity Belt (This is good, but I wanted to like it a lot more than I did.)
* Lou Rebecca - Restless
* Molly Sarle - Karaoke Angel
* Pony in the Pancake - Summer Sun
* Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi - There Is No Other
* Joel Paterson - Let It Be Guitar! Joel Paterson Plays The Beatles
* Lil' Andy - All the Love Songs Lied to Us
* Operator Music Band - Duo Duo
* Hiss Golden Messenger - Terms of Surrender

Seven song albums:

* Cashmere Cat - Princess Catgirl
* Mudhoney - Morning in America
* Kate Teague - Kate Teague
* Cyn - Mood Swing


* Lola Kirke and Friends - Friends and Foes and Friends Again
* Vanna Oh! - Samples
* Tiny Stills/Odd Robot - Split

Also out:

* A Giant Dog - Neon Bible (Cover of the entire Arcade Fire album.)
* Skyzoo and Pete Rock - Retropolitan
* Sweet Williams - Where Does The Time Come From
* Annabelle Jones - Come Into My World
* M83 - DSVII
* Tove Lo - Sunshine Kitty
* Keane - Cause and Effect
* Thurston Moore - Spirit Counsel

Benjamin Spike Saunders - "Delicate"

If you're writing a press release trying to get our attention, it helps to state "Benjamin Spike Saunders wants to do standup, but he’s too much of a coward. Instead, Benjamin decided to stick to what he knows: button collecting, making creepy dolls, and writing music in his room" and "‘Tonsil Wife’ is his first ill-fated shot at stardom." 

Now that our attention has been gotten, let's focus on the song "Delicate." Saunders nails the self-recorded bedroom genre perfectly. "Delicate" sounds like exactly what the title suggests. It's a quiet, heartfelt indie rock gem. While you're listening you feel like you're invading Saunders's privacy by how intimate it feels. What's great about modern recording is that it still sounds well produced. This is hardly the cassette recordings of our youth. 

You can watch the video for "Delicate" below. Tonsil Wife, the upcoming release from Benjamin Spike Saunders, will be out October 18th on Leisure Records. You can pre-order it here. For more on Benjamin Spike Saunders, check out his Facebook.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Puddles Pity Party and Jake La Botz Cover The Kinks

Puddles Pity Party is undeniably popular, although I don't know if I've ever quite got it. It's too weird of a concept to be taken fully seriously, but he's far too talented to be a pure novelty. But, if he's going to join with Jake La Botz to cover The Kinks... how can I possibly resist that? The pair take on "Strangers," one of my favorite understated Kinks classic songs. It's somewhat reinvented with a country feel. 

Puddles Pity Party says about the recording: "This song was written by Dave Davies. Our pal, Jake La Botz, stopped by the garage. We talked about life and living and his Buddhist meditation practice. Then we decided to play this song. It's been on my mind lately, although I've never played it before. Jake plays a mean guitar, and I love playing that outta tune Ban-Tar or whatever it's called. Let's hear it for Andrew and that Fog Storm 1200! I adore making art with these guys."

You can watch the video for Puddles Pity Party and Jake La Botz's version of "Strangers" below. It's available as a single here. For more on Puddles Pity Party, check out his website. For Jake La Botz, check out his.

Michael Christmas - "Triple H"

Photo via Facebook
Boston's Michael Christmas has just outed himself with his new single, "Triple H," named after professional wrestler/Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and creative for WWE, and Vince McMahon's son-in-law. "Triple H," the song, is far more laid back than the wrestler's personality. It's that trademark laid back vibe that has makes up Christmas's charm. "Triple H" is a kick ass hip hop song about partying while being broke... which is a pretty common theme for Christmas. The song doesn't seem to have much to do with the wrestler, except for the occasional mentions of his name, the "suck it" at the beginning, and mentions of not playing "the game" during the chorus.

You can watch the video for "Triple H" below. It features Christmas in a Degeneration-X shirt wrestling with two guys dressed as the Dudley Boyz. For more on Michael Christmas, check him out on Twitter.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday Freebie: Hit Like a Girl - You Make Sense

Coming from Montclair, NJ, Hit Like a Girl play a fantastic version of indie rock and dream pop fronted by Nicolle Maroulis. Their debut album, You Make Sense, was released back in 2017. It's filled with eight fantastic songs dancing between the line of being pure pop and indie rock. "It's Always You" is a bouncy alternative pop/rock song that sounds like straightforward early Belly. "I'll Understand" slows it down a bit into an earnest near emo meets Lady Lamb song. They even bust out some killer power ballad adjacent material with "The Song I Hoped You'd Never Hear."

You can listen to "It's Always You" below. You Make Sense is available now for the "Name your price" option over at Bandcamp. While not technically available for free, you also need to check out their 2018 album What Makes Love Last, which is available for $1.00 via Bandcamp. As always, if you choose the free or even $1.00 options, be sure to follow Hit Like a Girl on Facebook.

Lightning Bolt - "USA is a Psycho"

Usually after twenty five years, even the loudest of bands slow down a little bit. No one told that to Providence's Lightning Bolt. Their latest single, "USA is a Psycho," is a bludgeoning, brutal loud song. The drumming is just relentless and pounding, and the guitars drive straight into your skull with abandon. Also? It's groovy as all hell and makes you kinda want to dance. It all swirls into a pulsating psychotic mixture of pure noise and fun aggression. Aka it's classic Lightning Bolt.

You can listen to "USA is a Psycho" below. Sonic Citadel, the upcoming album from Lightning Bolt, will be out October 11. You can pre-order the album via the band's Bandcamp. For more on Lightning Bolt, check out their website.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Jessica Lea Mayfield - TAPE DEMOS PART 2

Back in June Jessica Lea Mayfield released tape demos part 1, and three months later she's bringing us TAPE DEMOS PART 2. The latest is a five song collection of solo home cassette demos Mayfield is currently working on. Songs like "ALL MEN" fits the typical acoustic solo demo we'd expect while "I'M DOING FINE" is surprisingly reverb heavy. These demo collections aren't really meant for new or casual fans. These are extremely rough and meant for the type of fans that would have bought import singles or giant box sets in the past to make sure they have everything. These offer a great look into what Mayfield is working on while we wait for her next full release, and it'll make hearing the finished versions that much more interesting.

You can listen to "DON'T EVEN TRY ME" below. TAPE DEMOS PART 2 is available now via Bandcamp. If these do well enough Mayfield is teasing a full band demo for part 3. For more on Jessica Lea Mayfield, check out her Facebook and Twitter.

L'Orange & Jeremiah Jae - "After Alley Life"

The latest single from the collaboration between L'Orange and Jeremiah Jae looks at a returning veteran's post war flashbacks and every day life back as a civilian. It's a very little looked at subject in the music world. "After Alley Life" makes this dark subject matter into a fantastic hip hop track. Somehow the song reminds me if Puff Daddy and the world of Bad Boy made a completely serious and dark song, and somehow succeeded. It's a perfect blend of L'Orange's minimalist yet flush production and Jeremiah Jae's laid back but intense vocals.

You can watch the brilliantly animated video for "After Alley Life" below. The animation is done by Eric Power. Complicate Your Life With Violence, the upcoming album from L'Orange and Jeremiah Jae, will be out October 4 on Mello Music Group. You can pre-order the album here. The album is divided into three parts: recruitment, war, and the dark effects this causes. For more on L'Orange check out his website. For Jeremiah Jae, check out his.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wilco - "Everyone Hides"

Photo by Annabel Mehran
Wilco have been releasing solidly good music for decades at this point. Unfortunately, their more recent albums have received a lot of criticism. While I've enjoyed Wilco's more recent output, nothing has really grabbed my attention and rocketed to a best of list. "Everyone Hides" might change that. This new song definitely isn't breaking any new ground. But as Wilco strips away the excess and gets back to basics, you get to rediscover what you've loved about them. "Everyone Hides" isn't quite a throwback to their early alt-country beginnings, but it's solid Americana. There are hints of the noodling and odd noise of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but other than that it's expertly done straight up Americana rock music.

You can watch the little bit too cutesy but would have probably been a Buzz Bin video for "Everyone Hides" featuring the band taking part in a game of hide and seek throughout Chicago landmarks below. Ode to Joy will be out October 4 on dBpm Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Wilco, check out their website. Current tour dates are below the video.

Wed. Sept. 18 - Zürich, CH @ Volkshaus *
Thu. Sept. 19 - Milan, IT @ Fabrique *
Fri. Sept. 20 - Padova, IT @ Gran Teatro Geox *
Sun. Sept. 22 - Paris, FR @ Le Trianon *
Mon. Sept. 23 - Utrecht, NL @ TivoliVredenburg Grote Zaal *
Tue. Sept. 24 - Antwerp, BE @ De Roma *  SOLD OUT
Thu. Sept. 26 - Glasgow, UK @ Barrowlands *
Fri. Sept. 27 - Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall *  SOLD OUT
Sat. Sept. 28 - London, UK @ Eventim Apollo *
Tue. Oct. 8 - Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage (w/ special guest Lord Huron)
Thu. Oct. 10 - Boston, MA @ Boch Center Wang Theatre +
Fri. Oct. 11 - Boston, MA @ Boch Center Wang Theatre +
Sat. Oct. 12 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall  +  SOLD OUT
Sun. Oct. 13 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel + SOLD OUT
Tue. Oct. 15 - Washington, DC @ The Anthem  % SOLD OUT
Wed. Oct. 16 - Cary, NC @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre %
Fri. Oct. 18 - Atlanta, GA @ Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park %
Sat. Oct. 19 - Birmingham, AL @ Alabama Theatre %
Sun. Oct. 20 - Nashville, TN @ Grand Ole Opry House %
Tue. Oct. 22 - Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom @ SOLD OUT
Wed. Oct. 23 - Irving, TX @ The Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory ~
Fri. Oct. 25 - Houston, TX @ Revention Music Center ~
Sat. Oct. 26 - Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater  ~ SOLD OUT
Sun. Oct. 27 - Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater ~ SOLD OUT
Mon. Nov. 4 - Grand Rapids @ 20 Monroe Live #
Tue. Nov. 5 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Hill Auditorium #
Wed. Nov. 6 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Hall #
Fri. Nov. 8 - Charlottesville, VA @ Sprint Pavilion #
Sat. Nov. 9 - Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre #
Sun. Nov. 10 - Columbus, OH @ Palace Theatre #
Tue. Nov. 12 - Indianapolis, IN @ The Murat Theatre #
Wed. Nov. 13 - Louisville, KY @ The Louisville Palace #
Thu. Nov. 14 - St. Louis, MO @ Fabulous Fox Theatre ^
Fri. Nov. 15 - Cedar Rapids, IA @ Paramount Theatre $
Sun. Nov. 17 - Kansas City, MO @ Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
Tue. Nov. 19 - Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom SOLD OUT
Wed. Nov. 20 - Omaha, NE @ Orpheum Theatre
Fri. Nov. 22 - St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
Sat. Nov. 23 - St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
Sun. Nov. 24 - St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
Sun. Dec. 15 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Mon. Dec. 16 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Wed. Dec. 18 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Thu. Dec. 19 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Sat. Jan. 18 - Tue. Jan. 21 - Riviera Maya, MX @ Hard Rock Hotel
Sun. Jan. 25 - Mexico City, MX @ Teatro Metropólitan
& w/ Spiral Stairs       
* w/ Ohmme      
+ w/ Daughter of Swords      
% w/ Soccer Mommy    
~ w/ Molly Sarlé      
# w/ Deep Sea Diver       
^ w/ Bottle Rockets       
$ w/ Dickie 

HAWXX - "The Lie"

South London's HAWXX are a bit more metal than what we normally cover here at If It's Too Loud..., but every so often we let the metal flag of our [ok, my - Ken] youth fly. "The Lie" is a thunderous metal/hard rock song about Brexit and the current political climate in England. I'm not hearing a lot of what constitutes the mainstream metal of today. Instead it sounds like early 90's alt-metal equally mixed with glam. By glam I don't mean hair metal, but bands like T-Rex. It's an interesting and unique mix that I'm surprised we haven't heard much of before. 

You can listen to "The Lie" below. For more on HAWXX, check out their website.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

that dog. - "Old LP"

Photo by Cara Robbins
The title track from that dog.'s first album in twenty two years is an odd choice for a single. that dog. has always had a few slower, almost orchestral songs on their albums, even dating back to their 1994 self titled debut (just listen to "She Looks At Me.") But "Old LP" is propelled mostly be Anna Waronker and Rachel Haden's voices, with violins making up much of the music. "If You Just Didn't Do It," the first single from Old LP, was much more of a traditional that dog. single, but "Old LP" seems more like their traditional album closers. It's an interesting choice, which makes the upcoming release of Old LP more intriguing.

You can listen to "Old LP" below. Old LP, the new album from that dog., will be out 10/4. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on that dog., check out their website.

First Listen: New Releases for 13 September

Unlucky for me, I got a little busy/sidetracked this weekend, so some quick hits:

Must listens:

* Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love: Jenny Hval continues to corner her area of the weird performative arts with this latest album, a vivid and atmospheric listen that paints a really interesting picture on a whole. As with her other work, it is absolutely an acquired taste, but I have fully bought in and I’m a big fan of this one.

* Candy Ambulance - Traumantic: I loved this. Felt like a grungy mid-1990s album that would have likely fit in as the odd younger sister of Hole or Veruca Salt or something. There’s a great attitude about this that turns this record into something more noteworthy, and ended up being one of my favorites this week.

* Long Beard - Means to Me: I do love my share of dreamy folk music, and Long Beard does it right. This is a gorgeous listen with a lot of memorable moments, and is something that I feel like might stick with me for a while. Of all the new releases this week, this is one I am most excited to get back to, so don’t miss out.

* Alice Hubble - Polarlichter: When it comes to lo-fi-ish electronic music, it doesn't always work well, but this album kind of blew my mind. Between the approach, the instrumentation, and how much of it just stuck in my head after I finished my first listen, there is just a lot to love here.

Of note:

* Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence (Her typical, high-quality output.)
* Avoid One Thing - Right Here Where You Left Me (Not for me, but might be for Bosstones fans.)
* Belle & Sebastian - Days of the Bagnold Summer (Arguably their best effort in over a decade.)
* Jeremy Ivey - The Dream and the Dreamer
* KAZU - Adult Baby
* Metronomy - Metronomy Forever
* Emeli Sande - REAL LIFE
* The Pixies - Beneath the Eyrie

7 Song Albums:

* They Hate Change - Juices Run Clear (Excellent rap album)


* R.E.M. - Monster Live EP
* Alice Cooper - Breadcrumbs

Also out:

* Charli XCX - Charli
* The Lumineers - III
* (Sandy) Alex G - House of Sugar
* Cliff Notez - Why the Wild Things Are
* Gruff Rhys & Muzi - Pang
* Tiger Army - Retrofuture
* 617 Sessions: Sounds of Our Town

Monday, September 16, 2019

Li'l Andy - "Out On the Old Highway"

Li'l Andy specialize in a haunting, dark, old style of country that many try and only come off as hokey. Li'l Andy nails this style like few can in this century. His latest single, "Out On the Old Highway," is a heartbreaking song about travelling late at night on rarely used highways. I'll let his press release explain the song:

"A few summers ago, I drove from Renfrew County, Ontario to play a show in Montreal. With no air-conditioning in my car, I decided to make my journey at night.
 All throughout that long drive, I kept my eyes peeled for deer, moose, foxes or any other critter that might dart out into the road. Their green eyes eerily flashed by in my headlights as they hid in the bushes along the shoulders of Ontario and Quebec’s less-well travelled highways. Roads with names like County Road 23 or Route 303. Highways no one uses anymore now that newer, bigger stretches of road have been built alongside them. 
 I could see that these weren’t ghost towns I was passing through – they’re still communities, but are merely a shell of what they once were. Full of failed motels, closed gas stations, abandoned farms. Half-ghosts and towns that have more memories than they do people."

You can listen to "Out On the Old Highway" below. All the Love Songs Lied to Us, the new album from Li'l Andy, is due out on September 20. You can pre-order the album on Bandcamp. For more on Li'l Andy, check out his website.

Thurston Moore Covers New Order

Photo via Facebook
I'm not quite sure why, but I never expected to hear Thurston Moore cover New Order. He decided to take on the last song from Power Corruption and Lies, "Leave Me Alone." For a version without synths, Moore's take on "Leave Me Alone" is completely spot on. It's filled with acoustic guitars and is far more orchestral than anything I would have ever expected from the No Wave legend. It's a lovely and (for him) quiet recording. Towards the end there is some noise brought, but for the most part, "Leave Me Alone" is a beautiful orchestral version of a New Wave classic.

You can listen to Thurston Moore's version of "Leave Me Alone" below. The song will be available as the B-side to three separate upcoming 7" records that will be available November 8 via Moore's Daydream Library Series. For more on Thurston Moore, check out his website.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Fox Medicine - "Comfort Pony"

Portland, OR's duo Fox Medicine describe themselves as "bubblegum doom," and that might be the most accurate description of a band I've ever heard. Their latest single, "Comfort Pony," is a slowed down, sludgier than you could even imagine plod of a song. It's a blend of the sludge of the Melvins, the distortion of Sonic Youth, the epic grunge of Soundgarden, and the fuzzy industrial metal of Helmet. And this is all crammed into three minutes. This is definitely not the right song for everyone, but if it sounds like it could be your thing, you're going to become completely obsessed with it.

You can watch the video for "Comfort Pony" below. 
Procédures Mystiques, the upcoming album from Fox Medicine, will be out November 8. You can pre-order a copy over at their Bandcamp. For more on Fox Medicine, check out their website

Lucy Dacus Covers Bruce Springsteen

Ever since Lucy Dacus announced her 2019 holiday singles project, I've been waiting for one of her more interesting holidays: Bruce Springsteen's birthday. I came to Springsteen later in life, and I can't say I'm fully on board, but I now get it. To celebrate Bruce's birthday on September 23, she's released a cover of "Dancing in the Dark." At first the song starts out like a typical Lucy Dacus song: In that world between folk and indie rock, almost haunting. But the song slowly starts picking up (which is also a Lucy Dacus trait), but in a more traditional, straightforward rock way. Like a Springsteen song. Dacus pulls off the rare cover that stays true to the original while making it her own song, which is impressive since her music isn't close to Bruce's.

You can listen to Lucy Dacus take on "Dancing in the Dark" below. There are still forthcoming songs for Halloween and Christmas. For more on Lucy Dacus, check out her website.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Baabes - Rachet Ass Dance Party

Boston's very own Baabes are back with a new EP we almost missed. Ratchet Ass Dance Party is an eight song burst of, as they claim on their Bandcamp,  "SLEAZY GARAGE PUNK ROCK N ROLL." It's obnoxious, and has just barely enough melody to not be a complete mess of noise. It's almost... catchy? But the thing with Ratchet Ass Dance Party is that it is a dance party waiting to happen. Baabes are definitely noise punk in the most textbook definition, but this release is better for dancing than moshing. But just barely. And it's probably not what you want to try playing for your normal co-workers.

You can listen to "You'd Be Smart to Kill Me Now" below. Ratchet Ass Dance Party, the latest EP from Baabes, is out now and is available via their Bandcamp. For more on Baabes, check out their website.

Kim Gordon - "Air BnB"

Photo via Facebook
Much as being able to press *69 on your phone and be able to call a number back was so mindblowing in 1994 that R.E.M. was compelled to write about it, in 2019 Kim Gordon has written a song called "Air BnB." "Air BnB," like previous single "Sketch Artist," is still more of a dance song than we'd expect from Gordon, this new one is a raging noisemaker of a song. Picture some of the noisiest, most discordant material Sonic Youth released, but somehow still a dance party. For the video, Gordon couldn't afford to record the one she wanted to make, so instead of coming up with a new concept the video is basically a white lettering on a black background describing the video she wanted to make. 

You can watch the video for "Air BnB" below. No Home Record, the upcoming solo debut from Kim Gordon, will be released October 11 on Matador Records. It's available for pre-order here. For more on Kim Gordon, check out her website.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Skyzoo & Pete Rock featuring Westside Gunn, Conway, Benny The Butcher and Elzhi - "Eastern Conference All​-​Stars"

The latest single from the collaborative album from Skyzoo and Pete Rock might be the most satisfying throwback of all time. It's a brand new song, but it just feels like 1990. "Eastern Conference All-Stars" is the ultimate laid back posse cut. It obviously features Skyzoo, but also verses by Westside Gunn, Conway, Benny The Butcher, and Elzhi. These kind of songs dominated most of the hip hop I listened to in high school, and "Eastern Conference All-Stars" pushes my nostalgia button perfectly. Skyzoo says about the song:

“When putting together Retropolitan, one of the first ideas I had was to put together the ultimate posse cut, with everyone who’s on the record being who I always had in mind.  Something in the vein of DMX’s ‘Ni**az Done Started Something, JAY-Z’s Reservoir Dogs, LL's 4,3,2,1, etc.  I broke the idea down to Pete, and he immediately played this beat. Pete knew exactly what would work for us to go bar crazy. When you put five top-tier lyricists on the same team at the same time; a blowout game ensues. Glad to have my peoples, who happen to be some of the best in the biz’ penmanship wise all in the same starting lineup for this all-star game.” 

You can listen to "Eastern Conference All-Stars" below. Retropolitan, the new album from Skyzoo and Pete Rock, will be out September 20 on Mello Music Group. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Skyzoo, check out his Facebook and Twitter.