Tuesday, October 22, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 18 October


Artist: Common Holly
Album: When I Say To You Black Lightning
Quick Description: New album from an indie favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: This is not the most accessible album, but that's what makes it great.
Overall Thoughts: Common Holly is odd, but leans into it. There are so many moments in this album that really just worked for me even if I couldn’t in good conscience recommend it to most people (hi there “Uuu”), but if you’re reading this you have a refined taste for adventure, so dive right in. I have no clue about the staying power of this record, but it’s been a while since I wanted to explore an album as much as I do this one.
Recommendation: Really interesting listen.


Artist: clipping.
Album: There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Quick Description: Latest from the futuristic sci-fi rap collective.
Why You Should Listen: Great music, great lyrics, great everything.
Overall Thoughts: Yeah, there’s a lot of great rap music out lately, but then you get a new clipping. record and you realize how they’re just on another level. From instrumentation to performance to overall presentation, this is just so far beyond even the best rap albums of the year… yeah. Make time for this. It’s just too good to really describe, and probably the most impressive rap effort of the year.
Recommendation: A must-listen.


Artist: Harmony Woods
Album: Make Yourself at Home
Quick Description: Solid alt-rock.
Why You Should Listen: This sounds like stuff you love, with high production value and great songwriting.
Overall Thoughts: I highlight this because this is a week with some interesting, compelling listens but not a lot to say about them. To say I really liked this album is an understatement, for sure, but it's worth noting that Harmony Woods is not trying to reinvent the wheel with this effort, only make great music. And the music here is great, so in a week like this...
Recommendation: ...check it out.

Of note:

* HXXS - Season of the Witch (Is industrial pop a thing? A fascinating listen.)
* Screaming Females - Singles Too (Singles/rarities comp. It’s fun!)
* Caroline Polachek - Pang (Chairlift singer, perfect late 80s/early 90s soft pop pastiche.)
* The Muffs - No Holiday (A great farewell to a great band.)
* Jake La Botz - They're Coming For Me (Solid off-center folk effort.)
* Zachary Lucky - Midwestern
* Nice Guys - Nice Guys
* Homeboy Sandman - Dust
* Benjamin Spike Saunders - Tonsil Wife
* GA-20 - Lonely Soul
* Rosa Bordallo - Reef Walker
* Vagabon - Vagabon
* Hollow Coves - Moments
* BT - Between Here and You
* Looking for Alaska Soundtrack

7 song albums:

* The Milk Carton Kids - The Only Ones

EPs:

* Guerilla Toss - What Would The Odd Do?
* Basement Revolver - Wax and Digital
* Kitten - Goodbye Honeymoon Phase
* Highasakite - The Bare Romantic Vol. 1
* Joy Orbison - Sliping
* Barrie - Happy to Be Here

Also out:

* Rob Halford - Celestial (It's a Christmas album!)
* Sufjan Stevens and Timo Andres - The Decalogue
* Anna Wise - As If It Were Forever
* La Neve - The Vital Chord
* Jeff Rosenstock - Thanks, Sorry!
* Behavior - Spirits and Embellishments
* Refused - War Music

Palehound Covers Yo La Tengo

I'm shockingly unfamiliar with Yo La Tengo's song "Autumn Sweater," despite the fact that it was on 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One, which is an album I know I played a ton on my college radio show. But, when Palehound decides to cover it, I kinda need to go back and revisit it. Palehound's version is very true to the original, as you'd expect. If anything, the cover is a more straightforward song than the original. Yo La Tengo's version feels a bit dreamier and Palehound's a bit more grounded, although somehow it's the keys that give both their feel. 

You can listen to Palehound's version of "Autumn Sweater" below. It's the b-side to their new single, "Your Boyfriend's Gun." You can get a copy over at their Bandcamp. For more on Palehound, check out their website.

Isobel Campbell Covers Tom Petty

Photo by Ashley Osbourn
We may have had to wait seemingly forever for new music from Isobel Campbell, but along with a new album comes a Tom Petty cover. We're always suckers for cover songs, and personally I'll always check out a Tom Petty cover. Campbell chose to take on Petty's beyond iconic "Runnin' Down a Dream." As you would imagine, Campbell's cover is quite different from the original. There is some of the same iconic guitar riff, but it's a very, very minimal use of guitar, instead focusing mostly on what sounds like a drum machine and Campbell's vocals. It's like a quiet electroclash take on Tom Petty.

Campbell says of the song: “I grew up listening to Full Moon Fever in my Dad's car. On repeat. I had no idea what it was back then, just knew that I loved hearing it. The lilting laidback voice floating from the speakers made absolute sense to me. It painted a picture of America and the West long before I’d ever go. I’d visualise and dream of wide open spaces, nature, freedom and this alternate kind of life. All from my Dad’s car. When I recorded ‘Runnin' Down A Dream’ the poetry and mystery of the lyrics were really speaking to me. I wanted to give this version a hypnotic dream like feel.”

You can listen to Isobel Campbell's version of "Runnin' Down a Dream" below. There is No Other, the long awaited new album from Isobel Campbell, will be out January 31 on Cooking Vinyl. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Isobel Campbell, check out her website.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Gork - "That's Plastic Mate"

An ode to recycling doesn't sound like the basis of a great song, but it's 2019, so who even knows how the world works anymore, right? Hailing from Bristol, Gork's new song "That's Plastic Mate" is simply weird. It has the backbeat groove of post punk, but it's a noisy psychedelic song, that's also some form of pop. Imagine Frank Zappa partying with Ween and Gang of Four, and you might end up with "That's Plastic Mate."

Guitarist/vocalist Ed Soles says of the song: "Little Bruce lived a normal life, unaware of our plastic oceans. Some say he ate too much fish, who knows maybe he did. Either way, he is an Evian bottle now. 'Plastic' warns parents everywhere of the dangers of this translucent lifestyle. If you don’t want baby Sarah or chubby Paul to wake up as a bottle then you best praise the bins and praise the recycling. That's plastic mate."

You can watch the video for "That's Plastic Mate" below. Class the new EP from Gork, will be out November 15 on Breakfast Records and Leisure Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Gork, check them out on Facebook.

Secret Spirit - "Dream Warriors"

Our favorite noisy NH punks are back with a new single! Secret Spirit have released "Dream Warriors," which is this weirdly wonderful mix of thrashy noise and emo/pop punk that somehow works. It's melodic, catchy as it could possibly be, but also grating and discordant in the best possible way. As I said before, we're probably far too old to be into Secret Spirit, but sometimes we just can't help ourselves.

You can watch the video for "Dream Warriors" below. It features the band harassing campers in the woods of Milford, NH to get them to pay attention to the band, buy their merch, etc. It's pretty great. For more on Secret Spirit, check them out on Bandcamp.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Bobby Hawk - "Salt and Liquor"

Photo by Chelsea Clarke
Bobby Hawk is best known as Robert Hecht, a touring fiddler with artists like Abigail Washburn, Noam Pikelny, and Phosphorescent. He's about to release his solo debut, which was written after a break up. As Hawk says, "“It sounds cliche, but it was the end of one of those relationships where you go, ‘Screw it, I’m gonna go get a tattoo and buy a guitar.' These songs just started pouring out.” The first single off the upcoming album, "Salt and Liquor," is roots based, which you would expect from a fiddler, but there is far heavier guitar than you'd expect. It's a roots/Americana song with a mix of indie rock and 90's alt-metal guitar, which is perfect for someone like me that grew up on Sonic Youth and Helmet but has discovered folk and country as I've gotten older. 

You can listen to "Salt and Liquor" below. Lights On Kinks Out, Bobby Hawk's solo debut album, will be out November 1. For more on Bobby Hawk, check out his website.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mark Lind and The Unloved - "Out of the Blackout"

Even if you don't instantly recognize Mark Lind's name, if you've been paying any attention to the Boston music scene for the last twenty five years, you know who he is. He's been/is a member of The Ducky Boys, Dirty Water, Sinners & Saints, and The Warning Shots. It's been ten years since he last released music as Mark Lind and The Unloved, but now they're back with a new single and upcoming album! This time around his band consists of members of Diablogato, The Bruisers, Art Thieves, and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters.

The first single, "Out of the Blackout," is incredibly catchy punk rock 'n' roll. It borders between a more mainstream near-pop punk sound and dirty old school Boston punk. It's basically perfect in that way, and you owe it to yourself to listen, even if you've never heard of The Ducky Boys.

You can listen to "Out of the Blackout" below. The Last Bastion, the new album from Mark Lind and The Unloved, will be out 11/8 on Lind's own State Line Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Mark Lind and The Unloved, check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook. If you plan on being in the Boston area for Thanksgiving weekend, the band is playing Great Scott in Allston on November 30.

7th Victim - "Missing Girls In Gothic Garb"

Photo via Facebook
7th Victim is the project that allows Rodney Anonymous to explore his love of electronic music much more than The Dead Milkmen ever could. Plus, they have the greatest Bandcamp bio of all time: 

"When you think of Philadelphia-based electronic acts, only one name comes to mind.
That name is Void Vision.
But sometimes they're not available. For those times, there's 7th Victim.
Formed in Stocksbridge, UK in 1976, 7th Victim has played shows with Joy Division, The Clash, The KLF, and Depache Mode.. Except for when they haven't. Which they didn't. Why are you still reading this?"


As you can tell from that bio and the name of their latest single, "Missing Girls In Gothic Garb," 7th Victim are surprisingly fun. Their latest single is very 80's style electronic. It's minimal and I hesitate to call it New Wave and compare it to early Depeche Mode (for obvious reasons), but...

You can listen to "Missing Girls In Gothic Garb" below. The song is available for free on 7th Victim's Bandcamp. For more on 7th Victim, check them out on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 11 October


Artist: The Dead South
Album: Sugar & Joy
Quick Description: New album from an underrated roots act.
Why You Should Listen: They're gritty but polished, which is a great mix.
Overall Thoughts: For what it’s worth, I never read about The Dead South when I’m hearing about current roots/Americana acts, and I don’t know why, because they’re great. They had the one viral hit, yes, but this new album does not betray their sound or provide any sort of sea change that would make you think they’re anything less than one of the more solid, skilled acts in the genre. If you want good roots music? Just make time for this.
Recommendation: You won’t regret a moment of it.


Artist: Cursive
Album: Get Fixed
Quick Description: Second new album this year from the indie emo band.
Why You Should Listen: Cursive is good, guys.
Overall Thoughts: A surprise second release from the indie act, this one is a little more chamber-emo than the harshness of the solid album earlier this year, but it definitely doesn’t feel like a ton of castoff songs. Cur have been great for some time now, and this is just the latest in their line of quality music.
Recommendation: Don’t miss out.


Artist: Very Good
Album: Adulthood
Quick Description: One of the more interesting folkish listens of the week.
Why You Should Listen: Defies any expectations you may have.
Overall Thoughts: This is a very interesting listen in a lot of ways. I can’t say for sure whether it works for me on first listen, as it is such a stilted jolt to the system for what comes across as a folk-style record, but still such a fascinating adventure. I didn’t want to ignore this one this week, and if you’re feeling like a trek off the beaten path…
Recommendation: Worth your time.


Artist: Kim Gordon
Album: No Home Record
Quick Description: Sonic Youth frontwoman with her first solo album.
Why You Should Listen: Kim Gordon is basically grunge royalty.
Overall Thoughts: An odd and frustrating record in all the right ways. Most of my favorite Sonic Youth songs featured Kim Gordon in a big way, so I’ve been low-key looking forward to this effort. The result ends up being something very odd and often impenetrable, and that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, in many ways, it is exactly what I was hoping for and expecting from it. This is basically impossible to really write about coherently, but it is worth a full listen. For me, I’m definitely looking to revisit.
Recommendation: A really fascinating experience.


Artist: The Building
Album: PETRA
Quick Description: Thoughtful, interesting folk rock.
Why You Should Listen: This doesn't play it entirely straight.
Overall Thoughts: The number of fairly basic folk rock records that come across our weekly listens is often staggering, but this means that when a superlative one hits our stack, we notice. This is one of them, with a pleasant demeanor and some interesting musical and lyrical flourishes that sets it apart. There’s something a little more special about this one...
Recommendation: ...so check it out.


Artist: Big Thief
Album: Two Hands
Quick Description: Second album this year from the indie faves.
Why You Should Listen: More in line with what you might expect.
Overall Thoughts: Big Thief is back after a few months with a new album. This one feels a lot closer to what I expect compared to U.F.O.F., and the result is a pretty solid listen that doesn’t feel like a bunch of throwaways from the previous sessions.
Recommendation: Good for fans, worth it for all.

Of note:

* Chris Farren - Born Hot (Power pop lives!)
* Tahiti 80 - Fear of an Acoustic Planet (Sneaky good.)
* 808 State - Transmission Suite
* Elbow - Giants of All Sizes
* Lemolo - Swansea
* Allah-Las - LAHS
* Suitcase Sam - Goodnight Riverdale Park
* Newmoon - Nothing Lasts Forever
* Jonsi and Alex Somers - Lost & Found
* The Hard-Ons - So I Could Have Them Destroyed
* Art Alexakis - Sun Songs
* Babymetal - Metal Galaxy
* Dan Luke and the Raid - Out of the Blue
* Joseph Arthur - Come Back World

7 Song Albums:

* BODEGA - Shiny New Model

EPs:

* Mallin Petterson - Alonesome
* Lindstrom - On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever
* Babehaven - Suspended Animation
* Marika Hackman - Any Human Friend
* Askjell - To Be Loved
* Son Little - Invisible

Also Out:

* Wale - Wow, That's Crazy
* Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel

Wished Bone - "Hold Me"

Photo via Facebook
Wished Bone is the folk project of plant biologist turned bartender Ashley Rhodus. Although, judging by the single "Hold Me," this isn't going to be your typical traditional folk music. "Hold Me" doesn't follow the traditional folk instrumentation, but isn't quite a rock song, either. Instead it sounds like a wonderfully odd mix of Tom Petty and The Sundays. The song dabbles in folk, rock, and pop equally, without ever fully committing to any of them. This gives it a unique sound while still feeling familiar.

You can listen to "Hold Me" below. Sap Season, the upcoming album from Wished Bone, will be out November 1. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Wished Bone, check out the project's Facebook and Twitter.

Friendly Rich - "Donkey Day"

Photo by Brittany Farhat
Friendly Rich's latest single has a very unique sound to it. "Donkey Day" is weird enough that I can only truly compare it to Tom Waits. But it's as if Tom Waits decided to rock and collaborate with Les Claypool. And the two of them tried to make a mainstream hit song. According to Friendly Rich "... is inspired by one of my favourite Canadian cities,   Guelph, Ontario. Once a year, on “Donkey Day,the animals are let loose throughout the city. It’s pure chaos, just like this tune." This might be the happiest song on the upcoming album, since the album has an "... overall theme of terrorism that’s woven throughout, to death, divorce, depression, religion..."

You can watch the video for "Donkey Day" below. WE ARE ALL TERRORISTS, the upcoming album from Friendly Rich, will be out November 1. For more on Friendly Rich, check out his website.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Duck & Cover - "Two Shots"

Photo via Facebook
Boston's Duck & Cover have a new EP coming out, and their latest single, "Two Shots," is a blend of a bunch of different punk genres. First off, "Two Shots" is a dirty, grungy style of punk. But, it also has a bouncy pop punk feel to it. The vocals are as catchy as you can imagine, except for when they have a shout along, hardcore feel to it. And then you throw in the killer guitar solo, which is usually not allowed in any style of punk. All of this is crammed into a single three minute song, and these styles happen separately and blend in at the same time throughout the chorus of the song. It completely shatters the typical classic punk song structure while still paying homage to classic punk.

You can listen to "Two Shots" below. Two Shots, the EP, will be out in January on State Line Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Duck & Cover, check them out on Facebook.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Plumes - "Bobbie Blue & Connie Sue"

Boston's Plumes have a new single out, and it's a unique blend of folk rock. "Bobbie Blue & Connie Sue" has an interesting feel, with a start/stop quality, and a Smiths like delivery mixed with the aggression of Violent Femmes. I don't think it can truly be considered folk, but there is a distinct folk-adjacent feel. It's a quiet little epic song, that is somehow fun and quirky without being cutesy. 

You can listen to "Bobbie Blue & Connie Sue" and its b-side "Summertime Autumn Breeze" below. The song will be included on Plumes's upcoming album which should be released in November. For more on Plumes, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Bandcamp. At their Bandcamp, you can download previous releases for free, and you know how we feel about free music!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Full Body - "Alias"

Photo by Brandon Mark
Upstate NY's Full Body have a new single that's the perfect blend of noise rock and pop craftsmanship. That might be a weird way to word it, since "Alias" is about as far away from a pop song as you can imagine. It kind of meanders around without following any set hit songwriting strategy. Plus, the guitars are bitingly fuzzy. But "Alias" has some serious catchy hooks. Somehow, since the hooks come and go whenever the seem to want to and not when they would traditionally need to go in order to comprise a standard song. The band has this to say about the song:

"'Alias' started with an idea Jack (our drummer) had. We changed the form around and collaborated on the lyrics, which for me was a first. It's one of the more pop leaning tracks on this record, and like a few of the other songs it touches on people not being who you thought they were. Classic shit am i right?"

You can listen to "Alias" below. Always There, the new album from Full Body, will be out October 18 on Five Kill Records, which has quickly become a favorite label around here. You can pre-order the album over at Bandcamp. For more on Full Body, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Rosa Bordallo - "Sleight of Hand"

Photo by Varvara Mikushkina
CHamoru-American artist Rosa Bordallo has released a final single before next week's release of her solo debut, and "Sleight of Hand" just heightens our excitement for the album. While her previous two singles, "Lost On the Coast" and "Citadel," were simplistically quiet and loud respectively, "Sleight of Hand" is both. It starts out with a shoe-gazey wash of guitars until the guitar drops out to make room for Bordallo's voice. The song meanders between quiet and simple and a droning, buzzy guitar centered rocker. It's a compelling dichotomy that makes us unable to wait for the album release next week.

You can listen to "Sleight of Hand" below. Reef Walker, the new album from Rosa Bordallo, will be out October 18 on Time Castle Recordings. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Rosa Bordallo, check out her Facebook.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Donna Blue - "Desert Lake"

Photo by Satellite June
The latest single from Donna Blue feels like it was unearthed by Quentin Tarantino and used in one of his films. "Desert Lake" feels like a 60's Spaghetti Western mixed with 60's groovy. It's like if Nancy Sinatra decided to make cowboy music. The duo is Danique van Kesteren and Bart van Dalen, who are also a couple. "Desert Lake" started with van Dalen whistling in the shower: 

"Next, we made a demo on our phone at home before taking it to the studio. At all done by the two of us, from beginning to end. We loved working with such an elaborate string section for the first time, it really adds to the mysterious mood."

You can watch the video for "Desert Lake" below. For more on Donna Blue, check out their website.

Hallelujah the Hills - "Running Hot With Fate"

We've been huge fans of Hallelujah the Hills for a while now, and based on the first two singles off their upcoming album, this one might be their finest to date.

"Running Hot With Fire" is the latest, and it does this great dance over the line between mainstream alt-folk-rock and the weird. Singer Ryan Walsh keeps up a speak-singing cadence somewhere between Tom Petty and Craig Finn. It's mid-tempo song with fairly straightforward musically with odd little instrument flourishes and shout along choruses that somehow turn it into an epic rocker. 

You can listen to "Running Hot With Fate" below. I'm You, the latest album from Hallelujah the Hills, will be out November 15. You can pre-order your copy via Bandcamp. For more on Hallelujah the Hills, check out their website. If you happen to be in the Boston area or want to make a trip, they'll be playing an album release show at Great Scott in Allston on December 19.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Dylan Perkons - "Love Like Mine"

Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia, Dylan Perkons's latest single is both mainstream and classic folk, but with its own little twist. "Love Like Mine" straddles that difficult line of being smooth and pop enough to appeal to a widespread audience while having just enough twang to appeal to country/Americana purists. The x-factor for Perkons is going to be his voice. I'm personally a fan, but a lot of my favorite singers have a unique not quite traditionally pleasant sound to their voices (think J Mascis or Bob Dylan). That's not to say that Perkons doesn't have a great voice, it's just not the type that you hear on this style of music. If it doesn't grab you right away, stick with it to the end and there's a great chance you'll end up completely into this song.

You can listen to "Love Like Mine" below. The Healing Day, the upcoming album from Dylan Perkons, will be out on October 18. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Dylan Perkons, check him out on Facebook.

Lucy Dacus Covers Phil Collins

Ever since Lucy Dacus announced her 2019 holiday singles series, I've been waiting for October to hear her Halloween song. I couldn't wait to see if it was an original song or a cover of some spooky classic. Well, it's out, and she's covering Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight." It's an unexpected choice, for sure. Phil Collins isn't exactly tied to Halloween, and "In the Air Tonight" isn't usually thought of as a Halloween song. Plus, I've just never liked Phil Collins. All that being said, it's still a fun cover that stays very close to the original. It's far more 80's synth heavy than anything we've heard Dacus do in the past, and very voice does add a haunting feeling the original doesn't have. Plus, there is an underlying tension and discord that I wouldn't have expected. So maybe it's a fitting choice?

You can listen to Lucy Dacus's version of "In the Air Tonight" below. The track can be purchased here via Matador Records. For more on Lucy Dacus, check out her website.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 4 October


Artist: That Dog
Album: Old LP
Quick Description: Comeback album from some indie legends.
Why You Should Listen: It's That Dog, guys. Come on.
Overall Thoughts: As long-awaited as this return has been, it is great to know that this reunion has not resulted in the band missing a beat. With moments often as good as their high points during their first run, there is a lot to love in this album even in its imperfection. I’m reminded by less-than-stellar returns from other 90s acts and how much better this is, both in comparison and overall.
Recommendation: Definitely worth the time.


Artist: Chromatics
Album: Closer to Grey
Quick Description: New album from the longtime rock group.
Why You Should Listen: They're more than just a Lynch-adjacent group.
Overall Thoughts: A surprise release of sorts, even though we’ve been waiting for some time for a new album from this act, it’s basically what you expect. That’s not a bad thing, as they have a very distinct and unique presentation that’s been lacking. I can’t say for sure whether this would get them new fans, but as an existing one who has been waiting impatiently since their performance at The Roadhouse, I’m pleased.
Recommendation: Give this a listen.


Artist: Angel Olsen
Album: All Mirrors
Quick Description: Latest from the rising singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: A true leap in songwriting on this record.
Overall Thoughts: The internet is collectively losing its mind over this album, and rightfully so. Olsen, up to this point, has done some solid work, but this album feels less like a musical experience and more like a full-on adventure. Extremely lush, incredibly complex in the right ways, and it rightly sounds like an achievement of sorts. This is such a departure from My Woman that it may really throw off recent converts, but it is such an authentic listen that it’s hard not to love it.
Recommendation: Easily the best record of the week.


Artist: Bill Frisell
Album: Harmony
Quick Description: Longtime guitar legend's new album.
Why You Should Listen: One of the prettiest things you'll listen to as of late.
Overall Thoughts: I admit to not knowing enough about Bill Frisell, and this album makes me regret that reality. Gorgeous guitar work with some nice jazz-adjacent melodies means that this is definitely going to be one of the more beautiful albums in recent memory with a lot of crossover appeal. This is one I am looking forward to returning to, and an artist I absolutely want to spend more time with as a result.
Recommendation:


Artist: L'Orange and Jeremiah Jae
Album: Complicate Your Life With Violence
Quick Description: Solid rap music with interesting accompaniment.
Why You Should Listen: L'Orange is always worth a listen, and apparently Jae is, too.
Overall Thoughts: A great collaboration, some great sampling, some great raps… I’m not sure what’s not to like about this overall. In a year with a lot of interesting rap albums, this is definitely one worth listening to and, when you get songs like “Summer Camp” leading the charge, it’s hard to find anything negative to say about this one.
Recommendation: Don’t sleep on this one.

Of note:

* The Avett Brothers - Closer Than Together (Understated record, lots to like even if it’s not as immediate or risky as their past.)
* Wilco - Ode to Joy (To quote Ken on Twitter, “I'd rather have a band age gracefully and do dad rock like Wilco than have a group of guys in their 50s trying to appeal to 14 year olds like some of their peers do.”)
* The Persian Leaps - Electric Living (Solid alt-rock)
* Lisa Prank - Perfect Love Song
* Daniel Martin Moore - Never Look Away
* Michael Christmas - Baggy Eyes 2
* Gospelbeach - Let It Burn
* Kim Petras - Turn Out the Light
* San Fermin - The Cormorant I
* Holiday Sidewinder - Forever or Whatever
* Rhi - The Pale Queen
* Kelsey Walden - White Noise/White Lines


Eps:

* Kero Kero Bonito - Civilization I
* Dogmatics - She's the One

Also:

* Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
* MIKA - My Name is Michael Holbrook
* North Mississippi Allstars - Up and Rolling
* Josie Cotton - Everything is Oh Yeah
* The Darkness - Easter is Cancelled
* Lagwagon - Railer
* City & Colour - A Pill for Loneliness
* Lightning Dust - Spectre
* Medicine - Scarred for Life
* Carla dal Forno - Look Up Sharp

Gordon Withers Covers Jawbreaker

Gordon Withers is best known as a rock cellist in J Robbins band. He also does solo cello covers of well known rock songs. He is about to release Jawbreaker On Cello, which as you can probably guess is an album of Jawbreaker covers done on cello. The first song we can hear from it is "Bivouac." Now, you can probably guess what Jawbreaker being performed on cello is going to sound like, and you'd be exactly right. This isn't some crazy, experimental version of a cello based song. But it is an incredible arrangement of a classic punk song done in a way you never expected to hear it. You already know if you want to listen to this. If you do, you'll quickly move past the novelty factor and appreciate the song far more than you ever expected to.

You can listen to Gordon Withers's take on "Bivouac" below. Jawbreaker On Cello will be out November 1, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Gordon Withers, check out his website.

Tristen Covers Joni Mitchell

We're fairly rabid Tristen fans over here at If It's Too Loud..., so any time she releases any new music we're thrilled. Since we also love covers, her latest is especially great. As a standalone single, she's released a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." I'm not very familiar with the original, so I'll stick with Tristen's version. The cover is a retro-cool groovy song that keeps some modern day pop sensibilities with some 60's feel. It's a beautiful and fun version of a classic song that fits right in with Tristen's catalog.

You can listen to Tristen's version of "A Case of You" below. The single can be found on Tristen's Bandcamp. For more on Tristen, check out her website.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Wild Earp & The Free For Alls - "The Last Honky Tonk in Chicago"

Photo by Alan Mayne
2019 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Chicago based Bloodshot Records, which, as you can tell, we're huge fans of here at If It's Too Loud... The very first release for Bloodshot was For A Life of Sin: Insurgent Chicago Country, a compilation of Chicago based country artists. For their anniversary, the label will release Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots. The first single off the compilation is from Wild Earp & The Free For Alls, "The Last Honky Tonk in Chicago." If you imagine what a song called "The Last Honky Tonk in Chicago" by a band called Wild Earp & The Free for Alls, and you most likely have it. It's an old school down home country song, but with just enough of the attitude to truly make it a Bloodshot Records release.

You can watch the video for "The Last Honky Tonk in Chicago" below. You can pre-order Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots via Bloodshot Records. For more on Wild Earp & The Free for Alls, check out their website.

Miesha & The Spanks - "The Girls Are O.K."

Photo by Unfolding Creative Photography
Hailing from Calgary, Miesha & The Spanks have a new pop garage rock single, "The Girls Are O.K." It's a great mixture of the dirty sound of garage rock and the shimmering sound of pop. It's a fun, celebratory song that reminds me of Carissa Johnson & the Cure-Alls. According to Miesha:


"I wrote “The Girls Are O.K.” while in my third trimester this summer, expecting twins— no idea what their gender would be. At the same time I was scheduling this year’s Girls Rock Camp in Calgary.
The whole thing got me thinking about these strong, weird, cool girls that I get to work with every year and watch grow, and how if I ended up with two baby girls, I wouldn’t be worried about or for them at all, because the girls from camp were already light years ahead of where I was at their age.
They’re so brave and they already know they don’t have to take any bullshit— something I learned much later in life.
They’re going to be more than okay – they’re going to be great."

You can listen to "The Girls Are O.K." below. For more on Miesha & The Spanks, check out their website.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Very Good - "Falling Dreams"

Photo by Sergio Carrasco
Normally when we describe music as stripped down it means that it's intimate, and usually warm. "Falling Dreams" from Very Good isn't that. At all. "Falling Dreams" is intensely minimalist. There is barely any instrumentation behind Sean Cronin's vocals, and the tiny bit there is isn't always pleasant. It's hardly noise rock in the traditional sense. It's a challenging listen, sure, but more because it's so sparse and quiet. Instruments come and go, but more like they know it's their turn and it's required of them. All that said, it's not entirely unpleasant. By the end, the song becomes quite enjoyable. I'm not sure if it's because the music changes in a more pleasant way or if you have just adapted to the way it is, but "Falling Dreams" is almost nice for the last two or three minutes.

You can watch the video for "Falling Dreams" below. Adulthood, the new album from Very Good, will be out October 11. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Very Good, check out their Bandcamp.

Guerilla Toss - "Plants"

Photo by Vanessa Castro
With their new single, "Plants," Guerilla Toss go further into their dance-noise sound. "Plants" is completely a dance song, with no traces of noise rock able to be found. It's interesting that they're going with such a fun, uplifting sound, given the subject matter of their upcoming EP. What Would the Odd Do? is inspired by singer Kassie Carlson's near death experience due to a blood clot from an opiate addiction that led to open heart surgery. 

According to Carlson: “Only recently have I really begun to open up about everything that’s happened to me in the last few years. These songs mean a lot to me; anyone in recovery knows that going through an opiate addiction and beating it is a big deal. I am living proof that it can happen to anyone. I’ve always written abstract lyrics that have eluded to my personal struggles, but this time I try to provide context to my metaphors and allegories. In this way, I hope to help other people who are struggling, and anything else that is a result of a corroded society that has left so many people in the dust - especially women. Drugs are such a dude-associated thing, which has made it even harder for me to talk about. I felt gross, other-ed, and alone. I didn’t think anyone would be able to understand or relate. Experiencing severe trauma as a child creates different parameters for normalcy, and inclusion. Statistically, women are more likely to hide addiction and keep feelings inside, making it potentially much more festering and toxic. Drugs affect people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, class or gender. Addiction hits us all, and it hits hard.”

You can listen to "Plants" below. What Would the Odd Do? is due for release on October 18 via NNA Tapes. You can pre-order the EP here. For more on Guerilla Toss, check out their website.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

that dog. - "Just the Way"

Photo by Cara Robbins
It's been twenty two years since that dog. have released new music, so you can forgive them for being behind the times a bit. Apparently no one has told them no one goes all out with music videos any more, and a fun concept and celebrity cameos are unnecessary. For their latest single, "Just the Way," the band made a video with Funny or Die which stars the members of that dog. as the fun loving roommates from TV's Three's Company, except with Janet and Chrissy trying to murder each other. They also bring in Maya Rudolph and Jack Black as The Gropers. Hijinks, naturally, ensue! As for the song "Just the Way," it's a dark, melodic hard 90's style rocker, and it's great enough to not get overshadowed by the killer (pun intended) video.

You can watch the video for "Just the Way" below. Old LP, the insanely long awaited album from that dog., will be out October 4. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on that dog., check out their website.