Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Oompa - "Closer"


Oompa, "
nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, poet, rapper, and educator, who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids n’ them," has released a new single, and if there is any justice in the world, Oompa will be a household name by the end of 2021. "Closer" is mainstream hip hop at its very best. It starts off more R&B than hip hop, and it turns out Oompa can sing. Really, really sing. The hip hop element is still really strong with "Closer," but Oompa has brought in an electronic and pop side we haven't seen from her previously. "Closer" is an absolute masterpiece, and it really deserves your immediate attention.

You can watch the video for "Closer" below. For more on Oompa, check out the artist's website.

Wonderflu - "Mad College"

Photo via Facebook

It might be a little strange to listen to a band called Wonderflu at this point in 2020 during a global pandemic, but we won't hold that against them. The Parisian band's newest single, "Mad College," is a glorious 90's throwback. This song feels like the mid-90's, when grunge was mostly faded away and everything was called "post grunge," which was really just power pop with crunchy guitars. "Mad College" is much more Fountains of Wayne and Superdrag than Nirvana and Alice in Chains. It's a fun indie rock song, and there can never be enough of those.

You can watch the video for "Mad College" below. Bubblegum, the new EP from Wonderflu, will be out November 27 on Influenza Records. For more on Wonderflu, check them out on Facebook.

Alex Lahey Covers The Ramones


I had made an agreement with myself that I wasn't going to post any more Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but I couldn't wait with this one. Alex Lahey has been a blog favorite since her 2017 album I Love You Like a Brother. When I first saw she was covering the Ramones' classic holiday song "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)," I knew it would be good. But, this cover? It's so good! Lahey has always skirted the line between pop and alternative/pop punk, and her cover definitely goes on the side of pop, but the Ramones were always a pop band, just faster and heavier. This cover is an absolute delight, and the perfect choice for Lahey!

In a Facebook post, Alex Lahey explains her choice of covering this Ramones' Christmas classic:

"A fun fact about me is that I love Christmas songs. I’ve always wanted to do one and I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally dipped my toe into the pool of yule and have created my very own version of the Ramones festive classic ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)’! This one goes out to the kid in high school who made fun of my HEY HO LET’S GO tshirt I wore on casual clothes day in year 8."

You can listen to Alex Lahey's cover of "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" below. You can get your very own copy of the song here. For more on Alex Lahey, check out her website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 20 December

Artist: Partner
Album: Never Give Up
Quick Description: Second album from a favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: You don't take yourself too seriously, or you get high a lot.
Overall Thoughts: We unironically love Partner here, and for good reason: they're a ton of fun and have the musical chops to back it up. There's no "Everybody Knows" here, but that's okay - the adventure into odd proggy territory at times feels natural and this listen, overall, feels like one that's likely to stick with me for a while.
Recommendation: Definitely a good time.

Artist: Sara Noelle
Album: Cover the Blue
Quick Description: Gorgeous folky tunes.
Why You Should Listen: You already love this type of music.
Overall Thoughts: We missed this one earlier this year, and with an EP out this week, it was worth highlighting this listen as a pretty, intricate piece of singer-songwriter folk. In a week that doesn't have a lot like this for once, it's worth catching up with.
Recommendation: Make some time.

Artist: Cartalk
Album: Pass Like Pollen
Quick Description: An outstanding indie/alt release we missed.
Why You Should Listen: There's a ton to love here from start to finish.
Overall Thoughts: Another one we missed, but wow, I'm glad I found it. Cartalk is the name for a solo musician who makes some of the best sort of indie music that dabbles in various genres, all with some realness sprinkled throughout. The album has such an interesting tonal trajectory, with peaks and valleys of tempo and volume that sets it apart for me. They have such a great sound that I can't wait to hear what comes next - until then, I'll just keep this on repeat until I'm sick of it.
Recommendation: A must listen.

Artist: Anna McClellan
Album: I saw first light
Quick Description: Latest from the Midwestern singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: This is fun and quirky without being grating.
Overall Thoughts: I hate how the term "twee" has an air of condescension around it. Anna McClellan probably fits that oeuvre, but definitely deserves to be taken seriously. This is a light, poppy album with an undercurrent that makes you pay a little attention. In a few ways, it reminded me of some of the anti-folk I loved 20 years ago. So if that's your thing...
Recommendation: ...give this a shot.

Artist: Grandaddy
Album: The Sophtware Slump.....on a wooden piano
Quick Description: Does what it says on the tin.
Why You Should Listen: You may have forgotten after all these years, but The Sophtware Slump is a great album.
Overall Thoughts: I've resisted talking much about the glut of pandemic releases we've seen. Reimaginings, acoustic efforts - I don't fault any act that has lost touring revenue for trying to get a little of it back, but a lot of it isn't the most compelling stuff. This is different: it's basically Jason Lytle recording on a four track, and it allows the beauty of the songs to really take center stage instead of the hypertechnological sheen placed over the original release.
Recommendation: If you're a fan, check it out.

Artist: Mamalarky
Album: Mamalarky
Quick Description: Debut album from some indie artists associated with acts you love.
Why You Should Listen: This has a lot of potential to go along with it being a fun listen.
Overall Thoughts: People will come to Mamalarky either from Cherry Glazzer or White Denim, and I don't know if I'd necessarily class this along with those acts. But why bother? Mamalarky is its own thing, and the sort of psych-punk angle they're playing at has a DIY feel with some professional polish. I liked this a lot on first listen, and you might, too.
Recommendation: Should be part of your rotation.

Of note:

* The Bug and Dis Fig - In Blue (An interesting listen.)
* 5 Billion in Diamonds - Divine Accidents
* The Dirty Knobs - Wreckless Abandon
* Eric Hilton - The Impossible Silence
* Babeheaven - Home for Now
* The Young Fresh Fellows - Toxic Youth
* J. E. Sunde - 9 Songs About Love
* Kelsey Johansing - No Better Time
* The Suitcase Junket - The End is New
* Cecile Believe - Plucking a Cherry From the Void
* The Suitcase Junket - The End is New
* Ricky Eat Acid - When they align just so, memories of another life bleed into my own
* Laura Fell - Safe From Me
* King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - K.G.

EPs:

* The Network - Trans Am (Green Day.)
* Weezy Ford - All at Once (This is great.)
* KIT - KIT
* Kelsey Waldon - They'll Never Keep Us Down
* Tank and the Bangas - Friend Goals
* Shygirl - ALIAS
* Soccer Mommy - color theory (selected demos)
* Grand Pax - Wavey
* Jenn Champion - Donating Your Body to Science: What You Need to Know
* Lissie - Thank You to the Flowers
* Lindstrom and Prins Thomas - III
* Phoebe Bridgers - Copycat Killer
* XYLO - Outsiders Club
* Sara Noelle - Four Songs
* Routine - And Other Things
* The Jjen - The Jjen
* Thys and Amon Tobin - Ithica
* Georgia Ruth - Mai: 2
* Magdalena Bay - Mini Mix, Vol. 2
* Dirty Projectors - Ring Road
* Annie Hamilton - Annie Hamilton EP (Reimagined)
* girlcrush - girlcrush
* October and The Eyes - Dogs and Gods
* Austra - HiRUDiN REMiXED

Also out:

* Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Idiot Prayer
* Dream Wife - IRL

Eddie Mooney and The Grave - "Lockdown Baby"


You're not going to get more old school than Eddie Mooney. Mooney has been in bands since 1974, most notably British bands The Fortunes and The Dakotas. Now he has a new band, and a new song. Eddie Mooney and The Grave's new single, "Lockdown Baby," is old school garage rock with a pop punk edge you wouldn't exactly expect from a sixty three year old. It's a fast, bouncy song, blending garage rock, power pop, pop punk, and proto punk perfectly. Also, as the title would suggest, it's a love song for the quarantine era.

You can listen to "Lockdown Baby" below. The song is available as a single on Still Unbeatable Records. You can get a copy via the label's Bandcamp.



BlabberMouf featuring EllMatic and Malev Da Shinobi - "All Set"

Photo via Facebook

If you're in the mood for some early 90's throwback hip hop, the latest from BlabberMouf is perfect for you. The Netherlands rapper has joined with EllMatic and Malev Da Shinobi for "All Set." The song totally throws back to early 90's hip hop like Young Black Teenagers, Fu-Schnickens, and The Pharcyde. They even throw a hint of reggae into the song to truly capture that old school feel. It's the kind of party jam that is going to remind many of us (myself included) of our high school days.

You can listen to "All Set" below. Blast Masta Blab, the new release from BlabberMouf, will be out December 4. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on BlabberMouf, check out the artist's website.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Mariel Buckley - "No Surprise"

Photo by Sheena Zilinski

Country music is such a great outlet for humor, and it's a shame more artists don't use it, except in a huge, goofy Adam Sandler-esque way. Edmonton's Mariel Buckley has the subtle humor country deserves. "No Surprise" has an old school honky tonk feel without seeming hockey or cliche. How old school is "No Surprise?" Buckley brought in Skinny Dyck to produce the song and record it on analog tape. In a classic country style, it's a break up song about finally seeing past the glorified image of your ex. And... it's simply a great song. The style is nailed, despite how modern the subject matter may be.

Mariel Buckley explains the new song: "'No Surprise' is the harsh moment of truth when sobering up from love's beer goggles. It's humour to repress the pain, the wincing smile after a stiff drink when we finally see things as they truly are. Can you really be surprised that someone who's let you down time and time again has let you down, again?"  

You can listen to "No Surprise" below. The single is available now via Birthday Cake. You can get a copy here. For more on Mariel Buckley, check out the artist's website.

Stormstress - "You Can't Hurt Me Now"


We don't cover a huge amount of metal or hard rock here at If It's Too Loud, so you know when we do it's gotta be killer. Formed during a bomb cyclone and under the Hunter moon, Boston's Stormstress, consisting of mirror twins Tanya Venom (lead vocals/guitar) and Tia Mayhem (bass/vocals) and their friend Maddie May Scott (drums/vocals), have released a new song. "You Can't Hurt Me Now" is throwback metal for 2020. It's the kind of thrashy metal with actually sung vocals that you rarely get these days. It's heavy and fast and just drives straight at the listener. This will remind you of the days when metal was cool. 

You can watch the video for "You Can't Hurt Me Now" below. The song is available as a single on Stormstress' Bandcamp. For more on Stormstress, check out their website.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Sierra Ferrell - "Jeremiah" / "Why'd Ya Do It"


Before you listen to the two new songs from Nashville's Sierra Ferrell, you should probably sit down. Make sure you're not doing anything that requires too much of your focus, because you're going to need it for these songs. "Jeremiah" is country, but it's country not really like anything you've heard before. There's just the slightest hint of jazz, and maybe some groovy 60's vibe poking around in there. But, despite how unique it is, there is something familiar and mainstream about it. 

And then you'll hear "Why'd Ya Do It.' As much mainstream as "Jeremiah" may have, "Why'd Ya Do It" is a strange song. It has some Eastern European influences, skirting into gypsy music territory. It's almost like Gogol Bordello were influenced more by country than punk. But, there is still some pretty serious mainstream appeal here. It could be because of Sierra Ferrell's voice. As odd and unique as her music may be, there is no way anyone with a voice like hers isn't going to appeal to everyone that hears it.

You can listen to "Jeremiah" and "Why'd Ya Do It" below. The two songs are available now, with a full length due on Rounder Records in 2021. For more on Sierra Ferrell, check out her website.

Berk/Lehane - "An Irishman for Christmas"


Berk/Lehane is the pairing of Simone Berk (Kid Gulliver, Sugar Snow, Whistlestop Rock) and Jerry Lehane (The Dogmatics). It's the kind of Boston grouping you would never think of, but once it's here, you know you've needed it all this time. Their song, "An Irishman for Christmas," is obviously a Christmas song. And it's not a song that's a rock song about Christmas. "An Irishman for Christmas" is a Christmas song dipped in Boston rock 'n' roll. The two first came together when Jerry Lehane reached out to Simone Berk about her song "Queen of the Drive In" with Whistlestop Rock. Eventually this led to the "
Boston-Irish-Interfaith-Romance-folk-punk" you can listen to today!

You can listen to "An Irishman for Christmas" below. The song is currently available via Bandcamp. Let's hope this leads to many more songs from the Berk/Lehane collaboration!



Steve Earle & The Dukes Cover Justin Townes Earle


In a year of complete shit, Justin Townes Earle's death truly hit me hard. I can't even imagine how it affected his family, especially his parents. Steve Earle channeled his grief into an album of his late son's music. The first single is "Harlem River Blues." It's a perfect remake, as you would expect from this type of tribute album. I'm going to avoid any attempts at delving into the new meaning of Steve Earle singing Justin's words, or attempt to dissect intonations in his voice. The song is a perfect tribute, and a must listen for fans of either Earle.

You can listen to Steve Earle & The Dukes take on "Harlem River Blues" below. J.T. will be released digitally on January 4, which would have been Justin's thirty-ninth birthday. Physical releases will follow on March 19 via New West Records. All royalties and artist advances will be put into a trust for Justin and Jenn Earle's three year old daughter. You can pre-order your copy here



Thursday, November 19, 2020

Noël Wells Covers Bill Withers


We were as surprised as anyone was at how great Noël Wells' 2019 album It's So Nice! was. Typically when someone better known as an actor/comedian/director decides to add musician to that list, it doesn't go very well. But Wells is ridiculously talented, and that extends to her music as well. Inspired by seeing people dancing in the streets after Joe Biden's victory earlier this month, Wells recorded a cover of Bill Withers' iconic "Lovely Day." It's not a straightforward cover, as Wells puts a disco glitter shine on the song. Gone is the smooth 70's R&B, and in its place is a chilled out wall of synths. It's the kind of cover that completely reimagines the original but keeps the original's spirit alive.

You can listen to Noël Wells' take on "Lovely Day" below. For more on Noël Wells, follow the artist's Twitter and Instagram.

Inspector 34 - "The Grey House"


There have been an outrageous number of great bands hailing from the formerly dying mill town of Lowell, MA, and the latest is Inspector 34. Their latest single, "The Grey House," is an... interesting one. Sure, it's an indie rock song, no doubt about that. But it has a bigger, more ambitious sound than your typical indie rock. It's steeped in a huge amount of sludge, but it's kind of playful and sunny. Plus, I'm detecting more than a hint of some 70's classic rock here, and maybe even some prog rock? It's a bizarrely great blend of sounds not typically associated with each other, and completely worth your time listening.

You can watch the video for "The Grey House" below. Love My Life, the upcoming new album from Inspector 34, will be out December 4 on Sad Milk Collective. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Inspector 34, check out their Facebook and Twitter.

STL GLD - "Money Bags"

Photo via Facebook

We've been ridiculously huge fans of Boston's STL GLD for a few years now, so we're always thrilled to get new music from them. They just released a new single that continues their streak of great new music. "Money Bags" is simply great. It's a stripped down hip hop track that amps up the intensity based on Moe Pope's vocals. It reminds me a lot of a more polished version of early Wu-Tang Clan. It's not a club banger (as the kids say). Instead it festers, never quite exploding, but you can tell it desperately wants to. 

You can listen to "Money Bags" below. For more on STL GLD, check out their website.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Sheila Divine - "Corona Christmas"


Aaron Perrino has been releasing a ridiculous amount of music during quarantine. The current (former?) Sheila Divine frontman was releasing a song a day for a while, usually as an homage to another artist. He was doing it so much, it was impossible for us to even know where to start bringing it to you. Now that he's slowed down, he's released a new Christmas song. I'm sure there are going to be a bunch of COVID-19 themed Christmas songs and merchandise this year, and I'm already sick of just thinking about it. But The Sheila Divine's "Corona Christmas" might be the only acceptable one. "Cornona Christmas" has one of the darkest senses of humor I've heard in decades. It's so dark that I'm not completely sure that it is meant to be taken as humorous. It's a bleak, bleak song, about a bleak, bleak topic.

In a Facebook post, Aaron Perrino explains the song: "It's almost time for Christmas music so I figured I'd write one for your holiday playlist. This holiday season is going to be like no other as Covid is spinning out of control. Let's hope the New Year brings this pandemic to an end. Until then wear a freaking mask & have yourself a Corona little Christmas."

You can listen to "Corona Christmas" below. The song is currently available on The Sheila Divine's Bandcamp. For more on The Sheila Divine, check out the band on Facebook.



Dale Crover - "I Can't Help You There"

Photo via Facebook

Anything related to The Melvins is going to be fairly weird, and when it's a side project from the band's drummer... well, you expect it to be a little extra weird. Dale Crover's latest single is going to be a lot less weird than you'd expect. We're not talking about Foo Fighters or U2 levels of mainstream here, but "I Can't Help You There" is about as mainstream as Crover is going to get. It's a relatively straight up rock song through a Melvins smeared lens.

You can watch the video for "I Can't Help You There" below. Rat-a-Tat-Tat!, the upcoming solo album from Dale Crover, will be out January 15 on Joyful Noise Recordings. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Dale Crover, check out the artist on Facebook.

Jessica Lea Mayfield - Emotional Abandonment


It's been a long, long time since we've had some new music from Jessica Lea Mayfield. Sure, we had a Christmas song last year and some demos, but Emotional Abandonment is the first proper music from Mayfield in a long time. The EP/single is two new songs. The first, "Daddy Boyfriend," is Mayfield dipping her toes in the pop side more than she ever has. Gone is the country or grunge sound we've heard from her in the past. While being decidedly pop, "Daddy Boyfriend" is still fuzzy as hell. "Emotional Attachment" brings a little more fuzz, but is still fairly pop. It's an interesting sound from an artist that is constantly evolving her sound.

You can watch the video for "Daddy Boyfriend" below. Emotional Abandonment, the new release from Jessica Lea Mayfield, is available now via Bandcamp. For more on Jessica Lea Mayfield, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 13 November

Artist: Aesop Rock
Album: Spirit World Field Guide
Quick Description: Latest effort from the indie underground rapper.
Why You Should Listen: He's a consistent voice and this effort is as high quality as anything he's produced.
Overall Thoughts: This is his first album of material that isn't a collaboration or a soundtrack effort in close to five years. While he hasn't stayed idle, he hasn't missed a beat, either, and the maturity that surrounds this (while it's a lot to expect someone nearing 40 to resonate with a rap album, a lot of stuff here cuts deep) makes it something a little more special than the other rap efforts this week. The album is fairly conceptual, but also succeeds in having parts that work great independent of the whole. This is a great starting point if you've never listened before, but longtime fans like myself will find plenty to enjoy.
Recommendation: A great listen this week.

Artist: William Basinski
Album: Lamentations
Quick Description: New album from the ambient composer.
Why You Should Listen: I'm new to Basinski, but I wish I found him earlier.
Overall Thoughts: I learned of William Basinski from a podcast, probably Radiolab. His best-known work is The Disintegration Tapes, a series of four lengthy looping pieces of a tape as it dissolves within the player. It's an interesting listen, and since then I've dug deeper into his catalog. Basinski's work, including this, involve a lot of looping of found and created tape, providing a really rich experience that is enough to cut through the silence while simultaneously revealing layers of complexity. I love it, and I love this.
Recommendation: It won't be for everyone, but it's definitely worth an attempt.

Artist: Hachiku
Album: I'll Probably Be Asleep
Quick Description: Debut album from an Aussie dream pop act.
Why You Should Listen: This sets itself apart with a strong, unique sound.
Overall Thoughts: This album starts with a sort of feedback guitar hum normally held for the closing of a song. While the noise brings forth expectations of something harsh or loud, it never really comes in that song or anywhere else in this effort. There's a pensive, halting feel to this that makes you feel like you're peeking in on something secret as opposed to observing something out in the open, and I found myself utterly compelled by the whole package. A solid listen any time, but longtime readers here will find lots to love.
Recommendation: Make time for this.

Artist: Gwenifer Raymond
Album: Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain
Quick Description: Rootsy acoustic instrumentals.
Why You Should Listen: It's interesting in a way most solo acoustic guitar isn't.
Overall Thoughts: I know solo instrumental guitar has a bit of a pretentious feel to it, but man, does Gwenifer Raymond know how to put it together. This instrumentalist with the excellent last name puts forth a set of songs that are sometimes familiar, sometimes different, but always gorgeous and compelling. Not much else to say about this except to make time for it.
Recommendation: A great listen.

Artist: Ben Morey and the Eyes
Album: Still Life
Quick Description: Roots rock.
Why You Should Listen: It's like if R.E.M. stayed in the south and never head of T. Rex.
Overall Thoughts: While the 1990s provided any number of "jangle pop" acts brought up on IRS-era R.E.M., there just isn't much out there these days that tap into the classic sound of R.E.M., The Byrds, and so on. Ben Morey and the Eyes definitely come at us with a fair bit of twang, but there's a mainstream acoustic rock mentality here that sticks with you almost from the start. It's an enjoyable listen with a fair number of earworms, so be wary.
Recommendation: One of the best of the week.

Artist: Told Slant
Album: Point the Flashlight and Walk
Quick Description: Gorgeous, folky tunes.
Why You Should Listen: It's not exactly delicate, but it's fairly intricate.
Overall Thoughts: I don't have a ton to say about this album, truthfully, but it still stood out as the sort of quiet yet commanding effort we like to highlight around these parts. No album stuck with me quite the way this one did, and I'm excited to get back to this.
Recommendation: Add it to your rotation.

Of note:

* Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure? (A disco-tastic release we missed.)
* Lambchop - TRIP (Don't miss the great cover of Wilco's "Reservations.")
* Marika Hackman - Covers (Highlights include Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars" and Alvvays's"In Undertow.")
* The Flat Five - Another World (Interesting Chicago-area supergroup including Scott Ligon, Kelly Hogan, and Nora O'Connor.)
* Molly Parden - Rosemary (Don't sleep on this.)
* Somerset Thrower - Paint My Memory
* Falcon Jane - Faith
* Beyries - Encounter
* Bent - Up in the Air
* Emily A. Sprague - Hill, Flower, Fog
* Cry Club - God I'm Such a Mess
* BENEE - Hey u x
* Fatima Yamaha - Spontaneous Order
* Gillian Welch - Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol. 3
* Qwestlife - Prophecy
* Goodie Mob - Survival Kit
* Mr. Lif and Stu Bangas - Vangarge
* Jesu - Terminus
* Roisin Murphy - Roisin Machine
* Katy J Pearson - Return
* Fallulah - All My Eyes Are Open
* Palona Faith - Infinite Things

EPs:

* Keep Shelly in Athens - Defy Me
* Soley - Harmonik I & II
* Dizzy - Basement Covers
* KATYA - Vampire Fitness
* Hayley Ross - Moving All ARound EP
* August, Yours Truly - Screamer EP
* Baby Queen - Medicine
* Ginesse - Somewhere to Die
* Lauren Aquilina - Ghost World
* Lockette - Into Lungs
* Chloe Foy - Live from Abbey House
* Meg Myers - Thank U 4 Taking Me 2 The Disco/I'd Like 2 Go Home Now
* GRACEY - The Art of Closure

Also out:

* Seba Kaapstad - Konke
* Camila Fuchs - Kids Talk Sun
* Frank Turner and Jon Snodgrass - Buddies II: Still Buddies
* Woodes - Crystal Ball
* The Nels Cline Singers - Share the Wealth
* Sunny Sweeney - Recorded Live at the Machine Shop Recording Studio
* Margo Price - Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman

Loryn Taggart - "The River"

Photo via Facebook

Montreal's Loryn Taggart has crafted a beautifully sweet song that has a hidden biting edge. "The River" is a slow paced indie rock/folk/pop song that slowly meanders while building in instrumentation but not really intensity (although it does have one of the most unexpected and fulfilling surprises at the end). At the forefront throughout the song is Taggart's voice, which is impossibly captivating. Part of that could be the biting edge that lurks just beneath the surface beauty of the song. As Taggart explains: 

"I once moved across the world for someone I thought I loved. I didn't listen to myself, or my heart, I just followed the wind. My gut told me one thing and I ignored it. That person made me feel like I wasn't good enough, strong enough, or smart enough to face life alone. 'The River' is a song about relocating internationally for love, and realizing that it was a one-sided sacrifice. I need a man to cross the river is said in a sarcastic measure."

You can listen to "The River" below. For more on Loryn Taggart, check out the artist's website.

Psycheek - "Daytime"

Photo by Dev Dhunsi

Here at If It's Too Loud..., we (especially me) don't cover a whole lot of electronic music, but every so often something clicks and we can't resist. Hailing from Oslo, Psycheek's new single has that little something that works for me. It could be because it combines elements of two of the styles of electronic music that I like. "Daytime" has some elements of drum & bass, albeit a much more chilled out style. It also has a feel of being a sonic collage. "Daytime" is definitely neither of these, but has just enough elements of both to be intriguing. 

You can listen to "Daytime" below. The single is currently available via Steep Chase Records. For more on Psycheek, check out the artist's Facebook and Bandcamp.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Charles Ellsworth - "Blessed"

Photo via Facebook

Charles Ellsworth was raised on Mormon hymns and Top 40 country, rejecting those in his teen years for classic and alternative rock. As most of us who were raised on terrible country and later rejected it, he's come back to the sound, though it's not exactly traditional country. His latest single, "Blessed," firmly has an alt-country sound. Sure, there's plenty of steel guitar and twang in "Blessed," but it's one of the more alt-country country songs I've heard in a while. It's a truly interesting and unique sound. It sounds like a familiar kind of country song, while still having a very unique sound all its own. 

You can listen to "Blessed" below. Honeysuckle Summer, the upcoming album from Charles Ellsworth, will be out March 5 on Burro Borrocho Records. For more on Charles Ellsworth, check out his website.

The Myrrhderers - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"


If you've ever wondered about the underground North Pole punk scene, let me introduce you to The Myrrhderers. According to a press release, The Myrrhderers are a North Pole punk supergroup consisting of Al Frankincense (Dead Kringles), Elliott Gold (Prancid), and Bill Myrrhey (Sleigher). The group is set to release their debut album, and have their version of the holiday carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" out now. It's a fast, driving punk version of the classic song. Whether or not we need any more punk Christmas songs out there is a matter of personal opinion, but if we're going to get some, they should at least be as fun as this. 

Elliott Gold says of the new single: “Making Christmas punk music is a bit of a balancing act - you need to give the songs some kind of twist to make them work in a punk context, but you also don’t want to push a song so far that it loses its original Christmas ‘feeling’. This is one of the heavier tracks on the record, but we wanted to put it out first because we feel like it captures both sides of that equation, without compromising one for the sake of the other.”

You can listen to The Myrrhderers version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" below. The Myrrhderers Sleigh Christmas, the debut EP from The Myrrhderers, will be out November 20 and followed by a second release, The Myrrhderers Sleigh Some More (naturally), on December 11. You can pre-order the EP here

Gim Kordon - "Betoni kukkii"

Photo by Pia Koskimaa

I'm going to have a hard time typing Gim Kordon and not Kim Gordon here, but that's the point of the name, right? Helsinki based group Gim Kordon have a new single that is going to appeal to fans of their semi-namesake. "Betoni kukkii" has the feel of early Sub Pop Records. It a festival of sludge, reminiscent of early Soundgarden, The Melvins, and Tad. It features a veritable wall of buzzing and whining guitars crashing down on the listener. Yes, it's absolutely glorious. But, as all great bands from that era had, there is something almost catchy here. "Betoni kukkii" isn't pure noise rock. Instead, it's loud, huge, noisy rock.

Singer-guitarist Aleksi Pahkala says of the song: “Betoni kukkii is a story of how often life growing up in the suburbs is a roll of the dice, a struggle and trying to get by, but also of how a sense of community in even the roughest areas is so often the only thing that provides a sense of security."

You can listen to "Betoni kukki" below. The single is available now via All That Plazz. For more on Gim Kordon, check out the band's website.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Palberta - "Corner Store"

Photo by Chloe Carrasco

Every now and then you hear a song from a new band (just one single song), and you become completely obsessed with that band. The latest example of that for us is Palberta's "Corner Store."

The New York City trio have been releasing music since 2015, but they've somehow slipped by us unnoticed. "Corner Store" has changed all that. The song reminds me of early that dog mixed with later that dog. It has the gorgeous three part harmonies mixed with a 90's indie rock aesthetic. It's the smooth sounds from Retreat From the Sun combined with the rawness of their 1994 debut album. Somehow Palberta are making harmonies punk, and we love them for that.

You can watch the video for "Corner Store" below. Palberta5000, the upcoming album from Palberta, will be out January 22 on Wharf Cat Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Palberta, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

The Queers - "Nightmare to Deal With"

Photo via Facebook

Just last week I brought you the latest single from New Hampshire pop punk lifers The Queers and talked about the two types of Queers songs: Loud, fast, aggressive punk and songs that are incredibly sugary sweet pop songs. Apparently I forgot about the third kind: Songs that are bratty punk songs that sound like sugary sweet love songs. "Nightmare to Deal With," the band's latest single, reminded me of the third kind. On the surface it's an upbeat, happy love song. But, it is called "Nightmare to Deal With," and what kind of pure love song would that be? It's a song that features Joe Queer complaining about how much of a nightmare his lady friend is, but also declares that he's "... not going anywhere."

You can listen to "Nightmare to Deal With" below. Save the World, the upcoming album from The Queers, is due out November 30 on All Star Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on The Queers, check out the band's Facebook.

Sam Lynch - "Keeping Time"


Vancouver's Sam Lynch has crafted a song that is beautiful in its simplicity. "Keeping Time" is a hypnotic folk-adjacent song. It starts off more folky, in a kind of dream pop kind of way. Even from the very start, the focus of "Keeping Time" is Lynch's voice, which is beautiful in a way that is unique and traditional. As the music starts picking up, it travels in the same way: unique and traditional. Slowly it builds and builds into a swirling near crescendo. It's the kind of song that could easily fade into the background until it just grabs you unexpectedly and sears itself into your consciousness. 

Sam Lynch says of the song: “I started writing this song in a busy place that I wanted to escape from. I realized that I had started to organize my memories by holding on to the biggest, most impactful moments, which often ended up being the heaviest, generally painful instances, and categorizing everything around that,” Lynch said. “For the video, I wanted to try to capture feelings of both confinement and freedom—stillness and stagnation, set against motion and release.”

You can watch the video for "Keeping Time" below. Little Disappearance, the new release from Sam Lynch, is out now via Birthday Cake. For more on Sam Lynch, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Murder By Death Cover Elvis Presley


I'm much more of a Halloween guy than a Christmas one, and under any other circumstances there is no way I would post about Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but this is 2020, and I'm a firm believer in finding joy where you can this year. Since many people find joy in Christmas music, we can bring it to you a little earlier this year. Murder By Death have an album of Christmas music this year, and the first single is a cover of Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas." Murder By Death are the kind of roots band that can successfully open for Clutch, so a Christmas song from them is an odd sounding prospect. Well... they nailed it. Sure, the Murder By Death version is a little darker sounding version, but that could just be Adam Turla's voice. It's a spot on cover, and I challenge you to not smile just a tiny bit when you listen to this, even if it's a teensy bit too early.

You can listen to Murder By Death's version of "Blue Christmas" below. Lonesome Christmas, the upcoming album from Murder By Death, will be out December 1. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Murder By Death, check out the band's website.

Anna McClellan - "Feel You"

Photo by Jccwa Faya

Anna McClellan is set to release her new album next week, and we have a new track to preview today. "Feel You" follows the indie rock/pop template that has been all the rage lately, except it does veer off in its own direction. While most singer/songwriters doing the indie rock/pop thing have more of a smooth sound, "Feel You" has a more raw, gritty feel to it than most. It's a very 90's indie rock sound. It's not quite lo-fi, but it sounds like a smoother version of early Sebadoh or a less quirky Pavement.

Anna McClellan explains the new song: "'Feel You'’s original working title was 'The Opposite of Intellectualizing'I’ve been working for the last years to exist less in my head and more in my body. This song is an ode to that work and all the results it manifests."

You can listen to "Feel You" below. I saw first light, the upcoming album from Anna McClellan, will be out November 20 on Father/Daughter Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Anna McClellan, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

GA-20 Cover Otis Rush


One truly great thing about Boston's GA-20's recent string of classic blues covers is that it gives me a reason to delve into a musical past I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with. The latest cover is Otis Rush's "Sit Down Baby." Otis Rush is one of those classic blues artists I think I've heard of before, but I'm really not positive. Once you hear GA-20's take on "Sit Down Baby" you're going to need to check out the original, which is guaranteed to send you down an Otis Rush rabbit hole for the rest of the day. GA-20 do a completely faithful version of the original, but they can't match Rush's vocals. Picture a silky smooth 50's crooner doing blues, and that's Rush. Once again, GA-20 is here to give us a fantastic musical history lesson.

You can listen to GA-20's version of "Sit Down Baby" below. The song will be available as a single via Colemine Records/Karma Chief Records on November 17. For more on GA-20, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 6 November

A lighter week, so there's some catchup involved...

Artist: Billy Nomates
Album: Billy Nomates
Quick Description: Odd alt-punk.
Why You Should Listen: It has Big Mark E. Smith Energy.
Overall Thoughts: A friend tweeted about this saying that it was basically made for her, and, after listening, I realized this was basically made for me, too. It's definitely an acquired taste, and I think most people will know if they like this within the first minute, but for me? This felt like the best songs from The Fall along with the musicality of Fiery Furnaces topped off with a strong point of view. Billy Nomates is unlike anything out there (the closest comp might be Sleaford Mods, one member of which has a guest spot on this album), but it's defiantly unique in all the best ways.
Recommendation: You owe it to yourself to give this a shot.

Artist: Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler
Album: In Memory of My Feelings
Quick Description: Solid singer-songwriter rock music.
Why You Should Listen: It has Big PJ Harvey and John Parish Energy.
Overall Thoughts: I do enjoy collaborative albums as a general rule, and when it comes to things like this, where an artist works with an instrumentalist (in this case, acclaimed Suede guitarist Bernard Butler), it works so well. The songs are tight and interesting, and there's something compelling here that sets it apart from its clear influences. I'm glad I tripped up on it.
Recommendation: Make time for this one.

Artist: Kylie Minogue
Album: DISCO
Quick Description: Disco-tastic album from the veteran pop star.
Why You Should Listen: It has Big Dancey Club Energy.
Overall Thoughts: We're seeing a bit of a disco revival as of late. Some might trace it to Daft Punk a few years back, others might say disco was never dead and just taking a nap, but who cares, really? Kylie Minogue has her best work since "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" got lodged in our heads seemingly forever ago. In an era where we're not supposed to leave the house, Minogue has brought us the best at-home clubbing companion anyone could ask for.
Recommendation: Dance on over to this album this week.

Artist: Fatboy Slim
Album: Back to Mine (DJ Mix)
Quick Description: A DJ mix from one of the world's greatest, as part of the "Back to Mine" series.
Why You Should Listen: It has Big Loungey Club Energy.
Overall Thoughts: The "Back to Mine" series has not, to my knowledge, reached American shores in any significant way, but Fatboy Slim's effort here should be enough to consider importing more of them here. A bunch of his favorites mixed into an hourish set makes for great background music along with some parts that will make you smile and parts that will make you feel as if you're digging through some crates with an old friend. I loved this on a number of levels, so check it out.
Recommendation: A very fun listen this week.

Artist: Ailbhe Reddy
Album: Personal History
Quick Description: Debut album from an alt-folk singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: It has Big Hop Along Energy.
Overall Thoughts: Another October one we missed, Ailbhe Reddy provides a solid, different take on the folky singer-songwriter routine. The album title is apt in many ways, for sure, but it also does a good job of reflecting some of her influences (like Laura Marling) while still being familiar to fans of other like-minded acts (like Frances Quinlan). This is not groundbreaking, but it is relevatory in a lot of ways, so check it out.
Recommendation: Worth your time.

Of note:

* Hollow Tree - Hollow Tree (Fusion of art, blues, and electronica from Rudolf Nordström (aka Mr. Tophat), Jockum Nordström, and Niklas Nordström)
* N.B.S. and Snowgoons - Still Trapped in America (Hyper-political rap music.)
* Christo Graham - Turnin'
* Heather Trost - Petrichor
* Krust - The Edge of Everything
* Telyscopes - With a Y
* Yumi Zouma - Truth or Consequences (Alternate Versions)
* Tiña - Positive Mental Health Music
* Pale Honey - Some Time, Alone
* Olafur Arnalds - some kind of peace
* Scenic Route to Alaska - Time for Yourself

Christmas tunes:

* The Bird and the Bee - Put Up the Lights
* Ivan and Alyosha - A Very Merry Christmas With Ivan and Alyosha

EPs:

* PUP - This Place Sucks Ass
* Ras Kass - I'm Not Clearing Shxt
* Swan Meat - Suckling Grown: Remixed
* Reptaliens - Wrestling
* Madison Cunningham - Wednesday
* Endless Digital Birthdays - Becoming a Body
* Chartreuse - Keep Checking Up On Me
* Louise Burns - Silhouettes
* Sister Wives - Gweler Ein Gofid
* Do Nothing - Zero Dollar Bill

Also out:

* Sarah Davachi - Figures in Open Air
* Young Riot - Poolside
* Digawolf - High Arctic
* Tunng - Tunng Presents...Dead Club