Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Quicksand - "Inversion"

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

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

Prateek - "Wrong"

Photo by Holly Rike

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

In a Facebook post, Prateek explains the new song:

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

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

Lucy Dacus - "Hot & Heavy"

Photo by Ebdizru Yil

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

Lucy Dacus says of the new song:

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 9 April 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of note:

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


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

* Boyfriend Machine - The Youth Stalk the Garden at Night

Live albums/Compilations:

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

Also out:

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

Green River Festival Reveals Mindblowing 2021 Line-Up!

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

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

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

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

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

Century Egg - "Do You Want to Dance?"

Photo by Century Egg

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

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

Bill Janovitz - Live From Q Division Studios

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

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

Monday, April 12, 2021

Lilac Queen - things are different now

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

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

E.GG - "Keep Me On"

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

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

GA-20 - "No No"

Boston's GA-20 have had a ridiculously busy year. They're currently sitting on four album's worth of material, and they're just starting to let it out. "No No" is the first single, and it's great. Like... really great. I spent far too long trying to figure out who was the original artist, because it just sounds and feels like classic blues. However, it feels like a modern take on classic blues. It's just amped enough to sound modern and fresh but not so amped up it crosses into JSBX territory. We've been fully on the GA-20 bandwagon for a while now, and "No No" is going to keep us firmly onboard. If you haven't connected with GA-20 yet, this one is sure to suck you in.

You can listen to "No No" below. The song is currently available as a single via Karma Chief Records/Colemine Records here. For more on GA-20, check out the artist's website.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Andrea Gillis - "Leave the Light On"

Red On Red Records have only existed for a few months, but they've already won us over as one of those must listen labels. I can't truly compare them to early Sub Pop since they don't have an official sound, but they've been releasing consistently great music Boston area based artists.

Andrea Gillis isn't an artist I would normally find myself liking, but since she's on Red On Red Records, I felt the need to at least check it out. "Leave the Light On" is definitely poppier than the music I normally find myself into, but I'm glad I gave it a shot. Sure, it's a pop song, but it's more pop rock than a pure top 40 song. Plus, it has a retro feel that reminds me a lot of music from my youth, so it's impossible for me to resist. Fun pop rock songs dripping in 80's nostalgia are one of our weaknesses here, so "Leave the Light On" is right up our alley.

You can listen to "Leave the Light On" below. The song is available as a single via Red On Red Records, and is available on Bandcamp. For more on Andrea Gillis, check out the artist's Facebook.

Wolf Castle featuring Raphael de la Rex - "Gunna"

Photo by Phyllis Grant

Pabineau First Nations MC Wolf Castle has released a single that is perfect for old school hip hop fans. "Gunna" is a throwback to early 90's hip hop. It's a laid back track that still has a hint of menace lying below the surface. That being said, it's still a fun song without a hint of an R&B chorus. "Gunna" fits right into the current up and coming Indigenous hip hop scene coming out of Canada. I never thought I'd be excited about Canadian hip hop, but if artists like Wolf Castle are any indication, we're going to be hearing a lot from First Nations MCs.

Wolf Castle says of the track and the mysterious Raphael de la Rex:

"This track is a return to form for me and Raphael de la Rez – a mysterious figure who wants to remain anonymous but assures you his influence and skill remains stronger than ever. If you listen close you might hear a familiar voice behind the rapper’s mysterious moniker..."

You can listen to "Gunna" below. Da Vinci's Inquest is due for release later this year. For more on Wolf Castle, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Ravagers - "Down That Road"

Baltimore's Ravagers are a punk band. Their latest single, "Down That Road," isn't pop punk, although it's definitely more pop than many other punk songs out there. It's a loud and fast song that is somehow still catchy as hell. It's more along the lines of a band like New York Dolls. While the song doesn't feel like an early punk song from the 70's, it's dripping with the kind of attitude and a little of the glam you'd get back then. "Down That Road" is the type of song they don't make any more... unless you know where to look.

You can watch the video for "Down That Road" below. Badlands is due out in September from Spaghetty Town Records. For more on Ravagers, check out the band's Facebook and Bandcamp.

Kid Gulliver - "Boy in a Bubble"

There's just something about power pop that I can never seem to get enough of. Kid Gulliver personify everything I love about the genre. Their latest, "Boy in a Bubble," is definitely a pop song with enough rock in it to keep it firmly in power pop. Plus, it has that hazy, swirling feeling to give it a dream pop and shoegaze feel throughout. That feeling is mostly from the guitar, which also gives us one of the most glorious guitar solos we've heard in a long, long time to close out the song. "Boy in a Bubble" is a great song that is going to suck you in as soon as you hear its opening riff.

You can listen to "Boy in a Bubble" below. The song is available as a single on Red On Red Records, and you can download it through Bandcamp. For more on Kid Gulliver, check out the band's Facebook.

Lou Barlow - "Over You"

We're already looking forward to a new Dinosaur Jr album this month, and now we have an upcoming solo album from Lou Barlow! The first single, "Over You," is a return to Barlow's lo-fi roots. His more recent solo albums are more on the folky side of things, and while "Over You" isn't quite along the lines of his ultra lo-fi early solo or Sentridoh music, it's definitely not the more polished acoustic sound we're used to at this point. "Over You" sits right in the middle of the two sides of Barlow's solo work, being folk-ish and weird lo-fi-ish. It's an ode to his time in California, giving that period of his life a fond send off.

You can watch the video for "Over You" below. Reason to Live is due out May 28 on Joyful Noise. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Lou Barlow, check out his website.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 2 April

Artist: Moontype
Album: Bodies of Water
Quick Thoughts: I think I fell in love with Moontype when I first heard "Ferry" last year. It's a fuzzy, dreamy explosion of music that feels beguiling and direct all at the same time, and the album delivers on the same energy. I find it fills the void that's been waiting impatiently for a new Field Mouse album, so if you dig that sort of thing, don't miss this one.
Songs of Note: "Lush," "Ferry," "About You"

Artist: GRMLN
Album: Dark Music in the Sun
Quick Thoughts: GRMLN is maybe the first act I've seen in a while that seems to be trying to bring the early-aughts Strokes soundscape into the 2020s. "Superstar" could have been a b-side off Room on Fire for all I know. Still, it's solid garage rock and I'm here for it.
Songs of Note: "Superstar," "The Way it Ends," "Star Eye"

Artist: Dry Cleaning
Album: New Long Leg
Quick Thoughts: There's a rich history of post-rock acts that do more talking through their lyrics than singing, and Dry Cleaning is doing it really well. This is an album that's hard to categorize, but it also feels like that's intentional. It's not going to work for everyone, for sure, but it definitely worked for me.
Songs of Note: "New Long Leg"

Artist: The Natvral
Album: Tethers
Quick Thoughts: I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out exactly why The Natvral felt familiar, and I think it ultimately reminds me of Langhorne Slim, but with a more rock attitude. It's a solid album from start to finish with a few songs that stuck with me on first listen, but if you're into this sort of thing you'll find a ton to love.
Songs of Note: "Sun Blisters," "Stay in the Country"

Artist: Flock of Dimes
Album: Head of Roses
Quick Thoughts: Flock of Dimes isn't reinventing indie rock here, but this is a familiar sounding record with hooks for days and days and days. Flock of Dimes specializes in songs that will get trapped in your head. I've been singing "Price of Blue" for weeks since it first dropped, and songs like "Two" and "Hard Way" give off a solid bit of Sylvan Esso vibes. This is easily one of my favorites this week.
Songs of Note: "Price of Blue," "Two," "Hard Way"

Artist: Major Murphy
Album: Access
Quick Thoughts: The harmonies dear god the harmonies. This is a gorgeous indie rock record with some truly tight musicianship and songs that really put in the work to go above and beyond. So many great songs on here, and I'm sure a few of them will become year-end favorites.
Songs of Note: "In the Meantime," "Unfazed," "Real," "Tear it Apart."

Artist: Ratboys
Album: Happy Birthday, Ratboy
Quick Thoughts: Ratboys is consistent, and consistently great. We love them here for good reason, but I didn't want to overlook this listen in a busy-ish week. There's a lot to enjoy here, so give it a go.
Songs of Note: "Space Blows," "Collected," "88 Fingers Edward"

Of note:

* Luca Yupanqui - Sounds of the Unborn
* Godspeed You! Black Emperor - G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END
* No-No Boy - 1975
* Lyla Foy - Fornever
* Hit Like a Girl - Heart Racer
* Otooman Turks - Ottoman Turks II
* Du Blonde - Homecoming
* The Orielles - La Vita Olistica
* La Femme - Paradigmes
* August, Yours Truly - In the Eyes of God
* Mello Music Group - Bushido


* Extra Credit - It's Over
* Small Black - Driftwood Fire
* Nasty Cherry - The Movie
* Devil's Teeth - La leggenda di Chong Li
* Brin, Dntel, and More Eaze - Futurangelics
* TDJ - TDJ002
* Kishi Bashi - Emigrant EP
* Field Medic - Plunge Deep Golden Knife
* Foxes - Friends in the Corner EP

Live albums/Compilations:

* The Vaccines - What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? (Demos)
* 4AD: Bills and Aches and Blues

Also out:

* boys cruise - boys cruise
* Middle Son - How Could We Have Ever Been Good?

McKinley Dixon - "Chain Sooo Heavy"

Photo by David Muessig

The most intriguing things about the three singles we've heard from McKinley Dixon's upcoming album is how varied they've all been. The latest, "Chain Sooo Heavy," goes even deeper into free jazz than the previous two. On this track, the Richmond, VA hip hop artist destroys everything you expect with a hip hop song. From his flow, to his use of jazz, to the entire structure of the song... "Chain Sooo Heavy" is wildly unique and innovative. At times it sounds like fairly standard modern hip hop, and at other times it sounds like a stream of consciousness free jazz freak out. And others? I can't even describe it. His upcoming album is becoming a stronger and stronger candidate for album of the year with every song we hear from it.

You can listen to "Chain Sooo Heavy" below. For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her is due out May 7 on Spacebomb. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on McKinley Dixon, check out the artist on Twitter and Facebook.

Tristen - "Athena"

If you've been as into the music of Tristen as we have, you're going to absolutely love her latest single. "Athena" fits right in with Tristen's more recent musical releases. It falls into the indie pop category with just enough of a country twang to keep things interesting. What "Athena" adds in is some serious rock guitar. The entire song is dripping with some shoegazey reverb, but it's when the guitar kicks in for the chorus that it really takes off. It's a sound we haven't heard previously from Tristen, but it goes along perfectly with what we love from her.

In an email to fans, Tristen says of the new song:

"What messages lie within these myths for women? For how long have female characters been sculpted by the hands of men? In 'Athena,' co-written by Lera Lynn, I pounded out a major chord grunge song dedicated to the powerful Greek goddess of war, strategy, and men’s domains. I wanted to write a song for the girls--the Athenas--out there who are so often misunderstood. We worship Aphrodite over and over again--woman as sexual being, judged for her beauty, maneuvering with her seduction--but we rarely worship women who are powerful through their logic, wisdom and courage. These women are utilized but underrepresented. You know, nobody likes a bossy baby. Yet this archetype has been with us forever, and Athenas roam the Earth as mothers, friends and lovers, saving us time and time again."

You can watch the video for "Athena" below. Aquatic Flowers is due out June 4 on Mama Bird Recording Co. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Tristen, check out the artist's website.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - "The Killing of Georgie (Pt. III)"

Photo via Facebook

It's been interesting seeing the reaction of Bosstones fans to the band's new singles. The first two ("The Final Parade" and "I Don't Believe in Anything") have been fairly divisive, with fans either loving or hating the songs. For the record, personally I loved "The Final Parade" but didn't really care for "I Don't Believe in Anything," and I've seen others declare the exact opposite. For their latest single, "The Killing of Georgie (Pt. III)," fans seem to be united in appreciation for the song. It seems to be making even the crankier, older fans happy, which is interesting since it's definitely a more mellow, less raucous song than their early material. Maybe it's just that "The Killing of Georgie (Pt. III)" seems to embody the spirit of the early ska-core favorites, just an older, more mellow, middle aged version. Which pretty much describes us all at this point. Plus, it's hard to judge recorded music from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They've always been a live band with albums that are more like souvenirs of the shows, so we'll see how all these songs are at a show... someday.

You can listen to "The Killing of Georgie (Pt. III)" below. When God Was Great is due out May 7 on Hellcat Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Bill and the Belles - "Blue So Blue"

Traditionally, divorce albums aren't happy. The songs on the new album from Bill and the Belles are about Kris Truelsen's divorce. And they are sad songs. But, judging by "Blue So Blue," this isn't going to be a mopey album by any standard. Sure, "Blue So Blue" is called "Blue So Blue," and it's a song about being blue, but there is a certain tongue in cheek and irony with the song. It's an old timey folk song that throws way back to the first half of the 1900s, but with a modern sense of humor. It's a fun sad song, which are my favorite kind. It's like how The Smiths were sad, but with a sense of humor, only done as old timey folk.

You can listen to "Blue So Blue" below. Happy Again is due out May 21 on Ditty Boom Records. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Bill and the Belles, check out the band's website.

Nicole Atkins & Marissa Nadler Cover The Fleetwoods

How familiar am I with The Fleetwoods? I had assumed it was a shorthand for Fleetwood Mac. Turns out The Fleetwoods were a late 50's/60's vocal/doo wop group. Their song "Mr. Blue" has been covered by the pairing of Nicole Atkins and Marissa Nadler. The pairing of Atkins and Nadler is perfect for a 60's doo wop song. Atkins has a more pop sound while Nadler's ethereal folk-ish music combines naturally for a song like "Mr. Blue." This new cover isn't a note for note perfect version of The Fleetwoods' original, but it's as close as you're going to get while updating the song for 2021. It's a gorgeous cover that is going to send you diving into the catalogs of Nicole Atkins, Marissa Nadler, and The Fleetwoods.

You can listen to Nicole Atkins and Marissa Nadler covering "Mr. Blue" below. Right now it's available as a single via Nadler's Bandcamp, but we can't help but hope this is the start of a larger collaboration. For more on Nicole Atkins, check out the artist's website. For Marissa Nadler, more information can be found here.

The Mistons - "World of Convenience"

Portland, OR's The Mistons make loud music. Their latest single, "World of Convenience," is going to sound familiar to us old fogeys. It's definitively post-punk, but it's the kind of heavy rock based post-punk. It's more Mission of Burma and Rites of Spring than Gang of Four. In a press release, they refer to their sound as "old timey," so now you feel roughly one hundred years old. It's truly this amped up and intense version of music that has been an underground favorite for decades, but now filtered through a filter by the younguns. The most shocking this about The Mistons are they are a duo making this much noise. 

You can listen to "World of Convenience" below. World of Convenience, the album, is due out May 21. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on The Mistons, check them out on Facebook.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Robert Finley - "Country Boy"

It's not very often a sixty seven year old singer can be considered a new discovery, but that's just how it is with Robert Finley. While always being a singer and performer, Finley didn't truly start his musical career until he lost his sight and had to give up working as a carpenter. He released his debut studio album in 2016. Now he has new music coming out, including his latest single, "Country Boy." Called "the greatest living soul singer," this new song is a funky country/soul hybrid. Country isn't normally known for being funky, but Finley makes it so. It's the kind of song that all music fans are going to be into, whether you hate country, love country, or hate soul or love soul. "Country Boy" may be genre specific, but it's appeal is going to cross all genres.

You can watch the video for "Country Boy" below. Sharecropper's Son, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, is due out May 21 on Easy Eye Sound. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Robert Finley, check out the artist's website.

Calicoco Covers Miley Cyrus

Photo by Andy Baker

For the past two years, I've been enamored with the music of Calicoco. Giana Caliolo's musical project has hit such a sweet spot for me, combining 60's crooner tunes with 90's indie rock and modern folk. Calicoco's latest song is a cover of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." Miley Cyrus covers will always make me feel ancient, but "Wrecking Ball" is a fun song even if it's not my personal cup of tea. For Calicoco's version, Calioli mixes an odd version of modern indie pop with indie rock. The verses sound more electronic and a quirky version of pop, but for the chorus it's pounding drums and noise. You can tell Calioli had a ton of fun with this song, and that's kind of the point.

You can listen to Calicoco's version of "Wrecking Ball" below. It's available as part of Totally Real Records' TRR Mix Vol. 1 compilation to help a friend of the label with his battle against cancer. You can find the compilation over at Bandcamp. For more on Calicoco, check out the artist's website.

David Wax Museum - "Juniper Jones"

Photo by Anthony Mulcahy

David Wax Museum have been a long time favorite here at If It's Too Loud..., and we thought we knew what to expect with their upcoming album. The band have been slowly creeping away from the more traditional folk sound they started with into an almost electronic and indie rock sound. All that is thrown away with "Juniper Jones." This new song is David Wax Museum's return to a more traditional folk sound, albeit a modern take on the genre. It's an upbeat, midtempo song with a ton of horns and accordion. Of course, some of that new sound does bleed through at times, but it's a great return to form from an old favorite!

In a Facebook post, the and says that the new song "... was inspired by our early days as an upstart band in Boston when we’d play a show with an artist who seemed destined for greatness."

You can listen to "Juniper Jones" below. For more on David Wax Museum, head over to their website. For more on their upcoming album, check them out on Patreon.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Sara Bug - "The Beholder"

Photo by Bendrix Littleton

One of the bright spots of 2021 has been the discovery of Nashville's "World's finest southern kitsch artist" Sara Bug. Her music has danced along the borders of country, folk, indie pop, and indie rock, never quite choosing one over the others. Her latest single, "The Beholder," sounds like it might be going the pure pop route. At least, at first it does. Then the twang starts to kick in, so you think Bug might be going straight country pop. Of course, that's when it gets odd. You notice the twang has a little too much reverb and noise on it, and the beat starts going on its own little off kilter way. Once you start to adjust and get really, really, really into the song, it ends at one minute, thirty nine seconds. Sara Bug is a master of leaving us wanting more.

Sara Bug says of the song:

"Beholder, one of the most recently written songs on the album, is me admitting that I care too much what others think of me. As I get older I want to learn not to let the opinions of others play a part in the choices I make. In this song I describe my deep desire to distance myself from society, simplify my life, and let go of pressure and expectations. Quite literally, I am saying that I can’t wait to buy land and move to the country. I’ve kind of arrived at a new chapter in life with this song."

You can listen to "The Beholder" below. Sara Bug's self-titled debut album is due out May 14 on Egghunt Records. You can pre-order the album on Bandcamp. For more on Sara Bug, check out the artist's Facebook and Instagram.

Miesha & the Spanks - "Mixed Blood Girls"

We've been loving Miesha & The Spanks' take on garage rock for a while, but their latest single truly ramps up the edge and aggression. Typically their songs are fun, and while "Mixed Blood Girls" isn't a great fun rock song, the lyrics bite much harder than we're used to from the Canadian duo.

I'll let Miesha explain the lyrics from a press release for the song:

"It's (some of) my story as a mixed Secwépemc girl from the East Kootenays. My dark skin and white features left me open to compliments on my 'beautiful tan,' and when they found out it wasn't, I was 'too pretty to be an Indian.' From ballet moms to dudes in bars, I've heard it all.

"But it isn't all skin deep. Being mixed isn't just about appearances and everyone's entitled opinion about them. My story follows where I came from and where I currently stand, distanced from family and culture and often pretty isolated because of it.

I was inspired to write 'Mixed Blood Girls' after attending my friend Smokii Sumac's book launch. A poet before them, Rain Prud’homme, read their poem, Mixedblood Girls, relating their experience as mixed Creole-Indigenous. I loved it. I wanted to be that brave and say my words, but it wasn't an easy thing to do. I had to dig deeper than my own story.

"The trauma suffered by my grandmother at residential school would influence the rest of—and in many cases, the end of— my immediate Indigenous family. Not every residential school survivor was resilient. The only family reunions I can remember were funerals. What a fucked up feeling.

"We haven't written a song with explicit language in years. We don't usually need to or want to. But these are the best words for what I feel when I hear shit like "too pretty to be an Indian," or when someone compares their tan to my skin, or when I think about what my grandmother went through in residential school, how it affected her children, and their children, but by keeping me separated from all of them my dad created a subjectively healthier life for me, and that because of that I don't really know my Indigenous family. And these are the best words for when I think about how most of them are gone now, and I can't find who’s left. Aunties, Uncles, all dead. Can't find my cousins anywhere… What a fucked up feeling.

"In my search for community I think I wrote an anthem. Our full force behind M-M-M-M-Mixed Blood Girls,' I call them hard from the start – anyone who's been living in between or felt left behind. Anyone who can't catch up to their culture. Women and girls fetishized for being dark, exotic, interesting (NDN, you weren't expecting.) For those girls who are brown in the sun, and brown in the shade."

You can listen to "Mixed Blood Girls" below. Singles is due out April 16. For more on Meisha & the Spanks, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Forgotten Fridays: Awesome Color

Forgotten Fridays is an occasional feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. We go back and remind you of their existence, and help decide if they were any good.

Back in 2006 or so, I was bored at home. I wished I had something to go out and do, but I didn't know of anything, which means I was just sitting around on MySpace. I stumbled across a post that Awesome Color was playing Ralph's in Worcester, about half an hour from where I was living at the time. I had never heard of them, but the ad for the show mentioned they were on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. That was good enough for me, and I headed down to check them out.

And what a band they turned out to be. First, all three members adopted "Awesome" as a stage last name. A lot more straightforward than other bands on Ecstatic Peace, Awesome Color were a burst of Detroit protopunk (despite being based in Brooklyn, two members were originally from Detroit so it was quite fitting), only more aggressive and loud. Plus, it's psychedelic as it could possibly be while still being pure rock. Imagine if The Stooges stayed just as heavy on their freak out songs as they did on "I Wanna Be Your Dog," and then add in some 90's Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr style noise. That's Awesome Color. 

Between 2006 and 2010, the band released three albums on Ecstatic Peace. I can't find much about what they've been up to since, except that Derek Stanton is now in the band Turn to Crime.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Chelsea Curve - "Girl Cavedog"

Photo via Facebook

There are three things I write about a lot here at If It's Too Loud..., and those are garage rock, power pop, and bands from Boston. All three are a sweet spot for me, and there are a lot of bands that are all three. That describes The Chelsea Curve. Their latest single, "Girl Cavedog," has that timeless blend of garage rock and power pop. Sure, "Girl Cavedog" sounds too modern to be mistaken for garage rock from the 60's or 70's, but it has the spirit of music from that period. It's just a fun rock and roll song, and who doesn't love that? It's incredibly catchy and upbeat, filled with jangly guitars and just enough attitude.

You can listen to "Girl Cavedog" below. The song is available as a single via Red On Red Records, and you can download a copy on Bandcamp. For more on The Chelsea Curve, check out the band's Facebook.