Friday, April 30, 2021

The Tin Can Collective - "In Is Out"

While Long Island's The Tin Can Collective may fit into the emo/punk genre, they don't fit there very well. If anything, they kind of fit but are more crammed in by force. "In Is Out" shows that off. Sure, the song is emo-ish... sorta? It's more of an alt or indie rock sound that has the slightest shades of emo around the edges. It's more like if bands like Jawbreaker or Sunny Day Real Estate kept driving emo underground instead of inspiring MTV ready hitmakers. "In Is Out" is a killer straight up rocker that has some almost hidden emo vibes, but only if you really want to insist on it.

You can watch the video for "In Is Out" below. Axiomatic Alarm Clock is due out July 16. You can pre-order the album on Bandcamp. For more on The Tin Can Collective, check out the band on Facebook.

The Chelsea Curve - "All in Time"

Boston's The Chelsea Curve have plans to release a new single every month as part of their The Singles Scene. The second single is out now, and "All in Time" is a must listen. It's garage rock inspired power pop, which is always welcome here at If It's Too Loud... The Chelsea Curve aren't looking to redefine the genre, but they are looking to perfect it. "All in Time" is two and a half minutes of catchy lyrics, fuzzy guitars, and pure joy blended with some biting attitude. It's almost like Velocity Girl meets a mellowed out AC/DC, and I don't know what more you could want with a song.

You can listen to "All in Time" below. The song is available as a single on Red On Red Records. You can get a copy via Bandcamp. For more on The Chelsea Curve, check out the band on Facebook.

Squirrel Flower - "I'll Go Running"

Photo courtesy of the artist

The latest from Squirrel Flower defines everything we love about the musical moniker of Ella Williams. "I'll Go Running" may be a bit more straightforward of a folk adjacent indie rock track than we normally get from Squirrel Flower, but it's not lacking in the intensity. It's another slow builder, starting a bit more quiet and then ever so slowly building in volume and power. It's like Williams has taken the classic loud/quiet/loud indie rock template and just slowed it down. The way that "I'll Go Running" builds makes the song feel even more intense and vital. 

In a press release, Ella Williams talks about the new song:

"’I’ll Go Running’ is about the darker side of being an artist - the pressure to make things brand new, shocking, to give everything away and open yourself completely without always getting intentional listening and consumption in return. To be vulnerable to a knife. To be fresh, new, to give it all away. But it's powerful to offer yourself and your art without fear, which is what I try to do with this album. That's why this is the opening track."

You can watch the video for "I'll Go Running" below. Planet (i) is due out June 25 on Polyvinyl. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on Squirrel Flower, check out the artist's website. Tour dates supporting Soccer Mommy and below the video.

Wed. Sept. 15 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
Thu. Sept. 16 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
Fri. Sept. 17 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Sat. Sept. 18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Sun. Sept. 19 - DC @ 9:30 Club
Tue. Sept. 21 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Wed. Sept. 22 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Thu. Sept. 23 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Sat. Sept. 25 - Montreal, QC @ Fairmount Theatre
Sun. Sept. 26 - Toronto, ONT @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
Tue. Sept. 28 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Wed. Sept. 29 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Fri. Oct. 1 - Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Cutthroat Brothers & Mike Watt - "The King is Dead"

Mike Watt is the kind of punk/indie rock legend that deserves attention on anything he does. His latest project is teaming up with The Cutthroat Brothers on a collaborative album. When the duo appeared on The Watt from Pedro Show, they asked Watt to collaborate with them. He agreed, and the trio began working on music. "The King is Dead" is this dirty, bluesy, proto-punk track that will hit you deep in your soul. It's both blues punk and swamp rock, but amped up like you would expect any song involving Mike Watt would be. It's a slow but intense song that feels like it's stalking you, but it's groove is so mesmerizing that you want it to.

You can watch the video for "The King is Dead" below. The album The King is Dead will be out June 12 (Record Store Day) on Hound Gawd! Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on The Cutthroat Brothers, check out their website.

Jeremy James Meyer - "Low Gap Swagger"

Photo by Sarah Kathryn Wainwright

Jeremy James Meyer is making country for people that claim to hate country can still love. His latest single, "Low Gap Swagger," is definitely a country song. But, it's neither a throwback old timey country song or a modern pop country song. It's truly it's own brand of country that will need to fit under the Americana label, even though it's not really folky at all. It's an earnest song that embraces the genre while avoiding the cliches even the best examples can have. Meyer gives us a ramblin' style song that's both modern and timeless. What helps it feel so earnest is that the album is recorded live at the OK Theater in Enterprise, OR.

You can listen to "Low Gap Swagger" below. Alive & OK is due out June 11 on American Standard Time Records. For more on Jeremy James Meyer, check out the artist's website.

Piroshka - "Scratching at the Lid"

One of the more exciting supergroups to emerge in the past few years is back with an upcoming album. In case you don't remember, Piroshka features members of Lush, Moore, Elastica, and Modern English, so you know they already have your attention. With that pedigree, you would expect that Piroshka would be a letdown. "Scratching at the Lid" more than meets your expectations. It's a little more shoegazey than the music from their 2018 debut Brickbat, but there is still plenty of Britpop still left. Hearing a more poppy and fun sound of shoegaze is truly an interesting combination that helps set Piroshka apart aside from the members' other bands.

Bassist Mick Conroy explains the difference in sounds between the two albums:

“Brickbat was a classic first album; noisy and raucous. On Love Drips And Gathers, we’ve calmed down and explored sounds, and space.”

You can watch the video for "Scratching at the Lid" below. Love Drips & Gathers is due out July 23 on Bella Union. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Piroshka, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Molly Burch - "Control"

Photo via Facebook

We fanboy out pretty hard for Molly Burch around these parts. Her blend of classic doo wop meats modern folk and indie rock hits such a sweet spot, particularly for me. Her latest single changes up that sound quite a bit. "Control" keeps all of the sounds we love of Burch's, but it's decidedly more pop. What keeps this interesting is that "Control" doesn't sound anything like modern top 40. Instead, it harkens back to the top 40 of the 80's. Somehow Burch is blending sounds spanning six decades into her very own sound that is going to be impossible for us to resist.

You can watch the video for "Control" below. Romantic Images is due out July 23 on Captured Tracks. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Molly Burch, check out the artist's website.

McKinley Dixon - "Bless the Child"

Photo by David Muessig

The most intriguing thing about all the singles from McKinley Dixon's upcoming album is how different they all are. Each song sounds virtually nothing like the one before it. A song like "make a poet Black" is more free jazz than pure hip hop while "Swangin'" is a modern, mainstream hip hop song. His latest, "Bless the Child," is on the more mainstream side of hip hop, but still sounds nothing like "Swangin'" does. It's the kind of track that builds and builds in tension, and while it ends abruptly at one minute fifteen seconds, that short length ends up just adding to the song's intensity. It's like mainstream hip hop meets early 80's hardcore. 

In a press release, McKinley Dixon says of the song:

"Loosely named after Toni Morrison’s novel 'God Help The Child' this song is probably a direct relay of me trying to do time travel through processing outloudBroken up into three sections with three beat switches: The beginning of the song revolves around memories I had with a loved one who passed away abruptly. The bridge revolves around the present, a very conflicted and loud spiral moment with myself questioning my intentions. And it ends with me thinking about what I’m going to do in the future to rectify these feelings I’ve had."

You can watch the video for "Bless the Child" below. For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her is due out May 7 on Spacebomb. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on McKinley Dixon, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Split Single - "(Nothing You Can Do) To End This Love"

Photo by James Richards IV

Considering the musical pedigree of Split Single, I'm more than a little embarrassed I'm not more familiar with the project. Split Single is Jason Narducy of Bob Mould Band and Superchunk. Right there I should be a long term fan considering this isn't a new project. For their new album, Narducy is joined by Jon Wurster (also Bob Mould Band and Superchunk) on drums and REM's Mike Mills on bass. The band's first single off their upcoming album, "(Nothing You Can Do) To End This Love" is a fast paced indie rock/power pop song. It sounds like a song that members of Superchunk, Bob Mould Band, and REM would put out, and I don't think anyone is going to find that to be a negative statement. There are certain expectations when you hear these three names, and Split Single meet those easily.

Jason Narducy says of the new song:

“The chords and melody for this song sounded like defiance to meI wanted to write a lyric that matched this sonic mood. The first words that came into my head were ‘She loves her and he loves him.’ So it ended up being an unconventional love song. I’m expressing support and joy for diverse couples everywhere, including but not only my friends that appear in the video.

You can watch the video for "(Nothing You Can Do) To End This Love" below. Amplificado is due out June 25 on Inside Outside Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Split Single, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 23 April

Artist: Ingvild Flottorp
Album: It All Seems So Clear
Quick Thoughts: This one absolutely came out of nowhere for me, and I'm so glad it exists. Ingvild Flottorp is the latest entry in the ever-growing list of Nordic musicians doing American roots music better than most American roots musicians. Flottorp is sort of a more upbeat Margo Price, with some faithful and traditional musical ideas to go along with a nice, fun, and modern feel. If you like roots music in any form, you owe it to yourself to listen to this album. She might just become your new favorite.
Songs of Note: "(At Least I Got To) Stay Around," "I'll Be Alright," "Home," "In a Race"

Artist: Lady Dan
Album: I Am the Prophet
Quick Thoughts: I don't recall exactly when or how I first tripped up on Lady Dan, but this debut from a southern singer-songwriter deserves a lot of attention. A country-tinged indie effort, the songs evoke a dark mood but with a domineering presence. Title track "I Am the Prophet" strikes that balance perfectly, building to a chorus that feels too epic for country OR indie and stays compelling from beginning to end. Lady Dan is certainly an artist to watch.
Songs of Note: "I Am the Prophet," "Dogs"

Artist: Vanessa Peters
Album: Modern Age
Quick Thoughts: I became a fan of Vanessa Peters due to her covers record from last year, and this album of new material shows that the sound she has cultivated over the years bears plenty of fruit. Peters delivers these songs in a unique and matter-of-fact way that balances the urgent instrumentation, and the result is an album without a miss on it.
Songs of Note: "Crazymaker," "Never Really Gone," "Yes," "The Try"

Artist: Remember Sports
Album: Like a Stone
Quick Thoughts: A favorite indie act of mine, this latest effort is absolutely their most cohesive. The band has perfected the sort of manic feel that never entirely goes off the rails, and it sets them apart from other like bands. It's not quite indie rock, it's not really pop punk, but whatever it is, it rocks.
Songs of Note: "Pinky Rings," "Easy," "Out Loud"

Artist: Coach Party
Album: After Party
Quick Thoughts: Can I say that I think Coach Party is my favorite band from the Isle Of Wight? This is a really fuzzy and fun effort that meshes Britpop delivery with alt-rock swagger, and I loved every song on this EP. If you're a fan of acts like Charly Bliss, Tancred, and the like? Give this one a listen.
Songs of Note: "Crying Makes Me Tired," "Really OK on My Own"

Of note:

* The Boatsmen - Versus The Boatsmen (Sounds a lot like a grittier, grungier version of The Hives. This is a good thing.)
* Rata Negra - Una Vida Vulgar
* Field Music - Flat White Moon
* Dinosaur Jr. - Sweep It Into Space
* Sufjan Stevens - Revelations
* ToadStool - Earth 1
* Blood Lemon - Blood Lemon
* Eli West - Tapered Point of Stone
* Yellow Ostrich - Soft
* Wild Powwers - What You Wanted
* Birthday Ass - Head of the Household
* Maxwell Farrington and Le Superhomard - Once


* The Cush - Riders in the Stardust Gold
* Ethel Cain - Inbred
* Kero Kero Bonito - Civilisation II
* Ricky Desktop and Bobby Sasquach - The Sax Beats EP Volume 1
* The Venomous Pinks - Based on a True Story
* Carlos Davey and LETNA - Scenes from a Night of Fitful Sleep
* Sour Widows - Crossing Over
* Yung Gravy - Gravy Train Down Memory Lane: Side A
* Hannah Jadagu - What Is Going On?

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* The KLF - The White Room (The KLF 1989 Director's Cut)
* Little Kid - Logic Songs (10th Anniversary Restoration)
* Zsela - AOV Remixes

Also out:

* The Building - Indianola Pizza Dough
* Charlotte Cardin - Phoenix

Mannequin Pussy - "Perfect"

I was completely smitten with Mannequin Pussy's 2019 album Patience, so it's thrilling to get new music from them, especially if it's going to sound like this. "Perfect" is a loud, fast, and furious punk song from Mannequin Pussy. It's less than a minute and a half, which ends up being the perfect length. If anything, "Perfect" might be the thrashiest song they've put out so far. They've always been one of those bands grumpy old music snobs (especially those that expect Epitaph Records to only put out a certain kind of punk) would decry as "not real punk." With "Perfect," those fans are going to be forced to shut up one final time.

You can watch the Romy and Michele's High School Reunion inspired video for "Perfect" below. Perfect is due out May 7 on Epitaph Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Mannequin Pussy, check out the band's website.

Cusp - "Illusion Controlling"

Rochester, NY's Cusp are going to be the perfect band for fans of modern indie rock that is strongly influenced by classic, old school indie rock. The band's latest single, "Illusion Controlling," masters the famed loud/quiet/loud template. The quiet parts may not be too quiet, but it is filled with a wonderfully melodic noise. There is still a strong sense of foreboding in this part, which is released during the loud, crashing cymbal filled loud parts. This is just straight up purely wonderful indie rock that you aren't gong to want to miss.

Singer, guitarist, and songwriter Jen Bender says of the upcoming EP:

“Some of these songs are about specific events/people from my early 20s that have stuck with me. Most of these capture the time of my life right after college, when I was still processing the previous four years and also mentally preparing for the vastness of adulthood."

You can listen to "Illusion Controlling" below. Spill is due out May 7 on Dadstache Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Cusp, check them out on Facebook.

Kate Dressed Up - "How Could I Have Known"

According to a press release, the second single this year from Kate Dressed Up is "... a queer folk rock song about mixed signals and missed opportunities." "How Could I Have Known" is "... a bisexual person's anthem about being invisible and at the same time remaining totally clueless as to how to make themselves known." Aside from that, it captures the universal feeling of realizing someone may have been interested, but not picking up on signals at the time. (At least, universal to me...) It's a great indie folk rock song, with added trumpets from the West Philadelphia Orchestra. "How Could I Have Known" is one of those folk rock songs that dances along the line of being mainstream and indie well enough to charm fans of either.

You can watch the video for "How Could I Have Known" below. Kate Dressed Up's debut album will be out later this year. For more on Kate Dressed Up, check out the artist's website.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Body Meπa - "Horse Flower Storm/Fabuloso"

New York's Body Meπa (it's Body Meta, with the "t" being a Pi symbol) released their debut album digitally back in December, with a physical version to be released in May on Hausu Records. The first single off the album, "Horse Flower Storm / Fabuloso" is a gigantically epic instrumental coming in at almost fifteen minutes. The immediate comparisons that come to mind are going to be Mogwai and Explosions In the Sky, with good reason. It has the gigantic, epic noise and aggression of early Mogwai with the gigantic, epic beauty of Explosions In the Sky. For good measure, there is some of the post-punk noise and drone of FACS thrown in. As the song moves on, it drops all of those comparisons completely and takes a bizarre turn into more of a free jazz territory. You probably already know if you're going to want to check "Horse Flower Storm / Fabuloso" out, and if you do you'll be thrilled with what you hear.

You can listen to "Horse Flower Storm / Fabuloso" below. The Work is Slow is due out May 28 on Hausu Records. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on Body Meπa, check out the band's Bandcamp.

Hard Nips - "Blender X"

Hard Nips may be based in Brooklyn, but three of its members is originally from different parts of Japan (Okinawa, Nagano, and Osaka), while a fourth is from Long Island. The band bonded in a Japanese bar and restaurant in Brooklyn that Yoko (singer and keyboards) ran. Eventually they decided to try forming a band, and Hard Nips was formed in 2009. At the time they had no idea how to play instruments, but their enthusiasm propelled them. At first it was just something they did for fun, with no intention of making public. Now, twelve years, two albuums, and three EPs later, their latest single, "Blender X," is this killer mix of 60's soul and doo wop with early punk and New Wave. It's like The Crystals and The Ronettes partying with Blondie and The B-52s, with some vintage garage rock riffs thrown in. I honestly don't know how anyone can resist this combination.

You can listen to "Blender X" below. Master Cat will be released on Dadstache Records on June 4. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Hard Nips, check out the band's website.

Sir Orfeo - "So Long"

Every so often there will be an artist that I'm not completely sold on, but I feel that I need to bring to you all because they just feel great. The kind of artist I feel is going to grow on me and become a favorite even though my brain is still trying to process them fully. That's the case with Sir Orfeo. That's the project from Turners Falls, MA based musician Max Wareham. "So Long" is this lush indie-folk/dream pop song that you feel more than you hear, if that makes any sense at all. If anything, the song feels like western Massachusetts, and that will only make sense if you've spent a decent amount of time there. The song is injected with the beauty of the area, but also a sense of sadness. Plus, it's truly hard to pin down into a single genre, which is very western MA. It's an ever evolving piece of art that is really a must listen. Even if it doesn't grab you immediately, I will implore you to give the entire song a chance. There's a strong possibility that you will end up loving it before its six and a half minutes are up.

You can watch the video for "So Long" below. Millefleur is due out June 25. For more on Sir Orfeo, check out the artist's website.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Watts - "Heavy Metal Kids"

Photo by Micah Gummel

"Heavy Metal Kids" may be the first ever song with heavy metal in the title that isn't a metal song. Instead Boston's Watts bring us a glorious vintage slice of power pop. It's the huge guitars and harmonies of Cheap Trick mixed with the swagger of the Rolling Stones and the glam of Mott the Hoople. It's just killer old fashioned (well, 1970's era) rock 'n' roll. It's a fun rock song, no more and no less. Plus, it's Friday, so crank this one loud and enjoy.

You can listen to "Heavy Metal Kids" below. Shady Rock & Roll is due out May 15 on Rum Bar Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Watts, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Bobby Digital - "Pugilism"

Photo via Facebook

We haven't heard from Bobby Digital for thirteen years, but it appears that RZA is resurrecting his alter ego for a new album. "Pugilism" is the first single from that album, and if you're a fan of his previous work as Bobby Digital, RZA, or Wu-Tang Clan, chances are you're gonna be into this one. As with anything Wu-Tang related, the song marches along at a steady pace with a sense of foreboding walking just behind. RZA always seems to be at his best when he doesn't need to accept other's input. "Pugilism" is just pure vintage RZA. Classic hip hop fans are going to adore this song.

You can listen to "Pugilism" below. Bobby Digital: Digital Potions does not currently have a release date. For more on RZA, check out the artist's Twitter.

Juliana Hatfield - "Gorgon"

Photo by David Doobinin

Juliana Hatfield has been giving us top notch alt-rock/singer-songwriter songs for decades at this point. She's carved out this perfect little niche for herself, so it's always great when she moves out of her comfort space a little. Her latest single, "Gorgon," shows she learned a few things while working on her Olivia Newton-John covers album. According to a press release, the song is about "... a non-compliant, discontented woman who escapes from the chains of love..." While that sounds like it would make a great riot grrrl song (and it definitely could), Hatfield makes it a groovy near disco anthem. It's laid back and synth heavy, but still fits perfectly into what we've come to expect from a Juliana Hatfield song.

Juliana Hatfield says of theh song:

“... it was fun building it up from scratch and then letting it all hang loose in the long free-pop/jazz outro. Recording at home, there’s no one stopping me from indulging in every wacky musical whim that pops into my head.”

You can listen to "Gorgon" below. Blood is due out May 8 on American Laundromat Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Juliana Hatfield, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Rachel Baiman - "No Good Time for Dying"

We don't typically include trigger or content warnings on our posts, but I feel that the latest song from Rachel Baiman truly needs one. "No Good Time for Dying" is about Baiman's grandmother declining after falling and breaking her hip. As someone who fairly recently lost their grandfather shortly after he fell and broke his hip, "No Good Time for Dying" hit me like a gut punch. However, it's still a song you need to listen to. Baiman has crafted a gorgeous song about losing a loved one. The song focuses mostly on the power and emotion in her voice, as it stands firmly in both the worlds of folk and pop. And if you've lost anyone recently, make sure you steel yourself before listening, even though you'll be glad you did.

You can listen to "No Good Time for Dying" below. Cycles is due out June 11 on Signature Sounds. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Rachel Baiman, check out the artist's website.

Dinosaur Jr - "Take It Back"

Photo by Cara Totman

The latest single from Dinosaur Jr is interesting in that it doesn't sound like a Dinosaur Jr song. "Take It Back" doesn't have that explosive feel imbedded into all Dinosaur Jr songs, even the more mellow ones. In fact, it features J Mascis on a mini digital mellotron as much as guitar, if not more. Yes, "Take It Back" might be Dinosaur Jr's "Jump." It's certainly not a bad song, just not what we expect from the indie rock legends. And, yes, we do expect bands to mellow out a bit as they enter their fourth decade of existence. If anything, it sounds like it might be a better fit on a J Mascis solo album.

You can watch the video for "Take It Back" below. Sweep it Into Space is due out April 23 on Jagjaguwar. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Dinosaur Jr, check out the band's website. Current tour dates are below the video.

Sat. May 22 - Swanzey, NH @ Cheshire Fairgrounds - SOCIALLY DISTANCED
Sun. May 23 - New Haven @ CT Westville Music Bowl  - SOCIALLY DISTANCED
Tue. July 27 - Fri. July 30 - Big Indian, NY @ Camp Fuzz
Tue. Sept. 7 - Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
Thu. Sept. 9 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
Fri. Sept. 10 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Venue TBA
Sat. Sept. 11 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
Mon. Sept. 13 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
Tue. Sept. 14 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Thu. Sept. 16 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
Mon. Sept. 20 - Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
Tue. Sept. 21 - Kansas City, MO @ Truman
Thu. Sept. 23 - Austin, TX @ Moody Theater @ ACL Live
Fri. Sept. 24 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Sat. Sept. 25 - Dallas, TX @ Canton Hall
Mon. Sept. 27 - Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
Tue. Sept. 28 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bluebird
Thu. Sept. 30 - Columbus, OH @ Athenaeum Theatre
Fri. Oct. 1 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora
Sat. Oct. 2 - Ithaca, NY @ State Theatre
Fri. Nov. 12 - Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl
Sat. Nov. 13 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
Mon. Nov. 15 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Tue. Nov. 16 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Thu. Nov. 18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Fri. Nov. 19 - New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
Sat. Nov. 20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Fri. Nov. 26 - Northampton, MA @ Academy of Music
Sat. Nov. 27 - Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
Thu. Feb. 3 - Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy’s and Harriets
Fri. Feb. 4 - Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
Sat. Feb. 5 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
Mon. Feb. 7 - Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Music Hall
Tue. Feb. 8 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
Thu. Feb. 10 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox at Market
Fri. Feb. 11 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Sat. Feb. 12 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Tue. Feb. 15 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Wed. Feb. 16 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
Thu. Feb. 17 -  San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
Sat. Feb. 19 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda
Sun. Feb. 20 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda
Tue. Feb. 22 - San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
Wed. Feb. 23 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Fri. Feb. 25 - Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theatre
Sat. Feb. 26 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre

Sara Bug - "Ride On Sundys"

Photo by Bendrix Littleton

We've been swooning for Sara Bug's particular blend of alt-country, indie rock, and alt-pop ever since we first heard "Rosebank" back in January. The more we hear from her upcoming album, the more devoted we get to our fandom. "Ride On Sundys" further cements that. It's a perfect blend of those three genres. It has the lilt of pop, the edge of indie rock, and the twang of country. Bug is blending these sounds together expertly. I want to call it a perfect pop song, but it's no more pop than the other two sounds, so it can't quite be that. 

In a press release, Sara Bug says of the new song:

"It’s a play on words I guess. Sitting inside writing on a sunday afternoon instead of out in the sun driving or riding or at the lake with my friends. Ride on Sundys is about the guilt of being sad and trying to bandage it with isolation."

You can listen to "Ride On Sundys" below. Sara Bug's self-titled debut will be out May 14 on Egghunt Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Sara Bug, check out the artist on Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ernest Moon - "Big Wow"

Hailing from Liverpool, Ernest Moon is the duo of Steven Doran and Brian Murphy. Their latest single, "Big Wow," takes that rumbly hard rock blues sound of bands like ZZ Top and George Thorogood and twists it into a very British poppish almost punk sound. That's what makes "Big Wow" so interesting: It shouldn't be anywhere near as poppy as it is. It's heavy blues rock with a T Rex bounce to it. It's a fun song that seems to be dancing across the line of darkness every so often.

Steve Doran says of the song:

"The music in this song is the most obvious stuff a couple of crappy musicians of our generation from Liverpool could produce. In Liverpool there is a tradition for poppy rock'n'rolly guitar music so its natural this kind of tune comes out the other end when you start playing. But there is a diversion from the obvious in the song in that the lyrics are more crafted and worked than one would normally encounter in Pap music. Even if we say so ourselves."

You can watch the video for "Big Wow" below. The song is available as a single via Bandcamp. For more on Ernest Moon, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.

The Mistons - "High Water Style"

When you hear the latest single from Portland, OR duo The Mistons, it's going to be hard to avoid any comparisons to Mission of Burma. "High Water Style" sounds like vintage Burma, right down to the Roger Miller-esque vocals. The Mistons somehow make all this noise as a duo, and "High Water Style" has plenty of noise for those of us that like that sort of thing. It's filled with buzzsaw guitars, fuzz, and chanted vocals that almost hypnotize you. It's an aggressive burst of a song that fans of old school post punk aren't going to be able to resist.

You can listen to "High Water Style" below. World of Convenience is due out May 21. The album can be pre-ordered over at Bandcamp. For more on The Mistons, check them out on Facebook.

ToadStool - "Anvil"

Providence's ToadStool is quite prolific. He's the frontman for Toad & The Stooligans and earlier this year he released an album with his duo project Ronald Raygun (which is my favorite new band name of 2021...) Friday he's set to release a solo album, and to get ready we're bringing you the song "Anvil." "Anvil" is a laid back underground hip hop track. This is the kind of song for a die hard hip hop fan. ToadStool is a truly captivating MC. You have to listen to what he's saying. You really can't resist. Put his rapping over a laid back jazz track as he does with this song, and it's some of the most intriguing hip hop released in recent memory. This is the kind of artist we're going to be paying close attention to from here on out.

You can listen to "Anvil" below. eARTh 1 will be out on April 23. You can pre-order a copy now via Where the Living Room Used to Be here. For more on ToadStool, check out the artist's Instagram.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 16 April 2021

Artist: Gold Child
Album: Far From You
Quick Thoughts: I'm not sure how I initially tripped up on Gold Child, but Far From You is a wonderful slice of country music that repeatedly surprised me. This collection of songs is a step forward from her 2019 debut effort, and really establishes her as a musical force to be reckoned with. Don't miss out on this one in what's a busy week, especially if you like the more rootsy efforts.
Songs of Note: "Like You Used To," "Modern Life"

Artist: Son Lux
Album: Tomorrows III
Quick Thoughts: I've come to enjoy a lot of esoteric, almost experimental music as of late. Son Lux filled that voice for me this week with the latest Tomorrows effort, which is gorgeous and challenging and intriguing all at once. Won't work for everyone, but if this is up your alley, you'll find a lot to love here.
Songs of Note: "Unbind," "Plans We Make"

Artist: Freedom Fry
Album: L'Invitation
Quick Thoughts: If you're not scared off by non-English-language efforts, check out Freedom Fry. This album is probably the one that trapped itself in my head the most this weekend, with "Gang De Filles" in particular looping through my brain over and over again. It's a solid listen whether you understand what they're saying or not.
Songs of Note: "L'Invitation," "Le Point Zero," "La Discotheque," "Gang De Filles"

Artist: Lake Haze
Album: Sun Rising on Concrete Landscapes
Quick Thoughts: Speaking of electronic efforts, Lake Haze has a stark and minimalist feel blanketed with a seriously interesting and complicated veneer. Similar to Son Lux, it may or may not work for you, but I didn't want to ignore this release as one I truly loved this week.
Songs of Note: "Emotional Encore," "She Took Me To Her Favorite Club"

Artist: Caroline Kingsbury
Album: Heaven's Just a Flight
Quick Thoughts: The long, long, LONG-awaited debut album from Caroline Kingsbury more than just exceeds expectations, it destroys them. We've been following Kingsbury since her early folkier days, and while many of the early singles and releases showed promise, the album as a cohesive statement? Absolutely brilliant. Kingsbury is part Kate Bush, part Carly Rae, and has successfully achieved the sort of synth pop perfection that I never saw coming. Not only is this my favorite release of the week, but a frontrunner for the year. Do not skip this one.
Songs of Note: "Breaking Apart," "Massive Escape," "In My Brain"

Artist: Noods
Album: Blush
Quick Thoughts: Lots of bands have the sort of indie punk aethstetic that Noods has, but there's something a little more compelling about Blush that sets it apart. In a busy week, I didn't want this to get overlooked, but this is exactly the sort of upbeat-yet-deep rock music we look for here.
Songs of Note: "Sheets," "Donkey Kong"

Artist: Elise Davis
Album: Anxious. Happy. Chill.
Quick Thoughts: Elise Davis has a couple albums of solid alt-country under her belt, and this new album is a definite pop turn. For some artists, that's a negative, but Davis is a skilled enough songwriter that the transition isn't much a sharp shift but more a natural evolution. These are beautiful, catchy songs, and you'll absolutely find some good stuff to love here.
Songs of Note: "Lady Bug," "Thirty"

Artist: David Wax Museum
Album: Eurphoric Ouroboric
Quick Thoughts: We've said before that this blog doesn't exist without David Wax Museum, and this latest album is a clear reminder as to why. The band has gone in a different direction from its Mexican folk roots, and while I can't say that their last couple albums had the staying power of Everything is Saved or Knock Knock Get Up, Euphoric Ouroboric feels like a breath of fresh air and a return to form. There's still the folky aspects with hints of modern instrumentation, but the sort of dusty grit that I fell in love with a decade ago. One of the best of the week, and of the year so far.
Songs of Note: "Ghost of Summer," "Juniper Jones," "Helen, Can You Forgive Me?"

Artist: London Grammar
Album: Californian Soil
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of London Grammar for a while, but this new album is a really impressive jump forward in quality. I kept dropping song after song into the weekly playlist, impressed over and over again, and it just has that same sort of soulful, smoky, epic feel at its true height. Not a bad song in the batch, and probably a great starting point if you're not already on the bandwagon.
Songs of Note: "Missing," "Lose Your Head," "How Does It Feel," "I Need the Night"

Artist: Basside
Quick Thoughts: Wanted to give a quick highlight to this EP. Produced by the late SOPHIE, it's like old school Miami rap with a hyperpop mask on. "NYC2MIA" is obnoxious and wonderful, in particular.
Songs of Note: "NYC2MIA"

Of note:

* The Brother Brothers - Calla Lily (Pretty solid folk/roots music.)
* Sufjan Stevens - Lamentations (Sufjan going full weirdo ambient is something I'm here for.)
* Jeff Rosenstock - SKA DREAM (Does what it says on the tin.)
* Lost Girls, Jenny Hval, and Havard Volden - Menneskekollektivet
* @ - Mind Palace Music
* Sasha and the Valentines - So You Think You Found Love?
* Current Value - The All Attracting
* Imelda May - 11 Past the Hour
* Low Ceilings - Passenger Side<> EPs:

* Indigo Maya - Martyrs (Sort of the lovechild of Sleigh Bells and Poppy.)
* Cole Quest and the City Pickers - Self [En]Titled (Literally the grandson of Woody Guthrie.)
* Dev Lemons - Lemontopia (Dev Lemons keeps pumping our super compelling electronic-tinged stuff. One to watch, even if she kind of stinks.)
* 8485 - plague town
* Wild Pink - 6 Cover Songs
* Destroyyyyer - Memory Lane
* Sister James - I Hate It Here, Pt. 1
* Tristan Arp - Oddkin
* Bent - Exercises Part.3
* Jade Bird - RCA Studio A Sessions
* Miesha and the Spanks - Singles EP
* Jaguar Jonze - Antihero

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Sharon Van Etten - epic Ten (A reissue of her 2010 debut with cover/collaborative interpretations.)
* Paul McCartney - McCartney III Imagined (Covers, remixes, reinterpretations from McCartney's latest.)
* The Polyphonic Spree - Afflatus (A collection of recent cover songs.)
* Vitamin - Recordings 1981 (Boston punk release, first time it's seen the light of day in 40 years.)
* Goldie - Timeless (25 Year Anniversary)

Also out:

* Matthew E. White and Lonnie Holley - Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection