Friday, July 30, 2021

Gustaf - "Book"

Photo by Felipe Torres

Late last year we brought you a pair of singles from Brooklyn based post punks Gustaf. The band recently announced a debut album and released a new single! "Book" is everything we loved about their previous releases. It's an absurdly upbeat and highly danceable version of post punk. It's more B-52's or DEVO than Gang of Four, but it still has a bit more of a punk edge to it while still being as pop as it possibly could be. "Book" is the kind of song that is making me long for packed divey clubs, because this song is going to be such a blast live.

Singer Lydia Gammil explains the new song:

"'Book' is a song about the fallacy and fight of getting ahead vs being a head. It is seeking validation in the wrong places and from the wrong people. The hook, “I got ahead, I got a head” is a fun little taunt that we find either being thrown in our face or coming out our mouth. Everyone gets their moment up on the pedestal and everyone gets their turn falling off of it. Whether it’s up or down, ‘Book’ is about accepting whatever level you’re on."

You can watch the video for "Book" below. Audio Drag for Ego Slobs is due out October 1 on Royal Mountain Records. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on Gustaf, check out their Facebook and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates (some with Idles and Pillow Queens) are below the video.

10/1 - Charlotte, NC - Snug Harbor
10/2 - Knoxville, TN - Mill and Mine 
10/3 - Cincinatti, OH - MOTR Pub
10/4 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
10/6 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
10/7 - Saint Paul, MN - Palace Theatre #
10/8 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre #
10/9 - Detroit, MI - Saint Andrew's Hall #
10/10 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall #
10/12 - Boston, MA - House of Blues #
10/13 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore #
10/15 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 #
10/16 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 #
10/17 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club #
10/18 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club #
10/20 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel #
10/21 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom #
10/22 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade - Heaven Stage #
10/25 - Austin, TX - Stubb's #
10/26 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater #
10/27 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger #
11/2 - Birmingham, UK - The Sunflower Lounge $
11/3 - Bristol, UK - Rough Trade Bristol $
11/4 - London, UK - The Dome $
11/6 - Brighton, UK - Mutations Festival @ The Green Door Store
11/8 - Leeds, UK - Hyde Park Book Club $
11/9 - Manchester, UK - YES (Pink Room) $
11/10 - Liverpool, UK - Arts Club Loft $    
11/11 - London, UK - The Windmill, Brixton
11/13 - Utrecht, NL - Le Guess Who Festival    
11/14 - Kortrijk, BE - Sonic City Festival
11/14 - Brussels, BE - Witloof Bar
11/16 - Berlin, DE - Cassiopeia      
11/17 - Haldern, DE -  Haldern Pop Bar
11/18 - Paris, FR - Les Femmes S'en Melent @ Petit Bain
11/19 - Lille, FR - The Black Lab
11/20 - Luxembourg City, LU - Rotondes Klub
12/09 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar (headline)

# - supporting Idles

$ - supporting Pillow Queens

Bambies - "Summer Soon"

Tri-lingual and tri-national (but based in Montreal) band Bambies have a new song off of their upcoming album. "Summer Soon" hits two of my musical loves. It's dirty garage rock mixed with the kind of 90's punk that was heavily inspired by the Ramones (The Queers, Mr. T Experience, etc.) It's fast and loud and noisy, but also oddly melodic. It's all buzzing guitars and a frenzied beat that makes you want to dance around a bit. You know, just the kind of good old rock 'n' roll that went out of style a ways back, but you know you still love unashamedly.

Sami Stern says of the new song:

"Summer is always a blast for folks in Quebec. That feeling at the end of winter when the sun is out, the snow is melting and last season’s accumulated garbage appears below! It’s a promise for better days. The feeling is wonderful." 

You can listen to "Summer Soon" below. Summer Soon is due out August 20 on Spaghetty Town Records in the US and Wanda Records in Europe. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Bambie, check out the band on Facebook.

(Green River) Festival Friday - Cloudbelly

With the Green River Festival returning August 27-29, we're going to highlight some of the lesser known artists playing that we're most excited to see. The bottom of the poster at any festival contains some gems you don't want to miss, and especially so this year at Green River!

If you like to discover lesser known bands at festivals, Cloudbelly is for you. From what I can tell, they only have one song out currently with a new album on the horizon at some point. "Crayon" is folk, for lack of a better term. It even has some elements of traditional folk, but the overall sound is hardly folk. There's this oddly dark and trippy element, and the song is both sparse and full. It's as hypnotic as it is captivating, and is guaranteed to suck you in. As you try to fall into the internet rabbit hole of Cloudbelly, just a warning. There isn't a whole lot out there. I think we'll all be looking forward to finding out more about Cloudbelly, especially other songs.

Cloudbelly is playing Sunday at the Green River Festival. Saturday and weekend passes are sold out, but you can get Friday and Sunday tickets at

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Lorkin O'Reilly - "Pelé Pelé"

Photo via Facebook

Lorkin O'Reilly was born in Edinburgh (his mother is a native of Ireland) in 1994 and immigrated to upstate New York to work on a farm in 2012. To make his backstory even more folky, he found an acoustic guitar in a basement and started writing songs. His latest single, "Pelé Pelé," is quiet modern folk with a traditional base. The song is almost painfully fragile sounding. This is bedroom Americana at its finest, sounding like we just walked in on a confessional from O'Reilly. It's a beautiful song in its simplicity. 

In a press release, Lorkin O'Reilly explains the song and video:

"One of my rituals during quarantine was to take long baths in the evening and watch Youtube highlights of old soccer games. I think a lot of immigrants can relate to the comfort in submerging oneself in cultural pastimes. At least, hearing the commentators' accents, seeing the faces of the fans and hearing the songs really helped me when feeling homesick.

"I find sports really fascinating. These men and women, dressed in beautiful matching outfits with 'Marvel'-esque physiques are effectively superheroes in all but a cape. They unite countries, cities and families. We applaud their genius when they succeed and shout and curse when they fail. Anyways: I enjoyed the juxtaposition between 'superhero' and man in the bath feeling self-conscious about his weight."

You can watch the video for "Pelé Pelé" below. Marriage Material is due out August 20 on Team Love Records. You can pre-order the album through Bandcamp. For more on Lorkin O'Reilly, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

AJ Lee & Blue Summit - "Lemons and Tangerines"

AJ Lee & Blue Summit formed back in 2015 in Santa Cruz, CA and have settled in the Bay Area. Their new single, "Lemons and Tangerines," has that modern mainstream neo-bluegrass sound that just never seems to get old for us. Despite using traditional bluegrass instruments, it's hardly a throwback sound. It's more of a modern traditional take that is perfect for fans of a bands like Twisted Pine or Lake Street Dive, especially with the hint of soul in Lee's voice. It's sure to become your favorite song inspired by a grafted lemon tree in Lee's backyard.

You can listen to "Lemons and Tangerines" below. I'll Come Back is due out August 20. For more on AJ Lee & Blue Summit, check out their website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

AUG 7 - The Independent @ 8:00pm - San Francisco, CA*
AUG 13 - Caffe Lena @ 8:00pm - Saratoga Springs, NY
AUG 14 - Podunk Bluegrass Festival 2021 @ 12:20pm - Goshen, CT
AUG 15 - Hardeman Orchards @ 7:30pm - Red Hook, NY
AUG 16 - Truro Vineyards @ 8:00pm - North Truro, MA
AUG 18 - Watermelon Wednesdays @ 3:00pm - Williamsburg, MA
AUG 18 Watermelon Wednesdays @ 7:30pm - Williamsburg, MA *SOLD OUT*
AUG 19 - Music Hall @ 6:00pm - Portsmouth, NH
AUG 19 - Music Hall @ 8:00pm - Portsmouth, NH
AUG 20 - Mauch Chunk Opera House @ 8:00pm - Jim Thorpe, PA
AUG 21 - Della Mae's Fam Fest @ 2:00pm - Round Hill, VA
AUG 22 - Stages Music Arts @ 7:00pm - Cockeysville, MD
AUG 26 - Casa Flamenca, Inc. @ 7:30pm - Albuquerque, NM
AUG 27 - Wildwood Sounds @ 7:00pm - Del Norte, CO
AUG 28 - Taos Center for the Arts @ 7:30pm - Taos, NM
AUG 29 - Number Thirty Eight @ 8:00pm - Denver, CO
AUG 30 - MainStage Brewing Company @ 6:00pm - Lyons, CO
AUG 31 - Sherbino Theater @ 7:00pm - Ridgway, CO
SEP 1 - Dolores River Brewery @ 7:00pm - Dolores, CO
SEP 3 -  Four Corners Folk Festival 2021 @ 7:00pm - Pagosa Springs, CO
SEP 10 - Sierra Meadows @ 7:30pm - Ahwahnee, CA
SEP 11 - Black Oak Concert Series @ 7:00pm - Tuolumne, CA
SEP 18 - Whale Rock Music Festival @ 7:00pm - Templeton, CA, United States
SEP 19  - Lodi Grape Festival Grounds @ 6:00pm - Lodi, CA
SEP 24 - FreshGrass Festival 2021 @ 11:00am - North Adams, MA
SEP 22-25 - AMERICANAFEST -  Nashville, TN
OCT 1 - Sisters Folk Festival 2021 @ 12:00pm - Sisters, OR
OCT 8 - McCabe’s Guitar Shop @ 8:00pm - Santa Monica, CA
OCT 9 - Paramount Ranch @ 3:00pm - Agoura Hills, CA
OCT 30 - Felton Music Hall @ 8:30pm - Felton, CA
NOV 20 - Hopmonk Tavern @ 8:00pm - Novato, CA^
* w/ The Sam Chase Trio & The Coffis Brothers
^w/ The Coffis Brothers

Dry Cleaning - "Bug Eggs"

Dry Cleaning are one of the more interesting rock acts to get some mainstream attention recently. Despite releasing New Long Legs earlier this year, the band is back with a new single. (Although these two songs were previously available on the Japanese version of New Long Legs.) "Bug Eggs" gives us exactly what we want from Dry Cleaning. It's dark, foreboding indie rock (like the mellower side of Sonic Youth) with Florence Shaw's spoken, Velvet Underground-esque vocals. According to Shaw, "'Bug Eggs' is about the confidence that comes with age, fragility, and sexual desire."

You can listen to "Bug Eggs" below. The song is available as a single via 4AD with the b-side of "Tony Speaks!" You can get your copy via Bandcamp. For more on Dry CLeaning, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

Wed. Nov. 10 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram - SOLD OUT
Thu. Nov. 11 - San Francisco, CA @ Chapel - SOLD OUT
Sat. Nov. 13 - Portland, OR @ Vitalidad - SOLD OUT
Sun. Nov. 14 - Seattle, WA @ Crocodile - SOLD OUT
Tue. Nov. 16 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle - SOLD OUT
Wed. Nov. 17 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle - SOLD OUT
Fri. Nov. 19 - Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel - SOLD OUT
Sat. Nov. 20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel - SOLD OUT
Wed. Jan. 19, 2022 - Paris, FR @ La Maroquinerie *
Thu. Jan. 20, 2022 - Lyron, FR @ Le Périscope *
Fri. Jan. 21, 2022 - Milan, IT @ Circolo Magnolia *
Sat. Jan. 22, 2022 - Bologna, IT @ Covo Club *
Mon. Jan. 24, 2022 - Vienna, AT @ Chelsea *
Tue. Jan. 25, 2022 - Prague, CZ @ Futurum *
Wed. Jan. 26, 2022 Berlin, DE @ Zukunft am Ostkreuz *
Fri. Jan. 28, 2022 - Copenhagen, DK  @ Loppen *
Sat. Jan. 29, 2022 - Hamburg, DE @ Molotow *   
Mon. Jan. 31, 2022 - Nijmegen, NL @ Doornroosje *
Tue. Feb. 1, 2022 - Brussels, BE @ Orangerie, Botanique *
Wed. Feb. 2, 2022 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Noord *    
Fri. Feb. 4, 2022 - Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown *
Sat. Feb. 5, 2022 - Tourcoing (Lille), FR @ Le Grand Mix *
Mon. Feb. 14, 2022 - Liverpool, UK @ Arts Club Theatre %
Tue. Feb. 15, 2022 - Dublin, IE @ The Button Factory - SOLD OUT %
Wed. Feb. 16, 2022 – Belfast, IE @ Empire Music Hall %
Fri. Feb. 18, 2022 - Edinburgh, UK @ Summerhall (Venue upgrade) - SOLD OUT %
Sat. Feb. 19, 2022 - Glasgow, UK @, Queen Margaret Union (Venue upgrade) %
Sub. Feb. 20, 2022 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club - SOLD OUT %
Tue. Feb. 22, 2022 - Birmingham, UK @ The Mill %
Wed. Feb. 23, 2022 - Bristol, UK @ SWX %
Fri. Feb. 25, 2022 - Manchester, UK @ Academy 2 %
Sat. Feb. 26, 2022 – Sheffield, UK @ Leadmill %
Sun. Feb. 27, 2022 - Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms %
Tue. March 1, 2022 - Portsmouth, UK @ Wedgewood Rooms %
Wed. March 2, 2022 - Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2 %
Thu. March 3, 2022 - London, UK @ O2 Forum Kentish Town %

* = w/ Maria Somerville
% = w/ PVA

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 23 July

Another slow week, so adding a few we missed, too.

Artist: Pony Hunt
Album: VAR!
Quick Thoughts: We loved Pony Hunt's debut when it came out almost five years ago. The follow-up gives me a lot of Lady Lamb vibes, but it's really a nice logical extension of a sound we love here. I found so much to enjoy about this one, and I probably could have added every song to the weekly playlist if I were so inclined. It's a little bit folk, a little bit country, and a more than a little awesome.
Songs of Note: "Pulse," "Stardust," "Who Are You," "Rising Sun," "Last Alive"

Artist: Molly Burch
Album: Romantic Images
Quick Thoughts: Molly Burch is back with another winner. We both really liked First Flower, and this new one continues the trajectory of a multi-genre artist with a lot of positives going for her. This was super enjoyable on a whole, and should solidif Burch as a voice worth hearing.
Songs of Note: "Games," "Took a Minute"

Artist: Piroshka
Album: Love Drips and Gathers
Quick Thoughts: If Arcade Fire and Sleeper had a baby and raised it on indie psych pop, you might end up with Piroshka. It's got a lot of dreamy, hazy elements with many songs that stand out. This is one of the first ones I went back to this week, and it's great. If you're into the more shoegazey elements of indie rock, give this a listen.
Songs of Note:

Artist: Roan Yellowthorn
Album: Another Life
Quick Thoughts: Roan Yellowthorn was recently featured in a collaborative effort with Alex Cameron covering "Islands in the Stream," and the duo's sophomore effort is a nice slice of roots-tinged poppy music. Jackie McLean's voice is the perfect companion to many of these songs, all of which run the gamut from alt-country to folk rock. It's a solid listen, and I'm glad I tripped up on it.
Songs of Note: "Stranger," "Little Love," "Neon Sign"

Artist: Glüme
Album: The Internet
Quick Thoughts: This is truly wonderful. It has a nice retro synthy disco feel and a really strong aesthetic, and the songs are excellent, too. If you're a fan of Chromatics or any of the music from Twin Peaks, this is surely going to be something you love, but I do hope to hear more from Glüme soon.
Songs of Note: "What a Feeling," "Body," "Get Low"

Of note:

* Shungudzo - I'm not a mother, but I have children (Solid genre-hopping album with lots of great moments.)
* The Peppermint Kicks - The Peppermint Kicks (Power poppish fun.)
* Fruit Bats - Siamese Dream (An interesting take on the Smashing Pumpkins breakthrough.)
* Descendents - 9th and Walnut (Album of unreleased recordings.)
* Tjo - Dispatches from the Drift
* Rodney Crowell - Triage
* Leon Bridges - Gold-Diggers Sound
* Emma-Jean Thackray - Yellow
* Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - 662


* Washington - Switches
* Samia - Scout
* Jamie Drake - Here Comes the Light (The B-Sides)
* Claire Rousay and More Eaze - An Afternoon Whine
* Future Islands - ALAYA Remixes EP 2
* The Jacklights - Drift
* Izzy Heltai - Day Plan (5 Songs Written 4 the End of the World)

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Clem Snide - Beyond Forever Just Beyond
* Brittany Howard - Jaime (Reimagined)

Also out:

* Mega Bog - Life, and Another

Fokis featuring Drive-By - "The Switch Up"

American rapper Fokis has an upcoming project called Seasons Change, People Too: The Experiment. For the project's first single, Fokis brought in German emcee Drive-By. "The Switch Up" sees Fokis rapping German lyrics that Drive-By wrote and Drive-By rapping English lyrics written by Fokis. The song is a total throwback to early 90's hip hop, which is kind of my hip hop glory days. It's the kind of hip hop that isn't the gangsta rap or positive hip hop of the day. It's lying kind of in the middle. But it's going to make you nostalgic for that era, regardless of how much rap you listened to in your youth.

In a press release, Fokis talks about the song:

"I've been touring Germany since 2018 and have connected with the people really well and in the process I also learned a few basic words in German. One day I thought to myself, what if I wrote a verse and had a German rapper say it, and a German rapper wrote a verse for me, to say... so I reached out to my boy Drive-By with the idea and he was all in. It took him 20 minutes to record what I wrote for him and took me 8 hours to record what he wrote for me, but we got it done and had fun doing it."

You can watch the video for "The Switch Up" below. For more on Fokis, check out the artist on Facebook. You can find Drive-By's Facebook here.

Ada Lea - "damn"

Photo by Monse Muro

The latest from Montreal's Ada Lea (the musical name of Alexandra Levy) is oddly unique. "damn" is mostly a relatively mainstream, kinda folkish singer/songwriter tune. But "damn" isn't really a mainstream sounding song. Despite the song sounding upbeat, there is a sense of melancholy that you just can't seem to shake. Plus, the instruments just sound... off? It's a pretty standard sound, just very slightly tweaked to feel and sound different. That also applies to Levy's vocals. Her voice is lovely and pleasant, except that she has this unique quality to it that makes it not exactly mainstream. This all makes "damn" one of the more almost mainstream but just slightly off to be intriguing sounds of the year.

You can watch the video for "damn" below. one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden is due out September 24 on Saddle Creek. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy of the album here. For more on Ada Lea, check out the artist's website.

Buffalo Nichols - "Lost & Lonesome"

Photo by Dustin Cohen

I first discovered Buffalo Nichols opening for Drive-By Truckers just before lockdown in February 2020. Opening for the gigantic sound of DBT's rock show as a blues/folk artist is daunting, but he had the crowd sucked in for his entire set. I remember trying to find releases from him, but they were few and far between. I don't believe I was even able to find a social media presence. Finally, Buffalo Nichols is releasing his debut album in October.

"Lost & Lonesome" is the first single, and it's a must listen. The Austin, TX based Carl "Buffalo" Nichols has crafted a sparse, melancholy blues song. While a lot of mainstream blues music focuses heavily on guitar, on "Lost & Lonesome" the focus is Nichols' voice and lyrics. It's an interesting choice, since Nichols' voice is hardly a traditional one. On this song he's speak-singing in a raspy voice that wouldn't get him very far on any network singing show. But that's what makes his music work. Nothing about this is traditional, and it's endlessly captivating. "Lost & Lonesome" may be rooted in traditional blues, but it doesn't sound like what you would consider traditional.

Buffalo Nichols says of his new song:

‘Lost & Lonesome’ was inspired by years of traveling alone, wandering city streets looking for a place to call home maybe for a night, maybe forever. It takes you back to those moments in life when you must leave home either physically or figuratively—going somewhere unfamiliar and on your own. The soundtrack to a wandering soul. An ode to loneliness. When you see a wandering soul, all you can do is wonder how they got there. This song gives a glimpse into the mind of that traveler looking for a friend and a place to call home.” 

You can listen to "Lost & Lonesome" below. Buffalo Nichols will be releasing his self-titled debut album on October 15 via Fat Possum Records. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on Buffalo Nichols, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

7/28/21 - Spring Green, WI – Shitty Barn
7/30/21 - Chicago, IL – Hideout Patio
7/31/21 - Milwaukee WI – The Back Room @ Colectivo 
8/1/21 - Sheboygan, WI – Tellen Sculpture Garden 
8/5/21 - Appleton, WI – Mile of Music Fest
8/6/21 - Appleton, WI – Mile of Music Fest
8/7/21 - Madison, WI – Sugar Maple Festival
8/14/21 - Gruene, TX – River Rodeo 
8/18/21 - New Braunfels, TX – Gruene Hall#
8/21/21 - Austin, TX - Continental Club^
10/2/21 - St Louis, MO – The Pageant*
10/4/21 - Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium*
10/6/21 - Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue*
10/8/21 - Chicago, IL – The Vic*
10/9/21 - St Paul, MN – Palace Theatre*
10/10/21 - Iowa City, IA – Englert Theatre*
10/12/21 - Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre*
10/14/21 - Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall*
10/15/21 - Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls*
10/16/21 - Cleveland, OH – House of Blues*
10/19/21 - Detroit, MI – Majestic*
10/21/21 - Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre*
10/22/21 - Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing*
10/23/21 - Asheville, NC – Rabbit Rabbit*
11/3/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/4/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/5/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/6/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/8/21 - Wilmington, DE – The Queen*
11/10/21 - Winston-Salem, NC – The Ramkat*
11/11/21 - Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall*
11/12/21 - Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
11/13/21 - Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
11/15/21 - Little Rock, AR – Revolution Music Room*
11/17/21 - Dallas, TX – Granada Theater*
11/18/21 - Austin, TX – Scoot Inn*
11/19/21 - Austin, TX – Scoot Inn*
11/20/21 - New Orleans, LA – Tipitina's*

# supporting The Wallflowers
^ supporting Heartless Bastards
*supporting Drive-By Truckers