Friday, October 22, 2021

Ghostkeeper - "Grassy Plains"


Calgary's Ghostkeeper are a unique band that has created a patchwork sound all their own. Their latest single, "Grassy Plains," is this oddball indie rock song that kind of reminds me of bands like The Magnetic Fields or Beat Happening. This isn't necessarily because of Ghostkeeper sound like these bands, but just the overall vibe. (If that makes any sense...) "Grassy Plains" is groovy in the way that Sonic Youth were sometimes groovy in the early 90's. It's the kind of song you're going to either love or hate, or perhaps be intrigued enough to give it a couple extra listens just to be sure how you feel.

In a press release, Ghostkeeper say of their new single:

"Our new single, 'Grassy Plains,' charts a fantasy based on a post-apocalyptic scenario where the protagonist’s man has gone off to fight as a revolutionary soldier.
 
"Driven to seek the help of the minegishi (sacred little people), she gathers medicine and words to bring her love home.
 
"We sought to capture the story of lovers in a dystopian time who lament the distance between them as they struggle to find each other in one realm or another."

You can watch the video for "Grassy Plains" below. You can get a copy of the song here. For more on Ghostkeeper, check out the band's Facebook.

Chime School - "Wait Your Turn"


San Francisco musician Andy Pastalaniec started off as a drummer in bands like Pink Films, Cruel Summer, and Seablite. His latest project, Chime School, sees him taking over as singer and songwriter. Chime School's new single, "Wait Your Turn," combines the 60's San Francisco pop/folk/psychedelic scene with 90's indie rock. The song has this irresistibly sunny vibe. Particularly at the beginning you get a strong sense of bands like The Byrds or Jefferson Airplane. As the song progresses, the noise starts to kick in. It's drenched in sunshine and soaked in feedback, combining sounds that could have existed if Nirvana hadn't mocked The Youngbloods in "Territorial Pissings."

You can watch the video for "Wait Your Turn" below. Chime School's self-titled debut is due out November 5 on Slumberland Records. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Chime School, check out their Twitter.

Friday Freebie: The Thorazines - Songs in the Key of Death


We don't get too many Halloween releases, but when we do we're sure to bring them to you especially if they happen to be free! Melbourne, Australia's The Thorazines just released Songs in the Key of Death. It's a four song EP that's a pop punk tribute to the 1986 film Trick or Treat, aka the heavy metal horror movie that stars Skippy from Family Ties and features appearances from Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons. The Thorazines have recorded four songs as a tribute to the movie. All four songs are decidedly pop punk, but that kind of pop punk that's heavily metal influenced and has a harder edge to it. This EP is a bunch of fun, especially if you've seen the movie recently enough to get all the references. I'll be trying to find it on a streaming service this weekend because while I think I've seen it, if I did it would be decades ago.

You can listen to "Fuck with Fire" below. Songs in the Key of Death is available for the name your price option on Bandcamp. If you do choose zero, be sure to give The Thorazines a follow on Facebook.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Joell Ortiz - "OG"


If you're going to be a rapper who calls a song "OG," it better be as old school as possible. Joell Ortiz delivers that. "OG" is pure hip hop. There are no R&B choruses and no auto-tune. It's more early 90's hip hop than 80's, but that's just the slicker production that wasn't available in the 80's. Plus, it's a song that talks about how wild and crazy life once was, but now Ortiz is in the suburbs with high cholesterol and shopping in Home Depot for a gazebo, but very happy with that since he's one of the ones that is still alive. It's one of the great songs about hip hop gracefully entering and thriving in middle age.

In a press release, Joell Ortiz says of the new song:

I feel so lucky to be able to call myself an 'OG.'  Where I come from adulthood isn’t always a guarantee.  But here I am, alive, and well and still doing what I love to do.  Music.  As life changes, so does my story.  Just happy to still be able to share it with you all the best way I know how.  Over these beats! Yaowa”

You can listen to "OG" below. Autograph is due out November 12 on Mello Music Group. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on Joell Ortiz, check out the artist's Twitter.

Odd Circus Covers Sonic Youth


It's no secret that I'm an obsessive Sonic Youth fan, so I'm going to be hyper critical of any Sonic Youth cover. Luckily, Orlando, FL's Odd Circus mailed it. According to their Bandcamp bio, Odd Circus are an "Improv trio exploring the suspension of space and time. Post-rock, fusion, no wave, noise, experimental, garage rock, psychedelic, sci-fi prog." For their Sonic Youth cover, they chose "The Wonder," the first in the trio of songs that make up the ending of 1988's immortal Daydream Nation. It's an instrumental cover, with Graham Robertson's saxophone covering for vocals. Odd Circus put together an explosive version of "The Wonder" that is immediately recognizable to fans of the original despite being it's very own thing. I would have thought it would be impossible to record a Sonic Youth cover that is faithful to the original without guitar, but this is done masterfully.

You can listen to Odd Circus' cover of "The Wonder" below. The song is available on Bandcamp. For more on Odd Circus, check out the band's website.

Maida Rose - "Every Day is Blue"

Photo by Anne Lieke Heusinkveld

On their latest single, Dutch dream pop band Maida Rose lean towards the poppy side of dream pop. "Every Day is Blue" sounds like the title of a song from The Smiths or The Cure, and it very well could be. It's a laid back, upbeat sounding pretty little song that showcases the vocals of Roos Meijer. It's the kind of song you could easily not pay attention to the lyrics of and just have a grand time listening. Of course, with a title like "Every Day is Blue," this isn't a cheerful song at all. This has been my favorite type of song dating back at least thirty years now: Pretty and happy sounding hiding a much sadder and darker meaning, so Maida Rose work for me on this one.

Roos Meijer explains the meaning behind the song:

"Depression is something that is hard to grasp if you’ve never suffered from it. I remember that I found it really challenging to communicate with friends and family who clearly had no idea of what it was like. They tried their best to say the right thing and to cheer me up, but it sometimes felt like they were unconsciously trivialising the state that I was in.

"At the time the only thing that you want to do is curl up underneath a blanket and dissapear. I think deep down you know that this won’t do any good, but it’s a piece of knowledge that you’re trying to ignore.

"That’s why we decided to make the song quite playful; to highlight the contrast within. It’s almost a bit rebellious, which is an attitude that I remember vividly from adolescence, which is the main theme of the whole [upcoming] album."

You can watch the video for "Every Day is Blue" below. The song is available as a single via Believe. For more on Maida Rose, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 15 October

Artist: Le Ren
Album: Leftovers
Quick Thoughts: Probably my favorite listen this week, Le Ren offers a folky effort that excels at really great melodic and musical content. I don't know much of anything about this act, but she seems to be a transport from the 1960s in her overall approach, and this debut is one I'll be going back to very quickly.
Songs of Note: "Dyan," "Who's Going to Hold Me Next?"

Artist: Julia Shapiro
Album: Zorked
Quick Thoughts: Julia Shapiro excels in the sort of shoegazey stuff I know I love. This record gives me some real Marissa Nadler vibes, for sure, but it's really its own thing in a lot of respects. I really enjoyed this, it's the right kind of heavy for me this week.
Songs of Note: "Come With Me," "Zorked"

Artist: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Album: Georgia Blue
Quick Thoughts: This is a charity record for Georgia elections, so know that going in, but a really interesting album with a little bit of everything bookended with two solid R.E.M. covers. It's clear that Isbell and company had a lot of fun with this one, and that fun is spread about the entire run time. It's really perfect at what it's trying to dom and that's all that matters.
Songs of Note: "Nightswimming," "Driver 8," "Cross Bones Style," "Honeysuckle Blue," "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"

Artist: Lilly Hiatt
Album: Lately
Quick Thoughts: We love Lilly Hiatt here, and I'll say that I love her even more after hearing this record. It's roots done right, and feels reminiscent of early Lydia Loveless. This is such a high-quality album from top to bottom, with just the right serving of twang to make this stand out. I loved this album, and you will too.
Songs of Note: "Been," "Face," "The Last Tear"

Artist: FINNEAS
Album: Optimist
Quick Thoughts: Finneas, the producer/collaborator brother of Billie Eilish, is out with a new album that honestly feels a lot like what I hoped the new Billie Eilish album would. I know it's an unfair comparison, but the sort of standouts that Eilish's debut had make similar appearances here, especially with "The Kids Are All Dying," which is a nearly perfect political song for these times. Make some time for this one.
Songs of Note: "Around My Neck," "The Kids Are All Dying"

Of note:

* Tom Morello - The Atlas Underground Fire (Enough good moments to make this worth hearing.)
* Dark Mark and Skeleton Joe - Dark Mark vs Skeleton Joe (It has a lot of fun alt-rock moments.)
* Dos Santos - City of Mirrors (Great Spanish language rock.)
* La Femme - Paradigmes : suppléments (Some really interesting French electronic/synthy pop stuff.)
* The Courettes - Back in Mono (Very reminiscent of early Raveonettes.)
* Maria Kelly - the sum of the in-between
* BLACKSTARKIDS - Puppies Forever
* I Mean Us - Into Innerverse
* Pokey LaFarge - In the Blossom of Their Shade
* Kacy Hill - Simple, Sweet, and Smiling
* Cœur de pirate - Impossible à aimer
* Buffalo Nichols - Buffalo Nichols
* Dinner Time - Halfway Down
* Purple Disco Machine - Exotica
* Glok - Pattern Recognition

EPs:

* Zack Fox - shut the fuck up talking to me
* Jordana and TV Girl - Summer's Over
* Qveen Herby - Halloqveen
* Alice Longyu Gau - High Dragon and Universe
* Field Music - Another Shot EP
* A.A. Williams - arco
* Hand Habits - Clean Air
* Johnny Marr - Fever Dreams Pt. 1
* Lunice - Stacker Upper Deluxe

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Melvins - Five Legged Dog (An acoustic effort.)
* Faye Webster - Live at Electric Lady
* Another Michael - Unplugged Music and Big Sessions

Also out:

* Tunic - Quitter
* Grafh and DJ Shay - Stop Calling Art Content

BODEGA - "Doers"


We're thrilled that we have new music from Brooklyn's BODEGA. BODEGA have become one of our absolute favorites of the new crop of ultra dance friendly post punk ever since I saw them opening for Jon Spencer + The Hitmakers back in 2019, and "Doers" solidifies our love even more. "Doers" keeps the main elements we've loved from BODEGA. It's all groove and funk, but it's also a mid-tempo alt-rock song. There's far more fuzz lingering behind the song than you'd expect from BODEGA, and "Doers" sounds like it could be crossover mainstream hit if the music industry was still built like it was in the 90's. If they aren't already one of your favorites, these folks are going to endear themselves to you by this time next year.

You can watch the video for "Doers" below. Broken Equipment is due out March 11 on What's Yr Rupture? You can pre-order a copy here. For more on BODEGA, check out the band's Facebook.

Jeff Tweedy Covers Neil Young

Photo by Alexa Viscius

I'm tempted to say that this seems like it was released just for me, but obviously Jeff Tweedy covering Neil Young is going to appeal to a lot of people. Last year Jeff Tweedy released Love is the King, an Americana solo album. December will see the release of a deluxe reissue, which will include a second disc that includes live versions of every track on Love is the King plus a cover of Neil Young's "Old Country Waltz." It's an interesting choice taken from Neil Young's 1976 recorded and 2017 released album Hitchhiker. The main difference is that Young's original is just him solo and Tweedy's includes a full band, but it sounds exactly like what you'd expect Jeff Tweedy covering Neil Young to sound like, and who doesn't want that?

You can watch the video for Jeff Tweedy's version of "Old Country Waltz" below. Love is the King/Live is the King is due out December 10 on dBpm Records and is sure to be on many a dad's Christmas wishlist. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Jeff Tweedy, check out Wilco's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.


Wed. Dec. 22 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
Thu. Dec. 22 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
Tue. Dec. 28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Largo *
Wed. Dec. 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ Largo *
Thu. Dec. 30 - Los Angeles, CA @ Largo *
Sat. Jan. 1, 2022 - Los Angeles, CA @ Largo
Sun. Jan. 2, 2022 - Los Angeles, CA @ Largo
Wed. Jan. 5, 2022 - San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
Thu. Jan. 6, 2022 - San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
 
*= Jeff Tweedy solo

Shovels & Rope - "Domino"

Photo by Leslie Ryan McKellar

According to Shovels & Rope, their upcoming album is going to be their heavy metal album. Well, heavy metal for them. As Michael Trent says, "It’s not heavy metal, but in our guts, it feels a bit like Heavy Metal." You'll get what he means when you hear the first single from the album. "Domino" is still based in the folk and early rock 'n' roll we've come to adore from Shovels & Rope, but you can see why the South Carolina duo would call this their heavy metal album. Instead of sounding like heavy metal, "Domino" contains the spirit of heavy metal. There is just the slightest hint of the attitude and edge of heavy metal that is typically missing in a Shovels & Rope song. It still sounds like them, but just the slightest hint of a band expanding their sound after ten years is always welcome.

You can watch the video for "Domino" below. Manticore is due out February 18 on Dualtone. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Shovels & Rope, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Morgan Harper-Jones - "All I Do"

Photo by Katie Silvester


Morgan Harper-Jones is folk-ish in the way that Bon Iver and Cat Power are folk-ish. Sure, her new single is folk, but only because it technically fits the guidelines of folk. "All I Do" shows Harper-Jones stripped bare. It's a raw and emotional song made even more raw by how minimal the song is. There are instruments here, but the focus is primarily on Harper-Jones' voice. "All I Do" has piano, drums, and a few other instruments, but all you'll truly remember is the emotion in her voice. This is a truly gorgeous song you won't forget any time soon.

Morgan Harper-Jones says of the new single:

“‘All I Do’ really woke me up to how overindulgent I can be in the wake of a break-up, or loss of any kind (a relationship/ moment/ feeling). I wouldn’t allow myself to move on, instead I’d figure out how I could get it back or control the outcome, meanwhile life continued to go on around me and I was missing it.”

You can watch the video for "All I Do" below. The single is available now via Play It Again Sam. For more on Morgan Harper-Jones, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Wet Leg - "Chaise Longue"

Photo via Facebook

Wet Leg are a duo hailing from Isle of Wight and consist of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers. They've released two singles that have slipped by us, but luckily for us all I stumbled upon them this weekend. Their first single, "Chaise Longue," is an impossibly fun post punk/indie rock track. Even at it's most mellow and quiet with very limited instrumentation, "Chaise Longue" is groovy as it could possibly be and will have you moving. Plus, it's filled with double entendres so blatant so aren't really double (including the "butter your muffin" line from Mean Girls). Artsy rock is rarely this much fun, but Wet Leg are a blast. They are one of those bands that are going to be much bigger in a year, and absolutely huge in five. Jump on this bandwagon now.

You can watch the video for "Chaise Longue" below. The song is available as a single via Domino Recording Company. For more on Wet Leg, check out the band's website.

This Lonesome Paradise - "Hello Darkness"


Last month we brought you the dark Americana of Oregon's This Lonesome Paradise. Their latest single is titled "Hello Darkness," so logic would state that it would be even darker than "Needles & Pines." "Hello Darkness" is indeed dark, but relative to the previous single it's almost downright cheery. That could be because the guitar has an almost surf style twang to it, and it's impossible for a surf song to not be at least a little cheery. There's also a very 50's crooner quality to "Hello Darkness," and maybe it's just that odd 50's nostalgia that I experienced in the 80's but that also adds a level of cheeriness to the song. That being said, this is still a song from This Lonesome Paradise so it is still quite dark. It's just a bizarro world dark version of cheery songs from the past, and who can resist that?

You can listen to "Hello Darkness" below. Electric Dreams is due out October 31 on American Standard Time Records. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on This Lonesome Paradise, check out the band's Instagram.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Scott Klopfenstein and Tahlena Chikami Cover Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton


I'm a little embarrassed to bring you all this one, but I just can't resist. But, if you're reading this after the headline you're apparently also onboard. Scott Klopfenstein of Littlest Man Band and Reel Big Fish has teamed with Bite Me Bambi's Tahlena Chikami for a cover of the immortal "Island in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. What's truly shocking/charming about this cover is that this isn't a ska cover of the soft rock classic but a completely faithful version. Is this a great song that is going to change your life? Probably not. But is it a ridiculously fun time? Definitely.

Tahlena Chikami explains how they came to cover "Islands in the Stream":

"You ever just blurt something out of your mouth and not really think it through? That’s how this cover of 'Islands in the Stream' came about. While streaming on Twitch, I just sort of said, 'Wouldn’t it be funny if Scott and I covered Islands in the Stream? We’ll dress up and everything. Hilarious!'. And the internet did what the internet does, it ran with it. Before we knew it, we were there singing it together on Scott’s stream."

You can watch the video for "Islands in the Stream" below, and I can't recommend actually watching it enough. This would have been an MTV Buzz Bin staple twenty five years ago. For more on Scott Klopfenstein, check out his website. For Tahlena Chikami, check out Bite Me Bambi's website.

Hans Condor - "Breaking and Entering"

Photo courtesy Dial Back Sound

Even though this is our first time bringing you music from Hans Condor, the Nashville band have been making music for fifteen years. Their latest single, "Breaking and Entering," is the kind of thrashy punk that borders on being out of control. It's breakneck rock with screaming vocals and more fuzz on the guitar than most garage rock has. This is the kind of punk that you and your metalhead friend are going to agree on. (I mean, another song on their upcoming album is called "Motorhead" which pretty much says it all...) It's the kind of song that has me longing for a packed, sweaty club with beer being spilled literally everywhere.

You can listen to "Breaking and Entering" below. Breaking & Entering is due out November 16 on Dial Back Sound. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on Hans Condor, check out the band's Facebook.

Live Shows: Robert Finley, The Porch Southern Fare & Juke Joint, Medford, MA 10/14/21


Considering Robert Finley spent part of September opening for The Black Keys in arenas, getting to see him in a tiny venue like The Porch Southern Fare & Juke Joint was a special treat. I'm always going to find any show in a venue that doubles as a restaurant to be a little strange, and this was definitely a unique show, but in some of the best possible ways.

I&R, the band led by Providence based musician Josh Cournoyer, have been doubling as Finley's backing band and opener on this run of dates, and they took the stage at 10:00 pm sharp. They started playing to literally no reaction from the crowd. That was strange, since I've never seen a band start playing to absolutely no applause, but there's a first time for everything I suppose. Since they were billed as the opening act, I assumed they were going to play a short set, take a break, and then return with Finley for the headliner set. After a minute or so of them playing, Finley was led to the stage to start the show.

And what a show it was. Although he's only been playing professionally for a short time, Finley took the stage like he's been playing in front of large audiences for decades. Live his voice is the perfect mixture of gruff and pleasant for his brand of soul. He sang stories about his life, sex, and religion, as any great soul singer is going to do. The crowd was a mixture of hipsters and people who wanted to see a TV star, and it's safe to say everyone was entertained. Finley apologized to the crowd for sitting on a stage for two songs (he blamed his boots for being tired for the second one), but I can't imagine anyone minded. The man is sixty-seven after all, so he can sit down anytime he needs to. He was as captivating a performer as anyone, whether he's belting out his songs or charmingly awkwardly dancing.

Despite basically being hired guns for the tour, I&R did an impeccable job backing Finley. They may have had guitar tabs written on notebooks and drum tablatures on Post It notes, but they played like they've been backing him for years. Josh Cournoyer is one hell of a guitar player, and he played with a passion worthy of a soul great. Plus, Chuck Berry had a new backing band for every show he played, so this fits right into the music's legacy.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances - "Antisocial"


Toronto's Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances combine so many styles of music in their latest single that it's kind of a train wreck, but in the best possible way. "Antisocial" is a punk song, that much is definite. But, it's kind of both a noise punk and pop punk song. That already shouldn't work, but they also put some 60's style surf guitar and some early garage rock and roll pop harmonies. And I could be wrong but I feel like there may be some thrash metal riffs and hardcore in here? At times it sounds as if Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances are all playing separate songs in separate genres. Yeah, "Antisocial" should not work, and for a lot of people this won't. But for some of us it will be one of the most glorious clusterfucks of sound we've heard in years!

You can listen to "Antisocial" below. For more on Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Olive Vox Cover Ty Segall

Photo by Heidi Yowell

There's a short but pretty great list of artists I've discovered from cover songs. The latest is Olive Vox. Olive Vox are brothers Parker James and Caden Shea. The duo started out in Orange County, CA but moved to Texas when they were still kids. During last year's lockdown, the two started forming their sound, which is described as psychedelic grunge. Given that, obviously Ty Segall is a perfect influence for the band. Their cover of "Finger" is spot on, although, if anything, it's even louder than the original. It's more polished than Segall's, but it's somehow more discordant and in-your-face. We'll have to keep an eye on Olive Vox to see where their own sound goes from here.

You can listen to Olive Vox's take on "Finger" below. For more on Olive Vox, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates, including their very first ever live performance (which is somehow at Levitation Festival) are below the song.

 
OCT 28 / AUSTIN, TX @ Levitation Festival
(@ 8:30 pm Mohawk Austin 912 Red River St Austin, TX 78701)
OCT 29 / FORT WORTH, TX @ Tulips
NOV 12 / FAIRFIELD, CT @ Stage One
NOV 15 / NEW YORK, NY @ Mercury Lounge
NOV 17 / VIENNA, VA @ Jammin Java
NOV 18 / COLUMBUS, OH @ The Basement
NOV 19 / CHICAGO, IL @ Subterranean
DEC 1 / LOS ANGELES, CA @ The Mint

Laura-Mary Carter - "Town Called Nothing"


Laura-Mary Carter is best known as half of Blood Red Shoes, and is releasing a solo EP later this year. The first single from that EP, "Town Called Nothing," is a dark rocker that is just dripping with country. It's not a country song at all, but that kind of mid 90's alt-rock song that had country elements that we'd love despite hating country. It's filled with fuzzy and swirling guitars that have just the slightest twang despite all the fuzz. It sounds like a perfect melding of The Lemonheads and Cowboy Junkies, which is something I think we all could use.

Laura-Mary Carter talks about the song, which sounds like the perfect weekend to me:

"After writing this song I discovered that there was a real abandoned town in Arizona, named ’Nothing’, with a population of two people. I immediately decided that I had to go there. I packed up my bags, hired a car and drove to Arizona. I fell in love with it upon arrival and have since returned many times. The song was produced by Ed Harcourt, at RAK studios, UK. We recorded Town Called Nothing in one day, tracked live. Musicians featured on this song are: Jorma Vik (The Bronx, Eagles Of Death Metal) on drums, Ed Harcourt on bass / piano and myself doing everything else. I actually later tracked the vocals in a pitch black room in solitude."

You can watch the video for "Town Called Nothing" below. Town Called Nothing, the EP, is due out December 3. You can pre-order the EP here. For more on Laura-Mary Carter, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Kundalini Genie - "Half In, Half Out"

Photo by Louis Martin

Hailing from Glasgow, The Kundalini Genie are a psychedelic band. By psychedelic, I don't mean 60's psychedelic, although there is a strong 60's vibe here. Their latest single, "Half In, Half Out" is more 90's psychedelic. Of course, 90's psychedelia was riding heavily on the coattails of the 60's. But this song has some heavy 90's guitar fuzz that wasn't quite as strong in the mid 1900's. "Half In, Half Out" sounds like My Bloody Valentine decided to be a jam band in their prime, or like J Mascis spent a little too much time snowboarding in Vermont. This is a great song that smashes a bunch of nostalgia buttons all at once.

You can watch the video for "Half In, Half Out" below. Half In, Half Out, the album, is due out November 12. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on The Kundalini Genie, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Erin Rae - "Modern Woman"

Photo by Bridgette Aikens

The latest from Erin Rae may perfectly personify the label of "Americana." "Modern Woman" has just enough twang to be a little country, but not enough to be just country. It's a little folk, but it's far too pop to be just folk. And it's poppy, but there is way too much country and folk in here to be a pop song. It's a song that encompasses all of these sounds into a perfectly crafted song. It's a fun, upbeat, and breezy song that is going to suck virtually everyone in with its spell. It reminds me of if Tristen's recent music had a little more roots to it. 

You can watch the video for "Modern Woman" below. Lighten Up is due out February 4 on Thirty Tigers. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Erin Rae, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.


October 24 - Nashville, TN - Girls Write Nashville at 3rd & Lindsley
Oct 26 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre+
Oct 27 - Holyoke, MA - Gateway City Arts+
Oct 28 - Pittsburgh, PA - Roxian Theatre+
Nov 2 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room at Old National Centre+
Nov 3 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
Nov 12 - Highlands, NC - Highlands Food & Wine Festival - SOLD OUT
Nov 17 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre+
Nov 18 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox+
Nov 19 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom+
Nov 21 - San Louis Obispo, CA - Fremont Theatre+
Nov 22-23 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern+
Nov 26-27 - Los Angeles - The Fonda Theatre+
Nov 28 - San Francisco - The Fillmore+
Nov 30 - Salt Lake City - The Commonwealth Room+
Dec 1 - Fort Collins, CO - Washington's+
Dec 2 - Omaha, NE - Reverb Lounge
Dec 3 - Minneapolis - First Avenue+
Dec 4 - Chicago - The Vic Theatre+
Dec 5 - Milwaukee - Turner Hall Ballroom+
Dec 7 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall+
Dec 8 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant+
Dec 9 - Little Rock, AR - Schlitzy's Rock 'n' Roll Chicken
Dec 10 - Dallas, TX - The Bomb Factory+
Dec 11 - Austin, TX - Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre+
Dec 12 - Houston, TX - The Heights Theatre+ 

+supporting Dawes

Marissa Paternoster - "White Dove"


While Screaming Females' Marissa Paternoster has released music under the name Noun, the indie rock legend has yet to release music under her name. December will see her first solo album, and "White Dove" is the first Marissa Paternoster single! "White Dove" starts off like how you'd expect a solo album from a long time punk/indie rocker. It's a fairly mellow acoustic song that highlights Paternoster's vocals. It's easy to forget that she has a pretty great singing voice outside of her normal punk scream. Of course, this is Marissa Paternoster, so there is some unexpected instrumentation and some guitar noise that creeps in from time to time. But this is a great way to see an artist we've been fans of for well over a decade branch out, especially when it's this compelling of a sound.

You can listen to "White Dove" below. Peace Meter is due out December 3. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Marissa Paternoster, check out the artist's website.



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 8 October

Artist: Destroy Boys
Album: Open Mouth, Open Heart
Quick Thoughts: We're big fans of Destroy Boys here even if we are far too old to really be this into them. This album is more of the punk goodness they're so great at, and is accessible enough where I could see a lot of this taking off. There's a lot of solid stuff in here, and if you're into the punk stuff you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
Songs of Note: "Drink," "Cherry Garcia"

Artist: Nightwatchers
Album: Common Crusades
Quick Thoughts: It takes a lot for me to get down with the heavier stuff, and Nightwatchers is certainly heavy, but there's a sensibility to this that makes this one stand out. The musicality, the offbeat song titles, the overall presentation of this record, it's all pretty great. This won't be for everyone, but boy am I glad I heard it.
Songs of Note: "For the Sake of the People and the Nation," "A Not-so-Secular State Culturalism," "Dismissed," "Their Turn Trying to Rule the World," "No Matter Who 'Osei Kofi Tutu I' Is."

Artist: Church Girls
Album: Still Blooms
Quick Thoughts: On first listen, this gave me a real "Field Mouse, but heavier" vibe. As I heard somme songs again, this ends up being more a darkish punk effort that just works. It's got an angular feel to it and a lot of really catchy tunes throughout. I really enjoyed this.
Songs of Note: "Dissolve," "Surface," "Vacation"

Artist: Atmosphere
Album: WORD?
Quick Thoughts: Probably my favorite rap album of the last few weeks, Atmosphere definitely has a classic flow that is sure to get a lot of listeners excited. I don't have a ton to say about this one in particular, but I did want to make sure it didn't get overlooked. It's a good time, and don't miss out on the Aesop Rock and MF Doom guest spot!
Songs of Note: "Something," "Vanish," "Barcade"

Artist: Moaning Lisa
Album: Something Like This But Not This
Quick Thoughts: Between this and Church Girls and Destroy Boys, you'd think there's a bit of a theme here in terms of female-fronted rock acts. Moaning Lisa is great, and this album has a lot of really interesting songs throughout. It's a busy week, but worth the time for a lot of these songs.
Songs of Note: "Cold Water," "Waste," "Bike Riding," "Working Still"

Artist: Magdalena Bay
Album: Mercurial World
Quick Thoughts: My favorite album this week is this debut full-length from Magdalena Bay. I don't quite remember how I tripped up on this duo, but the sort of synthy pop they peddle hits all the right notes for me. The album is somehow more accessible and more interesting than their earlier stuff, and I was shocked at how it felt like the album was just banger after banger after banger. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth for the poppy stuff, you need to make some time for this one.
Songs of Note: "Halfway," "You Lose!" "Dawning of the Season," "Mercurial World"

Artist: The Wild Feathers
Album: Alvarado
Quick Thoughts: This record came to me late, and I'm glad I made some time for it. The title track alone makes this record, but the fact that I kept being impressed by this roots-informed record is a testament to how great this really was. You won't regret giving this a spin.
Songs of Note: "Alvarado," "Ain't Lookin'," "Over the Edge," "Side Street Shakedown," "Off Your Shoulders," "Long Shot"

Of note:

* Lala Lala - I Want the Door to Open (A lot of really great moments here.)
* I Was a King - Grand Hotel
* Lunice - 180 Deluxe
* Jax Anderson - Songs for Every Condition
* Oh Wonder - 22 Break
* Anna Leone - I've Felt All These Things
* Natalie Hemby - Pins and Needles

EPs:

* Mentu Baru - Skalloween (It's ska, but for Halloween. And it's super fun.)
* Matt Pond PA - This is Not The State of Gold (Demos from their last effort.)
* Jenny Moore's Mystic Business - He Earns Enough EP
* MVW - CLASSIC$
* Lunar Vacation - Where is Everyone
* Lake Haze - Atomic Level
* Habibi - Nice Try
* Nothing - The Great Dismal B-Sides
* UNIIQU3 - Heartbeats
* Billy Bragg - Mid-Century Modern
* Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Local H - Local H's Awesome Quarantine Mixtape #3 (Covers galore!)

Also out:

* Guilty Simpson and Gensu Dean - EGO
* Laurel Premo - Golden Loam
* Taraka - Paradise Lost
* JOHN (TIMESTWO) - Nocturnal Manoeuvres
* Merzbow - Flare Blues
* Eddie Spaghetti and Frank Meyer - Motherfuckin' Rock 'n' Roll

Silverbacks - "Archive Material"

Photo by Roisin Murphy O'Sullivan

Hailing from Dublin, Silverbacks have a unique take on the whole indie rock sound. "Archive Material" has kind of a post punk vibe, albeit an unusually sunny and groovy one. Plus, vocalist and guitarist Daniel O'Kelly has a very Stephen Malkmus sound to his delivery, giving this a Pavement goes post punk feel. And they even throw in some gang vocals, so it has a very cheery and friendly punk thing going on that mixes oddly with some 70's AM radio melodies. It's all an interesting and unique mix that is well worth your two and a half minute listen.

Daniel O'Kelly says of the new song:

“The initial demo version started from a drum sample taken from the opening of Jean-Pierre Massiera’s “Bonne Annee”. When we fleshed it out as a full band and Gary gave the track his usual kick up the arse, the song went full Les Baxter exotica mode.

"When writing the lyrics, I imagined a bunch of government officials in the deep underground of their building digging into archives. As the night continues, they get unusually aroused by the access they have to top secret information that the common folk never see.”

You can watch the video for "Archive Material" below. Archive Material, the album, is due out January 21 on Full Time Hobby. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Silverbacks, check out the band's website.

Abby Huston featuring Not Kevin - "Unrequited"

Photo by Ryan Gary

As the indie R&B genre seems to be heating up, you're going to want to check out Richmond, VA's Abby Huston. Their latest song, "Unrequited," is an almost painfully chill track that skirts the ground between indie folk/rock and R&B, which is a line I didn't even know existed. As someone who grew up on late 80's/early 90's R&B and hip hop before moving to indie rock, "Unrequited" kind of presses some buttons I had forgotten about. It reminds me a lot of a less polished (in a good way!) Faye Webster. Huston brings a decidedly bedroom feel to this song, which comes across like a secret Janet Jackson project.

Abby Huston explains their new song in a press release:

"This song is about the end of a relationship when you're not really sure how you feel about each other anymore. You're trying to settle in the new territory of separation lovingly while dealing with a lot of mixed emotions. I think it was easy for me to write about accommodations through changes because I often ask for them or like for them to be asked for. A good friend emphasized the importance of understanding each other's "wants, needs, and boundaries" so that's something I try to remember to prioritize centering. Unrequited kinda covers the difficulties of checking in. Having Not Kevin as a feature on this song meant a lot to me because something consistent that I love about the music Cameron writes is its inspiring honesty. I don't have much more to say about this song except that I am ISO a friend to help diagnose a BMW 325es from 1986. I have very little experience other than my middle name being Danger which I think will better suit the situation post repair."

You can listen to "Unrequited" below. AH HA is due out October 22 on Egghunt Records. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on Abby Huston, check out the artist's Instagram and Facebook.