Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Cheap Cassettes - "She Ain't Nothin' Like You"

Coming out of Seattle, The Cheap Cassettes are a band out of time. Their latest single proves this since "She Ain't Nothin' Like You" sounds like it should have been released around fifty years ago. The song is pure, vintage Cheap Trick/Big Star style power pop. It doesn't sound like anything from this century. This is the kind of song you'd hear a snippet of as part of a late night TV commercial for old timey compilation CDs. "She Ain't Nothing Like You" is a glorious throwback to a time most of us have only experienced through pop culture.

You can listen to "She Ain't Nothing Like You" below. The song is available as a single with the B-side "Cold Sundays" now via Rum Bar Records. You can get a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on The Cheap Cassettes, check out the band's Facebook.

Sun June - "Easy"

Photo by Santiago Dietche

Austin, TX's Sun June have an expanded version of their 2021 album Somewhere coming out in January and have released the first bonus track from that release. "Easy" fits perfectly with the band's excellent album. It's a light, breezy track that fits into the space between indie rock, dream pop, and folk perfectly. Fans of all three genres could make a case that Sun June are theirs, but a song like "Easy" belongs to them all. It's the kind of song you're going to want to pull out during the summer. It's such a wonderfully laid back track that deserves to be listened to driving around or hanging out on a porch when the weather is much kinder outside.

Laura Colwell says of the new song:

“‘Easy’ is a romantic struggle song. It’s about love and partnership and longstanding arguments that are hard to get past. We started working on it after quarantine was lifted. Everyone had been cloistered alone for months, so frustration was easy to tap into. At the same time, it was joyous and cathartic to play together again, so the song came out upbeat and optimistic too. We loved getting to return to Good Danny’s studio to record—it was easy to find the sounds we wanted and get back into the Somewhere vibe.”

You can watch the video for "Easy" below. Somewhere + 3 is due out January 14 on Run for Cover. For more on Sun June, check out the band's website.

The Centaurettes - "Trust Fund Tree"

St. Louis based band The Centaurettes are a trio made up of three queer members and two people of color. All three are vocalists, and they have branded their take on punk "pastel punk." While that does convey the warmness of their music, it ignores the absolute power behind it. Their latest single, "Trust Fund Tree," is this amazingly powerful loud/quiet/loud burst of punk. It is filled with this giant and loud guitar, vocals that will melt your face off, and more venom than you thought possible. If I'm going to do the music journalist thing and make a clever comparison, it would be Nirvana and the Melvins meets Mannequin Pussy.

Bianca Maldonado says of the new single:

"Trust Fund Tree is an ode to putting yourself first, even when it hurts. It recalls my youth of being trapped by controlling family and crushing expectations dangled on strings of generational wealth. I chose to break away and carve a path of my own happiness, even though it meant stripping myself of every hand-out that comes along with the blood-money-funded cookie-cutter lifestyle. It reminds me that I fight for passion, self-expression and freedom over capitalist convenience."

You can listen to "Trust Fund Tree" below. For more on The Centaurettes, check out the band on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 19 November

Artist: Weakened Friends
Album: Quitter
Quick Thoughts: Ah, Weakened Friends. No local/regional act has gotten better and better over time than this band, and while their debut album was a favorite in these parts, this new record is somehow even better. Song after song after song is an absolute winner, and the extra polish is just icing on an already delicious cake. I say "this should be their breakthrough" a lot, but this should really put this band on the map. An absolutely stellar release, and I'm interested in seeing how many year-end lists this ends up on.
Songs of Note: "Bargain Bin," "Quitter," "Everything is Better," "Tunnels"

Artist: Yucky Duster
Album: III
Quick Thoughts: Yucky Duster is another underrated band that I really enjoy and doesn't get enough love. This final, posthumous collection of indie rock tracks keeps the band on the trajectory they've been on for some time, and the songs are still peppy and fun and sound unlike a lot of the indie stuff out there at present. It's too bad they're all done.
Songs of Note: "Grump," "Very Good Day"

Artist: Ladyhawke
Album: Time Flies
Quick Thoughts: Ladyhawke had one of my favorite albums of a few years back, and this follow-up is a long time coming and was ultimately worth the wait. This album leans more into the pop territory, with some sharp melodies and some interesting swerves you might not have expected given her previous output. In total, however, this is an album worth hearing and one of my favorites this week.
Songs of Note: "Think About You," "My Love," "Mixed Emotions," "Reactor," "Walk Away"

Of note:

* Allison Lorenzen - Tender (Often-gorgeous layered folk music.)
* Bruisey Peets - Poached Eggs (Often a surprising listen, worth the time.)
* Deap Vally - Marriage (Lots of great moments here.)
* Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raise the Roof (Not as great as their first effort, but still solid.)
* HOO - We Shall Never Speak
* Mr Twin Sister - Al Mundo Azul
* Jedi Mind Tricks - The Funeral and the Raven
* Elbow - Flying Dream 1
* BT - Metaversal
* Converge and Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I
* Sarah Davachi and Sean McCann - Mother of Pearl
* Mapache - 3
* Willie Nelson - The Willie Nelson Family
* Apollo Brown and Stalley - Blacklight
* Pageant Boys - Haunted
* Annie Booth - Lazybody
* Fine Place - This New Heaven
* OSS (The Orb) - Enter the Kettle
* Matt Patershuk - An Honest Effort


* Potty Mouth - 1% Happier (Farewell EP from a band that should have been huge.)
* Ultramarine - Interiors
* Greer - Happy People
* Bill Laurance - Zeal EP
* Donatachi -
* Blawan - Woke Up Right Handed
* Layzi - What's Left to Lose
* K.Flay - Outside Voices
* Natalie Bergman - Keep Those Teardrops from Falling
* Papercuts - Baxter's Bliss EP
* Mandy, Indiana - ...
* Chartreuse - Is It Autumn Already?
* Sean Nelson - Holster
* Shutups - Six
* Girls Rituals - Cow
* Justin Golden - Idle Hands EP

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Cassandra Jenkins - (An Overview on) An Overview on Phenominal Nature (Demos and outtakes from her recent album.)
* Brian Wilson - At My Piano (Does what it says on the tin.)
* Jessy Lanza - DJ-Kicks

Also out:

* The Darkness - Motorheart
* Jack and the Dull Boy - Failure in Three Parts

Remedy featuring Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Masta Killa, Solomon Childs, and Street Life - "Crazy 8's"

If you're a long time Wu-Tang Clan fan, it's going to be impossible to not like the latest from Remedy. The Wu-Tang affiliated rapper's latest single, "Crazy 8's," sounds like late 90's Wu-Tang, plus it features a cast of seven guest MCs that include Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, and Cappadonna. This literally sounds like a lost song from Wu-Tang Forever. It has that same gigantic cinematic feel with the classic kung fu samples from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). All that being said, "Crazy 8's" doesn't feel like a nostalgia fest or a throwback. Something about it still feels current and modern.

You can watch the video for "Crazy 8's" below. Remedy Meets Wu-Tang is due out November 26. For more on Remedy, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Yard Act - "Payday"

Photo by James Brown

Hailing from Leeds, Yard Act are threatening to become the next huge thing out of England. The band's new single, "Payday," imagines a bizarre world where Blur skipped out on the whole Britpop thing around the time of Parklife to become an experimental post punk band that also was really into funk. Needless to say, "Payday" has a wonderfully unique sound with buzzing and swirling guitars and all sorts of odd little twists and turns. We've been late to jump on this bandwagon, so you're going to want to jump on and join us ASAP.

Singer James Smith says of the new song:

‘Payday’ was one of the few tracks on the record we had to rebuild completely in the studio because the first demo was recorded on my computer and the hard drive corrupted. We spent about TWO hours trying to figure out that stupid keyboard part I'd put on it and couldn't remember how to play. It was boring but worth it. It's about gentrification, class fetish and how the human brain is so powerful that with enough time and processing power combined it will be able to justify, defend and/or continue to commit the actions of any human being it controls.

You can watch the video for "Payday" below. The Overload is due out January 21 on Island Records. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Yard Act, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

6 Jan | Pryzm, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK11 Jan | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK – SOLD OUT12 Jan | Rough Trade, Bristol, UK13  Jan | Rough Trade East, London, UK – SOLD OUT19-22 Jan | Eurosonic, Groningen, NL 2 Feb | L’Aéronef, Lille, FR3 Feb | Trix, Borgorhaut, BE4 Feb | Paradiso Kleine Zaal, Amsterdam, NL5 Feb | Molotow, Hamburg, DE6 Feb | Stengade, Copenhagen, DK7 Feb | Plan B, Malmö, SE9 Feb | Badehaus, Berlin, DE10 Feb | Blue Shell, Cologne, DE11 Feb | Rotondes, Luxembourg, LU12 Feb | La Boule Noire, Paris, FR 17 Feb | Village Underground, London, UK – SOLD OUT18 Feb | Patterns, Brighton, UK – SOLD OUT19 Feb | The Joiners, Southampton, UK – SOLD OUT21 Feb | Exchange, Bristol, UK – SOLD OUT22 Feb | Clwb Ifor Bach, UK Cardiff23 Feb | Bodega Social, Nottingham, UK – SOLD OUT24 Feb | The White Hotel, Salford, UK – SOLD OUT25 Feb | The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, UK – SOLD OUT26 Feb | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK – SOLD OUT1 Mar | The Cluny, Newcastle, UK – SOLD OUT2 Mar | The Caves, Edinburgh, UK3 Mar | Mono, Glasgow, UK4 Mar | Whelans, Dublin, IE14 Mar – 20 Mar | SXSW, Austin, US 22 Mar | Union Pool, Brooklyn, US 23 Mar | Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, US24 Mar | TV Eye, Queens, US25 Mar | The Sinclair, Boston, US27 Mar | The Garrison, Toronto, CA29 Mar | Sleeping Village, Chicago, US-------- 5 Apr | Earth, London, UK15 Apr | The Casbah, San Diego, US18 Apr | The Crocodile, Seattle, US19 Apr | Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, US 21 Apr | Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, US11 May | Trinity, Bristol, UK18 May | Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK19 May | Zanzibar, Liverpool, UK20 May | Irish Centre, Leeds, UK21 May | Band on the Wall, Manchester, UK22 May | The Foundry, Sheffield, UK26 May | O2 Academy, Leicester, UK27 May | Arts Centre, Norwich, UK 5-7 Aug | Off Festival, Katowice, PL9-13 Aug | Oya Festival, Oslo, NL24 Nov | O2 Academy, Leeds 25 Nov | O2 Ritz, Manchester

Alison Clancy - "Mutant Gifts"

Photo by Esteban Haga

Alison Clancy moved from California to New York City with the dream of becoming a dancer. She became a dancer with The Metropolitan Opera, becoming a dance soloist in early 2020 for Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer. When the Met was forced to shut down in March, Clancy was introduced to Father Graeme Napier of St. John's Church in the West Village. She was invited to live on the church campus as an artist in residence, and recorded an EP as part of the project. The first song off that EP, "Mutant Gifts," features Clancy on vocals and electric guitar accompanied by cellist Brent Arnold. The song is an eight and a half minute epic that meanders its way around inside your brain. At times it's completely experimental, and at others almost mainstream. It's going to remind you of some of the members of Sonic Youth's more out there solo work, but with one foot planted in traditional song structure... at times. There are moments of the song where it is strikingly lovely, and others that will rattle you. And that's why you need to check it out.

You can watch the video for "Mutant Gifts" below. Mutant Gifts - Live at St. John's is due out January 14 on Independent Project Records. For more on Alison Clancy, check out the artist's website.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Live Shows: Weakened Friends, Rebuilder, and Oldsoul, O'Brien's Pub, Allston, MA 11/20/21

It was three years almost to the day since I had last seen Weakened Friends. That's a long time to not see one of your favorite bands, especially when they're fairly local. When the band announced a two night stand at the tiny O'Brien's Pub, I knew I had to go, especially seeing as they hand picked their openers which are a who's who of Boston indie rock right now.

First up was Oldsoul. This is a band I'm wasn't that familiar with. I saw their name on multiple bills I wanted to go to, but never quite make it. As this show got closer, I listened to them on Spotify a bit. I enjoyed them, but nothing prepared me for their live show. Oldsoul on record is a pretty tame indie rock band with some strong pop sensibilities. Live they are an absolute beast of a band. They played far heavier than I could ever have expected them to, especially since I think I have been confusing them with another band that leans a little folkier than they are. This was pure indie rock fury with a punk edge, but still with that pop sensibility they have on record. Oldsoul are one of the better live show discoveries I've made in years, so expect to see a lot more of them around here in the future.

Rebuilder was next, and I wasn't really looking forward to them. I saw them opening for The Dead Milkmen once, and just didn't get into them. They weren't a bad band, just a little too straight up pop punk for my personal taste. I knew seeing them at O'Brien's in an opening slot was a Big Deal, though. Two months ago they headlined the much bigger Sinclair (The Sinclair has a capacity of 525, O'Brien's is 75), and they have their own two night stand coming up at O'Brien's for New Year's Eve. On Saturday night they completely won me over as a fan. Maybe they've grown as a band since that night, or maybe I've just been in a more open mood since live music has come back. Either way, their brand of pop punk seems doesn't have that quality that makes me feel old. No, Rebuilder are making pop punk for adults these days. It was all the fun of pop punk, and maybe even emo. They played a high energy set that was absurdly fun. Even if you're a crusty middle aged indie rock snob, you need to check this band out.

Weakened Friends just released a killer album that is wreaking havoc on journalist's year end lists as we speak. It's a little more pop than we've heard from them in the past, but in the best possible way. When played live these songs were an absolute revelation. They played ten out of the album's eleven tracks, with another eight coming from previous releases. Saturday night these songs became giant rock songs played with an energy and joy that you could feel pouring off the stage. This was a noisy, loud rock show with the trio playing in that perfect mix of loose and tight that you want from an indie rock band. Brand new songs like "Quitter" and "Spew" got the same intense love as old favorites like "95" and "Main Bitch." The old songs may have gotten a better initial reaction as they started, but we've only known some of these new ones for maybe thirty six hours at that point. This was a band playing in front of die hard fans for the first time in a long, long time. It may have been the most fun night of live music I've had since this whole mess started back in March 2020.

Che Noir - "Praises"

Photo via Facebook

I'm pretty sure this is the first hip hop we've brought you from Buffalo, NY, but we're thrilled to help you discover Che Noir. "Praises" has this ultra laid back feel to the song that still has some underlying intensity, like a next generation Snoop Dogg, especially in the chorus. The "Shea Butter Queen" has this flow that's feels like a warm embrace. It's closer to listening to a close friend tell a story than it is listening to a performer. Plus, the stripped back instrumentation has a hypnotic quality that makes you pay even closer attention to "Praises." This is the kind of song that is not only going to have you diving into Che Noir's 2020 release As God Intended but the entire Buffalo hip hop scene.

You can listen to "Praises" below. Food for Thought is due out on December 17. For more on Che Noir, check out the artist's website.

David Wax Museum - "Love Light"

Photo by Tristan Williams

No other artist out there tweaks their sound album to album quite like David Wax Museum does. It feels like they've been cranking out new music lately, all without sounding anything like the previous release. The band has a new single out, and "Love Light" continues the band's constant evolution. Gone is the electronic adjacent sounds they've been playing with before. In it's place David Wax Museum are dipping into a chilled out folk version of neo-soul. This is a perfect direction for the band to take, with the warm sounds of their music mixing perfectly with this style. As honeyed as the majority of vocals and instruments are in "Love Light," the one exception is the fiddle which cuts into the song with a harsh swoop. We get excited for every release from David Wax Museum, but this upcoming one feels a little extra special.

You can listen to "Love Light" below. Remember My Future is due out December 31. For now you can get the single over at Bandcamp. For more on David Wax Museum, check out the band's website.

Friday, November 19, 2021

A Place to Bury Strangers - "Let's See Each Other"

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

A Place to Bury Strangers have been masters of huge, loud, noisy rock for over a decade now, but they still find ways to surprise. Their new single, "Let's See Each Other," is still loud and discordant as hell, but instead of a giant rock song it seems more electronic than standard rock. The song is a giant swirling concoction of noise rock and experimental electronic sounding like Aphex Twin decided to rock out while still not leaving his couch. This is the kind of music for those of us who haven't been posting obsessively about Taylor Swift for the past week. If you want your rock huge and aggressive with plenty of psychedelia and electronic elements, check out "Let's See Each Other."

You can watch the video for "Let's See Each Other" below. See Through You is due out February 4 on Dedstrange. You can pre-order the album here. For more on A Place to Bury Strangers, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Mon. January 31 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd #
Tue. February 1 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s #
Wed. February 2 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz #
Fri. February 4 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace #
Sat. February 5 - Detroit, MI @ El Club #
Sun. February 6 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mon. February 7 - Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club #
Tue. February 8 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave. 7th Street Entry #
Fri. February 11 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos %
Sat. February 12 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios %
Sun. February 13 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre %
Tue. February 15 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel %
Wed. February 16 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom %
Fri. February 18 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar %
Sat. February 19 - Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress %
Tue. February 22 - Denver, CO @  Larimer Lounge %
Wed. February 23 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck %
Fri. February 25 - Nashville, TN @ The High Watt %
Sat. February 26 - Atlanta, GA @ 529 %
Sun. February 27 - Chapel Hill, ND @ Cat’s Cradle
Fri. March 4 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg !
Wed. March 9 - Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang &
Thu. March 10 - Dresden, DE @ Beatpol &
Fri. March 11 - Warsaw, PL @ Klub Poglos &
Sat. March 12 - Prague, CZ @ Futurum &
Sun. March 13 - Bratislava, SK @ Randal Club &
Mon. March 14 - Budapest, HU @ Durer Kert &
Wed. March 16 - Bucharest, RO @ Control Club ^
Thu. March 17 - Sofia, BG @ Mixtape5 ^
Fri. March 18 - Thessaloniki, GR @ Eightball ^
Sat. March 19 - Athens, GR @ Temple ^
Mon. March 21 - Skopje, MK @ 25th of May Hall ^
Tue. March 22 - Belgrade, RS @ Club Drugstore ^
Thu. March 24 -  Zagreb, HR @ Mochvara ^
Fri. March 25 - Bologna, IT @ Freakout Club ^
Sat. March 26 - Rome, IT @ Largo ^
Sun. March 27 - Milan, IT @ Legend Club ^
Tue. March 29 - Zurich, CH @ Bogen F ^
Wed. March 30 - Munich, DE @ Backstage ^
Thu. March 31 - Martigny, CH @ Caves Du Memoir
Fri. April 1 - Paris, FR @ La Trabendo *
Sat. April 2 - London, UK @ Lafayette *
Mon. April 4 - Antwerp, BE @ Kavka *
Tue. April 5 - Munster, DE @ Gleis 22 *
Wed. April 6 - Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg *
Thu. April 7 - Groningen, NL @ Vera *
Sat. April 9 - Stockholm, SE @ Hus 7 *
Sun. April 10 - Oslo, NO @ John Dee *
Mon. April 11 - Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset *
Tue. April 12 - Berlin, DE @ Hole 44 *
Wed. April 13 - Cologne, DE @ MTC *
# with Glove
% with TV Priest
& with Jealous
^ with Plattenbau
* with Lunacy
! with Native Sun, GIFT

The Forms - "All Souls Day"

Photo by Noah Kalina

There's a certain segment of the population will listen to anything if they hear the name "Steve Albini," and I'm definitely one of those. Queens, NY's The Forms enlisted Albini to record some music which includes their new single "All Souls Day." The new song is about as far away from traditional rock as you can get. Most of the song is built around bass steel pan, and also include tack piano, rhodes, and hammond organ. The result is this hypnotic song with lyrics that sound quietly chanted in a way that feels like you're hearing some kind of ceremony happening in the next room. The song has an intensely personal vibe even at the larger parts. The Forms have created this unique sound that you need to check out.

Alex Tween of The Forms says of the new song:

"The 'soul' of our song 'All Souls Day' is the bass steel pan, a deep sonorous mysterious magical musical instrument we had never heard before that sounds ancient and futuristic all at once. Layered upon that is a tack piano, rhodes, and hammond organ while the vocals were recorded at a church in Rockaway, and the result is a strange dark meditative soundscape of a quiet apocalypse. We decided to release the song on the actual All Souls fact our entire release calendar was based upon that happening. The song is a wild mood swing after [the previous two singles] Head Underwater and Southern Ocean which were upbeat colorful freak pop songs. We don't know what kind of song All Souls Day is - but it's definitely in the vein of a doomy zeitgeist, which is leaned into by the song's video, in which we play the song in an isolated field in the middle of the Catskill Mountains, and over the course of the day seem to conjure forces that come alive by night as the surrounding goldenrod and spiders look on."

You can watch the video for "All Souls Day" below. The Forms have an album due out in 2022. Details will be forthcoming. For more on The Forms, check out the band's Facebook.

Friday Freebie: J.PERIOD Presents The Live Mixtape: Blastmaster Edition

Brooklyn's J.PERIOD has been releasing some killer mixtapes for a while now, and his latest is a must listen to classic hip hop fans. J.PERIOD Presents The Live Mixtape: Blastmaster Edition is a tribute to hip hop legend KRS-One. It features classics from KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions in one mixtape. You get immortal songs like "Sound of the Police," "The Bridge is Over," "I'm Still #1," and "Black Cop," along with some forgotten classics like "Stop the Violence," along with exclusive remixes of songs like "Subliminal Minded." This mixtape is a must have for classic hip hop and KRS-One fans.

You can listen to J.PERIOD Presents The Live Mixtape: Blastmaster Edition below. The mixtape can be downloaded for the "name your price" option over at Bandcamp. For more on J.PERIOD, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Perennial - "Tooth Plus Claw"

Photo by Omari Spears

Connecticut's Perennial have released a new song off their upcoming album, and if you're into noisy punk, you need to check this one out. "Tooth Plus Claw" is a loud, driving punk song. It has just enough structure and melody to not be considered noise punk, but just barely. It has the ferocity of a band like Lightning Bolt, but it's something you can sing (ok, scream) along to. Despite the ferocity and volume, Perennial are a fun band. This is loud in your face punk rock that actually has some song structure, as loose as it might be.

You can listen to "Tooth Plus Claw" below. In the Midnight Hour is due out January 1 and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. For more on Perennial, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Momma - "Medicine"

Photo by Cooper Winterson

New York's Momma recently signed to Polyvinyl Record Co. and released their first single on their new label. "Medicine" has a great mid-90's alternative rock vibe. It's the kind of sound that was edgy at the time and would never have been considered pop, but by 2021 standards is poppy as hell. "Medicine" is fuzzy guitars mixed with vocal harmonies like the early releases of bands like Veruca Salt or that dog. This is the kind of song that is going to make you completely nostalgic for your college days, until you realize that Momma probably considers their sound "retro."

In a press release, Momma says of their new song:

“The two guitar riffs were written by Etta and Allegra about a year before we actually brought it to the full band. When we wrote the first verse, we realized it was one of the first times we couldn’t write about heartbreak - we were both in very loving relationships. We wanted to write about that feeling of just being addicted to someone, and how someone else’s company can really feel like a drug.” 

You can watch the video for "Medicine" below. The song is available now as a single via Polyvinyl Record Co. in the North America and Lucky Number Music everywhere else. You can get a copy of the song here. For more on Momma, check out the band's Twitter and Facebook. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

12/16 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon %
2/24 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground $
2/25 - Portsmouth, NH - 3S Artspace $ 
2/26 - Hamden, CT - Space Ballroom $
% w/ Model/Actriz
$ w/ Sunflower Bean

Sweeping Promises - "Pain Without a Touch"

We didn't discover Sweeping Promises' fantastic 2020 album Hunger for a Way Out until a few months ago, so we haven't been waiting for too long to hear new music. The band based out of Lawrence, KS just signed to Sub Pop for their latest single! "Pain Without a Touch" is a perfect song to follow Hunger for a Way Out. It's this absurdly dance-friendly version of post punk. If anything, this could be post pop punk. It has all the groove and edge of traditional post punk, but post punk usually isn't this fun and accessible. If you haven't entered into Sweeping Promises fandom yet, this is a perfect jumping on point.

You can listen to "Pain Without a Touch" below. The song is available as a single via Feel It Records and Sub Pop. You can get a copy at Bandcamp. For more on Sweeping Promises, check out the band's Instagram.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Allison & Moon - "ABBA Gold"

It's been a little over a year since we last brought you anything from Allison & Moon. The Boston band just released a new single, and "ABBA Gold" is an instant classic. It's an impossibly upbeat song that takes everything wonderful about emo, amps it up, and gives it an ABBA-like disco sheen. You're going to find it utterly impossible not to bounce around just a little bit in your office chair as you listen to this one. "ABBA Gold" is fast guitar based rock that is going to make you want to bop around and dance. And as with any truly great song this upbeat, it disguises a ton of heartbreak and sadness. 

You ca watch the video for "ABBA Gold" below. The song is available on Allison & Moon's Bandcamp. For more on Allison & Moon, check out the band's website.

hex gf - "Knife"

hex gf is the new band featuring Justine Bowe of Photocomfort and her friend Sam, both of Magic Man. (Sorry, only have a Facebook post to go to for information...) The band has released their debut single, "Knife." hex gf is different from Photocomfort, but fans of Bowe's other musical project are going to find plenty to love here. "Knife" is an upbeat alt-dance track. It melds that line perfectly between pop and rock so that it's hard to discern what this song quite is. This might just be dance music for people that hate dance and rock for people that hate rock. Regardless, you're going to love "Knife," and we're going to be watching for whatever hex gf come out with next!

You can watch the video for "Knife" below. The song is available as a single via Better Company Records here. For more on hex gf, check out the band's Twitter and Instagram.

Horsegirl - "Billy"

Photo by Todd Fisher

Chicago's Horsegirl are quickly becoming our favorite band to make us feel old. The band formed in 2019 and the trio are all between the ages of seventeen and nineteen. They would have much more in common with our kids, but they make fantastic music. Horsegirl just signed to Matador and released a new single, "Billy." This might have been my new favorite sound in college. It's filled with fuzzy and crunchy guitars and three part harmonies. The song swirls around in this giant wave of sound that threatens to crash into you at all times without being even remotely aggressive. It's hard to believe that these are teenagers in 2021 making this kind of music and not something Matador found in their archives from 1994.

In a press release, Horsegirl discuss their new single:

There was a period of last year where the three of us spent every day together writing and recording. It was during this time, when we practically lived in Penelope’s basement, that ‘Billy’ was written. Penelope had recently read about Nick Drake's alternate tunings prompting her to detune her guitar, while Nora overlaid a rhythmic vocal line detailing the life of a fictional character, Billy. At the time, we had been listening to a lot of New Zealand underground bands (80’s/90’s Flying Nun). With that scrappiness in mind, we worked the rest of the song out through improvising together, and ‘Billy’ quickly fell into place."

You can watch the video for "Billy" below. The song is available as a single via Matador Records. You can pre-order the 7" which includes a cover of The Minutemen's "History Lesson Part 2" as a B-side here. For more on Horsegirl, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Wed. March 16 - Austin, TX @ SXSWThu. March 17 - Austin, TX @ SXSWSat. March 19 - Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCASun. March 20 - Washington, DC @ DC9Tue. March 22 - New York, NY @ Market Hotel

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 12 November 2021

Artist: Carissa Johnson
Album: Blue Hour
Quick Thoughts: We've been fans of Carissa Johnson here for a while, and this new album really seems to up the game a bit. It's a loud, brash slice of indie rock with hooks and melodies that stick in ways I didn't anticipate going in. This was one of the more anticipated listens for me this week, and it delivers in spades. One of the best of the week.
Songs of Note: "Wasting Dreams," "Running Uphill," "Merry Go Round," "Tourist," "The Outline"

Artist: Zuzu
Album: Queensway Tunnel
Quick Thoughts: I first caught wind of Zuzu with her 2016 debut single "Get Off," a song that remains an all-time favorite. Five years later, we get the debut album we've been waiting for, and it's solid. She knows how to make some catchy songs along with some great guitar work, and I'm overall pretty impressed with this debut. Keep an eye out for her.
Songs of Note: "Never Again," "Lie to Myself"

Artist: Polo & Pan
Album: Cyclorama
Quick Thoughts: This album hits that soft spot for electronic music so well, it's difficult to not smile listening to this one. It's upbeat and fun, which is really what music like this should be. Might not mesh for everyone, but this really did the trick for me.
Songs of Note: "Ani Kuni," "Melody"

Artist: Aesop Rock and Blockhead
Album: Garbology
Quick Thoughts: Aesop Rock was a relatively late discovery for me. Can't say why it took until my mid-30s to connect with him, but now I'd put him up there as one of my favorite rappers. This album, a collaboration with NY-area producer Blockhead (who was responsible for the beats on Aesop Rock's debut) is pitch-perfect. Both men seem like they're at their best here, and Blockhead (who did all the production for this specific effort) shows why he's probably an underrated hip-hop producer. Overall, love love love this.
Songs of Note: "Wolf Piss," "Legerdemain," "Flamingo Pink," "Oh Fudge," "All Day Breakfast," "That is Not a Wizard," "The Sea"

Artist: Kraków Loves Adana
Album: Follow the Voice
Quick Thoughts: Kraków Loves Adana has nearly 20 years of music under their belts, and their specific-yet-familiar brand of guiltar-driven synthwave is something I really dig. This latest album feels a little dark, but all in a good way, and if you're not on the bandwagon yet, this is a good a place as any to jump on.
Songs of Note: "Follow the Voice," "What Will Never Be," "See You Shout"

Artist: Kills Birds
Album: Married
Quick Thoughts: A quick note for the punkish alt-rockers Kills Birds, who offers a sophomore effort that rivals their debut. I hopped on board with "Worthy Girl" from their debut, and the new album is definitely more polished than the rawness of their first effort, but it's still hitting all the right notes. Don't miss out on this one.
Songs of Note: "Rabbit," "Cough Up Cherries"

Of note:

* Banoffee - Tear Tracks (Solid pop music.)
* Devon Hoff - Voices From the Empty Moor (The Songs of Anne Briggs) (Really haunting, gorgeous renditions for many of these.)
* The Kundalini Genie - Half In, Half Out (Might surprise you, nice retro feel.)
* IDLES - CRAWLER (A small style change, makes for an interesting listen.)
* Susanna Hoffs - Bright Lights (Cover songs galore!)
* Helm - Axis
* Sega Bodega - Romeo
* Gracie Abrams - This is What It Feels Like
* Claire Cronin - Bloodless
* NRBQ - Dragnet
* Courtney Barnett - Things Take Time, Take Time
* Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) - An Evening With Silk Sonic
* They Might Be Giants - BOOK
* Pip Blom - Welcome Break


* Georgia - Seeking Thrills After Hours
* Snarls - What About Flowers?
* Arc - Middle Ground
* Sneaker Pimps - Rework Collection 2
* BOTB Music and IV - Synergy
* Lee Ranaldo - In Virus Times
* Billie Marten - Acoustic
* The Underground Youth and Laura Carbone - In Dreams
* Betta Lemme - Ready for the Weekend EP
* Kofi the Spiderman - February 21
* Queen of Jeans - Covers EP
* Holly Humberstone - The Walls Are Way Too Thin

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues/Christmas:

* Taylor Swift - Red (Taylor's Version) (Jake Gyllenhaal hardest hit.)
* Speedy Ortiz - The Death of Speedy Ortiz and Cop Kicker ...Forever (Reissue of Sadie Dupuis's initial solo Speedy Ortiz demos.)
* Various Artists - Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal
* The Mountain Goats - The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 3 and 4
* Kylie Minogue - DISCO: Guest List Edition
* Amanda Shires - For Christmas

Also out:

* Joell Ortiz - Autograph
* Gov't Mule - Heavy Loan Blues
* Dave Gahan and Soulsavers - Imposter
* Irreversible Entanglements
* Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows