Monday, May 16, 2022

Spring Summer - "Mountaineer"

Photo by Mia Kirby

Spring Summer is the musical project of San Francisco based artist Jennifer Furches, who you might know from films like The Darjeeling Limited and Fasntastic Mr. Fox, as well as her time in Coconut Records. Her latest single, "Mountaineer," is that kind of alt-rock singer/songwriter sound we got in the mid-90's if musicians then embraced synths. It's a mid-tempo rock song that feels like it's going to erupt at any moment but never quite does. By defying that expectation, "Mountaineer" remains a completely lovely and personal song you won't be able to resist.

Jennifer Furches says of the new song:

“There’s a running theme on the album of losing yourself in another person, and this song is about the push-and-pull between the feeling of ‘I would do anything for you’ and ‘I can’t do anything for you, I need to be strong and do things for me.'"

You can watch the video for "Mountaineer" below. T.E.A.R.S is due out July 15. For more on Spring Summer, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

7/19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Airliner
7/20 - San Francisco, CA - Amado
7/26 - New York, NY - Berlin
7/28 - Chapel Hill, NC - Cat’s Cradle Back Room

Ex-Hyena - "Fractured"

Boston dark electronic duo Ex-Hyena just released "Fractured," a song that amplifies the dark side of their sound. It's a slow song that is just dripping with a sense of dread. If this was being played in the chill out room of a rave back in the day, it would be an ominous hint that it was time to leave. That's not to say that "Fractured" is a negative listen. What truly keeps the song sounding unique is how often the song morphs into a completely different sound while keeping it a cohesive unit. It builds by adding layers and removing layers with the listener hardly noticing. Ex-Hyena have their own sound, especially in the realm of the Boston music scene.

You can listen to "Fractured" below. Moon Reflections is due out June 24 on Hush Club Ltd. and Brutal Resonance Records. For more on Ex-Hyena, check out the artist on Facebook and Instagram.

Winter Wolf - "Blue Lights"

New York/New Jersey's Winter Wolf list their influences as Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Motorhead, and Biohazard. (It's rare that I know I'll like a band just based on influences, but...) The trio's latest single, "Blue Lights," is about police brutality, summer protests, and the riots during the 2020 pandemic. It's a heavy and loud perfect mixture of punk and metal (they nail that middle ground like no other band since Motorhead), but add a surprisingly strong groove to the song as well. There is an unexpected soul influence in the song while still being hard as hell. Jehiel Winters (bass/vocals" calls their sound Harlem Rhythm Punk. "Blue Lights" is the kind of song that is going to have you leaping to get on the Winter Wolf bandwagon sooner than later

You can listen to "Blue Lights" below. Winter Wolf's debut EP is due out July 2 on Academic Punk Records. For more on Winter Wolf, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, May 13, 2022

An Interview with Tysk Tysk Task

Photo via Tysk Tysk Task

I've been a huge fan of Tysk Tysk Task ever since I stumbled on their music a little over two years ago. Their music has this amazing blend of completely raw emotion and noise mixed with an unexpected beauty that connects with me on a deep level. Last month the duo released "Colors," which has become one of my favorite songs of the year. They've also launched a Kickstarter to fund their next album (
). You can pre-order the album, get some original artwork from Samantha Hartsel, and even hang out with the band at their practice space. I took this as a chance to reach out to Samantha and Danni Gannon via email to ask some questions about their upcoming album!

Q: At one point, it looked like Tysk Tysk Task might be done as a band. Obviously, we're thrilled you're still around. What made you revisit making music as Tysk Tysk Task?

S: I wouldn’t say I revisited it - Tysk Tysk Task’s music never stopped. There were some personal issues that developed between myself and my co-songwriter Kyle Cuneo. He had taken over for our previous drummer after she opted for a more corporate path and wanted to focus on a new job. When he stopped coming to practices, myself and friends continued to practice the songs with the hope that, if there would ever come a time for a post-pandemic world, we’d be ready to play out again. We auditioned some new players but the band really picked up steam again last summer when a mutual friend connected me with Danni. 

D: For me, the last few years have been tough personally, but I always knew I would get back out to doing what I love. I actually sustained an injury to my thumb while skiing and I could not play for many months. I thought I would never play again. It healed though, and my partner at the time sent me a link to an Insta ad from Samantha seeking a percussionist. I took a listen to a couple of songs and then responded right back. The rest is history.

S: Thankful always to Penelope (Alizarin), fabulous frontwoman of the one-woman project Stems in Worcester, for connecting us. Danni was really the one who made me realize the songs could continue, and should continue, maybe with a shift in vibe. She brought new perspective and focus to the project, while still loving the spooky woodland slumber horrorshow vibe I cultivated in TTT previously, with members rocking antlers during shows and creating shrine-like merch box set ups. I’m forever grateful for Danni’s enthusiasm and feel like I found a true sister. 

Q: Your latest single, "Colors," has a much heavier/grungier sound than your previous releases. What inspired that change, and is that the direction of the upcoming album?

S: Absolutely, that’s the direction of the next album and of the band going forward. Clearly, there’s been a lot of personal upheaval in the band and that’s absolutely related to the times we’re living in. I don’t think you can make happy music in a worldwide pandemic, especially with a tyrant like Trump at the helm to kick it all off. It didn’t feel right to craft soft love ballads like Lovers’ Covers or even lighter songs like Men of the Century from the first record in this time period. Instead, we started working on songs like “Pounding Sand” and “Flies,” coming out soon, based on that thing that happens when flies fill your house because you’re too depressed amid a Covid lockdown to take your garbage out. You know, stuff we can all related to now, hahaha.

S (continued): I’ll also say that I’ve always loved grunge rock bands and adore especially early PJ Harvey, early Yeah Yeah Yeahs’, thrashing Steve Albini drums and soul-crushing growls into a microphone; Danni is an amazing force who helped bring that out with the power she brings to her drumming.

D: I've been getting more into the heavy side of punk, for sure. This is the direction of the next album, but we have some things in the works too that will bring even more of a slightly different sound. 

Q: You're playing a ton of shows this summer. I think the current total is seven? Who are you really looking forward to playing with, and who are you hoping to play with in the New England area?

D: We do have a bunch of shows booked but we are being mindful also of where we are at in this world - there's an airborne virus to be cognizant of, and at least Samantha and I test frequently, isolate to really only hang with each other and our family members, and put our masks back on as soon as we get off stage. So as long as we are healthy, unexposed, and these shows go on, I am looking forward to playing with Eye Witness (7/15 at Hotel Vernon in Worcester). That show is going to be intimate and fun - we love that storied space. 

S: It's historic, too. So glad it didn’t close amid Covid and I believe it’s still the only place in Mass where you can get beers for $1? Babe Ruth used to party there and if you know the right bartender, you can get down to the basement to see the old speakeasy, and spot even the same urinal Babe pissed in. 

D: I mean, I definitely want to see that. And, I really want to play with more of our friends' bands who help us continue to all grow. Ellis (Roundy) has been a big part of our development, too. 

S: We are absolutely thrilled to have connected with The PAs, the Lowell-based psych rock noise band band formed out of the brilliant brain inside Ellis. He just graduated UML and he also runs the indie label Cursa Records. Ellis will serve as our engineer and producer of this next album, “You’re Sorry More,” based on a lyric from “Colors” that relates to my divorce. We met Ellis last fall when he  invited us to join a bill at Thirsty’s with the PA’s and The Freqs. It was our first show since the pandemic and it was an amazing night, first time Danni played with us publicly, too.

S (continued): Stoked that Ellis is going to be featured on the album as our bassist. We’re also actively auditioning bassists to join our fall tour and maybe the band full-time if the person is willing to make that commitment (so people can def contact us directly at to discuss). 

Q: Your band has a very specific vibe, from your album/single artwork to your practice space to your stage set up. How would you describe it?

D: We do have a pretty specific vibe, haha. I would describe it as nature meets grunge-meets-jazz-meets-shoe gaze-meets-rock? Kind of a lot going on but, that is the vibe and honestly, what brought me to start playing with Samantha and Tysk Tysk Task in the first place. 

D (continued): I’ll add that I am really looking forward to recording this entire album. We have put the work in and I feel we are bringing a new sound to the stage, the dynamics, the ebbs and flows of intensity on the whole. I am proud of this.

Q: Aside from music, what art has been inspiring you lately?

S: I have a couple of projects personally - composing music for my first-indie film project based out of Miami right now (“The Strawberry Jam,” written and directed by my cousin, Laura Lionetta of Lioness Films). I’ll be recording that with engineer Hadden Stemp, who is a lovely musician from the North Shore. My compositions for that film are piano-based so this summer, Hadden and I are going to record an EP of my piano songs. I started out in folk music initially in college as a one-woman show in the way of Amanda Palmer and Regina Spektor. Danni definitely helped me regain a lot of my confidence musically and her support means the world. I tell her all the time, she’s my muse now! And beyond that, I keep decorating our practice spaces like crazy because during the pandemic, I shifted my full-time work into slinging boho chic vintage furniture, peacock chairs and house plants and the like. If anyone’s interested in checking out my interior design curation, you can check out Bloom & Book (@bloomandbookma and Our music inspires the artsy spaces and the spaces inspire the music. It’s sort of a symbiotic loop.

D: Samantha’s stuff is amazing and I love our studio because of the ambience she brings to it. From the lights to the rugs and the furniture, she makes our practice room a space you want to sit in for hours while writinfg some trippy tunes. Our new songs “Forest Down” and “I”m In Your Ocean Now” are more psychedelic definitely because of that. For me, I’m not only a drummer but also a photographer. I love to take pictures of nature and sunrise and sunsets. I am also a producer who likes to create hip hop beats, but that’s another story. 

Kid Gulliver - "Nothing But Trouble"

Photo via Facebook

In a city full of great garage rock and power pop, Kid Gulliver remain one of Boston's finest purveyors. Their latest single, "Nothing But Trouble," is a throwback to both the 60's and 90's. It has that upbeat and groovy vibe of the 60's (especially the drums on this one) but a little of that 90's crunch to it. This is reminding me a lot of a band like Cheap Trick, but more like all of those power pop bands of the 90's that led to a Cheap Trick revival. Plus, the guitar is just a little more ferocious than you might expect in a song like this!

You can listen to "Nothing But Trouble" below. The song is available as a single via Red On Red Records, and can be found on Bandcamp. For more on Kid Gulliver, check out the band's Facebook.

Aunt Kelly - "Nurturing"

Photo by Georgia Smith

Chicago based queer power pop/rock trio Aunt Kelly's previous single, "Billboard Lady," was a power pop song heavy on piano. With their latest, "Nurturing," they're ramping up the rock without losing any of the pop hooks. While this new song might be a little heavier, it's still insanely catchy. The previous one reminded me of Ben Folds, but this one is more reminiscent of mid 90's alt-power pop bands. This is making me think of the pop side of Letters to Cleo with the ramshackle feel of The Gits. This song is a lot of fun, and has us even more excited about Aunt Kelly's musical range!

Kelly Hannemann says of her band's new song:

“I was in my first serious long-term relationship, and I think a lot of people have this idea before they get into a serious relationship, that they’re going to be so good at it and be an ideal partner. But then you meet someone and fall in love and it’s a surprise how much harder it is to really be there for someone.”

You can listen to "Nurturing" below. Remember is due out June 10. For more on Aunt Kelly, check out their Facebook.

Heather Maloney - "One Hundred Pennies"

We're not usually huge fans of live albums, but that might change with the upcoming release from Heather Maloney. The album was recorded in Maloney's hometown of Northampton, MA with a four piece string quartet. The first single, "One Hundred Pennies," is an absolutely gorgeous slice of folk/pop. While most official live releases have an overproduced feel or are just a little too rough to listen to more than once, this one is just about perfect. It sounds clean enough to have been recorded in a studio but keeps the energy of a live performance. Not to mention that "One Hundred Pennies" is one hell of a great song.

"One Hundred Pennies" recalls a time that Heather Maloney's single mother sent her to school with one hundred pennies to pay for lunch and was scolded by the lunch lady. As Maloney says:

“It’s a painful memory, but the song that came out of it isn’t just about shame and struggle. It’s also about a little girl bravely orienting herself in a scary new environment, a family discovering resiliency through struggle, a single mother working miracles, and most of all, what it feels like to dig up an old source of shame and watch it transform into a source of pride.”

You can listen to "One Hundred Pennies" below. No Shortcuts - Live at the Academy is due out on June 3rd via Signature Sounds. For more on Heather Maloney, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Street Trash Cover GG Allin

If you're going to be a New Hampshire punk band, by law you're required to cover GG Allin at some point. Brookline, NH's Street Trash chose to get that out of the way immediately with a cover of "Bite It You Scum." I'm a little too much of a weenie to truly be familiar with the original, but if you can picture a band called Street Trash covering GG Allin... this is pretty much what you'd expect. It's a glorious, trash punk mess in the best possible way. It's loud and noisy, but in that way where you know the band is playing like this intentionally. This is wonderfully dumb and loud punk, and sometimes you just need that.

You can listen to Street Trash's take on "Bite It You Scum" below. The song is currently available on the band's Bandcamp along with a cover of Fang's "The Money Will Roll Right In." For more on Street Trash, check out the band's Facebook.

Martha and the Muffins Cover The English Beat

"Save it for Later" is one of those songs that gets covered a lot, but just about every cover is an absolute blast, so we're not complaining. The latest comes from Martha and the Muffins. They had originally recorded their version in three days for possible inclusion in the show Sex Education. The producers weren't keen on the idea, which left Martha and the Muffins without a home for their cover. It's a fun cover of a fun song. They keep it pretty faithful to the original, except for a few fun extra flourishes, and it's a little folkier than the New Wave original. It's almost like a bizarro Elvis Costello and the Attractions version of the song.

You can watch the video for Martha and the Muffins' version of "Save it for Later" below. The song will be included on the Popguru/Confidence Emperors Coverama compilation which is due out May 20. For more on Martha and the Muffins, check out the band's website.

Say Sue Me - "No Real Place"

Photo by Lim So

South Korean surf-inspired band Say Sue Me are back with a new single before their album comes out tomorrow. "No Real Place" is this wonderfully dreamy alt-rock song with some hints of dream pop and shoegaze. As poppy and upbeat as the track is, it is just doused with fuzzy guitars that keep it from being too cheery. Plus, I had never quite heard the surf inspiration for Say Sue Me, but in the guitar solo on this one I can fully hear it. "No Real Place" is a hybrid of alt-rock, power pop, surf, and shoegaze, and if you think you need to hear that you have no idea how glorious this song truly is.

Vocalist/guitarist Sumi Choi says of the new song and video:

“There's been a lot of parting ways over the years. Spent a long time missing someone. And I usually walk..."I gained courage as I walked, and now I think I can overcome the sadness and fear of someone leaving. The illustration is a cat, which the video director uses as an allegory for the four band members drawn and coming together in the end.”

You can watch the video for "No Real Place" below. The Last Thing Left is due out May 13 on Damnably, and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on Say Sue Me, check out the band's website.

Lou Hazel - "Claude the Armadillo"

Photo by Lou Hazel

Lou Hazel (formerly known as Chris Frisina) has just released a new song that was original written by his uncle over forty years ago. "Claude the Armadillo" is a ramblin' type of country/folk song that may initially sound like it's fairly childish but has a very serious and adult message. Hazel first heard the song around a campfire, and that's exactly what the song sounds like. You'll probably regret hearing this for the first time in front of a computer, because I know I do. The classic pop/folk feel along with the sense of humor masking a serious topic is going to give you some Arlo Guthrie vibes.

Lou Hazel says of his new single:

"My Uncle Ralph Frisina wrote 'Claude the Armadillo' 40 years ago in 1981.The cold war was becoming a commonplace topic of dubious experts in mullets gathered around campfires. To set the scene, bad vibes between the West and the Soviet Union fostered Olympic boycotts and the Russian villain had become a pervasive, tired theme in every movie plot.

"To a young idealist, writing Claude was a prescription for anxiety while two of the world’s most powerful entities postured against one another. Did you know that when faced with adversity some armadillos just curl into a ball? This endearing, passive trait made Claude the ideal arbiter of peace and reason in a world gone mad.

"I heard about Claude the Armadillo for the first time around a campfire when I was 8 years old - mouth full of s’mores, and I’ve been looking for him ever since. Claude remains an old friend, a confidant who, as timely as ever, confronts us about the weapons we gather against one another without knowing how we’ll use them or what damage they’ll do."

You can watch the video for "Claude the Armadillo" below. The song is out now via Sleepy Cat Records. For more on Lou Hazel, check out the artist's Bandcamp.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Stella Donnelly - "Lungs"

Photo by Olivia Senior

Stella Donnelly is the latest indie/folk musician who has veered into a more pop territory, but with her it doesn't feel as out of left field. "Tricks" off of 2019's Beware of the Dogs almost edged into dance territory, but didn't quite make it. "Lungs" is a dance song, but it's still worlds away from the world of Top 40. This is more of an experimental and indie side of dance with at least one foot still planted firmly in the world of indie rock. It's oddly reminding me of when Radiohead first started playing in the world of electronic music, but if that was meant to be fun and not chin stroking music. 

Stella Donnelly says of the new song:

I do love observing human dynamics. Dynamics between old best friends, or dynamics between housemates, or a relationship where the two people are broken up and haven’t spoken in years. I like getting into the mind of someone who we’ve all been at some point.”

You can watch the video for "Lungs" below. Flood is due out on August 26 via Secretly Canadian, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Stella Donnelly, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Sun. Sept. 11 - San Diego, CA @ CasbahMon. Sept. 12 - Los Angeles, CA @ The FondaTue. Sept. 13 - San Francisco, CA @ IndependentThu. Sept. 15 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi StudiosFri. Sept. 16 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore CabaretSat. Sept. 17 - Seattle, WA @ NeumosWed. Sept. 21 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music CafeThu. Sept. 22 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln HallFri. Sept. 23 - Detroit, MI @ SanctuarySat. Sept. 24 - Toronto, ON @ Longboat HallMon. Sept. 26 - Boston, MA @ Crystal BallroomWed. Sept. 28 - Brooklyn, NY @ ElsewhereFri. Sept. 30 - Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe LiveSat. Oct. 1 - Washington, DC @ SongbyrdTue. Nov. 1 - Leeds, UK @ WardrobeWed. Nov. 2 - Glasgow @ MonoThu. Nov. 3 - Manchester @ Band On The WallFri. Nov. 4 - Dublin, IE @ Whelan'sSun. Nov. 6 - Liverpool, UK @ ZanzibarTue. Nov. 8 Nottingham, UK @ MetronomeWed. Nov. 9 - Bristol, UK @ TheklaThu. Nov. 10 - London, UK @ Electric BrixtonSat. Nov. 12 - Cardiff, UK @ The GateSun. Nov. 13 - Birmingham, UK @ Hare and HoundsMon. Nov. 14 - Brighton, UK @ KomediaWed. Nov. 16 - Paris, FR @  FMRThu. Nov. 17 - Cologne, DE @ ArtheatreFri. Nov. 18 - Brussels, BE @ Rotonde - BotaniqueSat. Nov. 19 - Amsterdam, NL @ BitterzoetMon. Nov. 21 - Hamburg, DE @ Molotow SkybarTue. Nov. 22 - Copenhagen, DK @ Hotel CecilThu. Nov. 24 - Berlin, DE @ BadehausFri. Nov. 25 - Munich, DE @ Strom w/ Julia Jacklin

Julia Jacklin - "Lydia Wears a Cross"

We've been huge fans of Julia Jacklin's blend of neo-folk and indie rock for a few years now. While many of her contemporaries have been delving more and more into the world of pop music, Jacklin is staying with what she does quite well on her latest. That's not to say "Lydia Wears a Cross" doesn't show Jacklin expanding her sound and even creeping towards pop a little. The new song definitely has a little bit more of a pop feel than her previous songs. Even the drums in "Lydia Wears a Cross" sound a bit electronic. But the guitars keep far more noise and branch out into a slacker solo that could never be considered pop. While Jacklin may be going a little pop, this is a beautiful folk/pop indie rock song that longtime fans of hers are going to adore.

You can watch the video for "Lydia Wears a Cross" below. PRE PLEASURE is due out August 26 on Polyvinyl, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Julia Jacklin, check out the artist's website.

Wilco - "Tired of Taking It Out on You"

Photo by Jamie Kelter Davis

For longtime Wilco fans, hearing they were making a country album was pretty damn thrilling. What would a Wilco country album sound like in 2022? Wilco has morphed from alt-country darlings to experimental indie rock heroes to dad rockers over the years, so a return to their roots is quite welcome. "Tired of Taking It Out on You" is a gentle song, more along the lines of Jeff Tweedy's solo music than Wilco's earlier albums. But, it is much less stripped down, and has that certain Wilco something that makes it sound like Wilco and not a Jeff Tweedy project. As much as I love all things Wilco, I never thought I'd be this excited again for an upcoming album from them!

Jeff Tweedy says of the new song:

I’ve realized over the years that a lot of the songs I’ve written have worked as reminders to myself to pay attention to various things. Sometimes I think I’ve figured out how the world works in some small way, and I worry I’ll forget it if I don’t sing it back to myself occasionally. This song, I believe, is going to come in handy for just that purpose. I’m a person who needs to stay alert to how I’m treating others when I’m not feeling my best. And now that I mention it, when I look around, it seems like a lot of us have been taking things out on each other when we would be better served striving for understanding and empathy. I’m just trying to be honest with myself, and I guess I’m hoping if this song can help me focus on that, maybe someone else could find it useful in the same way.

You can watch the video for "Tired of Taking It Out on You" below. Cruel Country is due out May 27 on dBpm Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Wilco, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Fri. May 27 - Sun. May 29 - North Adams, MA @ Solid Sound FestivalSat. Jun. 11 - Oslo, NE @ Loaded FestivalMon. Jun. 13 - Copenhagen, DK @ Amager BioTue. Jun 14 - Koln, DE @ E-WerkThu. Jun 16 - Frankfurt, DE @ Alte OperFri. Jun. 17 - Zeebrugge, BE @ Zeebrugge Beach FestivalSat. Jun. 18 - Kent, UK @ Black Deer FestivalMon. Jun. 20 - San Sebastian, ES @ Auditorio del Centro KursaalTue. Jun 21 - Zaragoza, ES @ Parque Grande Jose Antonio LabordetaWed. Jun. 22 - Barcelona, ES @ Poble EspanyolFri. Jun. 24 - Valencia, ES @ Auditorio Casa de la Cultura de BurjassotSat. Jun. 25 - Murcia, ES @ Plaza De Toros MurciaMon. Jun. 27 - Madrid, ES @ Noches Del BotanicoTue. Jun. 28 - Madrid, ES @ Noches Del BotanicoFri. Jul. 1 - Beuningen, NL @ Down The Rabbit Hole FestivalFri. Aug. 12 - Cedar Rapids, IA - Paramount TheatreSat. Aug. 13 - Bellevue, NE @ Outlandia FestivalSun. Aug. 14 - Indianapolis, IN @ TCU Amphitheater at White River State ParkTue. Aug. 16 - Newport, KY @ PromoWest Pavilion Outdoor at OVATIONWed. Aug. 17 - Interlochen, MI @ Interlochen Center for the Arts/Kresge AuditoriumThu. Aug. 18 - Toronto, ON @ Budweiser StageSat. Aug. 20 - Montreal, QC @ MTELUSSun. Aug. 21 - Cooperstown, NY @ Brewery OmmegangTue. Aug. 23 - Lafayette, NY @ Beak and Skiff Apple OrchardsWed. Aug. 24 - Burlington, VT @ The Green at Shelburne MuseumThu. Aug. 25 - Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire PavilionSat. Aug. 27 - New Haven, CT @ Westville Music BowlMon. Aug. 28 - Martha’s Vineyard, MA @ Beach Road WeekendFri. Sept. 9 - Madison, WI @ The SylveeSun. Sept. 11 - Fargo, ND @ Fargo Brewing Company OutdoorsMon. Sept. 12 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Washington Pavilion of Arts and ScienceWed. Sept. 14 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks AmphitheatreThu. Sept. 15 - Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe OperaSat. Sept. 17 - San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air TheatreTue. Sept. 20 - Bend, OR @ Hayden Homes AmphitheaterWed. Sept. 21 - Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth TheatreFri. Sept. 23 - Calgary, AB @ Southern Alberta Jubilee AuditoriumSat. Sept. 24 - Bozeman, MT @ The ELMSun. Oct. 2 - Memphis, TN @ Mempho FestTue. Oct. 4 - New Orleans, LA @ Civic TheatreWed. Oct. 5 - New Orleans, LA @ Civic TheatreFri. Oct. 7 - Columbia, MO @ Roots N Blues Festival

Ezra Furman - "Forever in Sunset"

Photo by Tonje Thilesen

Ezra Furman has to be one of the most unique and yet all encompassing artists out today. Her latest single, "Forever In Sunset," combines elements of singer/songwriter fare, electronic music, and indie rock. It's an intense song that is almost a power ballad but is a little too heavy at times for that. It's a mish-mash of glam, adult contemporary, and post punk. That should not work at all, but most artists aren't Furman who apparently can do literally anything musically and make it masterful.

Ezra Furman says of her new song:

“The biggest influence on the lyrics of this song is a conversation I had with a friend of mine. When Covid was first hitting, she was talking to me a lot about how ready she felt. She was like, ‘people who have been comfortable in life are freaking out right now. But queer people like me have been in crisis before. I grew up poor and my family kicked me out when I was a teenager. My world has already ended plenty of times before, and we queers know what to do: we take care of each other, we help each other out, we have a network of support for the crises we know will hit us from time to time.’"And then she lost her job and ended up moving in with me and my family for like three months. And she was right, we were okay and we were taking care of each other."That influenced a lot of what the whole record is about. But ‘Forever in Sunset’ is specifically a woman who’s been through some shit speaking to a new lover who is becoming attached to them, trying to warn the lover about how she is trouble, about how she has been through crises and they will come again. And that’s just how she lives, never settled, never safe, but also never defeated/finished - 'forever in sunset.'"Sometimes it feels like crisis is hitting more and more of the general population. They think the world is ending. But people who have been through a personal apocalypse or two have something to teach them. The world doesn’t end, shit just happens and if we don’t die we have to take care of each other.”

You can watch the video for "Forever in Sunset" below. All of Us Flames is due out August 16 on ANTI- Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Ezra Furman, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Thu. May 19 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom *Sat. May 21 - San Francisco, CA @ August Hall *Mon. May 23 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *Tue. May 24 - Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theatre *Wed. May 25 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *Thu. May 26 - Boise, ID @ Visual Arts Collective *Sat. May 28 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre *Mon. May 30 - Des Moines, IA @ Gas Lamp *Tue. May 31 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line *Wed. Jun. 1 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *Thu. Jun. 9 - Somerville, MA @ Crystal Ballroom (Ezra Solo)Thu. Jul. 21  - Valencia, ES @ Diversity FestivalSun. Jul. 24 - Hertfordshire, UK @ Standon Calling FestivalSun. Aug. 14 - Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom ^Tues. Aug. 16 - Milwaukee, WI @ UWM Panther Arena ^Wed. Aug. 17 - Indianapolis, IN @ TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park ^Thu. Aug. 18 - Crickhowell, UK @ Green Man FestivalTues. Aug  23 - Edinburgh, UK @ Edinburgh International FestivalMon. Sep. 12 - Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rosa  !Tue. Sep. 13 - Toronto, ON @ Rec Room  !Wed. Sep. 14 - Detroit, MI @ The Loving Touch !Thu. Sep. 15 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr Small's !Fri. Sep. 16 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar !Sun. Sep. 18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts !Mon. Sep. 19 - Providence, RI @ Fete Ballroom !Tue. Sep. 20 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair  !Wed. Sep. 21 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall !Thu. Sep. 22 - Dover, DE @ Firefly FestivalMon. Oct. 31 - Bruges, BE @ Cactus ClubTue. Nov. 1 - Paris, FR @ Le TrabendoWed. Nov. 2 - Utrecht, NL @ Tivoli VredenburgThu. Nov. 3 - Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & GefährlichSat. Nov. 5 - Cologne, DE @ KulturkircheSun. Nov. 6 - Berlin, DE @ Festsaaal KreutzbergMon. Nov. 7 - Prague, CZ @ RoxyTue. Nov. 8 - Vienna, AT @ Arena WienWed. Nov. 9 - Graz, AT @ Dom Im BergSat. Nov. 12 - Fribourg, CH @ Fri-SonSun. Nov. 13 - Munich, DE @ FreiheitshalleMon. Nov. 14 - Frankfurt, DE @ ZoomWed. Nov. 16 - Brighton, UK @ St Georges ChurchThu. Nov. 17 - London, UK @ The RoundhouseSat. Nov. 19 - Birmingham, UK @ The MillMon. Nov. 21 - Manchester, UK @ O2 Ritz * w/ Grace Cummings^ w/ Jack White! w/ Art Moore

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 6 May 2022

Artist: Ash and Eric (fka The Promise is Hope)
Album: Sure
Quick Thoughts: For all the talk of Central Massachusetts and greater New England being a hub for metal, it's stunning how much high-quality roots and folk music comes from these parts. The latest album from Ash & Eric, who many may know under their previous name The Promise Is Hope, released a new album this week that is stunningly gorgeous and rivals The Civil Wars in terms of the ability to pull together compelling songs and narratives with gorgeous melodies and harmonies both. I'm a little biased, as they have roots in my hometown, but I did not expect to outright love this album the way I do, and I think you should make time for it.
Songs of Note: "Until My Heart Grows Quiet," "Church of the Concrete Wave," "Simon, Taylor, Denver, Cash"

Artist: Lily Henley
Album: Oras Dezaoradas
Quick Thoughts: I didn't know Lily Henley before this week, but in terms of impressive musical efforts, this is right up there with the best of them. An album performed primarily in the endangered Ladino language (a Judeo-Spanish language spoken by approximately 100,000 people), it's a real gorgeous piece of work as much as it is an important piece of art. Out of nowhere, this was amazing, and I am looking forward to revisiting this one.
Songs of Note: "Avre De Puerta Serrada," "Esta Noche Te Amare," "La Muza de la Kozina / The Favorite"

Artist: Brennen Leigh with Asleep at the Wheel
Album: Obsessed With the West
Quick Thoughts: We like Brennen Leigh, we like Asleep at the Wheel, and this album really does what it says on the tin. It's a fun, free celebration of the best of country music executed by some of the best, and it's worth a listen.
Songs of Note: "If Tommy Duncan's Voice Was Booze," "Obsessed With the West"

Artist: Minyt
Album: Lonely Beach
Quick Thoughts: Minyt has a unique indie/alt sound, and this latest effort continues along those same lines. It feels very post-rockish in places, which is a nice change of pace as well, but there's enough here to really make it worth the time in a busy week. Don't miss the "bonus track" at the end, which is one of my favorite songs of the week.
Songs of Note: "Aria," "Vanilla Sky," "So Lost"

Artist: !!!
Album: Let It Be Blue
Quick Thoughts: I don't have a ton to say about the new !!!, except that they've reached a groove of sorts with their music that just works for me. Let It Be Blue is smart and funky and weird, just like I like it, and it's a great listen. Also, their version of R.E.M.'s "Man on the Moon" is kind of brilliant.
Songs of Note: "Here's What I Need to Know," "Man on the Moon," "Let It Be Blue," "This is Pop 2"

Artist: Jane Inc.
Album: Faster Than I Can Take
Quick Thoughts: A shout-out to Jane Inc., who had a debut album come out last year and the new follow-up coming in hot with a great indie disco feel. In a week with as much folk/roots stuff in it, some solid dance music is just the ticket, with songs like "2120" that have a real solid groove. Overall, a great listen.
Songs of Note: "Contortionists," "Human Being," "2120," "Dancing With You"

Artist: Leyla McCalla
Album: Breaking the Thermometer
Quick Thoughts: Leyla McCalla makes some of the best, most important folk music out there. The latest album feels more like her Vari-Colored Songs than The Capitalist Blues, but the musicianship is top-notch and the outcome is a great listen in a week full of them. Do not hesitate to add this to the rotation.
Songs of Note: "Fort Dimanche," "Dodinin," "You Don't Know Me"

Artist: Charlie Collins
Album: Undone
Quick Thoughts: I don't remember when I first noticed Charlie Collins, but "Backseat Valentine" hit the streaming services a few weeks back and I've been addicted ever since. Lots of urgent singer-songwriter material here, with some brutal honesty to go along with the catchy melodies. A great listen.
Songs of Note: "Just My Luck," "Backseat Valentine," "Are You Even Listening," "Fuck It"

Artist: Gretel Hänlyn
Album: Slugeye
Quick Thoughts: A shout-out to this debut EP from a 19-year-old (man, what?) singer-songwriter who made one of my favorite songs of 2022 so far with "Motorbike." An absolutely brilliant listen, and I can't wait for an eventual album.
Songs of Note: "Motorbike," "It's the Future, Baby," "Apple Juice"

Of note:

* Ellevator - The Words You Spoke Still Move Me (Solid pop music.)
* Yawners - Duplo ("Bilingual power pop" is pretty much the perfect descriptor.)
* Sharon Van Etten - We've Been Going About This All Wrong (Stark, yet memorable.)
* Arcade Fire - WE (It's good, but doesn't take a lot of risks.)
* Hater - Sincere (Solid new record from the indie rockers.)
* Belle & Sebastian - A Bit of Previous (It's not like their early work, but it's their best since Dear Catastrophe Waitress)
* Night Court - Nervous Birds! Too
* Suki Waterhouse - I Can't Let Go
* Noveller - Aphantasia
* Service - Drag Me
* The Builders and The Butchers - Hell & High Water
* Otoboke Beaver - Super Champon
* Peaness - World Full of Worry
* Warpaint - Radiate Like This
* Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Endless Rooms
* Sunflower Bean - Headful of Sugar
* Speedfossil - No Anesthesia
* Desire - Escape
* Alison Wonderland - Loner
* Squalloscope - Weighbearer


* girlhouse - the third ep
* Greta Morgan - Desert Lullabies
* Sinclair - Montage
* Wallice - 90s American Superstar
* Flight Mode - Torshov, '05
* The Dogmatics - Drop That Needle
* Ivy Hollivana - Believer
* Rachael Dadd - Flux Alchemy Part I
* REYNA - you could at least say goodbye

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Tashaki Miyaki - Under Cover, Vol. 1 (Streaming debut of their first album of covers.)
* Jens Lekman - The Linden Trees Are Still in Blossom (More Lekman Versions.)
* Anais Mitchell - Anais Mitchell (Deluxe)
* Lydia Ainsworth - Sparkles & Debris Reimagined
* Mary Lou Lord - She'd Be a Diamond

Also out:

* Sigrid - How to Let Go