Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Goat - "Under No Nation"

Photo by Tammy Karlsson

For the most part, press releases tend to use the same descriptors for bands. So when we see something completely new, we tend to pay attention. Goat are described as "Swedish psychic warriors," so obviously we're going to check it out. Their new single, "Under No Nation," is far funkier than anything we'd expect to hear from a Scandinavian country, plus it's a very dark funk. It's still a fun, groovy song you're going to want to move at least a little to, but there's an odd sense of menace in this one. Add in one of the greatest fuzzed out 60's proto-punk guitar solos you've heard in years, and "Under No Nation" is going to have you intrigued to hear more from Goat.

Goat says about their new song:

"This year Goat were invited to the Gods annual feast at the 'Round Table of Funk'. After a very wet evening, and after Goat was pretty funked up, we were handed the manuscript to 'Under No Nation', and ordered to play this divine 'funk' to the humans – as the gods felt the human spirit is in deep need to get grooving properly again!"

You can watch the video for "Under No Nation" below. Oh Death is due out October 21 on Rocket Recordings. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Goat, check out the band's Bandcamp. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

November 8 / Hamburg / KnustNovember 9 / Cologne / KulturkircheNovember 10 / LiƩge / ReflektorNovember 11 / Kortrijk / Sonic City FestivalNovember 12 / Utrecht / Le Guess Who FestivalNovember 14 / Berlin / Festsaal Kreuzber

Sloth Fist - "Too Old to Rock"

A song called "Too Old to Rock" could easily be the official anthem of If It's too Loud... Combine that with a press release comparing Sloth Fist to a combination of Descendents and Motorhead and you've officially got my attention. "Too Old to Rock" sounds a bit more like Lemmy and his crew than Descendents, and with this song it's not a bad thing. This is just pure thrashy punk rock and roll. This lives in that hazy area between metal and punk with just enough elements of both to allow both punks and metalheads to claim it without being turned off by the existence of the other sound. Sloth Fist are a fun as hell band that is making me wish something like the Warped Tour still existed.

You can listen to "Too Old to Rock" below. Bombs Away is due out October 7 on Mindpower Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Sloth Fist, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Eerie Wanda - "Sister Take My Hand"

Photo by Adam Harding

It's virtually impossible to describe the music of Eerie Wanda without using the term "haunting." The Dutch/Croatian artist also known as Marina Tadic has released a new single, "Sister Take My Hand." The new song focuses on her vocals, which sound looped and recorded with effects. The song loops around itself with Tadic harmonizing with recordings of her vocals. Although definitely haunting, the song is more dreamlike and hazy than disturbing. If a song can be warmly haunting, "Sister Take My Hand" is that song.

Marina Tadic says of the new single:

"This is a song I wrote for my sister. It's the first song I ever wrote using just my voice and was the last missing puzzle piece to the album."

You can watch the video for "Sister Take My Hand" below. Internal Radio is due out September 23 on Joyful Noise Recordings. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Eerie Wanda, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 26 August 2022

Artist: Bret McKenzie
Album: Songs Without Jokes
Quick Thoughts: You know Bret McKenzie from Flight of the Concords, and while this is billed as an album "without jokes," it's still a fun listen on a whole. This is some serious songwriting even while McKenzie isn't taking himself terribly seriously, and the result has a feeling of sitting in a piano bar, sipping a drink and having a grand old time. I really enjoyed this one.
Songs of Note: "That's L.A.," "A Little Tune," "Tomorrow Today"

Artist: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Album: Let's Turn It Into Sound
Quick Thoughts: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is one of my favorite experimental-type electronic artists, and this specific album is honestly better listened as a whole rather than the parts. It's got a lot of interesting structures and soundscapes throughout, and it kept grabbing my attention across the whole runtime. If you're not against some more challenging listens, you owe it to yourself to give this a listen.
Songs of Note: "Check Your Translation"

Artist: Ezra Furman
Album: All Of Us Flames
Quick Thoughts: Ezra Furman keeps getting better and better. Their latest effort feels almost majestic in its presentation, with a ton of passion to go with its flourish. The end result is an album I liked quite a bit, but it's worth the time if only because it is such an honest, straightforward piece of art. They deserve all the credit in the world for this one.
Songs of Note: "Book Of Our Names," "Poor Girl a Long Way From Heaven," "Temple of Broken Dreams"

Artist: Nora Brown
Album: Long Time To Be Gone
Quick Thoughts: Speaking of honest, Nora Brown presents a super honest roots record that feels like it's recorded directly from the deck of a farmhouse. It's quiet and pure in all the right ways, and while I don't have much else to say about it, in a summer of a lot of roots records, this one certainly stands out.
Songs of Note: "Southern Texas," "Po' Black Sheep," "Rye Whiskey - Little Birdie," "Jenny Put the Kettle On," "Cumberland Gap"

Of note:

* Heather Nova - Other Shores (A solid collection of covers.)
* Valerie June - Under Cover (Also a solid collection of covers.)
* Rachika Nayar - Heaven Come Crashing (An interesting ambient-style album.)
* Muse - Will of the People (Muse are very good at what they do, and this sort of anthemic populist rock fits them well.)
* Let's Whisper - The In-Between Times
* Gently Tender - Take Hold of Your Promise!
* William Orbit - The Painter
* Chris Forsyth - Evolution Here We Come
* Marcus King - Young Blood
* Stella Donnelly - Flood
* Wormy - I'm Sweating All The Time
* Tommy McLain - I Ran Down Every Dream
* Julia Jacklin - PRE PLEASURE
* The Lounge Society - Tired of Liberty
* Duncan Sheik - Claptrap


* Tropical Fuck Storm - Moonburn
* Savoir Faire - Think Twice
* Ron's Car - Who's Gonna Listen
* Arc Iris - We Found Home...
* Amy Dabbs - Baddest Gal
* Thanya Iyer - rest
* Centershift - Of...
* Evil - The Second Death
* Grampfather - 666G
* smntha - And Now I'm In Bed...
* Carlos Davey - Hambalt

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Water From Your Eyes - Structure Demos

Also out:

* Still and Form - From the Rot is a Gift
* Alanis Morissette - the storm before the calm

Sea Moss - "Candy Run"

Photo by Lucas Misclevitz

Portland, OR noise rock duo Sea Moss are back with a new single and an upcoming album. Their instrumentation includes "... hacked feedback oscillators, colorful Rococo tin boxes, and a contact mic plugged directly onto vocalist Noa Ver's neck." Yeah, "Candy Run" is a weird one. This is noise rock at its finest. It lands squarely in the genre without really sounding quite like anyone else. The closest comparison I can make it maybe Lightning Bolt meets Guerilla Toss, but it doesn't quite sound like that, either. It's bizarre electronic noises done in a more rock way than usual. This will most definitely not be for everyone, but it will be ideal for the right people.

You can watch the video for "Candy Run" below. SEAMOSS2 is due out October 28 on Ramp Local. For more on Sea Moss, check out the band's Facebook. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

9/13 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studio w/ Kim Gordon9/17 - Portland OR @ The Firkin Tavern10/19 -  Olympia WA, @ The Crypt10/20 - Seattle WA, @ Gallery 141210/21 - Vancouver BC, @ The Black Lab10/22 - Victoria BC, @ Oaklands Community Center10/23 - Tacoma WA, @ House show

Nikki Lane - "Born Tough"

Nikki Lane's previous single, "First High," went more rock 'n' roll than we typically hear from the Nashville artist. Her latest, "Born Tough," continues that sound, but keeps it a little more country than the previous single. This new song has the dirty garage rock sound of its predecessor, but it also has a little more of a pop side. "Born Tough" keeps the same basic sound throughout, but it seems to meander between the genres as it goes on. It starts off a little more country, goes more garage rock, and then settles into pop more. And then it shuffles that around some more. As always, it's great to see an artist play around with their sound while still sounding like them.

You can listen to "Born Tough" below. Denim & Diamonds is due out September 23 on New West Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Nikki Lane, check out the artist's website.

Live Shows: BODEGA and Boston Cream, Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA 8/29/22

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

It's only been three years since I discovered BODEGA opening for Jon Spencer + The HITmakers at Great Scott in February 2019, but it feels much, much longer. In that time it seems like the Brooklyn based post punks have played in Boston a bunch of times, but it's never worked out for me to see them. Luckily that streak was broken last Friday when they played one of my new favorite places to see a show: Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theater!

I did not think I was going to like Boston Cream when they first started playing. Melanie Bernier came out miming guitar on a broom, and slowly each member entered playing their instrument. The band features two singers (the second one is Peach S. Goodrich) mostly doing minor synchronized dance moves and just seemed a little too gimmicky for my taste. But, the band does feature three members of Hallelujah the Hills (drummer Ryan Connelly, bass player Joe Marrett, and guitarist Nicholas Ward (making this his fourth band, I believe?)), so I had to at least give them a try. The five piece played a dance friendly version of indie punk that slowly became more and more mesmerizing. I'm going to give a lot of credit to Connelly's drumming, as it was oddly hypnotizing. Slowly, even us skeptics in the crowd were sucked in, and by the second to last song (I believe it was called "Chickadee") the crowd was fully dancing and received a huge ovation. It's always a little extra fun when a band can repel you at first and slowly win you over using everything that turned you away originally. If you ever get a chance to see Boston Cream live, make sure you watch their full set even if you don't want to.

Speaking of bands you need to see live, this was the first time I got to see BODEGA as a fan, and they did not disappoint at all. Playing with a stage presence far greater than the size of the venue required, the Brooklynites worked the crowd into a dancing frenzy pretty much right from the start. With BODEGA, any rock star posturing is done in a fun, almost tongue-in-cheek way. Their shows are almost impossibly fun, with virtually every song played being a fan favorite hit. One highlight was the double punch of "Jack in Titanic" into "I Am Not a Cinephile" (both songs from 2018's Endless Scroll) which was great thematically as well as sonically. The band even broke out their Fugazi cover, and more bands should truly do Fugazi covers. This particular tour might be over, but next time BODEGA is playing anywhere near you, make it a priority to check them out.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Martha Spencer - "Wonderland"

The title track of Martha Spencer's upcoming album wonderfully shows off her unique take on country and roots music. "Wonderland" is deeply rooted in Appalachian folk and country, but Spencer adds a certain modern fun take on the sound with this one. There is still that haunting quality that is necessary for Appalachian folk music, and a darkness that almost makes this sound like a murder ballad. "Wonderland" brings with it a sense of whimsy and joy along with the implied darkness. Spencer also adds some jazz into her song, which certainly helps give it a unique and familiar feeling.

You can watch the video for "Wonderland" below. Wonderland is due out September 2, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Martha Spencer, check out the artist's website.

Kool G Rap featuring Big Daddy Kane - "Fly Till I Die"

If you grew up with 80's and early 90's hip hop, the pairing of Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane is a dream come true. The two members of the Juice Crew are legends for good reason, and "Fly Till I Die" proves the two haven't lost a step at all. In a world where classic MCs tend to to release their best work as time goes on, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane are the exception. "Fly Till I Die" may not have the nostalgic feel of their classic tracks, but that's kind of the point. This isn't a throwback song by any means. This is what Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane should be sounding like in 2022. It takes classic hip hop and updates it to the current day.

You can listen to "Fly Till I Die" below. The song will be included on Kool G Rap's upcoming album Last of a Dying Breed due out on October 14. For more on Kool G Rap, check out his Twitter. Big Daddy Kane can be found on Twitter here.

Crescent Ridge - "Stuck"

Photo by Samuel David Kats

According to their press release, Massachusetts based Crescent Ridge "... falls somewhere in between..." The Lemonheads and Quicksand. That's enough to get my attention, and it's a fairly accurate statement. Their new single, "Stuck," lands a little more on The Lemonheads side of things. It fits in with Evan Dando's slacker vocals and bubblegrunge sound, but it also has Walter Schreifels' vocal growl and the buzzy guitars of Quicksand. This is a really fun song that combines two of my personal favorite 90's post grunge sounds in a way that does justice to both.

Guitarist Mike Assatly says of the band's new song:

“it’s about those hot summer days when you have nothing in the world to do and everything feels slow but monumental, trapped inside your own mind while the world spins around you.”

You can watch the video for "Stuck" below. Garden of Fools is due out September 16 on Forever Never Ends Records. The album can be pre-saved/pre-ordered here. For more on Crescent Ridge, check out the band on Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Hayley and the Crushers - "Taboo"

As much as an indie rock snob as I am, sometimes I just want a big fun rock song. Hayley and the Crushers are the perfect band for this need. The San Luis Obispo rockers have a new single out. "Taboo" is a fun rock song that's just a little punk and a ton of rock 'n' roll. It's the kind of song that you're going to love if you're into bands like The Donnas or The Go-Go's. It's also reminding me of an odd mixture of both Aurora Gory Alice era Letters to Cleo and Go! era Letters to Cleo. Plus, being from the Northeast, I tend to idolize California, and "Taboo" feels very California.

You can watch the video for "Taboo" below. Modern Adult Kicks is due out September 13 on Kitten Robot Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Hayley and the Crushers, check out the band's website.

Margo Price - "Been to the Mountain"

The latest single from Margo Price is fairly hard to define. "Been to the Mountain" continues her move away from pure country into a more rock based sound. Her love of Tom Petty has been showing lately, and there is definitely some Petty in this one. But, "Been to the Mountain" has a lot more pop in it than you'd get with a Petty song. It's not quite a dance song, but there are some pretty strong dance elements here. Price has constructed this unique yet familiar groovy and funky rock song tinged with country and pop. If you had told me a few years back that I'd be psyched about Margo Price expanding her sound out of country, I never would have believed it, but "Been to the Mountain" is a thrilling expansion of her sonic repertoire! 

You can watch the video for "Been to the Mountain" below. The single is available now via Loma Vista Records. For more on Margo Price, check out the artist's website.

Mamalarky - "It Hurts"

Photo by Connor Fields

The latest from Mamalarky is an impossibly chill and laid back track that is still somehow oddly compelling. "It Hurts" sounds like an indie rock version of 70's AM radio easy listening. It has this intensity to it to go along with it's retro cool chic. Mamalarky add a certain groove to the song even if it's the most laid back groove you've ever heard. To compare this to a contemporary artist, this is like an even more laid back Faye Webster. 

Livvy Bennett says of her band's new song:

"Writing about this song in this context feels extremely meta because the song itself picks at what it's like as a musician to essentially be careerizing your own experiences and emotions. It's pretty bizarre to put out shit that is so personal–like, when someone loves a sad song you wrote it's like...I'm sorry we've been down in the same way? Or, I'm glad you enjoy listening to something that was essentially an intervention that I needed to have, haha. "'It Hurts' is also a bit about the one-sided narrative of songwriters writing about their lives and relationships, for that to exist out there forever and to be consumed by people who only know the song. I'm always left wondering about the other side of the story when I hear those epic heartbreak songs, we'll just never know."There's one line about being 'a poorly drawn caricature,' which is what it can feel like having any of your music deciphered by anyone. The goal is to draw a really moving, poignant portrait though and I feel closer to doing that with every song we put out."

You can watch the video for "It Hurts" below. Pocket Fantasy is due out September 30 on Fire Talk. For more on Mamalarky, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

9.29 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space9.30 - San Diego - Public Square 10.1 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room10.2 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo 10.4 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill10.6 - Sacramento, CA - The Starlet Room10.7 - Reno, NV - Off Beat Music Festival 10.9 - Portland, OR - Polaris Hall10.10 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project10.13 - Fort Colins, CO - The Coast10.14 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive11.1 - Asheville, NC - Static Age 11.2 - Nashville, TN - DRKMTTR11.3. - Richmond, VA - Get Tight11.4 - Washington, DC - Comet Ping Pong11.5 - Philadelphia, PA - Silk City11.6 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right 11.7 - Boston, MA - O’Briens 11.8 - Montreal, QC - Brasserie Beaubien 11.9 - Toronto, ON - The Baby G 11.11 - Fort Wayne, IN - The Brass Rail11.12 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s 11.13 - St. Louis, MO - the Sinkhole11.15 - Athens, GA - Flicker Bar11.16 - Atlanta, GA - 529

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Soraia - "I Seek Fire"

Photo by Cassandra Panek

Philadelphia's Soraia is our latest favorite modern garage rock artist. The three piece have recently released a new single, "I Seek Fire." The song has that classic garage rock sound, but it also brings a certain level of 80's metal and 70's glam rock theatricality to it you don't normally get with garage rock. Along with that fuzzy, classic garage rock sound, I'm getting a certain Joan Jett and early Alice Cooper sound with this one, with maybe more than a little Heart thrown in. This is garage rock out of the garage and aiming for arenas. "I Seek Fire" is just pure no nonsense rock 'n' roll with zero pretention.

ZouZou Mansour, lead singer and lyricist, says of the band's new song:

"The original idea behind ‘I Seek Fire’ came from reading a Rumi quote: 'Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.' A mix of that personal desire plus a healthy dose of romantic and tragic love ideas floating through my head created the backdrop for the lyrical story of the song. As soon as I heard the cutting, staccato riff co-writer Travis Smith played for me, I knew I had to capture that exquisite contradiction: enthralling, obsessive passion usually comes with that tragic cut. The music brought the lyrics to life in this one more than most other songs we've written together."

You can listen to "I Seek Fire" below. Bloom is due out October 28 on Wicked Cool Records. The album can be pre-saved/pre-ordered here. For more on Soraia, check out the band's website

Aquakultre & Trobiz - "Africvillean Funk"

Photo by Benjamin Edwards

Aquakultre, aka Halifax, Nova Scotia based artist Lance Sampson, has released a new video for his single "Africvillean Funk." The song is the kind of G-funk influenced song that will remind you of classics like Ice Cube's "Bop Gun." Despite being indebted to 90's classics, this doesn't sound like a 90's throwback, or even a throwback to the 70's originals. This is classic soul and funk updated for the 2020's. Sure, it may remind you of your favorites from that era, and even some swing and jazz music from the 1940's, but something about "Africvillean Funk" just sounds current. This song is upbeat and incredibly fun despite the video's theme.

Lance Sampson says of the song and video:

"When it's all said and done, Africvilleans still have not received proper compensation or reparation for their homes that have been torn down in the name of 'urban renewal.' At this point, the call of action should be, and still stands: 'Let the people build back their homes'. Even through the years and years of protest led by Eddie Carvery, 'The Funk' (fight) still continues."

You can watch the video for "Africvillean Funk" below. Don't Trip is out now via Forward Music Group/Black Buffalo Records. The album can be purchased through Bandcamp. For more on Aquakultre, check out the artist's website.

Ali McGuirk - "X Boyfriends"

Photo via Facebook

Few are doing the whole folk/soul thing quite like Ali McGuirk is. "X Boyfriends" sounds like vintage soul with a modern spin. McGuirk's vocals are on full display. She's a formidable talent without ever having to get overly showy like so many modern soul and R&B singers tend to. Despite having a vintage sound, "X Boyfriends" doesn't sound like a throwback. This is pure classic soul that still sounds current and modern. This is truly what sets McGuirk apart from so many of her peers in the genre.

Ali McGuirk says of her new song:

“This song could be interpreted as a song of longing, but I think of it more as a song that looks back on past loves with fondness, appreciating the good things they brought to be and recognizing my life’s own enoughness without them."

You can listen to "X Boyfriends" below. Til It's Gone is due out September 16 on Signature Sounds, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Ali McGuirk, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Canyons and Locusts - "Night of the Locust"

Photo via Facebook

Boston is home to some killer indie garage rock bands, and our latest discovery is Canyons and Locusts. The duo just released the single "Night of the Locust," and if you're a fan of noisy garage rock this one is going to work for you. It's a mostly straightforward rocker, except for the inclusion of a more indie rock vibe and sound than you normally hear with garage rock. Singer Justin Keane also has a little bit of a twang to his vocals, giving the whole thing a Tom Petty meets Archers of Loaf sound, with a little of The 13th Floor Elevators thrown in.

You can watch the video for "Night of the Locust" below. Roll the Dice is out now on Red On Red Records and can be found on Bandcamp. For more on Canyons and Locusts, check out the band on Facebook.

Alexis Castrogiovanni - "Someday My Thoughts Will Be Like a Range of Mountains"

Photo via Facebook

According to the press release, the latest single from Quebec's Alexis Castrogiovanni "... employs genres from classical and folk from trip hop and punk." That sounds like a  ridiculous concept, but it completely nails "Someday My Thoughts Will Be Like a Range of Mountains." Despite using traditional folk and classical instruments, there is very little traditional with Castrogiovanni's music. Except when it is. This song is somehow both traditional and experimental, it's calming and intense at the same time. It's beautiful while being discordant to an extreme degree. Some of these sonic changes are like a slap in the face while others are like an embrace. "Someday My Thoughts Will Be Like a Range of Mountains" is going to lead to a die hard following for those of us this works for.

You can watch the video for "Someday My Thoughts Will Be Like a Range of Mountains" below. The EP of the same name is due out September 21 and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Alexis Castrogiovani, check out the artist's website.

Wildcat Slim - "Toeing the Line"

Photo via Facebook

Lowell, MA seems to be experiencing a musical moment lately. It seems like there's a great new band out of the Mill City every month or so, and our most recent discovery is Wildcat Slim. Their new single, "Toeing the Line," is the kind of indie rock meets power pop sound that we'll never be able to get enough of around here. It's a peppy and upbeat track steeped in the kind of mid-90's post grunge power pop sound you heard from bands like Superdrag and Fountains of Wayne. And just when you think you can't like this song any more they come in with a blast of unexpected noise that is just transcendent. 

You can listen to "Toeing the Line" over on Soundcloud. Smorgasbord will be released on Bandcamp on September 23. For more on Wildcat Slim, check out the band on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 22 August 2022

Artist: Silversun Pickups
Album: Physical Thrills
Quick Thoughts: I think it was "Well-Thought Out Twinkles" that I fell in love with way, way back (and is a fun song to drum to on Rock Band, and they've kept up appearances pretty well with their Smashing Pumpkins Without the Conspiracy Theories rock over the years. This latest album is maybe my favorite since their second record, and has a few songs that would rightfully be considered classics of theirs at this stage. I feel like this band doesn't get their alt-rock due, and they really deserve better. Give this one a listen.
Songs of Note: "Hereafter (Way After)," "Scared Together," "Empty Nest"

Artist: Why Bonnie
Album: 90 in November
Quick Thoughts: "Galveston" hit some discovery playlist a few months back and it went on constant rotation. 90 in November is a wonderful slice of indie rock with a ton of great songs and a fun presentation. If you like the sort of indie/alt stuff we do, this album will be right at home in your listens this week. I really enjoyed this one.
Songs of Note: "Galveston," "90 in November"

Artist: Anna Tivel
Album: Outsiders
Quick Thoughts: Anna Tivel's newest album, her first of new material since right around the pandemic, continues to solidify her standing as the best kept secret in folk. Her latest album, a little closer to some of her pandemic-era output than her previous work, has both new songs and new versions of songs we heard on Blue World, and I absolutely love it. I think she's becoming one of my favorites, guys...
Songs of Note: "Black Umbrella," "The Bell"

Artist: THICK
Album: Happy Now
Quick Thoughts: THICK's latest is a brash, unapologetic punk record with banger after banger after banger. I can't stress enough how solid this record is, and I love basically everything about it. I've liked everything they've put out up to now, and this is an excellent entrypoint if you're looking for something on the louder side of things.
Songs of Note: "Loser," "I Wish 2016 Never Happened," "Your Garden," "Wants and Needs," "Something Went Wrong"

Artist: Lauran Hibberd
Album: Garageband Superstar
Quick Thoughts: When I say this was possibly my most anticipated release of 2022, I'm not kidding. Every single song Lauran Hibberd has put out has ruled, and this album rules, too. While it doesn't have "Hoochie," it does have a ton of other really awesome songs. It's pretty mainstream and polished, so if that's a turnoff you should be aware of that, but it also features Wheatus and DJ Lethal so there's also that. Overall? A really fun listen and a favorite of the summer.
Songs of Note: "Rollercoaster," "Still Running (5K)," "I'm Insecure," "Garageband Superstar"

Artist: The Mountain Goats
Album: Bleed Out
Quick Thoughts: The Mountain Goats with their 937th album puts out maybe their best record since Beat the Champ. The songs have a bit of an edge without losing their storytelling flair, and there are a number of memorable listens throughout. Longtime fans who aren't still sour that John Darnielle doesn't record on a boombox anymore will find as much to love as new converts, so check this out.
Songs of Note: "Training Montage," "Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome," "Guys on Every Corner," "Bleed Out"

Of note:

* Aitch - Close to Home (Some great British rap.)
* zannie - How Do I Get That Star (Solid indie rock.)
* Los Bitchos - Lety the Festivities Begin! (Super fun instrumental stuff.)
* Kim Myhr - Sympathetic Magic
* Cass McCombs - Heartmind
* SRSQ - Ever Crashing
* Penza Penza - Neanderthal Rock
* The Chats - Get Fucked
* Hop Chip - Freakout/Release
* Marketa Irglova - Lila
* Phoebe Green - Lucky Me
* Jennifer Vanilla - Castle in the Sky
* Pale Waves - Unwanted
* Demi Lovato - HOLY FVCK
* Royklsopp - Profound Mysteries II
* Watkins Family Hour - Vol. II
* MJ Lenderman - Boat Songs
* Early James - Strange Times to Be Alive
* Sleepyhead - New Alchemy


* Muna Ileiwat - Twenty-Seven
* Juliana Madrid - Juliana Madrid EP
* Silkback - TYPE_
* Gordi - Inhuman
* James Marples - On Polaroid
* Left at London - Transgender Street Legend, Vol. 3
* The Soft Pink Truth - Was It Ever Real?

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Watchhouse - Watchhouse (Duo)

Well Wisher - "29"

Photo via Okie Dokie Studio

I'm just coming to terms with my appreciation with pop punk lately, but when a band is as fantastic as Well Wisher, there is no embarrassment with loving the genre. The New Jersey band's latest single, "29," has a lot of the traditional pop punk elements, even bordering into emo at times. But Well Wisher bring a whole new level musically that you don't quite get with pop punk. "29" sounds more like the poppier, shorter songs from Built to Spill than anyone that played the Warped Tour in the 2000's. This song is one of the catchiest songs that is sure to get stuck deep down into your subconscious, in the best possible way.

Singer Natalie Newbold says of the new song:

"What started as an analysis of a five minute phone call became a reframing of what is most important to me. I was caught up with so many preconceived notions about where I 'should have been' at 29-years-old that I was totally disregarding the present. All these achievements, I realized, never mattered too much anyway if I couldn’t celebrate the journey of getting there, to that point. Working with my bandmates over the last couple of years has helped me channel gratitude and remain in the moment, and that’s what '29' embodies."

You can watch the video for "29" below. That Weight is due out September 26 on Egghunt Records, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Well Wisher, check out the band's website.

Maryanna Devlin - "Gary Indiana"

Photo by Patrick Schmetzer

Maryanna Devlin started out in Vermont, moved outside of Boston, then Manhattan, and now resides in Germany. Her latest single, "Gary Indiana," is a hypnotic and slightly haunting song that delves into folk at the start but slowly evolves into something a little more indie rock while keeping its folky roots. It's a gorgeously lush song that is hopeful despite its haunting quality. It's the kind of song that allows instruments to wander it at will and each take a turn without distracting from the main focus of the song.

Inspired by a trip to see a Boston College vs Notre Dame football game with her father, Maryanna Devlin talks about her new song:

"Football was his life, and a huge part of mine growing up. This trip was a somewhat healing moment for us, as we tried to mend our relationship after years of him abusing alcohol and drugs. This was the first song we recorded, and it really connected me with the team at the studio."

You can listen to "Gary Indiana" below. A Great Many Things is due out September 30. For more on Maryanna Devlin, check out the artist's website.

Missy D - "Cool Down"

Photo by Sandstone Studios

My only complaint with the latest from Missy D is that it's coming out too late in the summer to be the Song of the Summer. "Cool Down" is the latest from the Canadian bilingual MC and combines hip hop, R&B, and soul in a way that's impossible to resist. "Cool Down" has some serious crossover appeal. If anything, it almost has too much as it leans a little further into the mainstream than I typically go. But when I say Missy D is irresistible, I truly mean it. This could easily be one of the rare radio songs that I actually enjoy, if the radio played songs this good.

Missy D says of her new song:

I often talk about all my feelings but often shy away from talking about joy. I want to change that and this song is just that. It’s just Missy feeling joy, having a good time and inviting you to the party. We worked hard, we cried but now meet us on the dance floor and leave it all out there! All sizes, shapes, shades you rock it! Embrace yourself, all that you are! It’s a summer jam, a bop, a feel good song, and most of all IT’S JOY! #blackjoy"

You can watch the video for "Cool Down" below. The song is available as a single via Birthday Cake, and can be found here. For more on Missy D, check out the artist's website.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Deer Scout Covers Kate Bush

Photo by Felix Walworth

Kate Bush is all the rage right now thanks to Stranger Things. Instead of covering that song, Deer Scout has decided to expand our knowledge of the art pop legend by covering "Suspended in Gaffa." Confession time: I'm not all that familiar with the work of Kate Bush, and I most likely know Deer Scout more at this point. Deer Scout's version is much less odd and more straightforward, dropping the artsy New Wave/theatrical sound of the original for a more stripped down alt-folk version. Deer Scout's could possibly be considered quirky or bizarro folk if this wasn't a Kate Bush cover. This is a great way to get to know both artists a little better.

Deer Scout says of the original version of "Suspended in Gaffa":

"'Suspended in Gaffa' is my favorite Kate Bush song. I love the drama and the playfulness of the lyrics, they feel absurd and sincere at the same time. 'I don’t know why I’m crying' has always really gotten to me, and I love that it goes from that to 'It’s a plank in me eye with a camel whose trying to get through it.' I also admire her ownership over the production and arrangement of her songs. The original really feels like one person’s vision, which makes sense because she played piano, strings and produced it herself."

You can watch the video for Deer Scout's cover of "Suspended in Gaffa" below. For more on the artist, check them out on Twitter and Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

8/26 - Washington, D.C @ Comet Ping Pong8/27 - Norfolk, VA @ Lava Mini Fest8/29 - Asheville, NC @ Static Age Records8/30 - Nashville, TN @ Drkmttr8/31 - Indianapolis, IN @ Healer9/1 - Chicago, IL @ Hideout9/3 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Government Center9/4 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Cabin9/5 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right

Lurid Purple Flowers - "Addict"

Photo by Josh Vong

Boston's Lurid Purple Flowers combine post-punk, dark alt-rock, and psych into their sound, but their latest single has a surprising level of pop hooks. "Addict" is dark. It's filled with swirling guitars and CA Newcomb's vocals are downbeat and surprisingly hypnotic. But, as with any band that truly understands their Nirvana influence, the song is oddly catchy. You would never hear "Addict" and think it sounds anything like a pop song on your first listen, but you're guaranteed to be humming along well before you memorize any lyrics. Lurid Purple Flowers are a band with a huge potential that you're going to want to keep watching.

Vocalist and guitarist CA Newcomb says of the new song:

“The song can be perceived in a lot of different ways. I want people to approach it without having a concrete idea of specifics and instead find meaning through relating to the lyrics and their own experiences. It’s definitely my favorite song so far and the hardest to play live.”

You can listen to "Addict" below. No Sympathy is due out in September. For more on Lurid Purple Flowers, check out the band's website.

The Beths - "Knees Deep"

Photo by Frances Carter

At this point, The Beths releasing a fantastic indie rock/pop song isn't a huge story. The New Zealand band just keeps cranking out great single after great single seemingly at ease. But something is just different about their latest. "Knees Deep" leans a little more towards the pop side of things. It's a little bit cleaner and more polished than what we normally hear from The Beths, but in a fantastic way. "Knees Deep" is the kind of song that should be a huge crossover hit, and it still could be if there is any justice in the world. It's undeniably catchy with mesmerizing guitar work. If you've somehow avoided jumping on The Beths' bandwagon so far, this one will basically force you onboard.

Singer/guitarist Liz Stokes says of the new single:

I'm the kind of person who wants to go swimming, but takes like ten minutes to get all the way into the cold water, slowly and painfully. I hate this about myself, and am kind of envious of people who can just jump straight in the deep end. In a shocking twist, this is also a metaphor?! For how I wish I was the kind of person who was brave and decisive instead of cautious and scared.”

You can watch the video for "Knees Deep" below. Expert in a Dying Field is due out September 16 on Carpark Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on The Beths, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Mon. Aug. 22 - Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
Tue. Aug. 23 - Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
Thu. Aug. 25 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Fri. Aug. 26 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
Sat. Aug. 27 - Portland, ME @ Portland House of Music
Sun. Aug. 28 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB
Wed. Aug. 31 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit Hall
Thu. Sep. 1 - Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Thu. Sep. 15 - Melbourne, AU @ 170 Russell
Fri. Sep. 16 - Sydney, AU @ Metro Theatre
Sat. Sep. 17 - Brisbane, AU @ The Triffid
Tue. Sep. 20 - Adelaide, AU @ The Gov
Wed. Sep. 21 - Perth, AU @ Magnet House
Fri. Sep. 23 - Wellington, NZ @ Opera House
Sat. Sep. 24 - Nelson, NZ @ Theatre Royal
Fri. Sep. 30 - Christchurch, NZ @ James Hay Theatre
Sat. Oct. 1 - Dunedin, NZ @ The Glenroy
Fri. Oct. 7 - Auckland, NZ @ Auckland Town Hall
Thu. Feb. 16 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Fri. Feb. 17 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Wed. Feb. 22 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Fri. Feb. 24 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Sun. Feb. 26 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
Tue. Feb. 28 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
Thu. Mar. 2 - New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Fri. Mar. 3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Sat. Mar. 4 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon. Mar. 6 -  Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
Tue. Mar. 7 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade - Heaven
Wed. Mar. 8 - Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl
Fri. Mar. 10 - Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn
Sat. Mar. 11 - Dallas, TX @ Tulips
Tue. Mar. 14 - Denver, CO @ Summit
Thu. Mar. 16 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Fri. Mar. 17 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda
Sat. Mar. 18 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore