Thursday, October 22, 2020

Eyesore & The Jinx - "Accidental Weller"

Hailing from Liverpool, Eyesore & The Jinx released a standalone single earlier this month. This is a song that's become legendary with fans of the band, who have wondered about its very existence. "Accidental Weller" is a post punk meets mod song. It's a fun danceable track, despite having this growing aggression building underneath. There are bursts of pure noise that periodically jump out, almost without warning. It's a shockingly intense song, even though it seems like a lighthearted, upbeat track throughout.

Josh Miller of Eyesore & The Jinx explains that "Accidental Weller" "... is a cautionary tale about the urge for transformation in all of us. A timely reminder that you’re only ever a few snips away from a bouffant/ mullet hybrid that belongs on a Vespa with a Union Jack paint job, doing 40 mph on an A round somewhere just outside of Luton. A verbal hand on the shoulder, patting you gently, letting you know that whatever plans you have, big or small, never work out quite like you would have wanted them to, much like this pointless, little year."

You can listen to "Accidental Weller" below. The song is available now via Eggy Records. For more on Eyesore & The Jinx, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Kacy + Clayton & Marlon Williams - "I Wonder Why"

Photo by Janelle Wallace

The Saskatchewan duo of Kacy + Clayton have paired with New Zealand's Marlon Williams on an upcoming album. Way back in 2018 (granted, only two years ago but it feels like decades) Williams left the summer warmth to head to Canada around Christmas for three weeks, which is when the bulk of the album was recorded. Now, nearly two years later we can hear the first song from that collaboration. "I Wonder Why" keeps that vintage oldies meets folk sound that we love from Williams. It could just be his voice, but everything that comes out of him sounds like a vintage crooner. This combines with a classic country sound, mixing two gorgeous classic American sounds into a song from a Canadian and New Zealander pairing.

Marlon Williams says of the collaboration: “We wanted to see if we could meld hemispheres. I’m bringing this Pacific style of country music with the harmonies and choral elements. Kacy & Clayton have a super identifiable sound. They embody everything I love about North American folk. There’s a rural weariness where they’re telling tales that have been told a million times in their own way. I feel the strength in it.” 

You can watch the video for "I Wonder Why" below. Plastic Bouquet, the upcoming album from Kacy + Clayton & Marlon Williams, will be out December 11 on New West Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Kacy + Clayton, check their website. For more on Marlon Williams, check out his.

Partner - "Honey"

The latest release from everyone's favorite Canadian post classic rockers is just pure straight up rock. "Honey," Partner's new single, is literally just a song about rocking. This is the kind of song that is usually reserved for bands like Flight of the Conchords and Tenacious D these days. And, sure... "Honey" isn't a overly serious song about a huge social issues, and it does have a sense of humor, but it's hardly a novelty song. It's just a huge rock song about rock. Bless Partner for that.

And what exactly is "Honey" about? According to the band: "Honey is the origin story of Josée's golden axe. In this track we recall how she first found her way to our house and joined the band. It came with a note (from Josée's dad) 'This guitar sounds just like honey going down.' Get ready for some straight up rock n roll."

You can watch the Wayne's World inspired video for "Honey" below. Never Give Up, the upcoming album from Partner, will be out November 20 on You've Changed Records. For more on Partner, check out the band's website.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Danielle Durack - "Broken Wings"

Photo by Eunice Beck

"Broken Wings," the latest single from Phoenix's Danielle Durack, is a pretty straightforward singer/songwriter, folk adjacent song. It's a little more pop and mainstream than the music I dig, but it's just a great little song. And then the crashing drums and crunchy guitars kick in, amping the entire thing up a few notches. What starts off as a pretty little song becomes a straight up rocker, and then fades back into the quiet. It does all this while still sounding like the same song and maintaining consistency. 

According to Danielle Durack, the song is “... a kind of wry take on my questionable taste in men," she explains. "The song is pretty self critical, like, 'why do you keep doing this to yourself?' But also pretty jab-y towards the men in question. It's about wanting something that isn’t good for me."

You can watch the video for "Broken Wings" below. No Place, the upcoming album from Danielle Durack, will be out January 15. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Danielle Durack, check out the artist's website.

Breakdown Brass Covers Dr. Dre

We've been all in for the resurgence in both brass and marching bands lately, particularly when they're playing covers of decidedly non-brass songs. Our latest discovery is Breakdown Brass. Way back in 2015, the Brooklyn based band (which features members of Anitibalas, Sharon Jones, Streetlight Manifesto, Charles Bradley, Valerie June, Lee Fields and more!) released their single "Monmouth" which included a cover of Dr. Dre's classic "Next Episode." In 2019, they reissued the single, this time with "Next Episode" being the A-side. Granted, the cover doesn't include Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, or Nate Dogg, but you're going to love it regardless. It's an instrumental version of the gangsta funk classic, and somehow it's even funkier. This cover will be nearly impossible to not love.

You can listen to Breakdown Brass cover "Next Episode" below. You can get your copy of the single over at Bandcamp. For more on Breakdown Brass, check out their website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 16 October

Artist: beadadoobee
Album: Fake It Flowers
Quick Description: Big on Tiktok singer-songwriter with an amazing album.
Why You Should Listen: Don't let her buzz on an app we're all too old for steer you away from this.
Overall Thoughts: Ken found her first with her great "I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus," but her song "Coffee" and a remixed version have a combined 782 plays on Spotify due to its prevalance on TikTok. But we're not here to talk about that, but rather this great album. It absolutely feels like a 1990s Juliana Hatfield record in so many ways, and it's super great. This is super likely to be a big hit this year, so get in on the ground floor (or at least what's left of it for those not on TikTok) and enjoy.
Recommendation: One of the best of the year.

Artist: Lauren Mann
Album: Memory and Desire
Quick Description: Canadian folkie back with another great record.
Why You Should Listen: Lauren Mann has a history of hook-filled folk songs.
Overall Thoughts: I've loved nearly everything Lauren Mann has done up to this point, and this album is about as good as all the rest. Maybe a little quieter than some of her earlier work, but there are plenty of songs in here that are almost certain to get stuck in your head. If you're not on the bandwagon yet, by all means hop on now.
Recommendation: Absolutely worth your time.

Artist: Malin Pettersen
Album: Wildhorse
Quick Description: Lovely Nordic folk/roots music.
Why You Should Listen: A little more contemplative than her debut, but still another solid effort.
Overall Thoughts: There's something about the Norway/Sweden area that pumps out folk and Americana artists that rival some of the best here in the States. Malin Petterson is no different in that regard, provioding a surprisingly great album here that is different enough from her debut to be considered a shift, yet still cohesive and complete enough to make for a great listen. It's a busy week, so you'll want to make some time for this.
Recommendation: Make room for this one.

Artist: Annie
Album: Dark Hearts
Quick Description: First album in close to a decade from the pop/electro singer.
Why You Should Listen: She's come a long way from "Chewing Gum."
Overall Thoughts: She's been a favorite of mine for ages, and I was nearly convinced that she was done with music, but here is Dark Hearts, definitely a more measured affair. On first listen, there aren't a lot of club bangers here, but this is an album you might expect from a dance pop singer who is getting older. Either way, I'm glad she's back, and I'm glad this album exists.
Recommendation: A solid listen.

Artist: Mipso
Album: Mipso
Quick Description: Genre-bending four-piece with a great folk sound.
Why You Should Listen: This is really different in many ways, with some rootsy genre mashups in here that are high-quality.
Overall Thoughts: I think Ken sent this one over, and I'm super glad he did. This album is something special, in part because of the familiarity mixed with a record that sounds unlike anything you've heard before. Mipso does what they do extremely well. There's quite a bit to love about this album, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with this and seeing what else it has to uncover.
Recommendation: Don't miss out.

Artist: Boyish
Album: Garden Spider
Quick Description: A sneaky good, often quiet one we missed.
Why You Should Listen: This has all the markings of an alt-rock inide album, but does more than enough interesting things to set it apart.
Overall Thoughts: This came out early in 2020, pre-pandemic, but it has all the feelings of an isolated, distant rock record. The song titles imply a feeling that I don't know is quite present, but the listen on a whole is very enjoyable on a whole and one that I'm glad I found before it was too late.
Recommendation: Make some time.

Artist: Dorian Electra
Album: My Agenda
Quick Description: Sophomore effort from the glitchy dance-punk PC music-style singer.
Why You Should Listen: It's angry, it's angsty, and it features The Village People and Rebecca Black.
Overall Thoughts: Dorian Electra has a lot to say, and doesn't hold back on pretty much anything on this album. It's extremely overt in its messaging and its statements, and it's something that enhances the entire theme as opposed to it being a cringy drawback. On a whole, I really like this album, and the stuff that would otherwise feel like stunt casting (such as the Rebecca Black-featuring "Edgelord") works in context. This won't be for everybody, but it absolutely worked for me.
Recommendation: Give this a shot.

Artist: Growing Concerns Poetry Collective
Album: Big Dark Bright Futures
Quick Description: Fusion of hip-hop and poetry.
Why You Should Listen: This is something very unique and special.
Overall Thoughts: I didn't want to let this pass by, as this is something truly great that is less a musical album and more an artistic statement. While poetry slams and the like might have a questionable cultural rep these days, the seriousness and the beauty of this presentation makes it something worth hearing at least once and, for me, something I'll definitely go back to. It won't work for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to give it a listen.
Recommendation: Mandatory listening this week.

Of note:
* Quintron and Miss Pussycat - Goblin Alert (Weird and wonderful.)
* Good Sad Happy Bad - Shades (This is subtle in a lot of ways, but something I enjoyed.)
* Matt Berninger - Serpentine Prison (Excellent folk music this week.)
* Kevin Morby - Sundowner (Another excellent folk record.)
* William Elliott Whitmore - I'm With You (Don't sleep on "MK Ultra Blues.")
* Sturgill Simpson - Cuttin' Grass - Volume 1 (Some stripped down, rootsy versions of his stuff that are often better than the originals.) * Jax Anderson (fka Flint Eastwood) - Bedroom B-Sides: Volume 1
* Becca Mancari - The Greatest Part
* Manu Grace - No Room for Error
* Nadine Shah - Kitchen Sink
* Leith Ross - Motherwell
* Holy Motors - Horse
* The Proctors - Summer Lane
* Mr. Gnome - The Day You Flew Away
* Helena Deland - Someone New
* Homeboy Sandman - Don't Feed the Monster
* Autechre - SIGN
* Open Mike Eagle - Anime, Trauma, and Divorce
* The Old Rochelle - Pony Steps

* Tomberlin - Projections
* The Damned - The Rockfield Files
* Osees - Metamorphosed
* The Mastersons - Red, White, and I Love You Too
* Finlay - Edge of Mine (acoustic)
* Sally Haze - Wet Dream
* John Mark Nelson - Start Over

Also out:
* Sasha Sloan - Only Child
* Astrid S - Leave It Beautiful
* Gulfer - Gulfer
* Tom Petty - Wildflowers & All the Rest

Felix Hatfield featuring Esme Patterson - "That Kiss"

Photo via Facebook

Every so often we come across an artist that is taking a standard genre and just doing their own thing with it. They're not reinventing the entire world of music and what came before. They're working within the genre, but just doing their own unique thing with it. Felix Hatfield is currently doing that with folk. "That Kiss," which is a duet with Esme Patterson, is a folk song, but it's a folk song not quite like anything you've heard before, while still being solidly folk. Some of that unique feel is the use of horns and what might be windchimes, but that's not it. The entire structure of the song, while being traditional, feels completely unique the way Hatfield works it. The only true past artists I can compare this to is the Elephant 6 collective, which is high praise around these parts.

You can watch the video for "That Kiss" below. False God, the upcoming album from Felix Hatfield, will be out October 23. For more on Felix Hatfield, check out his website.

Aaron Frazer - "Over You"

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Last month we brought you the new solo single from Aaron Frazer, best known as the drummer and second vocalist with Durand Jones & The Indications. Now, we have a new single. "Over You" keeps the soul that we love about Aaron Frazer's band, and somehow amps up the groove. The new song has a certain level of funk not typically heard in American soul. Frazer explains: “‘Over You’ is inspired by the legendary northern soul 45s that electrified dance floors across the UK in the 1960sBreakneck speeds and breakbeat drums challenged even the best dancers to pull out all the stops. Lyrically, ‘Over You’ captures a moment of despair in the darkest hour of a breakup. But sometimes to feel better, you just gotta shake your ass.”

You can watch the video for "Over You" below. Introducing..., the upcoming Dan Auerbach produced album from Aaron Frazer, will be out January 8 on Dead Oceans/Easy Eye Sound. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Aaron Frazer, check out the artist's website.

Angry Blackmen - "PROTOCOL!"

Photo via Facebook

There's been a resurgence of hip hop that eschews the standard trope of an obvious sample and an R&B chorus, and we're all for that. Our latest discovery is Angry Blackmen's new single "PROTOCOL!" At just over two minutes, the song has more in common with punk than mainstream hip hop. The music isn't exactly as rough as early hip hop, but it's not quite smooth either. It's a harsh yet mellow electronic burst with industrial sounding beats. This blends with the two members of Angry Blackmen's flow: They're laid back but intense.

You can watch the video for "PROTOCOL!" below. HEADSHOTS!, the new album from Angry Blackmen, is available now via Deathbomb Arc. You can get a copy at the label's Bandcamp. For more on Angry Blackmen, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Jake McKelvie & the Countertops - "Clot the Wobblin"

Massachusetts's Jake McKelvie & the Countertops are back with their unique blend of Americana inflected indie rock. Their latest single, "Clot the Wobblin," might be our new favorite of their catalog. It's a fast paced song that rambles on like a hyperactive Bob Dylan's prime 60's and 70's work, but mixed with the slacker aesthetic of Pavement. It has virtually no chorus... well, it kinda does. There are a few lines that are repeated twice, but in a song as verbose as "Clot the Wobblin," it's easy to miss that. Plus, the song is genuinely funny, which is rare in indie rock. 

You can listen to "Clot the Wobblin" below. The song will be included on Jake McKelvie & the Countertops's upcoming album Here's What You Do, but for now you can get the single via the band's Bandcamp. For more on Jake McKelvie & the Countertops, check out their website.