Thursday, November 14, 2019

Shadow Show - "Shadow Box"

Photo by Colleen Rose
Shadow Show might be the most Detroit band out there right now. Their new single, "Shadow Box," has elements of Detroit psychedelic garage rock proto-punk mixed with a Motown girl group vibe. It's a down and dirty sound, leaning much heavier into the garage rock sound, but also with this unexpected sheen over it. And then it all ends with a freak out jam. It's like they took Detroit in the 1960's and tweaked it just enough to give it a new, modern sound.

You can listen to "Shadow Box" below. Silhouettes, the debut album from Shadow Show, will be out February 14 on Burger Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Shadow Show, check them out on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Coude - Save Our Souls

Hailing from France, Coude have just released a new EP that's sure to appeal to fans of 90's indie rock. Save Our Souls starts off with "Break Your Balls" that sounds as if Sonic Youth and Kathleen Hanna had so much fun on the "Bull In the Heather" video that she joined the band as a full time member. Sonic Youth comparisons will continue with "Rave Down," as the vocals are quite reminiscent of Thurston Moore. That is, until the song takes a weird turn into Ciccone Youth territory. It isn't all Sonic Youth style indie rock. "You Will Never Be Mine" has a much more sensitive feel than Sonic Youth specialized in. It's still a noisy, discordant indie rock song, but there is something truly lovely about it at the same time.

You can listen to "Rave Down" below. Save Our Souls, the new EP from Coude, is available now via Influenza Records. You can get a copy here. For more on Coude, check them out on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

War on Alexandria - "Grip (the heavy one)"

Photo via Facebook
We don't cover much on the metal/hard rock spectrum here, but every so often something squeaks through and gets our attention. Boston's War on Alexandria have released a new single, and it's a heavy blast of thrash that gets our attention. Based on its name and the fact that War on Alexandria's previous single, "Sleep Deprived," was more on the chilled out/ambient side of things, "Grip (the heavy one)" might just be a band indulging themselves in their metal side. "Grip (the heavy one)" isn't pure hardcore metal. Instead it's a more melodic side of bands like Helmet or Deftones. 

You can listen to "Grip (the heavy one)" below. For more on War on Alexandria, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Heather Valley - "Lovejoy"

The first single from Heather Valley's debut album might not have the most traditionally country sound ever, but the subject matter is the height of country. According to Valley, "Lovejoy"... "tells the tale of my reunion with the love of my life, who turned out to be a conman. He came up to Buffalo and I drove down from Canada, the two of us meeting in a neighbourhood called Lovejoy. Everything seemed perfect. It wasn’t until he was arrested at the border in front of me that I discovered the truth - he was a fugitive from justice from Louisiana carrying on multiple lives." Musically, the song has a little too much of a sheen on it to be traditional country, but instead it feels like a more modern version of country hits of the 70's.

You can watch the video for "Lovejoy" below. Desert Message, the debut album from Heather Valley, will be out November 22. For more on Heather Valley, check her out on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Beija Flo - "Nudes"

Photo via Facebook
Liverpool based artist Beija Flo has a new single and an accompanying art exhibition. "Nudes" builds in intensity. It starts off as a chilled out mixture of trip hop and drum & bass. It's a beautiful electronic song, but it slowly builds and builds into a much more uncomfortable yet intriguing listen. At one point it sounds more like an organic Aphex Twin.

Beija Flo describes "Nudes" and the exhibit "Inside the Walls": “This very personal collection of music and art is about how I saw and captured my body, and how it as touched, over a specific period of time. A period of time in which I had a series of blemishing break-ups and sexual partners, during a very hard year in my life. Whilst struggling with my weight and mental health, I lost a lot of people and pushed the rest away. I still can’t explain why I did this. In a mad panic of distrust and anxiety, I could not bear to be touched or even continue to exist – at least, not in the world I was in. In a desperate longing for someone to see me as I was, to start again, I gave trust to the wrong people and received scars in return. I also gave trust to the right people and got my body back.”

You can watch the video for "Nudes" below. Beija Flo's exhibition "Inside the Walls: Nudes, Anxieties and Other Content" will run from January 17 to February 2 at Output Gallery in Liverpool. For more on Beija Flo, check her out on Facebook and Twitter.

Mountain Man Covers Irving Berlin

Photo via Facebook
It feels absurdly early to be sharing Christmas music at this point, but when artists we love keep releasing it, we can't help it. The latest is Mountain Man covering Irving Berlin's legendary "White Christmas." As you might expect, Mountain Man's version of this song is absolute perfection. They keep it very traditional, although it is much more stripped down and folky than the original. It's a quiet, gorgeous version of one of the few Christmas songs that seems to be beloved by all. As the band says: "We wanted to record a song that could be played in people's homes throughout the holidays, like a gentle push of light. We thought 'White Christmas' might do the trick!"

You can listen to Mountain Man's version of "White Christmas" below. You can find the song here. For more on Mountain Man, For more on Mountain Man, check out their website.

First Listen: New Releases for 8 November

There is so much good music out this week.

Artist: FKA Twigs
Quick Description: Left-of-center R&B act back with more interesting tunes.
Why You Should Listen: FKA Twigs is among the most adventurous artists in her lane.
Overall Thoughts: If there’s one thing FKA Twigs is known for, it’s taking chances. No one in the R&B space is quite like her, and her new album, while still delightfully weird, is probably more noteworthy for how relatively accessible it is. Sure, these aren’t Lizzo bangers but they aren’t impenetrable, either, and that makes a difference here. If you’ve held off up to now, this is definitely a worthwhile onramp, but there’s certainly enough here for fans to really enjoy. (Also “fallen alien” is amazing.)
Recommendation: A must-hear.

Artist: HANA
Quick Description: Sort-of retro pop music.
Why You Should Listen: This is one of my favorites of the week.
Overall Thoughts: For as much as I like 90s alt-rock, I have a similar affinity for 90s techno/dance music, and if HANA isn't mirroring those sorts of higher-concept, soaring techno anthems of that era, I must be losing my mind. Songs like "Anxious Alien" and "Nu Leaf" would fit right into that time period and been awesome then, and it doesn't feel dated now. This is such a great listen, and worth it with or without nostalgia glasses on.
Recommendation: Sneaky great.

Artist: Fox Medicine
Album: Procedures Mystiques
Quick Description: Lopud, brash indie... metal?
Why You Should Listen: In a lot of ways, this shouldn't be as good as it is.
Overall Thoughts: I shouldn’t like this. It’s sludgey noisy metal-adjacent music, but somehow the sing-songy approach with the melodic underpinnings just works for me. It’s such a fresh approach that I am just as interested in going into their back catalog as I am to get back to this album. I won’t pretend that this will work for everyone, but it is definitely one of my favorites this week, and might have some staying power.
Recommendation: Give this a chance.

Artist: Raelyn Nelson Band
Album: Don't
Quick Description: Willie's granddaughter's rockin' delight.
Why You Should Listen: She has the genetics and the bonafides.
Overall Thoughts: I have been semi-obsessed with Raelyn Nelson since “Brother,” and years of singles have finally led to a debut as good as anything out there. This granddaughter of Willie knows how to bring a punk aesthetic to rockabilly-style country, and this is just a really fun record from start to finish. They’re not trying to change the world, but if this sets a few fires along the way, all the better (and don’t sleep on the Bikini Kill cover at the end of the album, either).
Recommendation: A really great listen.

Artist: Me Not You
Album: Already Gone
Quick Description: Loud, abrasively melodic indie rock.
Why You Should Listen: No one sounds quite like this act.
Overall Thoughts: Another group I have been waiting forever for a full-length on, and while none of these songs reach the soaring, noisy heights of their earliest EPs, the shoegazey tendencies of this record more than make up for it. There’s an added urgency as well that provides a real interesting feeling that I fully enjoyed. This is a busy week for music, for sure, but...
Recommendation:... this one really shouldn’t be missed.

Album: The Theatrical Death of Julie Delicious
Quick Description: New album from the loud, poppy indie act.
Why You Should Listen: This is a delightful little adventure.
Overall Thoughts: Show me a more fun album this year. I’ll wait. There’s just an infectious joy to this record that I can’t resist, and I really enjoyed my time with this one. I can’t wait to go back, and this has some fairly broad appeal for both pop addicts and those looking for interesting indie works.
Recommendation: A great listen.

Artist: The Hackles
Album: A Dobritch Did as a Dobritch Should
Quick Description: Solid, surprising folk-adjacent tunes.
Why You Should Listen: This feels different and unique.
Overall Thoughts: This is a great, rootsy effort that feels bold and forward-thinking while remaining as familiar as ever. Great music, great harmonies, and really one of the better folky efforts in a few weeks. If you like the roots stuff we feature here, this absolutely needs to find some time in your rotation this week.
Recommendation: Give it a listen.

Artist: Kate Davis
Album: Trophy
Quick Description: Addictive indie pop.
Why You Should Listen: Kate Davis has something special here.
Overall Thoughts: This is some really solid indie rock/pop, reminiscent of the recent Noel Wells record or some of Jenny Owen Youngs’s output. Kate Davis knows how to put a song together, and the result here is a solid album from start to finish with some truly memorable moments. Granted, I am biased in the sense that I could get down with most of this genre, but there’s something special here.
Recommendation: Make time for this.

Artist: DJ Manipulator
Album: The Soviet Tape
Quick Description: Splicing Russian media with hip hop beats.
Why You Should Listen: The concept alone is amazing.
Overall Thoughts: This is a fairly simple concept that is just too great to ignore. DJ takes some Russian records and audio, mixes them up, creates dance/turntable masterpiece. And it won’t interfere in your elections!
Recommendation: A great listen.

Of note:

* Mark Lind and the Unloved - The Last Bastion (Fine, but not for me.)
* Various Artists - Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots (Lots of gems in this comp.)
* Thees Handz - Thees Handz (Collaboration between The Grouch and Murs.)
* Rachael Dadd - FLUX (Solid indie folk.)
* Brother Ali - Secrets & Escapes
* Louise Burns - Portraits
* Russian Baths - Deepfake
* Mount Eerie and Julie Doiron - Lost Wisdom Pt. 2
* Josienne Clarke - In All Weather

Seven Song Albums:

* Lucy Dacus - 2019 (A collection of singles this year plus some fun covers.)


* Andrew Bird - HARK!
* Hercules & Love Affair - Change EP

Also out:

* Snow Patrol - Reworked (Collects the reworked EPs and more.)
* Agnostic Front - Get Loud!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Clever Girls - "Remember Pluto"

We've been fans of Burlington,VT's Clever Girls and their style of indie rock meets Tom Petty style Americana for a few years now. Their newest single, "Remembering Pluto," changes their sound up quite a bit. While there are some hints of the previous Americana inspired sound, "Remembering Pluto" is downright trippy. It's almost like The Cars experimenting with psychedelia. The guitars are wonderfully muddled in the best planned way. There are some big rock moments in the song, but mostly it's a relatively quiet, reflective song masquerading as a big rocker.

You can listen to "Remembering Pluto" below. The song is available now via Egghunt Records on Clever Girl's Bandcamp. For more on Clever Girls, check out their website.

Whistlestop Rock Festival Brings the Rock to Winter in New England

The winter is a fairly dead time for live music in New England. A storm can derail a live show at any time, and who really wants to deal with being cold and carrying around a big, bulky coat inside a sweaty, packed club?

Whistlestop Rock Festival is going to change that for the better. Simone Berk (Kid Gulliver, Sugar Snow) reached out via a group message to women in bands about doing a show together. That idea expanded into a regionally touring festival featuring eight bands plus special guests in each city. As you can tell by the name, Whistlestop Rock Festival sticks with the rock side of things and features the retro-mod punk of The Chelsea Curve, the Rolling Stones meets Hank Williams of Cold Expectations, Boston rock veterans Field Day, heavily 90's alt-rock infleunced Heather Rose in Clover, the power pop punk of Justine and The Unclean, Kid Gulliver's power pop, power trio The Knock Ups, the impossible to classify Powerslut, and Tiger Bomb's garage pop. Any three or four of these bands playing together is a can't miss night out, but all eight? 

Right now there are four cities/five nights scheduled for the festival with more to come. They are:
Providence RI, at Askew Prov, January 11, 2020 
Somerville MA, at ONCE Ballroom, February 29, 2020 (PowerSlut Record Release Party!!) 
Salem MA, at Koto, two nights, March 13 and 14, 2020 
Portland ME, at Sun Tiki Studios, March 28, 2020

For more on the Whistlestop Rock Festival, check them out on Facebook.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Beach Bunny - "Dream Boy"

Lili Trifilio first started Beach Bunny in 2015 as a solo project. The first three EPs were lo-fi home recordings. In 2018 Beach Bunny became a full band with the Prom Queen EP, and are now set to release their debut LP. The first single, "Dream Boy," has little of their lo-fi origins. It's a big indie pop/rock song, with heavy guitars and drums, and hooks that are beyond infectious. The only traces of the band's beginnings are in the lyrics, which, while paired with the new full on rock sound, will hook in just about anyone.

You can listen to "Dream Boy" below. Honeymoon, the debut album from Beach Bunny, will be out February 14 on Mom + Pop. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Beach Bunny, check them out on Facebook and Twitter. Current tour dates are below the song.

11/16 - Detroit, MI - El Club
11/17 - Toronto, ON - The Hard Luck - [SOLD OUT]
11/20 - Allston, MA - Great Scott - [SOLD OUT]
11/21 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC - [SOLD OUT]
11/22 - Philadelphia, PA - Everybody Hits - [SOLD OUT]
11/23 - Washington, DC - Songbyrd - [SOLD OUT]
11/24 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle - [SOLD OUT]
11/25 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn - [SOLD OUT]
11/26 - Nashville, TN - DRKMTTR
11/27- Columbus, OH - Big Room Bar
12/5 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
12/6 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry - [SOLD OUT]
12/7 - Grinnell, IA - Gardner Lounge at Grinnell College
12/8 - Indianapolis, IN - Hoosier Dome
2/22 - Chicago, IL - Metro
2/28 - Austin, TX - Barracuda
2/29 - Houston, TX - The Secret Group
3/1 - Dallas, TX - Ruins
3/3 - Phoenix, AZ - The Rebel Lounge
3/4 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy Theatre
3/5 - San Diego, CA - Che Cafe
3/7 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
3/9 - Portland, OR - Polaris Hall
3/10 - Seattle, WA - The Vera Project
3/12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
3/13 - Denver, CO  - Lost Lake
3/27 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
3/28 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
3/29 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
3/31 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg