Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sonic Youke Covers Sonic Youth

So... this one is interesting...

Based out of Syracuse, NY, Sonic Youke claim to be "The premier all ukulele Sonic Youth tribute band from Syracuse N.Y." (I'm sure this is a contentious claim, with all the competition for all ukulele Sonic Youth cover bands in Syracuse, NY, but I digress...) The band rose from the ashes of Fugelele, an all ukulele Fugazi cover band, in 2017. The band's Sonic Youth repertoire is expanded to ninety minutes, so they've invested some serious time in this.

How's the music? Shockingly good. These aren't modern bluegrass re-imaginings of Sonic Youth classic songs. These are heavy, noisy, true to the original versions of Sonic Youth songs that just happen to be performed on ukulele. I'm sure the drums help (so much for the all ukulele claims...)

You can watch a live video for Sonic Youke's version of "Chapel Hill" below via YouTube user Karly Grifasi. For more on Sonic Youke, check out the band's website.

First Listen: New Releases for 17 May

A slower week, but with two heavy hitters.


Artist: Carly Rae Jepsen
Album: Dedicated
Quick Description: Latest album from the pop star.
Why You Should Listen: There is a lot riding on this follow-up to her last effort.
Overall Thoughts: For those who are not choosing between Taylor and Katy, this is probably the pop event of 2019. E*MO*TION was so good that it’s unrealistic to believe that Jepsen could top it, and to be clear, she does not. With that said, there is a nice throughline of the sort of 80s/early 90s pop that continues here that Carly Rae does so well, and songs like “Real Love” could end up being one of her long-term classics. If you’re not on the bandwagon yet, I don’t know if this will change your mind, but I am a happy fan.
Recommendation: A great listen.


Artist: Alex Lahey
Album: The Best of Luck Club
Quick Description: Indie favorite with a brand new album.
Why You Should Listen: Her solo debut was amazing, this is probably better.
Overall Thoughts: It’s weird to praise the glossy pop stylings of Carly Rae Jepsen and then lead into the new Alex Lahey album with a complaint about the production value (and specifically how heavily produced it sounds), but considering how good a musician she is and how great these songs are, it is very frustrating to feel as if the production is an exhausting affair in some regards. To be clear, this is a great album and I’ll go as far to say that this is possibly better than her debut (“Interior Demeanour” is going to be an underrated classic, in my opinion), I just question the choices made in some regards.
Recommendation: A great listen in spite of the flaws.


Artist: Kelly Hunt
Album: Even the Sparrow
Quick Description: Great bluegrass music.
Why You Should Listen: Kelly Hunt knows how to craft a song.
Overall Thoughts: This is basically the bluegrass record I’ve been waiting for. There’s a grit to this, a sort of skewed approach, that just absolutely nailed it for me on a whole, and the full album, on first listen, feels cohesive and complete. I can’t recommend any single songs because so much of it just works, but if you like the roots stuff that features around here, and if acts like Sarah Jarosz and the Punch Brothers do it for you, you’ll find a lot to like here.
Recommendation: A favorite this week.


Artist: Lafawndah
Album: Ancestor Boy
Quick Description: Left field R&B.
Why You Should Listen: Reminiscent of Spellling, FKA Twigs, and so on.
Overall Thoughts: I’m unsure if this record exists without FKA Twigs, but I am happy it exists overall. This came out a while back, and gives the sort of off-kilter approach to R&B made famous by FKA Twigs and allows for a wide variety of structures and outcomes. This is a deep and heavy record that I want to spend a lot more time with, as it has some serious growth potential for me.
Recommendation: An excellent listen.

Of note:

* Olden Yolk - Living Theatre (Pretty solid effort.)
* Ioanna Gika - Thalassa (For fans of Marissa Nadler.)
* Injury Reserve - Injury Reserve (A great nerdcore-meets-Clipping effort.)
* Worshipper - Worshipper
* Com Truise - Persuasion System
* Ellen Allien - Alientronic
* Siobhan Wilson - The Departure
* The Head and the Heart - Living Mirage
* Mr. Tophat - Dusk to Dawn Part II

7 Song Albums:

* Michael Christmas - Baggy Eyes
* Kelly Moran - Origin

EPs:

* Elton John Cena - All Rats Go to Heaven (Fun EP.)
* The Jins - Death Wish (They listened to too much Nirvana, but that's more than okay.)
* Keep Shelly in Athens - Sunny Day
* Interpol - A Fine Mess
* Undeworld - Drift Episode 3: "HEART"

Also out:

* The National - I Am Easy to Find
* Kofi the Spiderman - Adventures in NumbNumb Land
* Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - Kingfish
* Josephine Wiggs - We Fall
* Lucette - Deluxe Hotel Room
* Palmistry - Afterlife
national

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Bad Signs Cover Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers

Photo via Facebook
The Bad Signs, a goth-country band from Nashville, are working on their debut album. While doing that, they decided to do a fan requested cover of "The Airplane Song" from Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers. The original version is a straightforward alt-rocker coming it at 2:30. The Bad Signs's version is a 3:02 slow as can possibly be country ballad with the verses spoken at times like an early rock 'n' roll/doo wop song. It transforms the song into a heartbreakingly soul crusher. In other words, it's fantastic.

You can listen to The Bad Signs's version of "The Airplane Song" below. For more on The Bad Signs, check out their website.

Spirit Family Reunion - "One Way Ticket"

I've been a fan of Spirit Family Reunion since I saw them open for David Wax Museum in December 2011, and I've been a HUGE fan since their set at Newport Folk Festival in 2012. That performance was legendary and got them the type of ovation that I haven't seen since. They've been relatively quiet for the past four years, but luckily they just announced a new album, and we can check out the first single now!

"One Way Ticket" is exactly what we want with Spirit Family Reunion. It's non-hokey old time folk, packed full of group vocals and harmonizing. What I've always loved about Spirit Family Reunion is how simple their songs are, and how they use that simplicity to draw people in. From the press photo they're currently using, it looks like there have been some line up changes, but you won't know it from their sound. "One Way Ticket" doesn't reinvent Spirit Family Reunion, nor do we want it to.

You can watch the lyric video for "One Way Ticket" below. Ride Free, the new album from Spirit Family Reunion, will be out August 9. You can pre-order a copy at Bandcamp. For more on Spirit Family Reunion, check out their website.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Sarah Bethe Nelson - "Weird Glow"

Photo by Jennifer Lewis
The latest single from Sarah Bethe Nelson might be a perfect little alternative pop song. "Weird Glow" reminds me a lot of Mary Lou Lord's major label output. It's a pretty straightforward singer/songwriter track, filled with Nelson's strikingly beautiful in their simplicity vocals and just enough jangle to keep it interesting. It's the kind of song that should be a huge megahit and propel Nelson into stardom if there was any justice in the world. But there's not, so I guess on the plus side "Weird Glow" won't be haunting you in every dentist's waiting room and chain restaurant this summer. Although it should be.

You can listen to "Weird Glow" below. Weird Glow the album will be out June 28 on Burger Records. For more on Sarah Bethe Nelson, check out her website.




Stef Chura featuring Will Toledo - "Sweet Sweet Midnight"

Photo by Chloe Best
Just as we thought we couldn't get more excited about Stef Chura's new album and she goes and releases "Sweet Sweet Midnight." This new song brings collaborator Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest into the spotlight as he takes a couple of verses and some harmonies. "Sweet Sweet Midnight" continues the 90's rock feel of the previously released songs off Midnight, but it's less harder rock and more Liz Phair meets Beck. 

Chura says of the song

"The chorus and guitar riff are something I had been playing with for a while after a close friend of mine died. We built the song off of the chorus keeping the theme of death, light and dreaming. While we were in the studio Will had a dream about Taylor Swift singing a song called 'Jordi' and that became the muse of the songs verses. One of my favorite moments from making this record was when we recorded the yelling section of this song. Will just got on the mic at random and started recording the loudest howl. I was like 'this is psycho...wtf is he doing in there...' As soon as he finished, he came out of the booth, looked at me and said, 'Ok, now your turn.' The ending vocal was a one-take track based on the day that my friend died. He was on vacation and he texted me he was coming home the next day and he never did."

You can listen to "Sweet Sweet Midnight" below. Midnight, the new album from Stef Chura, will be out June 7th on Saddle Creek. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Stef Chura, check out her website. Current tour dates are below the song.


Wed. June 19 - Sun. June 23 - Calgary, AB @ Sled Island
 Fri. July 5 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Sat. July 6 - Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx
Sun. July 7 - Toronto, ON @ The Drake
Mon. July 8 - Montreal, QC @ Casa del Popolo
Tue. July 9 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Fri. July 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
Sat. July 13 - Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
Mon. July 15 - Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
Tue. July 16 - Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
Wed. July 17 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Fri. July 19 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Sat. July 20 - Houston, TX @ The Satellite
Sun. July 21 - Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Mon. July 22 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
Thu. July 25 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Fri. July 26 - San Diego, CA @ Sodabar
Sat. July 27 - Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre
Sun. July 28 - San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord
Tue. July 30 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Wed. July 31 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Thu. Aug. 1 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Fri. Aug. 2 - Spokane, WA @ Lucky You Lounge
Sat. Aug. 3 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux
Mon. Aug. 5 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Tue. Aug. 6 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Wed. Aug. 7 - Omaha, NE @ Reverb
Fri. Aug. 9 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sat. Aug. 10 - Milwaukee, WI @ Backroom at Colectivo

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Kool Keith featuring B-Real - "Zero Fux"

Kool Keith and Cypress Hill are artists I will always check out their new output. Some of it is hit or miss, but it's always worth a shot. So when I see that Kool Keith has a new song out featuring B-Real? Obviously a must listen.

"Zero Fux" is a great song. It sounds very familiar. It might share a sample with a previous song from Deltron 3030, but maybe I'm just hearing things. Both are complete legends, so even if it is a shared sample, we can cut them a bit of slack. "Zero Fux" is pure old school hip hop, and exactly what you want to hear from a Kool Keith/B-Real collaboration.

You can listen to "Zero Fux" below. KEITH, the new album from Kool Keith, will be out July 12 on Mello Music Group. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Kool Keith, check out his Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Sarah Pagé - "Ephemeris Data"

Photo by Linus Ouellet
99.9999% of the time I'll flee from anything referred to as an "experimental harpist." Seeing the type of music we cover here at If It's Too Loud..., I don't think that would be considered unexpected. But this single from Sarah Pagé is the extremely rare exception. Sure, it's pretty harp music, but while I would find the vast and overwhelming majority to be whatever is past dull, "Ephemeris Data" is impossibly compelling. This isn't music to put on in the background while you get a massage or root canal: This demands to be heard. Harp music is definitively not my area of expertise, so I can't explain why at all. I'll let Sarah Pagé explain the song:

"I wanted to create a feeling of stillness within motion with Ephemeris Data.  Like looking through the passenger window of a car travelling down the highway.   The trees and the landscape eventually become one and it has a hypnotic effect. I’m playing as quickly as I can around just a few strings to create a blur and slowly shifting the melodies and harmony to mark the time passing."

You can listen to "Ephemeris Data" below. Dose Curves, the new album from Sarah Pagé, will be out October 11 on Backward Music. For more on Sarah Pagé, check out her website.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Carla Geneve - "Yesterday's Clothes"

Photo by Darren Stapley
Hopefully you're not sick of the surge of incredibly talented artists coming out of Australia, because the latest is Carla Geneve. "Yesterday's Clothes" starts out as a mostly traditional singer/songwriter song. It's not acoustic, but Geneve's vocals are definitely the focus of the song. Geneve's vocals are absurdly powerful, but not in a traditional sense. You'll understand this one once you listen. The guitar slowly takes over. It's so slow that you won't even realize it's happening until the end when it's a blistering whirlwind of pure rock.

As for the subject matter of the song, I'll let Geneve explain it: "Yesterday’s Clothes is about falling out of love with someone and feeling guilty about it. I wrote it at time when I was burning the candle at both ends and had no energy left to try to deal with the end of a relationship. Most of the words came when I was doing a long drive back from some gig or another in regional WA. I’d been up all night and had to be somewhere the next day, so I hadn’t had a shower or changed clothes. When you’re on your own driving for hours and hours it’s hard to avoid thinking about stuff that you don’t want to, so I guess I wrote the song to try to come to terms with my thoughts and situation."

You can listen to "Yesterday's Clothes" below. Carla Geneve's debut self-titled EP will be out June 7 on Dot Dash/Remote Control Records. For more on Carla Geneve, check her out on Facebook and Bandcamp.



First Listen: New Releases for 10 May

Some solid listens this week:

Album of the Week:


Artist: Charly Bliss
Album: Young Enough
Quick Description: Sophomore effort from a favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: Charly Bliss had one of the best records of the last few years, and this one has similar potential.
Overall Thoughts: Their debut, Guppy, was my favorite album of a couple years ago, so this follow-up has been a true highly-anticipated release for me. The early singles showed a lot of extra reliance on some keyboard/synth stuff that I didn’t love (given how much I loved their early sound), but still felt interested in, and the full album? It absolutely works. As a cohesive unit, the slight shift in sound lends itself to a different atmosphere in a full album that worked really well. So yeah, lead singles like “Chatroom” and “Capacity” get the added weight they seemed to lack in isolation, and “Fighting in the Dark” and “The Truth” act as counterbalances in a way that brought the whole thing full-circle. It’s likely to be a bit of a grower, but I’ll at least say that no album has had me thinking about it recently more than this one has, so going back to it should be enjoyable.
Recommendation: The best of the week.


Artist: Holly Herndon
Album: PROTO
Quick Description: Future-forward electronic music from a well-respected artist.
Why You Should Listen: Even if you can't appreciate the music, the effort and thought put into the whole package are worth the time.
Overall Thoughts: Few electronic artists are like Holly Herndon, and you wouldn’t know it by listening to it. She has gotten some rightful buzz from her previous efforts, and this latest one just continues along the same lines of really striking, ever-present electronic music. This isn’t for everyone nor does it try to be, but in terms of a near-cinematic approach to her type of composing, there’s little else out there that can even come close.
Recommendation: Yet another great album from Herndon, so check it out.


Artist: Lydia Ainsworth
Album: Phantom Forest
Quick Description: Beautiful concept album from a favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: Lydia Ainsworth has a unique approach worth everyone's time.
Overall Thoughts: Lydia Ainsworth has been doing a good job, over the last few releases, to really stake her claim on her little plot of musical land. This feels more accessible than her previous efforts, yet also much further out there in many regards. While no songs jumped out at first listen, the entire package had a surreal approach to it that I did not expect given its conceptual roots, and it’s one of my favorites this week. If Darling of the Afterglow was her putting a flag in the ground, this is her reconfiguring the flag into something really strange and powerful.
Recommendation: A great listen this week.


Artist: She Keeps Bees
Album: Kinship
Quick Description: Solid indie roots-ish music.
Why You Should Listen: They've been around for a while and this album feels like a hidden treasure.
Overall Thoughts: Truly, I would not have given this a second look if I wasn’t immediately transfixed by this act’s name. They’ve been around for well over a decade, and this duo makes a sort of indie, sort of folky, sort of bluesy album that never stays in one lane while deftly occupying multiple ones at the same time. It may have been “Breaking Weight” when I started texting people to check this one out, and not only will I be going back to this album sooner rather than later, but I have a whole back catalog of interesting stuff waiting for me as well.
Recommendation: A highlight this week.


Artist: Bis
Album: Slight Disconnects
Quick Description: Indie faves with their first new album in five years.
Why You Should Listen: Bis is one of those legendary indie acts.
Overall Thoughts: Bis is one of those indie acts that has been around for ages and that I fully and completely missed the boat on. This came out a few months ago and we initially missed it, but listening now feels like something really and truly different, and they probably know it already. I have no clue how longtime fans may feel about this one, but as someone coming in fresh, it makes me want to see what I missed.
Recommendation: Worth your time.

Of note:

* HÆLOS - Any Random Kindness
* Ten Foot Pole - Escalating Quickly
* Rhye - Spirit
* Clinic - Wheeltappers and Shunters
* Meat Beat Manifesto - Opaque Couche
* An American Forrest - O Bronder, Yonder Donder
* John Shakespear - Spend Your Youth

EPs:

* Elvis Costello and the Imposters - Purse
* Hannah Grace - The Bed You Made
* Boston Cream - Feels Funny
* Dawn Landes - My Tiny Twilight
* Hemming - Waiting/Wasting

Also out:

* Bear Hands - Fake Tunes (don’t sleep on “Blue Lips”)
* The Skints - Swimming Lessons(Similarly, “Learning to Swim” is great)
* Rosie Lowe - YU
* Cold Wrecks - This Could Be Okay

Monday, May 13, 2019

David Wax Museum - "Uncover the Gold"

Photo by Shantel Mitchell Breen
This may not be the official first single off David Wax Museum's highly anticipated new album, but it is a professionally recorded and shot video, so it will do for now. David Wax Museum were recently in Austin (most likely for SXSW) and stopped by for a Jam in the Van session. Of of the songs they recorded is "Uncover the Gold," which will be on their upcoming album. "Uncover the Gold" seems like a standard, mostly mainstream folk song on the surface. And it would be a great song if that's what it is. As you listen to it, you start noticing the horns bring in the Mexican folk they normally do in a David Wax Museum song, but they join in with Suz Slezak's fiddle in an odd almost indie rock noise harmony. It helps to make a really cool song something even more intriguing. 

You can watch the Jam in the Van version of "Uncover the Gold" below. David Wax Museum's new album, Line of Light, will be out in August on Nine Mile Records. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on David Wax Museum, check out their website. Current tour dates are below the video.


May 16 - Richmond, VA - Chilton House 
May 25 - Rocheport, MO - Pedaler's Jamboree ^
May 31 - Newtown, CT - Flagpole Barn 
June 2 - Somerville, MA - Stubblebine Lutherie 
June 3 - Ossipee, NH - Three Pork Hill 
June 4 - Plympton, MA - Black Walnut Tree House 
June 5 - TBD...available for something special
June 6 - Brooklyn, NY - 432 9th Street 
June 7 - York, PA - Sign of the Wagon 
June 8 - Takoma Park, MD - Square in the Circle
July 31 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue *
Aug 3 - Oxford, PA - Connective Festival

^ = full band show
* = opening for Gregory Alan Isakov

Ben Gibbard Covers Minor Threat

Photo by Rachel Demy
In today's bizarre cover song news, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service) has covered Minor Threat's "Filler." Personally I'd like to hear a completely faithful Gibbard cover of the straight edge hardcore classic. That's not what this is at all, and it's one of the more interesting covers of the year. The first clue that Gibbard's version of "Filler" is very different is the three minute length, which would be a Grateful Dead level epic for a Minor Threat song. Instead of a blistering hardcore song, it's completely redone as a piano ballad. Does it work as more than a curiosity or novelty? Unsure, but it's certainly interesting.

You can listen to Ben Gibbard cover "Filler" below. For more on Ben Gibbard, check out his website.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Low Cards - "Wolves"

Obviously roots/Americana music is undergoing a huge resurgence in the past ten or so years. A lot of that tends to be fairly repetitive. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. There's only so much you can do with standard folk instruments. There are other bands that have completely shattered the genre, only being able to be called folk because of the instruments they use. And then there's a band like RI's The Low Cards. Their latest single, "Wolves," has the structure of traditional folk music but their own unique voice. "Wolves" is too experimental to be truly traditional but also too traditional to be experimental. It's beautiful but also more than a little dissonant. Plus, it features MorganEve Swain (The Huntress and Holder of Hands, Brown Bird) on strings!

You can listen to "Wolves" below. The song will be included on Pilgrims Wake, the upcoming album from The Low Cards. For more on The Low Cards, be sure to check out their website.

Goodside - "I've Been Feeling Something Lately"

Hailing from Sydney, Goodside's debut single might be the definition of dream pop. "I've Been Feeling Something Lately" is a hazy, swirling song that is cemented firmly in the mid-90's then alternative/now pop sound of bands like Belly. It's catchier than possible and a joy of a song. The title may sound as if it's about developing feelings for someone, according to Casey Logemann:

"When I wrote I’ve Been Feeling Something Lately, I was in a rut and had stopped playing music entirely. I had this burst of excitement to write for the first time in years, it made me feel like myself again.” She continues “I didn’t want to create pressure surrounding my creative process, I just wanted the music to be fun. That’s sort of what the song is about and also why I started Goodside."

You can listen to "I've Been Feeling Something Lately" below. Goodside's debut album will be out later this year. (Side note: Goodside features members of Phantastic Ferniture and Julia Jacklin's live band.) For more on Goodside, check them out on Facebook.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Megafauna - "Is There Anything Else"

Photo by Michael Worchel
Megafauna are a uniquely unique band. Their latest single, "Is There Anything Else," is a burst of noise propelled garage/prog rock. It plows forward, veering off into its own little directions, but always coming back to an original base. Megafauna also display an incredible level of musicianship, which you don't see a lot in garage or noise rock. They absolutely shred, but in their own unique way. And the kicker of it all? It's bizarre and catchy noise rock, which is virtually unheard of.

You can listen to the epic "Is There Anything Else" below. Ghost Coast, the new album from Megafauna, will be out May 24. For more on Megafauna, be sure to check out their website.

Olden Yolk - "Grand Palais"

Photo by John Andrews
Olden Yolk's latest single, "Grand Palais," reminds me of a very specific slice of the 90's. It was a very brief time (in Boston, at least) when indie rockers started trading in their ironic t-shirts for thrift store polyester shirts. "Grand Palais" is all fuzzed out and groovy, and, to keep the Boston theme, reminds me of a pre-major label Jack Drag. According to the band, the song is “...about the frivolous search to seek some semblance of spiritual understanding in various places, things, and people outside of ourselves. Much of the song was written through improvisation in the studio alongside percussionist Booker Stardrum, whose frantic drumming is a driving force in the song. Weaving vocals, synthesizers, and tempo switches all encapsulate the dual feelings of desperation and euphoria found within this type of pursuit."

You can listen to "Grand Palais" below. Living Theatre, the new album from Olden Yolk, will be out May 17 on Trouble in Mind. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Olden Yolk check them out on Facebook and Twitter. Current tour dates are below the song.



Thu. May 16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (Record release show)
Fri. May 17 – Boston, MA @ Lilypad

Sat. May 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Jerry’s On Front
Sun. May 19 – Washington, DC @ DC9
Tue. May 21 – Athens, GA @ Go Bar
Wed. May 22 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
Thu. May 23 – New Orleans, LA @ Santos
Sat. May 25 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
Mon. May 27 – Nashville, TN @ Soft Junk
Tue. May 28 – Nashville, TN @ Grimey’s 12PM In-store
Tue. May 28 – Louisville, KY @ Odeon
Wed. May 29 – Detroit, MI @ Outer Limits Lounge
Thu. May 30 – Chicago, IL @ Hideout
Wed. May 31 – Grand Rapids, MI @ House Show
Thu. June 1 – Columbus, OH @ Dirty Dungarees
Fri. June 2 – Cleveland, OH @ Happy Dog
Fri. June 7 – Sonoma, CA @ Huichica Festival
Wed. June 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon (LA record release show)
Thu. June 20 – San Francisco, CA @ Make Out Room
Fri. June 21 – Portland, OR @ Turn Turn Turn w/ Adam Torres
Sun. June 23 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Sat. Oct. 12 – Portsmouth, UK @ The Festing
Sat. Oct. 13 – Exeter, UK @ The Cavern
Mon. Oct. 14 – Brighton, UK @ Komedie Studio
Tue. Oct. 15 – London, UK @ Lexington
Wed. Oct. 16 – Bristol, UK @ Louisiana
Thu. Oct. 17 – Birmingham, UK @ Hair & Hounds 2
Fri. Oct. 18 – Manchester, UK @ YES
Sat. Oct. 19 – Oxford, UK @ Ritual Union Festival

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Gotobeds - "2:15"

"2:15," the latest single from Pittsburgh's The Gotobeds, hails back to the slacker days of the 90's. It's a fun indie rock song that feels like Pavement trying (and mostly failing) to write a straight up hit song. Of course, I'm from the generation where hits are for squares, so I mean that in a good way. It's a song that threatens to explode, and doesn't quite, but almost does.

You can watch the video for "2:15" below. The video was directed by guitarist TFP, who has this to say about it:

"Hey, thanks for checking out my cool lil video for ‘2:15.’ Wow, I can’t believe I actually finished this thing. What an undertaking. I worked on this off and on for two years on a crappy freeware animation program that would crash if the clip was longer than a few seconds. The number of hours I put into this thing are countless and, honestly, I’d rather just get maced again. Enjoy!"

Debt Begins at 30, the new album from The Gotobeds, will be out May 31 on Sub Pop Records. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on The Gotobeds, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Joan As Police Woman Covers Prince

There are roughly a few thousand covers of Prince's beyond classic song "Kiss" out there, but Joan As Police Woman's isn't like any other. It's a complete reworking of the song. Instead of an 80's dance masterpiece, Joan As Police Woman does it as a stripped down indie/folk/soul song. It's as minimal as can be, but still with Prince style vocals. It's an oddly groovy and unique take on the original. It's a must listen.

You can listen to Joan As Policewoman's version of "Kiss" below. The song will be included on JOANTHOLOGY, a three disc career retrospective for Joan As Police Woman, which will be out on May 24 on Play It Again Sam. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Joan As Police Woman, check out her website.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 3 May

Solid week this week:

Album of the Week:


Artist: Tacocat
Album: This Mess is a Place
Quick Description: New album from an indie favorite.
Why You Should Listen: Tacocat has been on a lot of people's lists, but this could be the breakthrough they've been waiting on.
Overall Thoughts: This is maybe one of my favorite things I’ve listened to this year. I’ve enjoyed what Tacocat has pulled together so far in their tenure, but this is such a step up from their previous efforts that it is almost shocking. From song one, “Hologram,” it’s a great indie pop record that doesn’t try to be anything it isn’t and results in songs with hook after hook after hook. Even the midtempo finale, which is a long-standing musical trope that can sometimes be exhausting, feels as good and fresh as anything else on the album. Best of the week, best of the month, and in contention for best release of the year so far. Don’t miss out.
Recommendation: Easily the best of the week.


Artist: Mexico City Blondes
Album: Blush
Quick Description: Great modern trip-hop.
Why You Should Listen: You want to celebrate late-1990s electronica without all the neon.
Overall Thoughts: The best way I can describe this is that I never realized how much I wanted a modern Sneaker Pimps until I heard this. A solid electronic/trip-hoppy album from start to finish, this is a record from a group I had never heard of before now but can’t wait to spend more time with. Perfect for those looking for this type of music, or who enjoy deliberately-dissonant melodies to go along with strong and interesting instrumentation.
Recommendation: A great listen.


Artist: Joy Williams
Album: Front Porch
Quick Description: The other half of The Civil Wars with her new album.
Why You Should Listen: This is really solid folk music and a great reminder of how important she was to the whole dynamic.
Overall Thoughts: Fresh off the release of the other Civil Wars member's solo album comes Front Porch, which has been teased seemingly forever. Venus, Williams's first post-Wars release, didn't have the staying power I hoped for, but this is a more traditional mainstream folk album and it really does work. Hints of some great roots material, strong vocals and songwriting, it's a fairly complete package and feels like what we've been waiting for from her.
Recommendation: Check this one out.


Artist: Caroline Spence
Album: Mint Condition
Quick Description: New album from one of the more underrated country/folk acts out there.
Why You Should Listen: This is gorgeous music that feels fresh and different even as it stays in its lane.
Overall Thoughts: "Wishing Well" stayed in my rotation literally for years, and Spence's last album ended up a favorite of mine. This one looks to be a grower in some regards, and that isn't a bad thing - Spence has a unique voice that carries expectations with it that are not always matched by the lyrics, which is why she keeps me guessing and more surprised on each listen. I look forward to spending some time with this, because the first time through was really great and showed a ton of promise.
Recommendation: Make some time.


Artist: An Horse
Album: Modern Air
Quick Description: Long-awaited new album from some indie power poppers.
Why You Should Listen: An Horse had a great album way, way back
Overall Thoughts: An Horse last put out an album in 2011 and then went on hiatus for a while. This was unfortunate given how solid that album was and given where I hoped they would be heading. When "Get Out Somehow" dropped recently, it became clear the band had not lost a step, and the new album does a great job of picking up where they left off eight years ago. Given the relative dearth of good power pop these days, this is not only a breath of fresh air, but a really solid listen on its own merits. Don't sleep on it.
Recommendation: A highlight of the week.


Artist: Versing
Album: 10000
Quick Description: A favorite of ours with a follow-up.
Why You Should Listen: Their last album was one we loved, and this continues along that trajectory.
Overall Thoughts: Versing had a surprising album last time around that both of us like in these parts, and I don't have a ton to say about 10000 except that it does not suffer from any sort of real misses. If you're into what Versing is doing, with their unique indie rock sound, this album will work.
Recommendation: Great for fans, great starting point for new listeners.


Artist: Earnhardt
Album: Earnhardt
Quick Description: Straightforward rock and roll music.
Why You Should Listen: In an era where going a little left of center is the main thing, hearing a band play it straight is refreshing, especially when it's this good.
Overall Thoughts: I don't know what it says about music today (in my day blah blah blah) that a new album that feels like the most traditional rock album you can think of feels revolutionary and fresh. But here we are with Earnhardt, who will surely get lost in the shuffle of a bunch of NASCAR tribute videos even though they deserve better. You probably will like this if you have any interest in standard rock music, but this is absolutely something a little special if you give it the time.
Recommendation: Don't miss out on this one.


Artist: Little May
Album: Blame My Body
Quick Description: Compelling indie/folk-adjacent pop rock.
Why You Should Listen: They've been around for a while, but this is still great even with its mainstream polish.
Overall Thoughts: Little May is one of those bands much better known outside of the United States, and while the inevitable comparisons to other duos re bound to happen, you should not let that dissuade you from checking out this latest album. Arguably a favorite of mine this week and the one I'm most excited to come back to, this album had me almost at note one. Upbeat and rocking in many regards, with gorgeous harmonies... it's no wonder it connected with me. It's a great listen, and one you should find time for whether you like the sort of soaring songwritery folk that's hit the mainstream as of late or not.
Recommendation: One of the better listens this week.

Of note:

* Barrie - Happy to Be Here (This is interesting and I can't wait to spend more time with it.)
* The Barrance Whitfield Soul Savage Arkestra - Songs From the Sun Ra Cosmos (Really, really good at times.)
* Drahla - Useless Coordinates (Great at times, but not always cohesive.)
* Big Thief - U.F.O.F. (No one is quite like them, but this is still overly restrained.)
* Patience - Dizzy Spells (Sneaky great.)
* Bad Religion - Age of Unreason (Solid old man punk, much better than it has any right to be.)
* Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride
* L7 - Scatter the Rats
* Protomartyr - All Passion No Technique
* Oh Land - Family Tree
* Paula Temple - Edge of Everything
* Rhiannon Giddens and Francisco Turrisi - There Is No Other
* Wy - Softie
* Pile - Green and Gray

Seven Song Albums:

* Taylor Skye - Kode Fine & Sons
* Laura Misch - Lonely City
* Ruby Fields - Permanent Hermit
* Mr. Tophat - Dusk to Dawn Part I

EPs:

* Holly Rees - "Text Me When You Get There" - The Live EP
* Sweet Whirl - Love Songs & Poetry
* Nataly Dawn - For You

Also:

* Filthy Friends - Emerald Valley (Nothing with this much star power should be this pedestrian.)
* Tank and the Bangas - Green Balloon
* Kedr Livanskiy - Your Need
* Guided By Voices - Warp and Woof
* Lucy Spraggan - Today Was a Good Day

Caamp - "Penny, Heads Up"

The latest single from Columbus, OH's Caamp might be just about perfect. "Penny, Heads Up" is an impossibly charming slice of folk/Americana. The song feels like sitting around a campfire with friends (which I hesitate to say because their name makes that comparison far too easy), just listening and singing along to music. It's happily intimate in that way. "Penny, Heads Up" is mainstream, but that could just be because it feels so familiar and comfortable. 

You can listen to "Penny, Heads Up" below. By and By, the upcoming album from Caamp, will be out July 26 on Mom + Pop. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Caamp, check out their website. Current tour dates are below the song.


5/9/2019 - Brighton, United Kingdom - The Great Escape Festival
5/10/2019 - Cologne, Germany - Artheater
5/11/2019 - Hamburg, Germany - Turmzimmer
5/13/2019 - Stockholm, Sweden - Brooklyn Bar Debaser
5/14/2019 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Hotel Cecil
5/16/2019 - Berlin, Germany - Lido
5/17/2019 - Utrecht, Netherlands - TivoliVredenburg Pandora
5/18/2019 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso Noord
5/20/2019 - Manchester, United Kingdom - The Deaf Institute
5/21/2019 - Bristol, United Kingdom - The Louisiana
5/22/2019 - London, United Kingdom - Scala
6/9/2019 - Bellvue, Colorado - Mishawaka
6/11/2019 - Morrison, Colorado - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
6/15/2019 - Athens, Georgia - Duck Creek Log Jam
6/21/2019 - Dover, Deleware - Firefly Music Festival
7/9/2019 - Nantucket, Massachusetts - The Chicken Box
7/10/2019 - Nantucket, Massachusetts - The Chicken Box
7/13/2019 - Louisville, Kentucky - Forecastle Festival
7/28/2019 - Detroit, Michigan - Mo Pop Festival
8/1-2/2019 - Portland, Oregan - Pickathon
8/9-11/2019 - San Francisco, California - Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival
9/21/2019 - Bristol, Tennessee - Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
9/27-29/2019 - Roseland, Virginia - Devils Backbone Hoopla
10/4-6/2019 - Austin, Texas - Austin City Limits
10/11-13/2019 - Austin, Texas - Austin City Limits