Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Morgan Harper-Jones - "All I Do"

Photo by Katie Silvester

Morgan Harper-Jones is folk-ish in the way that Bon Iver and Cat Power are folk-ish. Sure, her new single is folk, but only because it technically fits the guidelines of folk. "All I Do" shows Harper-Jones stripped bare. It's a raw and emotional song made even more raw by how minimal the song is. There are instruments here, but the focus is primarily on Harper-Jones' voice. "All I Do" has piano, drums, and a few other instruments, but all you'll truly remember is the emotion in her voice. This is a truly gorgeous song you won't forget any time soon.

Morgan Harper-Jones says of the new single:

“‘All I Do’ really woke me up to how overindulgent I can be in the wake of a break-up, or loss of any kind (a relationship/ moment/ feeling). I wouldn’t allow myself to move on, instead I’d figure out how I could get it back or control the outcome, meanwhile life continued to go on around me and I was missing it.”

You can watch the video for "All I Do" below. The single is available now via Play It Again Sam. For more on Morgan Harper-Jones, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Wet Leg - "Chaise Longue"

Photo via Facebook

Wet Leg are a duo hailing from Isle of Wight and consist of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers. They've released two singles that have slipped by us, but luckily for us all I stumbled upon them this weekend. Their first single, "Chaise Longue," is an impossibly fun post punk/indie rock track. Even at it's most mellow and quiet with very limited instrumentation, "Chaise Longue" is groovy as it could possibly be and will have you moving. Plus, it's filled with double entendres so blatant so aren't really double (including the "butter your muffin" line from Mean Girls). Artsy rock is rarely this much fun, but Wet Leg are a blast. They are one of those bands that are going to be much bigger in a year, and absolutely huge in five. Jump on this bandwagon now.

You can watch the video for "Chaise Longue" below. The song is available as a single via Domino Recording Company. For more on Wet Leg, check out the band's website.

This Lonesome Paradise - "Hello Darkness"

Last month we brought you the dark Americana of Oregon's This Lonesome Paradise. Their latest single is titled "Hello Darkness," so logic would state that it would be even darker than "Needles & Pines." "Hello Darkness" is indeed dark, but relative to the previous single it's almost downright cheery. That could be because the guitar has an almost surf style twang to it, and it's impossible for a surf song to not be at least a little cheery. There's also a very 50's crooner quality to "Hello Darkness," and maybe it's just that odd 50's nostalgia that I experienced in the 80's but that also adds a level of cheeriness to the song. That being said, this is still a song from This Lonesome Paradise so it is still quite dark. It's just a bizarro world dark version of cheery songs from the past, and who can resist that?

You can listen to "Hello Darkness" below. Electric Dreams is due out October 31 on American Standard Time Records. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on This Lonesome Paradise, check out the band's Instagram.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Scott Klopfenstein and Tahlena Chikami Cover Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

I'm a little embarrassed to bring you all this one, but I just can't resist. But, if you're reading this after the headline you're apparently also onboard. Scott Klopfenstein of Littlest Man Band and Reel Big Fish has teamed with Bite Me Bambi's Tahlena Chikami for a cover of the immortal "Island in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. What's truly shocking/charming about this cover is that this isn't a ska cover of the soft rock classic but a completely faithful version. Is this a great song that is going to change your life? Probably not. But is it a ridiculously fun time? Definitely.

Tahlena Chikami explains how they came to cover "Islands in the Stream":

"You ever just blurt something out of your mouth and not really think it through? That’s how this cover of 'Islands in the Stream' came about. While streaming on Twitch, I just sort of said, 'Wouldn’t it be funny if Scott and I covered Islands in the Stream? We’ll dress up and everything. Hilarious!'. And the internet did what the internet does, it ran with it. Before we knew it, we were there singing it together on Scott’s stream."

You can watch the video for "Islands in the Stream" below, and I can't recommend actually watching it enough. This would have been an MTV Buzz Bin staple twenty five years ago. For more on Scott Klopfenstein, check out his website. For Tahlena Chikami, check out Bite Me Bambi's website.

Hans Condor - "Breaking and Entering"

Photo courtesy Dial Back Sound

Even though this is our first time bringing you music from Hans Condor, the Nashville band have been making music for fifteen years. Their latest single, "Breaking and Entering," is the kind of thrashy punk that borders on being out of control. It's breakneck rock with screaming vocals and more fuzz on the guitar than most garage rock has. This is the kind of punk that you and your metalhead friend are going to agree on. (I mean, another song on their upcoming album is called "Motorhead" which pretty much says it all...) It's the kind of song that has me longing for a packed, sweaty club with beer being spilled literally everywhere.

You can listen to "Breaking and Entering" below. Breaking & Entering is due out November 16 on Dial Back Sound. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on Hans Condor, check out the band's Facebook.

Live Shows: Robert Finley, The Porch Southern Fare & Juke Joint, Medford, MA 10/14/21

Considering Robert Finley spent part of September opening for The Black Keys in arenas, getting to see him in a tiny venue like The Porch Southern Fare & Juke Joint was a special treat. I'm always going to find any show in a venue that doubles as a restaurant to be a little strange, and this was definitely a unique show, but in some of the best possible ways.

I&R, the band led by Providence based musician Josh Cournoyer, have been doubling as Finley's backing band and opener on this run of dates, and they took the stage at 10:00 pm sharp. They started playing to literally no reaction from the crowd. That was strange, since I've never seen a band start playing to absolutely no applause, but there's a first time for everything I suppose. Since they were billed as the opening act, I assumed they were going to play a short set, take a break, and then return with Finley for the headliner set. After a minute or so of them playing, Finley was led to the stage to start the show.

And what a show it was. Although he's only been playing professionally for a short time, Finley took the stage like he's been playing in front of large audiences for decades. Live his voice is the perfect mixture of gruff and pleasant for his brand of soul. He sang stories about his life, sex, and religion, as any great soul singer is going to do. The crowd was a mixture of hipsters and people who wanted to see a TV star, and it's safe to say everyone was entertained. Finley apologized to the crowd for sitting on a stage for two songs (he blamed his boots for being tired for the second one), but I can't imagine anyone minded. The man is sixty-seven after all, so he can sit down anytime he needs to. He was as captivating a performer as anyone, whether he's belting out his songs or charmingly awkwardly dancing.

Despite basically being hired guns for the tour, I&R did an impeccable job backing Finley. They may have had guitar tabs written on notebooks and drum tablatures on Post It notes, but they played like they've been backing him for years. Josh Cournoyer is one hell of a guitar player, and he played with a passion worthy of a soul great. Plus, Chuck Berry had a new backing band for every show he played, so this fits right into the music's legacy.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances - "Antisocial"

Toronto's Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances combine so many styles of music in their latest single that it's kind of a train wreck, but in the best possible way. "Antisocial" is a punk song, that much is definite. But, it's kind of both a noise punk and pop punk song. That already shouldn't work, but they also put some 60's style surf guitar and some early garage rock and roll pop harmonies. And I could be wrong but I feel like there may be some thrash metal riffs and hardcore in here? At times it sounds as if Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances are all playing separate songs in separate genres. Yeah, "Antisocial" should not work, and for a lot of people this won't. But for some of us it will be one of the most glorious clusterfucks of sound we've heard in years!

You can listen to "Antisocial" below. For more on Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Olive Vox Cover Ty Segall

Photo by Heidi Yowell

There's a short but pretty great list of artists I've discovered from cover songs. The latest is Olive Vox. Olive Vox are brothers Parker James and Caden Shea. The duo started out in Orange County, CA but moved to Texas when they were still kids. During last year's lockdown, the two started forming their sound, which is described as psychedelic grunge. Given that, obviously Ty Segall is a perfect influence for the band. Their cover of "Finger" is spot on, although, if anything, it's even louder than the original. It's more polished than Segall's, but it's somehow more discordant and in-your-face. We'll have to keep an eye on Olive Vox to see where their own sound goes from here.

You can listen to Olive Vox's take on "Finger" below. For more on Olive Vox, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates, including their very first ever live performance (which is somehow at Levitation Festival) are below the song.

OCT 28 / AUSTIN, TX @ Levitation Festival
(@ 8:30 pm Mohawk Austin 912 Red River St Austin, TX 78701)
OCT 29 / FORT WORTH, TX @ Tulips
NOV 12 / FAIRFIELD, CT @ Stage One
NOV 15 / NEW YORK, NY @ Mercury Lounge
NOV 17 / VIENNA, VA @ Jammin Java
NOV 18 / COLUMBUS, OH @ The Basement
NOV 19 / CHICAGO, IL @ Subterranean
DEC 1 / LOS ANGELES, CA @ The Mint

Laura-Mary Carter - "Town Called Nothing"

Laura-Mary Carter is best known as half of Blood Red Shoes, and is releasing a solo EP later this year. The first single from that EP, "Town Called Nothing," is a dark rocker that is just dripping with country. It's not a country song at all, but that kind of mid 90's alt-rock song that had country elements that we'd love despite hating country. It's filled with fuzzy and swirling guitars that have just the slightest twang despite all the fuzz. It sounds like a perfect melding of The Lemonheads and Cowboy Junkies, which is something I think we all could use.

Laura-Mary Carter talks about the song, which sounds like the perfect weekend to me:

"After writing this song I discovered that there was a real abandoned town in Arizona, named ’Nothing’, with a population of two people. I immediately decided that I had to go there. I packed up my bags, hired a car and drove to Arizona. I fell in love with it upon arrival and have since returned many times. The song was produced by Ed Harcourt, at RAK studios, UK. We recorded Town Called Nothing in one day, tracked live. Musicians featured on this song are: Jorma Vik (The Bronx, Eagles Of Death Metal) on drums, Ed Harcourt on bass / piano and myself doing everything else. I actually later tracked the vocals in a pitch black room in solitude."

You can watch the video for "Town Called Nothing" below. Town Called Nothing, the EP, is due out December 3. You can pre-order the EP here. For more on Laura-Mary Carter, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Kundalini Genie - "Half In, Half Out"

Photo by Louis Martin

Hailing from Glasgow, The Kundalini Genie are a psychedelic band. By psychedelic, I don't mean 60's psychedelic, although there is a strong 60's vibe here. Their latest single, "Half In, Half Out" is more 90's psychedelic. Of course, 90's psychedelia was riding heavily on the coattails of the 60's. But this song has some heavy 90's guitar fuzz that wasn't quite as strong in the mid 1900's. "Half In, Half Out" sounds like My Bloody Valentine decided to be a jam band in their prime, or like J Mascis spent a little too much time snowboarding in Vermont. This is a great song that smashes a bunch of nostalgia buttons all at once.

You can watch the video for "Half In, Half Out" below. Half In, Half Out, the album, is due out November 12. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on The Kundalini Genie, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Erin Rae - "Modern Woman"

Photo by Bridgette Aikens

The latest from Erin Rae may perfectly personify the label of "Americana." "Modern Woman" has just enough twang to be a little country, but not enough to be just country. It's a little folk, but it's far too pop to be just folk. And it's poppy, but there is way too much country and folk in here to be a pop song. It's a song that encompasses all of these sounds into a perfectly crafted song. It's a fun, upbeat, and breezy song that is going to suck virtually everyone in with its spell. It reminds me of if Tristen's recent music had a little more roots to it. 

You can watch the video for "Modern Woman" below. Lighten Up is due out February 4 on Thirty Tigers. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Erin Rae, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

October 24 - Nashville, TN - Girls Write Nashville at 3rd & Lindsley
Oct 26 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre+
Oct 27 - Holyoke, MA - Gateway City Arts+
Oct 28 - Pittsburgh, PA - Roxian Theatre+
Nov 2 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room at Old National Centre+
Nov 3 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
Nov 12 - Highlands, NC - Highlands Food & Wine Festival - SOLD OUT
Nov 17 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre+
Nov 18 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox+
Nov 19 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom+
Nov 21 - San Louis Obispo, CA - Fremont Theatre+
Nov 22-23 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern+
Nov 26-27 - Los Angeles - The Fonda Theatre+
Nov 28 - San Francisco - The Fillmore+
Nov 30 - Salt Lake City - The Commonwealth Room+
Dec 1 - Fort Collins, CO - Washington's+
Dec 2 - Omaha, NE - Reverb Lounge
Dec 3 - Minneapolis - First Avenue+
Dec 4 - Chicago - The Vic Theatre+
Dec 5 - Milwaukee - Turner Hall Ballroom+
Dec 7 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall+
Dec 8 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant+
Dec 9 - Little Rock, AR - Schlitzy's Rock 'n' Roll Chicken
Dec 10 - Dallas, TX - The Bomb Factory+
Dec 11 - Austin, TX - Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre+
Dec 12 - Houston, TX - The Heights Theatre+ 

+supporting Dawes

Marissa Paternoster - "White Dove"

While Screaming Females' Marissa Paternoster has released music under the name Noun, the indie rock legend has yet to release music under her name. December will see her first solo album, and "White Dove" is the first Marissa Paternoster single! "White Dove" starts off like how you'd expect a solo album from a long time punk/indie rocker. It's a fairly mellow acoustic song that highlights Paternoster's vocals. It's easy to forget that she has a pretty great singing voice outside of her normal punk scream. Of course, this is Marissa Paternoster, so there is some unexpected instrumentation and some guitar noise that creeps in from time to time. But this is a great way to see an artist we've been fans of for well over a decade branch out, especially when it's this compelling of a sound.

You can listen to "White Dove" below. Peace Meter is due out December 3. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Marissa Paternoster, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 8 October

Artist: Destroy Boys
Album: Open Mouth, Open Heart
Quick Thoughts: We're big fans of Destroy Boys here even if we are far too old to really be this into them. This album is more of the punk goodness they're so great at, and is accessible enough where I could see a lot of this taking off. There's a lot of solid stuff in here, and if you're into the punk stuff you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
Songs of Note: "Drink," "Cherry Garcia"

Artist: Nightwatchers
Album: Common Crusades
Quick Thoughts: It takes a lot for me to get down with the heavier stuff, and Nightwatchers is certainly heavy, but there's a sensibility to this that makes this one stand out. The musicality, the offbeat song titles, the overall presentation of this record, it's all pretty great. This won't be for everyone, but boy am I glad I heard it.
Songs of Note: "For the Sake of the People and the Nation," "A Not-so-Secular State Culturalism," "Dismissed," "Their Turn Trying to Rule the World," "No Matter Who 'Osei Kofi Tutu I' Is."

Artist: Church Girls
Album: Still Blooms
Quick Thoughts: On first listen, this gave me a real "Field Mouse, but heavier" vibe. As I heard somme songs again, this ends up being more a darkish punk effort that just works. It's got an angular feel to it and a lot of really catchy tunes throughout. I really enjoyed this.
Songs of Note: "Dissolve," "Surface," "Vacation"

Artist: Atmosphere
Album: WORD?
Quick Thoughts: Probably my favorite rap album of the last few weeks, Atmosphere definitely has a classic flow that is sure to get a lot of listeners excited. I don't have a ton to say about this one in particular, but I did want to make sure it didn't get overlooked. It's a good time, and don't miss out on the Aesop Rock and MF Doom guest spot!
Songs of Note: "Something," "Vanish," "Barcade"

Artist: Moaning Lisa
Album: Something Like This But Not This
Quick Thoughts: Between this and Church Girls and Destroy Boys, you'd think there's a bit of a theme here in terms of female-fronted rock acts. Moaning Lisa is great, and this album has a lot of really interesting songs throughout. It's a busy week, but worth the time for a lot of these songs.
Songs of Note: "Cold Water," "Waste," "Bike Riding," "Working Still"

Artist: Magdalena Bay
Album: Mercurial World
Quick Thoughts: My favorite album this week is this debut full-length from Magdalena Bay. I don't quite remember how I tripped up on this duo, but the sort of synthy pop they peddle hits all the right notes for me. The album is somehow more accessible and more interesting than their earlier stuff, and I was shocked at how it felt like the album was just banger after banger after banger. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth for the poppy stuff, you need to make some time for this one.
Songs of Note: "Halfway," "You Lose!" "Dawning of the Season," "Mercurial World"

Artist: The Wild Feathers
Album: Alvarado
Quick Thoughts: This record came to me late, and I'm glad I made some time for it. The title track alone makes this record, but the fact that I kept being impressed by this roots-informed record is a testament to how great this really was. You won't regret giving this a spin.
Songs of Note: "Alvarado," "Ain't Lookin'," "Over the Edge," "Side Street Shakedown," "Off Your Shoulders," "Long Shot"

Of note:

* Lala Lala - I Want the Door to Open (A lot of really great moments here.)
* I Was a King - Grand Hotel
* Lunice - 180 Deluxe
* Jax Anderson - Songs for Every Condition
* Oh Wonder - 22 Break
* Anna Leone - I've Felt All These Things
* Natalie Hemby - Pins and Needles


* Mentu Baru - Skalloween (It's ska, but for Halloween. And it's super fun.)
* Matt Pond PA - This is Not The State of Gold (Demos from their last effort.)
* Jenny Moore's Mystic Business - He Earns Enough EP
* Lunar Vacation - Where is Everyone
* Lake Haze - Atomic Level
* Habibi - Nice Try
* Nothing - The Great Dismal B-Sides
* UNIIQU3 - Heartbeats
* Billy Bragg - Mid-Century Modern
* Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Local H - Local H's Awesome Quarantine Mixtape #3 (Covers galore!)

Also out:

* Guilty Simpson and Gensu Dean - EGO
* Laurel Premo - Golden Loam
* Taraka - Paradise Lost
* JOHN (TIMESTWO) - Nocturnal Manoeuvres
* Merzbow - Flare Blues
* Eddie Spaghetti and Frank Meyer - Motherfuckin' Rock 'n' Roll

Silverbacks - "Archive Material"

Photo by Roisin Murphy O'Sullivan

Hailing from Dublin, Silverbacks have a unique take on the whole indie rock sound. "Archive Material" has kind of a post punk vibe, albeit an unusually sunny and groovy one. Plus, vocalist and guitarist Daniel O'Kelly has a very Stephen Malkmus sound to his delivery, giving this a Pavement goes post punk feel. And they even throw in some gang vocals, so it has a very cheery and friendly punk thing going on that mixes oddly with some 70's AM radio melodies. It's all an interesting and unique mix that is well worth your two and a half minute listen.

Daniel O'Kelly says of the new song:

“The initial demo version started from a drum sample taken from the opening of Jean-Pierre Massiera’s “Bonne Annee”. When we fleshed it out as a full band and Gary gave the track his usual kick up the arse, the song went full Les Baxter exotica mode.

"When writing the lyrics, I imagined a bunch of government officials in the deep underground of their building digging into archives. As the night continues, they get unusually aroused by the access they have to top secret information that the common folk never see.”

You can watch the video for "Archive Material" below. Archive Material, the album, is due out January 21 on Full Time Hobby. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Silverbacks, check out the band's website.

Abby Huston featuring Not Kevin - "Unrequited"

Photo by Ryan Gary

As the indie R&B genre seems to be heating up, you're going to want to check out Richmond, VA's Abby Huston. Their latest song, "Unrequited," is an almost painfully chill track that skirts the ground between indie folk/rock and R&B, which is a line I didn't even know existed. As someone who grew up on late 80's/early 90's R&B and hip hop before moving to indie rock, "Unrequited" kind of presses some buttons I had forgotten about. It reminds me a lot of a less polished (in a good way!) Faye Webster. Huston brings a decidedly bedroom feel to this song, which comes across like a secret Janet Jackson project.

Abby Huston explains their new song in a press release:

"This song is about the end of a relationship when you're not really sure how you feel about each other anymore. You're trying to settle in the new territory of separation lovingly while dealing with a lot of mixed emotions. I think it was easy for me to write about accommodations through changes because I often ask for them or like for them to be asked for. A good friend emphasized the importance of understanding each other's "wants, needs, and boundaries" so that's something I try to remember to prioritize centering. Unrequited kinda covers the difficulties of checking in. Having Not Kevin as a feature on this song meant a lot to me because something consistent that I love about the music Cameron writes is its inspiring honesty. I don't have much more to say about this song except that I am ISO a friend to help diagnose a BMW 325es from 1986. I have very little experience other than my middle name being Danger which I think will better suit the situation post repair."

You can listen to "Unrequited" below. AH HA is due out October 22 on Egghunt Records. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on Abby Huston, check out the artist's Instagram and Facebook.

Yarraman - "Ghost"

Personally, I'm going to listen to any song called "Ghost" in October, so it's a huge plus when the song is great. Yarraman's new song is a classic early indie/punk rock track that could double as a Masterclass in the whole loud/quiet/loud dynamic. It's a slow burn that is festering in intensity. At times it's truly discordant, and at others it has the subtle beauty of an Explosions in the Sky song. Mostly, it's reminiscent of bands like Rites of Spring and Fugazi but with a strong British feel. 

Vocalist Lucian Huxley Smith explains the meaning of the song:

‘“Ghost” is about the imbalance in gendered discourses and the perceived need of toxic men to centre themselves in the discussion. It posits questions of ‘masculine’ behaviour and asks to what extent it is possible for well-meaning men to disentangle themselves from the toxic cultures in which they were brought up."

You can listen to "Ghost" below. The song is available now as a single via Venn Records. You can download a copy at Bandcamp. For more on Yarraman, check out the band's Facebook.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Bruisey Peets - "Onions"

The latest swamp pop single from New Orleans' Bruiey Peets isn't quite what you'd expect to see on If It's Too Loud..., but that's kind of what makes it perfect. "Onions" has a very cabaret feel, mixed with jazz and some 1950's style torch song thrown in. There is something very classical and fancy sounding with the song, although the spirit is pure indie rock. Unlike a lot of music we bring you that we can describe as cabaret, "Onions" is breezy and fun instead of dark. It's a pleasantly fun song with a unwavering sense of optimism without being anywhere near saccharine. 

Ben Usie of Bruisey Peets says of the new song:

"'Onions' explores that emotional duality when fantasy meets reality. Crushes can be mutual, and yet there can still be realworld factors that limit the actuality of a shared love.  Savoring those boundaries is a trip in itself. I think we captured that feeling, and Lauren Hémard’s vocals really tie it all together."

You can listen to "Onions" below. Poached Eggs is due out November 19 on Y'allstar Records. You can pre-order a copy via the label's Bandcamp. For more on Bruisey Peets, check out the artist's Facebook.

theWorst - "Jim's Song"

Alternative Press has called theWorst "... the glorious love child of Joan Jett & Kurt Cobain." That comparison is going to make perfect sense once you hear "Jim's Song." The new track has all the pop sensibility and punk snarl you'd hear in a Joan Jett song mixed with the grunge guitar of Nirvana. It's the kind of song that is just dripping with attitude while still having a killer pop hook. Typically we hear songs that distinctly choose to go more pop or more punk edge, but "Jim's Song" stands defiantly on the line refusing to pick a side. 

You can watch the video for "Jim's Song" below. The song will be on the upcoming album Yes Regrets due out in 2022. For more on theWorst, check out the band's website.

Conway The Machine - "Piano Love"

There isn't much piano based hip hop out there, but the latest from Conway The Machine changes that. "Piano Love" features the MC rapping over piano keys and quiet beats that mostly stay in the background. The piano feels like a bizarre little loop of notes that don't exactly form a melody. It's more like the tinkling of keys that you'd find in a haunted house than an actual song. It's the exact opposite of modern hip hop, which is mostly giant, thundering beats and overproduced throw everything in the song production. This is closer to early Wu-Tang Clan with it's more sparse production.

You can listen to "Piano Love" below. God Don't Make Mistakes is forthcoming and will be out on Shady Records. For more on Conway The Machine, check out the artist on Twitter and Instagram.

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Exbats - "Best Kiss"

I don't think it's possible to have a better 60's throwback sound than The Exbats do. We've been into them for a while now, and "Best Kiss" shows a great maturation in sound by throwing back five decades. It keeps the classic garage rock sound we've always loved from them, but adds in the 60's girl group pop sensibility with just a smidge of psychedelia. It's filled with my personal favorite sounds from that decade, but updated to 2021. That's truly what makes "Best Kiss" truly unique and great: While it may be inspired by the 60's and sprinkled with that vibe, it's hardly a throwback song.

You can listen to "Best Kiss" below. Now Where Were We is due out October 22. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on The Exbats, check out the band's Facebook.

Lily Konigsberg - "Proud Home"

The latest from Lily Konigsberg is an oddball little pop song. "Proud Home" sounds a lot like modern day alt-pop. It's light, and fun, and seems like a killer song to have your own little dance to. But, the song is also filled with mid-90's style power pop alt-rock guitar. It's that weird crunchy guitar that seems just slightly off tune that basically soundtracked my college years. "Proud Home" is decidedly more pop than rock, but there is a lot here for aged 90's hipsters to love.

Lily Konigsberg explains the inspiration of her new song (which sonically explains everything):

"This song was inspired by a fictional story I made up in my dreams about my mom being Stacy's momIt's a song dedicated to Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, who passed away from Covid at the very beginning of the pandemic. I have always loved Stacy’s Mom so much and after his death, realized he wrote a ton of his songs that I really love. Appreciation for a pop ghostwriter."

You can listen to "Proud Home" below. Lily We Need to Talk Now is due out October 29 on Wharf Cat Records. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Lily Konigsberg, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram.

Willy Mason - "She Did It"

After what felt like a long absence, Willy Mason came back this year and has a third release scheduled for this year! The first single off his upcoming EP is "She Did It." This seems to be the year Mason is branching out into different directions, and while "She Did It" has a basis in the folk with hints of rock and pop that we connect to Mason, it's not quite what we'd come to expect from him. It features some hints of jazz and indie rock throughout the song. As soon as the guitar kicks in to start the song, you'll notice that this song straight up grooves. Mason has long been a favorite of ours, and he'll continue to be as he expands on his sound.

In an email to fans, Willy Mason explains the inspiration behind his new song:

"She did It was inspired by Therese Okoumou when she climbed the statue of liberty in protest of the brutal, unjust, and self-defeating immigration policies of the united states. In thinking about this public act of bravery and defiance i was also moved to consider the Women I have known and witnessed to be the keepers of justice, truth, and life. uniquely able and called upon to truly stand up to and stem the tide when necessary. She did it is a testament to the strength of these Women, and a prayer that we all may recognize and bolster the clear vision that this strength and bravery allows."

You can listen to "She Did It" below. Bok Bok Hill is due out on October 29 via Grandma's Basement and Cooking Vinyl Limited. You can pre-order a copy through Bandcamp. For more on Willy Mason, check out the artist's website.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Carissa Johnson featuring Cliff Notez - "Running Uphill"

Photo by Jaina Cipriano

I don't think it's possible for me to be more excited about a song than I am about this one. I come from a generation where the lines of rock and rap were just starting to be blurred by artists collaborating. It started with Run/DMC and Aerosmith, continued with Anthrax and Public Enemy, and peaked with the Judgement Night soundtrack. For some reason, that kind of pairing seems to have faded in the past couple of decades but it looks like Boston is singlehandedly bringing it back! The latest is Carissa Johnson pairing with Cliff Notez on "Running Uphill." The new song is the ultimate Carissa Johnson song. It's pure garage rock with a strong, catchy as all hell pop element. Johnson has mastered dabbling in both rock and pop at the same time, and "Running Uphill" is the pinnacle of that. In perfect rock/rap collaboration tradition, Cliff Notez comes in towards the end and drops a verse. The music slows down for him, but unlike the Helmet/House of Pain contribution to Judgement Night, it doesn't feel awkward at all since the same tempo change was established earlier in the song. Let's all hope "Running Uphill" is just the latest in a long line of Boston based rap/rock pairings!

You can watch the video for "Running Uphill" below. Blue Hour is due out November 12. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Carissa Johnson, check out the artist's website. You can find more on Cliff Notes over at Facebook.

Dave Del Monte & The Cross County Boys - "Haunted Horror Howl"

We tend to bring you a lot of Christmas music come December. I do like Christmas, but I love Halloween. Most artists don't release pure Halloween music, though, which is unfortunate. Luckily, Dave Del Monte & The Cross County Boys have released a new pure Halloween song. "Haunted Horror Howl" is a rockabilly Halloween song, which is exactly what you want in a Halloween song. Much like "Monster Mash," the gold standard for fun spooky songs, "Haunted Horror Howl" namechecks just about every traditional movie monster like Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Mummy, etc., but Del Monte also gives props to classic horror hosts like Svengoolie and Zacherle, making this a horror nerd's delight.

You can listen to "Haunted Horror Howl" below. The song is available as a single via Bandcamp. For more on Dave Del Monte & The Cross County Boys, check out the artist's Facebook.

Marissa Nadler - "Couldn't Have Done the Killing"

There's nothing quite like a good murder ballad, and no one is going to do one quite like Marissa Nadler. Her latest single, "Couldn't Have Done the Killing," surpasses what we would normally describe as haunting. It's a completely modern take on the murder ballad, with Nadler's vocals sounding more hypnotic than they ever have. It's filled with distorted twanging guitars and a lush wall of sound that completely encompasses the listener. It's a gloriously beautiful song even as it tries to push you away at times. It all ends with a wonderfully discordant indie rock guitar solo. If you aren't fully on board with being a Marissa Nadler stan (the kids still say stan, right?) by the end of this one, you have no soul.

You can watch the Unsolved Mysteries and In Search of... inspired video for "Couldn't Have Done the Killing" below. The Path of the Clouds is due out October 29 on Sacred Bones and Bella Union. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Marissa Nadler, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Bitch Queens - "Burn It Down"

Spaghetty Town Records have become a go to label for straight up unpretentious rock and roll. Our newest discovery from the label is Switzerland's Bitch Queen. Their new single, "Burn It Down," is just straight punk and metal inspired rock and roll. It's a little too screamy to be pure rock, but it's not quite hard enough to truly be metal. It's just a loud and fast rock song that's one of the rare tracks that metalheads and punks can enjoy equally. If I'm going to compare it to other bands, I'm going to go with Refused meets Supersuckers.

You can watch the video for "Burn It Down" below. Custom Dystopia is due out November 5 on Spaghetty Town Records. For more on Bitch Queen, check out the band's website.

Natalie Jane Hill - "Plants and Flowers that Do Not Grow Here"

Photo by Julian Neel

We've been digging the "cosmic Americana" of Austin, TX's Natalie Jane Hill, and her latest release solidifies that. "Plants and Flowers that Do Not Grow Here" is a beautiful although somewhat uncomfortable listen at times. The song has all the elements of being a pleasant listen. Hill's vocals are stunning, and the music beneath complements her perfectly. It should be a delightful listen, and it is. But... there's an odd intensity lurking underneath the quiet and beauty. There's just something slightly off and hypnotic that keeps you slightly on edge (although you're not going to want it any other way).

Natalie Jane Hill says of the new single:

“Plants and Flowers That Do Not Grow Here” is one of my more personal songs on the album. It’s about trying to navigate through a time of addiction while in a disassociated state. I had spent some time trying to distinguish reality from illusion, and I wanted this song to capture the dreamlike quality I was lost in."

You can watch the video for "Plants and Flowers that Do Not Grow Here" below. Solely is due out October 29 on Dear Life Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Natalie Jane Hill, check out the artist's Facebook.

Perennial - "Perennial in a Haunted House"

Photo by Omari Spears

Connecticut's Perennial plays punk rock. Their latest single, "Perennial in a Haunted House," is loud and fast. It goes right up to the edge of what could be called noise punk, but stays just melodic enough to not be noise rock. Plus, the song is kinda danceable, and not just in a pogo friendly way. There are some actual grooves in this song despite the screaming and driving drums and feedback. At less than two minutes in length, "Perennial in a Haunted House" certainly doesn't overstay its welcome, and leaves you desperate for more. This song is a lot of fun, and we don't know if we can wait until January for more.

You can listen to "Perennial in a Haunted House" below. In the Midnight Hour is due out January 1. You can pre-order a copy in a variety of bundles over at Bandcamp. For more on Perennial, check out the artist's Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Melanie Curran - "Say That You Will"

Raised on an island in the Pacific Northwest and currently residing in New York City, Melanie Curran recently released a new single. "Say That You Will" is this multi-genre mash up that sounds unique and strangely familiar. The song is this ultra-stripped down country-ish song. I can't even refer to it as Americana since it doesn't quite fit that. At the beginning it's just Curran's not-quite-country twangy vocals with just a little guitar and a very occasional drum beat. Eventually a fiddle darts in out of nowhere to speed things up and turn it into an indie rock song, but not for long. And this might all fit into the slowest party jam of all time.

You can listen to "Say That You Will" below. San Benedito Beach is due for release on October 23 via American Standard Time Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Melanie Curran, check out the artist's website.

Screamin' Rebel Angels - "He's the One (That Rings My Bell)"

Brooklyn's Screamin' Rebel Angels play a loud, rockin' version of rockabilly. Their latest single, "He's the One (That Rings My Bell)," is pure rockabilly without sounding like the 50's. The song is just too aggressive without falling into the rockabilly/punk category. "He's the One (That Rings My Bell)" leans more towards modern garage rock with distorted guitars. It has that early rock 'n' roll edge that mutated into punk in the late 70's. Plus, singer Laura Palmer (who plays all instruments on the track) has an intense soulfulness to her vocals that really make her band unique and something you're going to want to hear.

You can listen to "He's the One (That Rings My Bell)" below. The song is available digitally and as a split 7" with Abby Girl and the Real Deal Side over at Bandcamp. For more on Screamin' Rebel Angels, check out the artist's website.

JOHN - "Stadium of No"

Photo by Paul Grace

The amount of noise a duo can generate can be quite impressive. Take the latest single from London's JOHN. It's just John Newton on drums and lead vocals and Johnny Healy on guitar and backing vocals. It may not quite be a Lightning Bolt level burst of noise, but "Stadium of No" is getting comparisons to both Metz and Sonic Youth. It's an intense indie rock rager with growling, metal style vocals. It's the kind of speed and noise you would get in an early 90's Sonic Youth song during their Geffen Records period. It's a giant and loud song that is making me yearn for my college years.

John Newton says of the new song:

“In parallel to the recurring motif of twenty-four hour work that runs throughout the album’s track listing, stadiums appear as hopelessly redundant monuments when they’re empty - only activated by the bodies that inhabit them. The song’s a nod to the often-overwhelming conditions of our present: a stadium-like crowd of opinions trying to shout on top of one another."

You can watch the video for "Stadium of No" below. Nocturnal Manoeuvres will be out October 8 on Pet Care Records and Brace Yourself Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on JOHN, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.