Monday, May 17, 2021

Margo Price - "Long Live the King"

Photo via Facebook

Any new music from Margo Price is going to be more than welcome here, so we're thrilled that she's making a song from her new singles club, A Series of Rumors. "Long Live the King" is a tribute to Elvis Presley, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lennon. Each man is given his own verse that not only explains what made each one great and their deaths but also mentions their flaws. The song goes a little more country than last year's That's How Rumors Get Started, but it would also have fit on that album. It's a lovely country rock ballad with plenty of soul and gospel thrown in for good measure.

In a press release, Margo Price says of the new song:

“‘Long Live the King’ is a song about three extraordinary men who changed the course of history for the better. But no one is without flaw and they each had a duality in their personalities. This song is also about not idolizing celebrities or putting people up on a pedestal because we are all human and we all make mistakes.”

You can listen to "Long Live the King" below. You can sign up for A Series of Rumors here. For more on Margo Price, check out the artist's website.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Bill and the Belles - "Sobbin' the Blues"

There's no way around it: The upcoming album from Bill and the Belles is a divorce record. It chronicles singer Kris Truelsen's divorce, and the latest single, "Sobbin' the Blues," doesn't exactly have the rosiest views on marriage. In the hands of a lesser artist, the song could have just been that cliched man hates his wife kind of song, but Truelsen has such a great sense of humor that it's impossible not to be charmed by the song. "Sobbin' the Blues" is reminiscent of an Arlo Guthrie song. It's silly, but not a full novelty song. How silly is the song? The chorus is Truelsen crying.

You can watch the video for "Sobbin' the Blues" below. Happy Again is due out May 21 on Ditty Boom Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Bill and the Belles, check out the artist's website.

Jeff Parker and The New Breed featuring Ruby Parker Cover David Bowie

Photo courtesy Jeff Parker

"Soul Love" is kind of a forgotten classic off of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. Every song on that album is a glam rock space age classic. For their cover of the song, Jeff Parker and The New Breed brought in Ruby Parker and transformed the song into a space age soul/R&B classic. Soul and R&B were huge influences on David Bowie, and this cover really illustrates that fact. I don't think I would have ever noticed how much soul was in "Soul Love" (despite the title, I know, I'm an idiot), but once you hear this song you'll never be able to listen to the original quote the same way. It's a roots based chilled out R&B version that truly accentuates the Bowie classic.

You can listen to Jeff Parker and The New Breed's version of "Soul Love" below. It will be included on Modern Love which is BBE Music's forthcoming David Bowie tribute album. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on Jeff Parker and The New Breed, check out the artist's website.

Pony Hunt - "Stardust"

New Orleans' Pony Hunt haven't released new music since 2016. Every so often they've bounced back into my consciousness, and I'll check to see if I missed a release. Sadly, I hadn't. Luckily, our five year drought of new music from Pony Hunt is now at an end with the release of "Stardust." The new song mostly drops the folkier side from Heart Creek in favor of more of an indie rock sound. The doo wop is still there, which is what truly made us love their music. "Stardust" is an absolute epic as it combines both indie rock and doo wop masterfully while weaving more towards one or the other throughout the song. If I'm being forced to compare the song to other artists, I'd say it's like Lady Lamb meets Molly Burch.

You can watch the video for "Stardust" below. VAR!, the upcoming album from Pony Hunt that "... explores queerness, gender identity, and the struggle to be at home with one's self," will be out July 23 on Wing and Wing. You can pre-order a copy at Bandcamp. For more on Pony Hunt, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Durand Jones & The Indications - "Witchoo"

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Durand Jones & The Indications have been our favorite purveyors of classic soul for a few years now, but on their latest single they've decided to update their sound a bit. However, they've updated by going disco. "Witchoo" is an incredibly fun disco/soul jam that sees Durand Jones and drummer Aaron Frazer (who released the also great solo album Introducing... earlier this year) trading off vocals. "Witchoo" is a party just waiting to happen. It's melding such great retro genres together, and even including a little hip hop feel with the trading of lines and gang vocals for the chorus.

You can watch the video for "Witchoo" below. Private Space is due out July 30 on Dead Oceans in association with Colemine Records. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Durand Jones & The Indications, check out the artist's website. Current tour dates are below the video.

Tue. Sept. 7 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Wed. Sep. 8 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Fri. Sept. 10 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Sat. Sept. 11 - Washington DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon. Sept. 13 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
Tue. Sept. 14 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
Thu. Sept. 16 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theater
Fri. Sept. 17 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Commonwealth Room
Mon. Sept. 20 - San Diego, CA @ Soma
Wed. Sept. 22 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
Fri. Sept. 24 - Dana Point, CA @ Ohana Fest

Red Ribbon - "High"

Photo by Kelsey Hart

Red Ribbon, the musical project of Seattle to Los Angeles musician Emma Danner, has crafted this perfect song that encapsulates indie rock, pop, and Americana. "High" is this kinda ramblin' song filled with acoustic guitar and crashing cymbals. Normally that combination wouldn't work at all, but Danner pulls it off. That's one of the truly fascinating thing about "High." It meanders through multiple genres without changing its feel. At times it feels more indie rock, at others more Americana, and others like it might be heading towards pop. And sometimes all three at the same time. It's a song you're not going to be able to not pay attention to. It will quietly demand your undivided focus.

Emma Danner says of the new song:

It could just be about drugs, or it can be about whatever in your life makes you highI lost my first love to an opioid addiction and I was a user of opiates in my youth. My whole life I’ve been trying to figure out what one can do to expand their consciousness outside of drug use. There’s a little bit of fear around feeling good in this song as well. If I follow this thread of happiness, will I lose my way?

You can watch the video for "High" below. Planet X is due out June 11 on Danger Collective Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Red Ribbon, check out the artist on Facebook and Twitter.

TORRES - "Don't Go Puttin Wishes in My Head"

Photo by Shervin Lainez

We've been on the TORRES bandwagon since 2015, and one of the best parts of the six years of fandom has been watching her grow as an artist. She's been tinkering with her sound this entire time, dancing between a more pop oriented style and a more indie rock one. Her latest single might be her best yet. "Don't Go Puttin Wishes in My Head" is an indie pop epic. It's such a ridiculously huge song that almost borders on being cheesy at times, but that becomes the true charm of the song. It's a pop song, there's no question about that, but it keeps the indie rock vibe TORRES has been channeling all along to satisfy our craving for that as well. This is what is going to propel TORRES to the stardom she's deserved for years now, so if you haven't joined us on the bandwagon yet, now is the time.

Before you think I called the song cheesy as an insult, Mackenzie Scott (aka TORRES) says the song is “... my relentless arena country star moment—my shameless Tim McGraw cheeseball hit.”

You can watch the video for "Don't Go Puttin Wishes in My Head" below. Thirstier is due out July 30 on Merge Records. You can pre-order/pre-save your copy here. For more on TORRES, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter. Current tour dates are below the video!

Sun. Aug. 29 - Fairfield, CT @ StageOne
Mon. Aug. 30 - Portsmouth, NH @ Press Room
Tue. Aug. 31 - Cambridge, MA @ Sonia
Fri. Sept. 3 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
Mon. Sept. 13 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
Tue. Sept. 14 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
Wed. Sept. 15 - Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar
Thu. Sept. 16 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Fri. Sept. 17 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sat. Sept. 18 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
Sun. Sept. 19 - St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
Tue. Sept. 21 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Wed. Sept. 22 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Sat. Sept. 25 - Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Festival
Mon. Sept. 27 - Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
Tue. Sept. 28 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Thu. Sept. 30 - San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Fri. Oct. 1 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Atrium @ Catalyst
Sat. Oct. 2 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Sun. Oct. 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
Mon. Oct. 4 - Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
Wed. Oct. 6 - Dallas, TX @ Deep Ellum Art Co.
Thu. Oct. 7 - Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock
Fri. Oct. 8 - Austin, TX @ 3TEN @ ACL Live
Mon. Oct. 11 - Chattanooga, TN @ House Show
Tue. Oct. 12 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Wed. Oct. 13 - Asheville, NC @ ISIS Asheville
Thu. Oct. 14 - Nashville, TN @ EXIT/IN
Fri. Oct. 15 - Knoxville, TN @ Open Chord
Sat. Oct. 16 - Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
Sun. Oct. 17 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage
Mon. Oct. 18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Thu. Oct. 21 - New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom
Fri. March 11, 2022 - Glasgow, UK @ Mono
Sat. March 12, 2022 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Sun. March 13, 2022 - Manchester, UK @ Night & Day
Mon. March 14, 2022 - Bristol, UK @ Exchange
Tue. March 15, 2022 - London, UK @ Bush Hall
Thu. March 17, 2022 - Paris, FR @ La Boule Noire
Fri. March 18, 2022 - Gent, BE @ Charlatan
Sat. March 19, 2022 - Utrecht, NL @ Ekko
Mon. March 21, 2022 - Berlin, DE @ Frannz Club
Tue. March 22, 2022 - Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefährlich (Turmzimmer)
Wed. March 23, 2022 - Cologne, DE @ Bumann & SOHN
Thu. March 24, 2022 - Heidelberg, DE @ Karlstorbahnhof
Fri. March 25, 2022 - Zürich, CH @ Rote Fabrik
Sat. March 26, 2022 - Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Dents - "Want it Back"

The Dents are a no nonsense rock band. Their latest single, "Want it Back," is garage rock infused punk filled with an absurd amount of melody. It's dripping with attitude and venom, but it's still catchy as it could possibly be. You're getting giant rock guitar solos, a killer chorus with two-part harmonies, and the most pogo-able song in ages. "Want it Back" isn't changing any genres or rewriting the rules of rock. That's not the point. The point is just to rock, so if you have a love of bands like AC/DC or The Donnas, The Dents might become your favorite Boston rockers.

You can listen to "Want it Back" below. The Dents' self-titled EP will be out June 4 on Rum Bar Records. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on The Dents, check out the band's Facebook.

The Uptights - "Arthaus Rock"

According to their Bandcamp profile, Oslo, Noway's The Uptights have been making "Low fidelity guitar music since 2010." Their latest single, "Arthaus Rock," is decidedly lo-fi, but not in the standard way. While most lo-fi rock is of the quiet, personal bedroom variety, The Uptights play huge rock. It's an epic, swinging for the stadiums rocking song... just a lo-fi version. If anything it sounds like someone tried to clean up early Sonic Youth demos for radio airplay but failed miserably (and I mean that in a good way). It's gloriously noisy and kind of a mess, but in the way you want it to be. 

You can listen to "Arthaus Rock" below. It is for them that the lights twinkle is due out June 25. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on The Uptights, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Wyn Doran featuring Josh Knowles - "Concern"

Last year during the pandemic (obviously...), Wyn Doran began meeting with violinist/composer Josh Knowles weekly on Zoom to work on musical projects together. "Concern" sprang from that collaboration. "Concern" is a pop song, but a dark twisted version of pop. Doran's voice have never sounded this haunting, which is saying quite a bit. Her vocals along with Knowles' violin over an almost trip hop beat create this intensely cinematic sound. Despite the intensity of the song and a slightly awkward feeling the listener will get from it, "Concern" is simply gorgeous. Somehow the song is both anxiety filled and oddly comforting.

You can listen to "Concern" below. For more on Wyn Doran, check out the artist's website.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 7 May

Artist: Squid
Album: Bright Green Field
Quick Thoughts: This is some really odd but really fun post-punk. Ken highlighted one of their songs last week, but I liked "G.S.K." quite a bit and the whole album is so strangely brilliant that it's difficult not to be charmed by the whole affair. This will definitely be an acquired taste for some, but this was one of my favorites this week and it might just resonate with you as well.
Songs of Note: "G.S.K.," "Paddling"

Artist: Rosali
Album: No Medium
Quick Thoughts: This is a nice alt-rock singer-songwriter effort with a lot of really melodic stuff to go along with what is a pretty vulnerable record. Each song really resonated with me, and I found myself really into a lot of this. I'm super excited to dive back in, and if you like a lot of what we highlight in these parts, you'll enjoy this record.
Songs of Note: "Mouth," "If Not For Now"

Artist: Natalie Bergman
Album: Mercy
Quick Thoughts: It's safe to say that Ken and I are not religious folk. No shade on those who are, including Natalie Bergman, who produced a modern religious record that even an atheist can enjoy. It's out on Third Man, which explains a lot to start, but Jesus is front and center on this album and yet it doesn't feel preachy or overdone. It ain't your local church group's worship music, let's put it that way - it's just a really solid indie record dressed in its Sunday best.
Songs of Note: "Talk to the Lord," "Shine Your Light on Me," "The Gallows"

Artist: Sarah Jarosz
Album: Blue Heron Suite
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of Sarah Jarosz for a while, and this release stems from a 2018 commission. It's gorgeous bluegrass music, and it's perhaps more highbrow than most, but it's incredibly well done and I wanted to make sure it wouldn't get lost in the shuffle.
Songs of Note: "Morning," "Painted Blue"

Artist: Iceage
Album: Seek Shelter
Quick Thoughts: I feel like I don't see enough really solid rock music these days. Or at least not enough straight rock that grabs me. Iceage's latest, however, grabbed my attention. It's a real banger, and given how much I enjoyed their COVID track "Lockdown Blues," I knew I'd like this. I just didn't expect to like it this much.
Songs of Note: "Love Kills Slowly," "Vendetta"

Of note:

* Nancy Wilson - You and Me (Lead singer of Heart, this has some solid moments.)
* dodie - Build a Problem (A lot of music here with a number of standout tracks.)
* Little Snake - A Fragmented Love Story, Written by the Infinite Helix Architect
* Mia Joy - Spirit Tamer
* Dorothea Paas - Anything Can't Happen
* Czarface and MF Doom - Super What?
* L'Orange and Namir Blade - Imaginary Everything
* The Lucid Dream - The Deep End
* Hooverphonic - Hidden Stories
* Sophia Kennedy - Monsters
* Mega Ran and Noveliss - Maverick Hunters
* Fiver - Fiver With the Atlantic School of Spontaneous Composition
* Destroyyyyer - hard hitters vol. 1


* Century Egg - Little Piece of Hair (Keep an eye on this band.)
* Pet Fox - More Than Anything
* Mother Mother - Forgotten Souls
* Jill Andrews - Vultures
* Anjimile - Reunion
* The Lounge Society - Silk for the Starving (The Remixes)
* Doss - 4 New Hit Songs
* Chelsea Williams - The Cave Sessions
* GRLwood - Roommate Wanted (Music from the Motion Picture)
* Durante and HANA - Celestia EP
* Cusp - Spill EP

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Sufjan Stevens - Convocations (Compiles all five of Sufjan's 2021 ambient efforts into one package.)
* Pet Shop Boys - Discovery (Live in Rio 1994, 2021 Remaster) (A good reminder that the Pet Shop Boys are awesome.)
* Marissa Nadler - Instead of Dreaming (A collection of pandemic covers.)
* Angel Olsen - Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories (All sorts of demos and alternate versions.)
* Koven - Butterfly Effect (Acoustic) (The techno act's acoustic version of their great 2020 album.)
* GoGo Penguin - GGP/RMX (Remix album.)
* Claire Rousay - A Collection (Compiles her early efforts in a reissue.)
* Elbow - Asleep in the Back (Deluxe Edition)

Also out:

* Aly & AJ - a touch of the beat gets you up on your feet gets you out and then into the sun
* McKinley Dixon - For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her
* Weezer - Van Weezer
* Buffet Lunch - The Power of Rocks
* Lucy - The Music Industry is Poisonous
* Luke Haines - Setting the Dogs on the Post Punk Postman

Tobisonics & Wee Scots Poet - "All the Little Things"

If you've been reading If It's Too Loud... for any length of time, you'll know that I rarely write about electronic music. Because it's rare, you know that when I do it's something truly special. That's how I feel about the latest single from Tobisonics. "All the Little Things" is a collaboration with Wee Scots Poet has a little bit of a sound collage feel, but if a sound collage were more unified. This might be the ignorant American in me, but it sounds like some of The Streets' more celebratory music. In an email, Tobisonics put it best: "Disco is the electronic genre of hard times. Right now, people need their Saturday Night Fever."

You can watch the video for "All the Little Things" below. For more on Tobisonics, check out the artist's website.

Yinyang - "Poison Darts / Boyish Charms"

I really hate to just copy from a press conference, but sometimes the PR people just nail it. The latest from Yinyang (aka Lauren Hannan) is going to remind you of a mixture of Peaches and MIA. "Poison Darts / Boyish Charms" has the more aggressive pop and hip hop sound of MIA but the electroclash of Peaches. It's pop, but it's incredibly noisy and discordant pop filled with an absurd amount of attitude. Except when it's not. "Poison Darts / Boyish Charms" is what happens when pop and hip hop truly goes punk. 

Lauren Hannan says that with new single “... there’s no cool or deep meaning for the song. I just had a few things to get off my chest, and now I feel much lighter for it.”

You can watch the video for "Poison Darts / Boyish Charms" below. For more on Yinyang, check out the artist on Facebook.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Ryan H. Walsh - "Direct Address"

Hallelujah the Hills singer/songwriter Ryan H. Walsh has released a new solo song, and if you like his band there is no chance you're not going to like this song. "Direct Address" has all the fabulous literary songwriting of Hallelujah the Hills, just quieter. It's a beautiful, ramblin' not quite folk song. It's nice to truly be able to pay attention to Walsh's lyrics without the bombast behind it. Don't get me wrong... I adore that bombast, but it's also great to hear his music done with his lyrics being the centerpiece as well. However, this is the kind of song that proves there is no justice in the world. If there was, it would be a huge hit song played on a variety of radio station formats nationwide and not just a solo song released on Bandcamp Friday.

You can listen to "Direct Address" below. The song is currently available on Hallelujah the Hills' Bandcamp. For more on Ryan H. Walsh and his band, check out their website.

Needles//Pins - "Of Things Best Left to Chance"

Dammit, does Needles//Pins make some perfect emo. "Of Things Best Left to Chance" is a punk rock song that is just melodic enough to land into the world of emo. It's aggressive and rough around the edges, but it just has enough of that pop sensibility and bounce to it to be considered emo. This might be emo for the over 40 crowd that knew what it was before Dashboard Confessional and New Found Glory Top 40ed all over it. This is good old punk rock 'n' roll that you couldn't possibly get hurt pogoing near the pit during.

You can watch the video for "Of Things Best Left to Chance" below. Needles//Pins' self titled album is due out May 28 on Dirt Cult Records. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Needles//Pins, check out the band's Facebook.

GA-20 - "Two in the Ground"

With Boston's GA-20 having recorded four albums worth of material in 2020, they're just sitting on an insane backlog of material right now. The second single from this abundance of music is "Two in the Ground." The new song is a slow, groove filled blues jam. Sure, there are more blues revivalist bands kicking around right now, but GA-20 are the best of the best. "Two in the Ground" will show you why. It's not a pure classic blues throwback, it's not blues by number, and it's not an amped up version of the blues. GA-20 take classic blues and modernize it while making it sound classic. Plus, they're ridiculously talented musicians, which certainly isn't hurting.

You can listen to "Two in the Ground" below. The song is currently available as a single via Karma Chief Records, and can be downloaded here. For more on GA-20, check out the band's website.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Sierra Ferrell Covers Faron Young

This past Sunday saw another edition of Sierra Ferrell's Pick Your Poison Virtual Concert Series. The theme for this one was Calypso, and it included a cover of Faron Young's 1958 song "Alone With You." Faron Young is an artist I had never heard of before Ferrell's cover, but he was a classic country singer and producer. Ferrell's cover is pretty spot on, and it's just pure classic country. She does inject the song with her own spark, which is what draws us to her music so intensely. She and her band seem to be having an absolute blast, which is what we really want with this type of cover. Plus, they stray from the original with a funkier outro, so stay tuned for that.

You can watch Sierra Ferrell's take on "Alone With You" below. The third and final installment of the Pick Your Poison Virtual Concert Series is May 16 with the theme of Jazz Night at the Basement. You can get a ticket here. For more on Sierra Ferrell, check out the artist's website.

Neighborhood Brats - "Harvey Weinstein (is a symptom)

California's Neighborhood Brats just might be taking the baton from Dead Kennedys. Their new single, "Harvey Weinstein (is a symptom)," is a blisteringly fast thrasy punk song. The song is one minute twenty one seconds of the fastest old school punk you've heard in years with just the slightest hints of X style rockabilly. Just from the title, it's obvious the song is about misogyny and lyrics of "
Closeted mysogyny / Hides the intent / Patriarchal values / Flavor the event" drive that point home. "Harvey Weinstein (is a symptom)" isn't a subtle song by any means, and that's the point of it. 

You can listen to "Harvey Weinstein (is a symptom)" below. Confines of Life is due out May 28 on Dirt Cult Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Neighborhood Brats, find them on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Saint Sister - "Oh My God Oh Canada"

Photo by Ellius Grace

The previous two singles we've covered from Dublin's Saint Sister have been wildly different. "The Place That I Work" was a nearly a capella more traditional Irish folk song, while "Karaoke Song" was total pop. "Oh My God Oh Canada" lands somewhere in the middle. It's more of a folk pop song that leans a little more into pop territory. Although Gemma Doherty is credited as arranger and harpist, so it can't be fully pop. It's this blend of traditional sounds and modern pop that truly make Saint Sister stand out from other artists of the genre.

In a press release, Morgana MacIntyre explains the new song:

“‘Oh My God Oh Canada’ is about the intricacies within your most cherished and complicated relationships. It’s about not knowing where the line is, finding yourself on the wrong side of it and spending months trying to find your way back to the right place. It’s about saying too much and at the same time, nothing at all, giving too much of yourself in one moment but not showing up when you’re needed most. I wrote it about wanting to be a better friend, but knowing I never would be.”

You can watch the video for "Oh My God Oh Canada" below. Where I Should End is due out June 25. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Saint Sister, check out their website.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Mistons - "Transmission"

In the past, we've mentioned the similarities of The Mistons and Mission of Burma. On their new single, "Transmission," the Portland, OR duo drop any similarities to the Boston legends. "Transmission" may still be post punk, and Sean Croghan may sound similar to Roger Miller, but the new song has this bizarre pop sensibility to it. It's still a noisy and discordant song that most of your co-workers will be repelled by, but it's filled with jangly guitars and maybe even a little hint of melody. There are also some strong hints of early rock 'n' roll as if an early 80's post punk band decided to cover Chuck Berry.

You can listen to "Transmission" below. World of Convenience is due out May 21. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on The Mistons, check out the band on Facebook.

RMBLR - "Main Muscle"

If the press release for RMBLR's "Main Muscle" shows the "lighter side" of the band, I'm almost afraid of what they normally sound like. Sure, "Main Muscle" isn't the softest song out there, but it's still a punk rock song. It reminds me of Rancid, and only the crustiest of punks are going to say Rancid made soft music. RMBLR's new song may be on the pop side of punk, but this might be the heaviest pop punk song you've ever heard. It has roots in bands like the New York Dolls, but with more of a hardcore sneer.

You can watch the video for "Main Muscle" below. The song will be out as a single on May 14. MF/EP is due out in June on Spaghetty Town Records and is available for pre-order here. For more on RMBLR, check out the band's Facebook.

Liz Bills - "Come Back Down to Me"

Photo by Sarah Gates

Under normal circumstances, the latest single from Liz Bills would be far too pop for me. In fact, it still could be. But Bills' charm just exudes from "Come Back Down to Me" so much that I can't resist it. It's unabashedly a pop song, but it has just enough of a rootsy feel to keep even us anti-pop snobs entertained. Bills is just one of those universal talents that can transcend genres and dabble equally between a roots/Americana sound and a more funk/disco one without turning away a single fan. Even if you despise the more poppy stuff we (Jeff) post here, you need to at least check out this one.

You can watch the video for "Come Back Down to Me" below. For more on Liz Bills, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Tristen - "Wrong With You"

Tristen is a long term favorite here at If It's Too Loud..., and her latest single reminds us exactly why. She's moved away from her alt/pop-country sound a while back in favor of a more pop sound, and "Wrong With You" is a pop song, but Tristen lets just the teensiest little bit of her old country roots bleed into this new one. While Jeff tends to be more of the pop guy than I am, Tristen is the rare exception that I can't seem to resist. At a time when a lot of our alt-country favorites are adopting pop music, Tristen is one of the few doing it this well. 

You can watch the video for "Wrong With You" below. Aquatic Flowers is due out on Mama Bird Recording Co. You can pre-order/pre-save your copy here. For more on Tristen, check out the artist's website.

Descendents - "Baby Doncha Know"

Photo via Facebook

The upcoming album from California punk legends Descendents has been in the works since the band first started. The songs were first written back in 1977 to 1980, but most weren't recorded. They started working on the album in 2002, and because of that it includes guitar work from Frank Navetta, who passed away in 2008. Last year Bill Stevenson sent the recordings to Milo Aukerman who recorded vocals at his home.

The first song is "Baby Donchu Know." It's less than a minute, just to prove it's a classic punk song. It has all the drive and aggression of early Descendents, but with much better musicianship. Plus, the band can make things sound much more smooth now. It's exactly what it sounds like: original pop/skater/mall punk but just done with better tools and craft now. In a world where classic punk bands' new albums are usually a disappointment, this new one from the Descendents will be an absolute delight for fans.

You can listen to "Baby Donchu Know" below. 9th & Walnut is due out July 23 on Epitaph Records. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on the Descendents, check out the band's website.

Squid - "Pamphlets"

Photo by Holly Whitaker

The latest from Squid is this frenetic eight minute burst of post punk. An eight minute song doesn't exactly sound like the word "burst" could apply, but "Pamphlets" fits that. It's a fast paced song that chugs straight forward while careening at different speeds and paces. "Pamphlets" is a ride. It seems like it's about to explode at times, and then doesn't. Squid are bringing us all with them on this intense and compelling journey. It sounds kind of like if The Dismemberment Plan went more towards psychedelia and post punk than emo.

Drummer/lyricist Ollie Judge says of the new song: It’s about all the rubbish right-wing propaganda you get through your front door. It imagines a person with that as their only source of news being taken over by these pamphlets.

You can watch the video for "Pamphlets" below. Bright Green Field will be out May 7 on Warp Records. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Squid, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 30 April

Artist: Carsie Blanton
Album: Love & Rage
Quick Thoughts: Ken sent this one over and, man, am I glad he did. "Party at the End of the World" is probably my favorite recent song period at this point, and the whole album is a strident listen that isn't afraid to pair fun with its message. Blanton made the most of her quarantine with an album that reflects the age we're in along with an understanding of how things can improve. A great listen for nearly anyone, and a favorite this week.
Songs of Note: "Party at the End of the World," "Down in the Streets," "Sufferin' Fools"

Artist: Dree Leer
Album: Throw Hands
Quick Thoughts: On the first track, I was taken aback by how heavy this felt. By the third track, I was completely won over. This is definitely on the heavier side, but there's a melodic, alt-rock approach to this that grabs you and makes it sound slightly different than the recent listens we've had as well as any of its comparison work. If you give this a listen, give it time - this is an album that ultimately reveals itself over time as opposed to grabbing you from the word go.
Songs of Note: "You Too," "Stutter"

Artist: Rosie Tucker
Album: Sucker Supreme
Quick Thoughts: I really dug Rosie Tucker's last album. I think I called it a little bit oddball, and while I don't think it was taken the way I meant, my intentions were pure - it's a great indie rock album and, to this day, "Lauren" remains a song I consider an all-time favorite. Sucker Supreme definitely builds on the last album and presents a really solid listen that feels like it has more weight. Songs like "Barbara Ann" pack a bit of a punch, and while I chuckled at the title of "For Sale: Ford Pinto," the song itself delivers in a way the car never did. Rosie Tucker deserves to be a household name, and this album should put them on the map if there's any justice.
Songs of Note: "Barbara Ann," "For Sale: Ford Pinto," "Arrow," "Brand New Beast"

Artist: Cake Pop
Album: Cake Pop 2
Quick Thoughts: A hyperpop supergroup of sorts, this album is a quick hit of all your favorite musical concepts into one quick thirty minute package. I really enjoyed this and found plenty to love, but it might be a little tougher for those who aren't already on board with 100 Gecs and the like.
Songs of Note: "Black Rum," "Candy Floss"

Artist: girl in red
Album: if i could make it go quiet
Quick Thoughts: As both Ken and I are men over 40, girl in red is not an act we should be familiar with. She's big on TikTok, huge within the LGBT crowd... not places we're typically involved. Don't let any of that sway you away from girl in red, though: this album is great. It's defiantly honest alt-rock, and I mean that with all sincerity - this would have resonated with me and many of my friends had it come out in 1997 instead of today (insert overall discomfort that Marie Ulven, girl in red in question, was born in 1999 here). Honestly, this album is awesome and you should listen to it. You'll sound "with it" for your kids and get a good listen out of it, too.
Songs of Note: "Serotonin," "You Stupid Bitch," "Did You Come?," "Body and Mind," "Rue"

Artist: Beachy Head
Album: Beachy Head
Quick Thoughts: Probably the closest thing to an indie supergroup through the Graveface Records folks we'll see, this is an effort featuring people from Slowdive, the Flaming Lips, Casket Girls, and more. It's a very hazy, reverb-heavy record, which might be a turnoff to some, but there is a super melodic aspect to this that resonated with me. It's definitely worth a listen, and moreso if you're into the more lo-fi indie stuff.
Songs of Note: "Warning Bell," "All Gone," "Looking for Exits," "Hiddensee"

Of note:

* Crumb - Ice Melt (Some interesting indie/alt folk/psych.)
* NVDES and Fani Lou - Psychomagic (A solid dancy album with a number of highlights.)
* Birdy - Young Heart (Gorgeous singer-songwriter stuff here.)
* Tōth - You and Me and Everything (From one of the members of Rubblebucket, surprisingly light.)
* Marcus Machado - Aquarius Purple
* Paul Jacobs - Pink Dogs on the Green Grass
* The Dirtiest - Sovranista
* Ashley Monroe - Rosegold
* Matt Sweeney and Bonnie Prince Billy - Superwolves
* Roisin Murphy - Crooked Machine
* Sufjan Stevens - Celebrations
* Julia Stone - Sixty Summers
* Flying Lotus - Yasuke
* Manchester Orchestra - The Million Masks of God
* Croatian Amor and Varg2TM - Body of Content
* The Coral - Coral Island
* Bowerbirds - becalmyounglovers
* Teenage Fanclub - Endless Arcade
* Amy Shark - Cry Forever


* Magdalena Bay - Mini Mix, Vol. 2
* Dave Simonett - Orion
* Hey, Ily - Internet Breath
* Kitty Crimes - HILUX
* Fresh - The Summer I Got Good at Guitar

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Metronomy - The English Riviera (10th Anniversary)
* PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her - Demos

Also out:

* Cœur de pirate - Perséides
* The Dropkick Murphys - Turn Up That Dial
* Guided by Voices - Earth Man Blues
* Demons - Privation
* Dawn Richard - Second Line

Jess Cornelius - "Body Memory (Peach Fuzz Version)"

Photo by Rachael Pony Cassells

We don't normally cover remixes or reworkings of songs here at If It's Too Loud..., but we loved Jess Cornelius' 2020 album Distance quite a bit, and she's reworked the song "Body Memory" to the point that it's a completely new song. The album version of "Body Memory" is a catchy dance adjacent track about the lasting effects of a miscarriage. "Body Memory (Peach Fuzz Version)" is a much darker version. It's stripped down to a more bare version, heavy in reverb with other instruments muted. It's not all dark. Eventually the song does come around with an ending that feels more uplifting, but still not the jam of the original. This is like the difference of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" versus Johnny Cash's, but by the same artist.

Jess Cornelius talks about the new version of "Body Memory":

I’d started playing the song for myself in a totally different way – on echoey guitar instead of keys, with a dreamy, melancholic mood, and wanted to record it as a sort of ‘part two’. It’s like a new cover of my own song, I guess. When I started recording the demo I ended up capturing all these distant sounds that got all distorted in the process: a nail gun, a baby, police sirens, which I kept in for the final recording. I added harpsichord, synth and drums, and Jarvis Taveniere added bass during the mixing. The rolling toms and shaker in the outro added this new little groove and moved the mood again. To me this almost feels like a new song; 'I was my own woman once' is now less defiant and more reflective, maybe even yearning.”

You can watch the video for "Body Memory (Peach Fuzz Version)" below. For more on Jess Cornelius, check out the artist on Facebook and Bandcamp.

The Wolff Sisters - "Boston Town"

Last Friday the Dropkick Murphys released an album, and this Friday we'll have a new one from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Released in between those two Boston behemoths is The Wolff Sisters with "Boston Town." It might not be as rambunctious as their fellow Boston bands, but The Wolff Sisters' latest could become just as much of a local anthem as the others'. "Boston Town" is a quiet, somewhat upbeat folk/pop song about leaving Boston but keeping your ties to the city. But, of course, being about the city it has a strong Celtic feel and it's a little mournful. It might be the perfect summer song for New England. It's upbeat and cheery, but with a darkness knowing it won't last anywhere near long enough.

You can watch the video for "Boston Town" below. You can get a copy of the single via Bandcamp. The Wolff Sisters will have a new album out sometime in 2022. For more on The Wolff Sisters, check out their website.

Sierra Ferrell Covers Charley Pride

Photo via Facebook

Ever since discovering Sierra Ferrell in late 2020, we've been craving more music from her. Unfortunately it seems to be forever since we've heard anything new, so we'll take anything we can find. Ferrell has started a virtual three night concert series called "Pick Your Poison." The first night was back on April 18 and was "Honky Tonk night at American Legion" themed. A few videos have been released from that performance, and one is a cover of Charley Pride's "Snakes Crawl at Night." It's about as perfect as you'd expect from Sierra Ferrell. It's a fun cover that lets Ferrell show off her classic country chops. You can tell how much fun she and her band are having, and that's what we truly want with a cover. Plus, the video is just the right level of over the top from the classic country costumes to the American flag made from Christmas lights as the backdrop. 

You can watch Sierra Ferrell covering "Snakes Crawl at Night" below. May 2 was "Calypso night," (WHOOPS!), but May 16 will be "Jazz Night at The Basement." You can get a ticket to that performance here. For more on Sierra Ferrell, check out the artist's website.