Monday, September 26, 2022

Brad Marino - "That Girl"

Brad Marino's upcoming album is being described as "Ramonescore," which is a genre I've never heard of but know exactly what it sounds like. The first single, "That Girl," sounds like classic Ramones. Sure, there are a lot of bands that sound like the Ramones, and it's not like there aren't a ton of Ramones albums to listen to out there, but if you love "Ramonescore," than you love this sound and will never get sick of hearing it. It's buzzsaw guitars over the catchiest song possible about a girl (naturally). It's a fun time and will have you longing to hear more from Brad Marino as soon as possible.

You can listen to "That Girl" below. Basement Beat is due out on October 14 via Rum Bar Records for the CD and on vinyl via Hey Pizza Records. You can pre-order the CD or digital copy here. For more on Brad Marino, check out the artist's Facebook.

Che Noir featuring Benny the Butcher - "Wash the Dishes"

Photo via Facebook

Two of my favorite MCs I've discovered in the past year have been Che Noir and Benny the Butcher, so I'm obviously going to be thrilled by Che Noir's latest single since it features Benny the Butcher. The two Buffalo based hip hop artists team up on "Wash the Dishes." The song has this amazing vibe that feels like a classic 80's song mixed with early Wu-Tang Clan while still sounding like the best style of modern hip hop. Che Noir and Benny the Butcher may be classic rappers, but "Wash the Dishes" is hardly a throwback jam. Let's hope these two work together as much as humanly possible.

Che Noir says of her new collaborative song:

“I remember when I heard the beat, and did my verse I knew Benny would be a perfect fit for this. Benny pulled up to the studio I was recording at in Rochester, we broke bread and 'Washed The Dishes.'”

You can listen to "Wash the Dishes" below. Che Noir's upcoming album, The Last Remnants, is due out October 26. For more on Che Noir, check out the artist's website.

Live Shows: TORRES, Living Room Show, Allston, MA 9/22/22

When I first saw that TORRES was doing a small tour of living room shows, I was shocked since in our universe Mackenzie Scott is a megastar that is far too big to be playing in peoples' living rooms. That was quickly replaced by disappointment since the evening she would be playing in Allston wasn't going to work for me. At the very last minute my plans changed and a couple of tickets opened up, so I ended up getting in.

I had assumed that TORRES' performance would be an acoustic one, playing a laid back set of stripped down renditions of her songs. I was wrong. TORRES played an electric guitar plugged into an amp. Sure, it was stripped down since there weren't other instruments, but it was a much more rockin' show (and louder) than I expected. Obviously no complaints here.

As with any living room show, Thursday night was an intensely intimate show. It was a mixture of the audience being quiet, reserved, and respectful of being at such a unique and special show, and other members being conversational with Scott throughout the night. Both were completely acceptable and welcomed. When you're one of maybe two dozen people watching a performer, there is a personal connection no matter which style of audience member you are.

TORRES played from a loose setlist, jumping around her entire career. She played the bigger and more well known songs like "Sprinter," "Thirstier," and "Don't Go Puttin Wishes in My Head," but also played songs I don't recall ever hearing before. Only one audience request wasn't played, but only because TORRES was unsure how to play the song with just her guitar. An ongoing theme of the night was TORRES worrying she was playing enough songs the audience wanted, when the two dozen or so in attendance were just so happy to be there that she could have played anything she wanted and we would have been thrilled.

Mackenzie Scott combined a nervousness in playing such a small, intimate show with being quite open and chatty between songs. She ended up playing well past the scheduled end time, and repeatedly asked if we minded. I can guarantee no one minded at all. We all got more than we expected, a story about a missing wedding ring, and memories of one of the most special performances we'll ever see.

Rare Hearts - "Tough Guy"

Photo by Jay Braley

Back in June we brought you "Good Times" from Rare Hearts, the musical project of Mexican-American singer-songwriter Joe Rojas. Rojas is back with a new single, "Tough Guy." I compared the last song to bands like Weezer, Superdrag, Fountains of Wayne, etc. "Tough Guy" still has that poppier side of alt-rock thing going, except this one if even bigger and more pop. It sounds like Rojas is shooting for the stadiums on this one, and I'm getting vibes of bands like Muse or Placebo, but filtered through Self... if that makes any sense. It's a different sound than we previously heard from Rare Hearts, but if you like "Good Times" there's a lot for you to love about "Tough Guy."

Joe Rojas says of the new song:

“'Tough Guy' was such a fun song to write, perform, and come up with a music video for. There was such a flow to the creation of the video and even the song when first written. For me, this song embodies two stories. One in where there’s the 'tough guy' stereotype 'machismo' aspect to it which can be found in lyrics such as 'ya you know you’ve never seen me, if you think you really saw me down cause I’ll just break away' while also highlighting the blind drive someone in that life roll may have, 'have no mercy, it all makes me.'”

You can listen to "Tough Guy" below. Rare Hearts will release a debut EP later this year on My Grito Industries. For more on Rare Hearts, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Elk City - "Your Time Doesn't Exist"

Elk City is a New Jersey band that features members of Versus, Luna, and Feed. If you know any of those bands, you're going to have a little bit of an idea of what they sound like. Their new single, "Your Time Doesn't Exist," has a timeless quality. It doesn't sound like a throwback, and it certainly doesn't sound modern. Their press release compares them to bands like 10,000 Maniacs, Throwing Muses, Jefferson Airplane, and The Fiery Furnaces, and I hear that all in here. It's classic, edgy, vintage psychedelia mixed with 80's college rock, but all with a modern feel to it. "Your Time Doesn't Exist" has that familiar but completely unique sound to it that music fans strive to find with new artists.

You can watch the video for "Your Time Doesn't Exist" below. Above the Water is due out October 21 on Magic Door Record Label, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Elk City, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Pumpkin Witch - "Wandering on the Moonlit Manor"

It was only last week that we brought you a new song from Pumpkin Witch, but they're already back with another new song! "Wandering on the Moonlit Manor" sounds like a horror movie soundtrack in the best possible way. It sounds like the best John Carpenter scores but amped up a bit and meant to be listened to in the foreground. This is just eerie, disturbing music that is perfect for lovers of Halloween and everything spooky. If there was a Nightmare on Elm Street movie that had one of the teenagers fall asleep in the chill out room of a rave, this is what it would sound like once they started dreaming.

You can listen to "Wandering on the Moonlit Manor" below. The Return of the Pumpkin Witch is due out October 13 on Deathbomb ARC, and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

Maple Run Band - "Tears of a Fool"

Northern Vermont's Maple Run Band have a unique take on modern mainstream roots and Americana. Their latest single, "Tears of a Fool," is an upbeat, cheery song despite being called "Tears of a Fool." It has a bit of a twang to the song, but just a slight twang. Instead of being throwback country, Maple Run Band have crafted a song that's more of a throwback 70's rocker. As heartfelt as the song is, there is also an odd sense of fun and joy to it. It may be sad, but it's fun sad.

Vocalist/songwriter Trevor Crist says of the band's upcoming album:

“Over the lockdown portion of the pandemic, I really spent a lot of time playing the Rhodes piano and the Hammond organ. Our first album was very acoustic guitar driven, but this one was really built on keyboards. We wanted to really tap into that retro-vintage country sound, but produce it almost like a 70s soft-rock album.”

You can listen to "Tears of a Fool" below. Used to Be the Next Big Thing is due out on the fall. For more on Maple Run Band, check out the band's website.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

VAZUM - "Double Stellium"

Detroit deathgaze duo VAZUM have released a new single. "Double Stellium" is a goth post-punk track that is just oozing with distortion and feedback. It starts off with a hypnotic burst of fuzz that seems like it may go on forever before settling into the focus of the song. "Double Stellium" is a dark and swirling song that finds beauty in the darkness and noise. While it's mostly elements of post punk and shoegaze, you'll hear some hints of metal in this one, too. The song tends to be at its best while utilizing the double vocals of Zach Pliska and Emily Sturm into the hypnotic depths.

You can watch the video for "Double Stellium" below. VAZUM are planning for an album release in the spring along with a US tour. For more on VAZUM, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Guts Club - "Cliffs/Walls"

Photo by Sabrina Stone

The latest from Guts Club is about ten times heavier than what we normally cover, but I simply can't resist this one. "Cliffs/Walls" is a ten minute epic of just pure noise and drone. It's a brutal song slathered in feedback. I couldn't say that Guts Club are metal, but they do brush up against metal a bit for this one. "Cliffs/Walls" is more of an experimental doom song. It's impossibly loud right from the start as the song just builds and builds in scope. A lot of experimental or noise songs tend to be mostly about the art and less about being loud and causing an emotional reaction. "Cliffs/Walls" is pure emotion. Like a lot of the music we bring you, Guts Club aren't going to be for everyone, but if this clicks with you it's going to click hard. 

The band says of their new song:

“'Cliffs/Walls' is a meditation on grief and how we navigate a world overflowing with extreme loss and devastation. Some of us let it pass through us, some leap directly into it, others fight it, violently, until we’ve surrounded ourselves with walls too brutal to overcome. There is no resiliency; it is just knot after knot of trauma that we can only attempt to loosen or avert.”

You can listen to "Cliffs/Walls" below. CLIFFS/WALLS is due out January 13 and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Guts Club, check out the artist's website.

Mamalarky - "Shining Armor"

Photo by Connor Fields

Mamalarky are continuing to make some of the more unique versions of indie rock out there today. The band's latest single, "Shining Armor," is this bizarro version of R&B mixed with indie rock. It has this light yet funky feel to it, and unlike most indie rock, this one is actually a fun song. It's very danceable, as long as you don't mind dancing awkwardly to a rapidly changing beat. "Shining Armor" is reminding me of a more laid back version of Guerilla Toss. It's a noisy and chaotic song that is oddly pleasant and almost soothing at times.

Singer Livvy Bennett says of the new song:

"This song goes out to conveniently anonymous YouTube haters. 'Shining Armor' is an invitation for anyone who has shit to say about how I play guitar to go ahead and reveal themselves and play a little song for us! When I wrote this I was getting a bunch of comments about my gender and appearance and how that corresponds with how I play guitar. The only response was to covert that anger into something that's genuinely so fun to play."

You can watch the video for "Shining Armor" below. Pocket Fantasy is due out September 30 on Fire Talk Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Mamalarky, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

9.29 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space9.30 - San Diego - Public Square 10.1 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room10.2 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo 10.4 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill10.6 - Sacramento, CA - The Starlet Room10.7 - Reno, NV - Off Beat Music Festival 10.9 - Portland, OR - Polaris Hall10.10 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project10.13 - Fort Colins, CO - The Coast10.14 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive11.1 - Asheville, NC - Static Age 11.2 - Nashville, TN - DRKMTTR11.3. - Richmond, VA - Get Tight11.4 - Washington, DC - Comet Ping Pong11.5 - Philadelphia, PA - Silk City11.6 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right 11.7 - Boston, MA - O’Briens 11.8 - Montreal, QC - Brasserie Beaubien 11.9 - Toronto, ON - The Baby G 11.11 - Fort Wayne, IN - The Brass Rail11.12 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s 11.13 - St. Louis, MO - the Sinkhole11.15 - Athens, GA - Flicker Bar11.16 - Atlanta, GA - 529

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 16 September 2022

Artist: The Beths
Album: Expert in a Dying Field
Quick Thoughts: The Beths are the best indie/alternative rock band going right now. I said it because it's true. Experts is another incredible entry in a discography of what is now three great releases, and the band shows no signs of slowing down. There's not a bad song on here, and they know how to make a tight rock song. One of the best of the summer.
Songs of Note: "Silence is Golden," "Knees Deep," "Head in the Clouds," "I Told You That I Was Afraid"

Artist: Tysk Tysk Task
Album: You're Sorry More
Quick Thoughts: There's not much I can say about Tysk Tysk Task that Ken hasn't said better in his many live reviews and song highlights. What I will add is that the band walks a fine line between careful and chaotic in a way other bands would fail, and what it means is a memorable record that has all the dark horse qualities for an album that will stick with you. A mandatory listen this week.
Songs of Note: "Contagion," "Rosegold," "I Need This"

Artist: DOMi and JD BECK
Album: NOT TiGHT
Quick Thoughts: I joked with Ken that I am "learn about new music from The New Yorker years old," but that's how I learned about the modern jazz-but-not-quite stylings of DOMi and JD BECK. The duo feel like they're making jazz music for people who don't like jazz (like me), and it just works. This won't be to everyone's taste, but I have to admit: it was to mine.
Songs of Note: "NOT TiGHT," "TAKE A CHANCE"

Artist: Well Wisher
Album: That Weight
Quick Thoughts: Well Wisher offers up a powerful, hook-laden indie rock record that feels crunchy and raw in all the right ways. I don't have a ton to say about it - it's one of the more well-done indie rock efforts of the last few months and Well Wisher is an act you should keep on your radar.
Songs of Note: "Need You Around," "29," "Miserable," "That Weight"

Artist: Darkswoon
Album: Bloom // Decay
Quick Thoughts: I always love when bands sound like what their name evokes. Darkswoon is a dreamy, gothy-sounding band that really impressed me on this album, and the heavy gloom that permeates the post-punk framework here just works. Of all the albums out this week, this is probably the one I'm most excited to get back to.
Songs of Note: "Bloom Decay," "Under Glass"

Artist: Starcrawler
Album: She Said
Quick Thoughts: Wanted to highlight this: if there's a such thing as modern indie glam, Starcrawler might be it. Riffs for days, soaring choruses, it's the total package. They're a really underrated and underappreciated rock band, and deserve your attention.
Songs of Note: "Roadkill," "Stranded"

Artist: Lissie
Album: Carving Canyons
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of Lissie for ages, and this latest album is the closest I've felt an album was to her early work as anything she's done of late. This feel a lot like classic Lissie, and that means some great songwriting and some catchy hooks to go along with some really introspective lyrics. If you're not on board yet, by all means, it's time.
Songs of Note: "Sad," "Chasing the Sun," "Night Moves," "Unlock the Chains"

Artist: Rina Sawayama
Album: Hold the Girl
Quick Thoughts: If you closed your eyes and heard this on its own, you might be convinced it's a Lady Gaga record. That's how solid this listen is from top to bottom. The edge that a lot of her debut had is gone, but in its place is a really great pop record that deserves your time. Loved this one.
Songs of Note: "Hold the Girl," "This Hell," "Frankenstein"

Of note:

* Herva - Seez (Very Aphex Twin-esque.)
* Gogol Bordello - Dolidaritine (A return to form of sorts.)
* Death Cab for Cutie - Asphalt Meadows (They've fully become a dad rock band and I'm cool with it.)
* Klangstof - Godspeed to the Freaks (There's an alternate timeline where this is Radiohead.)
* Cari Cari - Welcome to Kookoo Island
* Hickeys - Fragile Structure
* (The London) Suede - Autofiction
* Turin Brakes - Wide-Eyed Nowhere
* Marina Allen - Centrifics
* Rhett Miller - The Misfit
* Swim Team - Hurricane
* Jesca Hoop - Order of Romance
* Elizabete Balcus - Hotel Universe
* Maggie Lindemann - SUCKERPUNCH
* Al-Qasar - Who Are We?
* Pencey Sloe - Neglect
* Kai Whiston - Quiet as Kept, F.O.G.
* The Black Angels - Wilderness of Mirrors
* Whitney - Spark
* Jónsi, Sin Fang, Alex Somers, Kjartan Holm - Sounds of Fischer Vol. 1
* LYZZA - Mosquito
* Djo - Decide
* Sotnos - Care About Nothing
* Gloria de Oliveira and Dean Hurley - Oceans of Time
* More Kicks - Punch Drunk
* Laundromat - En Bloc
* Cosey Fanni Tutti - Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes


* Molly Lewis - Mirage
* VTSS - Circulus Vitisus
* Blood Wizard - Imaginary House
* Jordie Lane - The Empty House Tapes, Vol. 1
* Iron and Wine - Lori
* Ela Minus and DJ Python -
* They Are Gutting a Body of Water / A Country Western - An Insult to the Sport
* Kynsy - Something to Do With Love
* carina - spaceout!
* Blood Orange - Four Songs

Also out:

* Marxist Love Disco Ensemble - MDLE
* Brittle Brian - Biodiesel
* Ali McGuirk - Til It's Gone
* Crack Cloud - Tough Baby
* Lorne Berhman - A Little Midnight
* Clutch - Sunrise on Slaughter Beach

Mae Krell - "tooth fairy"

Photo by Alex Lyon

New York's Mae Krell has released a new single that combines indie/bedroom rock with soul. "tooth fairy" is a lo-fi version of soul. While the genre tends to usually be about big production and sound, "tooth fairy" is a stripped down and intimate version. DIY soul isn't a sound we're used to, so this one comes across as quite unique. Plus, just to keep the indie rock spirit alive, Krell adds some odd little unexpected flourishes which contributes to the original vibe of the track while it still sounds completely familiar.

Mae Krell says of her new single:

I wrote it after I found out that someone who used to be my best friend moved to the city where I grew up. It felt like tearing open an old wound that I didn’t know I had, and also put me in a spot to question: if the chance were to arise, would I want to give them a second chance? That’s something I’m still trying to figure out.”

You can listen to "tooth fairy" below. For more on Mae Krell, check out the artist's website.

Elizabeth Moen - "Synthetic Fabrics"

Photo by Alexa Viscius

The latest from Chicago's Elizabeth Moen takes a few different sounds we cover quite a bit here but blends them up in a way we haven't heard before. "Synthetic Fabrics" has elements of indie rock, pop, soul, and garage rock. Moen's vocals are the obvious soul element, and they would be worth talking about alone. But "Synthetic Fabrics" has this truly odd and unique blend of jangly indie rock guitars that have a little garage crunch to them. Plus, she adds in horror movie strings and the whole thing seems to be playing at a speed it wasn't recorded at randomly. Not off by a lot, just a slight amount. It's one of the more unique sounds that doesn't quite match up with Moen's captivating vocal delivery that stops just short of being quirky.

Elizabeth Moen says of her upcoming album:

“This album is an accumulation of great friendships found through learning the hard way about love and other life lessons. It’s filled with good times, bad times, and lots of time spent on the road around the world to write it, make it, and afterwards figure out what to do with it. I’m so happy to finally share this record that embodies what making music means to me: connection and introspection.”

You can listen to "Synthetic Fabrics" below. Wherever You Aren't is due out November 11 and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Elizabeth Moen, check out the artist's website.

Margo Price - "Change of Heart"

Photo via Facebook

If you had told me that Margo Price was going to stray from her classic country sound, I would have been furious and refused to like any new music purely on principle. However, her new music and new sound is completely irresistible. "Change of Heart" is this funky rock and pop song with nary a hint of Price's typical country sound. If anything, "Change of Heart" is more New Wave influenced than country. To me this sounds like Tom Petty's early 80's dalliance into New Wave while keeping some classic rock and country roots intact. At this point, Margo Price can do literally no wrong, and I'll accept anything she wants to throw at me with glee.

You can watch the video for "Change of Heart" below. Strays is due out January 13 and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on Margo Price, check out the artist's website.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Sweet Teeth - "Love Panic"

Everything you read about Sweden's Sweet Teeth (including right here on this site) is going to compare them to both Husker Du and Dinosaur Jr, but with good reason. Their latest single, "Love Panic," has that 90's alt-rock/power pop sound we love here. It has that melody meets crazy noise you find with Husker Du and the wall of guitar noise you get with Dinosaur Jr. This is that absolutely perfect mix of catchy and noisy that pretty much hits all of my music fandom buttons. If that's your kind of thing, too, you're going to adore "Love Panic."

Sweeth Teeth say of the new album:

”'Love panic' is by far the most powerpoppy song we’ve ever written, I’m not sure if we’ll ever do one like this again. The lyrics are about classic first date nerves and all the anxiety and joy that love brings, hence the title. It’s influenced by late ’80s and early ’90s alternative rock; from the Sonic Youth-inspired intro, to the line of text saying 'whatever’s cool with me.'"

You can watch the video for "Love Panic" below. High Anxiety is due out October 14 on Lovely Records. For more on Sweet Teeth, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Sierra Ferrell Covers Neil Young

In the two or so years since I discovered Sierra Ferrell, she's become an absolute master of cover songs, which we definitely appreciate. Her latest is a cover of Neil Young's iconic "Harvest Moon" recorded for The Hippie Shake. It's just Ferrell and her guitar on the song, and it's basically perfect. Sure, "Harvest Moon" is probably Young's most covered and obvious song choice, but if you asked me what song Ferrell should cover of his, I'd choose this one. Ferrell makes it just a little bit more country (but that could just be her voice) and adds a little bit of whimsy to the song. It's one of Young's more hopeful and lovely songs, and it's just a perfect one for Ferrell to take a shot at, and she obviously knocks this one out of the park.

You can watch Sierra Ferrell's version of "Harvest Moon" below. For more on Sierra Ferrell, check out the artist's website.

Live Shows: Tysk Tysk Task, Burp, and Oahk, The Valley, Lowell, MA 9/17/22

I can't say I'm a fan of basement shows. I like the DIY feel enough, but basement shows are usually a young crowd. Considering The Valley is in the UMASS Lowell neighborhood, it was going to be a very young crowd, and it was. (Pretty sure I was at least ten years older than the second oldest people there, and that's only counting the bands.) But when it's Tysk Tysk Task's album release show, I knew I needed to be the grandpa in the room and be there.

Oahk came down from central New Hampshire to open the show. Oahk is Bryan Ziolkowski playing guitar and vocals with samples. It's a very drone heavy and noisy affair, but there is such beauty in it. I liked Oahk's album Husks when it was released back in July, but I loved the live performance. The music moved between simple beauty and just a wall of drone and samples without ever losing any of the beauty no matter how brutal the song may have sounded. This is an artist we'll be keeping a close eye on here in the future.

Burp came on next, and I believe this is the third time I've seen the Lowell band play with Tysk Tysk Task this year. No other band makes me feel as old as these guys while I'm still enjoying the music. They opened with their hit song "My Back Hurts" by announcing it was about their balls. Yes, I'm way too old for this, but it's just dumb fun. As always, they reminded me of early, obnoxious Blink-182 (and I mean that as a compliment) with some noise/art-rock influences. They busted out their crowd pleasing and moshpit inducing cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic," and also played a second cover, which may have been Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" is my Googling was correct. I'm sure I'll be the old uncle type guy standing over on the side at another one of their shows soon enough.

Tysk Tysk Task closed out the night with a mesmerizing performance. I've seen them an embarrassing amount of times since April of this year, but Saturday night's show in Lowell was just next level. Playing as a three piece with Ellis Roundy of The PA's (and producer of You're Sorry More) on bass, the band played their just released album track by track. As someone lucky enough to have received an advanced copy, Tysk Tysk Task brought their album to life in such unexpected ways. Partly because the band had made the little basement their own with strings of lights, fake vines, and Bambi projected behind them, this was a band truly coming into their own. Samantha Hartsel and Danni Gannon played with a joy I haven't seen from the duo before. The double shot of "Working On It" and "Working It Out" is always my favorite, but "Flies" was the song of the night. I dare you to find three songs so intense with aggression yet so stunningly beautiful. When they closed with an emotional version of "On My Own," the basement got quite dusty for just about everyone in attendance. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Crow Follow - "Iron Bottom Sound"

Photo by Kelly Davidson Studio

After hearing "Indiana Line," Crow Follow's previous single, the most surprising is how (almost) mainstream "Iron Bottom Sound" is. The new song is decidedly "low rock," the genre introduced to most of us by fellow Boston band Morphine. "Iron Bottom Sound" is a jazzy and bluesy song that isn't really alt-rock, but back in the 90's we called everything "alternative" so that's what we'll go with here. The song is mostly vocals and groovy guitar, but it is truly propelled forward by horns. They're used sparingly so that they really suck you in when they are used. "Iron Bottom Sound" might not grab you at first, but if you stick with it, by the end it's going to weasel its way into your soul.

Agent Judy says of the new song:

“It's about the music scene, going out, playing out; the underneath places where local music tends to be. It’s about seeking out the scene. Looking for those badass women playing amazing rock. We have role models amongst them too numerous to name.”

You can listen to "Iron Bottom Sound" below. Red Velvet Radio is due out September 30. For more on Crow Follow, check out the band's website.

Leatherette - "Sunbathing"

Photo by Maicol Guidetti

Leatherette make the kind of post punk that doesn't forget that it's punk. The Italian band's latest single, "Sunbathing," is a jagged buzzsaw of a song. It clocks in at under two minutes, but it isn't nearly as fast as a two minute punk song typically is. Instead, the aggression comes from singer/guitarist Michele's vocals and the wall of noise emanating from the guitar. It's oddly tuneful except for the wail unsuccessfully hiding in the background. This is going to remind a lot of people of contemporary artists like Shame and classic ones like Rites of Spring. "Sunbathing" is an interesting song and a killer way to discover Leatherette.

The band says of their new single:

"'Sunbathing' was almost born as a joke, it came out of nowhere. We wanted to write a happy cheesy pop song and then completely destroy it from within".

You can listen to "Sunbathing" below. Fiesta is due out October 21 on Bronson Recordings and can be pre-ordered over at Bandcamp. For more on Leatherette, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

New Junk City - "High Contrast"

Atlanta based alt-punks New Junk City first came to our attention with "Rosey" which was described as a cross between The Lemonheads and Gin Blossoms. They're back with a new single which leans much more into the punk side of their sound. "High Contrast" is pretty much straight up pop punk and maybe even emo. This one sounds like a cross between The Get Up Kids and Rebuilder. It's a slick, high energy song with duo vocals on the choruses. Not quite gang vocals, but heading that way. It's a positive sounding song, which makes sense considering it's about focusing on the positive things in life.

You can listen to "High Contrast" below. New Junk City will be releasing an album in on October 21 via A-F Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on New Junk City, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Mightmare - "Enemy"

Photo by Jillian Clark

Mightmare, Sarah Shook's dark pop/indie rock project, has a new single we can check out. As with previous singles, "Enemy" is a complete change of musical direction that we're used to from Sarah Shook & The Disarmers. This is a dark and brooding song that somehow still ends up being more than a little bit pop. There's an interesting 90's alt-rock goes goth and modern alt-pop vibe with "Enemy." We've been huge fans of the Disarmers and everything they've put out, and while this is completely different it's great to see an artist like Sarah Shook branch out into an entirely new sound, especially when it's this great.

Sarah Shook says of their new song:

“When I started working on ‘Enemy’ I was thinking about how people can be so vindictive during breakups and how pointless it is. It got me wondering if a breakup somehow triggers something deeper in us psychologically, like a fundamental fear of being forgotten or something.  And by the time I finished it I was missing all my childhood friends and all the people I've lost along the way.”

You can watch the video for "Enemy" below. Cruel Liars is due out October 14 on Kill Rock Stars. The album can be pre-saved/pre-ordered here. For more on Mightmare, check out the project's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

October 19 – Charlotte, NC – Snug HarborOctober 20 – Atlanta, GA – 529October 21 – Greenville, SC – Radio RoomOctober 22 – Nashville, TN – The BasementOctober 23 – Knoxville, TN – Pilot LightOctober 24 – Columbus, OH – Rumba CaféOctober 25 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club CaféOctober 27 – Cincinnati, OH – Southgate House RevivalOctober 28 – Urbana, IL – Rose Bowl TavernOctober 29 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus ClubOctober 30 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle

Marlowe - "Past Life"

It feels like it's been a while since we've heard from L'Orange. Luckily, the North Carolina based producer is back with new music, and, even better, it's his project with Solemn Brigham! Marlowe's new single, "Past Life," is exactly what we want from the collaboration between L'Orange and Brigham. It's a very jazz based song, which is going to remind you of classic artists like Digable Planets and Guru. But, "Past Life" is hardly a 90's jazz meets rap throwback. Marlowe's new song sounds like a modern take on that sound. While a lot of classic jazz rap was laid back, this one is upbeat and even bouncy. We tend to get into everything L'Orange related, but this one is great even by that standard.

L'Orange says of Marlowe's upcoming album:

“This album feels like a maturity to who we are as a group. We set out to make something that was big, energetic, fun and explosive and I feel like we did that without losing control. I feel like Solemn and I are the best we’ve ever been.”

You can watch the video for "Past Life" below. Marlowe 3 is due out October 28 on Mello Music Group. The album can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on L'Orange, check out the artist's website. Solemn Brigham can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Tysk Tysk Task - You're Sorry More

We've been waiting to bring you the new album from Tysk Tysk Task for quite a while now. My fandom is well documented here at If It's Too Loud..., so I'll try not to gush too much, but You're Sorry More is one of my favorite albums of the year. The Lowell band have crafted a masterpiece with this one.

You're Sorry More is just a primal release of aggression. It's one of those works of art that repels you as much as it sucks you in. Album opener "Rosegold" is a perfect example of this. It's filled with crushing guitars as Samantha Hartsel's vocals go from mesmerizing and lovely to a near primal scream throughout the song. "Pounding Sand" follows and brings more catharsis with it. Hartsel's vocalizations are over this intensely groovy and psychedelic backdrop of sound. A song like "Contagion" almost lulls you into a false sense of security as it plods along before it erupts into a narrowly controlled burst of chaos, barely held together by Danni Gannon's drumming.

My personal favorite moment on the album is the double shot of "Working On It" and "Working It Out." The pair of songs truly sounds as if it were one song as they blend together. "Working On It" is this quiet almost meditative reflection that sounds like trying to exorcise negative thoughts and retain some sense of calm... and not exactly succeeding. And then "Working It Out" comes crashing in. It's this White Stripes meets metal sound filtered through Tysk Tysk Task's woodland grunge sound. Everything about this pairing of songs is so raw, from the vocals to the playing style to production. It's not an easy listen at times, but goddamn is it a good one.

Even a song that seems like filler at first ended up being a favorite. "Forest Down" starts off with a minute of crickets, so it's easy to dismiss as just a way to emotionally come down after "Working On It" and "Working It Out." From there the song goes into some spoken word by Ellis Roundy (producer of You're Sorry More and guitarist/vocalist of The PA's) which is then followed by an almost painfully quiet ukulele/vocals turn by Hartsel. Somehow the song progresses from that to a near straight up punk song, albeit with swirling psychedelia. It starts off as a throwaway song and turns into one of the most vital on the album.

The album ends with another perfect pairing of songs. "Flies" is this foreboding song about being afraid to take out your trash during the pandemic that builds and builds in menace and paranoia until it finally explodes into a grunge epic of guitar that somehow crunches as it swirls into crashing drums. And just when you think you're safe, it comes barging back at you. "On My Own" closes out the album in this quiet, contemplative way. It's a sadly hypnotic song that encompasses the mood and catharsis of the album. Hartsel's vocals are painful to listen to on this one. She truly channels every emotion into her art, and "On My Own" is a next level example of that. It's also an oddly hopeful song and not just gloom. 

You're Sorry More is a journey of an album that is going to connect hard to some of us, and for those of us it does connect with, this is going to become a longtime favorite. Give yourself a solid undistracted hour to take this one in.

You can get a copy of You're Sorry Now via Bandcamp. For more on Tysk Tysk Task, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Pumpkin Witch - "The Return of the Pumpkin Witch"

If you love Halloween like I do, just seeing that there is an artist named Pumpkin Witch that has released a song called "The Return of the Pumpkin Witch" is going to thrill you. It also helps that the song is pretty great. It's a four minute instrumental track that sounds wonderfully eerie and combines electronic music with the noise of indie rock. To me it sounds like the chill out room at a rave around Halloween and also if the chill out room is meant to be anxiety inducing... but in a fun way. If you have a fondness for laid back electronic music, abrasive indie rock, and Halloween, you might end up loving Pumpkin Witch.

You can listen to "The Return of the Pumpkin Witch" below. The Return of the Pumpkin Witch is due out October 13 on Death Bomb Arc, and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

Miss Kill - "All You Gotta Do"

There has been a plethora of 90's inspired rock with a modern pop leaning lately, and we tend to be all in for that sound. Bristol, UK's Miss Kill just released "All You Gotta Do," which has all the distortion of the more mainstream side of grunge but with the modern, more pop sound of artists like Momma and Wet Leg. This song definitely rocks harder than those other artists tend to, which is what sets Miss Kill apart. "All You Gotta Do" is this epic song filled with distortion and crunching guitars paired with powerful and mesmerizing vocals. If anything, this one is reminding me of the more epic side of 90's alt-rock like "Black Metallic," which is quite high praise.

You can watch the video for "All You Gotta Do" below. Don't Tell Me Twice is due out September 16 and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Miss Kill, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

The Persian Leaps - "Alright Alright"

We've been covering The Persian Leaps for quite a while now, and we always love when we can bring you new music from them. The Minneapolis band led by Drew Forsberg has released "Alright Alright," and it's everything we love about them. It has that indie rock goes power pop sound that's reminiscent of Guided By Voices and Teenage Fanclub. It's catchy as hell but with far too much noise to be considered even remotely pop, even though it's also poppy as hell. "Alright Alright" is one of the more chilled out songs we've heard from them, but it has just enough of an edge to keep this pop song quite interesting.

Drew Forsberg says of the new song:

"This song is about people who thrive on conflict. They’ve always existed, but it’s so much worse in the digital age when people can post inflammatory statements with total anonymity–or at least not say things directly to someone’s face. This song is for people who hang out online in the Comments section."

You can listen to "Alright Alright" below. Machines for Living is due out October 7 and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. For more on The Persian Leaps, check out the band's website.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Smut - "After Silver Leaves"

Photo by Jaycee Rockhold

I certainly wasn't expecting a band named Smut to sound anything like this. The Chicago based band's latest single, "After Silver Leaves," is this gorgeous slice of dream pop. The focus are the stunning vocals of Tay Roebuck and swirling guitars. Instead of the raw, in your face punk/rock I was expecting, Smut are the kind of band that can be compared to The Sundays and The Cranberries. The beauty of the music does hide quite a bit of darkness. Much of Smut's upcoming album is about Roebuck's younger sister who died by suicide weeks before her high school graduation. 

Tay Roebuck says of her band's new single:

This song is about a former relationship I was in, it was really horribly abusive. But the approach to this one was to just spell it all out and see how silly it feels once shit really hits the fan. The song sounds so happy, but I’m talking about driving someone to a hospital when they’ve overdosed. And having to detach myself and realize that maybe it’s not my job as a teenage girl to save some sad sack of a guy. I think a lot of young women will relate to that, unfortunately.”

You can watch the video for "After Silver Leaves" below. How the Light Felt is due out November 11 on Bayonet Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Smut, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.