Thursday, March 31, 2022

Ted Leo - "The Clearing of the Land"

Ted Leo wrote and recorded all the instruments himself for his new song specifically for the Band Together: A Benefit for Ukraine compilation. "The Clearing of the Land" sounds like exactly what it is. It's a Ted Leo protest song that sounds like a modern alt-rock version of classic protest songs. If anything, "The Clearing of the Land" sounds like a ye olden march with killer electric guitar solos. Ted Leo is singing passionately as if he's trying to motivate a crowd of rebels. While the beat of the song remains a steady march, it's truly the guitars that propel it along. When I say that it contains killer indie rock guitar solos, it contains some of the best ones we've heard this year. 

You can listen to "The Clearing of the Land" below. Band Together: A Benefit for Ukraine is available now via Bandcamp and also features songs from Unsane and The World/Inferno Friendship Society. All proceeds from the album go to Razom, a New York-based 501c3 non-profit providing aid across Ukraine. For more on Razom, check out their website.

Mamalarky & Benét - "Will I See U?"

It's been a little while since we've heard from Mamalarky, the current project from Livvy Bennett (ex-Cherry Glazerr). Now they're back with a new collaborative single with Bené
t. While Mamalarky's 2020 self-titled album was a blend of indie rock and psychedelia, "Will I See U?" is decidedly more laid back. It's more of an indie R&B cut with plenty of psychedelic flourishes throughout. We don't typically associate R&B with psychedelia, so this song is a refreshingly new sound that isn't quite like what we typically cover here. Despite that, there is a lot here for readers of If It's Too Loud... to love, and it oddly fits right in our wheelhouse!

Livvy Bennett says of the new song:

"The song is about the people in my life where our relationship exists mostly in the bounds of my imagination. For various reasons, they feel so unattainable. Maybe we’ve drifted, they live far away, or maybe they don’t see anyone much at all anymore. And some people really just don’t want to give you the time of day and that’s fine too! The song is basically me being frustrated at how badly I want to be around someone that doesn’t reciprocate, so I’m left wondering."

You can listen to "Will I See U?" below. The single is out now via Fire Talk Records and Bayonet Records. For more on Mamalarky, check out the band's website. For  more on Benét, check out the artist's Instagram.

Rianne Downey - "Devil's Gonna Get You"

Upon listening to the latest single from Rianne Downey, the last two things you'll guess are that she's from Glasgow and she's only twenty-two years old. "Devil's Gonna Get You" is pure Americana. It's a glorious mix of old fashioned country and soul with just enough of a modern twist to not be old timey. And then there's Downey's voice. It might not have that world weary sound we associate with classic artists, but she also doesn't sound as young as she is. This is the textbook sound of "honey-voiced," and she has that kind of voice that reveals someone that's lived a life. Not that "Devil's Gonna Get You" is a downbeat song. It's refreshingly upbeat and quite fun sounding. Rianne Downey is going to be an artist we'll be watching closely from here on out.

Rianne Downey says of her new single:

“The song was born out of a hangover for the ages! It’s a song about over indulgence and facing the consequences of your actions, when ‘the fear’ hits you and the demons are in. You’ve traded a few hours of numbing the pain with alcohol for mental torture. There was nothing more positive to do than to take my pain and turn it into something good. This song is a reminder that the pain doesn’t last even if we choose to do it to ourselves again.”

You can listen to "Devil's Gonna Get You" below. The single is out now on Run On Records in association with Modern Sky. For more on Rianne Downey, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Eli Paperboy Reed and Sabine McCalla Cover Merle Haggard

While the latest single from Eli Paperboy Reed's upcoming album of Merle Haggard covers is a Merle Haggard original, it's actually a cover of an unreleased cover. I'll let Reed explain:

“In 1969, Capitol Records commissioned a duet version of this song from Buck Owens, who was their biggest country star, and Bettye Swann, who was their most successful soul singer. The label ultimately shelved it out of fears that an interracial collaboration would damage Buck’s career, but a few of the acetates eventually leaked out, and I happen to own one of them."When I decided to record an album of Merle Haggard songs I knew that wanted to pay homage to this version. I called Sabine and explained the story and my vision for resurrecting the long lost duet and she was thrilled to step into Swann’s shoes and helped deliver an unforgettable—and long overdue—rendition."It’s probably the most straight ahead interpretation on the album, and that’s the way I wanted it. The arrangement was good enough to be released back in 1969, but it never had a chance to get the respect it deserved. To finally, officially put that song out as a duet with a woman of color after all these years feels incredibly consequential to me. Thanks so much to Sabine for helping me realize the vision!” 

Compared to the other two previously released singles ("I'm Bringing Home Good News" and "Mama Tried"), "Today I Started Loving You Again" is the most country sounding. It still has plenty of that neo-soul feel to it that we associate with Reed, but it leans more into classic country territory. Plus, collaborating with Sabine McCalla is an absolute dream. As excited as I am for this album, it has me secretly wishing for a collaborative album between Reed and McCalla. Their voices seem perfectly made to sing together.

You can listen to Eli Paperboy Reed and Sabine McCalla's version of "Today I Started Loving You Again" below. Down Every Road is due out April 29 on Yep Roc Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Eli Paperboy Reed, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

First Listen: New and Missed Music for 25 March 2022

Artist: Sam Jr.
Album: Sam Jr.
Quick Thoughts: As mini-albums go, Sam Jr.'s self-titled effort here is part Dandy Warhols, part Kurt Vile, part Washed Out, part Morphine, but it all works. There's a grime to these songs that just makes sense, and the grungy, sticky bar floor these songs sound like they come from is just perfect. It's loud, it's brash, and it's great.
Songs of Note: "You Lock the Door I Broke the Window," "Sweet Face," "Keep It Buried"

Artist: Eades
Album: Delusion Spree
Quick Thoughts: Eades is definitely doing the alt-rock thing well, and I think what impresses me most about Delusion Spree is that the songs that hit well hit REALLY WELL. I tripped up on "I'm Holding Back Your Hair" and checked out the album only to find song after song that just work. It's a great listen and has a lot going for it, so give it a spin.
Songs of Note: "I'm Holding Back Your Hair," "A Welcome Goodbye," "Parachute Games," "Former Warnings Cluster"

Artist: Ghost Transmission
Album: Get Me High
Quick Thoughts: If you've missed early Raveonettes, check out Ghost Transmission. Get Me High nails that modern retro sound in a way I haven't heard in a decade, and I am probably more excited to get back to this one than anything else. I don't have a ton to say about it except that you should check it out.
Songs of Note: "Heartbeat"

Artist: Kavinsky
Album: Reborn
Quick Thoughts: Listen, I won't lie. If it wasn't for AEW's Joey Janela and his entrance music on the indies, I wouldn't know Kavinsky and wouldn't have gotten into the sort of retrowave revival we're living through. It's an aesthetic and an acquired taste, for sure, but one I absolutely have and one where Kavinsky is an absolute master. You'll know pretty fast if this is for you, especially as it's some of the best out there.
Songs of Note: "Pulsar," "Plasma," "Cameo," "Vigilante"

Artist: Riverby
Album: Absolution
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to make sure I highlighted Riverby's new album, which is a punk-adjacent indie record for the #MeToo/internet era. The lead track is brutal in its honesty, and the album does not let up in its entire runtime. This album is a great jump forward for this band, and might be a worthy breakout record for them. An excellent listen.
Songs of Note: "Baseless," "Birth By Sleep," "The Moon"

Artist: Guerilla Toss
Album: Famously Alive
Quick Thoughts: I would like to submit Guerilla Toss as the most underrated band going right now. We loved their last album, and this new album is somehow better? They're doing such an interesting, unique, thing with their sound that's just weird enough to be different but just accessible enough to have some wide appeal. I recognize that this won't work for everyone, but, man, I'd hate to be a music fan who can't find something to enjoy here. A must-listen.
Songs of Note: "Famously Alive," "Wild Fantasy," "Mermaid Airplane"

Artist: Kilo Kish
Quick Thoughts: Kilo Kish straddles the intersection of R&B, hip-hop, and hyperpop, and it makes for an interesting listen anyway. This new album is a leap ahead of what we've come to expect from her given her excellent first album, but this has a lot of potential starmaking material here. It's modern and familiar and truly fascinating, and worth your time.

Of note:

* Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves - Hurricane Clarice (Super raw, masterful roots music.)
* Cowboy Junkies - Songs of the Recollection (Solid covers record.)
* Barrie - Barbara
* Walter Martin - The Bear
* Placebo - Never Let Me Go
* Emma Elisabeth - Some Kind of Paradise
* Aldous Harding - Warm Chris
* Jensen McRae - Are You Happy Now?
* Croatian Amor - Remember Rainbow Bridge
* Ian Noe - River Fools & Mountain Saints
* The Anomalys - Glitch
* Ghost Transmission - Get Me High
* Tyler Bates and Chelsea Wolfe - X (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


* Keaper - Fade (Keep an eye on these guys.)
* talker - (Don't skip this one.)
Missy Higgins - Total Control
* Ben Lukas Boysen - Clarion
* Kiesza - Tommy
* Jae Skeese - Iroquois Pliskin
* umru - comfort noise
* Spoon - Wild EP
* Folly Group - Human and Kind
* Mint Julep - Covers
* Rødhåd - Alternation
* Sims - Elevation
* Mission to Sleep - Post Youth
* Bernice - Bonjourno My Friends

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* LP Giobbi x Insomniac Records Presents Femme House
* Charli XCX - CRASH (Deluxe)

Also out:

* Dream Widow - Dream Widow (Dave Grohl metal project.)
* Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - Changeup (Joan Jett acoustic stuff.)
* Disassembler - A Wave From a Shore

Missy D - "Case Depart"

Canadian MC Missy D is a bilingual rapper. Her latest single, "Case Depart," sees her rapping in both French and English. The song references a nursery rhyme ("1, 2, 3 nous irons au bois") is sees her going back into her childhood and the French hip hop she loved as a child. French hip hop is one of those genres I discovered through the film La Haine in college, but in those days it was hard to research online, so I never quite did. "Case Depart" is a fun, lighthearted hip hop song that uses R&B and soul to accentuate the song instead of to lean on. Missy D has created a sound that has a touch of a throwback feel but sounds fully modern.

Missy D says of her upcoming musical project:

“It all starts somewhere, so here it goes, let me reintroduce myself. My name is Missy D, Je m’appelle Missy D, and here is: voici Case Départ. I started rapping in French when I was 11. This artform has taught me so much, even a whole language (English) in which I rap constantly now. But let’s embrace the source, the beginnings, and where it all started. “The project will touch on childhood, nostalgia, grief, homesickness, longing for others through the pandemic, and pushing through the overthinking moments and celebrating the little steps you make. That forward motion. This is just the beginning of something special.”

You can watch the video for "Case Depart" below. The song is available as a single via Birthday Cake Records here. For more on Missy D, check out the artist's website.

The Inflorescence - "Tomorrow Night"

Photo by Alex Tchoukhrova

Some songs just sound like California. Hailing from San Diego, The Inflorescence have released a complete epic of a song. "Tomorrow Night" is nearly seven minutes long, and it combines dream pop with pop punk into a gorgeous power ballad. It's filled with lush guitar solos and heartbreakingly stunning vocal harmonies. This is leaning very heavily to the pop side of dream pop and pop punk, but this is just one of those nearly impossible to resist songs. Even if you're typically repelled by pop, the fuzzy tones of the guitars will draw you in enough to succumb to the vocals. And by that point you won't be able to resist the solos.

You can watch the video for "Tomorrow Night" below. Remember What I Look Like is due out June 10 on Kill Rock Stars and can be pre-ordered and pre-saved here. For more on The Inflorescence, check out the band's Instagram and Bandcamp.

The Wilful Boys - "Better"

Brooklyn based The Wilful Boys met in 2014 at Cake Shop. The band is led by Australian native Steven Fisher on drums and vocals. Their latest single, "Better," is based in punk, hardcore, and even some metal, but the song just grooves. It could be because the song has this killer post punk bassline, but heavy music doesn't usually have this level of danceable groove to it. Add to that a buzzy heavy guitar, and Fisher going from a foreboding to one of the best screams in the business, and "Better" is one of our favorite heavy songs in a while. The term "melodic hardcore" is throw around a lot these days, but this one exemplifies that term.

You can listen to "Better" below. World Ward Word Sword is due out May 6 on Big Neck Records. For more on The Wilful Boys, check out the band's Facebook.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Omni of Halos - "You Suck"

Photo by David Hultesjo

I feel like I'm far too old to get into a song called "You Suck," but there's no denying how great this one is. Hailing from Sweden, Omni of Halos are made up of members of Division of Laura Lee, Bombus, Sparks of Seven, Firebreather, and more. Their new song is this thunderously heavy rock song with a ton of roots in both punk and the heavier side of garage rock. But "You Suck" also adds a touch of pedal steel for this unexpected country twang. I've never normally associated pedal steel with hard rock (or Sweden), but if this is what it sounds like more bands should add it. It creates this warm and inviting feeling that goes completely against the hard and fuzzed out rock, but also goes with it perfectly.

Lead vocalist/guitarist Henri Hjelt Rostberg says of the new song:

”The song came out of an old riff that’s been haunting me since my teens. It’s about old experiences being in toxic relationships. The title speaks for itself.”

You can watch the video for "You Suck" below. Care Free is due out in May via Lovely Records. For more on Omni of Halos, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

Beth // James - "Boy Genius"

Photo by Madeline Northway

Beth // James is the husband and wife duo of Mikaela Beth and Jordan James Burchill. The Austin, TX based duo met at the jazz program of University of North Texas, just released a single that is a magical blend of modern folk and indie pop and rock. "Boy Genius" is an absolutely lovely song based in roots and Americana with some savvy pop hooks. The song is set in a fictional bar in South Austin and is musically inspired by Fleetwood Mac, especially in the harmonies between Beth and James. It's truly the harmonies that elevate this song into something truly special.

You can listen to "Boy Genius" below. Get Together is due out June 3. For more on Beth // James, check out the artist's website.

Jaguero - "Negative, Awesome!"

Photo courtesy of Jaguero

Italy's Jaguero have released a song that I think we can all relate to more than we'd like. "Negative, Awesome!" is a song that starts off combining pop punk with early Phil Spector style rock 'n' roll. It's that bouncy feel and all the hallmarks of pop punk, but with vocal harmonies you'd normally find in doo wop. That enough would make "Negative, Awesome!" be one one of the more engaging and unique pop punk songs of the year, but then they thrown in a barrage of metal for the chorus which was unexpectedly awesome.

Now to the relatable part. As the band says:

"'Negative, Awesome!' deals with the concept of balance: every day, we all face our commitments, our hobbies, our jobs, pretending that everything is ok and that this routine is fine for us. In reality, this is consuming us slowly, and we are so absorbed by this process that we are not able to wake up and realize it.It's okay to accept also the negative parts of ourselves, because they perfectly co-exists with the positive ones. This is just who we are: a complex spectrum that goes from a bright side to a darker one."

You can listen to "Negative, Awesome!" below. Jaguero's first EP is due out in April on Epidemic Records. For more on Jaguero, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

Live Shows: Yard Act, The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 3/25/22

Photo by Phoebe Fox

This past weekend was a bit of a crazy one for live music in Boston. There were multiple shows all three nights with Squid, Crowfeeder and SkyTigers, Thao, and a bunch of others all having shows scheduled. I chose to see Yard Act who had the hard task of erasing my FOMO for other shows.

The night started off fairly strangely. Bad Waitress had to drop off the bill due to a positive COVID test the night before and weren't replaced. Doors still opened a little after 8:00, and Yard Act went on at 10:00 which meant a lot of the crowd was there for two hours with nothing to really do. The night started off with the disappointment of a band I was looking forward to seeing and then extra time waiting, which is never a good place to start off from. Yard Act acknowledged the situation from the stage, referring to the emergency exits announcement as their opener.

Luckily, Yard Act are a great live band. They chose to play their new album from start to finish in its entirety, which kind of makes sense since it's their only album. Kind of more strangeness, but in a good way. Vocalist James Smith is the kind of frontman you don't truly get that much any more as he is truly putting on a show. His spoken word style rants and stage presence came across like an angrier Jarvis Cocker. If you've ever seen Pulp live, you know that's the highest possible compliment. He was incredibly engaging and really worked to get the crowd as into it as possible. Considering how hyped the audience was to start the show, it didn't take much. Live, Sam Shjipstone is an incredible guitarist. The post punk noise rock that is hinted on The Overload was truly allowed to flourish on stage.

More weirdness happened during the set. During "Land of the Blind" there's a line about performing a magic trick by making someone's money disappear. Yard Act decided to actually perform said trick and got a few dollars from someone for the joke. Then someone handed up a twenty, which just opened the floodgates of people in the crowd rushing forward to hand the band twenties. Apparently more local bands shouldn't pass a hat but make a joke about performing a magic trick to get some extra cash. The main set closed with "100% Endurance" which is a great album closer but an odd set closer. For an encore, the band played two songs off their Dark Days EP. Another odd choice since I don't know if most of the audience even knew it existed.

Yard Act was a great show that I don't regret going to. Was it enough to erase all of my FOMO? No, but I don't think anything could have, and any FOMO and weirdness wasn't truly all their fault. I'll still be sure to check them out again next time they pass through the area.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Savoir Faire - "Alias"

Photo by Sarah Belclaire

According to Savoir Faire's Facebook bio, the Boston based musician makes "Indie rock guitar hovering around nostalgia." That is most definitely the case with the latest single. "Alias" starts off as a modern doo wop throwback track along the lines of early Molly Burch. And if that was what this song was all the way through I'd still be gushing about it. Savoir Faire's vocals and guitar work are completely dreamy in this style, and I could easily fall down a rabbit hole of listening to this on repeat. But just as I start to settle into this vibe, the song amps up into more of a rocker while still holding onto the same feeling. It's not a hard left sonic turn, it's more of a slightly unexpected bearing to the right. "Alias" wanders around like this for a while before adding some fabulously intricate guitar work and then closing in a crash much like a Lady Lamb song. Looks like we're going to be paying close attention to Savoir Faire's music from here on.

In a Facebook post, Savoir Faire says of the new song:

"This song is an interrogation on our true selves. If we aren't asking ourselves the hard questions, and really exploring our true identities, then we may not be the 'good guys' that we think we are."

You can listen to "Alias" below. For more on Savoir Faire, check out the artist's website.

The Venomous Pinks - "No Rules"

Photo by Jack Grisham

Arizona's The Venomous Pinks are back with new music! If you're a fan of theirs, "No Rules" is going to be perfect for you. The new song is exactly what we want from The Venomous Pinks. It's a punk rock song with insanely catchy pop hooks and dripping with attitude. As pop as it might lean, this is hardly pop punk or emo. "No Rules" is more like rock 'n' roll than pop, more in line with artists like Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and The Donnas. This is punk with huge guitars and even bigger hooks.

Drea Doll (Guitar and vocals) says of the new song:

""No Rules" is a scorned love letter in song form that attempts to break the vicious cycle of a toxic relationship. It was a fun track to record, because regardless of what stage you are at in life, everyone can relate to a little heartbreak."

You can watch the video for "No Rules" below. Vita Mors is due out June 3 on SBAM Records, and can be pre-saved or pre-ordered here. For more on The Venomous Pinks, check out the band's website.

Jeremiah Moon - "Melusine"

Seattle based classically trained cellist Jeremiah Moon is back with a new single. Much like his previous single, "Kind of Light," "Melusine" is somehow experimental and more pop oriented than you would expect. The cello is an underappreciated and underutilized instrument even in the world of folk. "Melusine" has that freak folk or experimental folk vibe, but Moon is bringing in some serious pop sensibilities to his songs. This isn't a traditional song by any stretch of what you would expect. It seems to meander about at will, barely following any traditional song structure. But... there's just enough to make it almost a pop song. 

You can watch the video for "Melusine" below. Sputnik is out now on Enci Records and can be found here. For more on Jeremiah Moon, check out the artist's website.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Say Sue Me - "Around You"

Photo by Lim So

Busan, South Korea's Say Sue Me have been around for ten years, but we're just discovering now. The four piece have released "Around You" which is an impossibly sunny indie rock song. It's reminding me a bunch of Go! era Letters to Cleo meets more modern bands like The Beths. There are even sonic references to classics from the 1960's particularly towards the end. The song is along the poppier side of indie rock, but it's definitely more rock than pop. "Around You" is the kind of song it's impossible not to smile while listening to, if only just a little bit.

Vocalist/guitarist Sumi Choi says of the new song:

"In a world where it became difficult to go outside and meet people freely, I felt like time is totally mine, but I still don't know how to control it. My thoughts linger and dwell within me and my youth is slipping away. Perhaps when I go outside something is waiting for me that makes me think better than this!”

You can watch the video for "Around You" below. The Last Thing Left is due out May 13 on Damnably, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Say Sue Me, check out the band's website.

Hayley and the Crushers Cover The Go-Go's

While California's Hayley and the Crushers have edged a little away from their punk and garage roots towards punk, their latest single sees them edging back a bit. They're taking on The Go-Go's song "Lust to Love" from their iconic 1981 album Beauty and the Beat. While The Go-Go's have some solid punk roots, their music was definitely more pop than punk. Hayley and the Crushers take the song back to punk roots. In their hands it's a grungy and menacing song that still keeps the original's pop hooks intact. While still a fun song, it's a darker, more moody version. 

You can watch the video for Hayley and the Crushers' cover of "Lust to Love" below. The song will be included on a twenty four song tribute album to The Go-Go's If You Gotta Go-Go, Go-Go Now which will be out this year on Sympathy for the Record Industry. For more on the album, go here. For more on Hayley and the Crushers, check out the band's website.

Simon and the Astronauts featuring Rachel Haden - "I Do"

When I first listened to "I Do," the latest song from the collaboration between Simon and the Astronauts and Rachel Haden, I was smitten by how much it sounded like pure Rachel Haden. It sounded like early that dog. mixed with the melodies and later that dog. Turns out the song pre-dates Haden's 90's band!

Simon Wells explains the origins of the song:

“This song was initially a sketch written by Rachel Haden when she was just a teenager, before she started That Dog and took on global, post-grunge counter cultural status. It is a meeting of minds, the clarity of Rachel’s idea and the complexity of the Astronauts to make a Cocteau Twins soundscape.”

"I Do" is an insanely gorgeous power ballad. It starts off with just Haden's vocals and a guitar. You almost forget just how powerful her voice can be until it gets a showcase like this song. The song slowly builds in instrumentation, eventually swelling into an epic complete with one of the greatest 90's style guitar solos done this century. It's all a mix of gorgeous harmonies and would have been the closing song on your favorite album from 1996.

You can watch the video for "I Do" below. Simon and the Astronauts featuring Rachel Haden's self-titled album is due out April 22 on Ring Records and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Simon and the Astronauts, check out their Facebook and Twitter.

Justin Golden - "The Gator"

We've been pretty strong supporters of Justin Golden for a few years now, extolling his blend of laid back blues and Americana which is all held together by his nearly magical voice. His latest song goes in a completely new direction. "The Gator" may still be a blues song, but it's a noisy blues garage rocker. It's complete with a chugging beat and some of the most killer feedback soaked blues guitar you've heard in years. After following an artist for a while, it's great to hear them expand on their sound while still sounding like themselves. "The Gator" may be the best we've heard from Golden so far. Expect huge things from him in the future.

Justin Golden explains the story behind his new song:

“... while driving down south on a writer’s retreat, I saw gators in Florida. I thought about how somewhere under the water there was a gator just waiting for its chance to pull me under. Then, I realized, that’s the same way I feel every day as a Black person in this country—like something is waiting for a chance to pull me under.”

You can listen to "The Gator" below. Hard Times and a Woman is due out April 15 and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Justin Golden, check out the artist's Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Reminders - "Post Paris Blues"

With the runaway popularity of Wet Leg, it makes sense that we'd start hearing more bands from Isle of Wright. If Isle of Wright is going to be the next Seattle, Reminders are a great new addition. Their latest single, "Post Paris Blues," isn't the kind of music that we'd normally associate with England. Instead, it sounds more like southern California's finest skate punk or mall punk, but with a British accent which gives it a new kind of bratty edge. Notice that I didn't call it pop punk. Although there are definitely pop hooks with "Post Paris Blues," I can't call it pop punk with a good conscience. This is a great fun song, and a great debut for a band that could be primed to be next to explode.

Frontman Leo Dyke says of the new song:

"This song came about because I was unhappy with a girlfriend at the time, and I saw an Instagram post from a girl I used to see and her new boyfriend in Paris. I guess at the time I wished I were him, or at least in their position, and the song recounts some of the fond memories I had with her, whilst feeling a little uncomfortable that it was so long ago, and yet here I am, still thinking about it. I felt as though I was missing out on so much, and I’d love to be in their position, reeling with ‘Post Paris Blues.'"

You can watch the video for "Post Paris Blues" below. Best of Beach Punk is due out April 1 on Venn Records in the UK and Wiretap Records in the US. For more on Reminders, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Thomas Dollbaum - "All is Well"

Photo by Cora Nimtz

Thomas Dollbaum is a construction worker born in Florida and now based in Louisiana. His new single doesn't sound like anything you would expect from a construction worker. "All is Well" is equal parts Americana and neo-soul. It's leaning a little more into the soul side of things, especially with his vocals. But, the music is a little too sparse and rootsy to truly be soul. The song resides in this interesting space between the two worlds. Plus, Dollbaum's voice just has this unique quality. It's soulful and captivating, but I wouldn't say it's a traditional vocal despite how fantastic his delivery is. "All is Well" is the kind of song that is going to grow and grow on you the more you listen.

You can listen to "All is Well" below. Wellswood is due out May 20 on Big Legal Mess Records, and can be pre-ordrered here. For more on Thomas Dollbaum, check out the artist's Instagram.

Lisa Remar - "Lankersham"

Lisa Remar is a Japanese American queer singer/songwriter based in New York City. Her latest single, "Lankersham," is an intimate, autobiographical song. While it's based in fairly standard singer/songwriter roots and is folk adjacent, the song has a strong modern pop element. It's one of those songs that dances a little too on the line between mainstream pop and singer/songwriter to make it impossible to choose one definitively. What truly makes "Lankersham" stand out is Remar's vocals. It's a laid back song that let's Remar show off her captivating vocals which is what truly draws you in.

Lisa Remar says of the new song:

"I felt seriously stuck, sidetracked from my purpose. My reality had become so skewed and I’d grown into someone I wasn’t really proud of at all. My focus had insidiously shifted into staying fame adjacent. it all ended quite abruptly, ties were cut off and I was completely drained over trying so desperately hard to seem like I wasn’t trying hard at all.  The song is about being unexpectedly plucked into the lives of others just to be discarded like fast fashion or a happy meal toy."

You can listen to "Lankersham" below. hi... the EP is due out April 6 on Seven Ate Nine Records. For more on Lisa Remar, check out the artist on Instagram and TikTok.

Jae Skeese featuring Flee Lord & Conway the Machine - "Against tha Grain"

The latest from Jae Skeese is an interesting slice of laid back rap. With production by Cee Gee and verses by Flee Lord and Conway the Machine, "Against tha Grain" has an odd dreamlike quality. Musically it's quite sparse with mostly just beats and a repeated series of notes that sounds like it's been sampled from a Disney animated film. While it's laid back, "Against tha Grain" is fairly upbeat and has an almost party vibe. If anything, it's sounds like an almost whimsical Wu-Tag song that still has a hip hop edge.

You can watch the video for "Against tha Grain" below. Iroquois Pliskin will be out on Drumwork Music Group this Spring. For more on Jae Skeese, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Bobby Lees - "Hollywood Junkyard"

Buckle up on this one, because we're gonna have to get a little name-droppy. I absolutely loved The Bobby Lees' Jon Spencer produced 2020 album Skin Suit. This time around, the band have signed with Mike Patton's Ipecac Records, and were signed by A&R rep Henry Rollins. Does the band need any more indie cred?

"Hollywood Junkyard" keeps everything I loved about Skin Suit. It's still punk rock meets garage blues, except the punk is amped up well past eleven. Plus, if you're even slightly familiar with Ipecac, you know that The Bobby Lees are going to have to crank up the noise, and they do. "Hollywood Junkyard" is a wonderfully intense song. It's a little more straight ahead rock and roll with a fair share of metal than I would have expected, but it's still loud and more than a little odd. If you also loved their last album, you're going to adore this new song.

Sam Quartin of The Bobby Lees explains the new song and video:

“The video is a general commentary on our current culture and its obsession with the external, and trying to be famous by any means. The world of TikTok and Instagram feels like a trap for most of us, so we try to stay away from it as much as possible and instead focus on what you can’t see. Lyrically, the song is about an experience I had during a psychotic break when I thought a star shot into my body. After that I started acting - I was told I didn’t look right and couldn’t ‘make it’ in entertainment without a gimmick or a look. But despite that, I got cast in a few films and was exposed to some amazing people, also some pretty shitty people and situations. The story of the video comes from what I witnessed. People in power manipulating others to do whatever they thought was best monetarily, not what was best for their artists health and well-being. I guess that's true for a lot of things. The end result of money, fame and success being more important than truth, love, and sanity.”

You can watch the video for "Hollywood Junkyard" below. (The song kicks in around the 3:20 mark if you're in a rush.) Hollywood Junkyard EP is due out June 17 on Ipecac Recordings, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on The Bobby Lees, check out the band's website.

Razor Braids - "Don't Stop!"

Razor Braids are a queer, all female/non-binary rock band based out of Brooklyn. They started when Hollye Bynum (lead vocals and bass) taught herself to play as she was bedridden while recovering from a fall. She was joined by Janie Peacock on lead guitar, Jilly Karande on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Hannah Nichols on drums. The band has a new single and video out: "Don't Stop!" "Don't Stop!" perfectly combines the noise and catchiness of indie rock with punk. It's a fast paced song that builds and builds into a pure frenzy. It has a killer 90's throwback sound as it's all buzzing guitars and lyrics that beg you to chant along to. We may have missed this album last year, but better late than never on this one.

You can watch the video for "Don't Stop!" below. I Could Cry Right Now If You Wanted Me To is available now. For more on Razor Braids, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

4/01 – Brooklyn, NY – The Sultan Room4/19 – Philadelphia, PA - The Pharmacy4/20 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rothko House4/21 – Cincinnati, OH – Comet4/22 – Detroit, MI – Bowlero4/23 – Lansing, MI – Stoop Fest4/24 -- Chicago, IL - Reed's4/25 – Nashville, TN – East Room4/26 – Chattanooga, TN – Cherry Street Tavern4/27 – Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light4/28 – Asheville, NC – Fleetwood’s4/29 -- Washington DC - The Pocket4/30 --Baltimore, MD - PP Palace

Ghost Woman - "Behind Your Eyes"

Photo by Lyle Bell

Ghost Woman is the musical project of Evan Uschenko, who has played with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Mild High Club. Their latest single, "Behind Your Eyes," is similar to the last song we brought you of theirs ("Do You"). Both songs are fuzzed out psychedelic jams. It's a garage rocker just dripping with distortion on virtually every sound. It certainly doesn't sound like anything from 2022, but while it has a vintage vibe it's not exactly like psychedelic music from the 1960's or 1970's, either. "Behind Your Eyes" has an odd little feel of menace or danger to it which helps set Ghost Woman apart from other similar artists.

You can watch the video for "Behind Your Eyes" below. Ghost Woman's self-titled debut is due out July 1 on Full Time Hobby. For more on Ghost Woman, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram.

Otoboke Beaver - "PARDON?"

Photo by Mayumi Hirata

The latest song from Japanese punks Otoboke Beaver starts off the way you would expect. Sure, it's punk, but the song tends to have a sweeter, bouncy side. But as "PARDON?" goes on, it gets angrier and more chaotic. Eventually it descends into almost pure anger and chaos. The song starts off as more fun and bratty punk and slowly transforms into noise punk (while still keeping the majority of the fun from the start of the song intact), all within less than two minutes. Since the song is about "... unrelenting miscommunication of unsolicited and overzealous points of view," the frustration in the song makes perfect sense.

Otoboke Beaver say of their new song:

“Sometimes, the more you insist, the harder it is to understand you. We don’t have time to understand if you don’t have time to understand."

You can watch the video for "PARDON?" below. Super Champion is due out May 6 on Damnably. For more on Otoboke Beaver, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

May 5 Nijmegen, NL @ DoornroosjeMay 6 Rotterdam, NL @ RotownMay 7 Brussels, BE @ AB ClubMay 8 The Hague, NL @ PAARD (small hall)May 11 Groningen, NL @ VeraMay 16 London, UK @ Electric BallroomMay 19 Glasglow, UK @ St. Luke'sMay 20 Manchester, UK @ Club AcademyMay 22 Bristol, UK @ The FleeceMay 24 Dublin, IE @ Button FactoryJune 2 Barcelona, ES @ Primavera SoundJune 30 Belfort, FR @ Les EurockeenesJuly 8 Trenčín, SK @ Pohoda Festival

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 18 March

Artist: Miss Georgia Peach
Album: Aloha from Kentucky
Quick Thoughts: If you look at this album cover, you can probably make an educated guess as to what this album will be like, and your guess will probably be correct. This is such a fun, raucus roots effort from an act I hadn't previously heard of, and it doesn't take itself too seriously even while being seriously awesome. Roots/country fans should absolutely take some time for this one.
Songs of Note: "Do You Know What Love Means," "Jackson"

Quick Thoughts: A punk rock supergroup of sorts, PLOSIVS is an energetic act with a lot of great moments on this debut album. It's melodic and noisy in all the right ways, and feels fully formed from the star (as we'd come to expect from the people involved). As someone who is a little picky about his punk, I really liked this and I'm excited to spend more time with it. A great listen this week.
Songs of Note: "Rose Waterfall," "Never Likely," "Broken Eyes"

Artist: April March
Album: In Cinerama
Quick Thoughts: April March has perfected a sound that feels like it belongs as part of a movie score, and In Cinerama leans into it. It's gorgeous, with hints of twee to go along with its soaring 70s-style vocals and string swells. If you only know her from "Chick Habit," now's a great time to check her out, because she's a lot of fun.
Songs of Note: "Open Your Window Romeo," "Stand in the Sun," "Ride or Divide," "Runaway"

Artist: Emily Jane White
Album: Alluvion
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of Emily Jane White for a while now, and this new album is a great example of why. The sort of dark folk music that we love here is on display, and songs like "Body Against the Gun" have a way of sticking in your brain right away. I really like this effort, and it's a true highlight in the early goings of 2022.
Songs of Note: "Body Against the Gun," "The Hands Above Me," "Show Me the War"

Artist: Mattiel
Album: Georgia Gothic
Quick Thoughts: We like Mattiel a lot here, and their polished poppy alt/indie approach works great on this latest listen. "Jeff Goldblum" in particular grabs you almost from the first ten seconds, and the rest of the songs are similarly interesting and accessible across the board. Really enjoyed this one.
Songs of Note: "Jeff Goldblum," "Blood in the Yolk," "You Can Have It All," "How It Ends"

Of note:

* Sonic Youth - In/Out/In (In line with their more experimental efforts.)
* Charli XCX - CRASH (Maybe her best and most accessible yet?)
* Maggie Gently - Peppermint (When this is on, it's amazing.)
* Phife Dawg - Forever
* Raw Poetic and Damu the Fudgemunk - Laminated Skies
* M Ross Perkins - E Pluribus M Ross
* Yumi Zouma - Present Tense
* Hailey Whitters - Raised
* Midlake - For the Sake of Bethel Woods
* Little Boots - Tomorrow's Yesterdays
* The Boo Radleys - Keep On With Falling
* Hot Water Music - Feel the Void
* Rotten Mind - Unflavored


* fabric presents Leon Vynehall: Exclusives
* Sister James - I Hate It Here, Pt. 2
* Hana Vu - Parking Lot
* Elohim - Journey to the Center of Myself, Vol. 4
* GAYLE - a study of the human experience volume one
* Palm Ghosts - Dead Stars
* First Frontier - Just Matter EP
* Aquarian - Mutations I: Death, Taxes and Hanger
* Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway - Big Backyard
* The Orb - Roland and Albert Meet the Orb Upcountry in Uganda

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Broadcast - Maida Vale Sessions
* Slothrust - Parallel Timeline (Origins)
* Tensnake - L.A. Noir

Also out:

* Weezer - SZNZ: Spring
* Stabbing Westward - Chasing Ghosts
* Cyprus Hill - Back in Black
* Deluxe - Moustache Gracias