Friday, April 29, 2022

Night Court - "Brighten the Corner"

The first thing you're going to think of when you hear the new single from Night Court is Pavement. "Brighten the Corner" obviously will make you think of Pavement's 1997 album Brighten the Corners. Night Court also have a little bit of a 90's indie rock vibe on this latest song. There may be some Pavement similarities, but the title is going to be the strongest. This new song is much too upbeat to be anything that came out of the cynical 90's indie scene. If anything it's like The Polyphonic Spree goes 90's indie rock, and who doesn't want that?

Guitarist/vocalist Dave Patterson says of the new song:

"The song reflects on the idea that individuals can make the world at large a better place by improving their own small corner of it."

You can watch the video for "Brighten the Corner" below. Nervous Birds Too is due out May 6 on Snappy Little Numbers and Debt Offensive Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Night Court, check out the band's Twitter and Bandcamp. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

May 7th Vancouver BC at Black Lab /w Brutal Poodle
May 12th Ymir BC at Ymir Schoolhouse /w The Shit Talkers
May 13th Edmonton AB at Sewing Machine Factory /w Real Sickies
May 14th Calgary AB at Palomino /w Real Sickies
May 28th Vancouver BC at Red Gate /w The Tranzmitors

Wilco - "Falling Apart (Right Now)"

Photo by Jamie Kelter Davis

When you first hear that Wilco are set to release their first country album, you're going to scoff and think that Wilco used to be country. They started out as country. And then you'll hear "Falling Apart (Right Now)" and realize that, no, now this is country. It's a modern version of old school classic country. Wilco have crafted this laid back, ramblin' country song that feels like you're listening in on them messing around with new music just for fun. It sounds like it could be Wilco covering a classic track, but this one is all them.

Jeff Tweedy says of the new album:

More than any other genre, Country music, to me, a white kid from middle-class middle America, has always been the ideal place to comment on what most troubles my mind—which for more than a little while now has been the country where I was born, these United States. And because it is the country I love, and because it’s Country music that I love, I feel a responsibility to investigate their mirrored problematic natures. I believe it’s important to challenge our affections for things that are flawed.

You can watch the video for "Falling Apart (Right Now)" below. Cruel Country is due out May 27 on dBpm Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Wilco, check out their website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Fri. May 27 - Sun. May 29 - North Adams, MA @ Solid Sound FestivalSat. Jun. 11 - Oslo, NE @ Loaded FestivalMon. Jun. 13 - Copenhagen, DK @ Amager BioFri. Jun. 17 - Zeebrugge, BE @ Zeebrugge Beach FestivalSat. Jun. 18 - Kent, UK @ Black Deer FestivalWed. Jun. 22 - Barcelona, ES @ Poble EspanyolSat. Jun. 25 - Murcia, ES @ Plaza De Toros MurciaMon. Jun. 27 - Madrid, ES @ Noches Del BotanicoMon. Aug. 28 - Martha’s Vineyard, MA @ Beach Road Weekend

Live Shows: Guerilla Toss and Muggs Fogarty, Columbus Theater, Providence, RI 4/28/22

I first discovered Guerilla Toss way back in 2015 when they opened for Mission of Burma in Portsmouth, NH. I hadn't really been able to get into their albums before seeing them live, but their live show hooked me as a fan. Guerilla Toss had this bizarro noisy funk party band dynamic that worked for me. Despite that being seven years ago, and them touring consistently, I hadn't seen them since. So obviously when a Wednesday night in Providence worked out for me, I had to make the trek down.

Muggs Fogarty opened the show. Last year's Eventual Party didn't quite work for me personally. It was a little too pop for my snobby tastes. I recognized it was good, but just not for me. Live is a completely different story. Muggs Fogarty opened her set sitting on the floor and looping vocals over and over to create a soundscape to perform spoken word over. From little singing snippets to beatboxing, the entire backing track was created right there. Oddly compelling stuff. From there most of the performance was Fogarty singing solo over a musical track, but they are a compelling performer live. In particular was a cover of Hole's "Violet" that was partially performed with loops recorded on stage. The grunge classic was completely reimagined as a laid back, near trip hop song. I'm looking forward to checking out what Fogarty does next.

The Columbus Theater seemed like an odd venue for Guerilla Toss. It's a seated theater, and I have always thought of Guerilla Toss as a standing band. The band agreed and encouraged the crowd to stand up for their performance, which the majority of the crowd agreed to. I can't imagine seeing them while in a chair, as the energy they put out with their music needs to be matched. As their sound has evolved to a more dance friendly sound, their live shows are still a wild celebration of life and music. Songs like "Betty Dreams of Green Men" and "I Got Spirit" were fabulous live. Vocalist Kassie Karlson might not throw herself around the stage quite like she did back in 2015, but that doesn't mean the performance is any less energetic. Guerilla Toss make the kind of music it's impossible to sit still during, but is impossible to truly dance to. The audience just did something resembling a dance, which was perfect. Closing with a futuristic disco reimagining of The Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties," Guerilla Toss cemented themselves as the house band of the apocalypse, if the apocalypse ends up being something to celebrate.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Thomas Dollbaum - "Work Hard"

Photo by Cora Nimtz

Thomas Dollbaum, Florida born poet and carpenter now residing in New Orleans, is back with a new single, "Work Hard." There's no one quite doing Americana quite like Dollbaum. The new song has all of the elements of modern day folk and Americana. Dollbaum is singing in that earnest Southerner way, and the guitar has just the slightest hint of twang. And then a layer of indie rock fuzz and feedback slowly takes over. Sure, lots of folk artists have used feedback here and there on their songs, but I've never heard one use noise so abundantly or as its own instrument throughout.

Thomas Dollbaum says of his new song:

"I wrote 'Work Hard' thinking about people who try to do the right thing but have trouble keeping it together.  The song is from the perspective of a father to their child, but in general it’s about trying to express love for someone even when you're coming up short.”

You can watch the video for "Work Hard" below. Wellwood is due out May 20 on Big Legal Mess, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Thomas Dollbaum, check out the artist on Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

5/26 - Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry's
5/28 - Memphis, TN @ Bar DKDC
5/29 - Nashville, TN @ DRKMTTR
5/30 - Chattanooga, TN @ The Woodshop
6/02 - Philadelphia, PA @ House Show
6/04 - New York, NY @ Arlene's Grocery

Quelle Chris featuring Pink Siifu and MoRuf - "The Sky is Blue Because the Sunset is Red"

Quelle Chris continues to be one of the most innovative rappers out today. His latest single is "The Sky is Blue Because the Sunset is Red" and it sounds like a hip hop song with a title like that. Unlike the vast majority of hip hop released in the past forty plus years, this new song keeps the beats way in the back. Instead, Quelle's vocals (along with Pink Siifu and MoRuf) are the main focus of the song. Most of the music seems to be a loop of a disjointed piano. It's quite trippy, especially for hip hop. It sounds kind of like a modern, less mainstream version of PM Dawn. It's great to see an artist pushing the boundaries of any genre, but particularly hip hop.

You can listen to "The Sky is Blue Because the Sunset is Red" below. DEATHFAME is due out May 13 on Mello Music Group, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Quelle Chris, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

5-12-22- Antwerp (Het Bos)

5-13-22- Copenhagen (Forbraedingen)

5-14-22- Utrecht (Ekko)

5-15-22- London (Café Oto)

5-16-22- London (Café Oto)

5-18-22- Newcastle (The Cluny 2)

5-19-22- Glasgow (Broadcast)

5-20-22- Edinburgh (Voodoo Rooms)

5-22-22- Leeds (Belgrave)

5-23-22- Nottingham (Bodega)

5-24-22- Liverpool (Kitchen Street)

5-25-22- Birmingham (Rainbow)

5-26-22- Southampton (The Rainbow House)

5-27-22- Bristol (Dareshack)

5-28-22- Hebdon (Zwolle)

5-29-22- TBC

5-30-22- TBC

6-1-22- TBC

6-2-22- Bordeux (TBA)

6-3-22- Lyon (Periscope)

Dehd - "Empty in My Mind"

Photo by Alexa Viscius

The latest from Chicago's Dehd sounds exactly what it's about. As the band explains, "Empty in My Mind" is about “the floating mindless space around a new crush… The sort of high that occurs, the spinning, the detachment and the feeling of ungroundedness. All of these things being either very fun or absolutely dreadful.” The song is this hypnotic swirl that expresses both joy and hope while still feels rooted in anxiety. It's that newfangled punk/indie rock that is still heavily rooted in modern indie pop. You're going to get some serious post punk vibes from this one, and I'm hearing more than a little of The Cure.

You can watch the video for "Empty in My Mind" below. Blue Skies is due out May 27 on Fat Possum, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Dehd, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Sat. Apr. 30 - Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees FestivalSat. Apr. 30 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade - Purgatory (Shaky Knees Aftershow)Mon. May 2 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater *Tue. May 3 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall *Thu. May 5 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos *Fri. May 6 - Vancouver, BC @ The ImperialSat. May 7 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *Mon. May 9 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *Tue. May 10 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater*Wed. May 11 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress *Fri. May 13 - Austin, TX - Antones *Sat. May 14 - Dallas, TX @ Trees *Sun. May 15 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio *Mon. May 16 - New Orleans, LA @ Toulouse Theatre !Wed. May 18 - Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall !Thu. May 19 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle !Sun. May 22 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer !Tue. May 24 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom - SOLD OUT !Wed. May 25 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom !Thu. May 26 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall !Fri. May 27 - Montreal, QC @ Theatre FairmountSat. May 28 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’sPalaceSat. Jun. 4 - Chicago, IL @ Metro *Sat. Jun. 11 - Queens, NY @ The Governors Ball Music Festival *  w/ Pixel Grip! w/ 81355

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

First Listen: New Releases for 22 April

Artist: Li'l Andy
Album: The Complete Recordings of Hezekiah Procter (1925-1930)
Quick Thoughts: I didn't know Li'L Andy prior to this week, and this is more a concept record done really, really well than anything else. It's got that old timey feel to it, and half the album is filtered in such a way that it sounds like an old Victrola. As a concept album, it's awesome. As music, it's awesome. Give this a listen.
Songs of Note: "Dr Kerr's Ballyhoo," "Jenny Blythe," "In the Roebuck Catalogue"

Artist: Becca Stevens and Attacca Quartet
Album: Becca Stevens | Attacca Quartet
Quick Thoughts: Becca Stevens toured with Attacca Quartet a few years back, and she later married one of the members of the group. This effort takes a number of her songs (and an awesome Radiohead cover) and gives it the Attacca treatment to great results. This album is really great, and good for fans of either or both acts.
Songs of Note: "45 Bucks," "2 + 2 = 5"

Artist: Carla Geneve
Album: Learn to Like It
Quick Thoughts: In terms of country-tinged music with an edge, we can't get enough of it here, and Carla Geneve's debut is probably going to end up in heavy rotation for me. The Australian singer-songwriter has a way with a jook, and this is just such and interesting and often raw record that I'm frankly surprised at how good she's gotten so quickly since her 2019 EP. One of the best listens of the week, so check it out.
Songs of Note: "Brighter Than Blue," "Dog Eared," "Learn to Like It"

Artist: Haru Nemuri
Album: Shunka Ryougen
Quick Thoughts: Haru Nemuri is a Japanese poet and singer who put out one of the most interesting albums in recent memory. It's definitely not consistent in tone or ideas, but the organized chaos is to its benefit because of how singular it ultimately feels. It kept me guessing (and impressed) throughout, and if you're up for something that will make you think this week, check it out.
Songs of Note: "Deconstruction," "Sister With Sisters," "Shunka Ryougen," "Old Fashioned"

Artist: Fontaines D.C.
Album: Skinty Fia
Quick Thoughts: Irish punks Fontaines D.C. are back with a solid, complex listen. I've not always loved their output, but when "Jackie Down the Line" first dropped I became addicted, and "Bloomsday" nearly as much. The album is definitely modern, with an almost post-punk flair, but there's a whole lot to love here on a whole.
Songs of Note: "Jackie Down the Line," "Bloomsday," "I Love You"

Artist: Guppy
Album: Big Man Says Slappydoo
Quick Thoughts: I hate that this album cover gives the impression that Guppy is just another twee-adjacent indie band, because they're so much better than that. I don't think I've heard a more fun listen as of late, and Guppy takes themselves just seriously enough to make all of this work. It's a solid listen in a busy week.
Songs of Note: "A Voicemail to the Mayor," "Smooth Jazz," "Simple Man"

Artist: Kate Clover
Album: Bleed Your Heart Out
Quick Thoughts: I can't remember when "Channel Zero" first came out, but I know I've been waiting seemingly forever for a proper album from Kate Clover. It delivers - there is a great pace and full sound to this record that shows that "Channel Zero" (an A song in any context) was not a fluke. If you haven't listened to her yet, this is the time to get on board, as she should be a name everyone should know if there's any justice left.
Songs of Note: "Channel Zero," "Crimewave," "Daisy Cutter," "Pleasure Forever"

Artist: Abigail Lapell
Album: Stolen Time
Quick Thoughts: We loved Abigail Lapell's previous effort here, so I won't lie: I had high hopes for the follow-up. On a whole, it delivers. One of the things Lapell does well is that transitional moment from verse to chorus, and there are so many songs here that fit the bill, making this quiet folkish listen something truly special. Welcome back, Abigail.
Songs of Note: "Ships," "Scarlet Fever," "Stolen Time"

Artist: Hatchie
Album: Giving the World Away
Quick Thoughts: Hatchie is perhaps one of the more underrated hazy pop acts out there right now. I was absolutely obsessed with her EP Sugar and Spice, and her first album was a worthy follow-up. This album brings some more mature songwriting and some seriously hooky stuff ("Quicksand" could end up being a megahit in the right context), and the album, on a whole, is a wow. Don't miss this one.
Songs of Note: "Lights On," "The Rhythm," "This Enchanted," "Quicksand," "The Key"

Of note:

* The Surfrajettes - Roller Fink (This is exactly what you think it is, and it's great.)
* Simon and the Astronauts and Rachel Haden - Simon and the Astronauts Featuring Rachel Haden (Solid alt rock.)
* Baabes - Baabes (This is really well done.)
* Donatachi - (Pretty fun hyperpop.)
* Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful (A welcome return to form.)
* Old Crow Medicine Show - Paint This Town (Solid and consistent, as always.)
* Roger Eno - The Turning Year
* Claire Rousay - everything perfect is already here
* Test Patterns - Modern Font
* Dyr Faser - Poison Charm Sleep Well
* My Idea - Cry MFer
* King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Omnium Gatherum
* Kathryn Joseph - for you who are the wronged
* Tess Roby - Ideas of Space
* Elizabeth Piper - reaching for the sun
* GHXST - Admire
* Charlotte Rose Benjamin - Dreamtina
* Jeanies - Don't Wait for a Sign
* Tamar Berk - Start at the End


* Jaguero - Worst Weekend Ever
* Malin Pettersen - Acoustic Session - Live in Oslo
* Kate Bollinger - Look at it in the Light
* Wet - Letter Blue (Reprise)
* Jukebox the Ghost - Million Dollar Bills
* Amy Dabbs and Coco Bryce - Slightly Involved Vol. 1

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Drunk Dial: Fakes, Vol. 1 (A compilation album of real covers of fake bands.)
* Neko Case - Wild Creatures (Digital-only compilation of some of her best work.)
* Whitney Rose - Rodeos Live
* Dawes - Live from the Rooftop (Los Angeles, CA 8.28.20)
* alt-J - The Dream (Deluxe)
* The Goon Sax - Mirror II (Deluxe Edition)
* Margo Price - That's How Rumors Get Started (Deluxe)
* Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
* Namasenda - Unlimited Ammo: Infinity (Remix)
* Tensnake - L.A. Noir

Also out:

* Bowling for Soup - Pop Drunk Snot Bread
* Stormstress - Silver Lining

Beach Rats - "Rat Beat"

Photo by Matthew Gere

We throw the term "supergroup" around here a lot, but Beach Rats are a bona fide supergroup... in the right circles. Brian Baker was a founding member of Minor Threat, founded Dag Nasty, has played with The Meatmen and Government Issue, and has been a member of Bad Religion since 1994. He's basically a supergroup on his own. While living in Asbury Park, NJ a few years ago, he founded Beach Rats with Lifetime frontman Ari Katz, Bryan Keinlen and Pete Steinkopf of Bouncing Souls, and Let It Burn's Danny Windas. The band's new single, "Rat Beat," is a minute and a half punk explosion. Is loud and fast and leans strongly into the emotional hardcore range you'd expect from a group consisting of members of these bands. Beach Rats aren't breaking new ground with this one, but if you think a supergroup made up of members of these bands is going to be great, you're correct, and you're going to love this one.

You can watch the video for "Rat Beat" below. Rat Beat, the album, is due out July 29 on Epitaph Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Beach Rats, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

Partner - "Not Today"

Over the past few years, we've seen Partner seemingly go back in time. When we first discovered them, they were putting out some killer 90's inspired alt-rock jams. They've played around with their sound quite a bit, going back to the 70's for some classic rock/prog rock tunes. Now, they're dancing the line between the 70's and 80's with "Not Today." This new song is a straight up power ballad. This is going to remind you of your favorite vintage power ballads. While it's a huge song, it never quite gets to the level of excess of Bon Jovi or Motley Crue, but it peeks over and looks at those songs lovingly. Partner have been making songs for music snobs to forget their snobbery and just have fun rocking out to, and "Not Today" is no exception.

In a press release, Partner say of their new song:

"This is a song we composed in November 2020 when we were self isolating and writing on Gabriola Island at the Noise Floor. We had a series of early morning writing sessions that began at 7 am and produced this and several other songs. At the time we were not sure when we would play a show again, and it would turn out not to be for almost a year, but we were grateful to get a chance to rock out in the woods. Maybe because we were missing playing shows, some of the songs ended up sounding very arena rock. We can't wait to take this one on the road."

You can watch the video for "Not Today" below. For more on Partner, check out the band's website.

Chelsea Rose - "Down the Street"

You may remember Chelsea Rose from her time with Summer Twins, which she fronted with her sister Justine. Now she's back as a solo artist. Her latest single is pure pop. I usually try to avoid admitting I like a pop song by saying it's a hybrid, but "Down the Street" is a pop song. While it's a very modern indie pop song, it's layered heavily in 60's style pop, along with bossa nova and jazz. This helps give it a more timeless feel, and helps cushion the blow of liking a pop song from those of us that are bigger music snobs. But, if you're not too self-conscious to love a pop song, there's a lot to love here.

Chelsea Rose says of her new song:

"'Down The Street' was written as a sort of pep talk for myself, and any other artists that might be struggling to connect with their vision and keep it alive. It's one thing to have a great idea, but it's another thing to actually bring it to life and be able to share it with the world. I hope this song serves as a reminder to persevere - to keep putting in the work and the time, and to keep putting your heart into what you do; it will surely be worth it.

You can watch the video for "Down the Street" below. Truth or Consequences is due out June 3 on Paul Is Dead Records, and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. For more on Chelsea Rose, check out the artist's website.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Laura Veirs - "Winter Windows"

Photo by Shelby Brakken

Portland, OR's Laura Veirs is known for being a folk/alt-country singer-songwriter. On her latest single, Veirs expands her sound quite a bit. Sure, "Winter Windows" still fits into the ever expanding world of folk and alt-country, but it sees Veirs stretching out into post-punk territory. It's a pretty high energy and frantic sounding song that uses feedback for the sake of feedback surprisingly liberally. "Winter Windows" is the kind of song where the vocals seem out of step with the music at times, but by design. There is definitely a sense of aggression I don't typically associate with Veirs, but there is also a lot of joy as well.

In a press release, Laura Veirs says her new song is "... very much about the strength of mothers and the power that women in cooperation have to shape their own lives and the lives of children. It’s about us taking the reins of life and sharing our internal light and power. I believe these rays of strength echo outward and foster love that is passed through the generations. It was fun to stretch my vocals on the high chorus near the end. This song gets at my punk roots but feels confident and current to my life right now.”

You can watch the video for "Winter Windows" below. Found Light is due out July 8 on Raven Marching Band Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Laura Veirs, check out the artist's website.

Jose Medeles w/ Chris Funk - "Golden"

Photo by John Askew

Drummer Jose Medeles (Breeders, Revival Drum Shop) is set to release an album meant as a drummer's tribute to guitarist John Fahey. The album is a series of guitar and drum duets, and the latest single off that album features Chris Funk of The Decemberists and Stephen Malkmus' band. "Golden" is an improvised instrumental song with Medeles and Funk playing together. It's an experimental sounding song that combines jazz with indie folk in a way that will appeal to those that prefer more odd, experimental music along with more mainstream listeners. 

You can watch the video for "Golden" below. Railroad Cadences & Melancholic Anthems is due out May 20 on Jealous Butcher Records, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Jose Medeles, check out the artist's website.

Miesha & The Spanks - "Dig Me Out"

As we would expect, the latest from Calgary's Miesha & The Spanks is a fiery, amped up version of modern garage rock. However, the song has a much deeper meaning than just being a kick ass rock song. On the YouTube description for "Dig Me Out," Miesha Louie explains:

"Last year the remains of 215 children were found at the site of the old T’kemlups Residential School. When the news came out it was everywhere fast. A lot of people in Canada didn’t know about Residential Schools because it wasn’t taught in our schools, or at least, not the truth. I remember sitting in class when they briefly came up in social studies, saying that they taught kids how to speak English, read, write, basically helped them adjust to modern society. Like most Indigenous kids I already knew the history of abuse that came with the assimilation these schools offered, designed to 'kill the Indian,' where it often succeeded. I saw it first hand reflected in the generational suffering of my family. My Grandmother survived T’kemlups Residential School, sent there after her two older sisters died at St. Eugenes, the one closer to our home. Unlike her sisters, she made it back home, shamed and pregnant. "T’kemlups was only the beginning, as more and more school sites began searching the grounds for more undocumented and unmarked graves. The numbers piled in from all across Canada, gaining more press and social media attention, until everywhere I looked, this is what I saw. Survivors and their relatives shared their stories, again, because they’ve been doing this for years while no one listened, and I read them all. I found myself in a very dark place, absorbed in my Grandmother’s story and so many like her, and it was very difficult to dig myself out. "I wrote this song to process everything I was feeling: the grief, the horror, the anger, and the helplessness."

You can watch the video for "Dig Me Out" below. The song is available as a single via Bandcamp, where all sales will be donated to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society. For more on Miesha & The Sparks, check out the band's website.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Mobina Galore - "Whiskey Water"

Mobina Galore are a "vocally aggressive power chord punk act" from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Jenna and Marcia have been making music together for ten years now, and have just released a new single. "Whiskey Water" sounds like a lot of punk out there, but also not quite like anything you've heard before. It has elements of classic punk, riot grrrl, power pop, etc. I'm being reminded of artists like Pennywise, L7, and The Donnas, but it doesn't quite sound anything like them. It could be that the focus is really the vocals and how the two combine their voices together. If anything, it's like Tegan & Sara and L7 jammed together. It's a song about losing someone you care about while you're on the road and how others you meet on the road can be with you to help you through the loss.

You can watch the video for "Whiskey Water" below. It's available as a single via New Damage Records and Gunner Records in Europe. For more on Mobina Galore, check out the artist's website.

Russell Chudnofsky & Tanya Donelly - "April Light/October Snow"

For Earth Day this year, Tanya Donelly has released a pair of songs that she collaborated on with Russell Chudnofsky. "October Snow" was recorded at the beginning of lockdown (way back in 2020) at their separate homes and "April Light" was recorded together at Woolly Mammoth Sound. The two songs definitely sound like when they were recorded. "October Snow" is a more melancholy song, yet still has a hopeful sound. "April Light" is the cheerier of the two, and leans more into Donelly's rock roots. Both songs fit perfectly into Donelly's more recent artistic output. They're both great and are the better side of what used to be called Adult Contemporary. Donelly continues to show how a Gen-X legend can still release fantastic music for people of her generation while keeping true to what has always made her great.

You can listen to "April Light" below. "April Light/October Snow" is available now via Bandcamp. For more on Tanya Donelly, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram.

STL GLD, Reks, & Slaine - "Massive"

We'll bring you virtually anything Boston's STL GLD touches, and there is no way we could pass this one up. Leedz Edutainment put together this one, and it's a monster of a Boston hip hop track. "Massive" is a collaboration of STL GLD with Reks and Slaine, which is an absolute dream team for Boston hip hop fans. It's produced by The Arcitype, so it definitely sounds a lot like STL GLD, but STL GLD's production with Reks and Slaine rapping? "Massive" has that old school hip hop vibe while still sounding current. This one is even better than we could have expected, and our expectations were high.

You can watch the video for "Massive" below. The single can be streamed and downloaded here. For more on Leedz Edutainment, check out their website.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Forgotten Fridays: Consonant

Forgotten Fridays is an occasional feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. We go back and remind you of their existence, and help decide if they were any good.

I think it's been a little over a year since I've done a Forgotten Friday, but recently I re-discovered Consonant, and I simply couldn't resist bringing them back to all of our attentions. We throw the term "supergroup" around quite liberally here, but check out the line-up for Consonant. Formed in 2001, this marked Clint Conley's return to making music since the dissolution of Mission of Burma in 1983. Also included is Chris Brokaw (Come, The Lemonheads), Winston Braman (Fuzzy), and Matt Kadane (Bedhead). That pedigree alone should get Consonant a lot more attention, not to mention that this helped inspire Mission of Burma's brilliant reunion between 2002 and 2020.

But how is the music? Consonant might not be as aggressive of experimental as Burma, but if you like Burma (or really any of the band's the members have been in), you're going to like this. The band released a self-titled debut album in 2002 and Love and Affliction in 2003. I remember being surprised at how pop they sounded in comparison, but listening now this is hardly pop. A song like "Who Touches You Now?" is simply epic, and "John Coltrane's 'My Favorite Things'" is a disjointed take on dream pop. Consonant aren't a mainstream or pop version of Clint Conley's music. This is Clint Conley making absolutely beautiful and melodic music the only way he can.

Lutalo - "Little Chance"

Lutalo is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Lutalo Jones. They grew up in Minnesota and started playing music in an African drumming class as a child. They also discovered music through their father's love of hip hop, Bossanova, and jazz. After spending time in New York City, Lutalo now lives in Vermont alongside family with the intention of building a small community together.

Lutalo's music doesn't seem to sound much like anything you'd expect from their past, until it suddenly clicks and it does. "Little Chance" is almost a folk song, but not quite. It has more of a singer-songwriter sound, albeit a very slickly produced lo-fi version. It's this sound over what could be quiet hip hop beats that gives a song like "Little Chance" such a unique sound. There aren't many almost folk, lo-fi singer-songwriter songs with hip hop beats out there. 

Lutalo says of their new song:

Broadly the concept speaks of how we as people treat each other and how some hold others almost hostage. But it’s mainly about a decaying relationship in which one person is very clearly wanting to get out of the relationship whilst the other still desperately clings onto the hope that saying ‘I love you’ is enough to convince their partner to stay with them.”

You can watch the video for "Little Chance" below. Once Now, Then Again is due out June 10. For more on Lutalo, check out the artist on Twitter and Instagram.

Editrix - "One Truck Gone"

I don't think there's a band out there more Western Massachusetts than Editrix. The Easthampton based trio plays a mix of old school sounding indie rock with just enough quirk to make it sound like Western MA and an odd pop sensibility to sound like 2022. Their latest single, "One Truck Gone," is an oddball mix of all of these sounds. It doesn't quite do the classic loud/quiet/loud thing, but Editrix wildly change the tempo frequently enough to make a three minute song sound like multiple songs going on much longer. It's hypnotic with jerky, crunching guitars and swirling drums, which may be a first since how do you get drums to swirl? "One Truck Gone" could have been a total mess, and I'm sure some people will think it is one. But this isn't for them. If you like your indie rock unique and at times odd, you probably already love Editrix.

You can listen to "One Truck Gone" below. Editrix II: Editrix Goes to Hell (which is seriously my favorite album title in years) is due out June 3, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Editrix, check out the band's Instagram.

Mama's Broke - "How it Ends"

Mama's Broke, the post-folk Canadian duo of Lisa Maria and Amy Lou Keeler, have just released a break up song that might be their most accessible yet. While the previous singles from their upcoming album have a certain darkness or a sense of foreboding, "How it Ends" sounds relatively upbeat. Considering this is a song about how you never think you'll find someone as good as your ex after a break up, that's quite a feat. This is a traditional folk song with some slightly modern folk harmonies. As much heartbreak as their is in "How it Ends," there is also the warmth of remembering a recent relationship.

You can listen to "How it Ends" below. Narrow Line is due out May 13 on Free Dirt Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Mama's Broke, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Superpink featuring Chace McNinch - "Defunct Band"

Boston's Superpink have just released a new single with a wonderfully unique sound. "Defunct Band" sounds like the 70's funk and soul of an artist like Stevie Wonder, but in a lo-fi, indie rock kind of way. Sure, that may sound like two genres in complete opposition to each other, but "Defunct Band" works. It's all the fun and groove of 70's soul, but reworked for 2022's basements and dive bars. Superpink (and guest piano player Chace McNinch) have crafted a four minute party here. It's a creative, joyous song that is going to make even the crankiest music snob feel the need to dance their heart out.

You can listen to "Defunct Band" below. For more on Superpink, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

Rachel Baiman & Kris Drever Cover Eliza Gilkyson

We loved Rachel Baiman's 2021 album Cycles. This spring Baiman and Scottish folksinger Kris Drever will be touring across the UK together and they've released a new single as a duo. They're taking on Eliza Gilkyson's "Hard Times in Babylon," which was written about the suicide of a friend. The original is a standard (and fantastic) folk/singer-songwritter track. Baiman and Drever expand on that a bit. It's kept as a folk song, but the new version is a much more lush take on the song that leans a tiny bit into the realm of folk/pop. It's a great reworking of the song that is making me wish Baiman and Drever bring their co-tour to this side of the Atlantic. 

Rachel Baiman says of the song:

“I first heard this song at the beginning of a long solo drive. And I must have listened to it twenty more times before I reached my destination. I think what grabs me about it is the sense of community that Gilkyson is referencing. The descriptions of musicians and creatives living together under one roof, trying to make it through the hard times together. Seeing the ghost of a lost friend at a venue they used to haunt,  and mourning in community with one another."

You can listen to Rachel Baiman & Kris Dever's version of "Hard Times in Babylon" below. The song is available as a single via Signature Sounds and can be downloaded at Bandcamp. For more on Rachel Baiman, check out the artist's website. For more on Kris Drever, check out his.