Tuesday, January 31, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 27 January

Artist: Pure Adult
Album: II
Quick Thoughts: I shouldn't like Pure Adult, but I like Pure Adult. II is a loud, brash affair that almost outright revels in dischord, but then you get songs like "Hot Crusade" that wow you over and over and over again. It's the most challenging listen of the week, but also the most rewarding - reminiscent of Tropical Fuck Storm and Future of the Left in all the right ways.
Songs of Note: "Hot Crusade," "The Power of Incredible Violence, Pt. III," "Etcetera, Etc."

Artist: Widows Gold
Album: Love Drops
Quick Thoughts: Widows Gold isn't trying to reinvent the alt-rock wheel with Love Drops, and that's what makes it awesome. It's a great alt-indie record that feels fresh and, at only eight tracks, doesn't feel overlong, either. In terms of the indie and alt rock stuff we love here, this one is absolutely an early year favorite.
Songs of Note: "Inside," "Little by Little," "Widow's Gold"

Artist: H.C. McIntire
Album: Every Acre
Quick Thoughts: H.C. McIntire's third album is a great country-adjacent listen with a lot going for it. The lead singer of Mount Moriah, her solo work is a very interesting rootsy effort with some great guests (like Amy Ray of Indigo Girls on "Turpentine") and memorable songs. If you like the rootsy stuff, make it a point to check this out.
Songs of Note: "Turpentine," "New View," "Dovetail," "Soft Crook"

Artist: Crosslegged
Album: Another Blue
Quick Thoughts: While it's a fairly busy new release week, I did want to give a highlight to Crosslegged, the singer-songwriter project of Keba Robinson. It's a gorgeous singer-songwriter record with some memorable moments and it's definitely worth your time. It's one of the albums I'm really looking forward to getting back to in the days to come.
Songs of Note: "Don't Go Back"

Of note:

* Don't Stop or We'll Die - Signature Please (Chaotic theatrical indie pop.)
* Heavy Blanket - Moon Is (J. Mascis instrumental project.)
* Kimbra - A Reckoning (Kimbra is always an interesting listen.)
* Complete Mountain Almanac - Complete Mountain Almanac
* Dearly Beloved - Walker Park
* The Arcs - Electrophonic Chronic
* Hammock - Love in the Void
* Elle King - Come Get Your Wife
* Sara Noelle - Do I Have to Feel Everything
* Parannoul - After the Magic
* R. Ring - War Poems, We Rested
* Miniature Tigers - Miniature Tigers
* Gena Rose Bruce - Deep is the Way
* Casja Silk - Ninjo
* Bass Drum of Death - Say I Won't
* Samia - Honey
* Biosphere - N-Plants
* Reuben Vincent - Love is War
* GLOSSER - DOWNER
* Meg Baird - Furling
* Oahk - Numeric Hands "Revised Acoustic Memories"

EPs:

* Dust Bowl Faeries - Carnival Dust
* Half Gringa - Ancestra Home
* Suep - Shop
* Ha the Unclear - Handprint Negatives
* Facta - Emeline
* Philip Glass - Refractions
* ICYTWAT - G4ost 2
* Florry - Sweet Guitar Solos
* Redolent - make big money fast online now
* Carlton Melton - Resemble Ensemble
* the moss - Insomnia

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Boy Jr. - Pay Attention to Meee Reeeemixes

Also out:

* The Snarlin' Yarns - It Never Ends
* Angel Electronics - ULTRA PARADISE
* ToadStool - LABTHRASHR
* White Reaper - Asking for a Ride
* Panda Rosa - Burned Car Highway Light Volcanic
* Fucked Up - One Day

Valley Queen - "Cassavetes"

Photo by Chris Phelps

Valley Queen have been making this great California drenched version of indie rock and folk for a while now, and have been dipping their toes in a more pop based direction lately. Their new single, "Cassavetes," almost fully dives into the world of pop, but in a way that long term fans will still enjoy. The song still just sounds like California, and sounds like the perfect type of song to drive down the coast to. It has a dreamlike quality, and is a beautiful upbeat and laidback track. It's a lot of fun, and has this interesting Florence & The Machine meets Jenny Lewis vibe to it. But it still has that indie folk and rock feel, even if it's through a prism of pure alt-pop.

Vocalist/songwriter Natalie Carol says of the new song:

"There's a thread throughout Cassavetes' films centered around selfhood: its nebulous nature, our ability to project it onto other people, how we try on different selves to be accepted or loved. When weaving this idea together with the story of Valley Queen, I realized a lot of this record is about taking off older outfits of selfhood as the outside world perceives it, in this case as a songwriter, recording artist, and band. Cooper suggested we light it all on fire. I thought that was perfect. That's how it felt when we were arranging and recording this record, like we had burned something down and started over." 

You can watch the video for "Cassavetes" below. Chord of Sympathy is due out April 21. The album can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Valley Queen, check out the artist's website.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - "Ultimate Hammer"

Photo by Ania Shrimpton

Newcastle's Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs' latest single, "Ultimate Hammer," is just pure metal-adjacent, no nonsense hard rock. It's the kind of song that could appeal to everyone who loves heavy music. It's more metal than punk, but it's the kind of metal that punks are going to love. So, of course, it's giving me massive Motorhead flashbacks. The song is filled with growling vocals and showy (but not too showy) metal guitar licks. "Ultimate Hammer" is the kind of song we need to cover a lot more here.

Guitarist Adam Ian Sykes says of the new song:

“'Ultimate Hammer' is the by-product of being trapped in the house and listening to too much ZZ Top, if there is such a thing. It was written to be unapologetic, a selfish endeavour with the only consideration being how fun it would be to play live.”

You can watch the video for "Ultimate Hammer" below. Land of Sleeper is due out February 17 on Rocket Recordings. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, check out the band's website.

Wildelux - "24/7"


Wildelux (pronounced Will Deluxe) was born in the Bronx but moved to Los Angeles back in 1993 to pursue a music career. He is a member of The Last Kind, but has also been releasing solo albums. In February, he will be releasing his last solo album, The IT Factor.

"24/7" is the latest single off of his upcoming album. He handles production on this one as well as vocals, and if you love 90's hip hop, you're going to love this one. Nothing really sounds modern on "24/7." Wildelux's latest sounds like it could be a lost track from anytime between 1991 and 1996. As many of his peers try to sound like modern hip hop, Wildelux keeps what made him a great artist by keeping his sound intact.

You can watch the video for "24/7" below. The IT Factor is due out February 28. (Even a Tuesday release date, how old school is that?) For more on Wildelux, check out the artist on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Cat Clyde - "Papa Took My Totems"

Photo by Laura-Lynn Petrick

Cat Clyde is known as a Canadian indie-folk artist, but her latest single is distinctly not traditionally folk. "Papa Took My Totems" is rooted in more of a rock sound than folk. Clyde's vocals more soul than folk, there are some great early garage rock keyboards, and the song just straight up rocks. Despite the rock roots of the song, Clyde injects a certain groove into the song that goes well beyond straight up rock. The theme of 2023 seems to be music that borrows from multiple genres, and "Papa Took My Totems" is a perfect example of that. It's a great working of folk, rock, soul, indie rock, and garage rock. This is a special song you're going to want to put on repeat for a while.

Cat Clyde says of her new song, which is partially inspired by her M├ętis heritage:

“There’s a lot of sacredness that’s being destroyed in the world, and that’s difficult to deal with sometimes. Totems, to me, feel like places and things that are important and real, to witness the destruction of things like that is devastating.”

You can watch the video for "Papa Took My Totems" below. Down Rounder is due out February 17 on Second Prize Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Cat Clyde, check out the artist's website.

Sluice - "Centurion"


Sluice is the current musical project of Durham, NC musician Justin Morris. The band's latest single, "Centurion," is quite close to being a simple modern folk song, although at the very least a very artsy one. But as the song goes on, Sluice adds more and more indie rock noise to it. Plus, it has these drums that are very upbeat and make you want to bop around a little. And then the swirling guitar noise comes in and out like no one is able to control it even though they're really trying. It makes for a truly unique song made up of so many parts all smushed together expertly. 

You can listen to "Centurion" below. Radial Gate is due out March 3 on Ruination Record Co. The album can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp

Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys - "Burning Building"

Photo by Holger Nitschke

Lucy Kruger started off in South Africa and is now based in Berlin. Her band, Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys, has released a single that is a little all over the place in a good way. At times "Burning Building" sounds like a straight up pop song, albeit a dark one. But then this bizarre wall of noise comes flooding in. The vocals range from cheerleading chants, to a rough growl, to a whisper. The song is a swirling, dark, hypnotic track that makes the listener feel like something has just happened to them, and I mean that in a positive way. It's a rough sounding track, but also oddly poppy. Probably the closest artist I've heard that sounds anything like Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys is PJ Harvey.

You can watch the video for "Burning Building" below. Heaving is due out April 7 on Unique Records. For more on Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys, check out the artist on Facebook and Twitter.

Department of Teleportation - "Dry Erase Blood"


Providence's Department of Teleportation is one of those bands that's hard to define. One thing we can definitely say about their new single is that "Dry Erase Blood" is hard rock. Some elements are pretty standard on the heavier side of the alt-rock coin. But the song has its own elements that start to stray on the noisier, more art rock side of hard rock. There are just some weird guitar noises you would never find in a mainstream rock song. Department of Teleportation have crafted a sound that is a near radio friendly post punk or noise rock sound. It's kind of like if The Jesus Lizard and Gang of Four got together to try to write a hit song.

You can watch the video for "Dry Erase Blood" below. Lifestyles of the Spatially Unreasonable is due out February 3. For more on Department of Teleportation, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Pearla - "Unglow The"

Photo by Tonje Thilesen

Pearla is just one of those artists that is hard to define. The Brooklyn based artist (real name Nicole Rodriguez) has released a new single, "Unglow The," that might be closest to modern folk or singer/songwriter music, but neither of those sound quite right. It's not that Pearla is making music that's a complete oddball or outlier material. "Unglow The" has a fairly mainstream sound, but it skirts the edges of the mainstream just enough to make it hard to define. If this was the 90's we could jjst slap the "alternative" label on it and be done, but you're just going to have to check this one out for yourself.

Pearla says of the new song:

"'Unglow The' is about mortality, and the absurdity of life on Earth. I wrote it after one of my old friends passed away and I was finding it so impossible to grasp. No matter how many times I experience death, it never feels 'real.' I feel a similar way when I experience anything really grand or beautiful. Some things are just too big to process. I think we're all walking through life in varying degrees of denial of death...anxiety about death. We find ways to comfort ourselves and live in a meaningful way. But we don't know what we don't know! There's a lot of mystery to being alive. I want to stay open to that mystery. That's what this song is about for me."

You can listen to "Unglow The" below. Oh Glistening Onion, the Nighttime is Coming is due out February 10 on Spacebomb Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Pearla, check out the artist's website.

Sunshine Riot - "Looking at the Past"


Boston based alt-grunge band Sunshine Riot is back with new music just a few months after the release of last year's Sparkle Baby 2000. "Looking at the Past" is one of those songs that stands out based on how unique it sounds. Throughout its just short of four minutes running time, "Looking at the Past" morphs into a few different styles, although all seem to be rooted in grunge. It starts out as a kind of folk or country train song, then into a nearly Sex Pistols-esque punk song, then into an odd version of ska... all with a ton of grit and heaviness associated with grunge. Despite these changes, Sunshine Riot have made a cohesive song that doesn't sound like it's wildly swapping styles.

Vocalist and guitarist Jonny Orton says of the new song:

“The song sort of exists in two pieces. The first half, I think, is the internal narrative of a character who has taken a long time to change, I suppose for the better, and is reflecting on their past while attempting to assure themselves and others they weren't too late in putting their wilder and lesser ways down.”

You can listen to "Looking at the Past" below. Loud, Bright and Violent was recorded by Steve Albini and is due out in April. For more on Sunshine Riot, check out the band's website.

Cosmic Kitten - "All the World"

Photo by Don Mozzochi

If you love the current 90's alt-rock revival as much as we do, you're going to want to check out the latest from Cosmic Kitten. The Long Beach based band just released "All the World," which judging from the opening line of "All the world is trapped inside" is heavily inspired by the pandemic. It starts off as this killer mid-tempo alt-rock song with just a little quirk, kind of like a cross between a heavier Pavement or early Veruca Salt. And then the song kicks into this blasting hardcore anthem for the chorus with singer Karen Marie having one of the best screams in modern rock. It's more like loud/really loud/quiet. Considering Cosmic Kitten have released six albums since 2016, including three albums of covers, we're kinda mad we're just discovering them now.

You can watch the video for "All the World" below. Laugh of a Lifetime is due out May 5. The album can be pre-saved here. For more on Cosmic Kitten, check out the band's website

Mudhoney - "Almost Everything"

Photo by Emily Rieman

2023 is the thirty-fifth anniversary of Sub Pop Records and Mudhoney, so it's fitting that we get a new Mudhoney album on Sub Pop this year. The grunge icons have released that album's first single, "Almost Everything." It's much more psychedelic than you might expect, but Mudhoney has delved into psychedelia before. You know how The Stooges used to put one freak out song per album? This is like a tighter, more cohesive, and heavier version of one of those. "Almost Everything" is a driving hard rock song filled with tons of fuzz and hypnotic drums. Seeing that Mudhoney have averaged an album every three or so years, getting new music from them is always welcome.

Mark Arm says of the band's longevity:

“We like each other and we like being in a band together. Some people have poker night or whatever the fuck, and they have the excuse to get together with their friends. For us, this [band] is that. This is what we do.”

You can watch the video for "Almost Everything" below. Plastic Eternity, Mudhoney's eleventh studio album, is due out April 7 and can be pre-ordered through the Sub Pop Megamart. For more on Mudhoney, check out the band's website.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Blondshell - "Joiner"

Photo by Daniel Topete

We became smitten with the music of Blondshell (aka Sabrina Teteilbaum) last month when she released "Veronica Mars." This month sees the release of "Joiner." It's similar to her previous single, except without the fiery explosion at the end. "Joiner" is a mid tempo song that melds your standard singer/songwriter fare with more of a dreampop sound. It's filled with tons of fuzz and harmonies, and leans into a more modern pop sound at times without ever losing its rock edge. And then there's Teteilbaum's voice, which might just be the loveliest one to ever hit this level of slacker cool. While there have been a ton of 90's inspired artists lately, Blondshell is the first to bring that sound into the current century to this extent.

Blondshell says of her new song:

I was listening to a lot of Britpop when I wrote this song. A lot of those bands like The Verve, Pulp, Suede, and Blur channelled dark subject matter, drugs, and all this dirty stuff, but with a fun acoustic guitar under it. I was listening to The Replacements, too. That’s what this song was inspired by sonically. I wanted it to feel like you’re watching HBO, where even though it’s heavy, it’s still a good time."

You can watch the video for "Joiner" below. Blondshell's self-titled debut album is due out April 7 on Partisan Records, and can be pre-saved here. For more on Blondshell, check out the artist's website.

Fucked Up - "Cicada"

Photo by Jeaninne Kaufer

So far the singles for Fucked Up's upcoming record have been more musically art rock with lead singer Damian Abraham's vocals continuing to be hardcore, but on "Cicada" guitarist Mike Haliechuk takes over vocals and the musical style shifts. Musically, "Cicada" is the most punk song we've heard on the album. It's not quite hardcore, but it's more along the lines of The Replacements or Guided By Voices. Fucked Up keep an edge to this song, which ends up being one of the better versions of melodic punk that we've heard in some time.

Mike Haliechuk says of the new song:

“‘Cicada’ is about what life is like after you lose people, and our responsibility to carry them forward into the future, using the things they taught us as a light. I like to imagine the sound of cicadas as a metaphor for our strange life in the subculture—we all just live these weird little hidden lives under the dirt, and then once in a generation, one of us gets to bust out of the dirt and intone their song so loud that it can be heard all over.”

You can watch the video for "Cicada" below. One Day, which was written and recorded in one day, will be out January 27 on Merge Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Fucked Up, check out the band's website

Fucked Up - Cicada (Official Music Video) from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Bailey Miller - "love is a dying"


"love is a dying," the latest single from Cincinnati's Bailey Miller, is a quiet and intimate folk song. It's as painfully bare and stripped down as it is beautiful. That is, until around the two minute mark when the guitar shifts to electric and has a chugging menace to its sound. The song just builds and builds from there into a wailing wall of sound that just plows you over. It's almost like seeing J Mascis shift from acoustic to electric at a live show, except slowly and over a period of a few minutes. What starts off as a really good song ends up being a revelation towards the end. 

You can listen to "love is a dying" below. The album love is a dying is due out February 10 on Whited Sepulchre Records. You can pre-order it over at Bandcamp. For more on Bailey Miller, check out the artist's website.

Live Shows: Jon Spencer + The HITmakers, Minibeast, & Muck and the Mires, The Middle East, Cambridge, MA 1/24/23


I'm a little bit of an obsessive Jon Spencer fan. I've seen Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Heavy Trash, and Jon Spencer + The HITmakers before, so I'm obviously going to try to see the man every time he comes through the area. With the release of last year's excellent Spencer Gets It Lit, I've watched the band play multiple tours without coming to Boston, or anywhere else I could feasibly get to easily. When he finally announced a Boston show at The Middle East, I couldn't pass it up.

An added bonus were two local support bands I'd go see on their own anytime. Muck and the Mires were a perfect opener for Jon Spencer. They have this vintage garage rock sound that could be from anytime in the past six decades. It's the style started in hundreds of garages across America once The Beatles broke out that isn't exactly easy to tie down to a specific time since every generation has a handful of these bands. They're one of those bands that I would have sworn had started around 1982 or so, but they've only been round since 2001. In a city overflowing with killer garage rock/power pop bands, Muck and the Mires proved they're top tier. Songs like "I'm Your Man" and "Saturday Let Me Down Again" are just fun rock and roll songs, and they make for an even more fun night out.

Minibeast might have seemed like an odd choice as an opener, but Spencer has been known to lean into the weird and experimental side of rock and roll, and this band definitely fits that. Led by Peter Prescott (ex-Mission of Burma), the trio played a style of loud art rock that relies heavily on loops. Most art rock is of the chin stroking variety, and Minibeast certainly are that, but this is chin stroking music you can also rock out to. The loops were also used for show at times, with Prescott leaving the stage during a song to rock out and cheer in the audience. Keith Seidel is an absolute beast on drums and just attacked his kit in the most primal way for their entire set. This was music that makes you think and rock out, and that's a rare, rare thing.

Every single time I've seen Jon Spencer's various bands, it goes the same way. I'll be enjoying the first half of the show, but not truly swept up in it. It will be good, but not in that next level way I want. And then Spencer will start ranting in a very preacher-like way, usually about rock and roll, and then something shifts into that next level that I need. This was the kind of show where Spencer apologized for fighting a cold, and no one would have even guessed. (Of course, in this day and age it added a sense of danger I wasn't looking for, but I guess that's the way it is now). He had an intense energy and is one of the most compelling and underrated frontmen in music today, and seeing him live is a treat. The band closed out their main set with a triple shot of "Death Ray," "Just Wanna Die," and "Worm Town," and I can't think of any other artist that could make three songs about death such a celebration. When they came back for an encore, they seemed to tease Jon Spencer Blues Explosion classics "2 Kindsa Love" and "Bellbottoms," and no one certainly minded they didn't end up following up on that tease.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Anareta - "Locality"


We've all heard metal with strings before, but no one is doing it quite like Anareta. The New Orleans based band are combining classical music with intense metal for a sound called chamber-metal. "Locality" shows off their sound perfectly. While a lot of metal with strings can kind of sound like a novelty, Anareta doesn't feel that way. The strings accentuate the force of the song that would be a brutal and killer track even without the strings included. As with a lot of music that we cover, "Locality" won't be for everyone, but if it works for you this is going to hit you hard and attach itself to your soul.

Anareta says of the song:

"'Locality' was the first song to coalesce when we began crafting our sound in early 2018, so it feels exciting and appropriate that it is also the first single announcing the release of our debut album Fear Not. Through an evolving collaborative process, we combined our musical tastes to produce a sound both beautiful and harsh. The emotive qualities of this piece inspired us to draw lyric inspiration from Dante's Inferno. Referencing a translation of this work, we present a perspective that questions his descriptions of the first layer of hell; what is the difference between this chaos and a mosh pit?"

You can listen to "Locality" below. Fear Not is due out April 8. For more on Anareta, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

deathcrash - "Empty Heavy"

Photo by Kaye Song

London based slowcore band deathcrash have released a new single that might be perfect for music fans who can't quite get into slowcore. "Heavy Empty" starts out almost painfully quietly. It's propelled by whispered vocals and is almost folk adjacent in its instrumentation. But once it kicks in, the song just ignites. The loud part of the song comes in like a sledgehammer and just bludgeons your senses, which is even more forceful based on how quiet and bare the song started off. It reminds me of seeing Mogwai live back in the 90's, how they'd lull you with beauty before blasting your face off with noise.

Bassist Patrick Fitzgerald says of the song:

"'Empty heavy' is an intricately melancholic song that gives way to a direct and explosive ending. This is reflected by the different states of loss portrayed lyrically through the song."

You can watch the video for "Empty Heavy" below. Less is due out March 17 on untitled (recs). For more on deathcrash, check out the band's website.

Rachel Baiman - "Self Made Man"


Nashville based multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman's latest single is based on a John Hartford song. Baiman's version of "Self Made Man" is a banjo focused track that straddles the line between traditional folk and modern, mainstream folk. There are elements of more of a pop leaning folk/rock song, but the banjo just keeps the whole track rooted firmly in the world of folk. It's a song filled with equal amounts of twang and groove, and then there's Baiman's voice which doesn't quite sound like anyone else out there right now. Baiman has been a folk favorite here for a while, and this latest song just solidifies that even more strongly.

Rachel Baiman says of the new song:

“In 2019 John Hartford’s family released a posthumous collection of songs that he had never released. I was immediately enamored by a song fragment called ‘Self Made Man.’ The message of the song in conjunction with the whimsy of musical presentation spoke to me and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I decided to try and flesh out the song with additional verse lyrics, and a chorus and bridge melody.”

You can watch the video for "Self Made Man" below. Common Nation of Sorrow is due out March 31 on Signature Sounds Recordings. The album can be pre-ordered over at Bandcamp. For more on Rachel Baiman, check out the artist's website.

Loki's Folly - "Beaches and Peaches"


Hailing from South Minneapolis, Loki's Folly consists of three siblings: Annie (twenty one, vocals and guitar), Nissa (sixteen, drums and vocals), and Oskar (twelve, bass). Now that their ages are out of the way, Loki's Folly play this odd and unique style of indie rock. Their new single, "Beaches and Peaches," has this playful and quirky quality that isn't quite like anything you've heard before. I'm going to attribute how unique the song is to their ages. Not because they haven't learned how play music, but more because they haven't learned how not to play. It's such an odd but fun arrangement of music. If I have to compare Loki's Folly to anyone, I would say it's a mash up of Jonathan Richman, Beat Happening, and The Shaggs. 

You can listen to "Beaches and Peaches" below. Sisu is due out February 21 on Kitten Robot Records. For more on Loki's Folly, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 20 January 2023

Artist: Teen Angst
Album: Barn Sour
Quick Thoughts: If you've spent any length of time here, you know how much we love our 90s alt-rock-style albums, and Teen Angst feels like it fits right into that slot. I really enjoyed this listen, which is a pretty strasightforward indie/alt record with some truly fun songs. In what is the first truly busy release week of 2023, it's worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Leaving Home," "Asleep"

Artist: abracadabra
Album: shapes & colors
Quick Thoughts: So I added this to my queue on a bit of a lark, and ended up with a really charming indie electronic record. It's quirky and different while still feeling familiar, and I pretty much loved the whole thing. You'll get the vibe on it pretty quickly, but if you know going in about how delightful this will be, you'll have a good time.
Songs of Note: "in a photo," "don't like u," "at the zoo"

Artist: Jadu Heart
Album: Derealized
Quick Thoughts: More fuzzy, electronic indie music, this time from a new-to-me band Jadu Heart. This duo, who straddle the line between synthy and shoegaze, demand your attention from the very start, and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this grew on me. If you're into the more slowcore-style walls of sound, this is worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Blame," "I Shimmer," "Webs"

Artist: Dave Rowntree
Album: Radio Songs
Quick Thoughts: Dave Rowntree, drummer for Blur, is better known in his individual capacity for his film and television scores. Radio Songs, his proper debut solo effort, is magnificent. It's a gorgeous, measured affair with meticulous instrumentation and some great production value. As someone unfamiliar with his film work, it definitely provides a score-like atmosphere from time to time, but a song like "London Bridge" stands on its own. It's not what you'd expect from Blur, but it is a favorite this week.
Songs of Note: "Devil's Island," "London Bridge," "Tape Measure"

Artist: The Bad Ends
Album: The Power and the Glory
Quick Thoughts: The Bad Ends are a supergroup of sorts from Athens, Georgia, and their biggest "claim to fame," as it were, is that it's the return of R.E.M.'s Bill Berry behind a drum kit, his first real band since leaving R.E.M. 25 years ago. It's a great power pop record in many regards, and a lot of the songs are winners as a result. If Dad College Rock was a thing, this would qualify? That's a compliment. It's a solid listen.
Songs of Note: "Ode to Jose," "Honestly," "New York Murder Suicide," "All Your Friends Are Dying," "The Ballad of Satan's Bride"

Artist: Ella Hooper
Album: Small Town Temple
Quick Thoughts: Ella Hooper locks down my favorite roots/folkish record of the week. It's a great listen on its own accord, but songs like "Grow Wild" and "Oh My Goddess!" stand on their merits as solid songs. In a busier than recently seen week, make some time for this one.
Songs of Note: "Grow Wild," "Words Like These," "The Basics and Stuff," "Oh My Goddess!"

Of note:

* The C.I.A. - Surgery Channel (A lot of great moments.)
* July Talk - Remember Never Before (Also has some great moments.)
* Zach & Maggie - The Elephant in the Room (Theatrical(?) folk.)
* Ryuichi Sakamoto - 12
* Siv Jakobsen - Gardening
* Bianca Scout - The Heart of the Anchoress
* Nighttime - Keeper is the Heart
* 99LETTERS - Makafushigi
* Lauds - Imitation Life
* Ghost Woman - Anne If
* John Cale - MERCY
* Lapsley - Cautionary Tales of Youth
* Ladytron - Time's Arrow
* Rian Treanor and Ocen James - Saccades
* Nuria Graham - Cyclamen
* The Shang Hi Los - Aces Eights and Heartbreaks
* Fran - Leaving
* Agar Agar - Player Non Player
* Gemma Ray - Gemma Ray and the Death Bell Gang
* The Murder Capital - Gigi's Recovery

EPs:

* Danny Arakaki - Tumble in Shade
* Biig Piig - Bubblegum

Also out:

* Mojo Sapiens - Empire of Dust
* Bobbie Lovesong - On the Wind
* Megadose - Heating Up
* Orchestra Gold - Medicine
* Guided By Voices - La La Land

Reminders - "International Dial Tone"

Photo by Sheer Pink Photography

Hailing from Isle of Wight, Reminders have just released one of the most fantastically British pop punk songs in recent memory. While most of the music you associate with as pop punk has that bratty Southern California sound no matter where the band is from, "International Dial Tone" sounds completely British. It's a song that sounds much more like a mixture of Buzzcocks and early Arctic Monkeys than Sum 41 or Blink 182. It has just enough of a punk edge to stand above most other songs in the genre but still pop enough to have mainstream appeal.

You can listen to "International Dial Tone" below. The single is out now via Venn Records in the UK and Wiretap Records in the US. For more on Reminders, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Fruit Bats - "Rushin' River Valley"

Photo by Chantal Anderson

Eric D. Johnson is back with new music from Fruit Bats. The latest single, "Rushin' River Valley," is a perfect sun swept, laid back, California sounding, 70's AM radio style song. It's hardly a throwback, though, as the song sounds like a completely modern version of those sounds. Despite how laid back the song's vibes are, it's still an up tempo track. "Rushin' River Valley" is just about as mainstream as folk/rock gets, but when it's done as perfectly as Fruit Bats do it, I can't imagine even the biggest music snobs could find anything to complain about.

Eric D. Johnson says of the new song:

“This song is about true love, and the question of whether we are fated to be together or if it's all just universal chaos tossing us around. It's also about ghosts and bad dreams and trying to move forward and climbing over a mountain and hoping to glimpse the other side.”

You can listen to "Rushin' River Valley" below. A River Running to Your Heart is due out April 14 on Merge Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Fruit Bats, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.


4/12 – Indianapolis, IN – Hi-Fi4/13 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall4/14 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue4/15 – Maquoketa, IA – Codfish Hollow4/16 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre4/18 – Toronto, ON, Canada – Phoenix Theatre4/19 – Philadelphia, PA – Brooklyn Bowl4/20 – New York, NY – Webster Hall4/21 – Boston, MA – Royale4/22 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club4/25 – Carrboro, NC – Cat's Cradle4/27 – Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl4/28 – Scaly Mountain, NC – Bear Shadow +4/29 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse4/30 – Jacksonville, FL – Intuition Ale Works5/10 – San Diego, CA – Belly Up Tavern5/11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at Ace Hotel5/12 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel5/13 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel5/14 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel5/17 – Austin, TX – Mohawk5/19 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre5/20 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Commonwealth Room5/21 – Bozeman, MT – The Elm5/24 – Boise, ID – Treefort Music Hall5/25 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall5/26 – Seattle, WA – Showbox Market5/27 – Vancouver, BC, Canada – Commodore Ballroom + w/ Spoon

Le Tigre Announce Tour

Photo by Leeta Harding

We don't usually cover tour announcements here at If It's Too Loud..., so you know that when we do it's a BIG DEAL. Le Tigre announcing a full tour is huge. Consisting of Kathleen Hanna, JD Samson, and Johanna Fateman, the band formed in 1999 and ran until 2005. Le Tigre have always been a party and dance band, and have been known as music "for the party after the protest." The trio first reunited for the This Ain't No Picnic festival in August of last year, and fans have been hopeful that a larger reunion would happen. And it is! Add this to the fact that Bikini Kill is also touring this year, and that means that some of us might get to see Kathleen Hanna live twice in a three month period. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon Eastern, 9:00 am Pacific. You can find tickets links here, and tour dates below! For more info on Le Tigre, check out the band's website.


5/27: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

6/1: Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera Sound Barcelona 2023

6/3: London, UK @ Troxy

6/5: Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall

6/6: Glasgow, Scotland @ Barrowland Ballroom

6/8: Madrid, Spain @ Primavera Sound Madrid 2023

6/9: Porto, Portugal @ Nos Primavera Sound Porto 2023

6/11: Paris, France @ Le Trianon

6/14: Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso

6/16: Berlin, Germany @ Huxleys Neue Welt

6/17: Hamburg, Germany @ Markthalle

7/1: Oakland, CA @ Mosswood Meltdown Festival

7/3: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom

7/6: Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre

7/7: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

7/9: Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek Theatre

7/15: Chicago, IL @ The Salt Shed

7/17: Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre

7/18: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre

7/19: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage

7/21: Toronto, ON @ History

7/22: Montreal, QC @ L’Olympia

7/24: Boston, MA @ Royale

7/28: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel