Photo by Kory Thibeault
California's Angelica Rockne makes some of the most lovely cosmic country around. Her latest single, "Age of the Voyeur," is this simple yet lush song that waltzes the listener along with it. The centerpiece of the song is Rockne's vocals, which are just instantly mesmerizing. As simple as the song seems, there is a surprising complexity to it. There is just something about the way her voice mixes with piano and acoustic guitar that is irresistible. There's something very 70's about the song's vibe, but that could just be the cosmic country sound.
Friday, April 28, 2023
"Queer ass emo" band from Cincinnati Cataracts have a killer new single that we can all relate to the title of. "Hanging Out With Your Cat" is the kind of emo song we love here. It's without a doubt an emo song, but it still has enough of a punk edge to it to elevate the song to the next level. There is also some interesting guitar work going on in the song that keeps "Hanging Out With Your Cat" compelling. This is simply just a great punk rock/emo song that you're going to want to keep in regular rotation for quite a while.
Vocalist Christian Gehring says of the band's new single:
"'HOWYC' was written at the first Cataracts practice with our current line-up. The lyrics for 'HOWYC' were written about my boyfriend Soren. The song was inspired by all of the time we have spent watching Breaking Bad with his cat, and the comfort that I feel from just spending time with him."
You can listen to "Hanging Out With Your Cat" below. The song is available as a single via Really Rad Records with the B-side of "Propane Accessories." For more on Cataracts, check out the band on Twitter and Instagram.
Way back in 1999, Kool Keith released one his most iconic albums Black Elvis/Lost in Space. Now, twenty-four years later, he's revisiting that persona with a new album. In true Kool Keith fashion, the first single is the minute long intro track for the album, "Black Elvis 2 (Intro)." Of course, Kool Keith is the rare artist that can make an intro song good enough to be a single. While most intro songs are throwaways, "Black Elvis 2 (Intro)" is great, just short. It certainly doesn't hurt that the song is produced by If It's Too Loud... favorite L'Orange who adds his trademark throwback to classic hip hop while still looking forward sound to the track. As with any of his releases, Black Elvis 2 is going to be high on everyone's must listen list this year.
You can listen to "Black Elvis 2 (Intro)" below. Black Elvis 2 is due out June 16 on Mello Music Group, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Kool Keith, check out the artist on Twitter and Instagram.
Giveaway: 2 tickets for Dentist, Salem Wolves, and Strange Pains at Faces Brewing Co., Malden, MA 5/5/23
If you're looking for plans on Cinco de Mayo that don't involve a bunch of college kids slamming back margaritas in sombreros, might we suggest the fantastic triple bill of Asbury Park's fantastic pop punk/indie rock heroes Dentist, the mighty Salem Wolves (now of Rhode Island), and the downtempo sounds of Strange Pains? The three are playing Faces Brewing Co. in Malden, MA, and we've once again teamed up with RTT Presents to giveaway a pair of tickets! In order to win, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of "Dentist," and your full name in the body of the email. We'll draw a winner Thursday morning, May 4! Good luck! For more information on the shows coming up at Faces, check their website here. They have a ton of If It's Too Loud... approved shows, including Kepi Ghoulie, The Jacklights, and Brad Marino May 13, Children of the Flaming Wheel, The Dreamtoday, and Astral Bitch May 18, Dead Bars, Perfectly Lethal, and Hell Beach May 22, Justine & The Unclean, Barrence Whitfield & His All-Star Band, and Spiller June 2, Eddie Japan, Magen Tracy & The Missed Connectios, and Carissa Johnson June 3, and more!
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Photo by Dan Monick
It's hard to believe that Atmosphere has been around for over twenty-five years, but the duo of Slug and Ant released their debut album back in 1997 and continue to release great new music. Their latest single is "Holding My Breath," a laid back hip hop song that dabbles in dub. It's the kind of song with one foot in the old school of rap and the other in the present. The Minneapolis group have crafted a single that is going to appeal to their underground hip hop base while stretching into the mainstream. It's the perfect kind of song for the summer, and just driving around with the windows down.
You can listen to "Holding My Breath" below. So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously is due out May 5 on Rhymesayers Entertainment, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Atmosphere, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.
The latest from Dead Bars is going to make you instantly feel nostalgic. "Hidden Track" is an ode to finding a hidden track on a new CD, which was always on of the most thrilling discoveries to those of us raised in the compact disc era. The Seattle band's song is this jangly and upbeat song with gruff melodic punk rock vocals that sounds like it would have fit perfectly as a hidden track. These songs were typically a little more cheery and/or laid back than the rest of the album and helped ease us back into the real world after an hour of Gen-X noise and angst. "Hidden Track" is a fun song soaked in nostalgia, both lyrically and sonically.
Vocalist John Maiello says about the band's new song:
“Lyrically, ‘Hidden Track’ serves as a reminder that there might be something beautiful waiting for you if you keep listening, keep trying and keep dreaming even when you think you’re at the end.”
Photo by Steve Gullick
One of my major musical fandom regrets is taking so long to get into PJ Harvey. I even saw her once back in 1995 opening for Live, but I wasn't ready then. I've recently jumped fully on the PJ Harvey bandwagon, just in time for her first new music in seven years. "A Child's Question, August" shows a more mellow side of Harvey. It's a gorgeous and welcoming ballad that is going to appeal to longtime fans. While many of her peers have mellowed out but have seemed to lost what made them so great thirty plus years into a career, Harvey is showing exactly how to make more mellow music that is just as vital as the classics. "A Child's Question, August" needs to be on the very top of your must listens this week.
PJ Harvey says of her upcoming album:
“I think the album is about searching, looking - the intensity of first love, and seeking meaning. Not that there has to be a message, but the feeling I get from the record is one of love – it’s tinged with sadness and loss, but it’s loving. I think that's what makes it feel so welcoming: so open.”
You can watch the video for "A Child's Question, August" below. I Inside the Old Year Dying is due out July 7 on Partisan Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on PJ Harvey, check out the artist's website.
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Boston's Justine and The Unclean make the kind of rock and roll that doesn't break any new ground but still sounds fresh. Their latest single, "The Chasm," is just loud garage rock and roll with a cleaner, fresh sound that accepts it's own poppy side. It's power pop with an emphasis on both the power and the pop. It's reminding me of the speed of the Ramones with the arena rocking guitar solos of Cheap Trick and the gorgeous grit of Belly. This is the kind of song that will remind you why you love rock so much.
In a Bandcamp post, songwriter Justine Covault says of the new song:
"This song is about when a breach of trust between two people causes a blinding flash of insight. Sometimes pain can be very instructive.
"I'm really excited about what The Unclean brought to this song. I told them that in my mind, it should sonically resemble The Who's power chords and bombastic rhythm section -- and so, instrumentally they channeled Pete, Keith, and John right into it!"
You can listen to "The Chasm" below. The song is currently available as a single via Red On Red Records, and can be purchased through Bandcamp. For more on Justine and The Unclean, check out the band on Facebook.
Photo by Layne Miller
You know a band is going to be interesting when their press release compares them to Das Racist, My Chemical Romance, 100 gecs, 311, Insane Clown Posse, and Death Grips. GHÖSH are digital hardcore, and that's about all we can say for sure. The Philadelphia based band's latest single, "Devil Lady," has metal guitars mixed with electronic noise, hip hop, pop, and... I don't even know what else. As an old school Atari Teenage Riot fan, I'm pre-disposed to enjoying this. GHÖSH takes that sound and updates it to appeal to a new generation of kids raised on Meghan Thee Stallion and Carly Rae Jepson who are just getting ready to really freak out their parents, and I'm on board for that.
Vocalist Symphony Spell says of her band's new song:
Photo by Tonje Thilesen
It feels like it's been a long time since we've heard from Palehound, but they are back with a new single and an upcoming album. "The Clutch" is everything we have come to love about El Kempner's musical project while adding even more to love. This new song combines classic indie rock with the more modern style that leans more heavily into pop. It's all fuzzy guitars and crashing drums. The song shows even more maturity from Kempner, although there is a sense of desperation in the song. When you hear it, there's a sense of catharsis in Kempner's vocals, and they definitely went through a lot in the process of this song. If you tend to like music that could very well inspire anxiety, you're going to want to check out "The Clutch."
El Kempner says of their new song:
Photo by CJ Harvey
Deer Tick are one of those bands that are constantly evolving while still sounding like themselves. They're no longer the Hank Williams meets Nirvana band, or even the rootsy party rockers. On their latest single "Forgiving Ties," Deer Tick are sounding quite dance friendly. It's kind of a party song, in a way but it's a little too introspective to really rock a party. It's a little New Wave-ish, or at the very least some early 80's Tom Petty influence on this one. As always with Deer Tick, it's a fun song even if it's a little heavy. Also interesting is that "Forgiving Ties" features Ian O'Neil and John McCauley sharing vocal duties. (This one is definitely an O'Neil song with McCauley handling a few lines and backing vocals.) While it's not a complete departure, this one sees Deer Tick trying some new things while still being Deer Tick.
Ian O'Neil says of the new song:
“The song is essentially a metaphor for the fear that results from a sudden traumatic event, and how to move forward and take care of yourself and your loved ones."
You can watch the video for "Forgiving Ties" below. Emotional Contracts is de out June 16 on ATO Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Deer Tick, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Album: Chord of Sympathy
Quick Thoughts: This is some really solid indie rock this week. I enjoyed Supergiant, but it's been a while since we got new album-length material from the band. This latest effort doubles down on the soaring harmonies and interesting instrumental choices (the guitar in "Knife in the Trunk" is near-perfect), and results in an album that's a great and compelling listen. Make time for it. Songs of Note: "Knife in the Trunk," "Cassavettes"
Quick Thoughts: While the sort of disco/dance-tinged indie rock Twin Ritual presents here has taken a backseat in recent years, Allie is a great reminder that, when done right, it's a TON of fun. These songs will get stuck in your head in all the right ways, and it's one you don't want to miss. A lively, enjoyable listen.
Songs of Note: "Carrion," "Avantsion," "Metaphor"
Album: Angels in Science Fiction
Quick Thoughts: I liked what I've heard over the years from St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and I was looking forward to this latest album in particular. While it sometimes feels like it's a blues-infused Bon Iver, it works, and it's just song after song that grabs you and makes you want to listen that much closer. A great listen this week.
Songs of Note: "Sea Star," "South Dakota," "Easter Bunny"
Quick Thoughts: Best folk effort this week definitely comes from Cinder Well, who provides us a gorgeous album reminiscent of our favorites from Anna Tivel and Abigail Lapell. Between compelling vocals and haunting lyricism, this deserves a spot in your rotation this week. Definitely a strong highlight.
Songs of Note: "Cadence," "Crow"
Album: In Between Thoughts... A New World
Quick Thoughts: It took me a while to get on the Rodrigo y Gabriela bandwagon, but Mettavolution did the trick. The new album, however, changes things up a bit - instead of a wall of sound from two uber-talented guitarists, we get a backing ochestra to flesh out the instrumentals along the way. It's a little jarring to hear when you don't expect it, but by the end title track it all makes sense and you fall in love.
Songs of Note: "Egoland," "Descending to Nowhere," "Broken Rage," "In Between Thoughts...A New World"
Album: Among Other Things
Quick Thoughts: We love Bella White here, and I didn't want to lose this in the shuffle, as it really demonstrates why she's a favorite here and one of the better roots musicians out there. This one impresses in many ways, and is 100% worth your time in a busy-ish week.
Songs of Note: "Worth My While," "Break My Heart"
* Easy Star All-Stars - Ziggy Stardub (Reggae cover of Ziggy Stardust that is way more fun than it has any right to be.)
* ALL HANDS_MAKE LIGHT - "Darling the Dawn" (Project featuring members of Broken Social Scene and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.)
* Stefana Fratila - I Want to Leave This Earth Behind
* Ital Tek - Timeproof
* Esther Rose - Safe to Run
* Silver Moth - Black Bay
* Bridget Kearney - Snakes of Paradise
* Jain - The Fool
* ALMA - Time Machine
* Holiday Ghosts - Absolute Reality
* Lael Neale - Star Eaters Delight
* Doki Doki - Doki Doki
* Me:You - Field Tapes in Der Trash
* VirgoTwins - ArtSpace
* Everything But The Girl - Fuse
* Nice Guys - Coin
* Answerman - Black Light Poster
* Rezzett - Meant Like This
* Kaizo Slumber - How Are We Feeling Today?
* Pearl & the Oysters - Coast 2 Coast
* The National Honor Society - To All the Distance Between Us
* Benevola - Luz Guia
* Billy Tibbals - Stay Teenage
* Amanda X - Keepsake
* Sunshine Riot - Loud, Bright and Violent
* The Orb - H.O.M.E> (high orbs mini earths)
* Courtesy - Violence of the Moodboard
* Astrid S - Felt Cute Might Delete Later
Photo by Leigh Ann Rodgers
Baltimore's Pinkshift have released a single that should not work at all, but somehow does. "to me" is a giant song that combines shoegaze, pop, grunge, and maybe even some metal. Shoegaze is the first thing you'll notice in "to me," and also that it's somehow both a loud and heavy rock song while being pop. Both shoegaze and grunge are evident in the guitar and drums, while Ashrita Kumar's vocals bring the pop sound. At times they sing in a more Top 40 style than I typically get into, but it works in the context of this song. After all of this, Pinkshift still finds a way to cram a little metal into the guitar solo.
Ashrita Kumar says of the band's new song:
“Love is a powerful form of energy that is not just given or taken, but flows endlessly and connects us all. ‘To me’ speaks to the indestructibility of such an energy, and what it feels like to hold love close to your heart and with those around you. It is a realization that despite everything that is difficult, to be truly loved is to love ourselves.”
You can listen to "to me" below. The song is available as a single via Hopeless Records. For more on Pinkshift, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.