Friday, June 30, 2023

Robert Finley - "What Goes Around (Comes Around)"

Photo by Jim Herrington

I absolutely loved Robert Finley's 2021 Dan Auerbach produced Sharecropper's Son. The army veteran/former carpenter lost his vision in his sixties and started up his dream of making music. His latest single, "What Goes Around (Comes Around)," is this absolutely perfect dirty blues song with fuzzed out guitars. Of course, the true centerpiece of any of Finley's songs is Finley himself. The man just has this perfect voice for singing the blues. It's smooth but with just a little edge to it, and when he's singing it's impossible not to pay full attention. It's obvious to make comparisons to The Black Keys due to Auerbach's involvement, so I'll say that this sounds like when The Black Keys just started to smooth out their sound, and just before they blew up to play arenas. 

Robert Finley says of his new single:

“You gotta reap what you sow... do to another what you would have done to you. Be real, tell the truth. For all those out there hurting, you just have to keep the faith. I've seen it over the years, especially with my career - you got to put joy out into the world and it will come back. It's never been anything short of the truth for me.”

You can watch the video for "What Goes Around (Comes Around)" below. Black Bayou is due out October 27 on Easy Eye Sound, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Robert Finley, check out the artist's website.

Folk Uke Cover Tom Petty

Photo by Todd V. Wolfson

Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie first met at a bar in San Diego back in 1996 and have been making music as Folk Uke since. For the 4th of July, the duo have recorded an acoustic cover of Tom Petty's iconic "American Girl." It's a very stripped down take on the classic arena rocker, but it still feels fully fleshed out and lush. That's mostly due to Nelson and Guthrie's harmonies. After nearly thirty years, the two have perfected merging their vocals into a stunning combination. This is a really fun cover that is ideal for the upcoming (kind of) holiday weekend.

You can listen to Folk Uke's version of "American Girl" below. The single will officially be out on streaming services on July 4th, but you can pre-save it here. For more on Folk Uke, check out the artist's website.

Ratboys - "The Window"

Photo by Alexa Viscius

I keep saying 2023 is the year some of our favorite bands are levelling up, and I'm going to put Ratboys in that category with their latest single. "The Window" starts off as a gorgeous and heartbreaking power ballad of the folk pop variety. About half way through, it kicks into gear and shifts into a more indie rock/power pop track with the guitars matching singer Julia Steiner's emotions. We've been fans of the Chicago band for a while, and this is such a powerful and emotional song. Even without knowing the story behind it, "The Window" will sweep you up and hold you completely in its grasp for four and a half minutes.

Julia Steiner explains the story behind the band's new song:

“I wrote this song a few days after the death of my grandma in June of 2020. She didn’t have covid, but because of the pandemic my grandpa wasn’t able to visit her in person at the nursing home to say goodbye. He ended up standing outside her room and saying goodbye through an open window. A lot of the lyrics are direct quotes of things he said to her in those final moments.”

You can watch the video for "The Window" below. The album The Window is due out August 25 on Topshelf Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Ratboys, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Fri. Aug. 25 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern - SOLD OUTThu. Sep. 21 - Champaign-Urbana, IL @ Pygmalion FestivalFri. Sep. 22 - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe *Sat. Sep. 23 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd *Tue. Sep. 26 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s *Wed. Sep. 27 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *Thu. Sep. 28 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *Fri. Sep. 29 - Montreal, QC @ POP Montreal ^Sat. Sep. 30 - Toronto, ON @ Monarch Tavern ^Mon. Oct. 2 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Bottlerocket Social Hall *Tue. Oct. 3 - Cleveland, OH @ No Class *Wed. Oct. 4 - Ferndale, MI @ Magic Bag *Fri. Oct. 6 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club *Sat. Oct. 7 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee *Thu. Oct. 19 - Omaha, NE @ Reverb &Sat. Oct. 21 - Denver, CO @ Globe Hall &Sun. Oct. 22 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court &Tue. Oct. 24 - Seattle, WA @ Madame Lou’s &Wed. Oct. 25 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios &Fri. Oct. 27 - San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord &Sat. Oct. 28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room Highland Park &Sun. Oct. 29 - San Diego, CA @ The Loft at UC San Diego &Mon. Oct. 30 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room &Tue. Oct. 31 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar &Thu. Nov. 2 - San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger &Fri. Nov. 3 - Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room & Garage &Sat. Nov. 4 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada &Fri. Dec. 22 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall * =w/ Free Range&=w/ Another Michael^=w/ Ellis

Derek Smith - "Everyday"

Boston's Derek Smith has released a song that doesn't quite fit in any genre. "Everyday" is a laid back song that is mostly indie rock, but it has a little too much folk in it to quite be truly indie. But the song isn't folk enough to be folk either. There's some twang to it, but not quite enough to be country. I'm even detecting hints of hippie leaning singer/songwriter in "Everyday." The song is distinctively lo-fi without being a bedroom style track. It's kind of like if G. Love got more into early Sebadoh than the blues. It's a chilled out and interesting hodgepodge of sounds that is well worth checking out.

Derek Smith says of his upcoming album:

"This record is very 'glass half empty'. I have that specific outlook on life. But I am not always a pessimistic person. I get into my mood and then I write. I don't think I know how to write a song in a good mood. But I asked myself how I could tell a story with songs without having a linear storyline. I just wanted songs to fill gaps. If my brain was a puzzle, I needed to find the right pieces to make it feel like one complete thought. That is Obscura in a nutshell."

You can watch the video for "Everyday" below. Obscura is due out July 12 on Oak Honest Records. For more on Derek Smith, check out the artist on Instagram and Bandcamp.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Buck Meek - "Paradise"

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Despite making relatively traditional music, Buck Meek truly has his own sound. Despite the Big Thief guitarist's distinctive voice and vocal style, even the playing on his latest single, "Paradise," has it's own specific sound. The new single is almost painfully slow and oddly hypnotic. Meek's vocals seem to go on at their own pace, speeding up and slowing down as the mood changes, with instrumentation that's almost too sparse. "Paradise" is the kind of song that shouldn't work, and couldn't with any other artist. Buck Meek has almost created his very own genre of folk.

Buck Meek says of his latest single:

“Sometimes when you half-hear something spoken, something unspoken inside the words is revealed. Your mind fills in the blank, finishes the sentence, infers deep meaning - though you still can’t fully explain it. Jolie Holland sent me some of the lyrics for this song, about feeling in awe of the vastness within a loved one, and I wrote it thinking about how love often feels too big to comprehend, like death, or life after death, or space.”

You can listen to "Paradise" below. Haunted Mountain is due out August 25 on 4AD, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Buck Meek, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

Fri. Aug. 18 - Brecon Beacons, UK @ Green Man FestivalSat. Aug. 19 - Oslo, NO @ Langs AkerselvaMon. Aug. 21 - Copenhagen, DK @ StengadeTue. Aug. 22 - Berlin, DE @ Kantine am BerghainWed. Aug. 23 - Groningen, NL @ Noorderzon FestivalSat. Aug. 26 - Edinburgh, UK @ SummerhallSun. Aug. 27 - Glasgow, UK @ StereoMon. Aug. 28 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social ClubTue. Aug. 29 - Manchester, UK @ YESWed. Aug. 30 - London, UK @ LafayetteFri. Sept. 1 - Brussels, BE @ BotaniqueSun. Sept. 3 - Vlieland, NL @ Into the Great Wide Open FestivalTue. Sept. 5 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso | TolhuistuinWed. Sept. 6 - Paris, FR @ Le Hasard LudiqueTue. Sept. 12 - Milan, IT @ Magnolia Segrate *Wed. Sept. 13 - Turin, IT @ Spazio211 *Thu. Sept. 14 - Nyon, CH @ La Paranthese*Sat. Sept. 16 - Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv Club *Fri. Oct. 27 - New York, NY @ Racket * solo

Viv & Riley - "Kygers Hill"

We adored Viv & Riley's (aka Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno) 2021 self-titled album. It's blend of classic folk and modern folk delivered with gorgeous harmonies hits us right in our sweet spot, so we're thrilled to bring you a new single from the duo. "Kygers Hill" doesn't reinvent their sound. This is vintage folk meets modern pop folk, but it does show off some growth in Viv & Riley. The new song has more than a little sun-drenched California AM radio vibes, which somehow make their music even more lovely than their previous album. 

You can watch the video for "Kygers Hill" below. Imaginary People is due out September 15 on Free Dirt Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Viv & Riley, check out the artist's website.

Be Your Own Pet - "Goodtime!"

Photo by Kirt Barnett

More than the previously released singles from Be Your Own Pet's upcoming reunion album, "Goodtime!" is exactly what we should be getting from the Nashville punks in 2023. The new song is about aging and responsibilities, plus it's still punk... just a little more mellow than we're used to. It's a fun song with a killer dance friendly groove that will make you want to party like you used to, especially if you can't. It's still a rager, just a slightly more chilled out version of a rager. The only thing I don't like about "Goodtime!" is that it makes me really wish that Be Your Own Pet had still been making music over the past fifteen years.

Jemina Pearl Abegg says of the band's new single:

 “The older you get, the more responsibility and compromise, the more people that depend on you—but there’s always a little bit of missing the freedom from when you’re younger."

You can watch the video for "Goodtime!" below. Mommy is due out August 25 on Third Man Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Be Your Own Pet, check out the band on Instagram and Facebook. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

8/20 - Broadcast - Glasgow, FC

8/22 - The Key Club - Leeds, UK

8/23 - Thekla - Bristol, UK

8/24 - Concord 2 - Brighton, UK

8/27 - Rock en Seine - Paris, FR

8/29 - Rough Trade East - London, UK

8/30 - Rescue Rooms - Nottingham, UK

8/31 - Deaf Institute - Manchester, UK

9/16 - Third Man Records Blue Room - Nashville, TN

10/18 - Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC 

10/19 - Union Stage - Washington, DC  

10/21 - Elsewhere Hall - Brooklyn, NY  

10/22 - Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA

10/23 - Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH

10/24 - Third Man Records - Detroit, MI

10/25 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL

10/27 - The Back Room at Colectivo - Milwaukee, WI

10/29 - Headliners Music Hall - Louisville, KY

11/8 - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA

11/9 - Teragram Ballroom - Los Angeles, CA

11/11 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA

11/12 - Moe’s Alley - Santa Cruz, CA

11/14- Harlow’s - Sacramento, CA

11/16 - Star Theater - Portland, OR

11/17- Neumos - Seattle, WA

11/18 - The Pearl - Vancouver, BC

Eli Paperboy Reed Covers Motorhead

Last year we were pleasantly surprised by Eli Paperboy Reed's album of Merle Haggard covers. The neo-soul long timer taking on classic country songs didn't sound like it would work, but Reed pulled it off expertly. Imagine our surprise when we saw that Reed had released a cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." A soul version of a (if not the) legendary metal/punk song really shouldn't work, but this is great. Sure, there's the novelty factor of a soul version of a classic metal song at work here, but it's impossible not to enjoy Reed's version of "Ace of Spades" purely as a great song. This is a ton of fun, and a surprise must listen.

Eli Paperboy Reed says of his cover:

“‘The Ace of Spades’ basically happened by accident.  My guitar player at the time started playing the iconic riff at a soundcheck and I, having never heard the original, started playing along. The band fell in and the arrangement wrote itself.”

You can listen to Eli Paperboy Reed's take on "Ace of Spades" below. Hits and Misses: The Singles, comprised of songs formerly only available as 45 rpm singles at live shows, is due out October 20 on Yep Roc Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Eli Paperboy Reed, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Jenny Owen Youngs - "Avalanche"

Photo by Lisa Czech

It's been over a decade since Jenny Owen Youngs has released a full length studio album, so we're obviously thrilled that she has a new one coming out in September. The first single from the album, "Avalanche," was co-written by Madi Diaz, and it's the perfect kind of singer/songwriter music that has just the slightest bit of folk, country, pop, and indie rock to appeal to virtually any music fan. There are times I hate referring to music as mainstream because that's usually meant as an insult, but in this case it's apt, and when it's done this well I can't imagine anyone complaining. "Avalanche" has breezy vocals from Youngs and a gravity to it that is sure to suck you in.

Jenny Owen Youngs says of her new single:

“An avalanche is an extreme force, it can cause great harm, and when it’s over, you can be certain things will be different than they were before. When it came time to name the album, this song leapt forward as the title track, because the unifying theme of this body of songs, to me, is the idea of moving from destruction to restoration, traveling through pain to possibility.”

You can watch the visualizer for "Avalanche" below. The album Avalanche is due out September 22 via Yep Roc Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Jenny Owen Youngs, check out the artist's website.

Eyesore & The Jinx - "No More Nails"

Liverpool's Eyesore & The Jinx make the kind of jerky post-punk that's been flying out of England lately. Their newest single, "No More Nails," shows what sets them apart from the pack. The song is a driving post-punk rocker, with a foreboding guitar and that oddly dance friendly post-punk groove we tend to love here at If It's Too Loud..., but the vocals are oddly upbeat. "No More Nails" is somehow dark and cheery at the same time. There's also a bit of a sense of humor to the song, which is rare in a genre that is typically very serious. It's the kind of song that you can't quite tell if it's angry or fun, and who doesn't want that?

Josh Miller (vocals/bass) says of the new song:

"For as long as I can remember I’ve bitten my finger nails compulsively, often til they bleed. Lately they have resembled what a close family member called ‘cornflakes’ owing to their gross, little, distorted shape. It’s a habit I’ve tried to shake many times, but have failed at. I’ve speculated as to why I do this, and I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to assume that this is a symptom of an ongoing anxiety disorder.  "‘No More Nails’ then, is a song about compulsive behaviours and how we use our bodies to map our brains' complex internal processes. It’s also a song about my gross, little cornflake fingernails that I’ve bitten into oblivion, and will likely continue to do so for the rest of my days.” 

You can listen to "No More Nails" below. Jitterbug is due out November 17, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Eyesore & The Jinx, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

The Breeders - "Go Man Go"

Photo by Kevin Westenberg

Logically, I know that The Breeders' classic album Last Splash came out in 1993, and that 1993 was thirty years ago... but it still hurts. To help ease all of our pain and to celebrate the album's thirtieth anniversary, The Breeders are set to release an anniversary edition of Last Splash on two 45rpm vinyl records, plus a 12" disc with two lost tracks from the original sessions: "Go Man Go," which was co-written by Black Francis and "Divine Mascis," which is a version of "Divine Hammer" with lead vocals by J Mascis. We can listen to "Go Man Go" now, and it sounds like exactly what it is: A vintage Breeders track co-written by Black Francis. It sounds like something we've all heard hundreds if not thousands of times before, but that's only due to our love of The Breeders and Pixies. "Go Man Go" is a treat for fans, and we're going to cherish these new songs.

You can watch the video for "Go Man Go" below. Last Splash (30th Anniversary Edition) is due out September 22 on 4AD, and is available for pre-order here. For more on The Breeders, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video which will feature Last Splash performed in its entirety!

3 August – BOISE, ID, USA, Knitting Factory

4 August – SPOKANE, WA, USA, Spokane Arena *

6 August – BIG SKY, MT, USA, Wildlands Festival

8 August – WEST VALLEY CITY, UT, USA, USANA Amphitheatre *

10 August – STATELINE, NV, USA, Lake Tahae Outdoor Arena at Harveys *

25-26 August – ABIQUIU, NM, USA, Ghost Ranch Music Festival

7 September – CLEVELAND, OH, USA, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ^

8 September – COLUMBUS, OH, USA, KEMBA Live! ^

15 September – CHICAGO, IL, USA, Riot Fest

17 September – ASBURY PARK, NJ, USA, Sea.Hear.Now. Festival

19 September – VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, USA, Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater *

20 September – PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA, Fillmore %

21 September – SILVER SPRINGS, MD, USA, Fillmore %

23 September – BROOKLYN, NY, USA, Kings Theater %

24 September – BOSTON, MA, USA, House of Blues %

3 October – PHOENIX, AZ, USA, Talking Stick Resort *

5 October – EL PASO, TX, USA, Don Haskins Center *

6-8 October – AUSTIN, TX, USA, Austin City Limits Music Festival

13-15 October – AUSTIN, TX, USA, Austin City Limits Music Festival

19 October – LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, The Wiltern #

20 October – SAN DIEGO, CA, USA, Observatory #

22 October – BIG SUR, CA, USA, Henry Miller Library #

23 October – SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, The Warfield #

25 October – SEATTLE, WA, USA, Paramount #

* with Foo Fighters

^ with Horsegirl

% with Screaming Females

# with Belly

Live Shows: Kiltro, Club Passim, Cambridge, MA 6/26/23

Photo by Julian Brier

I became completely enamored with Kiltro back in April when I first heard "Guanaco." The mixture of Latin folk and shoegaze was nothing like anything I'd heard before, and each single just sucked me in more and more. Since Underbelly was released earlier this month, I've played it an embarrassing amount of times, and get more and more into it each time. Sometimes you can just tell when a band will be amazing live, so I had to check them out when they came to Boston at the legendary Club Passim.

I certainly wasn't expecting the configuration Kiltro is currently touring as. Chris Bowers was on vocals, guitar, keyboard, and loops, and was joined by a bass player, a second guitarist, and two drummers. In case that wasn't enough percussion for you, Bowers also used loops to record and play finger snaps, hand claps, tapping on his guitar, etc. Between the two drum sets, large effects pedal set up, keyboards, and a five person band, there wasn't a ton of room on stage. The bass player was on the outer edge by the emergency exit, and one drum kit was precariously on the edge of the stage.

It was all worth it once they began playing. The audience was awash with the sounds of Kiltro, and the sold out room was mesmerized from the first note. The sounds coming from the stage were simultaneously relaxing, intense, and demanded that the listener move, even if just a little. I think my only complaint of the night is that Club Passim is a seated, dinner style venue, and Kiltro play music more suited to standing and dancing. Latin folk isn't something I would ever think should be paired with shoegaze and alt-rock, but Kiltro would prove me wrong. Passim crowds tend to be more reserved and politely applaud between songs, but on Monday night there was a thunderous and long ovation between every single song. And it was well deserved.

Chris Bowers ended the evening by playing the song "Kiltro" solo. It was just him and his guitar without any effects. Even stripped down, these are incredible songs that you simply need to see performed live.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 23 June 2023

Artist: Johanna Samuels
Album: Bystander
Quick Thoughts: Johanna Samuel's latest is a gorgeous folk-adjacent listen, to be sure, but I want to especially note that this gives off immense Aimee Mann vibes in all the best ways. It's an introspective, interesting record with some great songwriting and absolutely memorable moments. Easily my favorite of the week and one I'm looking forward to getting back to.
Songs of Note: "Holy Mothers," "Golden Gate," "Valentine's Day is Stupid"

Artist: The Watson Twins
Album: Holler
Quick Thoughts: Most people (still) only know the Watson Twins from their work with Jenny Lewis on her first solo album, and it's not fair. The two women have put out some consistent roots efforts over the years, and Holler is good enough where I start to wonder why they're not talked about more. Do not skip this one, it's a great listen.
Songs of Note: "Holler," "Sissy Said," "The Palace," "Love You the Best"

Artist: Skating Polly
Album: Chaos County Line
Quick Thoughts: Skating Polly keeps coming out with alt/punk records with a little attitude and a lot going for it, and I always sit back and wonder why I don't listen to them more. If you're a fan of Skating Polly, you know you'll like this already, but for a band that's only been releasing music for a decade, it's great to chart their growth alongside the fact that they still aren't playing to any particular crowd.
Songs of Note: "Hickey King," "Hush Now," "Singalong," "Man Out There," "Send a Priest"

Artist: Lloyd Cole
Album: On Pain
Quick Thoughts: Lloyd Cole has a particular popularity that has never quite grabbed me. It's not a fault of his songwriting or anything like that - it's just not always for me. On Pain, in contrast, definitely feels like it was made for me in a lot of ways. It's a unique listen from a unique voice (literally and figuratively), and it's very likely that if you haven't checked out his flavor of singer-songwriter, this could be the entry point you've sought. Make time for this.
Songs of Note: "On Pain," "Warm By the Fire"

Of note:

* Swans - The Beggar (An interesting record from a band that I haven't been able to get into yet.)
* Sleepy Kitty - Blessing/Curse (A really solid indie rock record.)
* Geese - 3D Country (Fascinatingly compelling.)
* Lunice - OPEN
* De Lux - Love is Hard Work
* Kim Petras - Feed the Beast
* Slow Point - Slow Point
* Caitlin Canty - Quiet Flame
* Cable Ties - All Her Plans
* V/Z - Suono Assente
* Wye Oak - Every Day Like the Last
* Sword II - Spirit World Tour
* Valley - Lost in Translation
* Bobby Lee - Endless Skyways
* Squitch - Tumbledown Mountain
* Clea - Idle Light
* Lastlings - Perfect World
* M. Ward - Supernatural Thing
* Portugal. The Man - Chris Black Changed My Life
* Albert Hammond Jr - Melodies on Hiatus
* Jacob Morris - Slow Funeral
* Big Freedia - Central City
* Maisie Peters - The Good Witch
* Bobbie Nelson and Amanda Shires - Loving You
* Pardoner - Peace Loving People
* Bully Pulpit - Natural Flavors


* Daisy Grenade - Cult Classic
* 8485 - Personal Protocol
* Mise En Scene - Reality Bites
* MEMORY MOTEL - Multiplicity
* CS Cleaners - Drolomon
* Wallice - Mr Big Shot

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Helen Love - Yeah Yeah We're Helen Love
* Tropical Fuck Storm - Goody Goody Gumdrops

Also out:

* A Very Special Episode - Freak Me Out
* Flesh and The Dream - Choose Mortality

Owen FitzGerald - "I Went Back in Time (To Tell You I Love You)"

Photo by Shannon Kelley

Durham, NC's Owen FitzGerald has created one of the most unique love songs you've ever heard. "I Went Back in Time (To Tell You I Love You)" is an indie rock meets folk rocker that imagines FitzGerald going back in time to meet his wife before they met, but then abandoning the plan since doing so could jeopardize everything (the laws of time travel and all...) It's a ridiculously fun song filled with a bunch of fuzz and heart, along with the perfect amount of twang. FitzGerald has hit the perfect mix of indie rock and folk, which is kind of our sweet spot around here, so obviously we're going to be on board for a song this epic.

Owen FitzGerald says of the song:

“I wrote this song for her birthday, and as I wrote I realized: I'm so glad she didn't know me in my 20s. It wasn't the right time, but I'm so glad I know her now.  Where will our timeline go next? I'm still greedy for our future.”

You can listen to "I Went Back in Time (To Tell You I Loved You)" below. The song is available as the B-side to Own FitzGerald's "Santa Monica" single, which is out now via Sleepy Cat Records. For more on Owen FitzGerald, check out the artist on Instagram and Facebook.

Film School - "Tape Rewind"

Photo by Steve Simco

Film School were one of the premier "nu-gaze" bands of the early 2000's, which is a movement that truly should be revisited. The band took a little bit of time off, but have been consistently making music all this time. Their latest single, "Tape Rewind," is pure early 2000's shoegaze. It has all the fuzz and drone needed for any proper shoegaze song, but there's just that slight edge to it that always seemed to set Film School apart. There is beauty in "Tape Rewind," but also an aggression bubbling just under the surface. To be honest, Film School are a band that slipped off my radar for a bit, but this song is going to inspire us all to revisit their twenty-plus year catalog.

You can watch the video for "Tape Rewind" below. Field is due out August 25 on Felte, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Film School, check out the band's website.

Senseless Optimism - "lost my mind (in yours)"

One of the most intriguing and exciting Boston artists we've discovered recently is Senseless Optimism. The musical project of Brittany Tsewole, Senseless Optimism is pure indie pop with some strong roots in folk. The latest single, "lost my mind (in yours)," is a two minute song that is endlessly listenable. It combines varying elements of soul, pop, folk, and modern R&B to create a song that is instantly classic and completely modern. It's laid back but demands that you move while listening as intently as you can. Tsewole is the kind of artist that is primed to break out at any time based on pure talent and that certain something that is pure charisma. Plus, a song like "lost my mind (in yours)" can easily appeal to fans of more mainstream pop and indie snobs equally. 

You can listen to "lost my mind (in yours)" below. For more on Senseless Optimism, check out the artist on Instagram and Facebook.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Psych Ward Disco - "Not Destroyed"

Photo by Daryl Averill Jr.

Hailing from Laconia, NH, the debut single from Psych Ward Disco is merging far too many genres to work, but somehow it does. "Not Destroyed" is mostly a punk song, but even then it can't decide what kind of punk song it is. There are some elements of hardcore in the song (especially in the gang vocals), but it's also too melodic and with far too much of a pop slant to be truly hardcore. You'll also hear some of the more modern punk sound that is more than a little dance friendly, especially singer/bassist Amelia Tarling's vocals. And then there is the guitar solo, which is straight up thrash metal. "Not Destroyed" should be a complete mess, but it ends up being a killer debut single from a band we can't wait to hear more from.

You can listen to "Not Destroyed" below. For more on Pysch Ward Disco, check out the band on Facebook.

Tamar Berk - "drop in the bucket"

Each time we've brought you new music from Tamar Berk, we always compare it to classic 90's artists like Liz Phair, Tori Amos, and Mary Lou Lord. With her latest, Berk is going back to the classic alternative of the 80's. "drop in the bucket" is synth heavy enough to remind you of New Wave, especially at the beginning. The sound softens out a bit, and the obvious comparison (especially over the past year) will be Kate Bush. "drop in the bucket" has a little more of a mainstream pop sound to it than Bush's now classics did back then. It's more of a Belinda Carlisle meets Kate Bush sound, and I don't think anyone will not want to hear that. Sometimes going back to your past can freshen up an artist's sound, and this has us dying to hear what Tamar Berk has planned next.

You can listen to "drop in the bucket" below. tiny injuries is due out August 18, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Tamar Berk, check out the artist on Instagram and Twitter.

Betty Davis - "Crashin' from Passion"

Photo by Mel Dixon

I first discovered Betty Davis thanks to an episode of About a Girl that profiled her. I was intrigued by the story of the funk legend who I had never heard of, and just how far she pushed boundaries with her overt sexuality in the 1970's. I listened to her albums on Spotify and became a fan immediately.

Now Light in the Attic is giving four of her albums a much deserved reissue. That includes unreleased music, and the first of that is "Crashin' from Passion." These four albums all met Betty Davis' approval before she passed away last year. This song is a raw funk song from Davis' final sessions in 1979. There is more than a little disco creeping into the sound, but this is still perfect for all fans of vintage, classic funk. If you're already a fan of Betty Davis, you already know you love this. If you're just discovering her, you're in for a treat!

You can listen to "Crashin' for Passion" below. The reissues of Betty Davis' albums are due out August 25 on Light in the Attic, and are available for pre-order here