Wednesday, January 31, 2024

gglum featuring Kamal - "Do You See Me Different?"

Photo by Sam Smoker

gglum is London born singer-songwriter Ella Smoker. Her new single, "Do You See Me Different?," is a dream-like track that is a little pop, and also a little indie rock and folk. The song is lush yet feels sparse. It's the kind of song that sucks you in from the opening guitar, and then pulls you even deeper in once Smoker starts singing. "Do You See Me Different?" sound like if dream pop went folk, and is going to appeal to fans of artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Blondshell. gglum has crafted a song that is cheerily hypnotic, and delightfully mesmerizing. And that's even before Kamal's engaging guest spot.

Ella Smoker says of her upcoming debut album:

At the time of writing it, I was having so many nightmares, just straight-up graphic and disturbing stuff. I think it was my subconscious telling me I had shit I needed to deal with, a lot of the mistrust I’ve had since I was a teenager. It was weirdly good timing, because I'm at a point in my life now where I'm actually pretty happy, and am in a good place to look back.

You can watch the video for "Do You See Me Different?" below. The Garden Dream is due out March 29 on Secretly Canadian, and is available for pre-order here. For more on gglum, check out the artist's website.

TELL - "Owned"

Photo by Dan Saltzman

TELL just sounds like a Boston band. The band, led by musician, writer, and novelist David Wildman, just released a new single, "Owned." The new single sounds like a smorgasbord of Boston rock. It starts off with a more gritty, early 80's scene sound. It's that sound that came after punk, but before the more experimental post punk sound started. From there, "Owned" moves through 80's New Wave and 90's power pop. It does all of this while still sounding like the same song throughout its sonic transformations. Plus, it just has that old school sound like it was secretly recorded at least three decades ago. TELL are the kind of band that is going to hit a nostalgia button if you were involved in the Boston music scene at any point in the previous century.

David Wildman says of the band's upcoming album:

“Lyrically, the album is awash in the experience we all have of living through these dark, weird times together, connected mostly through social media. It’s nearly impossible to avoid politics for me, so a number of the songs make reference to the cult-like mindset of a huge chunk of the population out there.”

You can listen to "Owned" below. Life in Reverse is due out February 9. For more on TELL, check out the band's website. They have an album release party scheduled for February 9 at The Middle East in Cambridge with Charming Arson, The Daylilies, and D-Tension.

Odie Leigh - "No Doubt"

Hailing from New Orleans, Odie Leigh just signed with Mom+Pop and released her first song on the label. "No Doubt" is reminiscent of 90's era alt-rock meets singer-songwriter fare. It's an upbeat song that is undeniably catchy. It leans a little bit into folk territory, but just by a little bit. Leigh has an irresistible charm that just draws you in and refuses to let you go. And then the horn section comes in. If you haven't been fully won over by "No Doubt" at that point, you certainly will be. We're looking forward to hearing more from Odie Leigh sooner than later.

You can watch the video for "No Doubt" below. The single is available now via Mom+Pop Music. For more on Odie Leigh, check out the artist's website.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 26 January 2024

Artist: Future Islands
Album: People Who Aren't There Anymore
Quick Thoughts: When "Seasons (Waiting On You)" became a surprise critical favorite, complete with chaotic Letterman/Jools Holland performances, I wasn't sure if their brand of synth-forward indie rock would work with Samuel T. Herring's unique voice in the long term. They've remained a favorite of the indie set, but People Who Aren't There Anymore feels like an accessible entrypoint in a way they haven't gone before. "King of Sweden" and "The Tower" in particular both feel epic and present, and the album gives a mood of a true journey across its tracklisting. I loved this, and in a week with a lot of really solid releases this shouldn't be ignored.
Songs of Note: "King of Sweden," "The Tower," "Give Me The Ghost Back," "The Thief," "Iris," "Peach"

Artist: Angry Blackmen
Album: The Legend of ABM
Quick Thoughts: Ken sent this to me with the note that I'll either be obsessed with it or hate it outright. It's the former: The Legend of ABM has a dystopian industrial feel that feels like an unholy marriage between Richard D. James and Tyler, the Creator, which probably raises more questions than it answers. It's a chaos demon wrapped up in alternative hip-hop and I am very hear for it. This won't be for everybody, but if it's for you, you'll absolutely figure that out quickly.
Songs of Note: "FNA," "Sabotage," "Amor Propio," "Outsiders"

Artist: TORRES
Album: What an enormous room
Quick Thoughts: Ah, TORRES. I was shocked to see how many albums we have from her at this point because every single one builds upon and improves on the next. What an enormous room showcases a singer-songwriter at the height of her powers, and demonstrates that she is someone more people should be hearing. A mandatory listen this week. (Also, unexpected appearance from Sarah Jaffe!)
Songs of Note: "I got the fear," "Artificial limits," "Wake to flowers," "Forever home"

Artist: Cheekface
Album: It's Sorted
Quick Thoughts: Cheekface is party music for people who aren't really into parties but wish Cake wasn't so serious all the time, which means it's music for me and it's great. It's Sorted feels like it has more singing than their previous efforts, which is more than fine unless the sort of gimmick Cheekface puts forward is the appeal for you. For me, I liked their last album a lot and I think I might like this one even more? It's sneaky great, and it's a great start to the year.
Songs of Note: "The Fringe," "I Am Continuing to Do My Thing," "Grad School," "Life in a Bag"

Artist: Office Dog
Album: Spiel
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to shout out Office Dog's album here. It's classic alt-rock in all its forms, with the right balance of indie grit and mainstream determination. Absolutely worth the time this week, and it has a lot of solid songs going for it.
Songs of Note: "Antidote," "Gleam," "Teeth"

Of note:

* Sarah Jarosz - Polaroid Lovers (An unexpected poppish turn from the roots favorite.)
* Willi Carlisle - Critterland (Fun, pure Americana.)
* Masta Ace & Marco Polo - Richmond Hill (Best rap record of the week, bar none.)
* William Elliott Whitmore - Silently, the Mind Breaks (Stark, wonderful folk music.)
* Ludalloy - Lumenari
* R.A.P. Ferreira and Fumitake Tamura - the First Fist to Make Contact When We Dap
* FRUITBAT - Speak No Evil
* Mol Sullivan - GOOSE
* Elena Setien - Moonlit Reveries
* Katy Kirby - Blue Raspberry
* Craig Wedren - The Dream Dreaming
* Any Other - stillness, stop: you have a right to remember
* The Umbrellas - Fairweather Friend
* NewDad - MADRA
* Nico de Andrea - Love Therapy
* Yvncc - Quan Shoppe
* The Smile - Wall of Eyes
* slowshift - world going one way
* Etta Marcus - The Death of Summer & Other Promises
* Courting - New Last Name
* Tapir! - The Pilgrim, Their God, and the King of My Decrepit Mountain
* Astrid Sonne - Great Doubt
* Large Brush Collection - Off Center
* Mall Girl - Pure Love
* GUHTS - Regeneration
* O-D-EX - Breaker
* Ty Segall - Three Bells


* Coffintexts - Suave
* Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Black Tape EP
* Matt Pond PA and Alexa Rose - Call and Response
* Akira Galaxy - What's Inside You
* Bug Bath - World of Fools
* Che Noir - The Color Chocolate, Vol. 1
* They Hate Change - Wish You Were Here...

Also out:

* Conner Smith - Smoky Mountains
* Ramriddlz - Gyalaxy
* evilgiane - #HEAVENSGATE VOL. 1

TEKE::TEKE Covers The Clash

Photo courtesy TEKE::TEKE

Last year we discovered the excellent Montreal based Japanese psych band TEKE::TEKE, so we couldn't be more thrilled to discover they're part of an upcoming tribute album for The Clash. They chose to cover "Bankrobber," and while it is true to the original, TEKE::TEKE make it their own. Vocalist Maya Kuroki chose to sing the lyrics in Japanese which was inspired by an avant-garde musical movement in Japan happening at the same time as punk in the UK. The result is a version that is less dub inspired and more experimental... and also a little more traditional and folky. It's not a way I expected to hear a classic from The Clash done, but if you're a fan of The Clash, that's what makes it perfect.

Sei Nakauchi Pelletier says of the band's decision to cover "Bankrobber":

“‘Bankrobber’ was the first ever song I heard from The Clash, it was on a compilation tape a dear friend of mine had made for me in my early 20’s. The Clash went on to become one of my favorite and most-inspiring rock bands of all-time, way beyond their musical genius but also for their political stances and DIY approach.” 

You can listen to TEKE::TEKE's version of "Bankrobber" below. Hearts & Minds & Crooked Beats is due out on February 7 (International Clash Day) and benefits the International Rescue Committee and their work with refugees. For more on TEKE::TEKE, check out the band's website.

Castle Rat - "Dagger Dragger"

Photo by Olivia Cummings

It's been nearly four years since I decided to see what Riley Pinkerton was up to and discovered her new band, Castle Rat. I was expecting more of the unique singer-songwriter and folk music I loved from Pinkerton, and instead was floored by the "Medieval Fantasy Doom Metal" of her new project. Their upcoming debut album was recorded in a one hundred fifty year old church in Philadelphia that is possibly/definitely haunted. Their latest single, "Dagger Dragger," is this glorious level of over the top doom metal without being cartoonish. It's dark, but also a lot of fun. There's a psychedelic feel throughout the song, which is some of my favorite style of metal. It's a little Dio era Sabbath, a little Gwar, a little bit of Kiss... even if that doesn't sound like your kind of thing, I urge you to try out "Dagger Dragger."

Vocalist Riley Pinkerton says of the upcoming album:

“It’s taken a couple years to see this record through, and it is so exciting and rewarding to finally be welcoming it into the world. A huge part of the time it’s taken to release it has been finding someone we could trust to see our vision and bring Into The Realm into the universe with the same amount of love and passion we poured into it — and King Volume is undoubtedly that label."

You can watch the video for "Dagger Dragger" below. Into the Realm is due out April 12 on King Volume Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Castle Rat, check out the band on Instagram.

Mary Timony - "Summer"

Photo by Chris Grady

As we all prepare ourselves for the release of indie rock legend Mary Timony's first new solo album in fifteen years later this month, she's released a new single off of it. "Summer" doesn't exactly sound like summer. It's a mid-tempo guitar rocker that kind of plods along, driven by guitar solos towards the end. It's definitely a song that sounds like Mary Timony, but it feels like more of a straightforward rock song than we're used to from the artist. It's a very air guitar friendly song that has us ready to hear more as soon as possible.

Mary Timony says of her new single:

 “I wanted it to be a guitar stomper kind of in the vein of The Kinks, Jethro Tull or Elf and have simultaneous guitar solos at the end. I’m excited to play this one live. Betsy Wright of Ex Hex will be on guitar, and I can’t wait to rock those twin solos with her! I’ll also be joined by David ChristianChad Molter, and Anna Wilson. They are all such totally killer musicians.”

You can watch the visualizer for "Summer" below. Untame the Tiger is due out February 23 on Merge Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Mary Timony, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Wed. Feb. 28 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar *Thu. Feb. 29 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s *Fri. Mar. 1 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *Sat. Mar. 2 - Somerville, MA @ Crystal Ballroom *Sun. Mar. 3 - Amherst, MA @ The Drake ^Tue. Mar. 5 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern ^Wed. Mar. 6 - Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle ^Fri. Mar. 8 - Cudahy, WI @ X-Ray Arcade ^Sat. Mar. 9 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry ^Mon. Mar. 11 - Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Eccentric Cafe ^Tue. Mar. 12 - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe ^Wed. Mar. 13 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Warhol Entrance Space ^Thu. Mar. 14 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat *Thu. Mar. 21 - Boise, ID @ Treefort Music FestSat. Mar. 23 - Seattle, WA @ Clock-Out Lounge %Sun. Mar. 24 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios %Tue. Mar. 26 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop %Wed. Mar. 27 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium %Thu. Mar. 28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room %Fri. Mar. 29 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah %Sat. Mar. 30 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room %Tue. July 23 - Richmond, VA @ The Canal ClubFri. July 26 - Nashville, TN @ Blue RoomSat. July 27 - Atlanta, GA @ The EarlSun. July 28 - Asheville, NC @ Eulogy * w/ Birthday Girl DC^ w/ Youbet% w/ Rosali

'92 - "Above the Law"

Photo by Oscar Rodriguez

Rap rock gets a bad rep... usually for a good reason. But those of us that were around in the early 90's remember how exciting hearing Public Enemy team with Anthrax, and then the Judgment Night soundtrack blew all of our minds. That's where '92 come in. The Long Beach, CA hardcore band's new single, "Above the Law," meld hardcore with hip hop in a way that I've never heard before. Vocalist Jabril Ward attacks his vocals. He's rapping, but in a gritty way that fits the music behind him. While a hybrid of rap and rock has long seemed like a novelty, '92 make it sound like this is how it's always supposed to have sounded. "Above the Law" is a thrilling new single that sounds both familiar and fresh.

'92 says of their upcoming EP:

"We can’t even express how excited we are for this EP to finally be shown to the world. We’ve been working on these songs for years - since pre-pandemic - and at the time, it felt like they would never see the light of day. However, after seeing the way the world has drastically changed since 2020, it’s no wonder why the songs needed to wait to come out. All the fuel was there, but the last few years provided the spark needed to set this ablaze. Welcome to ‘92.”

You can watch the video for "Above the Law" below. '92's self-titled debut EP is due out February 23 on Rude Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on '92, check out the band on Instagram and Facebook.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Live Shows: TORRES and Addie, The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 1/27/23

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

The first time I saw TORRES (January 22, 2016 at Great Scott with Palehound) was almost eight years to the day of Mackenzie Scott's most recent performance in Boston. After seeing that show, I thought TORRES was a good artist who would one day be great. I've been watching her grow and evolve as an artist over the past eight years, and I'm thrilled to say that I was correct.

TORRES' set was delayed a bit due to some technical issues with the keyboard, but one of the good things about shows in small clubs is that a late start kind of adds to the fun of the night. Scott got very chatty with the crowd while the issue was being worked on, and it just added to the intimate feel of the show. In fact, chatty was one of the themes of the night as she introduced most of her new songs with a bit of an explanation. (The fantastic What an enormous room was released just the day before the show.) Finally, the music was able to start.

And what a show it was. Scott has become quite the frontperson and rock star, and seemed to truly enjoy the performance aspect of the night. TORRES played most of the songs off the just released What an enormous room which was not a problem as it's a great album, and despite it being released less than forty-eight hours before, most of the crowd already knew every word. 

Hearing older songs interspersed between the new ones shows just how far TORRES has come as an artist, but also showed how all of her music fits in together. As experimental as the songs are on her new album, they fit perfectly with more pop oriented songs like "Don't Go Puttin' Wishes in My Head" and "Thirstier." Even a ten year old song like "Sprinter" (which Scott explained now has a completely different meaning to her now then when she wrote it) meshed into the setlist splendidly. 

TORRES closed out the set with "Helen in the Woods" (off 2017's Three Futures) which has morphed into a noise rock epic that would make Sonic Youth proud. The song ended with Scott performing a Prince style phallic guitar solo, which she did expertly. She came back solo for a one song encore of "Gracious Day," which was the perfectly melancholy way to end the evening. 

Boston's Addie opened up the show, and might have been a perfect choice. Led by Adeline Vamenta, the band had a viral hit back in 2018 with "Drive Slow," but focused on newer songs for their set. They play an upbeat style of pop leaning indie rock that allows Vamenta to truly shine as a performer. They're an incredibly fun band that put on a fun show as TORRES' crowd trickled in, and even had quite a few of their own fans in attendance. Vamenta mentioned that she's most likely leaving Boston once she graduates Berklee in May, so we should all make an extra effort to get out and see them over the next four months.

Ella Ronen featuring Sam Cohen - "I Just Want to See You"

Photo by Alessandra Leime

Get ready for one of the most mesmerizing duets of the young year! Ella Ronen teamed with Sam Cohen on her latest single, and you'll agree that we all want more of this pairing. "I Just Want to See You Again" is an impossibly compelling song that mixes folk/Americana with a little bit of cabaret and indie rock to outstanding results. The song is intensely personal and intimate, despite having a full and lush production. The vocals between Ronen and Cohen are delivered in a way that makes you feel like you're listening in on a deeply personal discussion between two people. It reminds me a little of the songs from the film Once.

You can watch the video for "I Just Want to See You" below. The Girl with No Skin is due out March 8 on BB*Island, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Ella Ronen, check out the artist's website

The Promised End - "The Buried and the Broken"

Photo by Brittany Rose Queen

The Promised End is set to release their debut album this Friday, and they've released the title track (ish) from that album. "The Buried and the Broken" is still the politically charged melodic hardcore that we've come to expect after the previous two singles, but what's unexpected is that the new single is both the heaviest and most pop single they've released so far. "The Buried and the Broken" crosses closely to both pop punk and emo, but it's just far too heavy to truly be either of those. This is a hard and fast hardcore song with the most vicious gang vocals you've heard in ages. Plus, there is some straight up metal guitar all over this track. Expect The Promised End to be making some big waves all over 2024 with this one.

Vocalist Paul Picillo says of the new song:

"These lives are wasted, shattered and longing to be whole. The first we tasted has now taken hold. Until the skin is cold."

You can listen to "The Buried and the Broken" below. TFor the Buried and the Broken is due out February 2 on Sound Investment Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on The Promised End, check out the band on Instagram.

Charming Disaster - "Stockholm Syndrome"

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Our favorite gothic cabaret folk duo are back with a new single. For their latest single, Charming Disaster have decided to mix it up a bit. "Stockholm Syndrome" was inspired by Gang of Four, Bloc Party, and Bonnie & Clyde. (They explain they mean both the Gainsbourg/Bardot song and the real life Bonnie and Clyde.) With that explanation, you'd expect a new sound from Charming Disaster, and you would be correct. But what's weird is that even though it's a dance friendly post-punk song, it still sounds exactly like a Charming Disaster song. It's rare to be surprised that a band sounds like themselves, but when the style is this different from their norm, you can forgive us.

Charming Disaster say of their new song:

"'Stockholm Syndrome' refers to the phenomenon where a hostage begins to identify with their kidnapper. But who is the captor and who is the captive? Sometimes things get a little complicated."

You can listen to "Stockholm Syndrome" below. The song is currently available via Bandcamp. For more on Charming Disaster, check out the band's website.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Bnny - "Good Stuff"

Photo by Alexa Viscius

Bnny, the musical project of Chicago's Jessica Viscius, is back with new music. "Good Stuff" is a hypnotic and synth-laden new single that is as moody as it is catchy. It's one of those songs that is just as mainstream as it is alternative. Viscius has quickly become a master of taking 90's style indie rock and filtering it through a more modern sound. "Good Stuff" reminds me of 90's dream pop artists like The Sundays but with a more modern version reminiscent of an artist like Phoebe Bridgers. This is a gorgeous song that will instantly suck you in and refuse to let you go, not that you'd want it to.

Jessica Viscius says of her latest single:

“It’s a breakup song, but it’s hopeful, optimistic even. Or perhaps it’s just the denial, hoping things will be different next time, hoping that love can save you.”

You can watch the video for "Good Stuff" below. One Million Love Songs is due out April 5 on Fire Talk Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Bnny, check out the artist's website.

Frank Turner - "Do One"

Photo by Shannon Shumaker

I still consider Frank Turner one of my "new" artists even though I discovered him about thirteen years ago and he's about to release his tenth album. His albums typically go from good to phenomenal for me, and based on his latest single, this upcoming album could be one of the better ones. "Do One" has that level of confidence you only get from an artist who has been around as long as Turner has. It starts off as one of his more folky tunes, and then the rock kicks in. It's not a full on punk rock song, but Turner has long mastered finding that middle ground between folk and punk. "Do One" is just a straight up great rock song that's going to appeal to the folks, punks, and even mainstream rock fans. But that's just the magic of Frank Turner in 2024.

Frank Turner says of his latest single:

“‘Do One’ is the last song I wrote for the new album, and the first song on that album, as well as the first single. So it’s a summation of what I’m trying to say with this record, a record about survival and defiance, but also one with a sense of fun and self-deprecation. 19 years into my solo career, I’m still standing up and putting out some of my best work. It feels good.”

You can watch the video for "Do One" below. Undefeated is due out May 3 on Xtra Mile Recordings, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Frank Turner, check out his website.

Robber Robber - "Sea or War"

Photo by Joey Krouse

Hailing from Burlington, VT, Robber Robber have one of the more unique takes on the current 90's indie rock revival sound. Their latest single, "Sea or War," is an intense song that feels like it's moving much faster than it is. The speed of the music doesn't quite match up with Nina Cates' vocals which creates a strong tension throughout the song. The entire song feels like that moment in a Sonic Youth song where it's just about to explode. But "Sea or War" never does. Plus, Robber Robber adds in some electronic/dance elements to the song, and I may be detecting a hint of jam band influence, but that could just be because I know they're from Burlington.

Robber Robber says of their new single: 

“‘Sea or War’ explores how fine the balance feels between comfort and futility. There are various opposing forces being fused together, which can be felt in the lyrics, musical arrangement, and production.”

You can watch the video for "Sea or War" below. For more on Robber Robber, check them out on Instagram and Bandcamp. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Thu. Feb. 1  - Burlington, VT @ Radio BeanFri. Feb. 2 - Northampton, MA @ 90 King St.Sat. Feb. 3  - Brooklyn, NY @ The Sultan RoomThu. March 28 - Boston, MA @ O’Briens Pub * * = w/ Thus Love and Native Sun

Billy Tibbals - "Burn Out!"

Photo by Miranda Penn Turin

We tend to love combinations of garage rock and glam here at If It's Too Loud..., so we're obviously going to adore the retro rock of Billy Tibbals. Tibbals was born and raised in London before his family moved to Los Angeles when he was eleven. His latest single, "Burn Out!," sounds much more 70's London than 2024 Los Angeles. It's pure glitter and glam. If you told me that Tibbals was recording a lost T. Rex song, I would completely believe you. "Burn Out!" is just pure rock and roll fun and swagger mixed up with the best parts of power pop and glam. Sometimes you just want rock that's fun, and that's what Billy Tibbals provides.

Billy Tibbals says of his new single:

“‘Burn Out!’ is the wild opening track of the new record. It’s a sort of cautionary tale of a jaded rock and roll star. I guess it’s sort of expressing my fears of falling into some of those less appealing clichés of the genre. That’s not gonna happen though!” 

You can watch the video for "Burn Out!" below. Nightlight Stories is due out April 26 on Silver Arrow Records. For more on Billy Tibbals, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates opening for The Black Crowes are below the video.

April 8             Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
April 10          Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Financial Theatre
April 12          Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
April 15          Seattle, WA @ McCaw Hall
April 16          Vancouver, Canada @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Sinseers - "Can't Do That to Her"

Photo via Facebook

The Sinseers are a So-Cal lowrider soul ensemble that specialize in vintage soul. Their latest single, "Can't Do That to Her," doesn't sound like anything made in 2024. This is pure vintage 1960's style soul music. The song's production even mimics how music recorded sixty years ago sounds, which just adds to the effect that this is a long lost recording just discovered in mint condition. There's a reason why The Sinseers are considered California's premier "souldies" group (which might be the greatest genre name of all time.) This is a great one, perfect for soul fans of any style.

You can listen to "Can't Do That to Her" below. Sinseerly Yours, the debut album from The Sinseers, is due out March 22 on Colemine Records. It is available for pre-order here. For more on The Sinseers, check out the band on Instagram and Facebook.

Squid - "Fugue (Bin Song)"

Photo by StudioUJ

Last year saw the release of Squid's fantastic album O Monolith, and the British noisemakers are about to head out on a North American tour. They've also just released a new single, "Fugue (Bin Song)." The new song was recorded during the O Monolith sessions but didn't make the album. It's a fantastic song that has a little bit of Britpop mixed into their post punk and noise rock. "Fugue (Bin Song)" grooves even harder than it rocks, which is quite the feat. It's this delightfully odd mixture of Blur, The Hold Steady, The Dismemberment Plan, and Sonic Youth. Squid are masters of making music you don't know if you're supposed to stroke your chin to or dance up a storm, and this new song lands right in that space.

You can listen to "Fugue (Bin Song)" below. For more on Squid, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song, including a very romantic Valentine's Day show in Boston at The Paradise.

Fri. Feb. 2 - Austin, TX @ The Parish *Sat. Feb. 3 - Dallas, TX @ Dada *Mon. Feb. 5 - Nashville, TN @ Basement East *Tue. Feb. 6 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West *Thu. Feb. 8 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club *Fri. Feb. 9 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *Sat. Feb. 10 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel *Wed. Feb. 14 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club*Thu. Feb. 15 - Montreal, QC @ SAT *Fri. Feb. 16 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre *Sun. Feb. 18 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *Mon. Feb. 19 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line *Fri. Feb. 23 - Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall *Sat. Feb. 24 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre *Sun. Feb. 25 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *Tue. Feb. 27 - San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom *Thu. Feb. 29 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory *Fri. March 1 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco * * w/ Water From Your Eyes

CJ Honey - "Bird Bones"

Back in December CJ Honey released their debut single. We might be a bit late with it, but we hope you'll forgive us once you hear it. "Bird Bones" starts off as a solid pop-rock song. It starts to win you over with its jangly guitars, and singer Charlie Jedrey finalizes the deal with her soulful vocals. Her voice isn't quite a traditional soulful lead singer's voice, but there is just something about it that draws you right in. And then the guitars swap to a more grunge sound, which then lead into a surprisingly great guitar solo. "Bird Bones" imagines a world where 90's Adult Contemporary hard a harder, more indie rock edge.

You can listen to "Bird Bones" below. For more on CJ Honey, check out the band on Instagram. If you're in the Boston area, they play their debut show this Sunday (January 28) at O'Brien's in Allston.

You're Going to Need to Trek Up to Keene, NH for this Year's The Thing in the Spring

The Thing in the Spring has been a southwest New Hampshire staple for quite a while now, sporting some of the most eclectic line ups around. This is especially impressive since Keene, NH (and Peterborough before it) isn't exactly the hippest or most metropolitan of areas. They certainly know what they're doing, especially since the 2024 festival is four days of amazing music.

The whole thing kicks off on Thursday night with an eight band bill that includes Modern Fools, Paper Castles, Jake McElvie, and Rick Rude. Friday is a rager that boasts The Messthetics & James Brandon Lewis, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, and Prefuse 73. Saturday gets a little weird with Earth, J. Pavone String Ensemble, The Huntress & Holder of Hands, and Sunburned Hand of the Man. Sunday is my personal favorite and features Buck Meek, Jolie Holland, Mal Devisa, and Lily Seabird. Of course, there are many, many more artists playing that all deserve our attention.

The Thing in the Spring will take place May 16-19 at Nova Arts in Keene, NH. For more information and tickets, check out the event's website.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Joh Chase - "Avalanche"

Photo by Shervin Lainez

The latest from Joh Chase is going to immediately suck you in. The Los Angeles based artist is set to release a new album in April, but now you can check out their latest single "Avalanche." The song toes the line between alt-folk and folk-pop. Chase puts just enough twang in the song to make it almost country, but it doesn't quite make it. It's an absolute anthem that shows off their vocals and one of the most well written songs of the year. It has just enough to keep more traditional folk fans happy, it is unique enough to make even the snobbiest music fan satisfied, and mainstream enough to suck in people that primarily listen to Top 40 and adult contemporary radio. Joh Chase has something truly special here.

Joh Chase says of their new single:

“This song is about the transformational power of love in that it's not what you think it is all the time. I feel like it really represents my life. It's very personal for sure.”

You can watch the video for "Avalanche" below. SOLO is due out April 26 on Kill Rock Stars, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Joh Chase, check out the artist's website.

Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys - "Stayed 2017"

Photo by Chuck Losey

CW: Domestic violence

"Stayed 2017" started off as a b-side to "Reckless" seven years ago, but Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys have decided to re-release the song and pair it with a new video to highlight the fact that the Supreme Court is ruling this spring on whether a domestic abuse order can prevent abusers from owning and possessing handguns. "Stayed 2017" is a powerful alt-country power ballad that defies that genre. It's a little bit rock and pop, and is an absolutely epic track tackling a tough but vital subject. The video, which was shot on an iPhone, is intensely personal and intimate, maybe even more so than the song. Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys have released a powerful and unfortunately timely song that you're going to need to pay attention to.

Leesa Coyne says of her new video:

“I hope this video helps someone else who has been suffering in silence to feel less alone and that it raises awareness of the United States v. Rahimi case ruling in the spring and what that could mean for the safety of many. Guns in the hands of domestic abusers equals death. One in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, and lots of folks in the United States own guns. It is literally a life-or-death situation for many. I am not sure if folks are aware of how common this is… [my goal is] not to normalize it, but just to show that we all have folks in our lives who could surely use some understanding and support.”

You can watch the video for "Stayed 2017" below. The single is out now via Rum Bar Records. For more on Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys, check out the artist's website. This Friday January 26 at The Burren in Somerville with Other Brother Darryl.

Pylon Reenactment Society featuring Kate Pierson - "Fix It"

Photo by Karen Allison

Pylon Reenactment Society are an interesting project. It's led by Vanessa Briscoe Hay of Pylon, but it's not a Pylon reunion. And it's not a Pylon cover band, although they do play Pylon songs. Their latest single, "Fix It," features fellow Athens, GA music legend Kate Pierson of The B-52's, and it's as fun as any song featuring Kate Pierson should be. It's the kind of song that lives between being New Wave and post punk. It's a little too rough around the edges to be fully New Wave but a little too pop for post punk. Aside from all of that, "Fix It" is a killer and unique rock song that will have you diving into Pylon's back catalog while we wait for more from Pylon Reenactment Society.

Vanessa Briscoe Hay says of the band's new single and video:

“I’ve been a B-52’s fan since the first time I saw them, which was their third show ever. They were always supportive of Pylon. When I saw their final show in Athens, it struck me that Kate would be perfect for that particular song. It was such an honor to have one of my all time musical heroes sing on our song. Kate also graciously agreed to be a part of the video. She was filmed in Chattanooga, TN prior to a festival appearance with the B-52s. The rest of the filming took place near Athens, GA at a shop owned by Curtis Crowe (drummer of Pylon) who makes a cameo appearance along with Michael Lachowski (bassist for Pylon) who was also the graphic designer for the Magnet Factory packaging. It was amazing having all of them be a part of this video."

You can watch the video for "Fix It" below. Magnet Factory is due out February 9 on Strolling Bones Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Pylon Reenactment Society, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

01/25 - SF Sketchfest - Great American Music Hall -  San Francisco, CA w/ Kelley Stoltz 01/26 - Ojai, CA - Ojai Deer Lodge 01/27 - Moroccan Lounge -  Los Angeles, CA 02/09 - Hendershots - Athens, GA Record Release Show w/ Organically Programmed Orchestra 03/11-16 - Austin, TX - SXSW Music Festival 

Chandelier - "The Stop"

Hailing from Atlanta, Chandelier are a new band that don't sound like what you'd expect a band from Atlanta to sound like. Their new single, "The Stop," is a dark post punk track with a killer bass. The song is like a weird mixture of Gang of Four, Sonic Youth, and DEVO. It has the dark danceable sound of Gang of Four, the aggressive noise of Sonic Youth, and the artsy quirk of DEVO. It's the unique mix of anger and joy that is going to draw you into "The Stop." Post punk has been having a revival lately, especially with bands like Chandelier that push the boundaries of the genre outside of its comfort zone.

You can listen to "The Stop" below. Chandelier's self-titled debut album is due out March 5. For more on Chandelier, check out the band on Instagram.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 19 January 2024

Artist: Lizzie No
Album: Halfsies
Quick Thoughts: I tripped up on Lizzie No in 2019's Vanity, which I really enjoyed across the board. Halfsies feels both stripped down and more forward, if that's a thing, as it's an album that puts forward a lot of really great songs while seemingly simplifying the presentation. I fell for "Lagunita" in particular hard, but the whole album is full of great folk-rock highlights like it. Do not skip this one.
Songs of Note: "Lagunita," "The Heartbreak Store," "Getaway Car"

Artist: Brown Horse
Album: Reservoir
Quick Thoughts: Brown Horse gave me big Jason Isbell/Drive-by Truckers vibes, which bodes well for this alt-countryish act that plays around in the darker moods throughout Reservoir. It's an album that wears what it is on its sleeve, and when a song absolutely nails it (like "Stealing Horses" and "Shoot Back") it's among the best of the week. Give this a listen.
Songs of Note: "Stealing Horses," "Shoot Back," "Bloodstain," "Sunfisher"

Artist: Sleater-Kinney
Album: Little Rope
Quick Thoughts: I find it hard to separate Sleater-Kinney from the things that orbit the band these days. Between Carrie Brownstein's acting stints and the departure of their drummer following the electronic-ish turn, they've felt like a band trying to find their footing. Little Rope, in my mind, comes the closest to the time frame that bookends the act's hiatus. Sharp songwriting and singing create some memorable tunes and if you can turn off the "the drums aren't Janet Weiss," you'll find a lot to love here.
Songs of Note: "Hunt You Down," "Say It Like You Mean It," "Six Mistakes"

Artist: Hot Garbage
Album: Precious Dream
Quick Thoughts: Wanted to highlight this one in particular for taking the power pop/pop-punk mantle this week. A really solid listen that doesn't waste any time getting stuck in your head.
Songs of Note: "Look at My Phone," "Sarabandit," "Erase My Mind"

Artist: The Clockworks
Album: Exit Strategy
Quick Thoughts: I tripped up on this leftover from 2023 and it's probably one of the better releases of the year that flew completely under the radar. Sometimes it's jangle pop, sometimes it's straight alt-rock, but everything about it feels authentic and impressive, especially for a band's debut. This is a band I'll be looking into more, but if you're still tying up loose ends from last year, give this a listen.
Songs of Note: "Bills and Pills," "Mayday Mayday," "Enough is Never Enough," "Car Song," "Feels So Real," "Lost in the Moment"

Of note:

* Brittney Spencer - My Stupid Life (Polished country-folk with a radio-friendly flair.)
* Black Grape - Orange Head (Happy Mondays side project is back. When this works, it works.)
* Green Day - Saviors (Who had Green Day as the alt-rock elder statesmen on their bingo card?)
* Chemtrails - The Joy of Sects (Solid alt-rock; "Join Our Death Cult" is the first great song of 2024.)
* Emo Bunni - EMO FANTASIZE/a>
Jozef Van Wissem - The Night Dwells in the Day/a>
Jupie - Brick Hill/a>
Cowboy Sadness - Selected Jambient Works, Vol. 1/a>
The Fauns - How Lost/a>
glass beach - plastic death/a>
PACKS - Melt the Honey/a>
LUCY - 100 PROD I.V./a>
Ana Tijoux - Vida/a>
Neck Deep - Neck Deep/a>
Eliza McLamb - Going Through It/a>
SENTRIES - Snow as a Metaphor for Death/a>
DJ Smokey and Shadow Wizard Money Gang - BASED NEGATIVE SQUAD/a>
Trevor Something - Archetypes/a>
Arrested Development - Bullets in the Chamber/a>
People I Love - People I Love/a>
Conchur White - Swirling Violets/a>
Holy Fingers - III/a>


* Sheer Mag - Moonstruck/a>
Cold in Berlin - The Body is the Wound/a>
The Asteroid No.4 - Tremble/a>
Mary Margurite - A Million Ways to Say the Same Thing/a>
Dolly - Interloper/a>
A Mess - NO MAN/a>
Lake HAze - Ionosphere/a>
Brad Marino - Ramones and Stones EP/a>
Juan Power - Another's Wings/a>
La Femme - La Femme ressort/a>
MONOWHALES - Who's There to Hear Me Out?/a>
Desperate Hauswives - Welcome to the Lane/a>
July Talk - Solstice EP/a>
SHARKFISH - Do What You Want. Forever./a>

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Burp. - B(urp.) - Sides/a>

Also out:

* Mary Halvorson - Cloudward/a>