Friday, March 29, 2024

AlphaSix - "Orphan! Tether to the Mother"

Photo courtesy AlphaSix

We're hardly a haven for heavy music, but I was a child of the 80's and 90's, so my tastes can wander into heavier territory every so often. And if you're going to label your music as "Lovecraftian sci-fi horror metal," I'm at least going to check it out. That's where AlphaSix comes in. The Boston metal trio released a new song today called "Orphan! Tether to the Mother" that's infinitely heavier than anything we typically bring you. But, you know what? Turns out this is great. It's just pure pummeling chaos that doesn't relent for four minutes and twenty-one seconds. Playing AlphaSix will make you realize just how boring, repetitive, and just non-metal most metal is these days. "Orphan! Tether to the Mother" takes most popular metal bands and destroys them through being a monstrosity. 

AlphaSix say of their latest single:

“We’re steering into heavier territory for this chapter, while still maintaining the diversity of styles we have developed playing music together over the years. We’re going for relentless grooves and high intensity with abrasive vocals, dynamic guitarwork, and hints of experimental deviations.”

You can listen to "Orphan! Tether to the Mother" below. Assimilate: Oceans is due out later this year. For more on AlphaSix, check out the band's website.

Strange Men - "Do What the Boys Do"

Photo by Laura Cohen

Strange Men are the duo of Róisín Isner and Ashley Clayton, with Isner on drums and Clayton on an eight-string guitar he made out of scavenged wood. The San Francisco duo's latest single, "Do What the Boys Do," is a frenzied track based in blues that just goes off the rails in the best possible ways. It's a chaotic sound that's as noisy as it is bluesy. Since they're a drum and guitar duo with some basis in blues, it's easy to compare them to The White Stripes, and those comparisons can be fair. But a song like "Do What the Boys Do" is like if The White Stripes turned one of their live improvised freak outs into an actual song. Strange Men make this exquisitely raw music based in blues and post-punk, and you're going to love this.

You can watch the video for "Do What the Boys Do" below. For more on Strange Men, check out the band's website.

Joey Wit - "A Point of No Return"

Photo by Em Castellano

Joey Wit may be the only former professional athlete we've covered here at If It's Too Loud... The Connecticut alt-rock singer-songwriter played professional baseball for three years until injuries ended his career. Now he's making music, and his latest single is "A Point of No Return." The song reminds me of 90's singer-songwriters but with a modern indie flair. It's the kind of song that keeps skirting between a more traditional structure and adding in little unexpected touches to keep Wit's sound fresh and interesting. "A Point of No Return" will have you spending your first few listens trying to figure out if it's a mainstream or indie style song before you give up trying and just allow yourself to enjoy it.

Joey Wit says of his new single:

“The lyrical content of the number is definitely from personal experience, it’s sort of just me reminiscing on a lost love, which happened to be my first relationship after an engagement had ended. I wrote it during a time, when like so many others, I was spending many days alone with my thoughts. So this was a sort of inside look into a day in the life of that relationship...”

You can listen to "A Point of No Return" below. Rose Gold is due out in September on H1 Massive. For more on Joey Wit, check out the artist's website.

The Ophelias - "Soft and Tame"

Photo courtesy The Ophelias

The latest from The Ophelias lives in the world between indie rock and indie folk, which is one of our favorite places. "Soft and Tame" is a stunning ballad that might lean more into folk based on the heavy use of violin courtesy of Andrea Guttman Fuentes, but overall it might be more on the singer-songwriter side of indie rock. "Soft and Tame" just builds and builds into a completely epic crescendo, which would be where most bands end a song, but The Ophelias keep going into an even deeper level of perfection. This is a highly emotional song, and has the power to completely floor the listener. 

You can watch the video for "Soft and Tame" below. Ribbon is due out April 12, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on The Ophelias, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Sun. March 31 - New York, NY @ Elsewhere w/ Yo La Tengo & more
Tue. April 2 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Preserving Underground *
Sun. April 14 - Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA &
Mon. April 15 - Columbus, OH @ Natalie’s Music Hall &
Wed. April 17 - Indianapolis, IN @ Healer &
Thu. April 18 - Milwaukee, WI @ X-Ray Arcade &
*= w/ Daisy the Great

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Doing Anything This Weekend?: March 29-31

Doing Anything this Weekend? is a feature here at If It's Too Loud... where we feature some live shows in and on the far outskirts of the Boston area. Our main rules are that they have to be reasonably priced shows that you can attend last minute. They'll feature If It's Too Loud... approved bands, and we'll provide event links when possible. If you're looking for last minute plans this weekend, we recommend:

March 29

Kate Clover and Brad Marino at The Middle East, Cambridge, MA

CLAMB, Talk Chalk, and Honey Cassette at Faces Brewing, Malden, MA

Bella's Bartok at The Word Barn, Exeter, NH

Will Dailey, Aubrey Haddard, and Bethany Killian at Askew, Providence, RI

March 30

Circus Trees, Pray for Sound, Sleep Jumper, and Vallory Falls at Taffeta, Lowell, MA

Ex-Hyena, The Shallows, and CMB at Deep Cuts, Medford, MA

Sexcoffee, Heather Rose In Clover, and Planet Bog at Askew, Providence, RI

Lincoln Durham, The Devil's Twins, and Sophia Carreras at The Rockwell, Somerville, MA

JVK, Griffin Benton, and Makeout Palace at Rockwood Music Hall, Boston, MA

Mary in the Junkyard - "marble arch"

You are going to need to mentally prepare yourself before listening to the latest single from Mary in the Junkyard, because this one is going to floor you. The London based trio just released a new single, and "marble arch" is nearly impossibly captivating. It's a melodic indie rock song that combines so many elements that it just shouldn't work. There are simply too many subgenres and sounds represented here, but Mary in the Junkyard combine them all into one cohesive and completely fresh sound. Sure, there are parts of the song that remind me of contemporaries like Horsegirl, but I'm also reminded of an artist like Lady Lamb. Aside from all of that, I'm hearing parts that remind me of a 90's artist like Tori Amos, and maybe even a legend like Joni Mitchell. "marble arch" is the type of song that reminds me of why I've been doing this for nearly eleven years. Sharing a song like this is an absolute pleasure, and I can't wait for all of you to hear it.

Vocalist Clari Freeman-Taylor says of her band's latest song:

“I wrote the words to marble arch in the back of the book 'wise children' under the actual marble arch, its about the intense relationship between sisters, and leaving home and not wanting to come back.”

You can listen to "marble arch" below. This Old House is due out May 9 on AMF Records. For more on Mary in the Junkyard, check out the artist on Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

April 20 - Motel Mozaique, Rotterdam
May 17 - London Calling, Amsterdam
May 25 - Dot 2 Dot, Bristol 
May 26 - Dot 2 Dot, Nottingham 
June 15 - Brighten The Corners, Ipswich
June 30 - Bristol Sounds, Bristol
July 27 - Latitude, Suffolk
July 28 - Truck Festival, Oxfordshire
04 August - All Together Now, Waterford

Boyfriend TV - "Pornstar of the World"

Photo by Tim Hardy

Naarm/Melbourne's Boyfriend TV are considered post-punk, but I personally have a hard time categorizing them as just that. Their latest single, "Pornstar of the World," is this gritty and glammed up track built on electronic elements and feedback. It features Louis Avolo (electronics, vocals, and bass) auditioning to be the next great rockstar, and as far as I'm concerned he's earned it. It's one of those songs that's abrasive at first, but slowly you start to see the beauty inside of it. "Pornstar of the World" might just become your new favorite track of the year by the time it is over. At the very least, it's one of the most compelling ones.

Louis Avolo says of the band's new single:

Pornstars are quite literally the hottest celebrities in the world at the moment. I kinda created this character for the song; this person who is the 'pornstar of the world'. He gets a lot of attention and is adored by many, yet can’t seem to find fulfilment despite constant validation. He is looking for some sort of love, but is not sure where to find it. It’s all a bit tongue and cheek, physically and figuratively."

You can watch the video for "Pornstar of the World" below. For more on Boyfriend TV, check out the band on Instagram and Bandcamp.

Sunburned Hand of The Man - "Ishkabibble Magoo"

Photo by Arkan Zakharov

I first discovered Sunburned Hand of The Man back in 2005 when the collective opened up for Dinosaur Jr at The Middle East. They've always been one of those bands that have been nearly impossible to define, and that goes with their latest single, "Ishkabibble Magoo." The band convened in January of last year in Turner's Falls, MA with members coming in and out of the sessions. The new song is surprising in how straightforward it is. Sunburned Hand of The Man have always been an experimental project, but "Ishkabibble Magoo" is pretty much a straightforward folk-ish song. This might be the first of their songs that you could play in front of normies and not have them recoil completely. 

You can listen to "Ishkabibble Magoo" below. Nimbus is due out April 12 on Three Lobed Recordings, and is available for pre-order via Bandcamp. For more on Sunburned Hand of The Man, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

New Local Kickstarter: Travels With Brindle - No.1 in Heaven Starring Travels With Brindle

Greater Boston's favorite uke-wielding busker Travels With Brindle is back with a new Kickstarter, this time for an EP tribute to Sparks and their breakthrough(?) album No. 1 in Heaven. The crowdfunding effort for the album, No. 1 in Heaven Starring Travels With Brindle, is a $5,000 effort appropriately titled “The Travels With Brindle Crowdfunding Effort for No. 1 in Heaven Starring Travels With Brindle,” and brings with it a Robert Benchley attitude with a Sparksian twist. Says Chelsea:
“The Travels With Brindle Crowdfunding Effort for No. 1 in Heaven Starring Travels With Brindle” is a tribute record of sorts for [Sparks], a band often compared to sounds of furniture being thrown downstairs, dishes and spoons being clattered together, and sometimes even actual physical violence. Such activities are offensive to me, either in print or in the sung word, so you will not catch me or my ukulele putting on acts like that. This is instead a labor both of love and art.
You can learn more about Travels With Brindle at her website, or contribute to the Kickstarter above to receive a fridge magnet or some hand sanitizer. No, really.

Cowtown - "Thru Being Zuul"

Photo by Vincent Lee

Whenever I hear Cowtown, I'm always amazed their not from somewhere in either the Midwest and Southwest United States, and that they don't play some variation of cowpunk. The Leeds based band just released a new single, "Thru Being Zuul." The new single is a hyper and fun burst of dance friendly indie rock and post punk. It kind of crashes DEVO into Le Tigre, and the result is one of the best parties you've ever been to. "Thru Being Zuul" is the kind of song that's going to have you subconsciously bopping in your office chair or on your commute home. Plus, it combines the villain from Ghostbusters with a DEVO song title, and we're all here for that. 

Vocalist and lyricist Hilary Knott says of the new song:

"'Thru Being Zuul' is about monsters that enter the mind wall, and, instead of engaging with how weird that is, you instead choose to have breakfast with them or brush your teeth. Basically the act of normalising something that isn't normal."

You can watch the video for "Thru Being Zuul" below. Fear Of... is due out May 31 on Gringo Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Cowtown, check out the band on Instagram and Twitter.

Middle-Aged Queers - "Pajama Party"

One problem with doing a music blog is that you start discovering all these bands that will never end up playing near you. Some are ultra local to their cities, and others may tour regionally, but they'd never cross the entire continent to come to the Boston area. I assumed San Francisco's Middle-Aged Queers would never make it out here, but they've announced a tour that hits Lowell's Thirsty First on May 16! To help build excitement about their upcoming tour, the band has released a song off their upcoming split live LP with Raging Nathans. "Pajama Party" is a gloriously bratty punk rock song in the vein of your favorites off Taang! Records or Lookout Records. It's a rough sounding song that almost masks how poppy this one is. It's  a fun song about a group of punks that come over for a pajama party to help you through a rough time. If this one doesn't work for you, I don't even know what to tell you.

You can listen to "Pajama Party" below. DCxPC Live Vol. 26: Middle-Aged Queers / Raging Nathans is due out August 31 on Wax Mage Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Middle-Aged Queers, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

THURSDAY, APRIL 18 @ Thee Stork Club

with Moms With Bangs and Build Them to Break Them. 21+. 7pm.


with Dr. Know, the Gay Agenda and Angel Guts. 21+. 8pm.


with Dr. Know.


with Dr. Know and Sexette. 21+. 2pm.


with GayC/DC. 21+. 8pm.


with Wonderglu, Olivine, and B00B. All ages. 7pm.


with Fat Heaven and American Television. 21+. 7pm.


with KCUF and American Television. 21+. 7pm.


with the Path, Robbery, and Slop Drop. All ages. 7pm.


Check for venue and set time.


With Tsunami Bomb, Fat Heaven and Dollar Store. All ages. 7pm.


with The Homobiles and Cam Girl. 21+. 8pm.

Blondshell featuring Bully - "Docket"

If you've been following us for a while, you know we're going to be thrilled at the pairing of Blondshell and Bully. The two completely nail the whole 90's alt-rock but through a modern alt-pop prism sound separately, and on "Docket," they just bring the entire thing to a completely different level. This is just a modern spin on the 90's slacker/indie rock thing, and we could not be more on board for it. I was dying to hear Blondshell and Bully team up since Sabrina Tietelbaum (aka Blondshell) started hinting at it on social media, and "Docket" blows all of those expectations away. I mean... we have to conscript these two into a supergroup based on this song, right?

Sabrina Tietelbuam says of her new single with Bully:

“For me this is a song about splitting off from yourself. It’s about uncertainty when you’re in different environments all the time. In a way it’s about wanting to cope with distance and change but it’s also just a bit about being reckless. 

"I had space on this song for another person and I kept hearing Bully’s voice on it. I’m a huge fan of hers and when I was touring last summer I couldn’t stop listening to her album. Honestly when we were sitting in the studio and I heard her voice coming through I was just kind of shocked and in awe of her. I’m really happy she said yes to making the song with me.”

You can watch the video for "Docket" below. The single is out now via Partisan Records. For more on Blondshell, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video, and include a stop at Boston Calling!

04/05/24 - Boone, NC - Schaefer Center for The Performings Arts - w/ Julia Jacklin

04/26/24 - Norman, OK - Norman Music Festival

04/28/24 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest

05/04/24 - Atlanta, GA - Shaky Knees Festival

05/06/24 - Durham, NC - Motorco Music Hall

05/08/24 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge

05/10/24 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court Block Party

05/26/24 - Boston, MA - Boston Calling Festival

06/07/24 - Queens, NY - The Governors Ball Music Festival

06/30/24 - Pilton, UK - Glastonbury Festival

07/04/24 - Roskilde, DK - Roskilde Festival

07/05/24 - Ewijk, NL - Down The Rabbit Hole

07/07/24 - Lac de Malsaucy, FR - Les Eurockéennes de Belfort

07/13/24 - Seattle, WA - Day In Day Out Festival

08/01-04/24 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza Festival

08/03/24 - St. Charles, IA - Hinterland Music Festival

08/07/24 - Budapest, HU - Sziget Festival

08/09/24 - Gothenburg, SE - Way Out West Festival

08/10/24 - Oslo, NO - Øyafestivalen

08/13/24 - Istanbul, TR - PSM Loves Summer / Zorlu

08/15/24 - Charleville Mezieres, FR - Le Cabaret Vert

08/16/24 - Hasselt, BE - Pukkelpop

08/18/24 - Crickhowell UK - Green Man Festival

09/20-22/24 - Camden, NJ - XPoNential Music Festival

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 22 March 2024

Artist: Elbow
Quick Thoughts: Elbow's been one of the stalwarts from that early 2000s British rock era. They've gotten some popular love over the years, but never quite the heights of Coldplay or Doves, which is a shame. AUDIO VERTIGO, in many ways, reflects their consistency as a band and has a strong Asleep in the Back feel in a lot of ways. As a longtime fan, I really enjoyed this listen, and if you've fallen off with the band a bit, this is a great place to jump back in.
Songs of Note: "Things I've Been Telling Myself for Years," "Her to the Earth," "From the River"

Artist: Rosie Tucker
Quick Thoughts: Rosie Tucker has an all-time favorite song for me in "Lauren" from their album a few years back. I've chased that high ever since, but UTOPIA NOW! hits in a similar way and works so well. Whether it's the biting nature of "All My Exes" or the straightforward and expert indie rock of "Eternal Life," this is a great album in any week or any setting. Make time.
Songs of Note: "All My Exes Live in Vortexes," "Maylene," "Suffer! Like You Mean It," "Eternal Life"

Artist: Holiday Sidewinder
Album: The Last Resort
Quick Thoughts: Holiday Sidewinder apes the late 1970s-early 1980s pop spectrum so well, it's sometimes surprising that it's a modern record. Sort of disco, sort of synth-rock, with production values and guitar tones suitable for any yacht rock playlist, it's a great album with song after song after song that just rock. I loved every minute of this, both for the musical references and the great songwriting. A mandatory listen this week.
Songs of Note: "Escape and Retreat," "Ripe," "Aphrodite Rock," "Adonis," "Venus Beach," "So Paradise," "Crystal Bay"

Artist: Wyn and the White Light
Album: Luck
Quick Thoughts: Wyn Doran is a New England singer-songwriter, and this new project is super impressive. This album, billed as "pomegranate-infused haunted-soul-rock," is insanely great, with perfect vibes and stellar songwriting and musicianship. It's got an epic feel despite being deliberately bare in much of its presentation, and I was really, really taken by this record. This is a sleeper hit if I've ever heard one, so check it out.
Songs of Note: "Statue," "White Noise," "Can the World Change"

Artist: Aoife O'Donovan
Album: All My Friends
Quick Thoughts: The latest from the New England roots queen, All My Friends is an album that has things to say and does so with some epic, soaring songs that transcend the typical progressive bluegrass O'Donovan is so good at. I've been a fan of hers for well over a decade now, but the scope of this record feels as weighty as a lot of the subject matter. It's deserves your attention.
Songs of Note: "Crisis," "Daughters," "America, Come," "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"

Artist: Gary Clark Jr.
Quick Thoughts: Everyone who loves music loves Gary Clark Jr., and for good reason: he's a great guitarist and wonderful songwriter, with a great blues-infused sound. JPEG RAW sounds like what you think it would, which may make sense to only me, but there's a dirty, rough quality to this that really kills it for me. Loved this listen, arguably one of his best.
Songs of Note: "Maktub," "JPEG RAW," "Don't Star," "This is Who We Are," "What About the Children"

Artist: Dasha
Album: What Happens Now?
Quick Thoughts: I don't know how Dasha ended up on my radar, but I know it wasn't how most everyone else learned of her. "Austin," which is probably the most earwormy song I've heard in ages, absolutely exploded on Tiktok due to a tailor-made line dance from the singer, and I've never felt closer to turning to dust than in the moment I learned how she got famous. It's a shame that the social media stuff will likely overshadow her for the time being, because this mini-album shows a confident, talented singer and songwriter with a solid future.
Songs of Note: "Austin," "King of California," "Share This City"

Of note:

* Magana - Teeth (Solid folk-ROCK-adjacent tunes.)
* Highwater Haulers - Puncher's Choice (Surprisingly fun indie alt-country.)
* Porcine - Porcine (Definitely a band to watch, lots to love here.)
* Sleap-e - 8106
* Jlin - Akoma
* Halo Maud - Celebrate
* Lolina - Unrecognisable
* Julia Holter - Something in the Room She Moves
* Habitants - Alma
* Salt Cathedral - Before It's Gone
* Adrienne Lenker - Bright Future
* Gossip - Real Power
* Waxahatchee - Tigers Blood
* The Jesus and Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes
* Francis of Delirium - Lighthouse
* Bendigo Fletcher - Two Things At Once
* Odetta Hartman - Swansongs
* Carsie Blanton - After the Revolution
* Clara Lewis and Yuki Tsujii - Salt Water
* Blanket - Ceremonia
* Lauran Hibberd - girlfriend material
* The Staves - All Now
* Empress Of - For Your Consideration
* Brimhelm - RATKING
* Starsailor - Where the Wild Things Grow
* SPACED - This is All We Ever Get
* Rosali - Bite Down
* Logic1000 - Mother
* Prefuse 73 - New Strategies for Modern Crime Volume 1
* Mitu - DANZAAA
* Alena Spanger - Fire Escape
* Sierra Ferrell - Trail of Flowers
* Grace Corsi - Downriver
* Mega Ran and Jermiside - The Lure of Light
* Charlie Parr - Little Sun
* Saint Saviour - Sunseeker
* Orkestar Kriminal - Originali
* Thee Sinseers - Sinseerly Yours


* Martha May and the Mondays - SPIT!
* Kaleah Lee - Birdwatcher
* Crow vs Lion - Memento Mori
* Green Milk From the Planet Orange and Fuckwolf - Let's Split
* Wild Pink - Strawberry Eraser
* Cusp - Thanks So Much
* Operator Music Band - Four Singles
* Bryde - Change Your Mind
* Glass Beams - Mahal
* Ayzon - Part of the Story
* Valentina Magaletti - Lucha Libra
* King Isis - shed
* Deaf Club and The Hirs Collective and Fuck Money - Split EP
* Elliott Green - Kintsugi
* Shalom - Sativa
* Seaside - Wishbone

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Olivia Rodrigo - GUTS (spilled)

Also out:

* Starless - Returning Home
* Sam Lee - songdreaming

Luiza Girardello - "Resilience"

Photo by Luiza Girardello

Back in November, I described Luiza Girardello's song "The War to End All Wars" as jazz with alt-rock guitars. The Boston based singer-songwriter just released a new single called "Resilience." The new song is much more jazz based than her previous single, but adds in a hip hop element which is new for Girardello. "Resilience" might be a little more spoken word than pure traditional hip hop, but jazz and hip hop are two styles we always love to see paired together. It includes the guitar and piano trading off sections, which is exceptionally rare for anything hip hop. The song marks Girardello's ten year anniversary of being in remission for ovarian cancer, so it can get heavy at times despite the positivity of the song.

You can listen to "Resilience" below. All of the proceeds from the song's sales on Bandcamp will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. For more on Luiza Girardello, check out the artist's website.

Live Shows: Elephant Stone and Evolfo, The Rockwell, Somerville, MA 3/24/24

Sometimes there are just bands you think you'll never get to see live. I felt that way about Elephant Stone. Some Canadian bands never quite make it down to the States, and when they do, a lot skip by Boston and head straight to New York. Once Elephant Stone announced a tour that was actually hitting Boston, and playing the underutilized Rockwell, I knew I had to check it out.

Elephant Stone started out their set with singer Rishi Dhir taking the stage solo and playing a song on the sitar. Despite all the shows I've been to over the decades I've been regularly going to shows, I don't think I've ever actually seen someone play the sitar live. It was completely mesmerizing. Dhir's playing started off as almost calming, but it grew in intensity and was nearly hypnotizing by the end of the song. Once the opening song was finished, the rest of Elephant Stone joined him on stage and Dhir switched over to the guitar.

Live, Elephant Stone's music is more akin to 60's pop that pure psychedelia. That's always been one of my favorite musical periods, so it worked quite well for me. It wasn't pure 60's pop, though, as it was still heavily psychedelic, and combined a lot of traditional Indian music (especially when the sitar was reintroduced). Their set on Sunday night reminded me even more of the weirder side of The Monkees, just much more earnest. There's also something about the black box theater that is The Rockwell that makes every performance feel even more intimate, and despite of how professional and well done the evening was, it still felt like more of an informal gathering of friends.

Brooklyn's Evolfo played before Elephant Stone and just added to the psychedelic sound of the evening. They brought in some absolute diehard fans, to the point that I assumed they were local at first. They sounded a bit like a harder edged jam band, and had some killer Dana Colley style saxophone to add to their music. When vocalist Matt Gibbs was singing, Evolfo had a lighter, more soul based sound. During instrumental parts they sounded more like a garage rock band freak out. The dichotomy of their sound kept things interesting and the audience glued throughout their set.

Nisa - "Breach"

Photo by Rhiannan Hajduch

Nisa (aka Brooklyn's Nisa Lumaj) has been making some of the most killer alt-pop out there, and her latest single is no exception. "Breach" is almost defiantly a pop song that basically dares indie rock fans to dislike it. Turns out that we can't. The song starts off with Nisa's vocals over a hypnotic and compelling beat. It's sparse, and if this was the entire song, I'd still be gushing over it. But "Breach" is a lot more, and Nisa keeps adding more and more instruments that seem to come in as they want to, and leave just as mysteriously. There's even a fuzzed filled indie rock guitar solo that drops in, followed by a more forceful beat. Most pop is repetitive and appeals to its fans because they know what to expect. Nisa defies all of that with one of the more unique and left-field pop styles around.

You can watch the video for "Breach" below. Shapeshifting is due out April 26 on Tender Loving Empire Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Nisa, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

5/7: Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right

5/8: Washington, DC @ Pie Shop

5/11: Boston, MA @ Lilypad

5/12: Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy

Monday, March 25, 2024

Winged Wheel - "Sleeptraining"

Winged Wheel is a Detroit based supergroup consisting of Cory Plump, Fred Thomas, Whitney Johnson, and Matthew J Rolin. For their second album they expanded to include Lonnie Slack and Steve Shelley (which is how we discovered the band). The band met up in Kingston, NY to record, and the first thing we're hearing from that is "Sleeptraining." The band spent three days recording group improvisations and other experimentations, and began editing them down into actual songs. If "Sleeptraining" is any indication, Winged Wheel found absolute magic on those tapes. It's not quite shoegaze, but it's at the very least shoegaze adjacent. The song is fuzzy and just washes fully over you in a wall of sound, but it's far too intense for shoegaze. It's dark, and punk, and No Wave, and proggy, and beyong compelling. It's obviously not going to be for everyone, but if "Sleeptraining" works for you, consider yourself lucky.

You can listen to "Sleeptraining" below. Big Hotel is due out May 3 on 12XU, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp

Billy Tibbals - "Dream Away"

Photo by Miranda Penn Turin

Los Angeles' finest retro glam rocker Billy Tibbals is back with a new single. "Dream Away" certainly doesn't sound like it was recorded in 2024 by any stretch of the imagination. This is a pure 1970's power ballad. It's the kind of song that your parents (or grandparents, I suppose) could have danced to at their prom. "Dream Away" sound like if T. Rex and Cheap Trick had truly conquered the world and been bigger than Led Zeppelin. It could have ended coming across as a little cheeky or cheesy, but Tibbals delivers the song so earnestly that you just can't help but love it.

Billy Tibbals says of his latest single:

"It might be my favorite song I've ever written. I think it captures pretty much exactly how I feel about this strange modern world we live in. Hopefully some people can relate to it."

You can watch the video for "Dream Away" below. Nightlife Stories is due out April 26 on Silver Arrow Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Billy Tibbals, check out the artist's website. Upcoming live dates are below the video.

March 31 Los Angeles, CA @ The Monty Bar 
April 8           Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium*
April 10         Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Financial Theatre*
April 11         Anaheim, CA @ The Parish at House of Blues Anaheim
April 12         Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre*
April 15         Seattle, WA @ McCaw Hall*
April 16         Vancouver, Canada @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre*
Sept 28 & 29 Evolution Festival - St. Louis, MO @ Forest Park
*w/ The Black Crowes