Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Massage are Alex Naidus, Andrew Romano, Gabi Ferrer, Natalie de Almeida, and David Rager. Still Life is out now, with your preferred source depending on your continent: Bobo Integral in Europe; Mt.St.Mtn. in North America; and Tear Jerk in Australia.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Friday, June 25, 2021
Edinburgh's Errant Boy has been a bit quiet for the past couple of years, but now has returned with the first of two singles planned for 2021. The band states that the two singles are "lyrically twinned", although they will be released a few months apart. This week brings us the first, the rocking, groove-heavy "The Poisoned Word". The serious theme rides the bouncing beat as the song continues to gather steam. One can imagine dancing to this one at an outdoor festival -- that is, if one is still young enough to dance when we have outdoor festivals again.
Errant Boy are Sean Ormsby (vocals/bass), Chris Harvie (guitar), and Sarrah McLaren (drums). "The Poisoned Word" is out now via Errant Media.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Here is your chance to get a carpet burn. What - you ask, why would I want a carpet burn? The answer is that this Carpet Burn is a good carpet burn, with no pain other than a little bit of cash to own the new four-track 7", I Can't Believe It's Not Carpet Burn. Admittedly, the title is a bit quirky, but this band's specialty is tuneful, quirky, and even absurd blasts of indie pop. While the songs are sparse and a bit obtuse, this is music that entertains and engages the listener. It is as if you have been made party to an inside joke, even if some of the nuances have not yet revealed themselves. It is an off-kilter party, but everyone is sincerely invited.
We featured the final track, "Butterfinger Hands", recently (link) so we will give you two more of the songs below.
Carpet Burn is Amanda, Kayley, Louis, and Tam, who are members of other Melbourne bands such as Girlatones, Permits, Tam Vantage, Gutter Girls, Blonde Revolver, and Plastic. I Can't Believe It's Not Carpet Burn is out now via Spoilsport Records.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Liam Kazar is a young Chicago native, Kansas City-based singer songwriter with an easygoing, almost sort of slacker feel to his music. It’s plenty melodic and features some sweet guitar and keyboard sounds backing his warm vocals. I'd recommend this to anybody who is a fan of Wilco or Jeff Tweedy's other work, or the Allah-La's (as we certainly are around here), as Kazar has what feel like echoes of both of those artists in his songcraft. He's worked with Jeff and Spencer Tweedy and Chance the Rapper, among others. Currently his label is sharing the song “Frank Bacon”, which features some nice country guitar work:
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Foster is a Nashville-based hip-hop artist and “As Long As I Have You” is just his second release. It’s a melancholy song with a sweet vocal intro, playing on the power of nostalgia and memory. I'm reminded of the oft-quoted Don Draper speech about nostalgia: "It's delicate but potent... far more powerful than memory alone." I think there's a certain power that derives from someone so young clearly depicting this kind of longing for a lost loved one. His first song was a reworking of an Elvis Presley classic; this one is an original.
Friday, June 18, 2021
link), so we've chosen two others to feature in this post. In truth, you can throw darts at the track list to pick songs, because the quality is just that consistent.
Corduroy is Amanda Wallin, Olle Rosén, Martin Boström and Serafim Kristjansson. The album is out now via VÅRØ.
I have covered Terry Malts, Smokescreens and The Neutrals on these pages with great enthusiasm. So I was thrilled to learn of a project that brings together members of all those bands. Please meet The Wind-Ups. Based on familiarity with those other projects, when pressing 'play' on their new double EP, Try Not to Think, I expected hooks and noise. What I got was hooks and noise. Oh, so many hooks and so very much noise; so much very good noise. Rumors that one of California's recent power outages was attributable to the recording of this record are unconfirmed. However, mastering technician Dave Gardner reported that it was one of the loudest record he has worked on. But while the initial impression may be The Ramones turned up to 11, the core of these songs is well-conceived power pop.
The album was written performed and recorded by Jake Sprecher (Smokescreens, Terry Malts, Beehive, and Jonathan Richman. When it is time to play live, Terry Malts companions Phill Benson and Nathan Sweatt will join Jake. Try Not to Think is out via Mt.St.Mtn., with distribution via Revolver (US) and Cargo (UK).
Rodrigo Amarante has released another track ahead of his album Drama, due out next month. Contrasted with the previous one "Mare", which was a rollicking, multilayered, swinging track sung in Portuguese, this is a ballad sung in English, and it's beautiful. His voice suits either style - on this slower song he builds the emotion of anticipation ("that old dream of ours / our hearts beat as one / to be free is to belong") along with the melancholy sense of missing someone, or something we are all missing. In his words, "I wrote this song ... because Darwin's ideas are serving the purpose of turning ourselves against one another, because I believe freedom does not stem from independence, separation or disconnect as the dictionaries suggest, but rather from the acknowledgement of our interdependence, because freedom is belonging."
Thursday, June 17, 2021
"Parisian Friends" is taken from the band's It's Been A Year EP which will be released on September 2. In addition to Declan West (guitar/lead vocals), the players are Ben Corlett (bass), Duncan McBride (guitar), and Murray Noble (drums).
What a way to begin a Thursday! The sun is shining on what will be a warm, but not too hot, day. And I am listening to "Secret" and "No B.S." by Londoner Jerome Thomas. The London artist's take on soul is timeless, His delivery is smooth and passionate, the melodies pull me in and Jerome and his team got all the production touches just right. Sex for your ears is a good thing, and Jerome delivers a big dose.
"Secret" and "No B.S." are taken from Jerome's debut EP, That Secret Sauce, which will be released on July 9 by Rhythm Section International.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
At the end of the world I will still want jangle pop -- especially if it is being delivered by Los Angeles band Massage. And their new single, "At The End Of The World", should be all you need to know why I feel that way. A chiming, jangling jumble of guitars and synths with wistful vocals and a heart-tugging hooks in the choruses, it is solid gold indie pop. The song is the final single from their soon to be released album Still Life, which will be out June 25. While not quite half way through the year, I am certain that Still Life will be high on my year-end list.
Your preferred source for Still Life depends on your continent: Bob Integral in Europe; Mt.St.Mtn. in North America; and Tear Jerk in Australia.
Massage are Alex Naidus, Andrew Romano, Gabi Ferrer, Natalie de Almeida, and David Rager, four of whom were members of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Last year I was quite impressed with Audio Commentary, the debut album by Melbourne's Snowy Band (link). Impressed, but not surprised. When a recording involves Liam "Snowy" Halliwell, it invariably pleases the ears, tickles the brain and lifts spirits. Adept as a songwriter, engineer, multi-instrumentalist and performer, he is a multi-tool for many bands. He was a member of The Ocean Party, No Local, and many others, and his current projects in addition to Snowy Band include Pop Filter. Today brought the happy news that Snowy Band's second album, Alternate Endings, will be released in August via Spunk Records, Osborne Again, and Palo Santo (Texas). Our first listen comes in the form of the just released single "Living With Myself". The song begins as an engaging slice of bedroom pop but expands delightfully. We think that this album is going to be another winner.
Snowy Band are Liam Halliwell (vocals/guitar/other), Emma Russack (vocals/guitar), Nathalie Pavlovic (vocals/bass), and Dylan Young (vocals/drums).
Durand Jones & The Indications have announced their upcoming album, Private Space (due out July 30), and have already shared one track - we posted the song “Witchoo”, a funky, romping sing-along number, a little while back. So it’s exceedingly kind of them to treat us to another track while we wait. “Love Will Work It Out” is an old school soul vocal by Jones and, in addition to the tight Indications team, it also features Blue Note artist Joel Ross on that nice vibraphone solo. It’s available to stream now, and you can pre-order the whole album at the sites below.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Out now, a strong guitar-driven track from The Joy Formidable, “Chimes”.
Song obsession alert: "Be My Maybe" is on infinite replay in my house today. I might need an intervention, but I'm not inclined to call for help yet. The heart-damaged beauty is by UK trio The Bordellos. Based in St Helens, which is a few miles east of Liverpool for those keeping track, The Bordellos have an extensive catalog that I now intend to dive into with relish. But first I need to get my fill of "Be My Baby". And just for the record, the breezy flip side "David Bowie" is the perfect complement to "Be My Baby -- sparse, simple, concise, and really different in most every way except that it is birthed by the same musical talents. And that is more than sufficient.
The double A-side is out now via Sydney's Metal Postcard Records.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Quivers are Sam Nicholson, Bella Quinlan, Michael Panton, and Holly Thomas. Golden Doubt is out now via Spunk Records (Australia/NZ), Bobo Integral (Europe), and Ba Da Bing (North America/UK).
Friday, June 11, 2021
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Jason Narducy’s supergroup power trio Split Single is back with another advance single from upcoming album Amplificado - here is “95 Percent”:
As with the previous song we shared, “Nothing You Can Do to End This Love”, they are playing at a breakneck pace, with drummer Jon Wurster and bassist Mike Mills laying down a rapid field of fire, on top of which Narducy’s pyrotechnics on guitar and vocals give a strong sense of his passion. Narducy shared some thoughts: “As a liberal person, I can get tripped up by my tendency towards empathy,” says Narducy. “Part of me wants to believe that politicians are earnest in their efforts to help all Americans even when I know they are not. So it can backfire when I get hesitant and confused but overall I think it's positive because I never fully trust ANY of them. I'm 95 percent committed and 95 percent suspicious. I'm also not good at math.”Amplificado on Vinyl/CD
Theodore Roosevelt is not often mentioned on indie music blogs, and with good reason. However, Theodore Roosevelt Taylor is more than worthy of a few words. Known to his friends and fans as Hound Dog Taylor, he was a renowned blues performer. He made no claim to being a master technician on the guitar, but he justifiable took pride in creating a guitar sound that conveyed energy and thrilled the audience. One of my most prized vinyl albums is Hound Dog Taylor & The Houserockers self-titled 1971 release for Alligator Records.
Most of you will never have that piece of vinyl unless it is re-issued. But I have good news for you: Boston blues trio GA-20 has recorded Try It ... You Might Like It. Consisting of ten songs written and/or recorded by Hound Dog Taylor, it will be released on August 20 via Colemine Records in partnership with Alligator Records. In our opinion, Hound Dog's memory deserves it, and we all deserve more Hound Dog, so this is a win-win. And just so you know that you are getting authentic-sounding interpretations of the master's tunes, lead track "She's Gone" is not out as a single. Boogie onward, my children.
GA-20 is Matt Stubbbs (guitar), Pat Faherty (guitar/vocals), and Tim Carman.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Quite frankly, if you leave this album off of your summer playlist, you might as well admit that you are just waiting for next winter.
Sun is out in vinyl, digital and CD formats via Shelflife and Groover Obsessions.
You who thirst for action, I will give you some