Single Serve volume 1

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Reviews | 0 comments

 

Welcome! Ready for a whole bunch of new singles that came out recently?! Hope so because we have a slew of new stuff to share. I’ve done a few singles posts myself so far and going forward, I will be joined by Nick AD who will give his thoughts on songs too (we’ll include our initials to indicate who is who). We’re still getting in the swing of things so singles here may be a little “past due” aka not released in the week we are talking about it, and this list will likely be a little longer than what will follow, but one thing is for sure is that it’s full of great music and there is never an expiration on great tuneage is there? So read on and make sure you’re putting these artists on your radar.

 

As always, if you’re in a band or from a label, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know about you! If we dig ya, you’ll get a nod in the column. Read on to find out what we dug the last few weeks:

 

The 1865Everything’s Not Gonna Be All White. This song was released to accompany the three part docuseries Everything’s Gonna Be All White which premiered on Showtime in February and was directed by the band’s guitarist, Sacha Jenkins. The docuseries focuses on “A deep dive into America’s past and present through the experiences of people of color. The docuseries marries humor with history as it confronts the facets of racism, exploitation and discrimination that contributed to the formation of America.” Musically the song starts out with a dirty, grunge intro before blasting into a fast paced punk ripper. The song returns to the grunge riffage in the middle before again taking off. The lyrics mince no words and are a sharp condemnation to the poison of white supremacy and a call to dismantle the structures that have existed to keep whiteness as the default in society for far too long. This appears to be a one off single for now, but hopefully more new music is soon on the horizon from this crucial band. [KH]

The 1865 performing

The 1865 performing (photo by Kate Hoos)

 

8 KalacasMutante. Full disclosure, I was a very big ska/skacore fan in the late 90s, but I turned my attention to other things over the years, and I have not kept up with the genre much in the past several years. Then one of 8 Kalacas’ other singles came to my attention (“Pudrete”) and I gave it a listen and this is exactly the high octane blend of punk and ska I loved then and still enjoy reminiscing about every now and again. Voodoo Glow Skulls is admittedly the first comparison that came to mind, being another Latin infused skacore band that also was one of my favorites of the genres (in my junior year high school year book photo, I’m wearing a VGS shirt, true story). These guys are like an amped up version of VGS though, more hardcore (and even metal at times) than punk, with a significantly harder edge. Warp speed tempos abound and every musician in the 8 member outfit brings some serious chops to this track which dives right into heavy metal territory with shredded solos, doomy vocals, double kick rolls, and chuggy rhythms. In addition to the raging guitar/bass/drums/vocals, I really loved the horns on this which sound very full and bright. Recording techniques are definitely better today than the 90s and it was really obvious in the layering and nuance of the horn section here, better than anything I remember from that previous era. After jamming this and the other songs from the upcoming album, Fronteras (due out 3/25 on Atomic Fire), it’s clear that I definitely need to not only dig into their back catalogue, but that I also need to start paying more attention to the genre overall again as well. [KH]

 

 

 

 

Atlas EngineSecrets. This is the latest single from the Brooklyn dream pop indie outfit featuring the lush and atmospheric sound they are known for, along with a killer guitar hook that got stuck in my head for hours after the first listen. Lead singer Nick LaFalce is joined by Meredith Lampe and the two share lead vocals for a beautiful interplay weaving their voices together. The band will soon be heading to the Treefort Music Fest to bring a bit of Brooklyn to Boise and I must say I am sad I will not be sneaking along with them. [KH]

 

 

CloaVanilla (Live at I.E. Chrome). I’ve mentioned several times in this blog already that I’m a big fan of instrumental music, so I’m always excited to hear new stuff by bands who forgo a vocalist to see what emerges from this dynamic regardless of genre (though my tastes obviously lean towards the rock end of the spectrum). These guys are a proggy, mathy trio and remind me of a nice blend of Volta Do Mar and Covet. And they certainly have the chops to back up those comparisons, particularly guitarist Anthony Viramontes, who has some very strong tapping skills. The recording is live so the mix isn’t as sharp as it could be in a studio setting, but I didn’t find it overly distracting. They were a totally new discovery for me and don’t seem to have a lot of recorded output at the moment, just one other single, so I would assume they are a newer outfit (not much info is available that I could find online) but I will be keeping my eyes on them. I’d love to hear more from them and this song re-recorded with the edges smoothed out a bit because this is a strong start. [KH]

 

Cut CityReckless. Cut City is a band I discovered quite by accident during the mp3 blog era (around 2008) when I downloaded what I thought were files of Interpol and ended up with Cut City instead who I had never heard of at that point but none-the-less fell in love with. Flash forward to now and the Swedish post punkers have a brand new single out, “Reckless,” which is more of a straight up rocker than the post punk the group is known for, but that bouncy undercurrent is still in there. I love that this band can go from a driving song to an ethereal vibe and back again and do both of these feels so well. This song completes a three song EP which is now available via Garage Rock Records and is on their Bandcamp page. [KH]

 

Ed Schrader’s Music BeatEcho Base. ESMB has dropped the second single from their new album Nightclub Daydreaming (due out 3/25 on Carpark) and this time dipped their toes into 80s Bauhaus-esque gothy territory. Which really fits in with Schrader’s deep baritone and works well as a vibe. The video matches the song perfectly and gets into a spooky feel with Schrader vamping in a ghostly white spider webby wrap and enhanced by dramatic lighting adding even more to the overall goth factor. [KH]

 

 

Fruity MercuryFall For Me. This is the first offering from Fruity Mercury, the solo project of Xander Mikkal, singer of garage punk band Daddies. This is definitely not garage, rather a slice of fun dancey indie pop rock queercore and a spirited debut. He only has one track up right now but according to Bandcamp “This album is a work in progress. Just like me”  I for one am very excited to hear what comes next. Check out the song now on Bandcamp. [KH]

 

Fruity Mercury (photo by Jeanette D. Moses)

 

LAPÊCHEBottom Feeder V1. This song starts off with shimmery guitars before heading into a verse that is rhythmically complex and full of nuance, a lot of layers are going on with the guitars with a strong showing from the rhythm section too. I had a hard time placing a time signature on first listen (I’m pretty sure it’s 6/8 after a few spins through), but that is hardly a criticism or a bad thing, quite the opposite. Because for this nerd brain, let me tell you, I love a song that makes me think and challenges me. And so many of LAPÊCHE’s songs do just that, take me on a journey and challenge me, getting stuck in my head for a long time afterwards. This song has every element of what this band does so well and then it hits you really hard on the second chorus, when the whole band joins in on harmonized vocals that fly so damn high. After releasing a Pretenders cover at the end of 2021, this is their first original release since their excellent album Blood In The Water (which was on my favorites of 2021 list) and I’m for sure hoping this is just the first taste of some new material on the horizon. [KH]

 

LAPECHE performing

LAPÊCHE performing in 2021 (photo by Kate Hoos)

 

The Linda LindasGrowing Up. This is the first single from the just announced debut album (also titled Growing Up and due out on Epitaph on 4/8) from the delightful young punk band. Like their self titled 2020 EP, this track shows off their punky pop sensibilities, with full and robust production making the song sound slick, polished and ready to take over the airwaves. This is an exciting first look into their highly anticipated debut and came along with a super fun music video complete with adorable footage of the band as little kids playing on the TV at the end. [KH]

 

 

LorisLulua. Loris has roots in two nations that have seen centuries of colonization at the hands of Westerners: Palestine and Mexico. Of Palestinian decent and Mexican by birth, her music pulls in elements from both cultures, Latin American and Arab. In her latest single, a synth-bass drone sets the foundation for the Latin rhythmic pulse. Around this groove, Arab instruments and melodies weave in an out, expanding the sound palette. The song also serves as a soundtrack to a video (also featuring Loris) that accompanies the essay, “A Cultural and Mythological History of Pearling in the Arabian Gulf” in the climate and culture magazine, Atmos. [ND]

 

 

 

Lucy DacusKissing Lessons. Lucy Dacus dropped a fuzzy new single all about locking lips with a childhood crush and being that it’s short, almost blink and you miss it, I’m still sitting here wondering…did Lucy fall in love with her and misses her or she is just fondly reminiscing? Really could go either way! The stand alone single was cleverly advertised with flyers that included a 1-800 number to call to hear the song early before it was released to streamers. (I didn’t actually see one in the wild, just pictures posted on social media of them.) The song also was available on a limited edition 7 inch (that is now sold out) and included “Thumbs Again” as the b-side. [KH]

 

Lucy Dacus performing

Lucy Dacus peforming (photo by Kate Hoos)

 

Mdou MoctarNakanegh Dich. I’ve seen a lot of shows in my life (and by a lot, yes I mean A LOT, considering I’m at shows six days a week most weeks) and very few of them have ever moved me to tears. One notable exception was when I saw Mdou Moctar last fall and felt myself so overcome by emotion while watching that I found myself brushing tears away. A once in a generation talent, Moctar has increasingly been gaining prominence the last few years and it is well deserved. His album Afrique Victime was one of my favorites of 2021 and he is now set to release an expanded edition of the album featuring several more songs, “Nakanegh Dich” among them. Rhythmically the song is closely aligned with the feel of the other work on the album, but as in all of his music, it’s in the guitar work that things truly come alive. This song is an all out burning shred fest, with wah pedal and riffs galore, showcasing the exceptional level of his skill. I’m definitely excited to see what the rest of the expanded edition of the album brings and for another chance to see him and his band live hopefully sooner rather than later (I will sadly missed his recent BAM appearance). [KH]

 

 

MeshuggahThe Abysmal Eye. I will 100% admit that I am not an extreme metal fan, or just actually don’t know much about the genre overall. The metal I usually do listen to is more of the stoner variety and even that isn’t much. But there are exceptions to every rule and there are some metal bands I really dig, this band is one of them. And that is really based entirely on my complete awe of drummer Tomas Haake who plays double bass in a way I have never heard anyone else; he does more with his feet than most drummers can do with their hands and makes it look like he’s barely breaking a sweat in the process. This song has all the hallmarks of what metal fans love—fiercely chugging guitars locked in seamlessly with Haake’s insane footwork, monstrous growls, and a wicked guitar solo—a perfect specimen of the genre. [KH]

 

 

METZDemolition Row. METZ is one of my favorite bands and the last show I saw for fun** before omicron rolled into town was their show at Elsewhere (see pics from the show). (**I say “for fun” because I work in live music so I’m at shows constantly, just not usually for my own entertainment.) Seeing them was one of my highlights of 2021, an insanely weird and hard year for us all, and I’ve listened to Atlas Vending in full at least a few times a week the last several months. So suffice it to say, I was very excited to hear some new music by them, even if just a single. I was a little taken aback by this one the first time I heard it, not in a bad way, just in that it is at once a departure for the band and totally them in all their noisey glory at the same time. The track is groovey and a bit glitchy, singer/guitarist Alex Edkins’ voice even more echoey than usual, almost ethereal off someplace floating in the distance. There is also a real motorik feel which I love and it’s unlike anything else Metz has released before. The band acknowledged the markedly different feel in a press release, with Edkins saying: ‘Demolition Row’ is a song we recorded ourselves and I think it’s quite singular as far as the METZ catalogue is concerned. We’ve never sounded this way before.” The song is part of a split 7 inch with Adulkt Life came out on 3/4. [KH]

 

Metz performing

METZ performing (photo by Kate Hoos)

 

OceanatorBad Brain Daze. Oceanator has a brand new album on the way, Nothing’s Ever Fine, and has released the first single “Bad Brain Daze,” a crunchy pop rock bop about getting through the day with anxiety, something we can all surely relate to. Helmed by Oceanator leader/songwriter, Elise Okusami, the song features a slew of guest musicians including Jeff Rosenstock on sax and members of Groupie, Long Neck, Maneka, Bad Moves and more on backing/gang vocals. The album, due out 4/8/22 on Polyvinyl, was produced by Okusami (who performed most of the instruments herself) and her brother Mik with co-production from Bartees Strange. While the subject matter isn’t necessarily fun, the song manages to feel light none-the-less and it’s an ear worm for sure. [KH]

 

Oceanator performing (photo by Ray Rusinak)

 

Petrol GirlsBaby, I Had An Abortion. Big giant drums and riffs kick this one off, bringing a dose of the incendiary and intricate political hardcore the band is known for. This is also a band that doesn’t mince words (the conclusion of their most popular song repeatedly informs a would be groper/creep “touch me again and I’ll fucking kill you“) and this song is no change from their past work, here a scathing dismissal of right wing talking heads who seek to control access to abortion. Who’s life are you pro? Who’s do you want to control? The biggest surprise is perhaps when the chorus kicks in and shifts away from hardcore to a solid dance punk jam while gang vocals yell the refrain BABY I HAD AN ABORTION quickly followed with AND I’M NOT SORRY

The band said via their Bandcamp that “This track looks to highlight the simple truth that everyone should have easy access to abortion, without apologies or shame, via vocalist Ren Aldridge’s own experience.” It is the first single from their forth coming album, due out this summer. They are also selling merch with BABY I SUPPORT ABORTION on it to help raise money for Abortion Without Borders, an EU based organization that funds and supports people in Poland obtain abortions in neighboring countries or at home with pills. This is the first single from their upcoming third album which is due out this summer. [KH]

 

 

Pictoria VarkWyoming. This is almost three songs in one. The second single from The Parts I Dread begins quietly at midtempo before it slows itself down significantly for the more explosive chorus with singer/bassist/songwriter Victoria Park, musing “Can’t I blame you for everything?” The parts don’t so much as flow into each other as drag you into them, demanding attention. The dichotomy of tempos feels even more pronounced the second time around, as if it the band really means it this time. From the big chorus, a brief pause into a quick, noisy outro that ends the song abruptly. There’s a cohesion, though, especially upon multiple listens, each one revealing some new, subtle layer. The full record is due out April 8 on Get Better Records. [ND]

 

 

RebelmaticWalk on Water. Speaking of “hardest working bands,” Rebelmatic 100% deserves the crown for hardest working punk band in NYC. The band almost single handedly kept DIY punk and hardcore shows going just after the darkest days of 2020, with series of outdoor popup shows bringing a much needed light and salve to the community starved for connection and the music that binds us together. I attended several and played one and they were some of the best shows in the last few years for me both as a fan and as a musician. In addition to being busy playing as much as they could, they also spent the pandemic writing and have just released their first single of the new year, “Walk on Water,” which will be part of their upcoming EP Mourning Dove. The song starts out with a classic Rebelmatic sing along before quickly shifting to a blistering blast of rapid fire hardcore intensity, before again shifting to a mid tempo breakdown and a return to the singalong chorus to close out the second half of the song. This is one of the releases I’m most excited about this year and if this single is any indication, we are in for some of their best work yet.

 

In an interview with Afropunk, lead singer Creature said this of the song: The new song is about going through all of the things in the world now, realizing it’s very similar to the past that black people had to overcome. every day, having your sanity and literally fighting for your life. feels like a miracle or they impossible ie “Walking on Water” [KH]

 

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing (photo by Kate Hoos)

 

Sara Dziri- Fille de Racaille. Sara Dziri is a heavyweight of the Brussels electronic music scene. She is currently the resident DJ at Fuse Brussels techno club, and hosts radio shows on Kiosk Radio and Tsugi Radio. Her latest single, “Fille de Racaille,” displays her brilliance. Beneath a familiar pulsing house beat, Dziri overlays gothy arpeggiated synth hooks and occasional spots of Arab melody, a nod to her Tunisian heritage. At various points, the song breaks down entirely into a shimmer of Arab touches before the beat begins anew. This first single from Close to Home (which Google Translate says translates to “scum girl” in English) refers to the prejudice and racism she faced growing up the child of an outcast in Western Europe, according to DJMag. Close to Home will arrive March 25 via Optimo Music. [ND]

 

 

sensorenCatchin’ Feels. Hooky and foreboding, the lead single from sensoren’s forthcoming full-length Idiot Brain takes you back to the 80s (if you lived through them, anyway) with video game–style synths and a bit of the ol’ boom-bap. Described by the artist as “an exploration of the tedium of dealing with unwanted emotional responses,” the half-time groove keeps your head nodding. The layers of synths swirl, allowing your mind to zone and emotions to simmer. Catch those feels and release them, if only for a couple minutes. Idiot Brain features all the singles sensoren has released in the past year as well as some new jams. Coming to a boombox near you March 25 via Chameleons Risen. [ND]

 

 

Soul GloDriponomics. Punk and hip-hop have long and treasured history of revolutionary artists and songs that question the state of humanity and agitate for something better. Adhering to genre borders has become increasingly passe and downright old-fashioned, so it’s no surprise to see modern artists incorporating a variety of styles. Yet, it’s somehow still noteworthy. Case in point: the devastating new single from Soul Glo, “Driponomics.” Following the anthemic punk rock of the lead single from their forthcoming record Disapora Problems, Soul Glo bring the noise with this latest tune. The bassline throbs and noise loops drone as vocalist Pierce Jordan unleashes a fury of gut punches:

 

Aint nun as ugly as a balance in the red

I want bands on every politicians head

Fuck them n****s cus they stingy w the bread

We want blood instead and u can tell em what I said

 

Fellow Philly artist Mother Maryrose is no less hard, contrasting Jordan’s righteous rage with a frank accounting of modern consumerist culture that offers no apologies.

 

Risking it all like a rockstar material girl bitch I’m copping it all 

That is a fact, I’m speaking that raw 

just my like bundles that flow to my drawls

 

It’s two sides of a vicious cycle where jobs don’t pay enough, but capitalist society demands consumption. Jordan insightfully blames 40 years of Reaganomics for low-wage jobs and insecure gig work, but reminds the listener no one but the 1% is secure in the current economic system.

 

Yo my n**** stay flipping gear in a pinch

Reselling, upselling, I’m telling you

Labor to get comfortable is only for the gullible


Across the nation, we see a stirring labor movement, causing discomfort and uncertainty for the U.S. oligarchs. Toppling that system is the only way to end the cycle of Driponomics. Diaspora Problems arrives March 25 via Epitaph. [ND]

 

 

 

Star PartyPush You Aside/Shot Down. If the first two singles from Meadow Flower are any indication, we can look forward to noisy and fun record come March 11 when it arrives via Feel It Records. “Push You Aside” features drummer Ian Corrigan’s hiccuping, sparse drum beat underneath waves of gnarly guitar fuzz from Carolyn Brennan. Brennan’s verse melody is where the hook lies, part snarl, part whine. “Shot Down” picks up the pace, with a Peach Kelli Pop–type bopper, with Brennan’s guitar again bringing the noise. Looks to be perfect album to leave winter behind. [ND]

 

SlangWilder. Full of big booming drums courtesy of the mighty Janet Weiss (Quasi, Sleater-Kinney), buzzsaw keys, topped off with fervid and soulful vocals from Drew Grow (Modern Kin, Pastor’s Wives, this is the super group of my dreams. The lineup also includes Kathy Foster (of The Thermals) and Anita Lee Elliot (Viva Voce) because I did say supergroup didn’t I? And if this is the first single out of the gate, I really am going to get pretty impatient waiting for more! The band had this to say on their Bandcamp about themselves and their upcoming debut album:

Slang’s debut COCKROACH IN A GHOST TOWN is a force of nature that came, seemingly, out of nowhere. Lyricist/singer/guitarist Drew Grow and drummer/singer Janet Weiss started the band over a decade ago in Portland, OR—both having spent more than half their lives dedicated to making and performing music. Through the years, Weiss has played with everyone from her bands Quasi, Wild Flag, and Sleater-Kinney, to collaborators like Elliott Smith, Stephen Malkmus, and others.; Grow has fronted his own groups Modern Kin and the Pastors’ Wives, producing other bands along the way. Starting as a moonlighting collaboration, the meeting of this particular group was kismet if not totally cosmic.

In their first iteration as a duo, Slang hammered the Everly Brothers inside-out; they put a keen new light on songs by the Traveling Wilburys and Jackson C. Frank—setting out to harmonize together and just play. Following a homespun two-song cassette, the band grew to include Kathy Foster (Roseblood, The Thermals) on bass and Anita Lee Elliot (Viva Voce) on guitar/vocals—with record appearances made by Sam Coomes (Quasi), Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), Mary Timony (Helium, Ex Hex, Wild Flag) and others.

Cockroach in a Ghost Town is due out 5/27 on Kill Rock Stars and is available for pre-order now. [KH]

 

 

ThickLove You Forever. Thick gave us all a Valentine’s gift when they dropped this new single, two and a half minutes of the crunchy punky power pop they are so adept at crafting. Big buzzy guitars with a catchy as hell lead line, driving drums, sugary harmonies, and a yell along chorus? Now that’s the kind of Valentine’s gift I want! As of now this appears to be a stand alone single, their first new music since 2020’s 5 Years Behind, but I certainly hope there is more brewing in between their upcoming touring schedule. [KH]

 

Thick performing

Thick performing (photo by Kate Hoos)

 

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