Hi! Hello! Here we are with some bite sized goodies and a taste of some new things that we dug that came out in the last week(ish), quick fire responses to some great new music we think you should check out. This week Chantal and Kate weighed in on some killer songs, so give em a listen!
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 week or so:
Babehoven– Often. The closer for the upcoming debut album, Light Moving Time, from the Hudson, NY band, “Often” is a subdued and dreamy offering built around an acoustic guitar and Maya Bon’s vocals with subtle bass and other instrumentation augmenting. The song is about loss that frames pain as a person sitting in the backseat of her car. “‘Often’ is a song about grief, about holding love for a person I’ve lost, about trying to let go and find new paths for myself,” says Bon. “This song changed my life when I wrote it and has provided clarity for me in times of chaos. I hope that, through sharing it, others will find in it comfort and clarity, too.” The song comes paired with a video that was directed by Kevin Prince and features footage from around the Hudson Valley, loosely following two characters through various moments in time. Light Moving Time is out 10/28 via Double Double Whammy. [KH]
GIFT – Share The Present. This ode to the present and intentional presence of mind is a slice of brightly melodic 80’s tinged dreampop that puts me in mind of a synthy Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Their debut album Momentary Presence will be out on new label Dedstrange on 10/14; catch the release show at The Sultan Room next week as well (10/15). [CW]
Jobber– Hell In A Cell. If I didn’t know any better and no one told me, I could listen to this song and think I was listening to a band directly out of 1993. And I consider that a good thing because the golden age of early 90s alt rock/grunge (and the year 1993 in particular) was my first real intro to rock music which went on to shape a massive portion of my life/who I am as a person. So I’ve very much enjoyed this recent resurgence of grungier bands. This is the title track from their upcoming debut EP and it seems as if this song (and the EP as a whole) are built around references to pro wrestling…yes, pro wrestling. The song even comes complete with a wrestling themed video directed by Steve Marrucci.
But of course, all is not as it seems and these aren’t actually songs directly about Hulk Hogan and Co. The wrestling framework serves as the entry point through which we see Jobber’s worldview, with the songs actually being about deeper topics, vocalist/guitarist Kate Meizner explaining via a press release “‘Hell In A Cell’ is basically an allegory. On its surface, it’s a narrative about a fictional wrestler mentally preparing for a match and questioning whether it’s worth it to put her body on the line for the sake of spectacle” continuing, “Pulling back the curtain a bit, the lyrics are pretty personal and came out at a time when my job was having an especially negative impact on my health. I wanted to quit so badly, but in the midst of Covid-19 related layoffs and economic downturn, everyone was being bludgeoned with anti-labor talking points like “why are you complaining about your job? You should feel grateful to even have a job!” The lyrics “Am I ungracious?/ Because I won’t turn water into wine/ Am I buried forever?/ If I start speaking my mind” are from the POV of the wrestler, but also came from a personal place, expressing my anger toward workplaces and their horrendous, exploitative treatment of workers.”
Meizner also said she drew inspiration from Helmet’s Betty which is obvious but not overbearing and the band has lots of pop sensibilities too which shine in the quieter passages of the song. Hell In A Cell is due out on 10/21 via Exploding In Sound.
Junior Boys– Waiting Game. Junior Boys continue to deliver their brand of darkly catchy synth pop, albeit a bit moodier and less dancy, on this single from their first album since 2016. The chilled out vibes pair well with the theme of waiting around with time on your hands. Listen while watching the John Smith directed music video, an homage to Michael Snow’s ’67 experimental film Wavelength. [CW]
Moon Walker– Turn Off This Song (Before It Takes Your Soul). This 5th single from Moon Walker’s sophomore LP The Attack Of Mirrors is a disco-flavored warning about surveillance and propaganda. (“Can’t trust no radio, cause they got something to sell you / And don’t pick up the telephone cause you never know who’s calling you, do you?”) They’ll be at the Bowery Electric this Saturday (10/8) with The Crystal Casino Band, Sauce City, and Tender Glue. [CW]
Sharon Van Etten– Never Gonna Change. When I saw SVE play at SummerStage back in August as part of the breathtaking Wild Hearts Tour (with Angel Olsen and Julien Baker, see our coverage), it took me a while to get over her set, her performance of “Headspace” alone had me reeling for a solid week. Now she has announced a deluxe edition of her wonderful album, We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong, which will compile the stand alone singles “Porta,” and “Used To It,” along with two previously unreleased bonus tracks “When I Die,” and “Never Gonna Change,” for the “most complete presentation of Van Etten’s 2022.”
“Never Gonna Change” was co-produced by Van Etten and Daniel Knowles, and in a press release she says the song “is about managing depression and anxiety in the midst of isolation,” continuing “Coping with recurring fears throughout adulthood, acknowledging that flaws, fears and triggers can’t be overcome, they are a constant part of one’s identity to learn to be at peace with,” making for powerful and cathartic song we can surely all relate to on a deep level and find solace in as we continue to navigate a confusing post-pandemic world. We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong deluxe edition will be out 11/11via Jagjaguwar. [KH]
Special Interest– Foul. A little more forceful than some of their groovier tracks, this song features call and response style vocals over a blast of minimalist fuzzy punk that makes me wonder if this is about an awful service industry job – 86 hope, hey we’ve all said that. (ETA: yep, according to the band this is indeed “a dispatch from the dish pit.”) They’ll be in NYC on 12/8 at Bowery Ballroom. [CW]
T.S. Tadin– It’s a Drag. This Canadian-turned-New Yorker (Pleasant Valley, to be exact) brings us a catchy piece of pop with jangly piano and winding fuzzy guitar lines. Tadin mixes singer-songwriter sensibilities with a classic full band sound on this first single from his upcoming album Pretty Boring. The single release is this weekend (10/9) at Pete’s Candy Store. [CW]
TVOD– Alien. The latest from one of the most energetic and exciting bands currently gigging in Brooklyn, this one has been a live staple for a while, and is one that always gets the crowd amped up and jumping around. Capturing the dynamic energy of this band in the recorded setting surely isn’t an easy feat but one that producer Michael Abiuso deftly pulled off. I love this song musically and also can’t help but really relate to the lyrics “And when I dream I think I’m somebody else, somebody with better mental health.” After the last few years we have all collectively lumbered through, I think most of us are in the same boat. As of now it’s a stand alone single not attached to a full length, but here’s hoping there is more soon in the works. The band kicked off a tour this week and will be playing dates across the northeast and Canada. [KH]