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, Kate and Mike 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 and check back every Friday to see more:
Big Joanie– Sainted. Ahead of their upcoming second album, Back Home, the London based trio has shared a few singles and just in time for spooky season dropped this synthy jam. “Sainted” sees them leaning a bit away from their straight ahead indie rock sensibilities and fully into an 80s inspired goth mood, echoing the electro turn of their most recent single “Confident Man.” Paired with “Sainted” is a beautifully shot, ominous and witchy themed video. Back Home is out 11/4 via Kill Rock Stars. [KH]
Black Belt Eagle Scout– Don’t Give Up. Black Belt Eagle Scout is the project of Swinomish, WA-based multi-instrumentalist Katherine Paul and “Don’t Give Up,” is her first new music since 2019’s At the Party With My Brown Friends. A beautiful and gossamery indie song built around Paul’s luminous vocals, “‘Don’t Give Up’ is a song about mental health awareness and the importance that my connection to the land plays within my own mental health journey,” says Paul. She further elaborated saying: “Spending time with the land and on the water are ways that strengthen my connection to my ancestors and to my culture. It helps heal my spirit and is the form of self-care that helps me the most. The lyrics ‘I don’t give up’ mean staying alive. I wrote this song for me but also for my community and anyone who deals with challenging mental health issues to remind us just how much of a role our connection to the environment plays within our healing process. At the end of the song when I sing ‘the land, the water, the sky,’ I wanted to sing it like my late grandfather Alexander Paul Sr. sang in our family’s big drum group – from the heart.”
In conjunction with “Don’t Give Up,” Black Belt Eagle Scout is offering a special charity t-shirt design by artist Willow Tomeo benefiting the Chief Seattle Club, an organization that helps houseless Natives in Seattle get off the street. Seattle happens to be one of the biggest places for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People epidemic. Having a safe place to turn to like Chief Seattle Club could help some people have an option to get out of human trafficking. Shirts are available for purchase here.
She will also feature on Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album, the upcoming Sleater Kinney covers album out October 21st. [KH]
Bleached– Flip It. The LA based duo of sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin have released a brand new single, “Flip It,” which is their first new music since their 2020 song, “Stupid Boys.” This one is a catchy as hell slice of the brand of punky power pop that the band is known for and be warned, it will run around your head a few times after it’s over. In a press release Jessica Clavin said “I was thinking of the way I speak to myself and I never realized how hard I could be on myself,” continuing, “I’m becoming way more aware of my inner voice… When I’m going through a day and I’m just feeling extra challenged, I now think about flipping it.” Advice we can all take to heart. [KH]
Brutus– What Have We Done. The final single from Belgian post hardcore trio Brutus’ anticipated new album, Unison Life (10/21 Sargent House), this one builds slowly and is a serious emotional gut punch. You can practically feel the anguish radiating off of vocalist/drummer Stefanie Mannaerts as she delivers the line “for too long I’ve been dying inside” as it tingles all the way up your spine. She said on this “The song embodies what was going on at the time of writing, in the middle of the pandemic. It is about suffering for too long and you have had enough. The verse echoes the mutual feeling we sometimes have as humans with too much going on in our heads and getting stuck in the same loop.” And that is something all of us can relate to and find solace in after some very difficult times living through the pandemic and untold numbers of tragic events the last several years.
Mannaerts also added that the band felt it was a “defining song” for them, elaborating “For some reason, this new piece of music felt like both a turning point and an intersection. In our history of being a band, this feeling came only a few times before, with the songs “Bearclaws,” “Justice de Julia II,” and “War.” Key songs such as these are challenging, but also feel like coming home at the same time. They define who you are as a band.” [KH]
Dead Meadow– The Left Hand Path. Heavy psych greats Dead Meadow have announced a new album, Force Free Form, and shared the first single from it, the instrumental smokey slow burner “The Left Hand Path.” The track comes paired with a hallucinatory visualizer that weaves subtle and not so subtle commentary on society and our reliance on tech into it and fits perfectly with the vibe of the song. The full album arrives on 12/9 via Blues Funeral Recordings. [KH]
Dry Cleaning– No Decent Shoes for Rain. On the latest single from Stumpwork (out 10/21 on 4AD) singer Florence Shaw’s speak-singing vocals come down on the side of spoken, delivered in a deadpan way. Is this a poem, prose, or lyrics? Either way, the words twine into the looping, yet ever forward moving music well, a bit Black Box Recorder meets Slint. Shaw says the track is about grieving, both over death of people and relationships. Dry Cleaning is currently on tour, although they won’t make an appearance here in NYC until next February when they play Pioneer Works. [CW]
Hammered Hulls– Needlepoint Tiger. The third single from the DC super group featuring members of Helium, The Faith, The Make-Up, Titus Andronicus (and many more), each one seems to get better than the last and shows off more and more of the band’s strong points. This one is driven by a lithe bass line courtesy of Mary Timony and leans very much into the groovier side of the DC post hardcore sound, a sound and ethos that the band members helped define in their past projects. The album was produced by front man Alec MacKaye’s older brother, Ian MacKaye, and drops on 10/28 via Dischord. They will next play NYC on 12/2 at TV Eye. [KH]
JFDR– The Orchid. Jófríður Ákadóttir is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Iceland with an extensive resume, both as a member of Samaris and Pascal Pinon and as a collaborator and composer. Under JFDR she has released two solo albums, and has a new single now for her signing to Houndstooth. The song has gorgeous music box like quality, and is backed up by an equally enchanting music video directed by Joseph Burgess. Ákadóttir confesses to a bit of an obsession with orchids, calling them “a very cunning flower… Fertility, creativity, beauty and mystery are all embodied by the orchid.” [CW]
Jobber– Heel Turn. Another slice of 90s inspired alt grunge perfection from this group, the third single and closing track from their upcoming debut EP Hell In A Cell (10/21 Exploding In Sound). In all the best ways this reminds me of Belly meets Veruca Salt meets Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins with a wonderful push and pull between the vocals, lead guitar line and booming toms before the chorus soars and swirls around you.
The song again fits in with the pro wrestling as metaphors for life theme of the EP, with it serving as the clever framework and entry point to dealing with the bullshit of real life. Vocalist/guitarist Kate Meizner recently spoke to Paste to elaborate more on this. They will next play Brooklyn at Alphaville on 11/5 with TVOD. [KH]
LaPeche– I’ve been jonesin’ for another cool dose of LaPeche since heir last single, “Mermaid Blues,” has been wearing down my phone battery on Spotify repeat since July. Just in time for Fall, the band dropped a new single on New Grenada Records last week “Slight,” a smart and dance-y number that washes over you like saltwater on your skin. The quartet (vocalist Krista Diem, bassist Dave Diem, guitarist Drew DeMaio and drummer Richard Salino) once again shows their mastery of composition and texture in structure and arrangement, taking subtle but unexpected turns that just somehow always feel right. The most satisfying hook though lies in the guitar and vocal lines that twist and wrap around like a fuzzy blanket on crisp autumn morning. Fingers crossed this means another full length is on the way, as their last LP Blood on the Water has remained a regular favorite on our turntable since it’s release last year. [MB]
Los Bitchos– Los Chrismos. Let the (Christmas) Festivities Begin! The tequila fueled Cumbia/psych (mostly) instrumental party band have kicked off the holiday season early with their brand new Christmas song, “Los Chrismos,” which fits perfectly into their existing body of danceable work and will sure to be a hit at the club or the office holiday party. The Bitchos are also ready to stuff your stockings with Christmas themed jumpers and a special edition of their debut album, Let The Festivities Begin!, which has been pressed on a limited run 180gram red/green/white vinyl and comes with a flexi picture disc featuring “Los Chrismos,” and its b-side “Tipp Tapp,” along with a sticker sheet; the package and shirts are available for pre-order now via their Bandcamp page.
And while I personally have never been much of a fan of holiday music, “Los Chrismos” just might be the song to finally thaw this grinch out a bit because it is an ear worm that I’ve already hit repeat on more than once. I recently caught up with the band at a gig while I was in the UK and you can see pics from that here. [KH]
Roid Rage– Incision. This band just recently came to my attention and reading their self description on Bandcamp as “ragged garage punk band powered by drip coffee and cheap beer. Hailing from the epicenter of progressive culture (Akron, Ohio), they are a pure distillation of underground rock music and their grimy rust belt surroundings,” and then taking a listen to this one this was a “oh hell fucking yes!” moment for me.
I’ve spent more time listening to garage punk than most anything else the last few years so I’m always down check out new/new to me artists. This is the second single they’ve released this year after the bruising and intense “Two Ton Man,” and I’ve had fun digging into their back catalog as well. They also share their drummer, Matt Schulz, with a long time favorite of mine, Holy Fuck, who has played with SAVAK and Fake Names. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for their next stop in NYC. [KH]
Russian Baths– Done and Dead / Rise Again. Russian Baths are a two piece (Jess Rees and Luke Koz) but this remotely recorded song features 14 instruments, including strings from Julia Stein and Akita Goto. The track, the first of two singles released together, finds them in gentler territory at first glance. Yet while this post-rock tune is beautiful, paired with the unsettling lyrics it becomes a haunting tale of sleep paralysis (both literal and metaphorical?) As the band says on their Bandcamp page, “Sometimes, people are awake, but can’t move. Sometimes, you can’t do anything and if you try, it gets worse.”
The other single, “Rise Again,” is more energetic, a dark slice of post-punky shoegaze with a driving rhythm and hypnotic guitar lines. It forms a companion and a counterpoint both in music and theme, as the band notes “this song is about sole survivors, insomnia, guilt, and forced adaptation.” The dual A-sides are out now on Good Eye Records. [CW]
Sales– July. The crisp vocal production belies the bedroom pop feel of this track, which otherwise might have convinced me it came from the early cassette driven 90s era and might have been passed through zine and tape trading networks. But this is very firmly of the now and representative of the best of the dreamy bedroom style that has made a big resurgence over the past several years. [KH]
Weeping Icon– Pigs, Shit & Trash. We’re big fans of the Brooklyn based noise punk group here at FTA (see our recent live coverage) and we are very excited for this, the first single from their just announced EP Ocelli (11/18 Fire Talk) which is their first new music since their 2019 self titled full length. A rapid fire noisy ripper, it really shows off the punkier side of their sound. This band has never minced words and always packs a political punch, with this song being inspired by the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head during the Vice Presidential debate in 2020. Drummer/vocalist Lani Combier-Kapel explained more saying :
“I was in NYC, where I was born and raised, and where my family still lives. As I watched transplants sneak away to their isolated farms or country houses, I was trapped in a crowded 4 bedroom apartment. Surrounded by death, I was confused, terrified for my aging parents’ health, and looking for any semblance of hope that things could turn around. Around that same time, uprisings and protests for Black Lives Matter were happening every day in NYC – I had good friends who were beaten by police officers and jailed for standing up for what was right. It became blatantly obvious that the government simply wasn’t working for the people and had no clue how to help. These government officials just feel so untouchable – like we can meme them and make jokes about them but at the end of the day, they get to go home to their wives and million dollar mansions and live in their own bubble, not be bothered by the troubles of the world that they created.
When the electoral debates came around, I thought it was very fitting that a fly landed on top of Mike Pence’s head, right when he was talking some bullshit about race in America. I loved that moment, that this fly just randomly shat and vomited on this guy’s head (as flies are known to do to everything they land on). I started imagining this fly as some kind of antihero, claiming one tiny bit of revenge on national TV – a heroic villain attracted to pigs, shit, and trash.”
The song is also paired with an excellent and satirical music video directed by Alice Millar. [KH]