Hello and welcome to FTA’s list of what we are excited for this Bandcamp Friday, aka every music nerds favorite day! A bunch of us weighed in on what we’ve been into lately and we’ve got plenty of goodies old and new for you to dig into over a wide range of genres. But don’t take our word for it, dive into these tracks/albums and judge for yourself. Feel free to let us know what you think and tell us your suggestions.
It’s the last BC Friday of the year and we’ve had a bunch of great lists over the last several months which you can check out for plenty of inspiration on variety of tunes for you to explore. Check them out here: April, May, June, September, October and November.
Kate Hoos- Editor In Chief
Feces– Black Mold. Need a little sludge in your life? Then Feces has you covered with Black Mold, their 2019 EP that perfectly blends noise, sludge and grunge. Gross bodily secretions and hazards to breathing aside, this is some Bleach era shit and I can most definitely get behind that. (One of Kurt Cobain’s early pre-Nirvana bands was called Fecal Matter, so it tracks influence wise.) My favorite track is the closer, “Brown Cloud,” it’ll dig right inside your brain with its mesmerizing Sting Ray bass line and gang vocals. It may or may not also be about shit (but true to form, the lyrics are muddy and my old battered ear drums can’t quite make them out).
Rotten Blossom– Let’s Hang Out. I hate you! You’re so mean! Piece of shit! You’re so mean! We are heading into the winter months and I live in NYC so those two things right there are making me extra cranky lately. But all you really need to make you feel better when you’re cold and packed in like sardines in a subway car is some bratty fucking punk rock. This now defunct band (I think anyway) from Honolulu has that in spades, blending riot grrrl attitude with zippy hardcore shreds and I’m here for it.
Teen Mortgage– Life/Death. The riffs are heavy and hypnotic, and pack more than a healthy dose of grungey surfy psych which for me, has been a huge theme for my 2022. This 5 song EP was released in 2019 and the band recently released a new single so hopefully more new tuneage is on the horizon for them soon.
Billy Faith- Contributing Writer
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties– We Don’t Have Each Other. Wonder Years vocalist Dan Campbell’s side project, a concept band. This first album begins the fictional story of lead singer West, with lyrics as detailed and potent as a novel and emo folk music that sounds like it’s coming out of a small, bare apartment across from the Neutral Milk Hotel.
Annalibera– Nevermind I Love You. In this dark debut from the Des Moines band, Anna Gebhardt and company combine influences ranging from shoegaze to 90s electro pop, and Americana church music to Enya, creating a midwest indie rock appropriate for sitting in the pitch black fields of Iowa at night, seeing the blinking lights of the windmills in unison that look like an alien invasion.
Kero Kero Bonito– Bonito Graduation. On the second album by the pop trio, they streamline their J-Pop and hyper pop influences to create a one of the most stunning, well produced, and re-listenable pop albums in recent memory, all while providing subtle tongue and cheek criticism of collegiate and post-grad society. Add in the lyrics in both English and Japanese and you have an album that is truly unlike anything else.
Scratchy Blanket– Something For Everyone. Shannon Keating fronts the Pittsburgh band whose infectious emo indie guitar pop perfectly invokes the feeling of being in the room depicted on the album cover, complete with sleeping cat and all.
Brianna DiGioia- Contributing Photographer
British Soccer– Cool Horse.
Desert Sharks– Baby’s Gold Death Stadium.
Love As Laugher– Laughter’s Fifth.
Midwife– Like Author, Like Daughter.
Suuns– Zeroes QC.
Chantal- Contributing Writer
Diskette Park– Hypomnesia. 80’s influenced synthwave, perfect for neon lights and night driving. Get it on cassette!
Lil Sluggers– Bells Below. Billing themselves as “theatrical art rock” this album has more than a little alt-country flair, and is a rollicking good time.
Psyche– All Things Pass Into The Night. This 10th anniversary edition of the original EP from the legendary band includes new tracks and remixes and will have all the goths dancing in the club.
Kate Bell- Contributing Writer
Kevin McGann- Contributing Photographer
Disq– Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet. Recently covered by FTA at their Baby’s All Right gig (see pics), this Wisconsin based band expands on their 2020 debut album. Whether its strumming along to a 60’s sounding pop jam, or rocking out to a 90’s indie vibe, or throwing some electronics/sound effects into the mix, Desperately Imagining finds Disq pushing themselves further and the album is all the better for it.
Jockstrap– I Love You Jennifer B. Fun, eclectic, dizzying (in the best way) debut by UK duo Jockstrap. Fellow music/theater graduates, Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye, bring the drama on a diverse set of tracks that at times recall Bjork’s body of work which can waiver between accessible and inaccessible and sometimes within the same track.
Sorry – Anywhere But Here. North London’s Sorry released their sophomore album last month. “Tell Me” is a standout— it’s a stark look at post-breakups and builds from its quiet intro to a densely layered conclusion between guitar, synth, and vocal trade-off between Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen. Where Human League was exuberantly asking “Don’t you want me, baby?” nearly 40 years ago, Sorry’s response is a more despondent, “Tell me where the sun will go down, I’ve been standing here on my own.”
Mike Borchardt- Contributing Writer
Dead Stars– Their entire catalog. The band is back. Maybe? We think. The fuzz rockers just played a show at the new Main Drag (see our coverage) which was their first time together on stage since before the pandemic. We hope this means there’s new stuff down the pike, but for now binge on their entire back catalog which is bursting catchy grunge-pop goodies.
Dead Tooth– Sporty Boy. Trash Casual heroes’ frantic ripper of a track to follow up their “Pig Pile” masterpiece from earlier this year. Read my full review here.
LaPeche– Blood in the Water. We recently covered their new single “Slight” (read here) but their 2021 LP Blood in the Water from New Granada Records is a nearly perfect record and spends a lot of time on our turntable at home.
Nevva– Fer Sher. One of our favorite records by one of our favorite bands. This punk rock trio slaps. Slaps hard. Nevva 4 eva!!
sock jock– anothernovember. The latest release from Totally Real Records is an indie rock gem and a beautiful piece of music. Read my full review here.
NickAD- Contributing Writer
Dezron Doulgas– ATALAYA.
The Dracu-Las– Fever Dream.
Homeboy Sandman– Still Champion.
Randy Gloss– …The Ayes Have It.
Ray Rusinak- Contributing Photographer
Fritz– Pastel. I recall when I first heard Pastel back in February 2021, thinking that I had discovered my first top ten album of the year (2021). A coming of age album by a 20 year old female from Newcastle, the lyric content theoretically shouldn’t have resonated with this old New York dude at all, but sonically, from the opening reverb heavy guitar strumming and the pounding thumping of the drums on “Sweetie,” I was immediately hooked.
The album is shoegazey but not quite shoegaze. It’s also dream poppy but likewise, not quite. I’m not sure if it was done on purpose but Tilly Murphy’s (FRITZ is pretty much her project) vocals are presented way low in the mix which I kind of like about the album, being as I said earlier, its the music and instrumentation which I truly love about this album anyway.
Unfortunately we haven’t gotten any new material from FRITZ in 2022, nor have we been blessed with them visiting our shores. But with that being said, Pastel has crushed the test of time and still more than stands up after almost 2 years of enjoyment.
Ghum– Bitter. GHUM hails from London and Bitter is their debut full length. Having released a pair of EP’s, The Coldest Fire and GHUM prior to pandemic, the subsequent lockdown didn’t do these women any favors in terms of getting their name out there. What it did was allow them to seriously hone their craft and sound. Bitter is, to say the least, a massive album. Massive in sonic terms not necessarily size, clocking in at just under 40 minutes. Lead vocalist, Laura Guerrero reminds me of PJ Harvey from the early 90’s. Originally from Spain she alternates singing in both English and Spanish. She also, stylistically, brings to mind a little bit of Jehnny Beth from the first Savages album. And as long as I’m bringing up Savages, this band reminds me a lot of that Savages feel. Upon first listen, the dark, subversive grit which I originally felt with Silence Yourself is exactly what I felt while listening to a song like “Shallow” from this LP. With its swirling guitar lines cascading into a whirlwind of angst, guitarist JoJo Khor emits a direct throwback to the understated yet mesmerizing melodic noodling which we came to love from Gemma Thompson.
One other thing, as I was listening to Bitter, I found myself turning up the volume on every song to the point that I was maxed out by the time it was over. It’s one of those albums which you wish you had an 11 on your volume control for.