Hi! Hello! Here we are with some bite sized goodies and a taste of a some new things that we dug that came out in the last few weeks (posted now due to the holidays etc), quick fire responses to some great new music we think you should check out. This week Kate, Mike and guest writer, Mara, weighed in on some killer songs— give ’em a listen!
And though we can’t possibly cover all the music that is released each week (we wish!), we do get to as many songs as we can. 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 for more:
Black Belt Eagle Scout– Nobody. Black Belt Eagle Scout is the project of Swinomish, Indian Tribal Community-based multi-instrumentalist Katherine Paul and “Nobody” follows the two previously released singles, “Don’t Give Up” and the stirring “My Blood Runs Through This Land.” This latest offering continues in the same vein as the previous songs and leads us further on Paul’s journey, her vocals wispy and light on top of the airy composition, which also features a piercing electric guitar line to the accentuate each chorus.
Her upcoming album The Land, The Water, The Sky is due out on 2/10 Saddle Creek and Paul has said it is a “love letter to Indigenous strength and healing, and a story of hope,” adding that this song in particular is about the Native representation that she didn’t find in her own childhood: “When I was growing up, I didn’t have very many Native role models to look to on TV or the radio. It was within my own community that I found inspiring role models through our elders and our community leaders. With Native representation in music and television slowly growing, I often ask myself where I stand within representation in music and how I want to be seen. This song is about the relationship I have with my own representation in music.” [KH]
Corker– Lice. Dive into some zippy, catchy as hell riffage from this Cincinnati quartet. They have perfectly blended punk and post-punk on this track for an anxious ear worm that immediately had me reaching for the repeat button the second it was done. Contrasting insistent guitar riffs duel back and forth, pushing and pulling against each other at some points, crossing over each other and intersecting at others. The band just embarked on a tour that will see them hitting dates across the Midwest but unfortunately will miss NYC this time around. This song follows their 2021 EP, A Bell That Seems To Mourn, and is the first taste of their debut LP which is to come at some point later this year. You can bet I’m more than ready to hear more (and to catch a show in NYC). [KH]
The Drin– Venom. More post punk from Cincinnati? Sign me up! The second single from their upcoming album, Today My Friend You Drunk the Venom, this one is a slightly scuzzy, lofi 80s Casio twinged tune with plenty of punch and grit behind the drive. While it is not surprising that this band shares members with aforementioned Corker, and both fall firmly under the post punk umbrella, the two bands definitely have their own distinct feels and are in no way carbon copies of each other, each standing firmly on their own. And I have to say, if some of these bands don’t start coming to NYC soon, it looks like I’ll be taking a road trip soon because there is something going on over there in Ohio. Something great. Today My Friend You Drunk the Venom will be released on 1/27. [KH]
Edna– End of the World. This is a stellar new track to end the year and it’s a long way home from here but it’s worth the ride. “End of the World” is a snappy long rhythmic build into soaring guitars and harmonies that devolves beautifully into dissonant unravel. Frontman Mike Tarnofsky delivers the somewhat sleepy vocal overdriven just enough to sizzle over the smolder tightly harnessed by the band. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the song belonged to the last great romantic age of rock n’ roll in NYC, paved into the Manhattan streets and echoed off the abandoned dancehalls and ghosts of the Lower East Side. [MB]
Fantastic Negrito– Highest Bidder (Reimagined). The triple Grammy award winning artist has just announced a new album, Grandfather Courage, which is the follow up and acoustic reimagining of his acclaimed 2022 album, White Jesus Black Problems. The original album features the Grammy nominated single “Oh Betty” (for Best American Roots performance) which was also given the acoustic treatment and released last month. On this latest rework, Negrito shares “If you want to take your mind, body and soul on a trip check out the reimagined recording of ‘Highest Bidder’ through the lenses of my touring band. At the time, I was listening to a lot of African drum patterns, and that definitely influenced this song. I’m trying to convey what I see when I walk down the street here in Oakland.”
Grandfather Courage releases in full on 2/3 via Storefront. Listen to both versions below. [KH]
Foul Pride– Public Execution. The NYC punk scene’s freshest faces are here with their debut track which highlights the poison of systemic racism inherent in the police system and beyond. The first half of the song bounces back and forth between a grungey groove with crusty edges for the verses and ripper blast-beat choruses. They point directly to the mischaracterization of Black and Brown people by law enforcement as “criminals” which in turn feeds a toxic false perception adopted in many ways by society as a whole. The identity bias underlies a sadness and anger that simmers throughout and boils over into a super heavy breakdown coda that carries us through the raw emotional release of the song’s second half. [MB]
Hairbag– Channel Surfing. Had Stone Temple Pilots, Tool, and The Vandals started a side project together, it probably would’ve been Hairbag. At times metal-adjacent, with a hint of funk, and a full serving of satirical punk ethos, the new single by the Brooklyn Trio (which includes Jigsaw Youth’s Maria Alvarez on bass) is just a taste of their latest release “Mole People” (out today via Boneshaker Records). Employing the quick-shifting rhythms we’ve come to expect from the band, this time around the guitars are bigger and grittier, the vocals more guttural and Hairbag has leaned straight into the heavier end of their spectrum. This has definitely got us excited to really dig into the rest of the new EP. [MB]
The Hold Steady– Sideways Skull. The long running Brooklyn indie rockers have reached the impressive hallmark of 20 years as a band and have announced a new album and tour to celebrate. Frontman Craig Finn notes the first single “Sideways Skull” is “a rocking song about rock and rollers,” and indeed it is, hitting everything that makes this band so much fun to listen to or see live. Read more here about their tour plans for 2023 and check out our recent coverage of night two of their annual Massive Nights residency. [KH]
Jigsaw Youth– Deeper. Helping us out with our New Year’s resolution to keep on rocking in 2023, the Staten Island trio and blog favorite dropped a new standalone single first day of the new year! Coming in heavy like a thunderclap, dotted with breakbeats, and smothered in wah wah, the song hits like a mean right hook. Giving us little time to barely catch our breath, Maria Alvarez (bass/vocals), Nastacha Beck (guitar/vocals), and Alex Dmytrow (drums) indeed go deeper, circling back to finish us off with a total knockout smash finish. [MB]
Mevius– December. Producer/songwriter Daniel Kasshu, aka Mevius, rang in the new year by releasing his first single of the year as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. This latest track follows three singles that were released in 2022. “December” provides the dreamy electronic shoegaze and raw vocals that will transport your thoughts far away from the brisk winter wind wrapped against your cheeks and encapsulates the gritty emotions that the winter season in the city inevitably provokes. Start the year off right by popping in your earbuds, and listening to a track that has lofi beats hot enough to melt the snow right off of your Doc Martens. You can catch Mevius live on January 18th opening for Push! at TV Eye, and headlining at Mercury Lounge on February 14th. [MF]
Posh Swat– Dungeon Crawler/Bug City. The ever prolific Osees band leader John Dwyer always seems to be up to something creative, and during the pandemic unleashed a number of experimental releases. He is back with another new experimental group, Posh Swat, which sees him rejoining forces with drummer Ryan Sawyer and percussionist Andres Renteria both of whom he collaborated with in Gong Splat. These two songs blend together, the first not really having an end point as the other begins and blend elements of jazz and psych for a trippy improvisational feel, with the drums and percussion taking more of the central role.
The group shared this statement on the upcoming record:
“Trap kit, hand percussion, homemade percussion instruments and electronic percussion overflow with extra weirdness.
Sick pop rhythms grinding through the wasteland.
Sand in your hair and bugs in your teeth.
Hand on your knife, knife in your sheath
Grimy bass burps through a fried stack
And the crack of the snare is a mighty pink smack
Bells, whistles, conga, and vibes
This is a drug record
One thousand times”
And with sounds like these and a description like that, this is sure to be another intriguing offering from this trio. Their self titled debut will release in full on 2/17 via Rock Is Hell. [KH]
Object of Affection– Half Life. Object of Affection is here to pick up where Title Fight left off and fill the void of gloomy, post hardcore riffs that we collectively thought only Floral Green could satisfy. Their latest, “Half Life,” is the lead single off of their upcoming debut album. And if you haven’t listened to them yet, it’s time to change that. Featuring members from some of the heaviest hitting bands in the current alternative scene (Fury, Death Bells, La Bonte), they use their talents to form a group that is nothing short of groundbreaking. Ditch listening to that vinyl from 2014 on repeat for the fourth time this week, and blast Object of Affection’s new single. Get ready to put those old records into retirement once Field of Appearances hits the shelves— you won’t be able to stop it from spinning on repeat until you fall asleep.
Their 10 track debut album, Field of Appearances, drops on March 3rd, via Profound Lore. You can pre-order/pre-save the album now. In the meantime, catch them in Los Angeles on January 28th, and San Diego on January 29th with direct support from Dazy and Alien Boy. [MF]
Oceanator– A Long December (Counting Crows cover). Oceanator, the project of songwriter Elise Okusami, released one of FTA’s favorite albums of 2022, Nothing’s Ever Fine, (see more of our picks here) and has kicked off the new year with a cover of the 1996 classic by Counting Crows. She provides the drums and the vocals for this one and gets an assist from her long time collaborator (and brother) Mike Okusami who played bass and piano on the track, along with guitars from Adam Meisterhans. It is a pretty faithful cover and will surely tick a lot of warm 90s nostalgia boxes. [KH]
Razor Braids– Nashville Again. The Brooklyn quartet returns to Nashville with the reimagining of their 2020 earworm single, “Nashville.” This time they approach things with softer brush strokes and a subdued slide that, like the song, feels like a series of delicately fleeting moments. The layered vocals perfectly align and occasionally overlap with a powerful fragility that breathes new life into the song. Razor Braids has artfully brought a whole new character to the tune about existing within a passing finite experience, suggesting maybe you can indeed go back home again. The song comes paired with a cover of the 90s classic by Weezer, “Buddy Holly” which the band joked they wanted to call “Buddy Hollye” after their singer Hollye Bynum. They will also embark on a tour at the end of February which will see them playing dates through SXSW. [MB]
Tee Vee Repairmann– Bus Stop. Lo-fi power pop punk from Australia, this is the first single from the forthcoming album What’s On TV? It was recorded on an analog 8 track (a Tascam 488 MK1 to be exact) by the prolific Sydney garage punk vet Ishka Edmeades (The Satanic Togas, G.T.R.R.C., Research Reactor Corporation) and that being the case, it has all the warm fuzzy edges you’d expect and know you love about the medium. It may currently be winter in the States, but it’s sunny season Down Under and this is the perfect tune to blast while cruising down the highway with the wind whipping through your hair. What’s On TV? will be available in full on 2/10 via Total Punk. [KH]