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 week(ish), quick fire responses to some great new music we think you should check out. This week was a big one and Chantal, Kate and Mike 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:
Algiers– I Can’t Stand It! (feat. Samuel T. Herring & Jae Matthews). The latest from the upcoming and anticipated album, Shook (2/24 Matador), it features a sample of the 1971 Lee Moses song “What You Don’t Want Me To Be” as well as guest spots from Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands) and Jae Matthews (Boy Harsher). The song explores some deep personal feelings and the soulful sample heightens the emotions of frontman Franklin James’ very palpable pain. Algiers will next hit the stage in NYC on 4/6 at Racket. [KH]
boygenius– $20/Emily I’m Sorry/True Blue. The holy trinity of indie rock, boygenius, aka the super group of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus are back and people are really excited about it! Read more here and go take a peak at their Rolling Stone cover story (and this very cool behind the scenes video/interview) which sees the band hilariously and very accurately replicating two of the most iconic Nirvana photo shoots of the 90s. [KH]
Deerhoof– Sit Down, Let Me Tell You a Story. The long running and prolific experimental band have just announced their latest album, Miracle-Level, which after almost 30 years as a band is the first record they have made start to finish within the walls of a recording studio. It is also their first album that will feature frontwoman Satomi Matsuzaki signing entirely in Japanese (read more on the making of the album here). The song brings all the wonderful noisy chaos I love about this band and follows the very delightful single they released last fall, “My Lovely Cat,” (read our thoughts) also included on the album which was produced by none other than the late Lil Bub’s owner, Mike Bridavsky. The album arrives in full on 3/31 via Joyful Noise Recordings and the band will embark on a headline tour that hits NYC on 4/4 at Elsewhere. [KH]
Ditz– No Thanks, I’m Full (Live at the Louisiana Bristol). The UK based noise punk band put out one of my top three favorite records of 2022, The Great Regression, and just announced a live version of the album and a European tour to accompany it. (The rest of my list can be seen here. It was not ranked, but I did indicate on my Instagram that this album in particular was in my top three for the year.) This song closes out the studio version of the album and fittingly is the first song revealed from the live record which is set to include the whole of Regression “plus a couple of extras.” I’m definitely excited for said extras though it is unclear if it will be some of the stand alone singles they have released or new tracks.
This is actually the third recorded incarnation of this song, having first appeared on EP1 in 2016, with the latest version being the most ferocious yet, the live setting allowing it to stretch out to a very noisy eight minutes (it’s also pretty cool to see the evolution of the song in an seven year time period). This is one of the bands on the very top of my list to see live and while no US tour has yet been announced, they told me recently via DM that they hope to get over here sometime in 2023. My fingers (and my toes) are certainly crossed for that! [KH]
Forty Feet Tall– We Can’t Go Back To Normal. Confession, I might be a little obsessed with how catchy the guitars are in the chorus of this song, the opposing licks sparking back and forth off of each other. This is the second single from an upcoming EP and the band says “This is our most blatantly political, angry song we’ve made. Cole [Gann, guitar/vocals] wrote the lyrics pretty freshly off of protests and it talks about very specific events that happened in Portland, as well as much broader problems that everyone experienced and continues to experience. We fell into this mantra, ‘we can’t go back to normal’, which seemed to synthesize it all into a sentence. Whatever so many of us considered ‘normal’ was brutality.” I’m certainly intrigued and very ready to hear more from this crew. [KH]
Gina Birch— I Play My Bass Loud. The title track from Birch’s upcoming album is a slice of dub, with declaratory lyrics that bring a smile to this bassist’s face: “Sometimes I wake up and I wonder, what is my job? – I play my bass loud!” The music video features five women bassists: Emily Elhaj (Angel Olsen), Mikki Itzigsohn (Small Wigs), Staz Lindes (The Paranoyds), Hazel Rigby (TBHQ), and Birch herself, dancing around with choreographer Brontez Purnell. It all makes for a joyous, finger-snapping song that I can’t wait to blast out of a speaker this spring. Look out for the album 2/24 on Third Man Records. [CW]
Jenny O.- You Are Loved Eternally. The bright light of summery joy in the midst of the cold hard winter is exactly the pick-me-up I needed this week. Singer songwriter Jenny O. brings some sunny 60s pop vibes here with the latest single from her upcoming album, Spectra, and the airy guitar and sugary harmonies will thaw the iciest of hearts. Spectra arrives 2/24 via Mama Bird Recording Co. [KH]
John (Times Two)– Hopper on the Dial. I love this band for their high energy, (usually) high tempo and beautifully abrasive qualities. And I love this song (and its companion “Theme New Bond Junior,” read my thoughts here) precisely because while both embrace these qualities to an extent, both are a distinct departure from the hyper drive affair of most of the material on their previous three albums (2017’s God Speed in the National Limit, 2019’s Out Here on the Fringes and 2021’s Nocturnal Manoeuvres). This is the band really at its most subdued and see them exploring intricacies in their sound which have not been present before, a path that is new for the band and it is certainly exciting to see where this might lead as their songwriting continues to evolve in a dynamic way. This song is the B-side to a limited edition 7inch with “Theme New Bond Junior” on the A-side; both songs are available via streamers as well. No word yet if this there is a new full length in the works or of the songs to come will continue in this more nuanced vein, but either way, I’m really excited to hear more from this duo.
They (like their UK counterparts Ditz mentioned above) are very high up on my list of bands to see live and thus far I have unfortunately missed them in my travels to the UK. I also chatted with them via DM last fall and they said they are hoping to be able to come to the States in 2023 but nothing has been solidified yet. Here’s hoping I’ll be front and center at an NYC show at some point before this year comes and goes. [KH]
Mandy, Indiana– Injury Detail. American name, English band, French vocals: Mandy, Indiana’s newest single is dancey to a degree, but also chaotic. The band says the track was “inspired by the idea of being trapped in a liminal space,” and the sound, both jarring and open, conveys the idea well, while the Backrooms-esque music video directed by Thomas Harrington Rawle adds another unsettling angle to the song. The single is out on Fire Talk Records, and the band will be appearing on our side of the pond at SXSW in March. [CW]
Mhaol– Therapy. The UK/Ireland based feminist post punk quintet (which is pronounced “male”) are set to release their debut full length, Attachment Styles (2/3 via TULLE collective), and this latest single has a supremely catchy, driving and looping feel to it, utilizing fuzzy repetition as a style to nail the point home as they have on past songs like “Bored of Men,” and “Gender Studies.” The band says Attachment Styles is “a record about social connection, queerness and healing,” and explores some heavy topics but one that will take the listener on a “journey of healing.” The band have several shows in the UK and Ireland planned and will be Stateside this year with an appearance at SXSW but no word yet if any other US dates (perhaps in the fair hellscape of NYC) are pending; here’s hoping! [KH]
New Pagans– There We Are John. The latest single from this Irish band’s upcoming album Making Circles Of Our Own has jagged edges rounded off by singer Lyndsey McDougall’s vocals, which ride easily over tick-tock rhythm section and wailing guitars. According to the band, the song is “about growing things out of desolate situations and spaces” and is inspired by the filmmaker Derek Jarman and the hope they find in his work. The album is out on Big Scary Monsters on February 17th. [CW]
Pile– Nude with a Suitcase. The latest song to be revealed from Pile’s upcoming album, All Fiction (2/17 Exploding In Sound), starts pretty ominously and continues in a similarly disjointed way, with big marching-esque drums alongside melancholic vocals, guitar and synth. The discomfort radiates outward and the song ends with almost two minutes of eerie feedback to really drive the feeling in. They will play a pair of shows at TV Eye on 3/1 and 3/2. [KH]
Ron Gallo– At Least I’m Dancing. The wonderfully sardonic songsmith Gallo is going right into 2023 with a headstrong new single from his upcoming album, Foreground Music. “At Least I’m Dancing” is a song that is sometimes noisy, sometimes soulful and calls into question our narcissistic traits and tendencies to avoid that which is difficult and asks questions like “how can we all come together if we think we’re the picture and not the projector? / how can can we all come together if we’d rather be rich than fondly remembered? / how can we dance together if we suppress emotions to talk about weather?”
Gallo has plenty to—rightly—be pissed about in the doomed world we currently live in, but underneath the frustration and sarcasm in much of his music is always the undercurrent of hope. Because, as he says via a press release, “the world is completely fucked, but the universe is inside you” which while dark, is also very true. And at least we can find some moments of levity and dance it out while we careen towards destruction. Foreground Music arrives 3/3 via Kill Rock Stars and a tour will follow, with stops at SXSW and hitting Brooklyn on 4/6 at Baby’s All Right. [KH]
Screaming Females– Brass Bell. It feels pretty obvious to say the guitar work is impressive on this track, it is a song Marissa Paternoster wrote after all. But I really enjoyed the main riff and the layers in the choruses, backed by the ever solid rhythm section of King Mike on bass (who hits some gnarly bass chords during the song’s breakdown) and Jarrett Dougherty on drums. The song comes along with the announcement of their 8th album, Desire Pathway, so named for the routes people take which defy the ideas urban planners have for the way people should move. Paternoster elaborated saying “Maybe there was one in your neighborhood growing up, a corner where everyone decided it took too long to go around, so they made their own pathway to cut through, there’s this cool unsaid group consciousness that comes together where everyone decides, this is the right way to go.” Desire Pathway arrives 2/17 via Don Giovanni. [KH]
Superchunk– Everything Hurts. The indie greats have a few extra tracks to share from the Wild Loneliness sessions and have just released the A-side of an upcoming 7inch featuring two of those songs, the rueful mid tempo rocker, “Everything Hurts.” The B-side “Making a Break” will be released digitally on 2/24 and the vinyl version of the release is available for pre-order now. [KH]
Smooth McDuck– Sell Yourself. Quack rock indie project, Smooth McDuck is back with a new dreamy jangle single. Clean guitars and soothing soundscapes juxtapose a world where even this raw beauty of a song is expected to commodify itself to a sonic and visual product. Subtly overt in its execution, it’s perfect for a cold winter morning and a cup of coffee as you try and search for meaning in the day ahead. [MB]
The Van Pelt– Punk House. It has been a very long time since we last heard something new from The Van Pelt, the influential post hardcore/emo band who had not released an album of new music since 1997’s Sultans of Sentiment (they did release Imaginary Third in 2014 which was a collection of previously unreleased music they were working on at the time of their breakup for a third album which, at that point, had never come to fruition). “Punk House” is the first single from the soon to arrive Artisans & Merchants (3/17 Spartan) which the band recorded in 2021 and features guest appearances by Ted Leo, Nate Kinsella and more. There will also be a tour in support of the album which will hit NYC on 4/23 at Saint Vitus. [KH]
Worriers– Pollen In The Air. The latest from singer-songwriter Lauren Denitzio under their moniker, Worriers, and the first track from the upcoming new album, Warm Blanket (4/7 Ernest Jenning Record Co). This is synthy departure from the more guitar driven work from their past releases and the album was written and self recorded by Denitzio as a true solo project (with remote drum contributions from Atom Willard of Against Me!/Plosivs) who said they finally accepted that Worriers was not so much a band but a solo venture and that that came with the realization that they could “write whatever I wanted.” Check out our coverage of Worriers opening for Jawbreaker last spring. [KH]