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 Chantal, Kate and Mike weighed in on some killer songs— give ’em a listen!
A Very Special Episode– Heaven’s Gate. The Brooklyn based band has turned a fascination with the history of cults and their manipulative ways into this dark, throbbing banger of a track, where the music and haunting vocals build to a climax, then to a strange ominous ending. They’ll be promoting the release of the single with a show at Purgatory on February 24th with Leathered, Shadow Monster, and Debbie Dopamine. The video features appearances/cameos from several local musicians including our very own Mike Borchardt. [CW]
Aggressive Soccer Moms– Darling. Another spontaneous banger by the Swedish electro-post-punk duo that will have you confused as to whether you should pogo, or bang your head, or toss your arms in the air and just move your body. Whatever way you choose to go, it’s sure to elevate your mood and your day will be better for it. [MB]
Black Belt Eagle Scout– Space. The latest single from Swinomish musician Katherine Paul is a spacious song with interweaving guitar and strings, overlaid by Paul’s gorgeous voice. On the chorus she is backed by her parents, and notes she intended the song “for an audience as a way to sing melodies of healing and care for them.” The touching, meditative video depicts Paul and her father, a carver in the Coast Salish style, creating an eagle head from yellow cedar. The Land, The Water, The Sky will be out February 10th on Saddle Creek. She will perform in NYC on 4/15 at Baby’s All Right. Read some of our past coverage on her previous singles here and here. [CW]
Badge Grabber– The Tin Foil Hat Brigade. Aggressive digital hardcore about “DUMBASS FUKKIN CONSPIRACY THEORISTS LOL.” Singer/producer Riley Ponce certainly minces no words in the lyrics either, scathingly taking down Q-anon-eqsue fools and their ilk bent on the destruction of our planet. From an upcoming “nu album” due out next month. I’m ready for more abrasion from this project, how about you? [KH]
Beat Awfuls– Punks On The Dancefloor. The third single from the upcoming album, PAWS, features our narrator over top of a jangly mid-tempo indie pop, being self reflective (and perhaps a bit self deprecating) in a fuzz laden voice as he admits in the opening moments of the song: I will spin into a tornado / And destroy what lays in my way. And does he know why? Do we? The chorus perhaps gives us some insider knowledge but ultimately asks more questions? Do I really wanna tear it all down / What for / Because I’m bored / Or should I slam it on the ground / Bounce up and down in my Docs some more / Like punks on the dance floor. The album will release in full on 2/10. [KH]
ChumHuffer– Wasting Away. The NYC/Long Island punks have just announced their new album, Orgy of Hate, and released the first single, “Wasting Away.” Read more here. [KH]
Death Valley Girls– Magic Powers. This one is a bit moody, seeing the band leaning into the dreamy, gothy side of their sound which I’m all for. And while singer/guitarist Bonnie Bloomgarden does not take lead vocals on this track (she provides backups while bassist Sammy Westervelt does the lead), she shares the inspiration behind the lyrics which were penned together with Westervelt: “I was walking down the street, and all of the sudden it dawned on me that almost all the things that kids bullied me about, or I got in trouble for in school, or was told would make me never amount to anything, were actually my magic powers! My voice isn’t too high, or funny, it’s how I cast my spells! I’m not a bad student, I love learning, and being a seeker! And I’m not a crazy person with weird ideas, that will never fit into society, I’m a witch, and I have magic powers!” Did I say I was all for it before? Because being a cool goth garage punk witch with magic powers?! I’m really all for it.
The song comes paired with a video directed by Westervelt and recalls the pixelated video games of ye olden times of the 1980s. This is the third single from the upcoming album Islands In The Sky which will arrive in full on 2/24 via Suicide Squeeze. [KH]
Ducks Ltd– Invitation (Feelies cover). The band turn their trademark jangle and breezy vocals towards paying homage to The Feelies and say on their Bandcamp that it was “inspired by a Halloween performance in a Feelies cover band by guitarist Evan Lewis and several members of the Ducks Ltd live band.” Featuring Mo Troper and Julia Steiner of Ratboys, the harmonies and guitar work are a fitting tribute to the original from the 1991 album Time For A Witness. The single is part of a cover series called “The Sincerest Form of Flattery” and is out on Carpark Records. [CW]
[Editor’s note: I had a part time job working at Michael’s in Wayne, NJ almost 15 years ago now, and none other than Dave Weckerman of The Feelies was my co-worker. We unloaded trucks together every Thursday morning at 5am and it was a time!- KH]
Elita– She Bangs Like A Fairy On Acid. Described as a “Goth bedroom-pop band,” what really captured my attention when this came across my desk this week was this quote from guitarist/keyboardist Tim Rypien “I made this song at my parents house on Christmas Day. I was messing around with their digital piano trying to recreate the Unsolved Mysteries theme song. I missed the mark but thankfully the beat for “SBLAFOA” was born.” Being a huge fan of the 80s true crime show, I knew I had to take a listen. The music does certainly recall that iconic theme and is in the same dark vain, but definitely stands on its own, ominous yet nimble at the same time. On the lyrics, vocalist Elita shares “Timmy and I tried mushrooms for the first time before writing this song. I felt like I was living in a little fairy world and that totally inspired this song. I wrote the lyrics on Christmas too.”
Indeed, the song is dark and trippy, but the imaginary world contained within is less forbidding than it is a sexy and beguiling place, the lyrics recounting the tale of a drug fueled tryst in the woods with a fairy (which will no doubt appeal to many sapphic fans in particular). The song is part of the upcoming debut album, Dysania, due out on 3/22 via Opposition; the band will embark on a tour in early April that will see them hitting NYC on 4/8 at Elsewhere. [KH]
Gel– Attainable. The NJ hardcore band has released some killer EPs over the last few years (that made both our faves of 2021 and 2022 lists) and now have announced their debut full-length, Only Constant (3/31 Convulse), and released the first single, “Attainable.” The song sees them in the well hewn, raw and crusty hardcore territory they are so good at, but building upon their hallmark sound, adding in dance-punk choruses that have an almost electro feel to them for a really cool vibe.
In a press release, vocalist Sami Kaiser shared: “A lot of this record is about trying to live more of a happy and healthy life. I’ve been in recovery for alcoholism for the past couple years and really taking it seriously. I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to address negative feelings, and the album is about trying to let go of those self-destructive tendencies and embrace change.” [KH]
Lovecolor– Dangerous. I’ve been a big fan of songwriter/producer Vanessa Silberman since we first met shortly after she moved to NYC in early 2019 and we became fast friends. She’s been playing music alongside her musical partner, Ryan Carnes, for just as long, and while the world was sleeping and we’ve all been slowly coming back to life the past few years, the duo has been hard at work creating what would become Lovecolor.
The pair has an undeniable musical chemistry writing catchy dark pop/dance rock magic, and their debut single under the glow of its fluorescent retro-futuristic music video directed by Cosmos Kiindarius makes quite the first impression.
It’s important to Silberman that they do something special and say something meaningful. “Dangerous,” Silberman says “is about a few things—one being attraction and being so completely drawn to someone that it’s almost dangerous, in a way. On the other hand, its message is really about exposing your entire self and being completely fearless and vulnerable, by embracing every aspect of who you are.” Carnes adds: “To me, ‘Dangerous’ speaks to the idea of being fully awake, aware, alive and sharp in a world where parts of society and culture wish us to remain dull and asleep.“ [MB]
Middle-Aged Queers– Anal Beads. The sassy Bay Area queer-core band has released a brand new song just in time for Valentine’s Day and it leaves little to the imagination! Read more here. [KH]
Model/Actriz– Amaranth. The Brooklyn based experimental industrial band are releasing their debut full length, Dogsbody, soon and have shared the third single, the delightfully abrasive “Amaranth.” Be prepared to be pummeled with rapid fire beats and jittery, gasoline doused guitar for three minutes straight. In other words, this song is not for the faint of heart but certainly for the adventurous among us. Dogsbody will be released on 2/24 via True Panther. The band will play new NYC venue, Racket, on 4/20. [KH]
Tami Hart– Thanks For Saying Hi. Many moons ago when I was a baby queer in the early aughts, I became familiar with Tami Hart’s work via Mr. Lady Records, a now defunct lesbian run label that released some crucial albums in my life (and countless other queers I’m sure) between 1996 and 2004. Two of those albums were Hart’s No Light In August (2000) and What Passed Between Us (2002). I saw her play a few times from 2000 to around 2003ish and over the years I would dip back into those albums from time to time, both having remained personal favorites to this day, but no new solo music arrived from Hart after 2002. (Making Friendz was a 2011 solo project yes, but as a lo-fi electro project, it had a distinctly different vibe than the singer-songwriter, country twinged feel of the earlier releases.)
And though she wasn’t releasing solo music, she was hardly idle musically after those first two records either and has been involved with a number of other projects. Via Spotify her bio states “From the mid-2000’s-2010’s Tami could be found in bands like Winning Looks, MEN, and Sextional, as well as solo project Making Friendz. In 2017 Tami co-founded Teen Vice with Joshua Ackley of Brooklyn-based punk band The Dead Betties. 2022 saw Tami return to solo releases and performances.”
Indeed, 2022 saw her starting to release solo music under her own name again, with a collection of demos and a single, “Sorry For Your Heart,” coming over the course of the year. I was unaware of this until I recently saw her name start to pop up on show flyers and realized “oh shit, new music!” Now Hart is preparing to release a brand new EP in April on Cruisin Records and has released the first single, “Thanks For Saying Hi.”
This one is a delightful full circle moment, returning to the sound of her very early releases, full of sweet harmonies and twang. Via Bandcamp Hart says the EP is “a game of country mouse and city mouse, as both love letter to New York City with twinges of post punk as well as a deep bow to her Southern upbringing with heart on sleeve echoing of country melodies.” I for one am looking very forward to hearing more and catching a live show for the first time in over 20 years! (I personally missed her recent show with Ted Leo because I had to work, but our very own Ray Rusinak was on hand and you can check out pics here.) [KH]
Whenwolves– Minutes. We premiered the band’s latest electro groove this week from their upcoming EP, Recon For The Weirdos, and you can read more about that here. [MB]