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 two weeks (ish), quick fire responses to some great new music we think you should check out. Chantal [CW], Kate B [KB], Kate H [KH], Kevin [KM] and Mike [MB] weighed in on some killer songs and have the scoop on plenty of new tunes, give ’em a listen!
Angel Olsen– Forever Means. The title track from Angel Olsen’s brand new EP is a delicate song, featuring her classic lovely voice over a strummed, echoing, electric guitar. Olsen calls the song a “nod to George Harrison” and says the EP comes from questions like “What does forever really mean? What are the things Iʼm seeking in friendship or love, and how can forever be attainable if weʼre always changing?” Forever Means is out now via Jagjaguwar; Olsen will be appearing with The Strokes at Forest Hills Stadium on August 19th. [CW]
Bar Italia– Punkt. This is a seductive and slightly creepy track from the London-based indie rock trio of Nina Cristante, Jezmi Tarik Fehmi, and Sam Fenton. The song features vocals from all three of them, and it’s almost as if we’re hearing three perspectives on a love triangle (or that’s my interpretation at least). The music itself here is infectiously simple and slinky: repeated chiming guitar hook, an undulating bass line, steady mid-tempo drums. “Punkt” is the second single off Bar Italia’s forthcoming LP, Tracey Denim, out on Matador on May 19. The trio will be playing their first US shows in May as well. You can catch them in NYC at TV Eye on May 13, or at Mercury Lounge on May 15. [KB]
Bully– Hard to Love. The third single from Alicia Bognanno’s Bully is out now and sees the artist getting vulnerable. Built around a big dirty bassline, it pushes the song as the rest of the instruments settle in on top, rocketing things to a soaring alt rock banger. Lyrically, it explores some deeply personal subject matter and Bognanno, who also directed the video, shares:
Growing up never fitting into society’s constructed gender stereotypes and expectations, I often felt as though different equals bad or wrong. I was confused about my place in the world, not fully identifying with any one particular gender or sexuality. I was ashamed, and I blamed myself. Though I’m still in the process of understanding and accepting my identity, I’m glad to be surrounded by people who love and accept me for who I am regardless of the clothes I wear and the labels others use to define me.
Lucky For You releases in full on 6/2 via SubPop. Bully will be in NYC at Racket on 6/6. [KH]
C.O.F.F.I.N– Cut You Off. The long running, hard rocking punk n rollers from Down Under have a brand new single—their first release for Goner Records—as well as a new album on the way (release date tba). The song finds them in the brash and brawny sonic territory they are known for with singer/drummer Ben Portnoy’s signature growl trading off the spotlight with red hot lead guitar licks. Portnoy also directed the video. The band will appear at Goner Fest 20 in Memphis this September; I may or may not be currently saving up for a plane ticket. [KH]
Cosmic Kitten– Songbird. The latest single from Laugh of A Lifetime (their fourth LP, not counting cover albums) is a mid-tempo, thoughtful track, which according to the band is about the struggle of expressing emotions and using art as a medium to communicate. Cosmic Kitten are well known for their harder grunge tunes, but this song shows they are adept at taking it a bit easy as well and ends in a gorgeous melodic guitar solo. Laugh of A Lifetime will be self-released on May 5th. [CW]
cumgirl8– cicciolina. The NYC based post punk quartet has been making waves both on the music scene and in the fashion world over the last few years, along with hosting their own talk show, and have now signed to 4AD, releasing their first single for the venerable indie label this week. Paying tribute to Italian porn star turned politician, Ilona Staller aka Cicciolina, the band shares:
Cicciolina is an Italian icon, porn star and former politician that was elected to parliament in the 90s. She advocated for human rights and the eradication of nuclear weapons. Cicciolina said “make sex not war” and used her divine power of femininity to troll the status quo while disrupting it from the inside. We feel her ideals are foundational to the cumgirl8 philosophy of subversive change, peace, and strength in vulnerability. We hope she loves our song, we love her very much. Cicciolina is cumgirl1.
The song itself is a hazy post punk romp, a style the band has perfected well over the last few years in dingy DIY spots and dive bars around Brooklyn. The video sees the various band members dancing in some scenes, portraying Cicciolina herself as a “video game version” of the iconic figure in others, wreaking havoc on parliamentary proceedings. The band will soon embark on a tour of the UK and Europe before joining Le Tigre for a few dates on their summer tour in the US. [KH]
Elisapie– Taimangalimaaq (Time After Time cover). The Inuk artist, Elisapie, recently released a stunning version of the Blondie classic “Heart of Glass,” taking it from its original disco roots to a contemplative folk song, singing the lyrics entirely in the Indigenous language, Inuktitut. A full covers album, Inuktitut, has now been revealed with the artist sharing on Bandcamp:
Inuktitut is Elisapie’s fourth solo effort. It’s a covers album that sprouted in the artist’s mind in the winter of 2021, when songs by artists such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica, Queen, and Cyndi Lauper, whose music once took over the community radio airwaves throughout Nunavik, Northern Quebec, triggered a flood of tears. Many of these songs were an escape as the community and cultural references were being challenged by colonization. Elisapie began a mental archaeological process: finding songs associated with emotional memories and people from her past. She followed that with a second, more prosaic quest. She sought the permission of the original artists to translate and adapt the songs that are now on this album.
Elisapie reinvigorates the poetry of these 10 songs thanks to the raw sounds of the thousand-year-old Inuit language and gives each track a unique and deeply personal quality. The tracks range from rock & roll and pop classics from the 1960’s to the 90’s. Every song is linked to a loved one or an intimate story that has shaped the person Elisapie is today. Through this act of cultural reappropriation, she tells her story, offers these songs as a gift to her community, and makes her language and culture resonate beyond the Inuit territory.
Like the previous single, this version of the Cyndi Lauper classic transforms the era defining new wave song into Elisapie’s own, both musically and lyrically, and has again revealed an entirely new way of listening to a song I thought I knew so well. The album releases in full on 9/15 and she will tour extensively in Canada throughout 2023 into 2024. Pre-orders are available now via Bonsound. [KH]
Josie Cotton– Painting In Blood. Inspired by iconic film composer Ennio Morricone – particularly his work in Giallo movies – “Painting In Blood” evokes those films with a go-go club beat, organs, and surfy guitar, not to mention lyrics like “the naked truth is she’s in stranger danger / he’s a murderer / she’s overacting / the room is spinning / the knife is glinting.” Cotton’s new album Day Of The Gun will be out May 2nd on Kitten Robot Records. [CW]
Joudy– Tail End. NYC heavy psych-grunge outfit, Joudy (pronounced “Howdy”) just dropped the lead single off their forthcoming release and US debut Destroy all Monsters (out via Trash Casual June 2023). Hailing originally from the mountains of Los Andes, Venezuela, cousins Diego Ramirez (Vocals/Guitar), Gabriel Gavidia (Bass) and Hulrich Navas (Drums) are known for their wildly volatile live-stage performances. Though much of that storm often exists tamped down to simmer just below the surface. Reminiscent at times of early Highly Suspect, “Tail End” shows that expertly controlled restraint as its beat ambles and lumbers at a slow chop beneath wonderfully ugly guitar lines that build around a densely focused and soaring lyrical delivery.
The band, displaced by political unrest in their home country, tells Wonderland Magazine that the new record “marries their history with the impossible challenges they’ve overcome both personally and professionally.” If the new single is any indicator, we will be clenching our fists and grinding our teeth in seething anticipation of this summer release. [MB]
Junior Bill– Teeth. Earlier this year, the UK based project of Welsh songwriter Robert Nichols released the insanely catchy “Boys From Jungle” (read our thoughts) and now are back with a more laid back offering, a groovy dub soaked track that tells the tale of a “lonely, isolated society where sugar passes for joy and life stays stagnant around a tiny cul-de-sac in post-Brexit Britain.” The song comes paired with a video that compliments the song nicely, hitting the mood and feel of the track, giant lips and teeth framing various scenes of vintage every day life footage, stop motion animation and more to weave the narrative of the song into a visual reality. This is the third single from the upcoming debut album, Youth Club! due out later this year. [KH]
The Linda Lindas– Too Many Things. The teenage powerhouses strike again with yet another incredibly catchy power pop song with a punk aesthetic. You’ll want to jump around to the chugging guitar riffs as the girls lament about the many overwhelming emotions that are a part of coming of age (perhaps especially when you’re going through adolescence as a rock star). The lyrics reflect the longing to stay a kid while all the shifts of growing up are happening so fast: “What would happen if we all stayed the same / now I’ve changed but everything’s still out of place.” This is the first single released by The Linda Lindas since their much-lauded full-length debut record in 2022, Growing Up (Epitaph Records) and they celebrated by rocking Coachella. They plan to tour extensively through the summer, you know, after school’s out. [KB]
Mandy, Indiana– Peach Fuzz. The singles from Mandy, Indiana’s i’ve seen a way continue to surprise and befuddle me in the best way. You can dance to this music, but you could also contemplate it alone in the dark in your bedroom. Even the visualizer video for “Peach Fuzz” is hypnotic—what is that strange little tentacle thing that keeps appearing at the bottom of the screen? “We are told yes, we are told no / They take us for idiots / We go around in circles.” Valentine Caulfield sings (albeit in French.) Layers, man. The new album will be out on Fire Talk Records May 19th. [CW]
Miranda and The Beat– Concrete. The video (featuring an intro from the 1959 version of House On Haunted Hill) may be more suited to Halloween, but this upbeat dance-punk offering from Cali-turned-Brooklyn rockers is primed and ready for summer, and serves as counterpoint to the more soulful first single “Sweat.” Their s/t debut (produced by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s) is out on King Khan’s Khannibalism and Ernest Jenning Record Co. on May 26th. [CW]
Monarch– No Vacancy. Leave it to a band of punks from the Hudson Valley to bring sultry lounge cool back to NYC. They just dropped new live track single “No Vacancy,” and it’s got all the chops of a jazz ensemble sidled by an indie-pop smoothness that you’re probably not quite ready to handle. Donning dapper colors and immersed in a velvet elegance, the quartet led by Sarah Hartstein’s powerful pipes, plays straight to Nick Pappalardo’s masterful guitar work settled against the rhythmic foundation laid by Alex Alfaro (drums) and Oswalt Jenters (bass). Think Fiona Apple meets Amy Winehouse, and you’d be getting warm. They’ve been packing dark clubs more and more all over the city so make sure you’re keeping up and don’t sleep on getting to a show. [MB]
The Murlocs– Undone and Unashamed. The tireless Aussie group return this week with the latest single from their upcoming album Calm Ya Farm (out 5/19 ATO Records). Hot on the heels of the first album single “Initiative,” “Undone” finds Ambrose Kenny-Smith and the gang rockin’ out to an upbeat honky-tonk jammer. The track, written by keyboardist Tim Karmouche, not only sports some great guitar work but also a sax solo from Kenny-Smith. And check out the gravity defying video with a down on his luck couch potato who’s clearly undone and unashamed. [KM]
Panchiko– Portraits. “Portraits” is a math rock song turned on its head, becoming a soft, glitchy, fuzzy tune that glides along while also throwing angles into the mix. The band says the track is “based around the thought that each of us is the culmination of the generations that precedes us. Every experience and encounter shapes us and adds to our story,” and the accompanying video from animator Shunsaku Hayashi completes the picture. Panchiko will be in NYC at Le Poisson Rouge on May 30th (sold out) and May 31st; Failed At Maths will be out May 5th. [CW]
Snõõper– Pod. Snõõper blend garage rock and art punk into a fast paced mix on this lead single from their upcoming debut LP, Super Snõõper. Singer Blair Tramel notes the track stems from the anxieties of forming “‘pods” during the pandemic, and it certainly is a nervous feeling song, with high energy guitar and frenetic vocals, proving in a bit less than two minutes their claim they are a band who “in a 33 ⅓ RPM world, make 45 RPM music they play at 78 RPM.” Super Snõõper will be out via Third Man Records on July 14th and has already earned advance praise from none other than Henry Rollins who said “Speaking selfishly, I want Snõõper to hurry up and make another album. Super Snõõper is a really cool record.” [CW]
Squid– Undergrowth. This week, Squid released their latest single “Undergrowth” from their upcoming sophomore album, Monolith (Warp). The follow up to “Swing (In A Dream)”, “Undergrowth” finds the guys in Squid contemplating reincarnation but as an inanimate object such as a bedside table and what a colossal disappointment that would be. The track, which was accompanied by a video game release, is a heady mix of dub bass over mid-tempo beats, Ollie Judge’s sing-speak delivery, plucky guitars, blasts of brass and synths, all of which culminate in a bell ringing, orchestral ending. [KM]
The Dog Indiana– LOAF. The Vancouver based band recently released a new album, Burnt Ends, which I loved and included on my April Bandcamp Friday picks. A video has now been released for the lead single, “LOAF,” and it’s got a really trippy, psychedelic feel (and maybe some UFOs along the way). Read our review of the album and watch the vid below. [KH]
Tinariwen– Kek Alghalm. This latest single and opening track from the upcoming Amatssou is both meditative and upbeat, buoyed by a simple yet bouncy bassline. But it’s not all smiles here: the song is a plea for unity among the Tuareg tribes: “Why so much silence, all over the world / Only spilt blood / Only brave men killed.” A live favorite, the recorded version here features Wes Corbett on banjo. Catch Tinariwen yourself at Webster Hall on June 5th. [CW]
Ugli– Crybabi. As if we needed yet another reason to love Philadelphia’s Ugli, they just released the first single from their forthcoming EP girldick. It’s the first new music from the band in what seems like forever so we couldn’t be more excited for it to drop just in time for this warm weather weekend. The Philly alt-grunge quartet, fronted by Dylyn Durante and grown out of the DIY punk ethos of the Philadelphia house scene, delivers the “type of song that made you fall in love with bands like Weezer and The Pixies. It’s hook after hook and it never lets up.” Durante’s powerful voice lands somewhere between Kim Shattuck and Justin Hawkins, and the band’s perfect execution of loud-quiet-loud harkens backs to the type of authentic quirky dissonance and controlled chaos guitar-pop that hasn’t been heard since the days of The Muffs and Presidents of the United States of America. In less than three short minutes, “Crybabi” will swaddle you up in it’s ragged edges, blow out your speakers, and leave you screaming it’s always Ugli in Philadelphia.