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], and Mike [MB] weighed in on some killer songs and have the scoop on plenty of new tunes, give ’em a listen!
A Very Special Episode– 5 Dollar Cover. Roll call! Wearing your blackest clothes? It’s like they already got my number. I don’t know a single person left in Brooklyn’s music community that hasn’t already drank the very special kool aid, forcing our favorite grifters…errr purveyors of self discovery to expand their reach beyond NYC’s five boroughs and up the Hudson Valley. The noise trio made up of Kasey Heisler (vocals, bass), Patrick Porter (guitar, vocals), and Chayse Schutter (drums, vocals) teamed up with King Pizza himself, Greg Hanson, to direct a pleasant-on-the-surface but disturbing AF new video for the third single,“5 Dollar Cover,” off their forthcoming record Freak Me Out (June 23 EWEL Records/ Hidden Home Records).
Beautifully shot and wonderfully vague in placing its retro era, the video is really a visual work of art. Hanson and the band gathered much of the KP family and friends together for a classic dinner party graciously hosted by Heisler herself. Playing with themes of conservative American suburbia and mid-century modern imagery, this soirée almost immediately displays an undercurrent of something far more sinister. The seemingly innocuous gathering shifts quickly toward the dark and chaotic as Heisler and her minions entrance the group absorbing them into mind collective.
The song itself cleverly plays on many of the bandnames woven thru the Brooklyn DIY scene/Bandnada/EWEL fabric, but it’s in fact details like those that speak volumes to the trio’s constant dedication to uplifting and supporting the community of which they are a cherished part. Whether or not you want to meet them at the rock show, you can always definitely count on them to play way too loud, but never too long. [MB]
Bethany Cosentino– It’s Fine. Best Coast is now on “indefinite hiatus” and singer Bethany Cosentino is about to release her debut solo album, Natural Disaster. The first single is the twangy, pop rock “It’s Fine” and she shares:
“When I look at all the artists I find most influential, the common thread is that they take risks and continue exploring different versions of themselves. My goal is to keep growing and challenging myself and living outside any kind of box, to keep on evolving as an artist and a person. And if anyone’s feeling stagnant, I hope this record inspires them to see what else life has to offer. It’s really scary to take those risks and make big changes in your life, but what you find on the other side can be so magical.”
She also shares on the decision to take a step away from her best known project:
My identity as a human being, and as an artist, has been so wrapped up in Best Coast for over a decade. The decision to pause the project indefinitely, and explore a new side of myself, was a very difficult one to make—but it felt necessary for me. Life is too short to not give yourself what you feel you need and want. I am excited about being just Bethany Cosentino for a while and figuring out who I am outside of the “Bethany from Best Coast” box I’ve lived in for such a long time.
I look forward to learning more about who Cosentino is outside of “Bethany from Best Coast” too. Natural Disaster will be out July 28 via Concord. [KH]
Boris and Uniform– You Are the Beginning. When multi genre metal heroes Boris went on tour with industrial rockers Uniform in 2019, the two bands fell into the habit of sharing an encore, and something clicked. So what happens when these two relentless groups combine forces on a full-length recording? “You Are the Beginning” gives us a first taste. Heavy metal chug, otherworldly solo guitar lines, dueling vocals—this track is a solid mid-tempo headbanger for the first half, and then the tempo picks up around two minutes in, and a double-time/double bass-drum frenzy erupts. The rest of the song churns punishingly like the world is fucking ending.
Fittingly, Boris and Uniform recorded “You Are the Beginning” in July 2020, with the pandemic still raging outside the studio walls. Despite the impending doom, the mood of this track is triumphant and fun, controlled chaos, kind of like harnessing the power of several tornadoes and living to tell the tale. The full album, Bright New Disease, will be out on Sacred Bones on June 16. [KB]
Claud– Every Fucking Time. The lead single from Claud’s upcoming second album, Supermodels, is a slice of singer-songwriter indie rock that pairs a catchy guitar tune with their melodic voice, and also features a fun video co-starring comedian Grace Kuhlenschmidt. Supermodels will be out 7/14 on Saddest Factory Records (Phoebe Bridgers’ personal label—Claud was actually the first artist signed on); catch them live 9/12 at Bowery Ballroom. [CW]
_Corvallis– Slate Wall. The instrumental post rock/shoegaze project of songwriter Matt Irving is back with a new single, “Slate Wall” and it picks up where the previous single “Union” leaves off, giving us a hypnotic, almost funky intro before heading into the sweeping wall of noise guitar sounds that are hallmarks of the genre. Fans of Caspian or Red Sparowes will find a lot to love here. [KH]
Gorgeous– Raindrop. Last week, the newest track from Gorgeous (the only band that’s ever made me love to count) errrr rain-dropped into my Spotify rotation and has been on heavy repeat ever since. We first heard a rougher take of this track on a 2021 split the band did with EIEIO, but this slicker reimagining is now the first single off their upcoming LP Sapsucker due out on 6/2. Unique in both style and sound, the NYC duo who calls themselves “a pop band because rock is dead and experimental noise punk in half and waltz and quintuple shuffle time is a hard sell,” is back with heavier lumbering swagger.
There’s deeper riffage this time around, making for a much more ominous showcasing of Dana Lipperman’s thicker and complex octave guitar tones while drummer Judd Anderman still holds down the fractured spine and odd timing breaks for which the band is well known. Their late 2019 LP Egg was one of my favorite releases that exploded into my universe before the world from apart, and these early indicators suggest a darker monster awaits us on this next record, and I’m both thrilled and terrified for its release. [MB]
High Pulp feat. Daedelus– (If You Don’t Leave) The City Will Kill You. Jazzy, groovy, and glitchy all at the same time, this track takes a hard left turn at the end, as the LA experimental jazz collective keeps listeners guessing. From the upcoming album Days In The Desert, which features such guests as Brandee Younger, James Brandon Lewis and Jeff Parker, and will be out July 28th on ANTI-. [CW]
The Hives– Bogus Operandi. Oh man, I was so excited to click play on this, and I was not disappointed. Energetic garage rock with fun hooks and frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s charismatic yell? Sign me up. Almqvist had this to say on The Hives first album in over a decade: ““There’s no maturity or anything like that bullshit, because who the fuck wants mature rock’n’roll?” Fucking amen. The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons will be out on August 11, and The Hives will be live at Racket on May 16th. [CW]
Hot Face– dura dura. Riffy, psychy post punk from the London trio who was just signed by Speedy Wunderground. The song takes a big turn around the 2:30 mark with wild guitar and a frantic arrangement kicking in that I can only imagine will whip live audiences into a foamy frenzy. This is the band’s debut single for the label and its got my attention. [KH]
Leone– Kiss Em Bye Bye. It’s not going too far out on a limb here to say Richie Bee Leone has one of the most beautiful voices in all of New York City right now. Following the success of his queer glam rock band, Deitre, LEONE marries elements of dance and pop with a alt-rock delivery. Much of last year’s “(thisbodyisntmine)” served as a heartbreaking debut and stunning display of raw emotion and true vulnerability to pain and loss many artists dare not explore so publicly in their work.
“Kiss Em Bye Bye,” signals LEONE’s return with masterfully anthemic pop-rock debut single prominently showcasing the same sharp-witted silver tongued delivery. More than an open heart goodbye song, it screams fuck you and struts forward wearing its scar tissue draped across its shoulders like a magnificent armor against past lovers. Not only does it feel that Leone has arrived and hit his stride here, but now standing alongside Tarik Merzouk (bass) and Brian del Guercio (drums), LEONE also feels like they’ve hit their stride and the day is not too far off that everyone is going to come running to say hello. [MB]
Monograms– Hi Low. One of the things I love about Monograms is that they’ve continued to regularly churn out music for the better part of as long as I can remember. This not only makes for quite an expansive and robust catalog of music in which fans can immerse themselves, but also has allowed frontman and multi-instrumentalist, Ian Jacobs, to really hone and perfect their sound. “Hi Low” is a metallic post-punk tune layered with electro-dancy bursts that explode in pockets over the driving backbeat. Think Big Bliss meets New Myths but also landing somewhere between Joy Division and The Bravery, and you’ll have nearly tapped into the the synaptic fibers Jacobs has so expertly pressed and connected to build out the Monograms universe. [MB]
Rancid– Don’t Make Me Do It. I admit the nostalgia factor got me on this one. I also admit that Rancid is a band that I have honestly had more of a tepid relationship with over the years because I’ve never particularly enjoyed any of the singers in this band. I’ve often said if they just had someone else singing, if even for just the ska songs, I’d like them a lot more…alas. But this song did hit me in the right spot and I loved Matt Freeman’s slinky bass sliding out on top of the racket of the guitars right from the get go.
Tim Armstrong takes lead vocals and the rapid fire pace of the song lends itself well to his tone/style; Rancid did ska pretty okay, but the punk bangers are always where I felt they excelled the most. (Its the slow songs that really grate on me when anyone in this band is singing; they’re punk vocalists and should write songs that play to those strengths rather than try to stretch themselves to a place where their vocals don’t fit, but I digress.) This one doesn’t exactly invent the wheel for the genre or the band but that’s not what people listen to Rancid for these days, is it? It will scratch that street punk of yore itch and that’s enough for me. Taken from the upcoming album Tomorrow Never Comes out June 2nd. [KH]
Sleepy Kitty– Do It Without Me. St. Louis turned NYC duo (sometimes trio), Sleepy Kitty, is quickly moving toward their long anticipated follow up to 2016’s Flux aptly titled Blessing/Curse due out later this year. The band is currently in Europe for the Summer playing shows in the UK and Paris and recording new music. This is the second single from the upcoming album (see our thoughts on “Bigger Picture” here), and it is concertedly more subdued and full of brooding simmer than its predecessor. The steady undercurrent of quiet feedback is washed over in strikes of textured tremolo, but wastes no time building quickly unnoticed to the epitome of grungy pop goodness.
Paige Brubeck (guitar, vocals) wonderfully layers her voice as the song opens up on the chorus, but it’s Evan Sult (drums) that continues to push the track forward and eventually pulls the whole thing sideways spinning into crescendo. The final minute of song is a storm of tightly wound chaos that Sult expertly unwinds unraveling into abrupt resolution. Sleepy Kitty is exploring exciting new song structures on their latest work without sacrificing their hook-driven pop sensibilities and still retaining the post-90s alt/indie elements that make them so damn good. [MB]
Strange Ranger– She’s On Fire. This song begins with floaty, effervescent synth ripples and a Cure-esque guitar hook, and by the time Isaac Eiger’s vocals kick in, you’ll be dancing, but wistfully. All four members of the band weave electronic layers throughout the song, playing with dynamics and complexity throughout the track for dramatic effect. In a statement from the band, Eiger describes the new single as an exploration of the disillusionment of growing up, and the realization that music is a grounding force in his life:
“When you’re young, it feels like life has a kind of arc to it and up ahead in the future, there’s some point where all your experiences converge and this fog of confusion will lift and you will have arrived. This is definitely not true and increasingly, music is the steadying hand I lean on when looking for meaning.”
The song has a mysterious video directed by Ben Turok, featuring the band on a night road trip through various parts of New York City. “She’s On Fire” is the second single off of the upcoming full-length release, Pure Music, due out via Fire Talk on July 21. [KB]
Suzie True– Keep in Touch. This is an incredibly catchy pop-punk song about having a crush that lives hundreds of miles away. The vocals start out dreamy and soft, but then the chorus kicks in with stronger guitar riffs, and the lyrical longing turns into frustration with the distance: “Maybe it’s just a stupid dream / I know you’d never change your life to be with me…I just wanna be touched, this distance is too much / I think of you all day and it fucks me up.” The single has an absolutely adorable video directed by Rae Mystic, which comes off like a sugar high at a slumber party full of giggles. Long distance heartache is actually fun with Suzie True. “Keep in Touch” is the second single off of the L.A.-based trio’s forthcoming album, Sentimental Scum (June 30 via Get Better Records). [KB]
Sweeping Promises– Eraser. I’ve been waiting for this single (and the forthcoming second album) from Sweeping Promises for a couple of years now, and at last, it’s here! “Eraser” begins with Lira Mondal’s fantastic voice (harmonizing with herself), and then the beat kicks in, Caufield Schnug’s guitar thrums with rhythmic precision, and the song bounces off the walls with the near-perfect post-punk energy we’ve come to expect from the duo now based out of Lawrence, KS. New developments in their sound here are a more prominent exploration of synths in the mix, as well as keen attention to how their recording environment impacts their sound. The band now lives and records in a large, airy studio in Kansas with high ceilings, and you can hear the natural reverb of their new space in “Eraser.” The full album, Good Living Is Coming For You, will come out on June 30, a co-release from Feel It and Sub Pop. [KB]
TEKE::TEKE– Doppelganger. These Canadian psych rockers just keep building excitement for their next release, Hagata. “Doppelganger” is a laid back, cinematic tune that brings to mind 60’s spy movie soundtracks with trembling guitar chords and moody woodwinds. Maya Kuroki sings about seeing our reflection in other people (“we’re all doppelgangers that don’t look like each other / but from the beginning / perhaps we’re all the same / each our own body / each our own story“) and I keep turning the line “outside the aquarium is the ocean” over and over in my head. Hagata will be out via Kill Rock Stars on June 9th. [CW]