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 we have a full house and lots of the crew—Chantal [CW], Kate B [KB], Kate H [KH], Kevin [KM], Mike [MB] and Ray [RR]—weighed in on some killer songs and have the scoop on plenty of new tunes, give ’em a listen!
Beach Fossils– Seconds. With yet another single from the upcoming Bunny, Beach Fossils continue to build anticipation for their first studio LP since 2017. This track is the band at their most classic dream pop sound, verses interspersed with instrumentals, and along with a video of candid tour footage edited by singer Dustin Payseur it shows the band in their element. Bunny will be out on Bayonet Records, the label co-founded by Payseur, on June 2nd. [CW]
Big Bliss– Tether. Somber in nature yet almost joyous in tone, Big Bliss released a new single about letting go, and like most of the work from their forthcoming record Vital Return (8/18 Good Eye Records) it lives somewhere enveloped inside the storm of active addiction and it’s aftermath. Singer/guitarist Tim Race shares with us:
“I’ve learned one of the most harmful things an addict/alcoholic can do is to disintegrate in front of the people who care about them. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. In these situations, love breeds fear, which breeds frustration; helplessness breeds rage, and then rage breeds contempt. We try everything: we try boundaries, begging, or bargaining, but eventually we learn that the only person who can save an addict is themselves.”
Race, who’s often very open about his struggles through addiction—along with his brother Cory (drums) and Rose Blanshei (bass)—create soundscapes often as complex as their lyrical content. There’s an airiness due in large part to the wonderful bass melody (provided here by former bassist Wallace May) punctuated by angular beat disruptions by the elder Race. In Big Bliss the guitar often serves to fill and smooth washing over the band’s cool rhythmic textures. Lyrically, the band has never shied away from the deep dive: “I am on your side. Untying the tether. That is a deeply tragic notion, but there is also a complicated catharsis in knowing and accepting that a situation like this is out of our control.” [MB]
Big Girl– Instructions 2 Say Sorry. Big Girl is a band that should always be experienced live. The larger than life sextet, led by wild front-woman Kaitlin Pelkey, knows how to command a stage and quite frankly any room they occupy with their wonderfully electric and often times frenetic live sets. But short of that, cranking the newest single full volume while sliding across your kitchen floor in your socks will definitely suffice. From the onset of its first piercing note, it’s a helluva banger that holds no punches, immediately siren-signaling itself as a call out track for those who refuse to take accountability in both form and fashion. Weaving between impassioned sarcasm, frustration, rage and rhetorical disbelief, Pelkey makes it clear she’s not relinquishing her power in face of other people’s bullshit.
The song’s release coincides with a raucous music video (directed by Sydney Tate) that gets up and close with the band who in turn get up and close with each other and bunch of their friends. This prog-jazz-pop opus manages to create movement in its sound that’s become so intrinsic to their live shows. The hard-panned interlaced guitar chop, the driving drag n’thump of the rhythm section, and escalating urgency in vocal discharge will leave you sorry you haven’t yet caught them live, but there’s still time to rectify such a mistake… with or without instructions. [MB]
Debbie Dopamine– Swimming Pool. We here at Full Time Aesthetic got an early quick peek at the new Debbie Dopamine video for their latest single, “Swimming Pool,” and we are thrilled that it’s now officially out for public consumption. Directed by guitarist/vocalist Katie Ortiz herself and the ever-skilled purveyor of image, John Burgundy Clouse, it’s all the perfect feels for warm weather, swiftly ushering us in to the summer season. Constructed around the ebb and flow of a galloping guitar riff, it finds the trio—rounded out by Dylan LaPointe (bass Debbie) and Zach Rescignano (drum Debbie)—filling misguided space, occupying their time between bleachers and goal posts, and trying to make sense of a lazy summer afternoon in the middle of nowhere USA. Full of adolescent angst and tension, the song’s lyrics throw back to a world of high school summer breaks, curfews, flip phones, and swimming pools.
There’s a ongoing sense of chasing time and grasping at fleeting unfocused freedom. Ortiz (guitar Debbie) sings “In a borrowed car, we wander thru the dark. Let’s get drunk and climb the roof of the high school.” The guitars are impressively clean yet incredibly full, the bassline ultra smooth and melodic, and the drums are quick and crisp. The humid sticky haze to the tone and coloring feels just like a hot August day, as the three Debbies grow restless and make their way thru the fields, scampering through the brush and swept up by the ocean waves. Debbie Dopamine is a band that always finds a unique twist on the smart and clever, asserting here that you’re doing well whether or not you actually are, and that’s just goddamned okay. [MB]
Fishbone– Estranged Fruit. With help from Fat Mike of NOFX, Angelo Moore and Fishbone have released the second single from their upcoming LP, an homage to Billie Holiday’s immortal “Strange Fruit,” a song which came out in 1939 that addressed racially motivated violence and in my humble opinion is one of a very few that should never be covered because it’s just not possible to do the original any justice. I don’t know if Moore feels the same way (I’m going to guess that he does) but his “Estranged Fruit” is what I would consider a reprise to Holiday’s tune (read more about the original here). And unfortunately, we still live in a world where such racial, economic and societal injustices still need to be brought to the forefront so they can end once and for all.
“Estranged Fruit,” with its muted trombone, is a vampy jazz romp that ought to have fans of ‘Bone sashaying and second lining in the aisles; this is even before the song’s closing verse which breaks into a classic Fishbone free-form crescendo. For these ears, we have a potential anthem for the summer of ’23. [RR]
Geese– Mysterious Love. The latest single from NYC’s own Geese, “Mysterious Love,” from their forthcoming album, 3D Country packs in so many styles it’s amazing that it comes in just slightly over three minutes. From its aggressive 90’s era opening punch to the mid-song jam that goes from spoken word to dreamy backing vocals, while frontman Cameron Winter wails “Some people are alone forever,” to the final series of hits that closes it out, their latest release is a banger. And check out the wild video that accompanies it and find out what happens to their poor drummer, Max Bassin. [KM]
Gouge Away– Idealized. The crucial Florida hardcore band (whose 2018 album Burnt Sugar was one of my favorite of that year and would have been on our list had FTA existed then) has just released a new song, their first in three years, that sees them exploring more airy territory, leaning more towards post hardcore and even post rock than straight up hardcore. No complaints from me though, this is an exciting development and direction to see the band going in. The band shared in a statement:
We wrote this song in a Florida storage unit, somewhere on the timeline between tons of touring and the world shutting down. It’s a culmination of everything we like and always wanted to write, and fits the vibe of where we were at mentally at the time. “Idealized” almost never saw the light of day but we like this song so much we felt the need to properly record it and put it out into the world. We have been absolutely dying to play it live.
And you’ll soon have the chance to see them play it live as they also announced an East Coast tour along with the single. They will hit the stage in Brooklyn at Market Hotel on 8/5. [KH]
Happy Death Men– Trying To Say. Picture it, Queens, NYC 2023. It’s late at night and I’m doing some photo editing listening to music when via the Spotify “radio” feature, the shriek of feedback and buzzsaw bass hits my ears. I was intrigued and as the song progressed, I took pause and absolutely had to look up more music by the band coming through my headphones right away. It turns out it was the Portland based band Happy Death Men and the song was called “Kyle.” It stopped me in my tracks and I listened to the rest of the EP, Famous Plane Crash, right away (which incidentally had come out mere days before me finding it). I loved every moment of it but was bummed that it was only five songs long and hated that the band lives on the other side of the country from me because I immediately wanted to see them live.
All other commentary on Spotify (and weird algorithms) aside, I do still use it precisely because I need it as a tool for running a blog and I actually kind of like that feature because it’s led me to some cool discoveries of bands that I might not have found otherwise, this one being a very big highlight of that. (The internet/technocratic world we live in fucking sucks in general and it often feels like there’s no escape. But there can be upsides like this that make it more bearable sometimes.) That’s not the point here though, the point being that this week, the band put out a video for one of the other tracks on the EP, another highlight of the release, “Trying to Say,” and it gave me the excuse to talk about them more in FTA (I listed them as a BC Friday pick for April). Soaked in big dirty bass riffage, pounding drums and as much feedback as a noise punk’s little heart can desire, this one is an absolute fucking ripper. Like I said before in the BC post, this may have just come out, but my greedy ass is already ready for a full length and a tour to NYC. Fingers crossed that all comes to pass soon! [KH]
Hnry Flwr– Cathedral of the Pines. Hnry Flwr frequently draws influence from all over the place, and on their newest single takes us back with a concertedly more retro vibe than on previous endeavors. Chunky synths are married with distorted electronics and overblown percussives, forcing the guitars deep into the background layers. Frontman David Van Witt’s vocals majestically ride the taut bassline allowing them to soar together. The song, quite rich lyrically on its face, draws upon seemingly spiritual components, ideas of Mother Earth woven into imagery of traditional middle America. It’s got an almost Springsteen quality with a Johnny Dynamite delivery with a bit of a Billy Idol twist. It’s a bit of a shift from their earlier material, even from last month’s “The Mystery,” but if there’s one thing I’ve come to expect from Hnry Flwr over the years, it’s to never stop guessing. [MB]
La Sécurité– Serpent. The Montreal-based art punk five-piece La Sécurité creates an angular layered groove here, catching you immediately with driving drums and tambourine shakes with bass, guitar, and synths playing with syncopation, and light and flirtatious vocals in French— it gets you bouncing from the first beat. As for the lyrics, Google translate to the rescue: “I am not the herd. I am the storm serpent.” Complicated friendships are the inspiration for “Serpent,” when words fail and all you can do is have a dance battle. The band says in a statement, “The person it is directed towards loves dancing. It’s a pretty dancy song. We hope they dance to it.” The song also has a fun video of the band playing live and running around Austin at SXSW. Their upcoming debut album Stay Safe! is out June 16th on Mothland. [KB]
Night Beats– Thank You. The latest single from the upcoming album Rajan is a psychy tune with a groovy slither and funky beats that when paired with the mysterious Jowdorosky-esque video directed by Vanessa Pla takes on a surreal edge. Night Beats maestro Danny Lee Blackwell writes of the video “Vanessa’s vision… was to highlight the power of transformation as an alchemical process, which reinforces the significance of the simple gesture of saying “Thank You.” Rajan will be out July 14th on Fuzz Club and Suicide Squeeze Records. [CW]
Petal– You Really Love Me. Petal, the musical nom de plum of Philadelphia’s multi talented Kiley Lotz just dropped their latest single, “You Really Love Me” on May 5th. With the help of multi instrumentalist and producer Zack Robbins, “You Really Love Me” has been transformed into a fun bouncy pop tune which ought to be included on everyone’s Summertime Playlist. Long a staple in Petal’s live setlists, “Really Love Me” according to Lotz is a song about them coming to grips with their need for external validation of their artistry. And while previous live iterations of the tune were slower and more somber, this single version clearly reflects Lotz’s appreciation of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac and thus is a lively soundtrack for fun in the sun. [RR]
Safe Houses– Someday Is Starting Now. This Brooklyn based quartet are stalwarts of the Brooklyn DIY scene and this week we premiered their brand new video “Someday Is Starting Now.” Read more about the song here. [KH]
Tightwire– One Foot in the Grave. Heavy and fast, and clocking in at under two minutes, “One Foot in the Grave” encapsulates the adrenaline and violent fun of a moshpit. But as the song’s title reveals, the frenetic energy here is pushed by dark thoughts. The lyrics reveal a desperate desire to give up: ”’Cause every time I try it just gets worse, can someone please just put me in a motherfucking hearse?” This is the second single off of Tightwire’s new album Head Full of Snakes, out on June 9 via Red Scare Industries, and is the first full-length release from the Minneapolis-based pop punk band since 2018. The band shot and edited the video for the song themselves, where we see them rock out thoroughly inside what looks like a plywood shed. Fuck yeah! [KB]
Tilden– Alone with Someone. Brooklyn’s resident groovemasters are back with a smooth dark funk that feels like it belongs to the late night world from which the Brooklyn collective hails. But eventually the sun comes up and Juju and the gang will make you want to grab a tambourine, head to the beach, and fall asleep in the sunshine. With an almost 60s mod spy-track in feel, Jenna Mark carries this one on the keys, with a cold melancholy yet incredibly powerful lead vocal delivery that will make you shiver. Masquerading under the cover of sonic espionage, you can literally hear the casual tension of Di’s fingers on the bass strings while Kallan Campbell and Ryan Laetari’s delicate guitars play like echoes on glass, before tearing thru the ice with a ripping lead to carry you out of the track and back into the light. Tilden is no sleeves on your shoulders, warm sand between your toes, and cool hangs with the real homies, and that’s why we keep coming back. [MB]
Water From Your Eyes– 14. Plucky string-like synths tiptoe at the beginning of “14,” the electricity building and pulsing under Rachel Brown’s vulnerable vocals. “I traced what I erased…I’m ready to throw you up,” they sing. The song feels like reaching back in memories, searching for reasons why. The band describes the song as a “quasi-serial inkblot signifying submission to personal demons and the realization that change is both necessary and inevitable.” Brown also directed the haunting black and white video, featuring them and bandmate Nate Amos contemplating existence on the precipice of waterfalls, while close by masked figures lurk. This the third single from the Brooklyn-based duo’s forthcoming album Everyone’s Crushed (May 26 Matador). They will play a free show at SummerStage with Horsegirl, Iceage and Lifeguard on 7/20. [KB]
Wombo– Slab. Pairing jagged post-punk guitar riffs and percussion along with singer Sydney Chadwick’s smoothed out vocals, “Concrete Slab” manages to create an aural version of the song’s title object, while lyrics like “I was in a field, I had a camera on me / I was practicing balancing for everyone but you / on a wire crossed way up above a building / and when I come down, I’ll be a different person” hint at something deeper than just construction materials. The Slab EP will be out June 9th on Fire Talk. [CW]