Single Serve 043

by | May 26, 2023 | Reviews


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 week (ish), quick fire responses to some great new music we think you should check out. This week we have Chantal [CW], new writer Emily Austin [EA], Kate B [KB], Kate H [KH], Mike [MB] and Ray [RR] weighing in on a very big list of killer songs and have the scoop on plenty of new tunes, give ’em a listen!


Amaara– New Love’s Mortal Coil. A synth-drenched song with a dancey, 80s vibe from the Canadian-born singer, songwriter, producer, filmmaker, and actor Kaelen Ohm, who you might know from the Netflix series Hit and Run.  The vocals on this track are both flirtatious and slightly ominous, with lush harmonies and cheeky lyrics: “I know you think you found it / the one that you’ve been looking for / I know you think you’ve landed on a rainbow or a unicorn…It’s gonna be a hard road baby when it falls apart.” Ohm described “New Love’s Mortal Coil” as being about “the impermanence of new stages of love, and how we can get left in the dark with our emotions after the fire burns out.” Ohm also directed the video which features her and a group of talented dancers getting down in silky colorful suits.  It looks and feel like 1987 on some kind of designer drug; I can’t stop watching it. “New Love’s Mortal Coil” is the first single from Amaara’s upcoming album, Child of Venus, out on July 7 from Lady Moon Records. [KB]


Bar Italia– Changer. The third and final single from the London-based post-punk trio in advance of Tracey Denim, their first LP with Matador Records, which came out on May 19. “Changer” is a song of yearning, of missing someone that you want close to you and now they are far, far away. The lyrics offer a clear lament: “Didn’t get the chance to say, I want more / Doesn’t have to be this way, it’s too pure / Now that you have gone away, I’m bored / I’m going out every day to make sure.” Every track I’ve heard off of of Tracey Denim has me wanting more, too. Their unique blend of shoegaze and dream rock is addictive. They’ve recently expanded their tour dates, too, so if you didn’t get a ticket to any of their June shows in NYC, heads up that they’re returning on December 4 to Bowery Ballroom. I want to go! [KB]


Baba ChevyNice Work Job. The quartet’s debut side A/side B is the latest release of NYC boutique label Fear Icon Records. Literally one half of Brooklyn band, Dad, but completely something different entirely, the band teeters somewhere between psych garage and alternative indie. Awash in smashy drum thunder and big guitar sound, they employ DIY swagger that feels almost lazy at times without ever being shiftless or sloppy. David Flick and James Watson share in the work trading of guitar and vocal responsibilities. “Nice Work Job” smashes a bottle across your face in a sea of fuzzy winding leads while PJ Levine locks in and holds down the low end on bass. B-side, “Guantanamo Dave” brings the flood waters down for a brief moment before quickly rising and drowning you in a guitar and drum scream chorus blast before you have a chance to catch your breath. It’s killer little release upon first listen and invites you back for more, signaling Baba Chevy may be offering us more here than we initially expected, and we’re pretty excited to see what’s next. [MB]



Being Dead– Daydream. A groovy, 60s-esque, surf-rock-meets-trippy-folk pleaser that puts the gorgeous vocal harmonies forward in the mix, “Daydream” is the second single off of the Austin-based trio’s debut album When Horses Would Run, out July 14 on Bayonet. Katie Cheline directed a fantastic video for the track which is a wild ride with ghosts shoplifting six-packs after being summoned by little children messing with a Ouija board (you also get the ghosts’ back story—it’s satisfyingly epic and fun!). “It’s safe to say that we’re typically ambitious when it comes to music video ideas and this one is no exception,” the band states. “We had a lot of ideas for this one and ended up just cramming them all in there. We think this is a relatively courageous attempt at a highly-condensed Pride and Prejudice 2.” I’m into the music and the visual madness, so bring it on, Being Dead! I think they’re having a lot of fun, and you will too. [KB]


Bev Rage and The Drinks– Truth or Dare. These Chicago garage-pop-punkers have released a new single/video from last year’s excellent record Exes and Hexes. This track is super fun and super fast—under two minutes!—and features a music video with party games and singer Bev Rage playing the part of both the devil and the angel on the shoulder. The group will be supporting Pansy Division and Bully on a number of dates on tour this summer. [CW]


Boris and Uniform– Not Surprised. The second single off of Bright New Disease, the much-anticipated collaborative album from Japan’s sludge metal heroes Boris and NYC’s industrial noise rockers, Uniform, “Not Surprised” sounds like the end of the fucking world. Tense and scorching, with layers of roiling guitar and synth noise, as the dueling drummers battle each other rhythmically. The pained vocals from Uniform’s Michael Berdan sound like someone possessed, wonderfully balanced with Atsuo’s sinister murmurs and wails. Berdan wrote most of the song’s lyrics and said, “I’ve struggled with mental health issues for my entire life. Although years of hard work, medication, and a support network help immensely at keeping the internal violence of my mind at bay, some days will always be a little worse than others. This song is about the inherent loneliness of those bad days. The level of antipathy I feel towards the entire human race as I’m forced to function around regular people who seem to be just enjoying their life goes beyond words, but I tried to say it here anyway.” 


“Not Surprised” has a beautifully disturbing video directed by Brooklyn filmmaker A.F. Cortes, who stated, “The overarching theme of the piece is a cycle of violence; this is my interpretation of the music, not necessarily the authors’. We live in a never-ending cycle of violence; humans are as good at creating as destroying. In the video, the hunted becomes the hunter and then is hunted again. But who wins?” Well, we do, because both the song and the video are intoxicating and cathartic. Bright New Disease is out on June 16 via Sacred Bones. [KB]


The Budos Band– Frontier’s Edge. Psychedelic soul at its funky best from Staten Island’s The Budos Band. The instrumental “Frontier’s Edge” features a hypnotic guitar hook, a super-tight horn section rocking some syncopation, rumbling bass, and funky fills from the drums. You can shake your thing or just trip out to these Afro-Soul masters,  they definitely know what they’re doing. This track is the first off of their upcoming EP of the same name, due out on July 28 from the band’s own label, Diamond West Records. They will be hitting the road this summer to support the release, touring the US and Canada, and then hopping over to Japan in July for the Fuji Rock Festival. [KB]


BugginSnack Run. I need snacks, you need snacks, Buggin needs snacks. And the Chicago based foursome has created a heavy AF ode to many a hardcore/punk kid’s favorite off stage pastime/touring staple, you guessed it, snacking! The song is paired with a very fun video that features cameos from the members of Scowl and lots of choice snack food items. Come for the hard hitting riffs, stay for the Takis and Chex Mix. This is the final pre-release single from Concrete Cowboys which releases in full on 6/2 via Flatspot. Buggin is currently on tour in the UK and Europe and will play The Tribes of Da Moon at Bowery Ballroom in August along with Bleed The PigsKnife Wound, RebelmaticSoul Glo, Zulu and many more. [KH]


Cindy Wilson– Midnight. A shimmery techno-pop confection from vocalist, songwriter, and founding member of The B-52s, Cindy Wilson, her gorgeous alto voice entices over bubbly synth beeps and squiggles that sparkle and pop like the stars winking in a midnight sky. The lyrics are alluring: “It’s midnight again / so tell me you feel it / It’s midnight again / just say that you want to.” Wilson made this statement about the new single: “It’s an upbeat dance dream of love at a magical hour, inviting the listener to come along. Let’s go!”  ’m dancing right beside you, Cindy! “Midnight” is the first single off of Wilson’s second solo album, Realms, out on August 25 via Kill Rock Stars.  While she hasn’t announced any solo performance dates yet, you can catch her with The B-52s on June 17 in Asbury Park, NJ. [KB]


GroupieNo Chaser. The first new music from the band since 2021’s dynamic LP Ephemeral, Groupie’s new single packs a mighty powerful pop punch, without losing its undercurrent of the dark and dreamy. Ashley Kossakowski (bass, vocals) has spent much of the past year on tour playing bass in Cafuné but “No Chaser” signals we might be in store from a new record from Groupie soon, and that’s good news indeed. Kossakowski, a byproduct of the same Chicago punk scene from which I hail, beautifully mixes shadows of that sound with the feminine force of bands like Sleater Kinney and The Breeders. This go round, the band (Aaron Silberman on drums, Eric Rubin and Eamon Lebow on guitars) brings a newer level of raw pop to their sound that’s also at times almost Von Bondies in nature. “No Chaser” feels organic in its execution waxed over with a gloss that hits just right… straight… no chaser. [MB]


Guided By Voices– Seedling. Here we go again! In (unsurprising) news, Guided By Voices have new music out, and it’s classic Robert Pollard indie guitar rock: catchy, dynamic and driven. This one really takes me back while also sounding fresh. How the fuck does he do it? Unlike their album from earlier this year, La La Land, the upcoming LP, Welshpool Frillies, was mostly recorded live to tape, and will be out July 21 on GBV Inc. [CW]


Jeff RosenstockLiked U Better. With the simple acoustic guitar strum and mellow lead guitar intro riff, the first 20 seconds of everybody’s favorite DIY punkster, Jeff Rosenstock’s first new music in almost three years had one thinking that we were getting a solo acoustic song. HAAAAA! Au contraire! Rosenstock and his Death Rosenstock band recorded this rock and roll anthem in LA last year during a break in their 2022 touring schedule and have once again provided fans with a gem. Sticking to a tried and true  ormula that has Rosenstock reeling off lightning fast verses, offset by the band shouting back the chorus of “I liked you better when you were on my mind” all of which is propelled by crunching, hard hitting punky rock and roll.  his is certainly going to be a mosh pit favorite when Rosenstock tours later on this year.  (He’ll be playing his largest ever headlining gig here in NY at Terminal 5 in September). [RR]


King Gizzard & the Lizzard WizardGila Monster. The chameleonic band of Aussies return with a brand new single, and true to form and fashion, they continue to keep us guessing. Prolific in their pace and frenetic in their nature, the gang from Melbourne churns out extensive catalogs of sound ranging from expansive jazz-rock, to semi-acoustic ballads and from sci-fi prog to trippy garage rock and explorations of microtonal tunings, at an incredibly impressive clip. “Gila Monster” is heavy metal—as much Metallica as it is Dragonforce. The band never hesitates to showcase the variety of their musical prowess to flaunt their chops, and this is no exception. It shreds, and it’s fun and cheesy in all ways you want it to be. [MB]


Kitba My Words Don’t Work. The lead single from singer-songwriter and harpist Rebecca Kitba Bryson El-Saleh’s debut LP is a simultaneously simple and intricate work of self-reflection, as Kitba asks “what’s my worth if my words don’t work?” The song, they said, is “about an inability to articulate oneself and the yearning felt when trying to convey anything that means anything.” The track builds piece by piece, first a synth here, now some percussion there, until Kitba’s airy yet rich distinctive voice is soaring over the music, which quiets again at last. Kitba will be out July 21st on Ruination Record Co. [CW]


Louise Post– What About. This is a softer song than the first single “Guilty,” and a very poignant one that Post says is about “navigating the world without someone you thought you would spend an eternity with” and “the regret of things left unsaid and things left undone.” With delicate acoustic guitar mixed forward and a melodic, fuzzy one in the background, it’s catchier than the sad subject matter might let on. Sleepwalker will be out on June 2nd on El Camino, and Post will be at the Bowery Ballroom on July 15th. [CW]


LovecolorPure Love. The alt-pop, dark synth wave rock duo comprised of Vanessa Silberman and Ryan Carnes are back with masterfully crafted atmospheric pop banger that showcases yet another hue in the palette of love. Rich with layered textures of live and electronic instrumentation, the pair elevates the medium. You can feel the weight of its intention as it manages to take you lovingly by the hand and pull you back into the future. The A Diamond Heart Production outfit are currently on their national “Pure Love” tour that has them spreading their sound from coast to coast throughout the Spring and early part of the Summer. [MB]

Pissed Jeans– No Convenient Apocalypse/Bathroom Laughter (Live in Allentown). The kings of sludge/punk/noise from Allentown are back at it with a split 7-inch from Sub Pop, their first release since 2017’s Why Love Now. “No Convenient Apocalypse” comes at you with brutally thick guitar sounds and frontman Matt Korvette’s gravelly rage-fueled yell. “No simple Armageddon / no easy way out,” Korvette growls as the band thunders beneath him. Originally recorded six years ago for the video game Cyberpunk 2077, the single captures the group’s frustration at the absurd mess that is the world today. Pissed Jeans have never brought rage without humor, however, and that dark wit is very apparent on “Bathroom Laughter,” originally released on their 2013 album Honeys.  If you missed the original video for the song, I strongly suggest you check it out. This special live version of the song in their hometown captures the band’s frantic energy perfectly. [KB]


RancidDevil In Disguise. Rancid’s new track “Devil in Disguise,” off their upcoming album Tomorrow Never Comes is endearingly simple. Well, maybe “endearing” is too sweet a word for what’s really a grim warning about trusting people too closely, but something in its upbeat directness that almost mimics a sea shanty just puts a smile on my face. The third track we’ve heard off the new album, this one’s a little longer (it actually hits two minutes!) and a little warmer, the guys chanting together as if over a pint of mead in some old-timey tavern, but it still has that angry, distorted, Rancid-y punkness to it. And the tune’s simplicity spills right into the video, directed by Tim Armstrong himself and Kevin Kerslake, just a few shots of the band playing in high-contrast monochrome, like a zine page come to life. The title track’s video is similar, and while VFX artist Jason Link’s faux-damaged film might make you think the band is stuck in the 90s and reaching desperately for some obsolete aesthetic, I’d argue that, still going strong following 2017’s Trouble Maker, Rancid is striding confidently into the 2020s, and “Devil in Disguise” is definitely something new. [EA]


Still– Crushed. This single from St. Louis four piece Still is a perfect mix of shoegaze tones and dynamic and post-rock driving beat, with a lovely vocal melody hovering between the layers like flowers pressed between pages of fuzz, and lyrics evoking the same (“we leveled out / into the edge / it’s not the same but here we go again / another ride, a change in tides / but it’s alright because I don’t seem to mind / being in-between, incomplete / but it’s alright because I don’t seem to mind.“) “Crushed” is out now on Sunday Drive Records. [CW]


Suzie TrueSentimental Scum. LA trio Suzie True is a band sprouted from friendship, so Get Better Records says, and their new track “Sentimental Scum” embodies that wholeheartedly. An upbeat yet nostalgic tune about getting older but still having fun anyway, the accompanying video sees the band splashing each other in a pool, drawing on the walls, and smiling together all the while. This one needs no ramping up—the track throws you right into a catchy electric guitar riff that’ll get stuck in your head and fill you with energy. An anthem in a way, with its simple, relatable hooks and clever lyrics that invoke an aging but tireless generation (“I was raised by MTV so you know that I’m a fuck up now!“), it makes sense that “Sentimental Scum” is the title track for their new album, releasing on June 30th. This is the third song the trio has released off the LP, and it certainly drums up a childlike excitement. After all: what’s more sentimental than chanting “Life’s not fair!” at the world with your friends? [EA]


Teenage Fanclub Foreign Land. This is classic Teenage Fanclub, with the gorgeous, full jangly guitar sound we are used to from these Scottish rockers and filled with glorious harmonies. They aren’t leaning solely on nostalgia, however, singing “it’s time to move along / and leave the past behind me.” The track has a sort of rambling feeling to me, evoking images of green, rolling hills, although the video shows the band in the beige, domed structure of the Hamilton Mausoleum in Hamilton, Scotland. Nothing Lasts Forever will be out via Merge and PeMa Records on September 22nd. [CW]


A Very Special EpisodeNeon Stars. Visual whiz and true master of image and color, Jen Meller, has teamed back up the Brooklyn noise rock trio to direct yet another chapter within the mysterious cult-o-verse surrounding A Very Special Episode. Starring Kristi Sun, “Neon Stars” quickly spirals itself downward into the stuff from which nightmares are made. The song feels like Twin Peaks crossed with Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” in a realm that’s slowed and warbled as though trying to run through molasses. The video itself takes place over the course of a creepy dream-like state that seeps into your synaptic membranes like a mouthful of Quaaludes. Between the eerie tone of the song and the psychedelic spaced out tin-foil outer space, Eyes Wide Shut meets Sleep No More sex cult treatment of a completely unrecognizable East Williamsburg Econolodge, never before have I so badly needed an adult. The ominous triangular crystal from “Heaven’s Gate” returns once again to remind you’re simply on a terrifying journey into self-discovery. Even the demon Steve Perry (of The Planes) makes his “bringing the fire” cameo appearance unnervingly reminiscent of the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ video for “Hell.” Meller and the band have once again nailed it here by bringing a whole new twist on their own concept, and it’s subtle inferences that make it one of the most terrifying things I’ve watched in a long time. [MB]


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