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 Chantal [CW], Emily [EA], Kate B [KB], Kate H [KH] and Mike [MB] weighing in on a big list of killer songs and they have the scoop on plenty of new tunes, give ’em a listen!
Allegra Krieger– Lingering. If NYC were a song, this would be it I think. Lingering is genuine, literal, and pretty in a gray, urban kind of way. “As I rounded the corner, it smelled like piss and garbage,” Krieger sings, “As the crosswalk counts down / flashing orange and red / crossing over Canal.” In the simple video that reminds me of my childhood hanging with my friends on the LES, she dances and skips down a sunny urban street. The video and the song are both honest in their depictions of the city, in its trash and its grime, its shuttered storefronts and its pungent smells, but also in its potential for joy. The city looks small here.
It’s a brilliant video: I actually didn’t notice that anything was strange until my second watch, I was so focused on Krieger’s lovely song—nothing is quite as it seems. Here, NYC isn’t some mystical land of opportunity—it’s our home, our lives, and we make our own fun. “I get so tired, always running around / keeping track of the time,” Krieger croons as the video slips into a glimpse of clear blue waves, “When I wanna slip into that fragile place / where I exist without a body.” Haven’t we all felt like that after a day out in our noxious concrete wonderland? Krieger’s new album I Keep My Feet On The Fragile Plane is out July 21st on Double Double Whammy. [EA]
Amaara– Bright Lights. A floating dream of a song with Amaara’s steady and beautiful voice drifting over a wash of synth, guitars, and bass and drums holding steady at mid-tempo, “Bright Lights” also takes you through a very meta video (behind-the-scenes or making-fun-of-behind-the-scenes), revealing Amaara deconstructing and performing the tropes of her own imagination. “Bright Lights” is the second single off of Amaara’s upcoming debut album Child of Venus out on July 7 via Lady Moon Records. [KB]
Andrew Hung– Find Out. With a compelling beat and hypnotizing vocals, this track from Andrew Hung is a dance number but in its own way, weird synth noises curling around to become catchy, drawing out movement (and maybe some finger snapping. Hey, I can dance alone) and becoming denser and more lush as it builds to climax. Hung (formerly of Fuck Buttons) does it all, handling writing, performing, producing and mixing duties on his latest album Deliverance, which will be out on August 11th on Lex Records. [CW]
ANOHNI and the Johnsons– Sliver Of Ice. Fans of ANOHNI know what to expect from her—delicate music, stark emotions, and a powerful, gorgeous voice—but that doesn’t stop each release from being a revelation. Her first album since 2016 deals with loss and possibility, and those themes are at the forefront on the single “Silver of Ice.” ANOHNI says of the song: “A friend of mine expressed to me in the final months of his life that the simplest sensations had begun to feel almost rapturous; a carer had placed a shard of ice on his tongue one day and it was such a sweet and unbelievable feeling that it caused him to weep with gratitude. He was a hardcore kind of guy and these moments were transforming the way he was seeing things.” The friend isn’t named in that quote, but elsewhere in a press release ANOHNI shares she was remembering some of the last words Lou Reed shared with her. My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross will be out July 7th on Secretly Canadian and Rough Trade. [CW]
Big Girl– Forever. The latest chapter of the upcoming album Big Girl vs GOD has been given a name and now bears the weight of existence “Forever.” And forever, as lead singer Kaitlin Pelkey can attest, can mean a lot of things and feel alot of different ways. Coping with the recent loss of her mother permeates much of Pelkey’s songwriting on BGVG, but none strikes quite so hard as this heart-wrenching ballad. Musically the track is gorgeous, full of dreamy melody, silky strings and a powerhouse vocal. The track lyrically unfolds like a letter drowning equally with all the love and regrets her mother can never receive. “I could have tried harder. I could have been a better daughter instead of a martyr,” Pelkey sings. “We had the times of our lives. Don’t think twice” It’s as much a celebration as it is an apology, often times both and almost always everything in between.
The video, directed by first-time filmmaker Brandon Flynn, is a journey through that tender pain and grief. It takes you right up against Pelkey’s raw sadness and presses your face against the glass. Intercutting with haunting video images of her parents’ wedding day, it twists your insides apart watching these two worlds of past and present collide until Pelkey finds herself desperately wandering inside the video itself searching for some sort of lingering phantom connection to hang onto.
From the perspective of a finite existence, it’s an infinite pit of sadness. Her voice almost breaks against waves of anger and sorrow, as she specifically punctuates those weighted words, “All that’s left in your place is your shape and your name and the stain of a life that’s not forever” [MB]
Being Dead– The Last Living Buffalo. This track is deceptively joyful…or maybe fortifying, exhilarating. Like we’re heading somewhere exciting. The kind of thing you’d hear in a Western during a montage of horseback riding amongst wide shots of desert and orange sunsets. The marching band-esque snare almost sounds like the hooves of a frontiersman’s steed making his way out west. The first comparison that came to my mind was Secret Tunnel from the 2000s cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Last Living Buffalo’s accompanying video calls the forthcoming When Horses Would Run “the first buffalo-endorsed album.” It’s silly—but the song and the video are also haunting and persistent. Like I said—we’re heading somewhere exciting. Well, we’re heading somewhere, at least.
“Onward, buffalo, alone!” go the harrowingly repetitive lyrics. “Onward, no herd, I heard / you killed them…” But the lyrics get darker as the sound gets lighter, “I see a buffalo lying dead on the floor / (fur for fashion, fur for fashion).” The tension rises, we start to get antsy, waiting for some release…Where are we going? Founding band member Gumball says Last Living Buffalo is “about the universal human fear of being alone and/or being skinned alive.” In the last minute of the song, it’s suddenly angry, howling—no, literally, there’s howling—fuzzy, sludgey guitars and agonizing screams of “YOU KILLED THEM!” while a baby buffalo stares at us. The shift in mood just makes it all the more chilling. The Last Living Buffalo will appear on Being Dead’s debut album When Horses Would Run, out July 14th on Bayonet. [EA]
Buffalo Nichols– You’re Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond. Carl “Buffalo” Nichols recreates the blues for 2023 with 808 programming, samples, and synths—as well as skillful guitar playing—topped off with his deep, soulful vocals. “You’re Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond” (an eerily beautiful version of the Blind Willie Johnson song) is the first single off of The Fatalist, his second album due out September 15 via Fat Possum. The Milwaukee, WI-based musician explained his new take on the classic song in a statement: “A traditional song made modern. Which aspects of ‘the Blues’ are essential? Is it a melody? A certain vocabulary? Delivery? Instrumentation? Is this still a blues song? And most importantly: who gets to decide? I tried to reimagine the blues with this song as if it were allowed to grow and progress uninterrupted, uncolonized and ungentrified.” The mysterious video for the track (directed by Samer Ghani) presents Nichols approaching a church at night, intercut with shots of him playing the song in low flickering light. Nichols is touring the US this summer, and will play Mercury Lounge on September 22. [KB]
Cinema Cinema– Walk Into The Ocean. Building like a swell of waves over less than three minutes, with drums pounding like the surf and Ev Gold whisper-roaring “I wanna kiss the mouth of ocean! I tell you, I wanna walk into the ocean… into the ocean, if that’s the exit then I’ll take it,” this experimental track is very different from the throbbing, raucous “War On You.” This makes for an interesting preview of their new album Mjölnir, which features Gold on guitar and vocals, his cousin Paul Claro on drums, percussion and winds, and Thor Harris (of Swans, Shearwater, and Angels of Light) on synths, percussion and drums. Mjölnir will be out via Nefarious Industries on July 14th. [CW]
Eaves Wilder– Better Together. This song starts out delicately, with Wilder’s gentle voice sweetly singing of “blissful confinement / peace and quiet / give me solace, silence / yeah that’s how I like it.” But as the song builds toward a fuller sound, so do the lyrics wonder “but we’d be better together / don’t you agree? and you always say that it’s a losing game / but why not play it with me?” Wilder says that “Better Together” takes the perspective of two narrators, “one who is skeptical of love and one who is trying to convince them otherwise.” The single is available now on Secretly Canadian, as is her debut EP Hookey, released earlier this year. [CW]
Frankie and The Witchfingers– Mild Davis. The lead single from the LA quartet’s seventh album is both simple and complicated, featuring jagged guitars twining around in angular riffs and deft rhythm work from new members Nikki “Pickle” Smith (formerly of Death Valley Girls) on bass and Nick Aguilar on drums, with soaring vocals over a 7/4 meter. Singer Dylan Sizemore says “I wrote ‘Mild Davis’ in a moment of feeling pessimistic about what technology is doing to our society, especially as AI is creeping to the forefront more and more. But then the bridge comes from a more optimistic perspective, where it’s questioning whether we could reboot the whole system and start all over.” Taken all together, the sum of these parts is a potent, trippy track that doesn’t get lost in itself. Data Doom will be out on September 1st on Greenway Records and The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Catch them live at Warsaw in Brooklyn on September 30th. [CW]
The Hives– Countdown To Shutdown. Kicking in with an ascending riff into classic Hives rock n’ roll, this second single from the upcoming comeback album features a seriously catchy bassline underpinning the verses and a chaotic business-themed video directed by SNASK. Singer Howlin’ Pelle presents the track as “The countdown to the financial collapse? The countdown to the weekend bender you’ve been waiting for? The countdown to your favorite sports competition? The Hives have you covered with Countdown To Shutdown. A versatile banger for all your summer rock needs.” In-fucking-deed. The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons will be out on FUGA on August 11th. We caught their recent NYC show (their first here in 11 years, see pics) and they are returning to NYC for a show at Brooklyn Steel on October 30th. [CW]
Lutalo & Lomelda– Darkeve Duet. A multiinstrumentalist originally from Minnesota who, after some time here in NYC, now lives and creates in rural Vermont, Lutalo’s debut EP from last year Once Now, Then Again is being released on vinyl on June 23rd. Fans of that EP will recall “Darkeve”; “Darkeve Duet” is a reimagining of the song from Lomelda that re-explores it delicately, a gorgeous, experimental track that weaves two voices together in a tapestry. Lutalo cites Lomelda as an influence, saying “it was a full circle moment to have her being willing to help with this track.” Lutalo will be touring the Midwest this fall. [CW]
Nara’s Room– Rat. The latest drop from the sometime-solo project, most-of-the-time band, Nara’s Room, is out now via Candlepin Records. A bit more polished in its execution, this jangly indie-rock gem from the mind of Nara Avakian is still chock full of lo-fi saturation in all the best ways we love them for. You can hear all the whistles and pops of guitar strings in its quieter moments but when it gets big and loud, its rich sonic layers nestle between the cracks of triumphant drum rolls and slam in like a hurricane.
“There’s a rat in my belly and it’s trying to tell you something” sings Avakian who also directed and edited the music video, shot on their famed around Brooklyn camcorder by Heather Jensen. It gives some major Real World/Reality Bites vibes with that signature Nara’s Room VHS BetaMax doc retro style. Starring a couple Sony Walkmans, a flip phone, and an Etch A Sketch, the the video follows the deadpan-faced band from White Castle, to the rock show and back up across Brooklyn rooftops. If only emotions were served up as easily as an order of chicken rings. “What else can I say….? What else can I do…. ?” [MB]
Sangre– Chainlinks. This Brooklyn based punk/grunge band is newer, having first hit the scene in late 2022. Now they’re here with their debut single, “Chainlinks,” and it has impressive production, sounding broad and full; this is no lo-fi demo tape that might immediately come to mind when thinking “first release from a punk band.” The chuggy riffs and vocal delivery would have fit right into 1993 era grunge radio play and it serves up serious 90s vibes (in all the best ways). This is a nice first taste of what this band has to offer and I’m ready for more. A music video will be released for the song on 6/17. [KH]
Sarah Mary Chadwick– Shitty Town. A reflective, piano-driven ballad with punishing and poetic evaluations of everything in life that has fallen short, Chadwick has described the track as a “leaving a place kind of song.” The lyrics reflect the futile inner turmoil of wanting to change the past: “I watch through the window at my life / It seems to function/ but who’s driving / this shitty car?” The song’s video creates a world where the song is a low-budget black box production of what “Shitty Town” might be as community theater; melodramatic with small technical effects, but every player putting forth maximum (if not flawlessly artful) effort. “Shitty Town” is the first single off of the New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based Sarah Mary Chadwick in advance of her eighth full-length release Messages to God (out September 15 from Kill Rock Stars, and executive produced by award winning producer, Tony Espie). [KB]
Strange Ranger– Way Out. Strange Ranger’s forthcoming album Pure Music was recorded in a cabin in upstate New York, and this song definitely has cabin in upstate New York vibes. Way Out is a delightful indie rock track that’s dreamy but also frenzied, vocals whispering over each other in airy harmonies. The lulling chant of the verse is hypnotizing, and the chorus is ethereal and satisfying. Bandleader Isaac Eiger explains:
“I wrote this one while going through my memories of being a teenager in Montana and then it got all biblical for some reason. We produced it at the house in the woods and I remember feeling extremely alert, almost manic working on it late at night. At the time, we thought of it as a sort of condensed Talk Talk song, but I’m not sure if it ended up that way.”
Thick– Doomer. Brooklyn punks and hometown heroes, Thick, have released a brand new stand alone single, a mid tempo power pop rocker that shows new growth for the band and sees them channeling their frustrations too.
Singer Nikki Sisti shares:
“This song screams exhaustion. It’s about knowing what you could do for someone but being too burnt out to do. It’s the opposite of self-abandonment, it’s choosing to stop giving so much and hoping that the other person can find it within themselves to do the work and grow.”
This is the first recording without their longtime drummer Shari Page, the kit being helmed here by Mannequin Pussy drummer Kaleen Reading. Will Yip provides his signature crisp production, making the song sound rich and full with the band sound bigger than ever before and a long way from their rawer DIY house show roots. That’s hardly a bad thing though, and shows a new maturity and depth of sound, an exciting peek perhaps into Thick’s next era. The layered guitar work really shines, with the catchy leads standing out in particular. The band is currently on tour in the US and will head to the UK for some dates before they return to NYC for a show on 7/22 at TV Eye. [KH]
Vagabon– Can I Talk My Shit? The ever-evolving New York musician Laetitia Tamko aka Vagabon flirts and entices in this danceable indie pop tune, the second single off her third LP Sorry I Haven’t Called out September 15 via Nonesuch Records. The lyrics begin with Vagabon asking the song’s title, and then she proceeds to sing her truth (aka talk her shit for real): “I got way too high for this / I’m riding on a wave too low / Never found myself through the smoke.” The song has a fun video where we get to see what it would be like if she ran a towing company in the desert, complete with her looking gorgeous in a silver bustier while dancing in a junkyard. Vagabon tours the US this summer (playing Hudson Yards on July 12) before heading to Europe to accompany Weyes Blood in the fall. [KB]