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 Becca [BF] Chantal [CW], Megan [MD], Mike [MB] weighing in on some killer songs and they have the scoop on plenty of new tunes, give ’em a listen!
Beabadoobee– The Way Things Go. Beloved folk, grunge pop singer, Beatrice Kristi Ilejay Laus—better known as Beebadoobee— recently released the new song “The Way Things Go” to the excitement of her rapidly growing fanbase. It is sleepy and evokes the sensation of a fantastical lullaby. The song is somewhat resigned sounding and wistful, making it soothing and nostalgic in both the lilting vocals and instrumentation that builds quietly in the backdrop. Overall if you’ve been a lover scorned lately or enjoy rainy day bedroom pop, this is the song for you. [MD]
CR and The Nones– The Long Game. The first single from Jersey City’s CR and The Nones upcoming album The Ghosts Are Coming Home is bright and breezy like a windy summer day. Vocal harmonies layer gorgeously over the music, which is buoyed by bouncy bass in the verses and punctuated by jangling guitars and synthy strings peeking through the clouds. The Ghosts Are Coming Home will be out on 9/8 on Magic Door Records, and the band will be at Our Wicked Lady on 9/22. [CW]
Curling– Patience. No Guitar, the name of Curling’s upcoming album, is certainly a misnomer. There are definitely guitars on this track, loud ones, backed by a great low end and cutting percussion by new drummer Kynwyn Sterling. I’m a big fan of the vocals too, as they move from verse to soaring chorus with perfectly placed harmonies, pulling at the heartstrings in the fashion of Midwest emo. For the music video director John MacKay “took the lyrics about BDSM and the idea of taking pleasure in pain and made a video where the protagonist is being chased through the streets and alleyways of NYC by a Terminator-like dominatrix.” Curling will be touring the West Coast this summer, including a couple dates with Nation of Language; No Guitar is due out 8/11. [CW]
ĠENN– Calypso. This is a fascinating song with complex layers that unpeel on repeated listens, starting out chill and moving into post-rock shoegazey noise near the end and overlaid with gorgeous saxophone and speak-sung lyrics. The sound hearkens back to the folk traditions of Malta and a Mediterranean sound. In a press statement, the band said: “With three of the quartet being Maltese nationals living in the UK and the band’s drummer coming from a Jamaican-Portuguese background, it is important for them to honour these links. Societal and political events at home have shaped their worldview, one key concern being the ongoing pro-abortion movement in Malta. Being in their unique position as migrants from a Commonwealth background now operating in the UK – they feel a responsibility to talk about how race, nationality, and art intertwine in the post-Brexit landscape.” The band will release their debut unum on their own Liminal Collective imprint on 10/6, and play a number of in-store shows in the UK. [CW]
Grrrl Gang– Blue Stained Lips. Grrrl Gang’s latest single from their upcoming debut album, Spunky!, finds the Indonesian pop-punk power trio taking more than a few steps in the opposite direction of their heavy-hitting titular track released late May. Don’t let that fool you! While “Blue-Stained Lips” showcases the band’s pop sensibilities front and center, it doesn’t sacrifice the energetic flair that has been making them rising stars in the Southeast Asian punk scene and beyond since 2016. Co-written by Edo Alventa and Angeeta Sentana, “Blue-Stained Lips” tells Sentana’s story of experiencing unconditional love in spite of her personal feelings of imperfection. Alventa’s chunky, palm-muted power chords bring exhilarating anticipation to the introductory lyrics, “I watch you undress in the dark of the night/when it’s just us two, nobody else but the moon” that perfectly capture the mood of a dream-worthy, innocent, yet intimate night of romance. A crescendo of powerful drumbeats and cymbal clashes, provided by touring drummer Muhammad Faiz Abdurrahman, gives way to euphoric and unapologetically catchy chorus that’s reminiscent of that giddy joyfulness of dancing around your room after coming home from an amazing date. Melodic harmonies bring out the sweeter side of Sentana’s punchy vocals, and the steady rolling of Akbar Rumandung’s rumbling bassline holds it all together while still leaving room for crunchy pick slides, meandering leads, and a delightfully twangy guitar solo.
Alongside the release of the single, which is available now on all streaming platforms, Grrrl Gang has collaborated once again with director Carkultera Wage Sae as well as Yohanes Catur Nugroho to release a lyric video for the song. Framed as the aftermath of a wild night out with all of the texts, pictures, and social media apps to tell the story, Grrrl Gang’s anthem of young love in the 2020’s comes to life in a visually charming and narratively appropriate manner that is all too familiar in the age of Gen Z. Spunky! is slated to be released stateside on September 22 exclusively via Kill Rock Stars in partnership with Green Island Records, so if “Blue-Stained Lips” fits into your summer love playlist as perfectly as it has fit into mine, save the date or preorder the album now! [BF]
Hunter & Wolfe– When I Wake Up. Michael Maffei and Sundeep Kapur are Hunter & Wolfe, hailing from Brooklyn. Their songs tread singer-songwriter territory, but with bigger ambitions, approaching orchestral fullness at times, like on this track “When I Wake Up,” which features strings and string arrangement from Chris Baum. The track will feature on an upcoming album, titled I Deserve This, out on 8/4. [CW]
Islands– Superstitious. Islands get slow and dreamy on the second single from the upcoming Life’s A Joke. In contrast to the melancholy feel of the music, it’s really a love song, and “one of the most joyful songs on the album” Islands maestro Nick Thorburn reveals. The entrancing music video features visuals from Canadian artist Strange Process; Thorburn says of the collaboration “I needed something abstract, like the listener was moving through an Impressionist painting. And he delivered!” Life’s A Joke will be out 8/25 on ELF; Islands will appear at Bowery Ballroom on 9/23. [CW]
The Kills– New York b/w LA Hex. The Kills have reappeared with their first new music since Ash & Ice in 2016 with a bicoastal 7 inch single. “New York” is a slinky, punchy number with a looping, descending main motif; “LA Hex” is chill, with blissed out bassy sounds riding underneath the vocals. Are these differing sounds a commentary on East Coast-West Coast rival cities? Perhaps. Both feature the excellent guitar work of Jamie “Hotel” Hince. You can get the single on Domino Records and all major streamers. [CW]
Leone– GTFOH. What we have been lacking recently is a good old fashioned episodic music video series. Brooklyn’s LEONE brings us just that with the release of their latest single “GTFOH.” Picking up right where our hero (or villain?)left off at the cliffhanger ending of “I Wanna Be,” singer/guitarist Richie Leone shares:
”‘GTFOH’ is my first time speaking about my frustration with the establishment and the world we are living in. How we turn on each other at the flip of a dime, and are so easily manipulated by the media and people in power. However, there are so many issues and subliminal messages that are being talked about and I really want the audience to come up with their own opinion & story for both of these videos. The video starts with me finding myself beaten and tied up by someone I can’t quite see. As the video goes on I see that the enemy is in fact someone I had trusted in the past (refer to “I Wanna Be” music video which ends with a “to be continued…”). The end of ‘GTFOH’ shows me taking back my power and walking my own path. The vocals are meant to sound like a loudspeaker. It’s my first time using my voice to relay this kind of message.”
What’s perils lie in store next for our dear Richie Leone? Tune in and stay tuned to find out! [MB]
Locations– Good Ole Same Ole. Brooklyn alt-rock duo makes absolutely no bones about addressing the problems that face not only our planet today but our very existence on a human level. Rejecting the notion of the “good ole, same ole,” Niko Rummell (guitar, vocals) and Thomas Whidden (drums, vocals) have zero reservations using their platform to get the word out regarding some of the issues that effect us all, as well as ways to get involved in enacting change. The latest single (from their upcoming record due out this October) hard bends from grunge vocal and slacker guitar to mathy-er prog moments and back, giving space for big dreamy breakdowns to showcase their chops. Think early Silverchair meets Yes but with a hook that takes you right back to when The Offspring kicked ass! From fair labor laws, to voters rights, to climate change and beyond, Locations is doing what they can to make the world a slightly better place one show at time, in the hopes we can all have a good time along the way. [MB]
“We’re powerless alone, but together we can actually change the fucking world.”
Monolord– Glaive (It’s All The Same). Metal outfit Monolord, who hails from Sweden, recently dropped “Glaive (It’s All the Same)” and boy does this one hit for anyone who loves a good melodic ballad. The “thrashy” vocals don’t come in until mid-song on this track, but the journey there is gloriously nostalgic of thrash and hair metal era guitar and drums. You get a sense of ominous dread and hopelessness imbued into this one, almost like before a thunderstorm. “Glaive (It’s All the Same)” would be comfortably at home playing in a bar while you stare into your cup of Jack Daniels, wondering where it all went wrong. [MD]
The Mountain Goats– Clean Slate. The characters from John Darnielle’s songs come to life like no one else’s creations, especially when they are on a journey. The upcoming album Jenny From Thebes features one of these recurring personalities, the titular Jenny, “a warrior and a thief,” perhaps best known for her gleaming Kawasaki on All Hail West Texas. Here on the leadoff track and first single “Clean Slate” people from all over the world pass through, seeking and escaping, and listeners find themselves with yet one more tale narrated by Darnielle’s iconic voice, this time backed by a tune worthy of 70’s AM radio, mid-tempo rock, soaring strings and all. The album will be out on Merge on 10/27, and The Mountain Goats will stop in New York once again on 8/4 at Pier 17. [CW]
Parannoul– Acryl. This latest track from the anonymous South Korean musician known as Parannoul manages to be both airy and forceful, combining ambient, electronic and shoegaze elements to reach soaring heights. The song will appear on the Xtalline : 001 compilation from new Japanese shoegaze label Siren for Charlotte, which also features tracks from world’s end girlfriend and Lac(rima). [CW]
The Planes– Thrift Store. The Planes are no strangers to the local music scene, having been around the Brooklyn block and back, churning out the hits and the good times for well over a decade now. So it seems rather fitting that their lead single “Thrift Store” off their their forthcoming LP, Dark Matter Recycling Co. (out September 15 via Totally Real Records), unfolds like a bildungsroman of sorts. Lyrically on a quest to find joy in the inevitability of change and growth, you can sense a concerted shift and thematic wisdom spread across the these indie-rock scrappers.
“We’re not giving up, we’re giving in to everything.
It’s not half as hard as you thought it’d be.
To keep the picture stored deep inside our memory.”
Having taken on various incarnations throughout the years, this record finds the band still helmed by frontman Steve Perry, but with Don Lavis on drums this go-round, in addition to the final performance of longtime bassist, Rob Mellinger (Crazy & the Brains, Awful Din), who’s departure heralds the return of former The Planes alum, Jackie Perrone, after many years away.
The track itself is a certified banger, fittingly a power pop ear worm disguising itself as a jangle pop jam. The drums are crisp. They smack, boom, and snap. Perry is skilled enough as a songwriter to underplay his considerable guitar chops and give room for those big hooks to breathe. However still, he’s an undeniably killer guitarist, as evidenced by the song’s not one, but two guitar solos. There’s the main riff that could easily make its way into a Superchunk tune without getting lost, and the less obvious slide lead that sneaks its way into the final moments of the track. All that, and they even throw in a tasteful amount of flanger that you never thought was possible? “Thrift Store” is quote the bargain indeed! [MB]
Punt– Take Me Home/I’m Bad. Scarce-seen and much sought-after duo Punt, just dropped a quick double single as the latest Trash Casual Records release and a taste of their new record, The Heat. Clocking in less than four minutes of sound in total, Eli Frank (strings) and Brian Michel (skins) face off with each other in a sonic cage-match of distortion and fuzz and reverb. It’s comes in hard and strikes quick like thunder lightning as the pair battles each other for total victory. And then just like that, as quickly as they came in, Punt rolls out leaving your ears ringing and head sore with no palpable idea if or when you’ll ever hear from them again. So heed my warning, listen to and go see this band live when you can, because more often than not, you cannot. The Heat releases in full on 9/22. [MB]
Sextile– New York. Put on your dancing shoes, because Sextile are going clubbing and we’re along for the ride. Their new album Push finds the band moving into straightforward dance music territory. It’s an evolutionary path they’ve been moving along since the post-punk sounds of their debut A Thousand Hands back in 2015. The song is an ode to singer Mel Scaduto’s city of birth, claiming “we’re tough out here but the love goes crazy,” and the video is perfect for getting hyped up before going out on the town in the city that never sleeps. Keep some glowsticks ready for when Sextile appear in Brooklyn at The Meadows on 10/12, and get Push on 9/15, out on Sacred Bones. [CW]
Sharkswimmer– Glue. The Brooklyn quartet led by one of my favorite local songwriters, Justin Buschardt (guitar/vocals) and rounded out by Kenny Monroe (bass, vocals), Kate Moyer (guitar, vocals), and Jesse Reed (drums) brings us the lead single from their upcoming debut LP “Serenity” (out Oct 3 via Really Rad Records). Successfully cross-pollinating post-hardcore with Midwest emo masquerading as indie punk, Sharkswimmer has always pulled my heartstrings in all the right ways in terms of their influence and execution. The track is a guitar rock banger filled with warm melodies that pull you across thick layers of fuzz and grit. Buschardt, well-known for his lyrical honesty and vulnerability, expertly weaves his words here coping with getting lost in the process of detaching from a long term relationship. His textured growl is visceral, and its delivery utterly heartbroken. For me Sharkswimmer is the saddest moments of Modest Mouse meets the melodic quirk of Braid wrapped up the dynamics of a band like Planes Mistaken for Stars. The end result is something incredibly powerful and commands attention without losing its humility. My old Chicago punk band also had a song called “Glue;” thankfully this one is much much better. [MB]
SKORTS– Bodies. I once heard someone compare SKORTS to The Dirtbombs (pssst it was American Pancake), and as a Midwest kid myself, I find that comparison quite apt indeed. The second single from the Brooklyn 4-piece, just dropped, and it’s amazing just how much this band has done with so little. Their entire discography to this point includes only two songs (“Cyclops Girlfriend” and “Bodies”), yet I feel I’ve known this band my entire life. They maneuver through tempo and mood with expert style and such confidence in their delivery. It’s sleaze punk at its heart with a fuzzy garage coating. With such tremendous subtlety in the rich melodic textures between synth/bass/ guitar, the vocals can creep and then soar at a moment’s turn in a way that reminds me of Highly Suspect’s first album. From broad strokes to details, it’s rare that you see a band really crush it on so many levels, particularly a band so new. Dare I say SKORTS may be a perfect band if there ever were such a thing? Either way, we got “Bodies” on repeat and can’t wait to see what’s next. [MB]
Slowdive– Skin In The Game. The latest single from everything is alive, Slowdive’s first album in six years has the hazy, dreamy feel we’ve come to expect from them, yet the strange warbly effects on the vocals during the chorus brings in an unsettling element. Singer Neil Halstead croons “I won’t know and you won’t say it now / cuz you don’t say and I will never ask” leaving even more questions on the table. everything is alive is out 9/1 on Dead Oceans. [CW]
Slow Pulp– Doubt. I’ve become a big fan of singer Emily Massey’s voice, which is highlighted in this simple, catchy tune in harmonies over sharp drums and guitars. The ‘doubt’ here is self-doubt, as Massey says “In my process to fight against self-deprecation, I found this strange new pattern popping up where I fished for critiques from others. I wanted people close to me to validate the things I hated about myself.” The Chicago-based band is drumming up buzz for their debut Yard (out 9/29 on ANTI-) with these last few singles, and will be touring this fall, appearing in NYC at Bowery Ballroom 11/4. [CW]
Wetsuit– Twiggy. The second release of Wetsuit’s upcoming album Sugar I’m Tired (out 8/17 via Substitute Scene) is definitely no sophomore slump. Instead, it’s a touching tribute and full on celebration of the life of their dear late friend Johanna whom they affectionately called “Twiggy.” Unabashedly laid back and mellow, the band- comprised of Allison Becker (vocals, guitar), Anders Nils (guitar), Paul DeSilva (bass), and Stephen Cadieux (drums) seem to pull pure beauty and joy from the air like taffy on a summer day. The video (directed by DeSilva and featuring Mel Camm) fittingly glides through a series of scenes that draws itself fittingly toward Coney Island, the Mermaid Parade, and the ocean. Ending in a flurry of light and hair and limbs, she ultimately finds her bliss in the total freedom of sun and surf and vast expanse on the edge of the mighty sea. [MB]
Worriers– Top 5. The latest track from the upcoming Trust Your Gut (their second album released this year after Warm Blanket in April. Read our review) finds Worriers in sharp-edged, nearly vengeful territory. The song builds drama and anticipation as it develops, with singer Lauren Denitzio’s confessional lyrics striking right at the heart of their target (“how can you sleep, let alone look in the mirror / when this is all over, I’m gonna dance on his grave.”) Denitzio says they “wanted to capture the feeling of internal turmoil when we were burdened with myriad reasons to be angry and sad simultaneously. Through all of it, the light at the end of the tunnel was the celebration we’ll have when the person responsible for so much misery finally pays for it.” Ouch! While obviously a deeply personal song, it’s also one that I can see resonating with a lot of listeners. Trust Your Gut is out 9/15 on Ernest Jenning Record Co.; Worriers will be in Brooklyn at The Broadway on 10/14. [CW]