Looking for a good show in NYC? Well here you go! We’ve got a nice big list of what is going on this week, shows that we are excited about and want you to know about too, with plenty of live music from the local scene and national acts at bigger venues to choose from. This list is brought to you by our EIC Hoos along with our NYC scene editor, Mike Borchardt (of the band Nihiloceros), who is in touch with the local Brooklyn/etc scene like no other. And we’ve got a sprinkling of live photos to get you in the mood for your show of choice too. Check back every Monday for updated listings on what is good for the week to come!
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 Chevy– Nice 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]
Buggin– Snack 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 Pigs, Knife Wound, Rebelmatic, Soul 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]
Groupie– No 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 Rosenstock– Liked 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 Wizard– Gila 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]
Lovecolor– Pure 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]
Rancid– Devil 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 True– Sentimental 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 Episode– Neon 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]
Wonderville, the arcade/bar/performance space located on the edge of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, is known for hosting electronic music, but more traditional bills of local pop and indie bands are not unknown there, and this past Tuesday night offered a trio of acts for enthusiasts of such music.
In the first slot was Weird Magazines, a quartet from Brooklyn, performing in their debut. The first show for a band is always a nerve-wracking event, but fortunately for them, it seemed to go off without a hitch. Weird Magazines play lush, reverb-laden songs filled with glittery strumming and some top notch guitar noodling, bringing to mind The Clientele or Felt, which pairs nicely with singer Sean Beard’s baritone voice. They started the set off slower, building energy as they went toward more upbeat songs, and included a languid cover of Lindsay Buckingham’s “Trouble.”
Pastel Hell are the experimental, sometimes psychy, occasionally surfy pop outfit and project of Alex Fox Tschan, who performs all the instruments on their latest album but is backed up live by a trio of musicians on keys, bass and drums. His influences reach back to such greats as Bowie and Destroyer, and dare I say I hear some Television in here? The live set is presented to the audience as one continuous track, each song moving into the next, an interesting contrast to their latest studio album Ruthie. Tschan’s guitar work is certainly something, and it’s fun to see a Gibson SG being wielded to create such tones rather than the harder rock it’s sometimes associated with.
Headlining the night was Devon Church, who recently released the album Strange Strangers (that we covered here). Unlike the release show, where Church was joined by a number of musicians, here he performed a solo set, with the addition of Ada Roth on backing vocals for a few tracks as on the album. Church took advantage of the change and the intimate venue to debut a number of new songs, including one that will possibly be called “Neon Genesis Fidel Castro” that went hard as nails despite being performed by only one man and a (albeit electrified) guitar. “Ephemera” and “Winter’s Come” from Strange Strangers took on new life when broken down their bones, highlighting Church’s masterful songwriting skills.
Sometimes on a Tuesday, you don’t want to go hard, but you do want to go out, and this bill provided the perfect midweek treat.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos)
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]
Leathered– Prayer. The jangly Americana twinged band from Brooklyn released one of my favorite albums of 2022 and this week FTA premiered their new video for the single “Prayer.” Read more here. [CW]
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]
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]