Big Girl- Big Girl Vs. God

Big Girl- Big Girl Vs. God

Big Girl– Big Girl Vs. God


Big Girl is in no rush. And why should they be? Six fantastically talented musicians bring the debut album to life, and Big Girl vs. GOD gives them all room to breathe. Many of the NYC sextet’s tracks approach—or even surpass—five minutes, and every second is well spent. Lead singer Kaitlin Pelkey’s masterful and purposeful vocals give way to long breaks that allow everything to shine: Crispin Swank’s guitar and Pelkey’s own riffs compliment each other without competing; the drums brilliantly shepherd us through songs that can shift from thoughtful and soft to angry and frenzied in a millisecond; and what better to ground us through it all than the distinct yet cohesive basslines? (Provided by Elizabeth Sullivan on the record and more recently by Nico Astudillo live.) Add backup singers Christina Schwedler and Melody Stolpp to the mix, the whole thing produced alongside Justin Pizzoferrato (who has worked with Pixies, Dinosaur Jr. and Speedy Ortiz), and you’ve got yourself quite a band, relatively big, as their name suggests. But the medley of sounds, minds, and skills is anything but sloppy—they are a force to be reckoned with.


The album’s name suggests something too, and it’s right: there is something holy, reverent, apocalyptic even, about this album, which Pelkey wrote while coping with the loss of her mother. “After the screaming / we are holy divided / holy divided,” goes the first track, “Instructions 2 Say Sorry.” And the fourth tracks, “Summer Sickness,” has the background vocalists crooning like a chorus of angels (or ghosts, or something).


Big Girl portrait

Big Girl (photo by Brendan Miller)


The lyrics are all wonderfully poetic, the kinds that would work just as well in a book or read aloud on poem-in-your-pocket day at school. It’s curiously contradictory, too—a lot of the album is spooky, but cathartic; intimate, but universal. At times the album is melancholic in a Phoebe Bridgers sort of way, and at others it is energetic and invigorating—usually all in the same song. It’s also familiar, but foreign—uncanny almost. Like it feels like it should be bright and cheery, like it’s got all the components of that tone—bright, upbeat guitars, Pelkey’s rosy soprano lilt with even perkier backup. But it’s not. Sometimes it’s the harrowing lyrics (“I hear them echo / the guns and the sirens”), and sometimes it’s a growing hint of rage or grief behind Pelkey’s voice, and sometimes it’s something in the notes, in the guitar solos or the synths in the background.


“Do you like it? / Yeah! It’s like sugar on my teeth,” is the chorus of “Cadillacs,” a radiant bop that isn’t as happy-go-lucky as the backup “la la la”s and Pelkey’s excited, almost manic vocals would lead you to believe. This anti-capitalist diddy is digestibly saccharine—until, that is, Pelkey belts out the words “…makes you wanna scream!” with absolutely masterful control. Then the track (d)evolves into controlled chaos, our candy-coated “la la la”s turning frantic and robotic before fading (floating, it feels like, reverberating out into the ether) away, and some more holy (but grounded, compared to that brief bout of angry chaos) vocals see us off: “It’s so pure to have a dream anymore.”


Maybe it’s because they also released a new song this week, but Be Your Own Pet came to my mind when I was listening to this, specifically their outrageous hit “Becky” that is similarly peppy-yet-furious. But “Cadillacs” is not so silly: it’s a look at the surface versus what’s below it, to me; that smile we put on our faces when we really want to scream because…Well, look around! It’s punk rock in its subject matter, and sort of its whole own thing in genre. One thing is for certain, though: Pelkey is angry, and so am I. After all, sugar rots your teeth…I’d prefer it on my tongue.



And speaking of tongues… “Mother Tongue” is my favorite of the bunch. Super rock ‘n’ roll but also, somehow, like a broadway musical? The lyrics are brilliant: “Sincerely, I’ve always had this vanity inside me / frightening to externalize”; “Make me sleek and clean / feel my touch screen.” It’s an unsettling, far-too-relatable examination of this technological age, of social media and whatever the heck it’s all doing to us, or maybe what it says about us, that was already there.


“Big Car Full Of Mistakes” starts off sounding like the soundtrack to some coming of age adventure movie. A synth in the mix gives us those magical little twinkles and 8-bit chords. Suffocating lyrics make things a little less fantastical, though: “She always had something tight around her neck / some old chain / some new man / some old song she can’t forget.” I saw a fireworks display in Queens recently, and it was structured just like this song: a big frenzied climax near the end followed by a couple bursts of color, and then, just when you think it’s over…one last bang to dazzle you. Pelkey takes us on a journey with each of these songs: not just a beginning and a middle and an end, but an entire feature-length film, it seems, or an epic poem, with trials and tribulations, lows and highs, peace and chaos, comic reliefs and spirals into madness.


The final track, “it’s so pure” is all in lowercase. It also sounds like lowercase. The other five band members take a break as Pelkey whispers over just a piano. Big Girl knows when to bring the chaos, but they also know when to do simplicity. Purity, I guess. The recording is even a little lo-fi, and unlike the rest of the tracks, this one barely hits two minutes. The lyrics are poetic—perhaps the most poetic of them all—simply “It’s so pure to have a dream anymore,” repeated a few times. Wait a sec—haven’t we heard that before? (We have, in “Cadillacs.” The continuity!). Pelkey knows how to say a lot without saying much, which is why the instrumentals have done so much of the talking this whole time. And there’s a lot we can say about purity, about innocence these days when you can’t avoid knowing things. There’s a loneliness here, amplified by the track’s proximity to the rest of them, by its place in an album otherwise filled with so many sounds so elegantly mixed, always something else to focus on each time you listen—each detail, each layer of noise, each frequency seemingly meticulously placed for the very purpose of not leaving us alone with our doom-spiraling thoughts. But now it’s quiet.



This mind-bending, genre-melding, apocalyptically hopeful (or hopefully apocalyptic?) release is a spectacular debut for a powerful, skilled sextet of musicians. Maybe it’s the unbridled power and talent this band seems to have behind their instruments, but there really is a general sort of godliness to all of this, to these big grand songs brimming with all these intricate little details. I dunno: if this is Big Girl vs. GOD… Well, god never wrote any songs I listened to on repeat, so…


Big Girl vs. GOD is out now via Weird Sister Records and available on all major streamers. 



Le Big Zero- At Arm’s Length

Le Big Zero- At Arm’s Length

Le Big Zero At Arms Length


Le Big Zero—the experimental indie quartet in their final and truest collaborative form—returns with a new EP to follow up last year’s quirky gem, A Proper Mess. Riding upon the shoulders of giants that came before, and citing influences like Parquet Courts, Les Savy Fav, Pavement, and Speedy Ortiz, the band brings mammoth waves of jagged intensity dotted with brief moments of resolve. Opening track “Watch it Burn” immediately boxes your ears with biting guitars wound tight with intricate composition. It’s undeniably punchy, and super catchy, knocking you slightly off balance due to their stylemarked odd time drenched in vocal harmony.


The record is full of nerdy breakdowns and explosive breakouts. Lead single “Toy” however, serves a direct hit, busting through syncopated mood shifts, discord, and toe curling vocal movements. Ben Ross (bass) and Lukas Hirsch (drums) do a lot of the heavy lifting here, rhythmically tying in echoes of The Toadies crossed with that side of Foo Fighters that was trying to achieve Sunny Day Real Estate. 



Having evolved over time, finally landing on this lineup of players, the band leaned on each other this go-round in a way that wasn’t possible before due to their prior history of cross-country moves and a rotating cast of crucial but temporary bandmates. The result here was much of the album coming together organically in the rehearsal space, over the course of extended jams. “We knew the new two-guitar approach would wholly change the song-writing process and how songs would develop,” explains Michael Pasuit (guitar, vocals).


Together with Katie Cooney (guitar, vocals, and keyboards), Pasuit has struck the perfect balance. Their voices beautifully interlock like they’ve always belonged to each other and have spend all of existence just searching to coexist. Cooney brings a subtle snark and an almost Tracy Bonham-like quality that offsets Pasuit’s Get Up Kids delivery. Between its big chords, and slacker grunge moments, the angular math rock at its core is only slightly masked by its pop sensibility. In this way, “Nice to Meet You” is the clear hero of this record. It’s a peppy banger who’s quick zig zags and clear hooks are further punctuated by its windier slower sections.


Le Big Zero sets out to defy expectations. Expect the unexpected from the this unassuming band of weirdos as you deep dive into At Arms Length. Maybe for a minute we forget the world is a crazy place and the skies are constantly burning. Maybe we let go of our shitty days and share a brief moment of connection with another human person. Maybe we can take the whole crazy system and turn it on its damn head.


At Arms Length is out now via Mint 400 Records and is available on all major streamers. 


Single Serve 047

Single Serve 047


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], Mike [MB] and guest writer Badger [BC] weighing in on some killer songs and they have the scoop on plenty of new tunes, give ’em a listen!


Activity– Department Of Blood. With eerie backing vocals and a beat that bubbles up from underneath, this track puts me in mind of Amnesiac-era Radiohead ala “Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors.” It’s a dark, menacing song, as Travis Johnson sings “whatever the lord is came to me.” He explains “the song is loosely about a lot of things, but one of them is the feeling of knowing you’re being manipulated by something way more powerful than you and also knowing you can do absolutely nothing about it.” Following on the heels of the equally anxious-sounding “Careful Let’s Sleepwalk,” these singles have me excited for Spirit In The Room, which comes out August 4th on Western Vinyl. Activity will be holding their album release show on July 16th at Baby’s All Right. [CW]


Bad Luck Safe to Say. The NYC quartet of Dominick Fox, Joe Fox, Charlie Caruso, and Michael Sichel just dropped a hot new video for their latest single “Safe to Say” from their upcoming EP Books On Tape out August 11th via Take This To Heart Records. The high contrast video is super slick, looking like a cross between an episode of Severence and Cold War housing from the Soviet Bloc. Drop ceilings and maybe drop D, their heavy rhythmic riffed two guitar attack is reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American, while melodically nodding toward Saves The Day’s more sabertoothed Through Being Cool in all the right ways. [MB]


Big Bliss– Tell Me When You’re Ready. The newest single from NYC’s own Big Bliss is brisk and electric. Once Tim Race—who started the project with his brother Cory in 2018—starts singing (after a brief, twangy intro), he does not stop till the outro. It keeps your heart rate up, and Tim says a lot in three minutes—so much that I almost wonder when he has the chance to breathe, which lends itself to the track’s restlessness. The lyrics are clever, eloquent phrases that I would need a thesaurus to think of in between basic human observations like “I’m nauseous and scared.” It invokes a sort of inner turmoil, a battle between logic and chaos. Reluctance of acceptance, knowing something in your logical mind but denying it in your emotional one. “Face it / please don’t call it a crisis / because I have a name for it now / I have a name for it now,” goes the supremely catchy and yet haunting chorus. Post-punk guitars and a fervent, tireless drumbeat lie beneath the poignant vocals that explore addiction, denial, and recovery—a topic that is not new to Big Bliss—to create a distinctly energetic and passionate tune. [EA]


Dethklok Aortic Desecration. I’ve always sort of felt like people who got really into Dethklok’s music—including Brendon Small—were sort of tricking themselves into something. That a kinda-good-but-not-that-good melodeath band would become a major economic and cultural powerhouse is pretty self-evidently the main joke of Metalocalypse, and for its best years (its first two seasons as a quarter-hour gag series, before they started leaning into the continuity) that’s all that the tunes really aspired to. And while Small proved his for-real chops when the bonafide rock opera that concluded the original series ended up being a damn fine piece of longform rock music, I’ve still never been a fan of the show’s shift to sincerity. So maybe it’s a good sign for the upcoming movie that this particular track is classic Dethklok: a slightly funny, slightly good piece of stylistically accessible death metal that will probably be attached to something significantly funnier, but as it stands is a pretty incomplete text. [BC]


Glimmer Self Destroyed. Following the dissolution of local favorites Dead Stars, members (and cousins) Jeff and Jaye Moore decided to keep going, forming the new group Glimmer. And we are thankful they didn’t hang up the towel—their debut single “Self Destroyed” proves they still have things to say and music to make. Deftly melding grungey sounds with pop sensibilities (their Bandcamp bills them as “grungegaze”) their sound is both throwback and evolution. Jeff’s trademark crunchy guitar is present and tracks off into an almost reckless sounding mini-solo (he handled bass duties as well on the recording, although Glimmer is performing as a quartet) with his vocals melding into the music smoothly, while Jaye’s drums accent perfectly, lighter to carry the verses and giving weight to the harder parts of the song. Watch their Instagram for more new music and upcoming shows. [CW]


Islands– Life’s A Joke. “Islands Are Forever” Nick Thorburn (aka Nick Diamonds) has been known to proclaim, and I can only hope it’s true. The latest music from the Canadian musician carries on from 2021’s Islomania, being catchy and fun, almost tropical, topped with Thorburn’s moody voice singing phrases like “one day your horse is up the next it’s been put down / nothing seems to matter anyhow” and “fuck your god / he closed the window and shut the door” over an almost comically upbeat tune. I’m pretty sure Thorburn has never been in a band I didn’t like and his songwriting never fails to satisfy. And That’s Why Dolphins Lost Their Legs will be out on August 25th (happy birthday to me!) and Islands will be at Bowery Ballroom on September 23rd. [CW]


LEONEI Wanna Be. Brooklyn’s LEONE is bringing sexy back. The trio single handedly responsible for at least doubling the sensuality quotient among the shaggy faced Brooklyn indie rock scene this past year, Richie Leone (vocals, guitar), Tarik Merzouk (bass), and Brian Del Guercio (drums), return with a new single and video, directed by Beth Fletcher. Full of dark cabaret and vice, it unfolds its secret desires manifested in the sordid underbelly of NYC. Duplicitous in its power dynamics, danger and desire exhilarate each movement and every turn. The twist and pull, the allure of the performer just outside reach. The lines between total freedom and lack of control are as blurry here as the whiskey soaked vision of Leone himself. The piece is as visually cinematic as it is lyrically poetic, and aurally flawless in tying those elements together. It ends with with a gasp, a classic cliffhanger of imminent peril, leaving us to wonder what will become of our hero… or villain? [MB]


Mandy, Indiana The Driving Rain (18). With this track the experimental Mandy, Indiana draw close to being club-ready, as a looping drum beat chugs along under synthy layered voices. I can imagine this one appearing on a Nightride FM mix someday. The accompanying music video by producer/guitarist Scott Fair consists of what he calls “found anime footage;” it’s an established method to loop anime in the background of synth mixes on Youtube nowadays, but I do wish they had sourced the clips in the credits. The band has added US tour dates recently and will be at Baby’s All Right on December 2nd for their first ever show in NYC; their debut album i’ve seen a way is out now on Fire Talk. [CW]


PalehoundIndependence Day. In advance of their new album Eye on the Bat, out 7/14 on Polyvinyl Records, Palehound has released a brand new single. Just in time for, well, Independence Day, “Independence Day” is somber and elegant. El Kempner’s catchy acoustic riffs combine with their fierce-yet-delicate, almost folksy vocals and poetic, engaging lyrics to create something explosive yet subdued. The accompanying video is of fireworks, but they are not the focus—peripheral, and such is the sense I get from this song, which seems to remind us that not all epiphanies need to be loud and volcanic. Of the track, Kempner says:

“The ending of a relationship that spanned the majority of my twenties illuminated a forked road that daunted me. In the aftermath of our breakup, I found myself dwelling on what that other life would have been like and who I would have become had we chosen differently, or even if circumstance or tragedy had chosen for us.”

Eye on the Bat is out 7/14. Palehound embarks on a US tour this fall, and will play Bowery Ballroom 10/19 with Philly’s Empath. [EA]


Shred FlintstoneBlue 42. The New Jersey rockers are back with a killer new EP out next week, and just dropped hot lead single “Blue 42” to tide us over until we can get our next full fix. Now a tight as nails quartet, this newest Shred endeavor is full of slow crunch and heavy fuzz. Veering a bit from some of the psych and garage elements they’ve showcased on previous releases, frontman Dan Barrachia alongside Ozzie Silva (drums), Ben “Slam Cheddy” Petty (bass), and Charlie Pants (guitar) show a clear evolution in songwriting as well as an evolution in production this time around. Think more Placebo meets early Silverchair (thanks to Silva’s thunderous and controlled attack behind the kit) without abandoning their signature tough-in-cheek twist of fun that makes them so uniquely Shred Flintstone. [MB]



Slowdive kisses. Shoegaze greats Slowdive sound less fuzz-mode here and more into dreampop, evoking bands they themselves influenced like Wild Nothing or Real Estate. It’s a sort of lightweight, melancholy song, with echoing guitar plucking along under the reverb-drenched vocals of Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell (“I know you dream of snowfields / floating high above the trees / living for the new thing / sometimes the new won’t do.“) It’s a beautiful song and a logical progression from 2017’s self-titled comeback album. everything is alive is out  September 1st on Dead Oceans; Slowdive will be on our side of the pond at Webster Hall for two shows on September 27th and 28th. [CW]


Who Is She? MoviePass. Let me tell you, it isn’t often that a song makes me laugh out loud. But this one did, and you probably will too. It’s about that wonderful, disastrous moviegoing app that took us all by storm back in 2017. It was too good to be true, wasn’t it? So is this song. Surfy pop-rock intercut with a spoken-word monologue, one side of a conversation that we all had at the time but that is also are worthy of a comedy show (“And I didn’t go to business school or anything,” goes one of these moments, “But it was an unsustainable business model.”), “MoviePass” proves that the supergroup, made up of Robin Edwards of Lisa Prank, Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, Bree Mckenna and newly Emily Nokes, both of Tacocat, can make an absolute bop out of anything. The video, by animator Violet Crabtree, is fabulous too, a stop motion fantasy world of movie theater snacks and slightly off-kilter yet unbridled joy. But there’s a clear message behind the silliness: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!”


The band shares:

“This song is about existing in this brief, beautiful glitch in time where we could see as many movies as we wanted in the theater. MoviePass was the one that got away, a love that burned bright and fast, and knowing it’s over but wishing you could go back. Movie theaters also are significant to Bree and Robin, who both worked as popcorn-scoopers in their early 20s.”


If I may do the anecdote thing: I myself was working in a movie theater in 2017, and for us, MoviePass was hell. It made all of our lives harder and created a lot of frustration from staff and customers alike. Still, though, even I look back fondly at that simpler time. For me, this song invokes that wistfulness, a longing for those pre-pandemic days, for a time when it seemed like truly cool and useful things were still coming from the Internet and not the threat of annihilation by artificial intelligence. MoviePass can represent a lot of things, and this wonderful, relatable, ridiculous track reminds us: whatever it is, take advantage now. Because you never know how long it will be around. Who Is She?’s new album Goddess Energy is out August 25th on Father/Daughter Records. [EA]



A Very Special Episode- Freak Me Out

A Very Special Episode- Freak Me Out

A Very Special Episode Freak Me Out


Whether you’re ready to check in for a relaxing week at the The Great Northern, or just in the mood for a nice warm glass of Kool-Aid before bed (or anything in between really), the new LP Freak Me Out from your favorite Red/Blue Light noise rockers, A Very Special Episode, is available now everywhere music exists across all the digital and physical realms. 


The long awaited and highly anticipated latest release from from the sinister trio comes after one of the most robust and well executed marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen from a local band. You can’t hold a conversation in line for the bathroom at Alphaville or at the bar up on the roof at Our Wicked Lady without someone riffing on the now infamous “It’s not a grift, it’s self discovery” tagline. And to anyone out there who has not yet taken pause to recognize just how good this band has gotten lo these last couple years, that joke is indeed on you.



A Very Special Episode (photo by Cherylynn Tsushima)


Following up to 2021 not-so-sleeper hit Fix Your Hearts Or Die, everything is bigger this time around. The loud parts are louder, the textures richer, and much more dynamic in it’s execution than on previous endeavors. The band shows a clear evolution, taking risks regarding songwriting and layered structure, probably somewhat due in part to recording with Jeff Berner at Brooklyn’s Studio G, but mostly because this band embodies extremely synergetic communication through their musical love language. The Alice In Wonderland nod “Deep in the Weeds” is a perfect embodiment of this. “We wanted to allow for more pop-style melodies,” notes singer/bassist Kasey Heisler. “We were inspired by Halsey’s record with Trent Reznor, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. She laid her vocal sensibilities overtop heavier music, and it slaps!”


Freak Me Out wonderfully builds upon the band’s signature sound while at the same time exploring its limits. “The goal was, ‘let’s take every idea we have to their logical extremes,’”says guitarist Patrick Porter. And pushing those limits clearly paid off on tracks like “Neon Stars” which quickly spirals itself downward into the stuff from which nightmares are made. The song feels like Twin Peaks crossed with Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” existing in a realm that’s slowed and warbled as though trying to run through molasses. Chayse Schutter, the band’s cyclone slaughterhouse of a drummer, shares with us his behind-the-kit perspective. “Bands with songs that have slower tempos, like Cloakroom, inspired me to slow the tempo of ‘Neon Stars’ way down, making it emotionally resonate at a higher level.”


There’s no shortage of hit paraders throughout the LP, the preceding trail of lead singles heralding its release alone could hypothetically make up an EP that would top most tastemakers year-ends. From cult classic in the making disco synth bop “Heaven’s Gate” to “5 Dollar Cover,” (the band’s very own homage to their peers in the Brooklyn DIY scene who not only serve as reflective inspiration, but also make up the very substance of their universe), the saccharine sour sensibilities are enough to keep your mouth watering.



However, deep within the tempest onslaught of noise and catchy hooks swimming up against the barrage of heavy rip-tide riffs washed over power-pop melodies, it’s one of the few quiet moments that really draws focus. Right in the eye of the storm, sits the heart wrenching “Perfect Rain” which so beautifully articulates the fleeting nature of our human encounters. Much of its heavy lifting propped up by a single hesitant acoustic guitar riff, the duet between Heisler and Schutter is about as unexpected as the creepy synth line that dots it’s cold and regretful melody before tearing into the album’s most powerful rock moment by far.


As innovative as it endearing, as imaginative as it is self-aware, A Very Special Episode’s Freak Me Out is not only the best thing they’ve released as a band, but also is the best release I’ve had the pleasure of unpeeling in recent memory. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can listen to it yourself. Just be sure you follow them on BandNada first.


AVSE performing

AVSE live at EWEL (photo by Kate Hoos)


Freak Me Out is available now via EWEL Records and available on all major streamers. Read our Q&A with the band to find out more about the making of the record.


Single Serve 047

Single Serve 046


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 GirlForever. 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 RoomRat. 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]


SangreChainlinks. 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.”


Strange Ranger will be heading out on a North American tour and plays DROM on August 4th. Their new album Pure Music is out July 21st on Fire Talk. [EA]


ThickDoomer. 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]




Idaho Green- Double Ashley / Virgelle to Victor

Idaho Green- Double Ashley / Virgelle to Victor

Idaho Green Double Ashley / Virgelle to Victor


After crossing paths with Idaho Green at a Halloween show we played together years ago, I quickly fell in love with the lo-fi quartet. We shared a mutual love for their fellow Montana-based legacy punkers, The Lillingtons, and that’s bond that can never be broken. The Big Sky fellas are back with a grimy new EP that’s catchy as all get out. As much Fifteen at its core as it is Dinosaur Jr. is is on the edges, the whole thing is glued together with a Superchunk feel that once again showcases the band’s ability to highlight the best elements of the last four decades of music and still deliver a cohesive sound to a new generation of kids on the fringe.


The new EP feels like a classic Side A / Side B with “Dreams of Double Ashley” and “I Will Wait” holding up as stand-alone pop tunes. Sugar sweet with a fuzz punch attack, it’s nasty guitars and impassioned distorted vocals in all the right ways to keep your toes tapping. “Virgelle Victor” and “Polly Pocket Will Have Her Revenge” (nice nod to the Nirvana classic, “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”) have a wilder heavy attack. Seamlessly functioning as a single track for the virtual B side, they are ripe for head bangs, floor punches, and circle pits, with a guitar onslaught that would make Thurston Moore smile. 



The band has said “The rednecks don’t like us ’cause they think we’re art kids, the art kids don’t like us ’cause they think we’re rednecks,” and no truer words have been spoken. So if you find yourself a lonely punk wandering somewhere in between, you may just LOVE Idaho Green.


Double Ashley / Virgelle to Victor is out now via Bandcamp and all major streamers.