Friday, February 23, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

S. Carey – “More I See” (This standout single highlighted by a surprisingly booming Bonham-like drum beat and a positive lyrical outlook is taken from the singer-songwriter’s third album, Hundred Acres, out today on Jagjaguwar.  Though the album is both more experimental and more minimalist - with the inclusion of some bolder beats - S. Carey still uses his soothing yet striking voice to drive his gentle yet moving folk soundscapes.  Vocalist Gordi and Rob Moose of yMusic also contribute to the beauty with their backing vocals and stunning string arrangements, respectively.)   

We Were Sharks – “Hotel Beds” (The six-piece Canadian pop-punk band are set to release Lost Touch, their long-awaited sophomore album and label debut for Victory Records, today.  Highlighted by relatable lyrics that are set to exuberantly energetic sing-along melodies, crunchy guitar riffs and super-tight rhythms; their infectious sound will give you nostalgic feels for the early 90’s heyday of pop-punk but has a modern touch that is all their own.)

High Up – “Two Weeks” (On the heels of last year’s promising debut EP, comes their debut album, You Are Here, out today on team Love Records.  The band features Todd Fink of The Faint, Matt Focht of Head Of Femur and Josh Soto and is led by the soul-soaked and powerful vocals of Christine Fink and the songwriting of her sister Orenda Fink of Azure Ray; High Up creates a punk-inspired take on classic soul music.  The energetic and danceable single heard here – with its bright bursts of brass and rolling, funk-fueled rhythm - is the perfect introduction to their sound.)       

Marie/Lepanto – “Inverness” (Prolific singer-songwriter Will Johnson of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel has collaborated with both Jason Molina and David Bazan over the years and for his latest project, Marie/Lepanto, he teams up with fellow Missourian, Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster of Water Liars.  Their stellar debut album Tenkiller was released recently on Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum Records is the perfect distillation of their two distinct Southern styles with a deft mix of grungy blues-rock and country-leaning Gospel-steeped folk alongside their complimentary vocal styles.)

Legend Of The Seagullmen – “Shipswreck” (This epic and experimental nautical-themed supergroup features drummer Danny Carey of Tool, Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, Jonah Hex director Jimmy Hayward on guitar, vocalist David Dreyer, bassist Peter Griffin of Dethlok and Zappa Meets Zappa, and Chris DiGiovanni on synths.  Banding together as the Seagullmen, they create warped sea-shanties that blend theatrical prog-metal with raging psych-rock on their long-gestating self-titled debut album out now on Dine Alone Records.)    

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

SHOW ALERT: Adam Torres, Wild Pink and Speaking Suns @ Yellow Cab, Friday 2/23

Austin-by-way-of-Ohio singer-songwriter Adam Torres and Brooklyn trio Wild Pink are set to bring their co-headlining tour to the Yellow Cab in Dayton this Friday, February 23.
Adam Torres creates spacious folk-leaning songs highlighted by his distinct, high-registered voice, most recently on his 2017 EP titled, I Came To Sing The Song.  Previously he has released the critically-acclaimed 2016 album, Pearls To Swine on Fat Possum and 2015 saw a reissue on Misra Records of his cult classic debut, Nova Nostra.
Brooklyn’s Wild Pink is signed to Tiny Engines, who released their stunning self-titled debut album early last year.  The album features insightful and introspective lyrics alongside atmospheric folk-inspired indie rock for a sound that recalls American Football and American Analog Set.
Also playing is the Yellow Springs based experimental indie rock band Speaking Suns.  They released their sophomore album, Range last fall via Anyway Records.  

Monday, February 19, 2018

Stream It From The Mountain: Belle Adair – Tuscumbia

It has been five long years since we last heard from the Alabama-based band, Belle Adair.  Their stunning debut album, The Brave And The Blue, was released in 2013 and their excellent eponymous debut EP made my Top 5 EPs list in 2011.  In January this year, they released their long-awaited sophomore album, Tuscumbia, via Single Lock Records.  A lot can change in five years and this new collection of songs sees the band – led by vocalist/guitarist Matthew Green, guitarist Adam Morrow, bassist Hayden Crawford, keyboardist Ben Tanner and drummer Reed Watson – adopting sparkling power-pop and jangly Byrds-like guitar tones to go along with their folk-leaning brand of indie rock.  The new album was recorded at Muscle Shoals’ legendary FAME Studios with Wilco producer/engineer Tom Schick handling the boards and is layered with room-filling vintage organ and fantastic music that lives up to the famed studio’s previous recordings. 
Standouts on the album include the laid back and shimmering opener, “Get Away”, the Byrds-ian jangle of “Long Fade Out” and the hypnotic 60’s psych-pop vibes of “Out In The Blue”.
Stream Tuscumbia here:

Friday, February 16, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Walter Martin – “I Can Run From The Hellhounds But I Can’t Hide” (The former multi-instrumentalist for the Walkmen continues to release great and increasingly interesting music on his own since their hiatus, with his sophomore - or fourth, if you include his two kid’s music albums - solo set, Reminisce Bar & Grill, out today via Ile Flottante Music.  The new album is filled with charm and wonder with layered percussion, infectious whistling and a call and response duet with a barbershop quartet alongside humorous musings on life, love and death and aging.)

Marlon Williams – “Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore” (The New Zealand singer-songwriter returns with his sophomore album, Make Way For Love, out today on Dead Oceans.  The stunning new album was recorded with producer Noah Georgeson and his backing band, The Yarra Benders and takes Williams further away from his country-leaning folk sound to a more cinematic tremolo-heavy and reverb-rich retro-minded rock sound that allows for his distinct, Roy Orbison-like crooning to shine.  Check out his aching, lonesome duet with gothic-folk singer Aldous Harding here.)   

Loma – “Black Willow” (Loma is the new collaborative project between Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record.  Together, they create a beautiful, subtly psychedelic brand of dream-pop that is both haunting and hypnotic, on their self-titled debut album out today on Sub Pop.  Listen to the closing cut, “Black Willow” here, as Emily and Jonathan’s voices coalesce into a cloud-scraping choir along with twinkling piano, warped synths and an insistent beat for the perfect introduction.)    

I’m With Her – “Game To Lose” (I’m With Her is moniker for the new collaborative band featuring Americana superstars Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan.  The trio’s debut album, See You Around, is out today on Rounder Records.  Each singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist takes their turn to lead on the timeless-sounding songs that combine fluttering bluegrass rhythms and irresistible folk-pop melodies but the heart-stopping highlight is when they combine their voices into close-knit harmonies.  Hear for yourself with the standout single below.)       

Miracle – “Light Mind” (Out today on Relapse Records is, The Strife Of Love In A Dream, the sophomore album from the synth-pop duo consisting of Zombi’s Steve Moore and prolific art-rock vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan along with special guest drummer A.E. Paterra of Zombi, Majeure and Maserati.  Dark, moody and propulsive, the duo has created an album that is futuristic yet dripping with 80’s nostalgia; sounding like a darker version of early Depeche Mode but broadcast from a parallel universe.)   

Thursday, February 15, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat – Belle And Sebastian Edition

As a way to shake thing up, over the course of the last few months, Scottish indie-pop mainstays Belle And Sebastian have released their new album as a series of 3 new EPs titled, How To Solve Our Human Problems, via Matador Records.  The vinyl versions include special liner notes that feature essays and such from the band and tomorrow the trilogy of EPs will be collected on CD as well as a limited edition box set that includes a poster featuring 80 photographs of fans from around the world.   
For this special 3 Songs: On Repeat feature, I present my favorite tracks from the trilogy.  Enjoy!

We Were Beautiful” – (Taken from the first EP of the trilogy, a skittering electronic beat combines with pedal steel and an ascending chorus that builds upon the synth-driven dance-pop  of their last album, 2015’s Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance.)
The Same Star” – (Taken from the second installment comes this upbeat pop song led by Sarah Martin with its bright bursts of Motown-inspired horns and a surprisingly blistering guitar solo.) 
I’ll Be Your Pilot” – (Also from the second in the series is this sweet and breezy, retro-minded ballad highlighted by oboe and infectious background vocals.)

Friday, February 09, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

MGMT – “Me And Micheal” (Today marks the release of the psychedelic synth-pop duo’s fourth album, Little Dark Age, via Columbia Records.  The new album was co-produced by the band - Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser - along with Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift, Blood Orange) and long-time collaborator Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse).  As always, they continue to experiment with their sound but these new songs are a fantastic return to form as they pepper in ear-grabbing, velvety dream-pop melodies and subtle funk on “Hand It Over” and European-inspired dance-pop and 80's synths on the standout single heard here.)    

Good Tiger – “Blueshift” (The London post-hardcore band returns today with their highly-anticipated sophomore album, We Will All Be Gone, via Blacklight Media/Metal Blade Records.  By weaving intricate guitars and soaring dream-pop melodies into their experimental and versatile sound, the five piece band shows why they have commanded stages along with Between The Buried And Me and Protest Hero and this new album should place them above the radar where they deserve to be.)

Harm’s Way – “Human Carrying Capacity” (The Chicago hardcore masters make their Metal Blade Records debut with their fourth album, Posthuman, out today.  Adjectives such as “pummeling” and “punishing” are used frequently to describe the metallic and aggressive style of hardcore that Harm’s Way creates but this album – from the opening riff on and with its locked-in 90’s industrial inspired grooves and use of grinding noise - proves to be the very definition of those words.  And the world-weary lyrics match the intensity.  Listen to the opening track, below, and hear for yourself.)      

Friday, February 02, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Kyle Craft – “Heartbreak Junky” (The critically-adored Portland-based singer-songwriter returns today with his hotly-anticipated sophomore album, Full Circle Nightmare, via Sub Pop.  Leaning more towards raucous Rolling Stones-like rock, Craft continues to split the difference between punchy piano-led glam-pop and twangy country-indebted folk-rock for another impressive album that stops the sophomore slump dead in its tracks.  Be sure to catch him on tour now.)     

Calexico – “Voices In The Field” (The veteran Arizona-based band led by vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino recently released their ninth album, The Thread That Keeps Us, on Anti Records.  Stepping out of their comfort zone, the band recorded in a home studio in Northern California for the first time and allowed for noisier elements such as bursts of distortion, synths and some slinky funk to go along with their Southwestern-flavored horns and tight melodies.  Nine albums in and the resulting album is equally their most experimental and most immediately catchy effort to date.)    

Genocide Pact – “Structural Dissolution” (The D.C. old school death metal revivalists return with their Relapse Records debut and sophomore album, Order Of Torment, out today.  The new album was recorded with Kevin Bernsten (Code Orange, Magrudergrind) in Baltimore at Developing Nations and features striking cover art from the legendary Joe Petagno (Motorhead, Autopsy, Pink Floyd).  Throughout the album’s eight vicious tracks, the trio doles out a boundary-pushing brand of death metal that gives the dense riffs, husky growls and hulking grooves of Bolt Thrower and Obituary a modern spin.)      
Primal Rite – “Antivenom” (The San Francisco six-piece recently unleashed their highly-anticipated debut album, Dirge Of Escapism on Revelation Records.  Led by the passionate vocals and positive-minded lyrics of Lucy Xavier, the band creates a speedy and metallic brand of hardcore indebted to crossover-era thrash metal with dive-bombing solos and raging riffs that recall old school death metal.  After a handful of singles and last year’s stellar EP, this debut album delivers on the lofty standard they created for themselves to live up to and sets the band up for domination of the genre for years to come.)        

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Roxy Music: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

Last year saw the 45th anniversary of Roxy Music’s unconventional eponymous debut album, originally released in June of 1972.  Tomorrow, in celebration, Virgin/Ume will reissue the album in a Super Deluxe Edition.  Led by the quivering vibrato and grand theatrics of vocalist Bryan Ferry and the strange, highly-influential synth-scapes and tape manipulations of Brian Eno along with the vital contributions of guitarist Phil Manzanera, saxophonist/oboist Andy Mackay and drummer Paul Thompson; Roxy Music’s debut was the perfect showcase for their hybridization of spacey glam-rock and sophisticated art-pop that was well ahead of its time.  The band’s forward-thinking avant-garde sound was an influence evident in a wide range of bands such as Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Shudder To Think and even Sonic Youth in the years following its release and this new comprehensive set will ensure their influence on new musicians for many more years to come.      
The 3CD/DVD Super Deluxe Edition of Roxy Music features the original album  remastered in 1999 by Bob Ludwig and includes a treasure trove of previously unreleased material including, early demos from 1971 that show the songs in the earliest state and album outtakes with alternate versions for each track as well as live BBC and Peel radio sessions.  The DVD features the entire album newly remixed in 5.1 by Steven Wilson as well as four rare performance videos that include a BBC TV performance and live performance footage recorded at the Bataclan Club in Paris in November 1972.  As an additional visual component, a 136-page hardcover book that features numerous rare photos and a lengthy essay by Guardian journalist and author Richard Williams, the man who first wrote about the group in Melody Maker in 1971, completes the set.       
In addition to the Super Deluxe Edition, the reissue is also available digitally, as a Deluxe 2-CD set with a 24-page booklet and an LP pressed onto180g vinyl. 
Watch the newly-created lyric video for the standout single, “Virginia Plain” here:

Friday, January 26, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ampline – “Captions” (The long-running Cincy-based post-punk trio consisting of Kevin Schmidt, Rick McCarty and Mike Montgomery will release their fifth album, Passion Relapse today on Sofaburn Records.  To best capture their raging, propulsive energy and dense 90’s guitar tones, the album was recorded live to analog tape in Montgomery’s Candyland Studios.  The abrasively anthemic standout single, heard here with its driving rhythm and sing-along hook, sounds like a long lost AmRep recording.)        

Mimicking Birds – “Belongings” (Nate Lacy and crew return today with the release of their third album, Layers Of Us, via Glacial Pace Recordings.  The Portland-based trio lives up to the album’s title by adding in lush layers of vintage synths to their folk-leaning cyclical acoustic guitar-led brand of indie-rock.  Label head and Modest Mouse frontman guests on the psychedelic track, “Island Shore” and standout single, the beautiful, “Belongings” heard here, stutters and soars for the perfect introduction to their experimental sound.)  

Brandon Phillips & The Condition – “Clean And Sober” (This new K.C. based soul-pop band is led by Brandon Phillips along with his brothers Adam and Zach.  The Phillips brothers bring a punk rock pedigree that includes The Gadjits, The Architects and Radar State to create an infectious brand of soul music with a power-pop edge and punk spirit.  Their debut double A-side single was released late last fall and Adam’s Radar State band member Josh Berwanger of The Anniversary, just created an incredible lyric video for the standout track, “Clean and Sober”, seen below.)

Friday, January 19, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Shins – “Heartworms (Flipped)” (James Mercer and crew are set to release The Worm’s Heart, a new companion album and complete reworking of last year’s Heartworms.  Out today on Columbia Records, the album showcases Mercer’s excellent songwriting by flipping the slow songs from Heartworms into up-tempo arrangements – with touches of disco, sparkling 80’s synths and reggae - and the faster songs are reimagined as slower ballads and all with the same impeccable, indelible indie-pop aplomb that has become his calling card.)   

Typhoon – “Rorschach” (The Portland indie-rock band’s fourth album, Offerings was released last week on Roll Call Records.  The new album follows a noir-ish lyrical concept that depicts a man losing his memory and all that entails alongside music that is equally as intense and disjointed; with dark and dense atmospherics that contrast nicely with the soaring anthemic moments and swirling cinematics for their best album yet.) 

Perfect Beings – “Anunnaki - Patterns of Light” (The L.A. based progressive rock band will release their third album, Vier, today via InsideOut/Sony Music.  Led by the core of vocalist/pianist Ryan Hurtgen and guitarist Johannes Luley, the new album is their most ambitious yet.  It is a double album split into four unique suites, that combine elements of prog, rock, jazz and synth-driven dream-pop with virtuoso performances.  Though not featured on the album, ex-Cynic drummer extraordinaire Sean Reinert recently joined the band and will make his live debut with the band in May at RoSfest in Gettysburg, PA.)