Experimental Portland psych sextet Abronia (which includes pedal steel, saxophone, and one big bass drum among it’s make-up) are set to release their sophomore album The Whole Of Each Eye on October 25th as a co-release with Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records.
Oakland’s Half Stack find that perfect space between the alt(ernative) and country in “alt-country.” While the band are a decent way from the South, their dusty twang and down-home hooks feel natural, authentic, and easily settled. There’s no tension, just open sky and big melodic relaxation, the type that never feels stagnant.
This record strikes one as the confident expression of a band very solid in what they’re making. If one looks at the liner notes, they can see another expression of this: their previous full-length was credited as being written by Rebecca Ryskalczyk, while Bethlehem Steel credits the band itself as writing the songs. This is a band hitting their stride.
Woongi’s video for their single “Antiques” starts off on a good foot and then just keeps getting progressively more fun until it’s thrilling (yet casual) finale. It’s a real cinematic experience of the highest variety, kinda like Repo Men condensed into three minutes… with more dancing. Okay, it’s not really like Repo Men, but both are excellent.
The logic of DIY rarely leaves room for an unusual grace, but in Close it Quietly, the new album by Frankie Cosmos, there is room for passages and interferences of pure softness. Greta Kline seems to have found, after a long search for several LPs and albums, a structure and a clearer way to an ideal of limpid and moving beauty.
Shormey, a Virginia-based musician, crafts ethereal and grooving jams that fall somewhere between disco, funk, and psychedelia. On her debut EP Boogie Tape Vol. 1, she proves that, while her music may have a retro aesthetic and call to mind some artists of the past, Shormey is simultaneously in her own lane.
Bull in the Shade is the sophomore full length release from Allston (Boston) indie rock quartet Beeef, that increases the muscle in the tunesmith and lends an interesting perspective towards songwriting. Perry Eaton uses a slightly quirky vocal delivery that grabs attention immediately while the band establish mostly frantic instrumentation.
“Self-Love” is a warped pop exportation accompanied by a drifting, playful video. In Clay’s words: “This exercise was a great learning experience for me as I began to understand pop production, sound design, composition, & songwriting on a fundamental level, taking the genre's various elements & altering them to fit within my own style.”
It may be a stretch to call much of anything that Sweet Williams do to be joyous, the tonality of this one is definitely more upbeat than their formula often allows. The guitars are still layered thick and with that kind of distortion that removes rust from scrapyards, each stretched progression and melodic vocal line pulled just shy of warping.
“Suspicion,” the album’s centerpiece already had a cinematic quality of sorts, but their new video takes the song’s warped twang and runs with it. Shot on a farm in rural Pennsylvania with director Ben Hammock, the band play a gang of cowboys just moseying about, with one cowboy’s mind fixated on past memories.
Pom Pom Squad’s new EP, Ow, is a step above the already-great Hate It Here in every way. The songs are more polished, but they’ve lost none of the edge that made the debut songs so strong. The vocal hooks are stronger, the production clearer, and the song sequencing highlights Berrin’s strength for storytelling
The moody trio make something akin to doom-punk: sprawling, commanding vocals glide over a thick swamp of locked-down low end and fried-out fuzz, climbing and falling in headbang-worthy spurts. If “Sucker” is any indication of what’s to come, their new album, Hell Was Full So We Came Back, promises to be a worthy follow-up.
“Monkey Bowling” is a dense and fun song packed with tons of sounds that mesh to create a charmingly catchy tune. Lyrically, the song is a collection of distended and surreal moments. There's enough pop sensibility here to leave you humming, and just enough lyrically to make you want to piece together the story being told.
The Richmond, VA based post-punk band are creating a dark mix of punk that draws elements from the raw burn of The Wipers to the shadowy romanticism of The Cure. Their sound is definitely informed by 80’s post-punk and it’s many shapes, but the quartet are re-purposing their influences into their own.
The melodies are big and memorable, sounding something like Elliott Smith writing Weezer songs, every hook hitting just between sugary exuberance and self-reflective introspection. The band self-released their latest album, I Never Said I Didn’t Care, a fully realized LP that hangs heavy on the blistering anthems.