New Single: The Shivas Share a Summery and Trippy Blast

Since their formation back in 2006, the Portland, OR-based psych rock outfit The Shivas — Jared Molyneux (vocals, guitar), Eric Shanafelt (bass), Kristin Leonard (vocals, drums) and their newest member Jeff City (guitar) — have honed a sound that conjures the lysergic, late ’60s-to-early ’70s rock ‘n’ roll and pop: The Mamas & The Papas-like harmonies? Sure thing! Big guitar riffs? Sure thing! And it sounds as though it were recored on top-of-the-line-quarter-inch, four-track tape machine? Yep, that too!

So recently, the folks at Suicide Squeeze convinced the members of The Shivas to take part in the label’s Pinks & Purples Digital Singles Series. The Portland-based psych rock outfit contributed “Doom Revolver,” a fittingly lysergic jam featuring enormous, power chord driven riffs, thunderous drumming, Molyneux’s and Leonard’s gorgeous and uncanny harmonies within a head-spinning song structure. Play loud, tune out, man.

“‘Doom Revolver’ was written over the last couple of years,” The Shivas’ Jared Molyneux explains. “It was recorded in January of 2022 at Trash Treasury, and was produced by Cameron Spies. The cover image is a polaroid from a real life UFO encounter in themiddle of nowhere, Oregon. . .”

Lyric Video: Chicago’s Así Así Shares a Hypnotic New Single

Chicago-based indie outfit Así Así — Fernando de Buen (vocals, guitar), Ben Geissel (drums), Celeen Rusk (vocals, keys) and Sam Coplin (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2018, as the continuation of a previous project, El Mañana, which was originally founded in Mexico City before the band’s members relocated to Chicago. Whether as El Mañana or Así Así, the Chicago-based band is a part of the city’s growing Latin rock scene — and has played at a number of venues across the Chicago area. 

Así Así’s sound sees the quartet and blending elements of rock, dance and Latin with arrangements that feature acoustic and electronic drums, synths, guitars paired with propulsive grooves frequently create material that’s haunting yet upbeat and catchy. 

Their debut single “Carne Molida” was released back in 2020 and received coverage in RemezclaFilter Mexico and Indie Rocks, as well as airplay on Mexico City’s Reactor, 105.75FM.

Recorded at Palisade Studios, the Chicago-based outfit’s Fernando de Buen and Marcus Reese co-produced album Mal Otras is slated for release later this year. Last month, I wrote about album single “Yo La Sé” is a dreamy and expansive track featuring a driving, motorik-like groove, glistening guitars, de Buen’s plaintive vocals and an uneasy bass outro. While the song evokes the sensation of waking up from an unpleasant and incredibly vivid dream, the song thematically focuses on a familiar sensation of all of us now — a deep-seated frustration over the seemingly never-ending stream of terrible news.

The Chicago-based quartet’s latest single “Me Quedo Ahí” is a trippy song heavily indebted to 70s and 80s psychedelic cumbia with hints of the indie rock that they band has been known for with the song featuring glistening keys, reverb-drenched guitars, a strutting bass line, and shuffling rhythms paired de Buen’s dreamy vocals and a glistening guitar solo. The end result is a song that may arguably be their trippiest yet most danceable song to date.

New Audio: Sylvan Esso Shares a Sweltering Banger

Throughout the course of this site’s almost 12 year history, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering blogosphere darlings and JOVM mainstays Sylvan EssoMountain Man‘s Amelia Heath (vocals, synths)  and Megafaun’s Nick Sanborn (synths, programming, production). And since their formation the duo have released three critically applauded, commercially successful albums: 2014’s self-titled debut, 2017’s Grammy-nominated What Now and 2020’s Grammy-nominated Free Love.

The duo’s latest single “Sunburn” is the first bit of new material since the release of Free Love, and the single is a concise pop banger, centered around a minimalist production featuring wobbling 808 thump, glistening synth arpeggios bursts paired with Meath’s dreamy delivery and the duo’s unerring knack for crafting big, crowd-pleasing hooks. Lyrically, the song describes sensory overload with a novelistic attention to detail: you can literally feel skin blistering from overexposure to the sun, the bloated feeling of eating too much rand so on. e

Written on a warm January evening in Los Angeles, as Meath sat on the front porch with a smoggy cityscape sprawled out ahead of her, “Sunburn” isn’t tied to a particular place or time but is rooted in the sour taste and sting of having too much of a good thing.

As Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn explain:

“‘Sunburn’ is:

eating candy til you’re sick

riding your bike too fast down a hill

when you’re five years old and don’t want to get out of the water, and by the end you’re shivering and all your fingers are pruney and your lips are turned purple

an undertow that sneaks up unsuspectingly

the painful pulsing pink of swollen eyelids leftover after a day lying in the sun

plunging forward without time for second-guessing . . . “

Live Footage: Beach House Performs “Superstar” on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Baltimore-based JOVM mainstays Beach House — lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Victoria Legrand and multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally — formed back in 2004. And in their nearly two decades together, have released eight albums, including their critically applauded, most commercially successful album to date, the 18-song, double LP Once Twice Melody, which was released through Sub Pop Records earlier this year. (Since I mentioned that the album is their most commercially successful to date, Once Twice Melody recently peaked at #1 on Billboard‘s Album Sales Chart, the duo’s first-ever album to do so. It also debuted at #1 on the Top Alternative Albums, Top Rock Albums, Tastemaker Albums and Top Current Album Sales Charts. And the album also spent six weeks at #1 on the NACC 200 College Charts.)

Primarily written between 2018 and last July, Once Twice Melody also features a handful of songs that date back at least a decade earlier. The album was mostly recorded at Baltimore’s Apple Orchard Studio and produced by the band — a first for the band. Much like 7, Once Twice Melody features live drumming by the band’s longtime touring drummer James Barone, recorded at Pachyderm Studio in Minnesota and United Recording in Los Angeles. The album also features a string ensemble, performing arrangements by David Campbell.

Across Once Twice Melody‘s 18 songs, the JOVM mainstays have written material that features several different styles, song structures and spirits: Listeners will hear songs without drums, songs centered around acoustic guitar, electronic songs without guitar, songs with wandering melodies, songs with repetitive melodies and songs built around string arrangements. And while the album sees the band expanding upon and playing with their sound, the duo haven’t completely eschewed the arrangements and sounds that have won them acclaim across their previous seven albums.

Last night, the Baltimore-based JOVM mainstays were on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where they performed the glittering and wistful “Superstar,” a song that looks back at a romantic relationship and compares it to a shooting star that quickly flashes, burns out and reappears somewhere else.

The live footage will give you a great taste of what to expect of the duo’s live show, just before they continue their extensive, headlining international tour to support Once Twice Melody. The tour has been extended through November 2022 with a handful of newly added dates including several stops across the global festival circuit: Omaha, NE’s Maha Festival (July 29th-30th), Portugal’s Paredes De Coura  (Aug. 17th-20th), Salt Lake City, UT’s Ogden Twilight (August 25th), Pasadena, CA’s This Ain’t No Picnic (Aug. 28th), Las Vegas, NV’s Life Is Beautiful (Sep. 16th-18th), Bentonville, AR’s Format Festival (Sep. 23rd-25th), and Primavera Sound Editions in Brazil, (Sao Paulo, Nov. 5th), Chile (Santiago, Nov. 11th), and Argentina (Buenos Aires, Nov. 13th).

For my fellow New Yorkers, the JOVM will be playing two dates at the breathtakingly beautiful Kings Theatre: July 19, 2022 and July 20, 2022.