Heath and Sanborn return with the first bit of new material in two years with their latest single “Radio,” being the A side of the forthcoming “Radio”/”Jump Kick Start,” which is slated for an November 18 release. “Radio” has quickly become a staple of their live shows and a fan favorite — and interestingly enough, the song is arguably the most brash song they’ve released; but, it also manages to be both a refinement and expansion of the sound that first caught them attention. Heath’s sultry vocals are paired with a slickly propulsive and dance floor-friendly production consisting of layers of cascading synths, wobbling low end, stuttering drum programming, and as a result the song sounds as though it were nodding at Soft Metals’ swooning and sensual Lenses and Giorgio Moroder.
Earlier this summer, I wrote about Melbourne, Australia-based indie rock/shoegaze act Flyying Colours and if you were frequenting this site then, you may recall that the the Australian band was initially formed by its founding duo, childhood friends Brodie J. Brummer and Genna O’Connor. And with the release of their first two critically applauded EPs, the act received national attention for a sound that possess elements of shoegaze, psych rock and grunge. After recruiting new members Melanie Barbaro and Andy Lloyd Russell to flesh out their sound, the members of the newly constituted quartet went into the studio to write and record the material that would eventually comprise their forthcoming full-length debut, MINDFULLNESS, which is slated for a September 23, 2016 release through Club AC30 Records.
Over the past year or so, the Australian shoegazers have seen a growing international profile as “Not Today” and “Running Late” off their second EP ROYGBIV received airplay from several renowned radio stations across the globe including KEXP, BBC Radio 6, RRR and FBi among others, and as a result, they landed at number 47 on the CMJ Radio Top 200 and Amazing Radio charts, as well as praise from the likes of Clash, 405, Stereogum, Wonderland and NME. And adding to a growing internationally recognized profile, Flyying Colours has toured with Pinkshinyultrablast, Johnny Marr, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and A Place to Bury Strangers.
Whereas MINDFULLNESS‘ first single “It’s Tomorrow Now” was a noisy and towering squalor sound that had the Melbourne, Australia-based quartet pairing buzzing power chords, some incredible guitar pyrotechnics, a propulsive motorik groove and an anthemic hook in a song that sounds as though it were channeling The Jesus and Mary Chain, the album’s latest single “Long Holiday” is a hazily, expansive song in which shimmering guitar chords played through reverb, delay and other effect pedals are paired with a propulsive rhythm section and a rousingly anthemic hook while sonically sounding as though it were indebted to RIDE, A Storm in Heaven The Verve and The Smiths.
Comprised of Alfred Brown IV (vocals), Justin Smith (guitar), Anthony Rivera (drums), Chris Conde (bass), DANGERS is a Los Angeles, CA-based hardcore punk band, who have developed a reputation for doing things completely in a DIY fashion since their formation in 2005. In fact, since their formation, the quartet have played basements, garages, living rooms, squats, banquet halls, high school auditoriums, Adriatic beach resorts, abandoned Soviet furniture factories and public park gazebos across the US, UK, Australia, Japan and Southeast Asian — and releasing their first two critically applauded full-length efforts through their own label, Vitriol Records; however, the band’s forthcoming third full-length effort, The Bend in the Break finds the band releasing the album through Topshelf Records. And the material on the album finds the band attempting to expand and grow their sound in a way that shows growth while not breaking it.
Interestingly, the album’s blistering and snarling new single “Kiss With Spit” has the band pairing layers of scuzzy and acidic guitar chords, thundering drumming, a persistent bass line and howled vocals in a way that sounds reminiscent of Melvins, Metz and Nirvana — in particular, think of “Dive,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and “Breed,” complete with a tense, mosh pit worthy fury.
If you’re out on the West Coast throughout late October, check out the tour dates below. In the meantime, we’ll be awaiting some East Coast dates for the band.
* = w/ with Super Unison
OCT 20 – San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
OCT 21 – Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go! Records *
OCT 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ All-Star Lanes *
Comprised of primary members Guy Fenech, Oly Marlan and Nick Franklin Sydney, Australia-based indie electro pop/indie rock act Australia independently released their full-length debut Portraits of People, Places and Movies earlier this year to national attention for a sound that channels their homeland’s early 80s pub rock scene and 80s New Wave — in other words, as you’ll hear on Places and Movies‘ latest single “Breathe In,” anthemic hooks paired with propulsive four-on-the-floor-like drumming, angular guitar chords, a sinuous bass line, shimmering and undulating synths and Fenech’s baritone crooning to craft a sound that will remind listeners of INXS‘ “Listen Like Thieves” and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy — but with a dance floor-friendly feel.
Magic Trick is the recording project of singer/songwriter Tim Cohen, featuring a rotating cast of collaborators and friends. And if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you might recall that I wrote about two singles of Cohen and Company’s third full-length album River of Souls, an effort that at points reminded me quite a bit of Flowers-era Echo and the Bunnymen. Cohen’s fourth Magic Trick album Other Man’s Blues reportedly found the renowned singer/songwriter at a crossroads as it was written and recorded during a year that was split between two completely different lives and world — part of the year with his partner and their newborn daughter, the second part was as a touring musician, touring with Magic Trick and the Fresh & Onlys, and the week he spent recording Other Man’s Blues at Phil Manley‘s Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco.
As the story goes, Cohen arrived at the studio with a color-coded composition book of songs he had been writing while bouncing to and fro, and the book would have to suffice in lieu of rehearsal time with the 13 musicians — including James Kim (drums), Beach House‘s James Barone, The Aislers Set’s Alicia Van Heuval and Paul Garcia splitting time on bass, Once and Future Band‘s and Danny James‘ Joel Robinow on keys, The Cairo Gang and The Muggers‘ Emmett Kelly (guitar), backing vocals from Van Heuval, Noelle Cahill and Anna Hillburg, who also plays trumpet, as well as San Francisco-based musicians Dylan, Edrich, Tom Heyman, and Marc Capelle. And although some may think that with such a large roster of musicians, that the sessions were the product of grandiose ambition; but actually, the sessions were the result of an open door policy at the studio in which, friends would stop by, hang out, drink tequila, bullshit and jam together, creating a loose, freewheeling, improvised affair in which the songs were shaped by the session players — and the material reportedly manages to shift from baroque pop, post-punk, R&B, jam rock paired with Tim’s lyrics about family, himself, his experiences and thoughts about being a father and a musician, about life and its perpetual changes.
The album’s latest single “First Thought” is a shuffling and twangy country blues that sounds as though it could have been released sometime between 1972-1975 while gently nodding at psych rock and gospel with an extended jam band coda featuring an impressive guitar solo. And what makes the song impressive is the fact that Cohen and Company manage to make the song feel both completely improvised, as though a bunch of friends were jamming late night over whiskey, tequila and weed, while the song possess a careful attention to craft. Lyrically, the song deals with self-doubt, uncertainty and acceptance but with a wry, mischievous wit, revealing that Cohen is an unheralded songwriter.
Now earlier this month, you might remember that I wrote about Redemption and Ruin’s first single, a slowed-down, twangy, Johnny Cash, Sun Records-era-leaning cover of one of my favorite Muddy Waters tunes “Champagne and Reefer” that retained the original’s wicked sense of humor and gleeful debauchery. The album’s second single is a cover of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley’s classic and oft-covered “I Am The Man Thomas,” and as Bernhard told the folks at Relix, “‘I Am The Man’ is a gruesome tale of the capture and crucifixion of Jesus sung by none other than the late great Ralph Stanley. It may be the most metal Gospel song ever penned by mortal hand. What better song to include on Redemption And Ruin, This tune has it all, the chase the death and the rise from the grave.” The Devil Makes Three cover is a subtly and deceptively straightforward cover that puts a bit of snarl and muscle into it — while with a deeper emphasis on the gruesomeness and cruelty of the cruxifixction and Jesus’ eventual redemption.
Currently comprised of frontman Pete Feigenbaum, who has spent some time as a touring guitarist in Titus Andronicus; Max Tucker; Meaghan Omega; Dan Peskin; and John Atkinson, who joins the band as a touring member, the members of Brooklyn-based Dinowalrus have developed a national and international attention for a sound that draws from post-punk, krautrock, shoegaze, synth pop and psych rock as you’ll hear on their latest single “Tides,” which has the band pair shimmering and undulating synths, buzzing guitar chords, plaintive and ethereal vocals and a motorik groove. Interestingly enough, the song sounds as though the band had been listening to Toy, Primal Scream and the Manchester sound.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you’d likely know that the mysterious Northern Swedish collective’s highly-anticipated, third, full-length effort Requiem is slated for an October 7, 2016 release and the album’s “Try My Robe” continues on a similar vein as “I Sing in Silence,” as the collective has gone for a stripped down, acoustic, psych rock vibe paired with chanted/shouted vocals, shimmering and dexterously looping guitar work, mischievously complex, handclap led percussion and a slow, shuffling bass line that manages to be deceptively propulsive in a song that sounds subtly influenced by African and Middle Eastern music. Requiem’s latest single “Alarms” is a gorgeous track consisting of African and Middle Eastern-like percussion, shimmering and gorgeous guitar lines and an ethereal melody that floats just above the instrumentation. Sonically, the song manages to sound both incredibly cinematic and as though it could have been released in 1966.
55 Lakes is a mysterious and fairly anonymous EDM/tropical house music production and recording project of two Toronto-based ghost producers, ghostwriters and musicians for several top Canadian artists — and their latest project together was specifically designed for the duo to create, have fun and anonymous collect the credit for their own work. Their debut single “I’ll stay for you” is a slickly produced track that has the duo pairing finger-snap led percussion, twinkling keys, layers of shimmering and undulating synths and electronics, a looped vocal sample and an infectious hook in a propulsive yet breezy and tropical song that sounds as though it drew from Larry Levan and classic house, as well as Zonoscope-era Cut Copy.
Led by its founding member and creative mastermind David Eugene Edwards, Wovenhand much like Edwards’ previous projects have a long-held reputation for intense and anthemic music that showcases Edwards’ Romantic and incredibly dramatic crooning — and for a relentless experimentation and reinvention. His previous project 16 Horsepower was well-received for a sound based around antique Americana while Wovenhand’s earliest incarnations specialized in hushed ballads; however, with the newest and most current lineup, featuring Planes Mistaken For Stars‘ Chuck French (guitar) and Neil Keener (bass), Ordy Garrison (drums) and Crime and The City Solution‘s Matthew Smith (piano, synth) the band has written and recorded some of the heaviest and most forceful material to date on their latest effort Star Treatment slated for release on September 9, 2016 through Sargent House Records globally — with the exception of Europe.
As Edwards explains, the soon-to-be released album’s title isn’t a reference to our contemporary obsession with celebrity; rather it’s a reference to the concept of astrolatry — or humanity’s enduring interest in the stars of the night sky. “It’s ethereal in its concept,” Edwards says. “There are many layers, as always. I’ve been paying attention to the stars in the sky and in literature, and it’s a theme throughout the album.” He adds, “There’s more love song style on this in general, which is nice. The idea of what love is and how it’s expressed and all these different atmospheres.” Star Treatment‘s first single and opening track “Come Brave” finds the band pairing a propulsive, rumbling and rolling drum beat, enormous power chords, Edwards crooning vocals, a swooning and urgent Romanticism and rousing, arena rock friendly-like hooks with celestial hooks in a song that sounds as though it drew from Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen, complete with a dark and mysterious fury.
The band will be embarking on a world tour to support the album. Check out tour dates below.
09/12 COLOGNE, DE @ Gebäude 9 *
09/13 FRANKFURT, DE @ Zoom *
09/15 BERN, CH @ ISC *
09/16 ZURICH, CH @ Bogen F *
09/17 VIENNA, AT @ Flex *
09/18 BUDAPEST, HU @ A38 *
09/20 SALZBURG, AT @ Rockhouse *
09/21 MUNICH, DE @ Ampere *
09/22 LEIPZIG, DE @ UT Connewitz *
09/23 BERLIN, DE @ Heimathafen *
09/24 HAMBURG, DE – Reeperbahn Festival
09/26 ARHUS, DK @ Train *
09/27 OSLO, NO @ John Dee *
09/29 HELSINKI, FI @ Tavastia
09/30 STOCKHOLM, SE @ Nalen *
10/01 LUND, SE @ Mejeriet *
10/02 COPENHAGEN, DK @ Vega Jr. *
10/04 EINDHOVEN, NL @ Effenaar *
10/05 AMSTERDAM, NL @ Melkweg *
10/06 LEUVEN, BE @ Het Depot *
10/07 GENT, BE @ Handelsbeurs *
10/08 CHARLEROI, BE @ L’Eden *
10/10 LILLE, FR @ L’Aéronef *
10/11 PARIS, FR @ La Maroquinerie *
10/13 ORLEANS, FR @ L’Astrolabe *
10/14 GRENOBLE, FR @ La Belle Electrique *
10/15 FEYZIN, FR @ L’Epicerie Moderne *
10/16 TOULOUSE, FR @ La Rex *
10/18 LONDON, UK @ The Dome *