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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Last batch of New Music before the New Year: Superchunk, Bully, Parcels, Beach House, Lake 22

Superchunk: Endless Summer

Dubbed an "indie-rock institution" by Paste Magazine, this North Carlolina-based band will release its 12th studio LP, Wild Loneliness, in February. The album features several guest performers, such as Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, who provide harmony vocals on this first single. The song, says co-founder and singer-songwriter Mac McCaughan, "was written on New Year’s Day 2020, which was unseasonably warm here in North Carolina." From the lyric: "I miss the cold and I miss looking out for spring ... I'm not ready for an endless summer."

Bully: Just For Love

This new single was recorded during the sessions for Bully's 2020 album, Sugareggg. Stereogum writes that it "fits the same general mood as the tracks from that album. On its own, though, 'Just For Love' works as a noisy, nervy, hooky jam with a bittersweet undercurrent. It’s a prime example of what Bully does well." The stand-alone single was released in early December as the Alicia Bognanno-fronted band started a brief Eastern U.S. tour. No word if there's more to come.

Parcels: Somethinggreater

This track from the Australian band's second album was released last month and we've been spinning it on our nightly free-form show, The Detour. It's wormed itself into our ears, so we're moving it to the New Music bin. The NME calls Day/Night "a sprawling and inventive double album" that expands the band's sound beyond the first album's disco formula - although some of that remains in this track, a "reclined and understated '70s anthem with a Chic guitar line and a bouncy bassline."

Beach House: New Romance

The third of four chapters of Once Twice Melody is due in mid-January, but meanwhile we're featuring another track from chapter two. This number rolls along in a dreamy, Beach House-y groove, while the lyrics suggest turmoil. Victoria Legrand told Apple Music: "'New Romance' existed, just the music, for quite a long time. It really had this intensity to it. It was like a pop song, but it was more psychotic, a little bit scary." For the lyrics, "I really wanted to write something that felt so visual and large. So, the song actually is pretty wild, like new romance, which is, in theory, it's such an exciting feeling. It's also terrifying, because you don't know what's going to happen."

Lake 22: Control

As '21 comes to a close we want to pull out another track from '22's midyear release. This Seattle-area quintet draws on many musical influences on its self-titled debut album. This track has a throwback sound, and we don't mean to the 90s. Maybe the 40s? The band describes it as "a hybrid of rock, pop and Broadway" that deals with "the challenges of staying in control of things in your life from health concerns to relationship issues." The already high energy level jumps even higher when the horns kick in midway through.

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