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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Fresh sounds from Teepee, Death Cab for Cutie, The Beths, Left of the Slash, Umphrey's McGee

Teepee: Blind Tomorrow

The follow-up to 2021's Where the Ocean Breaks is due early in the new year. This is the first single from the yet-untitled album by the Czech dream-pop duo of singer-acoustic guitarist Miroslav Patočka and singer-electric guitarist Tereza Lavičková. It's billed as "an honest confession about sadness, fear, and anxiety."

Death Cab for Cutie: Pepper

A gentle breakup song is the latest single broken out from Asphalt Meadows, the tenth album from Benjamin Gibbard and company. The lyric is a forget-me-not plea to a departing lover, mixed with the realization that "I was a city you were only passin' through."

The Beths: Expert In A Dying Field

We featured a couple of early singles ahead of this New Zealand band's September release, and now we circle back to add the title track to our New Music bin. Songwriter-vocalist Elizabeth Stokes, guitarist Jonathan Pearce, bassist Benjamin Sinclair and drummer Tristan Deck "make music that has a sugar-rush immediacy and a craftsman-like attention to detail that invites close listening," writes Pitchfork. Here, the lyric compares one's intimate knowledge of an ex to a skill that's no longer useful. 

Left of the Slash: Two Minds One Head

Guitarist Stephen Nemeroff founded this band in New York in 2005. After a long hiatus and a move to Los Angeles, he re-formed it and began work on an album in 2020. The result is Won, released in September. "It feels great to finally hear what’s been playing in my head for more than 20 years at the level it properly deserves,” says Nemeroff. He cites a wide range of influences, including Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Umphrey's McGee: Escape Goat

We dig back into Asking for a Friend to pull out a deep-cut gem. The story goes that the band held an online auction offering a song based on a topic of the winner’s choice. The top bidder wanted the song to be about missing old friends. Keyboardist Joel Cummings says the band-written song "was nailed in three or four takes" and contains what "might be my favorite vocal hook" by Brendan Bayliss: "And everyone you’ve ever held or tried to hold on to / They’ll make your burden brighter."

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