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Sunday, October 29, 2023

New Rubblebucket, Future Islands, Adult Leisure, Madison Cunningham, Adrian Sutherland

Rubblebucket: Teardrops

It's been about a year since the Brooklyn band's Earth Worship LP, and as they launch a fall tour they've released a new single. 

This time Alex Tōth takes on the lead vocal while Kalmia Traver provides harmonies. 

Flood Magazine calls it a "delirious synth-pop banger" featuring "vocoded vocals, funk-inspired bass, and warm synth beds."

Future Islands: The Tower

With the release of this single, the Baltimore band announced it has an LP coming early next year, called People Who Aren't There Anymore. Stereogum says this advance track is "a soft, haunted synth-rock jam with a buzzing low-end, and it makes lovely use of Samuel T. Herring’s singular voice."

Adult Leisure: All For You

We're catching up with this "melodic alt-indie" band - which formed during the pandemic and released its first EP in late 2022 - as they prepare to issue their second, Present State of Joy and Grief. Due in a matter of days, its four tracks will include this single that the group describes as a story of "a fragmented bond, infidelity and loss. ... Every moment of heartbreak captured across 4 minutes.”

Madison Cunningham: Subtitles

A little over a year after releasing her third album, Revealer - and as she tours with the U.S. opening for Hozier - the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter has dropped this fresh single.

Cunningham she says it's "set at the end of the world where there’s this impending disaster that is quickly approaching, and everyone has been warned, yet the people below still bobble around going on and on bickering about human things, misunderstanding each other." 

Listen and then watch (or re-watch) the 2021 film Don't Look Up.

Adrian Sutherland: Diamonds

This roots-rocker from Canada's Far North has rolled out a pair of singles whose titles add up to that of his second solo LP, Precious Diamonds, to be released in March. The publicity for the release says "the idea that people came from the sky up above and were made from the sun was not only fun to explore lyrically, but is also a belief rooted in Adrian Sutherland's First Nation/Cree culture." Sutherland, formerly of the band Midnight Shine, traveled to Nashville to record the album with producer/musician Colin Linden, a fellow Canadian. 

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Middle Kids, Nation of Language, The Struts, Deeper, The Rolling Stones: New music in our mix

Middle Kids: Dramamine

Photo by Pooneh Ghana
The indie-rock trio from Sydney have announced a new album on its way early next year, called Faith Crisis Pt. 1 (suggesting a second part will soon follow.) It will include the recenet single "Highlands" along with this track, which Stereogum calls "a giddy, jangly headrush that’ll probably sound great at festivals." It's a co-write by lead singer Hannah Joy and bandmate-husband Tim Fitz.

Nation of Language: Surely I Can't Wait

Photo by Shervin Lainez
The Brooklyn-based synth-pop band just released its third album, Strange Disciple. Four tracks had already come out as singles, so we're picking a fresh one for our New Music bin, although we'll sprinkle others into our big mix. The album's theme is described as "infatuation and how one’s reality can be warped by it." NME says the music is "imbued with layers of post-punk nostalgia, sure, but the kinetic energy in the arrangements steer it from being derivative."

The Struts: Pretty Vicious

Photo by Ben Cope
This is the title track of the British band's fourth album. Frontman Luke Spiller says the song came together very spontaneously, starting with the opening lines: "When you talk and everybody listens / And you walk and everybody whispers." He adds, "They aren’t super clever [lyrics], but they felt right. It’s more about the vocal delivery. That's what makes it dark and sexy."

Deeper: Build a Bridge

Newly signed to the SubPop label, this Chicago band has now released its third album, Careful! This single actually floated out over the summer, but just reached our ears with the LP release. Paste Magazine describes the group's music as "post-punk that is high strung and anxious," featuring "Nic Gohl’s David Byrne-like shriek."

The Rolling Stones: Bite My Head Off

Photo by Mark Seliger
The first collection of new Stones music in 18 years is getting mostly positive reviews, with Rolling Stone (the magazine) calling it "a vibrant and cohesive record" and The Guardian saying it "crackles with a sense of purpose. (OTOH, the ever-acerbic Pitchfork calls its 12 tunes "a bunch of hackneyed duds, polished until the character has disappeared.") Producer Andy Watt, who was also working with Paul McCartney at the time, invited him to make a guest appearance, which he does on this track. As Jagger tells it: "Andy said, ‘lets put him on this punk tune.’ Paul was amazing. I’d sung with Paul before. I was playing guitar, he was playing bass. He was great on it. He was amazing.”

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Brand-new from Brittany Howard, Elephant Stone, Metric, Yukon Blonde, The Commotions

Brittany Howard: What Now

This will be the title track of the former Alabama Shakes lead singer's second solo album. Howard says it's "maybe the truest and bluest of all the songs” on the record. “I like how it’s a song that makes you want to dance, but at the same time the lyrics are brutal.”  A release date for the LP has not yet been announced.

Elephant Stone: The Spark

We're glad to hear new music from this Montreal band, led by Rishi Dhir, that blends psych-rock with classical Indian sounds. This is the first taste of Back Into The Dream, set for release in February. Rishi calls the track "my love letter to the art of songwriting, a tribute to the creative process itself. It's about that serendipitous moment when time and space align, allowing you to capture lightning in a bottle." 

Metric: Stone Window

Following last year's Formentera and the summer single "Just the Once" comes Formentera II. Written and recorded during the depths of the pandemic, "it plays out like a tormented dispatch from deep in the heart of the despair, uncertainty, and gloom of that particular period paired with some of the most inventive and inspiring music of the band's long career," writes AllMusic. We like this song's hopeful imagining of a window to a better world.

Yukon Blonde: Not Interested

We've been spinning a couple of the singles ahead of the Vancouver band's new album, Shuggie. With the release of the full LP, we're plucking out this track, wherein lead singer-songwriter Jeff Innes pokes fun at the selfish pursuit of instant gratification.

The Commotions: The Time Is Now

The Ottawa-based soul-pop band led by saxophonist Brian Asselin just released Volume III. We previously featured the lead single "Feel the Commotion," and now choose this number billed as "an old-fashioned jump/swing track with a modern, lyrical twist."

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Featured new music: Rockers from Lizzie No, TALK and U2, plus a quieter Arkells

Lizzie No: Lagunita

Photo by Cole Nielsen
This single brings a rock-band backing to the singer-songwriter whose repertoire also includes soft ballads accompanied by harp. No describes her upcoming album, Halfsies, as "a journey from exile to freedom." American Songwriter says "The driving, electrifying tune features guest vocals from Brian Dunne and emotes a feeling of deep determination for better days to come."

Talk: Wasteland

Another artist known for a quieter sound ("Run Away to Mars," "Afraid of the Dark") goes full-tilt rocker on this single, to be included on his debut album, Lord of the Flies & Birds & Bees. The artist, a.k.a. Nicholas Durocher, says "This post-apocalyptic wasteland dream world was a love letter to the island of misfit toys, to people who aren’t broken but just lost."

The Arkells: Skin

While Lizzie No and Talk crank up the amps, the typically exuberant pop-rock band from Hamilton, Ont., turns introspective and personal on its seventh album, Laundry Pile. Most of the lyrics deal with a romance breaking down, from the point of view of one still in love: "You told me, darling, it's time to move on." "Do I still have a shot in the dark, do I still have a piece of your heart?" And from this song, the catchiest tune in the bunch: "[You're] rolling your eyes when my heart's on my sleeve."

U2: Atomic City

Photo by Sam Jones
The venerable practitioners of arena rock whipped up this song that's vaguely about having fun in Las Vegas just before opening a string of dates at the new Sphere arena in that city. It won't join the ranks of the band's best works, but as Stereogum put it, "it's a hard-grooving, competent song." The band calls it an "homage to the magnetic spirit of the 1970s post-punk era with a nod to Blondie." In fact, there's enough of an echo of "Call Me" that Debbie Harry and her collaborator Giorgio Moroder get co-writer credits.