Five Things We Liked This Week – 11/11/2016

Further Listening: SlowcoachesBarleaux, Julia Jacklin, Luxury Death, Weyes Blood, Psychic Love, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Lee Ranaldo, MJ Hibbett, Malihini, Stars In Coma, Natalie Bouloudis, Jeannel, Doomsquad, Michael Nau, Rebel Kind, New Woman, ELLA, Daniel Woolhouse, Party Traitor, Great Ytene, Indian Queens, Eric Frisch, Hayes Peebles, ADAM & ELVISRainbrother, Los Campesinos! and Haley Bonar covering The Crystals in the style of Joy Division (as good as it sounds!).

5. Hot Dog, Belgian Fog, Se-e-attle 

Belgian Fog is the musical project of Seattle native, and KEXP employee, Robert Dale. This week Robert has shared a new track, Desktop Philosopher (In My Holiness).

Apparently other people have likened the track to Blue-era Weezer, but we must admit we’re not really hearing it. Building from a wall of glistening electronics, it’s a constantly shifting slice of alt-rock, bringing to mind everyone from Ed Harcourt through to Local Natives and even a touch of My Vitriol. Where is this all leading, well Belgian Fog has suggested an EP might be on the way, but really for now we’d just recommend you simply enjoy this excellent song and worry about the details later.

Click HERE for more information about Belgian Fog.

4. Can We Get Another WHOOP(-Szo)

In an era where many are quick to chastise musicians for not being politically or socially motivated, Ontario quintet WHOOP-Szo could never be tarred with that brush. This week the band released their new record, Citizen’s Ban(ne)d Radio, a collection of tracks that tackle the topics of colonization, language, self-determination, and appropriation. The band themselves have been quoted as saying, “we work to bridge the boundaries between social work, activism, and music making.”

That’s all of course amazing, noble and much appreciated, but thankfully the music is also very good. Citizen Ban(ne)d is a collection of songs and demos written and recorded whilst also carrying out a rigorous touring schedule. WHOOP-Szo’s new single, Another Show, is a fine example of their sound. The track is a warm swell of acoustic guitar, twinkling xylophones and a surprisingly bombastic electric guitar, all fluttering beneath waves of vocals and a lyrical tribute to the power of music. A band with big aspirations, drive and desire to right some of the world’s wrongs, and it’s hard to have anything but admiration for that.

Citizen’s Ban(ne)d Radio is out now via Out Of Sound Records. Click HERE for all upcoming WHOOP-Szo shows.

3. Angharad’s Beautiful New Baby

Growing up in Brisbane, on the sun-drenched Gold Coast, it’s hard to imagine how Angharad Drake was inspired to make the music she does. This week the talented 23-year-old has shared her new single, Baby, the first to be lifted from her upcoming album, which will be with us in the new year.

Like fellow Australian’s Julia Jacklin and Gabriella Cohen, Angharad’s music seems to exist in a surprising world of Americana; indeed Angharad even takes it further into the Southern States, bringing to mind the gothic-Americana of acts like Weyes Blood or Marissa Nadler. Baby is a brooding blend of twanging slide, rolling percussion, and an effortlessly beautiful vocal performance, Angharad carrying all the heartache of, “a hopeless case” as she repeatedly pleads, “baby don’t go.” Angharad’s upcoming record will be her debut full-length recording, following on from a number of self-released EP’s, and while she might not ever get to the level of fame as her surnamesake Drake, people should at least know how to pronounce Ang-ha-rad.

Angharad Drake will release her new album late in Spring. Click HERE to keep up to date with Angharad’s music.

2. Get Lost In Alyseka

If you’re looking at the word Alyeska and thinking that sounds like Alaska, you’re not wrong – it is indeed an archaic spelling of that big cold state near Russia. Alyeska is also the name that, Montana native Alaska Reid chose for the band she formed after relocating her life to the bustling climes of Los Angeles.

This week Alyeska, a three-piece with Alasaka augmented by Ben Spear and Enzo Scardapane, have shared their new single, Lose My Place. From an intro of rolling toms and mathsy guitars, Alaska’s vocal arrives, it’s a little jazzy, but also raw, easy and anxious, somewhere between Margaret Glaspy and Torres. The track ebbs and flows, from noisy and complex, to sweet poppy choruses and an immense outro that could be Rilo Kiley or Field Mouse. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming John Agnello produced album, which doesn’t have a release date or a title yet, but we’re already marking down as one of 2017’s most anticipated.

Click HERE for more information about Alyeska

1. Hater Not Hate

Remarkably clean looking Swedes, Hater only formed at the start of this year, but they’ve already released an incredibly well received EP, Radius, and have confirmed details of their upcoming debut album. Coming out via PNKSLM, we’ll have to wait until next year before we hear You Tried, but this week the band have shared the first taste of that record, Mental Haven.

Mental Haven is a slice of jangling, indie-pop, lifted to new height by singer Caroline Landahl’s stunning vocal, soaring and tuneful but with a raspy power all her own, she carries seemingly complex melodies with an effortless swoop. The track nods to Sweden’s impressive indie-pop credentials; that they’re touring with Radio Dept. makes perfect sense, but it sounds fresh rather than formulaic, and for such a new band surprisingly polished. It’s another impressive track from the Malmö based wonders, keep this up and 2017 might just be the year they cement their place as Sweden’s most exciting new band.

You Tried is out March 10th via PNKSLM Recordings. Hater are playing a handful of dates supporting Radio Dept. in Scandinavia, click HERE for details.

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