Further Listening: Pega Monstro, Lovely Bad Things, Japanese Breakfast, Kevin Morby, Sløtface, Michael Nau, Diet Cig, Parker Longbough, Thelma, Ralegh Long, Estrons, Blue Of Noon, Moderate Rebels, Rainer Maria, ALLIGATOR, Cold Casper, Esper Scout, Richard Dawson, Ramonda Hammer, Waxahatchee, Frøkedal, Nadine Shah, Umm, Jack Cooper, willolux, Chloe Foy, Swine Tax, Fiona Silver, The Stevens, Mannequin Pussy, Arcade Fire, Annie Hart, Phoebe Bridgers, Griff Lynch, Squirrel Flower, Ghost Thoughts and the latest offering from the upcoming album by The Dears.
5. Erin Offers A Rae Of Light
While not well-known outside of her home town, Erin Rae is apparently established as Nashville’s “go to harmony girl”, having appeared on records by the likes of Margo Price, Andrew Combs and Aaron Lee Tasjan. Erin is currently en-route to the UK for a series of live dates, and ahead of those shows has this week shared her new single, Like The First Time.
Like The First Time is the first new material Erin has shared since 2015’s critically acclaimed debut album, Soon Enough. Discussing the track, Erin has suggested it’s about, “making the mistake of thinking I can control how someone else perceives me”. It’s a song about following your gut and not compromising yourself to appease anyone else. Musically it’s equally emotionally charged. The swampy rhythm sections, cut across by buzzing stabs of electric guitar, and Erin’s unshowy, but none the less stunning vocal. Erin bridges the gap between classic country and the DIY-indie scene in a way that very few manage, keep this up and she wont stay Nashville’s secret for long.
Like The First Time is out now. Click HERE for live dates and more information on Erin Rae.
4. Scouting For Sad Boys
Deer Scout is the pseudonym of New York based songwriter Dena Miller. With US tour dates coming in July, and a debut album due later this year, Deer Scout has whetted appetites this week with a new single, Sad Boy.
Sad Boy is an exploration of the double standards that exist in the music industry, where men expressing emotions are put on a pedestal for their honesty, where other genders are dismissed as confessional; as Dena recently told Le Sigh, “non-dudes have always embraced softness and vulnerability and never get enough credit for it”. Musically Sad Boy is an intriguing blend of the lo-fi indie of Waxahatchee of Frankie Cosmos and the slick electro of Patience. Funny, exciting and quietly cutting, Deer Scout are surely better than any boring old sad boy.
Sad Boy is out now. Click HERE for more information on Deer Scout.
3. Not Listening To Poppies Is Dumb Advice
One of our favourite new bands from last year, New York quartet Poppies are returning with the excellently named debut EP, Good. That EP is out today as a joint release between Topshelf Records and Super Fan 99. Ahead of the release, the band this week shared new single, Dumb Advice.
Poppie first caught our ear with the superb single Told, and Dumb Advice builds nicely on that promise. The track is a classic slice of alt-rock, all rapid drum beats, rumbling bass lines and bright electric guitars, while lead singer, May’s vocal has a gentle melancholy to it. As May sings, “our demons play well together”, it seems to hint at ideas of failing to heed the advice of others and slipping back into unhappy relationships you know are doomed to fail. It’s a wonderful track, but perhaps the most exciting thing about Poppies is that they are only just getting started, their potential is limitless.
Good EP is out today via Topshelf Records (Casette) & Super Fan 99 (Vinyl). Click HERE for more information on Poppies, including US tour dates.
2. Torres’ New Song Is Worth More Than A Skim
Torres, the musical moniker of Mackenzie Scott, has this week shared Skim, her first new material since 2015’s break-through album, Sprinter. Recently signed to 4AD, Torres has also shared an extensive touring schedule, and while no details of a new album have yet been shared, we’d imagine it must be on the way.
There’s a touch of Perfume Genius to the crunching synths that open Skim, but as Mackenzie enters it is unmistakably Torres, as she sings “consider the source of your energy, do you just hate him more than you love me?” Throughout the guitar work is immaculate, bristling with the sort of energy and menace we’ve come to expect from this hugely talented musician. Throughout the track Mackenzie, intriguingly, keeps returning to repeated phrase, “there’s no unlit corner of the room I’m in”, it’s meaning left to interpretation, to scrutiny, and to our own imagination running wild. Skim is a truly thrilling return!
Skim is out now via 4AD. Click HERE for information on Torres, and upcoming tour dates.
1. Alvvays On My Mind
Alvvays first emerged onto the musical landscape, with a debut album that consisted of barely thirty minutes of immaculate jangling-pop wonders. Little did we know at the time we’d have to wait three years to hear anything else from the band. That wait ended this week with news of a new album, Antisocialites due out in September, as well as brand new single, In Undertow.
While the opening keyboard refrain has a distinctly 80’s pop sound, when singer Molly Rankin enters you’re instantly whisked away on one of those perfect melodies that’s pure Alvvays. Lyrically it’s a classic tale of break ups, and trying to find a way to move on, as Molly sings “what’s next for you and me, I’ll take suggestions”. There’s gentle musical progression here too; with a touch of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart in the chorus, and a bombastic guitar solo is a welcome addition. Alvvays stole many hearts with one of the decade’s most memorable debuts, sure they’ve kept us waiting, but if all of Antisocialites is this good, get ready to fall for Alvvays all over again.
Antisocialites is out September 8th via Transgressive Records. Click HERE for more information on Alvvays, including tour dates.
Header photo by Arden Wray – http://www.ardenwray.com/