Five Things We Liked This Week – 29/03/18

Further Listening:

5. Sun Sap Are The Sound Of Tomorrow

They’re not big on bios, but thankfully Australia’s Sun Sap make-up for a lack of words with a solid whack of tunes. The six-piece, who hail from a farm on The Coal Coast, have this week released their debut EP, Sometimes. Always. Never. Maybe. proceeded by excellent new single, When Tomorrow Comes.

Sun Sap describe their music as, “surf soul psychedelia”, yet When Tomorrow Comes is a more lush and grounded sound than that might suggest. The vocals have a similarly laid back twangy delivery to Kurt Vile, while the rich, lush, yet understated instrumentation recalls Kevin Morby or even Lou Reed at his most sleepy. Sun-drenched, blissful and beautifully recorded, you might not know it yet, but Sun Sap might just have written your perfect summer soundtrack.

Sometimes. Always. Never. Maybe. is out now. Click HERE for more information on Sun Sap.

4. Tess Roby Demands A Fast Reaction

Tess Roby is based out of the musical hotbed of Montreal, but it was an all-together more surprising location that inspired her upcoming album, Beacons. The Beacon in question is located on Ashurst Hill in Dalton, overlooking the sea, created to warn Lancastrians of a pending invasion by Napoleonic forces. The record was written just after the death of her father, and much of it recalls time spent in Lancashire where her childhood travels regularly took her. The record was co-written with her brother Eliot, and is in many ways a spiritual homage to her father and to the beacon itself.

This week Tess has shared the latest single from the record, Catalyst. The track is a masterclass is subtle growth, from a single, repeated synth line the track slowly swells, as Tess’s Nico-like crystalline vocals enter, and electronics slowly pulse and fizz around her. Much of the album was recorded on drum machines and synthesisers found in her father’s studio, and on Catalyst is feels imbued with his presence, the emotions and memories flowing out through not just the vocal but through every element of the music Tess creates. We may be a few months off the album’s release, yet it is already shaping up to be a truly wonderful tribute to both her father and her favourite eighteenth century watch-tower.

Beacons is out May 4th via Italians Do It Better. Click HERE for more information on Tess Roby.

3. Air Waves Come Out Fighting

What’s in a title? In the case of Air Waves’ upcoming album, Warrior, it reads like a mission statement. The entire album seems to touch on the archetype of the dignified fighter; whether it’s front-woman Nicole Schneit’s fighting the injustice she faces as a queer woman in Trump’s America, or her mother’s physical (and thankfully thus far successful) battle with fallopian cancer, throughout it is a record that refuses to bow in the face of adversity.

The album itself is due out next week on Western Vinyl and this week, Air Waves have shared the album’s title track, featuring a guest appearance from Kevin Morby.  Warrior is a track that comes out swinging, not just lyrically but musically, as energetic drum beats are topped by layers of rich, propulsive guitars and scything, choppy synths. Repetition is key to everything about the song, whether it’s the repeated musical phrases or the way it returns to key phrases throughout, “saddle up on your horse, get ready to go, you’re a warrior, you’re a warrior, you’re a warrior.” Air Waves has suggested she wants this record to, “be heard by people in my queer community, but also by anyone that wants to feels strong, powerful, and included.” Listening to the title track it’s hard not to feel inspired, empowered and ready to face whatever the world throws at us.

Warrior is out April 6th via Western Vinyl. Click HERE for more information on Air Waves.

2. Introducing Jesse Cosmos

The ever prolific Frankie Cosmos, the New York band led by songwriter Greta Kline, are set to release their excellent new album Vessel tomorrow on Sub Pop, and ahead of its release they’ve this week shared the, “ASMR and slime culture” inspired video to new single, Jesse. A delightfully fun world of projections and playdough, in Greta’s own words, “it turned into a marathon of playing with toys and goo.”

The accompanying track is quite possibly our favourite from the eighteen tracks that make up Vessel. Jesse bounces into life on the back of Greta’s distinctive guitar-playing and vocal delivery, and grows courtesy of the presence of her now four strong band. As ever with Frankie Cosmos, it’s the lyrics as much as the music to the fore, as Greta’s idiosyncratic way of looking at the world shines out, here she seems to revel in apathy as she questions what she could, or couldn’t achieve with a little effort as she sings, “if I thought really hard about flying, I could probably do it, I’m just too tired for trying.” Latterly the track seems to slide into a darker, more anxious place where self-doubt creeps from every corner, “I like to be a shadow, in a shadow, more deep when visible, than invisible, oh to be the heart of the scenery, oh to be filled with apathy, oh to be, a little bit scared of me.” At times Frankie Cosmos songs can seem insular places, full of deeply personal, and almost impenetrable thought processes, yet the ones that sink in, the ones that touch a nerve, they’re the kind of songs that make music still the most incredible art form of all.

Vessel is out March 30th via Sub Pop. Click HERE for more information on Frankie Cosmos.

1. Happiness Pays Off For Illuminati Hotties

It’s a confusing world where Frankie Cosmos is a four piece band and Illuminati Hotties is a solo project, but that’s just how it is, alright! Sarah Tudzin, a producer and engineer by day based out of the Los Angeles sprawl, is the woman behind Illuminati Hotties and their upcoming debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies.

This week Illuminati Hotties have shared latest single from Kiss Yr Frenemies, in the shape of Paying Off The Happiness. On a cursory listen the track feels like an upbeat, irreverent slice of sun-drenched pop, however on closer inspection there’s something deeper going on.  The guitars are quietly menacing like the best songs The Strokes ever released, the vocal isn’t quite as peppy or upbeat as it sounds either, as Sarah laments the lot of her generation and sings, “I could probably use a fourth job, I’m stuck with paying it all off.” Anxiety and doubt creep out of the song, yet it doesn’t ever encompass its playful spirit, there’s something cathartically rebellious about the finale as a multitude of voices sing together, “I’m paying it all off.” An anthem for the student loan generation, Paying Off The Happiness might, somewhat ironically, be the track catchy enough to propel Illuminati Hotties towards a successful career in this industry we call music.

Kiss Yr Frenemies is out May 11th on Tiny Engines. Click HERE for more information on Illuminati Hotties.

Header photo by Kristy Benjamin – http://www.kristybenjamin.com

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