5. Girlpuppy Destroys The Competition
Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, Girlpuppy is the musical project of Becca Harvey. It has been just over a year since Becca appeared on these pages, as well as an awful lot of other music sites, following the release of her acclaimed EP, Swan. Since Swan’s release, Becca has been working on the tracks that would become her new album, When I’m Alone, which she recorded with Alex G guitarist Sam Acchione and Slow Pulp’s Henry Stoehr. When I’m Alone will arrive next month, and this week Girlpuppy shared the latest single from it, Destroyer.
The track was written in response to Becca reading the novel Daisy Jones And The Six, in which one of the characters considers kissing a woman outside of his marriage, despite knowing that this one decision could change everything about his life. Becca explains how it triggered a thought in her mind, “I consider this kind of thing “The Destroyer,” the one thing you do that could ruin everything else. It’s a song about me also having that opportunity, but deciding against it”. Atop a racing drum-beat and driving rhythmic guitar, Becca’s lyrics become something of an anxious blur, two figures entwining and parting like the twin universes represented by the consequences of a momentary decision, “I know you’d mind if you could see the side of me that doesn’t need you, anything I do could be the destroyer”. If Swan was self-described, “sad girl indie”, here Becca seems to be stretching into something more nuanced yet no less charming, a world where emotions and actions don’t always align and the grey areas of life are explored in greater detail, and where Becca’s full gamut of emotions can come to the fore.
4. The Welcome Wagon Is California Bound
Based out of Brooklyn, The Welcome Wagon are the husband-and-wife duo of Vito and Monique Aiuto. Back in 2008, the duo released their debut album, Welcome To The Welcome Wagon, which was produced by Sufjan Stevens and released on his Asthmatic Kitty label. Over a decade on from their last album, 2012’s Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, the band announced their return this week, with a new album Esther due in November. Alongside the announcement the band also shared the first taste of the record, in the shape of new single, Isaiah, California.
The seeds of Esther were planted back in 2017, when the Aiuto family took a two-month sabbatical in California. Inspired by the experience, on his return to Brooklyn Vito picked up a guitar, and as he puts it, “something just felt right”. It’s fitting then, that the first song on the record also has a Californian root, the song seems to explore the joy of leaving, and the thrill of heading home, Vito flickering between Italian and English as he finds the joy in the arrow’s arc as it takes him from a beloved destination back to home, “you’re an arrow, sei una gioia, you’re the sun California, siamo amati, a summer home”. Named in honour of Monique’s late-grandmother, the band speak of Esther as a record of homecomings, finding yourself once more via place, art and the people you love. Embrace The Welcome Wagon’s return, it might just be a re-connection worth savouring.
3. Doom Flower Leave The Past Behind Them
Doom Flower are a Chicago-based quartet, consisting of musicians with a vast array of credits across the indie world, with members appearing in the likes of The Eternals, Campdogzz and Joan Of Arc. All of which goes some way to explain their new album’s unlikely creation. Just as they’d finished writing the record, vocalist and guitarist Jess Price had only two days to record before heading out for other commitments, two days in which drummer Areif Sless-Kitain was simply unavailable. Unpeturbed, the band set about sampling and manipulating a breakbeats record in place of drums, warping the speed and mood to fit whatever song they were working on. It might not be the record they planned to make, yet it came to be the moment of happenstance that the band grew to love. The album, Limestone Ritual, will arrive early next year, and this week the band shared the first single from it, Past Tense.
The album’s centre-piece, Past Tense is a real showcase of the process that created Limestone Ritual, the beat is infused with the slow-motion bombast of a trip-hop record, as guitars meander and slide and wavering synths add an almost retro-futuristic feel. The influences are all there, yet piecing them together it like feels a blend distinctly Dead Flower’s own, the cut-and-paste creativity of early Beck sits alongside guitars that wouldn’t sound out of place in the quiet moments of a Fugazi record, while the vocals recall the likes of Boy Scouts or Lomelda. Doom Flower are a reminder that music is a product of history, and history is a product of circumstance, and sometimes the moments that come to define us, well they’re just a weird stroke of luck and a sprinkling of talent rolled into one.
2. Ynys Looks To The Sea For Answers
Ynys is the solo project of Welsh songwriter Dylan Hughes, previously known for his work in the acclaimed psychedelic pop band Race Horses. After releasing a series of sparkling singles, the debut Ynys album is set for release this November on the ever-reliable Libertino Records. Ahead of the release, this week Dylan shared the latest single from the record, Nothing The Sea Doesn’t Know.
Like so much of Ynys’ debut record, Nothing The Sea Doesn’t Know taps into the idea of returning to your roots, in Dylan’s case the seaside stillness of his hometown of Aberystwyth. Discussing the track, Dylan explains how it is about the pros and cons of familiarity, “memories on every corner. Everything feels different but also exactly the same“. While his debut album is littered with references to home, Nothing The Sea Doesn’t Know is perhaps the most luxuriously nostalgic of the lot, Dylan leaning into the grandiose, “T-Rex Style” strings to create a cinematic sound, even if it is infused not with Hollywood glamour, but the grey honesty of a windswept Welsh vista. Ynys music seems to exist almost in a state of flux, attempting to move forward while being pulled back to where it all began, staring at the vast possibilities of the world from the comforting blanket of home, it might not have all the answers, but the view from Ynys’ questioning mind sure looks beautiful to me.
1. Eliza Edens Buries The Competition
It was less than a month back that I last featured Eliza Edens around the release of I Needed You, the first taste of her debut album, We’ll Become Flowers. With the album due in the middle of October, this week the Brooklyn-based folk songwriter shared the second cut from the record, in the shape of new single, Westlawn Cemetery.
The track was written in the depths of the pandemic when Eliza was, “hunkering down at my childhood home with my parents in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts”. There Eliza would go for walks around the streets of her childhood memories, up to the local cemetery to where she went sledding, learned to drive, walked the dog. Thinking of her mother’s declining health, Eliza was struck by a sense of mortality, “the irony of gravestones, and how much time she spent as a professional gardener – tending to the earth and making the world a more beautiful place in the most literal way“. Musically, the track came together as Eliza was playing around in a Nick Drake-inspired tuning, the sound collecting in the swirl, seeming to form out of nothing like a cloud of candy floss, while her regular collaborator Pat brought in a bassy electronic-drum, adding an Iron & Wine-like heartbeat rhythm and a distinctly human weight to the story. Eliza describes the song as being about, “the difficulty of accepting change and death“, and that’s definitely a part of this, yet it also seems infused with life, with memories and with the beauty of existence, even if it’s often far more fleeting than we’d choose.
We’ll Become Flowers is out October 14th. For more information on Eliza Edens visit https://www.eliza-edens.com/.
Header photo is Eliza Edens by Juliet Farmer