Them Are Us Too, the young California duo of Cash Askew and Kennedy Ashlyn Wenning, are getting a lot of well-deserved notice for their style of synth-pop that harkens back to the days of classic 4AD recordings. Their debut LP, Remain, is out now via Dais Records, and the band has premiered a video for the song “Eudaemonia”. Check it out.
Sweden’s Pale Honey will release their self-titled debut full-length album on May 5th via Instant Records. Pale Honey is the Gothenburg duo’s follow up to their well received debut EP Fiction, of which Q Magazine wrote, “fans of PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney will find a lot to love.” One doesn’t have to listen for very long to understand why the young musicians Tuva Lodmark (guitar/vocals) and Nelly Daltrey (drums) are garnering such flattering comparisons.
Pale Honey‘s minimalistic rock is intense and direct, calling to mind the sonic textures of Alvvays and Beach House, or perhaps Electrelane. Aside from work in the studio, many of the sounds on Pale Honey were also recorded in the kitchen of producer Anders Lagerfors, who perfectly captures the group’s shifting intensity and spontaneity. Returning regularly to themes of disheartenment and melancholy, they describe the album as being, lyrically, very state-of-mind. It’s also about empowerment and, simply put, strength. The songs routinely flirt with the polite, before exploding into fits of distortion.
Self-taught musicians, Tuva and Nelly first began playing songs together in their elementary school music room, something they described as a “mischievous” thing to do when sneaking out of class. Undoubtedly there are many less constructive ways to rebel against authority, but the two friends were drawn to music. They bonded over their love of Queens of The Stone Age, and later, their shared discovery of PJ Harvey. Their initial lack of technical virtuosity on their instruments lent itself to a stripped down approach to songwriting. Over the years they have continued to push the boundaries of that sparse aesthetic as their skill as musicians has grown considerably.
Britain’s young new heavy rock heroes Black Moth premiere their wild, loony NSFW video for new single “Looner”.
The clip for “Looner” coincides with the release of a limited edition clear flexi-disc featuring artwork by Black Moth vocalist Harriet Bevan. The flexi is available by mail-order and in very limited quantities on the band’s current UK tour with Amplifier.
Black Moth released their sophomore album Condemned To Hope worldwide in September 2014 via New Heavy Sounds. The album is available to stream HERE. Condemned To Hope was produced by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman drummer Jim Sclavunos, who also helmed the band’s 2013 debut, The Killing Jar.
Following the widespread and critical success of their third album last year, along with a full UK tour, Japanese indie-pop four piece, Taffy return with their brand new EP, ‘Darkle’, out May 4th.
‘Darkle’ spins dreamy, sugar-sweet vocals over 7 tracks, each under-pinned by the classic Taffy formula: psychedelic shoegaze noise-outs and Graham Coxon-esque 90’s guitar riffs.
The EP is a swirl of transcendental melodies, broken up by British pop sensibilities reminiscent of Elastica and The Stone Roses. ‘Suicidal Bunny’ opens the record with reverb-laden garage guitars while ‘Redamancy’ immediately slows tempo with quieter, more anthemic backing, both showcasing contagiously catchy, softly sung vocal hooks.
The collections quality of production starts to shine through with tracks such as ‘Young Tines’ and ‘Remember To Remember’, with quiet-loud, all-encompassing dynamics and spacious recordings that perfectly showcase the excellent musicianship behind Iris’ often otherworldly voice.
‘Dr.K’ brings the listener back to the room with ballsy, punk guitars and a vocal delivery with more swagger and grit than we’ve become used to from Taffy, a welcome break before ‘HBD’ gives us a look at Taffy’s playful side with an outtake-like, whimsical run-through of ‘Happy Birthday’.
Famed 90s psychedelic outfit Brian Jonestown Massacre have stepped in to remix the aforementioned ‘Young Tines’, lending their own touch to close the EP. Tying up the release nicely with some of what Taffy do, and always have done, best: heartfelt pop masterpieces backed with beautiful, fuzz laden guitar soundscapes.
Darkle is out on May 4th on London alternative, shoegaze and post rock label, Club AC30, who have had recent success with bands such as Pinkshinyultrablast, Fever Dream and Exit Calm.
Camera Shy, the musical project of Nick Bassett (Whirr, Nothing) and Alexandra Morte (Night School) have premiered a track off their upcoming new full-length self-titled LP due out on in July via Run For Cover Records. The track, “Your Only One” is a slice of minimalist, swirly dream pop. It’s as if Slowdive and The Sundays met and had a beautiful baby and weaned him or her on the more subtle aspects and aesthetics of 90′s shoegaze and indie pop. The addition of drums this go-around adds a deeper pop sensibility and sway to the music.
Show of hands: who would have predicted that ex-members of Snowing and Punch would form a go-for-the-throat hardcore punk supergroup? That looks like … exactly no one. However, that’s exactly what we’re getting with the recently formed Super Unison (no word on whether the name is borrowed from the Drive Like Jehu song), and we’re all the better for it.
Don’t put your tissues away and finally stop yourself from crying over the dissolution of Snowing and vocalist (and now Super Unison bassist as well) Meghan O’Neill’s departure from Punch just yet, though. Fast, abrasive, and only vaguely melodic, this is some thrashy post-hardcore that was meant to hurt your feelings. In terms of drawing reference points back to its members’ previous outfits, this is definitely closer to Punch’s socially-conscious aural assault than Snowing’s spirited take on Midwestern emo’s golden era.
What matters most, though, is how much potential this unit has shown with just one song. “Recognize You” comes across more like a mission statement than a simple hardcore jam; personal catharsis set to the beat of purpose-driven portent of greater things to come. While we wait for a the band’s impending debut 7″ EP, stream “Recognize You” below, and be sure to jump on its preview cassette release once its available next month on Conditions Records.
Alt-pop outfit Smashing Satellites have announced the upcoming release of SonicAluzion, which has been slated for June 16th. While the A-side of the album was released in September, the upcoming release of the B-side will complete the record. You can pre-order SonicAluzion here.
In anticipation of the release, the Toronto-based band has released a new single entitled “What It’s All About”, which you can stream below.
UK’s Milk Teeth, a band that we’ve been hooked on for quite some time now, have joined up with Hopeless Records. The band will see a reissue of their Sad Sack EP (initially released by Venn Records and reviewed by us here) in June 9th. Hopefully this will mean a U.S. tour and new material down the road.
In the meantime, pre-order the reissued EP here. And watch a video for the song “Melon Blade” off the EP.
Hailing from the windy city are and formed in 2011, Ghost of a Dead Hummingbird is a surprising band that although categorized as playing a style close to post-hardcore and even screamo, they still carve their own niche. The four piece push forth a loud and urgent sound that is akin to Thursday’s more angst-ridden noise and yet it still throws the listener for a loop with unusual instrumentation and rhythms that continually make you wonder what you’re exactly listening to. At each turn of every song, there is something new to be found and to get hooked on.
Ghost of a Dead Hummingbird is a band that has an inherent sense of melody and creating a textured ambience with their music. The influences are probably too many to list, but they’d managed to wear them on their sleeve, along with their heart. The band will see their full-length debut cassette via Butterfly Puke Records (who have recently released Awe Howler‘s Living With Spiders LP and cassette) on April 21st.
Not only can you listen to an exclusive stream of the album now, but we also managed to get some time with bassist and vocalist Matthew Meifert to answer a few questions:
The band’s sound is so unique and very much unlike what you’d typically hear coming from the Chicago area music scene, so who would y’all say are some of your influences and why?
We all listen to different music, but share many interests as well. For writing, we don’t typically take any one band or album as starting points of where we want to go. However, I have been inspired by certain parts or moods of songs I listen to; we tend to try to recreate the atmosphere in our own way.
Bands in our own area support each other every day and are providing the drive to make some form of art.
If we’re driving around in our van listening to something, it’ll probably be Tears for Fears’ Head Over Heels on repeat.
Gives us a brief history of the band since your forming in 2011.
We changed our name last year. The band used to have a different direction and sound that we pretty much completely remodeled after making the line up and name change. All of us have been involved with music since at least the beginning of high school; now years later, we are feeling much more confident in what we are putting out together and planning. I’ve been in a band with Jacob [guitars] since middle school, actually. It helps to know the people you have a vision with so well.
How has the local scene and even playing to audiences anywhere reacted and embraced you thus far? Any good show stories?
As I mentioned before, we have so many friends in other bands around the Chicago area that support us and each other. We’re all becoming connected and making more friends, leading to a stronger music scene and really great collaborations between artists of all kinds. Our shows have been very humbling; everyone has kind words for us and what we are now releasing. One really good show memory thus far was at The Subterranean in Chicago. It was us, Still Frames, I Made You Myself, and Lord Snow (only Lord Snow had played there before). Every band helped to promote it and bring people to make it a successful show. It certainly made a difference and it was fun to have our first show there with people we knew. I will never forget the friends and bands here who we constantly hang out with.
What are some of the future goals for the band?
Currently, we are booking a two-week tour for this June heading east to New York City and south to Florida before heading back up. This will be our first longer tour and we’re all looking forward to it. More recently, our full length is finally going to be heard by those who have been waiting months and months to see what we ran our mouths about for so long. I’m relieved to have this out and eager to hear any feedback and criticisms.
What draws the inspiration for not only the music itself but also the lyrics and the overall handling of their delivery?
When writing Sin forma, I found myself focusing on conversations I’ve had with people and situations that have arisen with them. We have never really been a band with a message; I prefer to tell honest stories. That’s what I want this LP to be, a collection of mildly-cohesive stories that people can relate to and imagine experiencing what is happening. I like to be as straightforward as possible with those I meet, I feel it builds a much needed trust between humans that is quickly dissipating by trying not to hurt feelings or be alienated for an opinion. We want music without a filter and strive to deliver it.
Sin forma Tracklisting
1. Poor thing
2. If you need a place to stay
3. I’m sorry, I’m all out of money
4. Drive safe
5. He used to be a dying coyote
6. I don’t think tonight’s a good idea
7. Still in Texas?
8. Lover boy (Balbo and State)
9. Mal de muchos…
10. …consuelo de todos
To snag yourself a copy of Ghost of a Dead Hummingbird‘s Sin forma cassette, head on over to Butterfly Puke’s webstore here.
Yes. A new Brand New song. The first in six years. The band is currently touring and have been playing a new song or two during their set. “Mene” is the first proper new material as released by the band just today.
Does this mean a new album very soon? Who knows. Feel free to start all the speculating and conspiracy theories.