Saturday, September 23, 2017

Food Court - Good Luck

We were out and about today, as is typical for a sunny Saturday in September.  We didn't get to the mall, but we did visit a Food Court, and look what we found!  We found Good Luck, Food Court's 11-song debut LP.  And if you like garage rock and fuzz pop, the good luck is yours as well.  Take a test drive below, and then load up at Food Court's Bandcamp for good party vibes for the remainder of the weekend.

Food Court are Cristian Campano (vocals/guitar), Lewis McKeown (bass/vocals), Dan De Santis (guitar), and Nic Puertolas (drums).  Good Luck is available now.  See the Bandcamp link for details.








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Friday, September 22, 2017

The Salient Braves - Delusions of Grandeur

Songwriter and listener alike are focused on the human condition.  Life is all about us, after all.  But that doesn't mean every songwriter can articulate the human condition in a way that is both entertaining and relatable.  And our advice is this -- when you find a songwriter like that, you keep him close.  We've been looking for our listeners, and we've found Matt Bailey.  Bailey is insightful, acerbic, and witty.  He takes a clear-eyed look at life, points at the scabs and scars while shedding a few tears or howling at the injustice, then invites us all to laugh.  And he isn't poking fun at the nameless unfortunates; these are first person confessionals set to music with no hint of shame or self-pity.  The result is nothing less than the timeless dance of poetic storytelling and melody.

And that brings us to Delusions of Grandeur, the delightfully named debut LP from Bailey's The Salient Braves.  A Barnsley-based band consisting of Bailey, Johny Nocash and Neil Ritchie, with some backing vocals by Dani, they provide the perfect support for Bailey's stories.  We could go on at great length about the song quality, but you can stream the album for yourself, and read the lyrics on the Bandcamp page.  However, just to give you a flavor, consider the brilliant opening lines, such as the following from album opener "Somewhere Sordid":
Why don't you tell me another lie 
like the one you did last night? 
you know I bought it 
and do you know that contagious disease 
you brought back from your visit to Greece? 
I think I've caught it 
You saw me standing there 
running my fingers through my hair 
a poseur without a care venue? 
Somewhere sordid 
Or take the complaint of the miscreant protagonist of "Guilty Until Proved Innocent":
Well I was doing nothing wrong I was.... 
just hanging around there for too long 
until the boys in blue came along oh no! 
the arm of the law was strong 
threw me into a cell and then proceeded 
to throw the book at me as well 
my mother said I'd never learn 
and now the wheels of justice slowly turn 
The legal system's crooked and all the coppers are bent 
so I am presumed guilty until proven innocent 
And you must try "They Must Have Seen Me Coming", which begins with 'Have you ever seen a grown man cry?'

Actually, you must try them all.  This is one of our favorite indie pop albums of the year, packed with terrific melodies and sincere performances.  You don't acquire music like Delusions of Grandeur because it is on top of the pop charts or because it reflects current styles.  You acquire music like Delusions of Grandeur because it is a sincere package of humanity, styled with poignancy and humor, that will give you satisfaction now and for years to come.  The album is out now via Broken Down Records.  See the Bandcamp link for details and a highly recommended stream of the album.








Live performance of "Bankok":




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Tropical Fuck Storm - Chameleon Paint b/w Mansion Family

In light of the havoc visited on North America by weather systems lately, the word "storm" probably invokes a cringe.  But today we're going to tell you about a storm you will like, a Tropical Fuck Storm.  A band from Melbourne, it was founded by Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin of The Drones, joined by Lauren Hammel of High Tension and Erica Dunn of Harmony and Palm Springs.  North Americans can get to know them over the next month as they play a baker's dozen of shows in the US and Canada (more details at the bottom of this post).  But the whole world can get to know them right now, because today sees the release of their debut single, Chameleon Paint / Mansion Family.  The first track is an intense commentary on the state of the world today that also manages to be an exciting slice of rock.  It is a combination of art, passion and politics that suggests that Tropical Fuck Storm already has hit a rare level.  The B-side is a cover of a song by fellow Melbourne band The Nation Blue.

The single is the first of a series of 7" releases planned by the band.  Each single will feature an original song by the band and a cover song.  The release are a joint project of Mistletone Records and Liddiard's TFS Records.








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North American Tour Dates and Locations:

With Band of Horses
Sep 26  Soul Kitchen, Mobile, AL  
Sep 27  Varsity Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA  
Sep 29  The Lyric, Oxford, MS  
Oct 1  George's Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, AR  
Oct 3  Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK 
Oct 4  Metroplex Live, Little Rock, AR  
With King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Oct 5  Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO  
Oct 6  Metro Music Hall, Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 7  Neurolux, Boise, ID
Oct 8  Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR
Oct 9  Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
Oct 10 Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
Oct 12  The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA

The Persian Leaps - Bicycle Face EP

Around here we appreciate a band that is both good, and knows what they are good at.  The Persian Leaps are such a band.  The trio's specialty on the music side is refinement of the power pop and guitar pop of Teenage Fanclub, Guided By Voices, The Posies, and The Smiths.  Think powerful guitars with plenty of jangle and buzz, and arrangements with hooks thoughtfully packed in like the chocolate chips in your favorite overloaded gourmet cookies.  The band's specialty on the production side is the EP - - concise presentations of song sets that give maximum pleasure and end just a bit too quickly, causing an nearly involuntary press of the "replay" button.

It is fall, and fall brings us the band's annual EP release, this time the five-song Bicycle Face EP.  Interestingly, the name of the EP is taken from an fake 19th century medical condition invented to scare women from cycling.  Appropriately, the cover art presents a woman in 19th century dress standing next to a bike and wearing a 'don't mess with me' face.  And while the titular condition may be fake, the songs are real and vital.  The Persian Leaps are a band that understands momentum, and they explode out of the box and maintain the tension and energy through the final note.  Perhaps that is one of the things that makes the EP the perfect vehicle for their creations -- an LP may be too exhausting for the more fragile listeners.  In our view, this EP is The Persian Leaps' best work so far.  Since there are rumors that this might be the final record from the band, we strongly suggest you experience it.

The Persian Leaps is Drew Frosberg (vocals/guitar), Adam Brunner (bass/vocals), and Michael McCloskey (drums/vocals).  Bicycle Face EP is out today via Frosberg's Land Ski Records.  See the Bandcamp link below for streaming and purchase options.  By the way, lyrics are included on the Bandcamp page, which we appreciate greatly.






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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tidal Rave - Tidal Rave EP

If you like your guitar pop dark, muscular and melodic, you probably like a lot of guitar pop from New Zealand.  And specifically, you probably will like the music of Tidal Rave.  A five-piece from Wellington, the band has a little EP to display their talents.   A solid rhythm section anchors three vocalists wielding guitars very effectively.  We think you will like it.

Tidal Rave are Emmie Ellis (vocals/guitar), Esther Tempest (vocals/guitar), Kristen Paterson (vocals/guitar), Frank Eggleton (bass), and Charlie Camp (drums), which includes members of Fantails, Sweaty Betty, Kittenbank and Echo Beach.  Tidal Rave EP was recorded at the venerable, and allegedly haunted, Chick's Hotel in Dunedin, New Zealand.





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Terry Malts / Kids On A Crime Spree - Our Love


Life is stressful enough without having to make choices all the time.  Jenn and Stew at Emotional Response Records understand, and want nothing more than for you to live a happy, stress-free life.  So they aren't going to force you to choose between buys some music from Terry Malts or music from Kids On A Crime Spree.  Instead, they are offering Our Love, a four track split release with two songs from each band.  This is a dose of fuzz pop you won't want to miss.  Music purchase without stress?  Consider us your "safe space" for the day.





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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Clientele - Music For The Age Of Miracles


Seven years away from their last release of new material, and after dropping a greatest hits compilation, The Clientele has treated us to another album.  And in our view, Music for The Age Of Miracles ranks up with the band's best work.  Combining the pastoral vibe of psychedelic pop and the wistful vocals of the new romantics with swirling emotional currents and chamber pop arrangements, the album is a like a delightful set of nesting boxes.  Each time you listen is a fresh chance for discovery and a shift in perspective.  Unsurprisingly lush and layered, the songs invoke hazy daydreams and autumnal walks in the forest.  While the compositions are tightly constructed, they manage to give the impression of space and light, as if the players spontaneously chose what to do next.  Charming, beautiful and satisfying, this is not an album for indie pop fans to miss.  A few of the tracks are below, but you'll want to stream the entire record, which you can do at NPR First Listen (link).  You will discover that additional highlights include both the opening and closing songs.

The Clientele are Alasdair McLean, James Hornsey and Mark Keen, with Anthony Harmer joining for this album.  Music for The Age of Miracles is out Friday, September 22 via Merge Records.








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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Green Doesn't Look Good On You" by Lord Willing

This is a public service announcement from Justin, aka Lord Willing, our friend in Los Angeles.  He wants you to know that "Green Doesn't Look Good On You".  And because you may be devastated by that news, and he doesn't want you to be sad, he has recorded this bluesy, soulful musical message to make it all more bearable.

And because good style advice can be hard to find, you may want to download this Lord Willing track from your favorite digital source.



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"Bad Boys" by Paddy Hanna

We haven't featured Ireland's Paddy Hanna here for a while, but his new single "Bad Boys" is a very welcome return.  Smart, slick, and oh so satisfying.  Enjoy it, and make note that 2018 brings his next album via Strange Brew Records.  Paddy will be touring in Ireland this fall.





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Monday, September 18, 2017

Floating Action - Is It Exquisite?


You likely have heard Seth Kauffman before, even if you weren't aware of him.  Perhaps it was with Jim James, or Dan Auerbach, or Angel Olsen.  And if you pay attention to music, you know that good musicians attract and choose to work with other good musicians.  So you might be tempted to think that Kauffman is good at this music thing even before you hear his solo work.  You would be correct, but of course in a world of 'fake news', you want proof.

And your proof is right here, under the title Is It Exquisite?.  Written, played, sung and recorded by Kauffman under the name Floating Action, the album is a veritable celebration of pop music.  The set includes southern soul, a bit of funk, vintage rock, some sunny psychedelic pop and even some dub effects.  Kauffman doesn't recognize traditional boundaries, but his has superb instincts and proves himself to be a top-quality musical brewmaster.  Everything he throws into the hopper on this album works, and works with style.  It is a truly rewarding listen.

Is it Exquisite?  is available via several labels, including PIAPTK and OK Records.  The only remaining question to answer is whether the record is exquisite.  Why yes, yes it is exquisite.





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Siobhan Wilson - There Are No Saints

OK, so maybe there are no saints.  But Siobhan Wilson sounds like an angel on There Are No Saints, and if we have an angel, maybe we can do without the saints.  On this album, her second, offers moments of beauty with contrasting storm clouds and heartbreak.  Wilson's clear vocals are presented in a variety of settings, from spare folk arrangements to piano ballads to J&MC fuzz and distortion.  And while the listener could be forgiven being seduced by the aural delights to the exclusion of all else, it is a mistake to ignore the lyrics.  This is heart-on-the-sleeve stuff with self-awareness and a refreshing lack of self-pity.  Residing in Glasgow, Wilson also has spent considerable time in Paris, and sings in French on two track, including the lovely "Paris Est Blanche" below.

There Are No Saints is an album of charm, passion and craft, and it will become your late night favorite before retiring with a smile on your face.  It is out now via Song By Toad Records.  See the Bandcamp link below.









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