Friday, February 16, 2018

Lowtide - Southern Mind

Dreamy shoegaze, or gazey dreampop?  You can ponder that essential question while getting lost in Southern Mind, if you want.  But you know the answer doesn't matter.  The album is a beautiful panorama of swirling, layered dream pop with a steely rhythmic core, and to give it a chance means giving up hours of your life to getting lost in its wonders.  Consider yourself warned -- we have played it 15 times in the last 36 hours.

Southern Mind is the sophomore album by Melbourne's Lowtide.  It's nine tracks have no weakness, just a succession of treats.  Our favorites are the dreamy pop of "Alibi", the sprawling jangle of "A. C", and "Fear", which has a J&MC/Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Howl Sessions) vibe with a dreamy wrapper.  Ask us tomorrow, and we may have a revised list.  The artistry shows in the intricate textures, the careful pacing and floating vocals.  But in the end, the standing ovation is owed to the virtuoso songwriting of remarkable consistency and quality.  It would be a shame if Southern Mind were to fly under the radar -- don't let it out of your sight.

Lowtide are Gabriel Lewis, Lucy Buckeridge, Anton Jakovljevic, although former member Giles Fielke participated in recording this album, as well.  Southern Mind is out today, February 16, via Rice Is Nice and Opposite Number.








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Superchunk - What A Time to Be Alive

This feature of What A Time to Be Alive isn't going to spend time on the long, distinguished resume of Superchunk, or pat the band on the back for still toiling in the musical trenches.  While that would be an easy approach, it would be unfair to the album and its creators.  Because the fact is that What A Time to Be Alive would be a stellar album if it came from a quartet of previously unknown teenagers fighting for their first record deal.  It is everything we want in an indie rock album.  It is loud, fast, passionate, very-well written, and hook-filled.  It also is political and very angry, and we think that just adds more to the "plus" column.  The lyrics are bitter and accusatory, with touches of humor, and are spit out is perfectly bratty, punk style.  And each track is played as if the band thought the venue manager was going to turn off the power any second.  The result is music that is as visceral and immediate as anything you are going to hear.  As a protest album, What A Time to Be Alive is a thematic triumph.  As and indie rock album, is is masterful.

Superchunk are Mac McCaughan, Laura Ballance, Jim Wilbur, and Jon Wurster.  Additional vocal performances are credited to Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog), Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee), and Stephin Meritt.  What A Time to Be Alive is out now via Merge Records.









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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Holy Motors - Slow Sundown

Sad love songs for driving down the desert highway under the stars, surrounded by the reverbed and twanging of three guitars and understated female vocals, that is Slow Sundown.  It oozes longing, desire, and rejection.  It will remind you of the American West, and it may remind you of Mazzy Star or Canada's Cowboy Junkies.  What it probably won't remind you of is Estonia, the eastern Baltic country that happens to be the home of Holy Motors.  The five-piece is atmospheric as hell and a bit sexy, in a post-Valentine's Day rejection sort of way.  We like it and recommend it for your ears.

Slow Sundown is out now via Brooklyn's Wharf Cat Records.








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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"Rio Grande" by Vive La Rose


Charming and compelling, "Rio Grande" is the new single from Vive La Rose, the solo project of Edinburgh's David Luximon-Herbert.  The song is a warmly shaded tale of a couple who yearns to travel, but can't seem to break free of the security of home.  It is taken from the artists upcoming album, For She Who Hangs the Moon.

"Rio Grande" is out now via Gestation Records.





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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"Old Town" by Say Sue Me

Since South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics, we think this is an excellent time to introduce you to Korean surf pop band Say Sue Me.  The song is "Old Town", which is taken from Where We Were Together, their upcoming LP.  The album will be available on April 13 via Damnably, but you can pre-order it now at the Bandcamp link.

Say Sue Me are Choi Sumi (vocals/guitar), Kim Byungkyu (guitar/chorus), Ha Jaeyoung (bass), and Kim Changwon (drums).



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Monday, February 12, 2018

Kadija Kamara - Nothing Left to Lose EP

Yeah, we know how you feel.  It is a new year and you don't want the same old sounds from last year's artists, or the same old sounds from artists imitating last year's artists.  So why not try someone new?  Exactly -- and we are here to help.  Today you can become familiar with London's Kadija Kamara.  Kamara is a vocalist who boldly resists slotting into a narrow genre, and is equally comfortable with soulful blues rock, indie rock,  and sultry pop.  And to prove it, she does it all on her new four-song EP Nothing Left to Lose.  Test her range on the two streams below, and if you like it, go to the Soundcloud link for the full meal.  The EP is out now at your favorite digital outlet.




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