New EP: Tio Nacho’s House || Here’s To You

Peruvian-American band Tio Nacho’s House – cousins ​​Ricky (guitar, vocals) and Roberto Hoyos (vocals) and Nick Bolaño (bass) – recorded their debut EP Here’s To You in a pillow warehouse, but what you hear are the vibes of a exuberant Peruvian house party. The Seattle-based musicians play soulful, funky rock songs, which they interrupt here with interludes of overlapping talking, bottles clinking and a voice guiding you forward. This mini album gives you a first person perspective of someone finding new people, navigating modern relationships, encountering heartbreak, commenting on the state of the world, and finally finding new love. You don’t often hear such funky rhythms in combination with searing electric guitars and layered harmonies anymore, but thanks to this fine release I realize how much I’ve missed that.

Here’s To You is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Bull Street Garage || Bull Street Garage

Bull Street Garage aka the Best Band Below Blossom are a jam rock band from Columbia, South Carolina. The five-piece’s self-titled debut album features a cool mix of powerful rock, danceable funk and relaxed reggae vibes, with ripping guitar solos and sandpaper vocals. Parker Lubin (bass, vocals), Josh Blibaum (guitar, keys, vocals), Joe DiGregorio (guitar, vocals), Doug Neubauer (guitar, vocals), and Jack Barrett (drums) have managed to produce a varied and intense LP, with eight well-structured songs that probably come into their own even better live (e.g., this would be a good support act for The Record Company). These guys are just getting started, but worth keeping an eye on.

Bull Street Garage is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Clever Hopes || Artefact

Please meet Canadian indie folk band Clever Hopes: Andrew Shaver (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Eva Foote (acoustic guitar, vocals), with help from Matthew Barber (organ (and production)), Noah Reid (wurlizter piano), Joe Grass (pedal steel,  guitars), Justin Rutledge (guitars), Steve Zsirai (bass, upright bass), Marshall Bureau (drums), and Kev Foran (brass). They’ve just released their debut album Artefact, with music as beautiful as Joel Gregorio’s cover art (the first addition to our Favorite Album Covers Gallery this year). The LP consists of ten Americana songs, varying in tempo, with the quiet tracks being the most impressive because the alternating vocals show how pure they are. Anyway, this is a pleasant introduction, isn’t it? RIYL: The Swell Season, Grant-Lee Phillips, Allison Russell.

Artefact is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Fast Eddy || Take A Look

Obviously this isn’t about German Gabba Mafia DJ Fast Eddy, nor about American house producer Fast Eddy, not even about the boxer, the cyclocross rider, or the musician with this nickname. No, this is about Denver rock ‘n’ roll band Fast Eddy (allegedly named after a drug dealer of that name). Their new full-length album Take A Look, produced by Tuk Smith, is out now on vinyl LP through Spaghetty Town Records. It’s a good-natured monster that barks but doesn’t bite, featuring ten tracks with riffs, handclaps, screams, and sing-along choruses as were common in the 70’s. The whoo-hoos in the opening song are an indication of what awaits you: half an hour of fun, during which it will be hard not to shake what you’ve got. This is the one and only Fast Eddy you want to see and hear at your party.

Add to wantlist: Dragstrip Riot Records (Europe) ||  Spaghetty Town Records (US)

New album: The Krontjong Devils || Music From The Stars

Now here’s another fun release from Dutch garage rock city Groningen, another great Arjan Spies production. Here’s more proof that you can improve decayed pop melodies by playing them in the right style. Here’s Music From The Stars (subtitle: A Journey Through Space And Time Volume 1), the new (fifth) full-length album by The Krontjong Devils. For over 30 years, these guys have been playing instrumental surf music, their so-called Oetsound, influenced by The Tielman Brothers and Dick Dale. The stars in the album title are pop stars from bygone times – Blondie, Jean Michel Jarre, A-Ha, Kim Wilde, Donna Summer, The Specials, Nova, Julio Iglesias, and Vangelis – of which ten big 70’s/80’s hits are covered here. This is a successful trip with good choices. Fortunately, the space is big enough for a sequel.

Music From The Stars is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Topsy-Turvy Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Soundflat

New album: The Monofones || Loud & Lousy

OK, let’s play some good old rock ‘n’ roll with a punk attitude. Swiss garage rock trio The Monofones are back with their sixth full-length album, with the revealing title Loud & Lousy. It sounds like a thunderstorm is approaching, but when there’s a cheerful whistle after 15 seconds, you get the feeling you don’t really have to worry. Yet the threat lingers for 15 songs, gets even more powerful – over 35 minutes with lightning guitars and thunderous drums. The screaming female vocals easily rise above the musical violence, to assure you in confident lyrics that you don’t have to make any illusions that you won’t be hit. Only in the closing song does the storm settle, and you can breathe a sigh of relief, with your hair messy and in amazement at what you’ve just undergone.

Loud & Lousy is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Little Rebel Records. RIYL: Guano Apes, The Distillers, The Jackets.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Little Rebel

New album: Gabriella Cohen || Blue No More

Australian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist (and actress) Gabriella Cohen has released her third full-length album, Blue No More. It’s  poppier than the music we usually share here, but it has so many appealing elements that I don’t want to withhold it from you. You’ll hear pinches of country, folk, blues, and gospel, but also influences from indie pop, 60’s girl groups, and even glam rock. The 10 songs may be genre-transcending, but are always soulful, warm and laidback. Side A is energetic and contains the hits, with earworm I Just Got So High as the greatest test of aptitude, on side B the tempo is reduced with dreamy, cinematic ballads in which synths and soundscapes appear. If you want some variety from the riffing guitars we’ll be writing about for the rest of the week, you should check this out.

Blue No More is out now digitally and on vinyl LP. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

New album: Artsick || Fingers Crossed

If you press the play button below, you’ll hear an indie rock band that clearly intends to deliver a convincing LP. Enthusiasm, fun and C86 influences radiate from the 11 short but powerful songs. We’re talking about Fingers Crossed, the debut full-length album with which Artsick follows up their 7″ single Going Down / No Clue (2018). We already knew the three band members from other admired projects – Christina Riley of Burnt Palms on guitar, Mario Hernandez of Kids On A Crime Spree* and Ciao Bella on drums, and Donna McKean of Lunchbox and Hard Left on bass – so we could expect some fine music, but their mutual chemistry creates a result that is more than the sum of its parts (apparently this is a successful remedy for their “artsickness”, which was the reason to do something else). “Satisfaction, where are you?” is the question in opening track Restless. The answer lies in this timeless, energetic record. RIYL: Talulah Gosh, Jeanines, Veronica Falls.

Fingers Crossed is out now digitally, on cassette, CD and vinyl LP through the always reliable Slumberland Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Slumberland

*Kids On A Crime Spree also released a new album this week, more on that in the coming days.

New album: The Kernal || Listen to the Blood

Tennessee native Joe Garner inherited the love for country music and a red polyester suit from his father Charlie, who played bass on the weekly concert broadcast Grand Ole Opry for 30 years. That’s how he started The Kernal, after the death of Joe’s father: “I thought, I’m going to put this old suit on and I’m going to be my own version of some of these country guys.” His new LP Listen to the Blood is the last of an album trilogy (the inherited red suit graces all record covers), which came about during a ten-year journey in which Joe wanted to prove himself as a musician, at the same time trying to tie together loose ends of the family history. The sound of the 9 new songs is fortunately not as dark as the somewhat disturbing and misleading cover photo and album title suggest. No, this is warm and uplifting contemporary Americana which is easy to enjoy. I’m curious what Joe will do now that he has dealt with the negative aspects of the past, because this project leaves you wanting more.

Listen to the Blood is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Single Lock Records

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || The Kernal

New single: Nile Marr || How We Drift

At the end of 2020, Nile Marr released his debut album Are You Happy Now?, on his own label Oldham Street Records. Now the UK singer/songwriter/guitarist – his first name is a tribute to Chic’s Nile Rodgers, his last name was passed on by his father Johnny (then The Smiths, now solo) – is back with two new songs, in my humble opinion the best he has recorded to date. A-side How We Drift is a powerful, up-tempo track with some great hooks, but the quieter Only Time Can Break Your Heart on the B-side is the real hit here – one you won’t get out of your head after one listen. Accessible indie pop/rock that every self-respecting radio station should add to its playlist right away.

“I’ve been keeping up with the Joneses // Turned out they’ve got a great family band // And they know all of the big hits // The songs about love that only you understand”

How We Drift  is out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Park The Van Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

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