Alternative Rock

New album: Yours & Mine || The Shadow You Cast

Radio-friendly songs that feel like a firm and sincere hug

Yours & Mine is a New York City-based band centered around songwriter/singer/guitarist Greg Baldwin, with Kris Hayes on bass and Dan Wintersteen on drums. On their full-length album The Shadow You Cast you will hear twelve radio-friendly songs at the intersection of alternative rock and powerful pop. The appealing lyrics reveal an experienced life with its share of setbacks (“A soul to sink // A drop to drink // It’s not what you think, it’s what you know” – from closing track Gimme Gimme Rock & Roll), the pleasant vocals combine empathy with persuasion, and the effective Rickenbacker guitars sketch an ever-changing scenery that invites the listener to wander around. A fascinating masterclass in melodic content that feels like a firm and sincere hug.

The Shadow You Cast is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Shake Some Action! || Trip to Yesterday

Mod culture still appeals today, if executed so well

Over two years have passed since Shake Some Action! released their well-crafted Wide Awake LP, and now we can enjoy some cool new work. Four power pop songs influenced by the British invasion to be precise, brought together on the Trip to Yesterday EP. A quick look at the revealing title or stylish cover art and you know: we are going way back into Mod culture here. The energetic Rickenbacker guitar riffs and infectiously sung choruses fit in seamlessly, so does the video for standout opening track Rage Into the Daylight, set to footage from John Harris’ 1964 film Where’s the Bus.

The band has now been reduced to a solo project in which Seattle-based musician James Hall is responsible for vocals, guitars, bass and drums, but the sound does not suffer at all. These are four hits.

Trip to Yesterday, performed & produced by James Hall, is out now digitally. Also featuring Corey Knafelz (guitar riff) and David Bos (guitar solo) on the track Can You Feel It.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Gimme 5! Max Blansjaar Shares Five Wordless Wonders

The Oxford-based indie rocker and lyrical whiz kid shares five must-have instrumental records that expand musical horizons

With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share five records THEY love.

We’re excited to announce the revival of Gimme 5, our beloved feature where we invite artists we admire to share five albums they believe should be in your collection.

Kicking off the return of the series is Max Blansjaar, the Amsterdam-born, Oxford-raised talent who recently released his critically acclaimed debut album on Beanie Tapes (buy here). Blansjaar’s eclectic mix of poppy indie rock has  been turning heads everywhere, including ours, and boy, does it deserve the hype. His musical prowess is matched only by his lyrical dexterity.

Here’s the twist: despite being a lyrical ace, Max has thrown us a curveball with five instrumental albums he swears by. These picks are totally new to us and way off the beaten path of what we usually cover here. Big thanks to Max for taking the time to introduce us to these gems. Get ready to expand your musical horizons as you check out his picks below.

Max Blansjaar: “As I write this, I’m in a tour van due west, towards the English county of Cornwall. Do you know how far west Cornwall is? It’s far. I’m a lyrics guy, in terms of how I listen to music and how I write it, but sometimes I’m not in the mood for talking. Instrumental albums are a great way for me to remind myself about what a record can be besides and beyond words — and also they’re a way for me to escape the feeling of being spoken to, which God knows can get tiresome. Here’s five instrumental albums, in no particular order, that I think everybody should have in their collection.”

1. Robbie Lee and Lea Bertucci || Winds Bells Falls
“Lea Bertucci has her hands inside a tape recorder while Robbie Lee runs various instruments through it. They converse and things warble and wobble and it’s intimate and it’s whimsical and it’s a lot of fun. Literally no reason not to enjoy this.”

2. Fortyone || Go Bananas
“Fortyone is an anonymous mashup DJ who became a born-again Christian in 2015 and repents all his work prior to the conversion, which is a shame because Go Bananas is true hedonistic genius. It came out on the consistently excellent Crash Symbols label, and it’s made up entirely of samples from previous Crash Symbols releases. Totally bizarre, disorienting, and completely ridiculous, like a parallel universe made out of slinkies. His more recent albums are also great, notably How Could I Be So Fat?”

3. Ayami Suzuki and Leo Okagawa || while it’s warm
“I came across this album through Bandcamp Daily, they ran a feature on field recordings a while back which included this as well as a bunch of other really good stuff. It’s so unobtrusive but also so captivating at the same time. Reminds me of when you wake up from a really deep sleep and for a second you’ve forgotten where you are.”

4. Moon Mullins || Water Your Flowers
“Moon Mullins is Sean Mullins, who played drums on a lot of my album but also composes for synth. Just the most gorgeous, tasteful arrangements. Pure quietness. Obviously something of the Plantasia about it, but this is for humans as well as for plants. I guess when you water your flowers, you don’t just do it for the flowers’ sake. I can only handle low-maintenance flowers right now.”

5. Hella || Hold Your Horse Is
“A classic! This one really cleans my brain. It’s like Midwest emo on speed, and so angsty it won’t even sing. I find that calm music doesn’t always help me when I need to relax. Sometimes you get the kind of tension where you just need to be clattered loose. Hella is my violent chiropractor.”

New EP: The RSA’s || Bottle Shop

A concept album about a liquor store? A concept album about a liquor store!

A concept album about working in a liquor store may not be an appetizing idea on paper, but it sounds very well in practice, literally and figuratively. The Melbourne-based retail staff in action here – Michael Serra, Cameron Slade, Tobias Bottrall and Sash MacGowan – call themselves The RSA’s and on their debut EP Bottle Shop they bring together seven rock solid songs in which they answer frequently asked questions such as “are you still open?” or “do you have anything out the back?” in a brilliant way. Hard rocking that is, straightforward and noisy, with heavy guitar riffs and bold lyrics. This is an original and lively release, born from real experiences and influenced by 90s/2000s grunge, (post-)punk, new wave and garage rock. Enjoy responsibly.

Bottle Shop, engineered & mixed by Declan White, is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Ian St George || Emergency Index

Crunchy guitars and catchy hooks define new album by Thee Arcadians and Gland Pageant member

Well, here’s another power pop/alt-pop record to get excited about: Emergency Index is the debut album from Ian St George, known for his work with Thee Arcadians and Gland Pageant, as well as his label Dead Bell Records. St George, who sings and plays over a handful of instruments on the record (including piano and sax), is joined by Jeff Morkeski, James Walsh, Aaron Noble, and Adam Langelotti.

Together, they’ve crafted an alt-pop gem in The Lemonheads and Superchunk vein. The band’s crunchy sound and strummy, jangly guitar work shows a deep understanding of what makes this genre tick. College radio-ready hits abound, including the catchy rocker Kimberley (fans of The Speedways should take note) and power pop gems Everything Goes Wrong (FFO: The Whiffs) and No One Really Knows (RIYL: The Reflectors) – instant earworms from the first play. But Ian St George offers more variety than you might expect based on this trio of tracks. Definitely worth diving into!

Emergency Index is out now on LP on Dead Bell Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of June 2024

New versions for classic tracks from The Remains, Green Day, Joy Division, Talking Heads, and more

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In June, over fifty successful covers floated through the space of Add To Wantlist HQ (we have already grabbed Tom Petty’s You Don’t Know How It Feels by Wyldlife, The Beach Boys’ Shut Down by Brad Marino, The Motels’ Total Control by The Hollywood Stars, King Of The Surf (The Trashmen) by The Babalooneys, and traditional Bella Ciao by Jason McNiff), of which we would like to forward the next ten to you as well.

Don’t Look Back || Cover: The Peawees || Original: The Remains
Italian punk rock band The Peawees have just released a wantlist-worthy new 45 on Folc Records. A-side Banana Tree is the lead track from their upcoming album One Ride (out September 6 on Wild Honey Records), but here we share the flipside: an infectious cover of The Remains’ 1966 contribution to the garage rock canon – amazing how they go off the rails after a minute.

Sassafras Roots || Cover: Pete Chadwick || Original: Green Day
Green Day’s 1994 masterpiece Dookie made a huge impression on countless kids. Ucluelet-based handyman Pete Chadwick is one of them. He doesn’t get around to writing original songs at the moment, but his long-cherished wish to cover one of his favorite records of all time has come true. The fourteen tracks of Dookie Unplugged In Ukee are lo-fi and acoustic, but it works.

Your Love || Cover: Melonball || Original The Outfield
Germany’s skate punk five-piece Melonball have released a third vinyl pressing of last year’s debut LP Breathe (half pink/half black vinyl via Thousand Island Records and Lockjaw Records), a good opportunity to record a nice new music video for their cover of The Outfield’s 1986 single Your Love, which closes the album.

The Low Road || Cover: Angry Zeta || Original: Mac Curtis
Bluegrass punk from Buenos Aires in Argentina? Yep, just listen to the exciting Chills And Thrills LP by Angry Zeta, out on Voodoo Rhythm Records. Among the thirteen tracks there are two covers, including this new version of a 1956 song by American rockabilly/country singer Mac Curtis, written by Jim Shell and Joe Price.

Sick of Myself || Cover: Trace Mountains || Original: Matthew Sweet
Sick Of Myself was the gritty opening track of Matthew Sweet’s 1995 album 100% Fun, with lyrics that still resonate: “I’m sick of myself when I look at you // Something is beautiful and true // In a world that’s ugly and a lie // It’s hard to even want to try.” It is as easy to understand why New York-based indie folk band Trace Mountains recorded it (out digitally via Lame-O Records), as it is to be moved by their sensitive version.

Love Will Tear Us Apart || Cover: Los Bluffs || Original: Joy Division
Give Me Time, that’s the title of the new 7″ from Spanish garage punk quartet Los Bluffs on Ghost Higway Recordings, KOTJ Records and SNAP!! Records. It contains three tracks with heavy guitars and potent vocals, including a mean but emotional cover of Joy Division’s 1980 hit.

Que Sera Sera || Cover: Pixies || Original: Doris Day
Legendary alternative rock band Pixies return with new two-track 7″ You’re So Impatient (self-released), in their own words a macabre and cinematic picture of American pop culture. In addition to the title track we get a dark, folky take on the much-covered 50s standard Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) – surprising and compelling.

Slippery People || Cover: Say She She || Original: Talking Heads
New wave/post-punk band Talking Heads are back in the spotlight since their fabulous Stop Making Sense concert film has been restored in 4K to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Slippery People, one of the highlights of that performance, becomes even more groovy in the hands of New York-based discodelic girl group Say She She, recorded live in the BBC Maida Vale Studios (out digitally via Karma Chief/Colemine Records).

Crimson & Clover || Cover: The Shacks || Original: Tommy James and the Shondells
A selection of unreleased work from New York City’s cinematic soul duo The Shacks, one of the first bands signed to Big Crown Records, finally sees the light of day on Big Crown Vaults Vol. 2. It concerns no fewer than twelve tunes, including a cover that sounds even more sultry than the original version of 60s hit Crimson & Clover.

You’ve Got To Earn It || Cover: Fleur De Lys || Original: The Temptations
To conclude, a cover that can’t really be called new, but for which we have a good reason to share it anyway. Acid Jazz launches a special series of Countdown 7” singles that look back at the original mod classics of the 60s (Countdown Records was the mid-80s mod label founded by Eddie Piller, Maxine Conroy and Terry Rawlings). The first release contains covers of Pete Townshend’s Circles and The Temptations’ You’ve Got To Earn It, by British mid-60s rock band Les Fleur De Lys. The B-side is from a lost session from 1966, never before been available on 7” vinyl, but from August 16th it will.

Also worth mentioning:
Holding Out For A Hero (Bonnie Tyler) by The Dollyrots
Invisible People (The Slickee Boys) by The Dwarves
(Townes Van Zandt) by Dead Horse One
Save It For Later (The English Beat) by Eddie Vedder
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes) by Aloe Blacc
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes) by Talia Keys
Something in the Way (Nirvana) by Painted Vein
Sub – Mission (Sex Pistols) by Low Hums
Sugar Man (Sixto Rodriguez) by Pit Samprass
TNT (AC/DC) by Hellsongs
When The Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin) by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Check out our Dusted playlist on Spotify for more cool cover songs.

New album: Brother Of Monday || Humdinger

Scrappy Lo-Fi Sounds With Surprising Depth

Brother Of Monday (Peter Bothum from Newark, Delaware) first caught our attention last year when Wilbur & Moore Records, the Australian/Dutch haven for home-recorders, re-released the outfit’s self-titled album on CD. Its follow-up Humdinger drops today, offering twelve lo-fi alt rock tracks that’ll make you browse for your own 4-track recording device.

This is a record that has DIY written all over it. From the artwork – a refreshing departure from the glossy A.I. rendered album art we increasingly encounter on our discovery trips around the web, to the pots-and-pans percussion and lo-fi production, it’s all part of Brother Of Monday’s charm. It creates the perfect vessel for Bothum’s scrappy yet surprisingly delicate songs.

While Brother Of Monday might have a biblical ring to it, we’ve got a strong feeling that Peter Bothum instead bows to the altar of Jeff Mangum, Daniel Johnston, and Bob Pollard. Pressed for time? Check out Kitteridge Farm and Sixto to get a taste of Brother Of Monday’s range. The former is a pop gem disguised as a demo track from your favorite ’90s alternative band; the latter is a haunting piano-driven ballad.

Humdinger is out now on Tape at Wilbur & Moore, who are on a roll lately – remember that Parent Teacher record that dropped earlier this month?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: The Drolls & Gentlemen Rogues || Split EP

Two New Tracks And Two Covers From Two ATW Faves

A split single featuring not one but two ATW favorites? Sign me up! I’m talking about a Snappy Little Numbers love connection between The Drolls and Gentlemen Rogues.

Let’s start with Gentlemen Rogues, who contribute Young Til’ We Die. Contrary to what the title might suggest, this isn’t a 7 Seconds cover but a prototypical Gentlemen Rogues song. Few current bands play this kind of powerful and rockin’ alt-pop as well as this Austin outfit and this is the latest proof – make sure to check out their recent full-length if you haven’t already. Their second track is in fact a cover, transforming The Rolling Stones’ Connection into something unmistakably their own, complete with an intro and outro that subtly yet deliberately nods to the Misfits.

On the flipside, we find The Drolls’ contributions. Though still a relatively new band, The Drolls (Seattle) bring veteran experience to the table – being two parts Sicko, one part Chinchilla, both ’90s cult favorites. This marks their third release in two years (read our thoughts on the previous releases elsewhere on the site), and they continue to impress. Their original tune Burned Out is a vibrant, colorful indie pop-punk gem, while their take on The Housemartins’ Happy Hour is bouncy and sparkling.

Two new songs by two cool bands plus two great covers? That’s one hell of a deal.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || SLN

New album: Pontiac Flare || The Blueprint

Impressive Solo Outing by Nathan Tucker (Strange Ranger, Cool Original, First Rodeo)

Imagine dropping a power pop masterpiece online with zero fanfare. Confident move or total madness? Either way, Philadelphia’s Pontiac Flare has done just that with their debut album The Blueprint – and oh my, it’s impressive. This solo project from Nathan Tucker (of Strange RangerCool Original, and First Rodeo fame) arrives seemingly out of nowhere. Tucker handles nearly all the instruments, with his buddy Tyler Bussey lending his piano skills on the opening track.

Tucker serves up a delicious brand of power pop and indie rock with nods to Alex Chilton, Evan Dando, Matthew Caws and Bob Mould, plus a dash of alt-country for good measure. The Blueprint manages to sound both timeless and modern – it could easily pass for a lost ’70s gem or a ’90s alt-pop classic, yet it fits perfectly alongside contemporary acts like 2nd Grade, Hurry, and Tony Molina. The songwriting here is top-notch, with Tucker showcasing a talent for putting the irony and bittersweetness of our daily struggles into lyrics that hit you hard.

It’s mind-boggling how an album this great can fly under the radar, but let’s change that, shall we? Tucker plans on taking Pontiac Flare on the road. His live band includes Melissa Brain from Golden Apples, Ben Polito from Big Slip, Negative World Status, and his solo power pop project Benny P (new record coming soon), and Sam Wenc (Post Moves).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Wild Yaks || Monumental Deeds

Nearly twenty years into their career, the Rockaway Beach musicians up their game on versatile sixth LP

Monumental Deeds, the sixth album by New York-based indie rock outfit Wild Yaks, contains ten new tracks that are difficult to categorize but easy to embrace. Jose Aybar (bass, vocals), Jairo Barsallo Rubio (lead guitar, vocals), Robert Bryn (vocals, rhythm guitar), Martin Cartegena (drums, vocals), Giovanni Kincaide (keyboards, vocals) and Jeff Tobias (saxophone) explore themes of hope and self-awareness in their lyrics, which stick effortlessly to the countless hooks. The song structures are complex and diverse, the playing is energetic and expressive, the vocals are potent and powerful, and the sound has an uplifting live feel but is always well thought through.

Monumental Deeds, produced by Jack Dawson and Wild Yaks, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Ernest Jenning Record Co.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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