Indie Rock

New EP: The People´s Pleasure Grounds || The People´s Pleasure Grounds

The People’s Pleasure Grounds is the new solo project of Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jimmy de Kok (Iguana Death Cult and The Black Marble Selection). Accompanied by three close friends, and recorded by Temples drummer Rens Ottink, these first four songs of the band are an impressive blend of psych, surf and sunshine pop. The band’s sound has elements of the laidback nature of Allah-Las, but also of the urgent guitar licks of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

Pick up the Cassette at Harry Records. Vinyl available through Little Water Records.

Add to wantlist: Harry Records || Little Water Records

New album: Zado || Looking Back On What I’ve Lost

Originally released in 2021, but now finally getting the vinyl treatment, here is a record from Singapore that is too good not to share. Zado is just one of the many musical projects of the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist, Izzad Radzali Shah (Anxious Living, Daily Ritual, SIAL – we covered his work in Beach Things). Izzad wrote, played and recorded everything on Looking Back On What I’ve Lost, which is his second record under the Zado moniker. That alone is impressive, but what stands out even more is the sheer quality of the songs.

If I had to put a label on it, I’d put Zado in the indie rock category. That indie rock sound has elements of ’80s underground pop from the US, but there are also touches of shoegaze and britpop. Unpolished yet melodic.

Out now through Singapore label 4490 Records. Vinyl expected to arrive early August.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Hutchie || Some Other Way

Let me introduce you to Hutchie, a band of three featuring members of Le Saboteur, Ol’ Doris, and BUGS. Some Other Way is Hutchie’s debut (mini)album, and it is comprised of eight rockin’ indiepunk tracks. Hutchie are a band that writes songs out of necessity, and their song touch upon the relational and deeply personal (Seat Next 2 U and The Summer Your Dog Died), as well as dealing with societal developments (Out Here). “This is a record full of disappointment, sadness, addiction, and isolation, sure. But’s that’s balanced against an equal dose of love, lust and hopefulness,” singer Michelle Pannell explains.

Feeling out of step with world has fueled angsty and true music for decades. But Some Other Way sounds brighter and more melodic than you’d expect based on that quote. This doesn’t sound like an angry record, but there is definitely a sense of urgency and true emotions oozing through these songs. Yep, I am enjoying this one a lot.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Album premiere: Charlie Reed || Eddy

Today, we premiere a special record from a special band. Risen out of the ashes of Uh Bones, meet Charlie Reed aka the Chicago all-star cast that is Luke Trimble (Uh Bones), Colin Croom (Twin Peaks), Nick Beaudoin (Spread Joy), Nora & Nolan Chin, Tyler Bixby (Spread Joy), and Justin Vittori (Diviño Niño). Their debut LP Eddy is out tomorrow (July 21) through Earth Libraries. You can stream the record in full below.

New album: Gentlemen Rogues || A History Of Fatalism

Anytime Gentlemen Rogues (Austin, Texas) puts out a new release, they have my eyes and ears. And that even applies when the release technically consists of previously released tracks. This week, the band released A History Of Fatalism, which combines their A History So Repeating and Fatal Music EPs. Both EPs were remixed and remastered, and most importantly: pressed on vinyl for the first time.

It’s a joy to revisit these songs. There is a throwback quality to the guitar-driven powerpop of Gentlemen Rogues. They have that same knack for creating polished yet powerful songs as Bob Mould and Superchunk. And although I wouldn’t call Gentlemen Rogues punk, there clearly is some punk energy to their sound. If you are looking for some quality rockin’ powerpop, pick this one up. You get three bonus tracks with the digital stream (and vinyl download). Of the three I like Fuck And Run the most – a song I at first misheard as Fuck Enron and only later discovered to be a Liz Phair cover. Sigh.

A History Of Fatalism is out now through Snappy Little Numbers and Rocket Heart Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Snappy Little Numbers || Rocket Heart Records

New album: Fo Daniels || Imitation Roses

Funny how you now can still discover an album that you overlooked last April. I was pointed to new single Promises b/w Portrait of a Morning by American singer-songwriter/guitarist Forrest “Fo” Daniels, which turned out to be stripped-down bonus tracks to complete his debut LP Imitation Roses that came out three months ago. That album is so good I don’t want to keep it from you. It contains ten powerful songs recorded completely live, along with Charlie Holt (drums), Selby Austin (bass), and Darby Mcglone (guitar) in the same room, in just one day. That makes the result raw and authentic, yet the energetic indie rock with alt-country influences sounds well thought out, with an eye for balance and detail. These are great guitar-driven tracks – well played and sung, superbly produced – that should prevail on alternative radio stations and festival grounds.

Add to wantlist: streaming only for now

Album premiere: Near Beer || Near Beer

We are excited to premiere the (*spoiler alert* excellent) self-titled debut LP of Near Beer, a three-piece from LA fronted by Joey Siara (of The Henry Clay People and Fakers) who is joined by Brent Stranathan (drums) and Jeremy Levy (bass, backup vocals). Press play below, and continue scrolling to find out more about the band.

Gimme 5! R.E. Seraphin Shares Five Songs That Inspired His Recent Songwriting

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.

Right now, Bay Area songwriter R.E. Seraphin has 333 monthly listeners on Spotify. And although I think monodigit numbers are fun and all, I am convinced this number should grow with at least three digits to truly reflect the quality and appeal of Seraphin’s music.

For me, two things stand out in the music of Seraphin. One, he clearly is a talented songwriter. Week In Pop recently dubbed Seraphin as The Bay Area’s Modern Saint Of Power Pop. His discography includes releases by Talkies, Razz, Mean Jolene, Lenz, Glitz, Apache and Impediments. His 2020 debut (Tiny Shapes) under his own name featured many standouts (e.g., listen to the powerpop hit Exploding Head), and his recent Swingshift EP (covered here) provides top notch songwriting, layered instrumentation and cool covers (Television Personalities and Wipers).  If you are new to Seraphin’s music, I recommend checking out Playing House, Big Break or watching the recently released video for Stuck In Reno below.

New single: Parlor Hour || Demon Shuffle / Cute Song

Zoe, Noah, Nancy and Eli make up Parlor Hour, a slacker twee outfit from Portland, Oregon. This 4-minute single is my introduction to the band, and I sure hope we’ll meet again. The two songs are scrappy and infectious, just the way we like it at ATW.

“I sat down to write a cute song // But i have reality // on my shoulder // looking over.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Star 99 || Star 99

Last year, San Jose’s Star 99 dropped their excellent debut EP My Year In Lists. I almost forgot about that one, so I was happy to have Bandcamp notify me of new Star 99 material.

The new single has three songs: Born To Run (not a cover), Vegas, and Wyoming – The latter sounded so familiar, I was searching my brain for the original artist only to discover it’s a rerecorded version of a Star 99 original from last year’s EP. The new version strips away all instrumentation of the original except for the guitar and vocals. In doing so, it places a spotlight on the songwriting skills of Star 99.

The two additional tracks on the single (Born To Run and Vegas) further solidify my appreciation for the melodic indiepunk/altpop of Star 99. I have yet to hear a weak song from this band, and am curious to see where they go next.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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