New album: Sad Eyed Beatniks || Ten Brocades

Kevin Linn's sonic universe is one you won't want to leave

Sad Eyed Beatniks, the musical project of Kevin Linn (also behind San Francisco’s Paisley Shirt Records), is back with Ten Brocades. Joined by Mike Ramos (Tony Jay, Flowertown) and Karina Gill (Cindy, Flowertown), Linn has crafted a sonic universe that’s more than just an album.

Listening to this new record feels like déjà vu in the best way possible. I re-read my review of the outfit’s 2022’s Claudia’s Ethereal Weaver LP, and I can apply most of it toTen Brocades. “Understated gems that constantly push and pull at your attention strings?” Check. “A record decidedly out of time and space, very much its own thing, but with enough pop catchiness to become infatuated?” Double check!

Standout tracks on the new LP include You Belong With Us, the designated pop hit and the latest shining example of the vibrant Bay Area scene – watch the video below. It marks one of several tracks that rewards listeners who’ve made it to side B of the LP. Then again, it’s not like I felt the need to skip any of the songs to get there. Like Side B, Side A is a strong one, covering diverse ground, from jangle pop (Barong Mask) and strummy lo-fi pop (Monumental Ensemble) to Velvet Undergroundesque rock (It’s Who Makes The Scene, Harlequin With Guitar). Even the 7-minute title track on the middle of the record captivates throughout.

Ten Brocades is a record that hisses and sighs, teases and pleases, and will reward the time you spent with it. It is my favorite Sad Eyed Beatniks record yet. It paints a warm, melancholy and vibrant universe in sepia tones – one you won’t want to leave. Out now through Meritorio Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Meritorio

New album: Penza Penza || Alto E Primitivo

Cool instrumentals full of heavy grooves

Penza Penza is the garage psych project of the prolific Estonia-born/Portugal-based composer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Misha Panfilov, and his friends. After Beware Of Penza Penza, Neanderthal Rock and Electricolorized, they now come across with full-length album number 4, Alto E Primitivo, their loudest effort yet. You’ll hear fourteen instrumental tracks full of original melodies, in which the jazz influences have been pushed further into the background, and heavy grooves dominate. It’s an unstoppable rock fest with a stylistic funk flavor, tripped out and fuzzy, hypnotic and cool. This is a melting pot of Western and non-Western ideas, and a gold mine for sampling producers.

Alto E Primitivo is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Funk Night Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Funk Night

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 single: David Turel || Satanic Panic

A cinematic trip through two different sides of the desert

Detroit musician David Turel is back with two psychedelic western-tinged garage rock songs that are completely different but still hit the mark. Title track Satanic Panic is a vibrant summer hit of almost five minutes full of ravishing hooks, affecting vocals and an earworm chorus. Flipside Ennio is a hypnotic and dreamlike tribute to the legendary film composer Ennio Morricone, as atmospheric and cinematic as you would expect given the theme. Hot stuff.

Satanic Panic b/w Ennio, created with help from Wyatt Blair, Grady Kinnoin and Kourtney Kyung Smith, is out now digitally via Lolipop Records. Streaming only for now.

New EP: Girafe || Matin​é​e for Mad Creatures

Stockholm 4-piece mixes cumbia and surf on sunny debut

Don’t be put off by the dark and messy cover art – the four songs on Matin​é​e for Mad Creatures sound actually quite smooth and sunny. It is the debut EP from Swedish indie pop outfit Girafe, on which Julia Sjöström, Nathalie Appadu, Mattias Robertsson and Robert Wadeskog charmingly mix tropical cumbia, vibrant surf rock and psychedelic dub. They kick off with the infectious, instrumental title track, continue with attractively sung Lavoe Shades and Mountain Merengue, and close with another instrumental tune, Left the City Burning. These are thirteen exotic and idiosyncratic minutes, a laid back and sun-kissed introduction to a promising band.

Matin​é​e for Mad Creatures is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Weeping Mist || This Train Goes To Sorrow

Sophomore LP continues from where Lonely Streets left off - literally

Another dose of moody garage psych comes from Athens, Greece, where Weeping Mist recorded their sophomore album This Train Goes To Sorrow. With this solo project, Yesterday’s Thoughts’ guitarist Spiros Megedisidis delivers sixteen(!) new original songs that are full of emotions. A look at the song titles makes it clear that this concerns dark matter, the accompanying lyrics put an exclamation mark behind that finding, with loneliness as a recurring theme. Yet it’s a wonderful listening experience, thanks to the hypnotic melodies and 60s-inspired sound full of fuzz, with amazing, distinctive vocals – gritty and heartfelt – in the center of attention. Goosebumps, but I’m not sure if that comes from admiration or fearfulness.

This Train Goes To Sorrow is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Tymemachine Productions ’67. Featuring Spiros Megedisidis (vocals, guitars, farfisa, bass) and Giorgos Vagiatlakis (drums). The new album literally continues from where debut album Lonely Streets had stopped. I quote: “You see, at the very end of that Lonely Street, there was an old train station. Just one platform in use, a few old wooden wagons, and a black rusty locomotive engine. The engine steam gets tangled up with the darkness and the blurry wet fog, creating a mysterious mist, a mist that weeps, a Weeping Mist… 16 stops… until the train reaches its destination, deep inside The Forest of Black, deep inside your soul.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Samuel Blues || Lemon Please

Samuel Blues is the psychedelic garage blues project of Slovenian musician Samo Pivač, who continues his streak of at least one album a year. Lemon Please is his thirteenth home-recorded full-length, this time a “soundtrack for a citric western movie that does not exist yet.” There are only four songs, but they last no less than 33 minutes. And although these are instrumentals, they remain fascinating throughout, and that is a significant achievement in itself. It’s swampy and atmospheric, with original and compelling guitar melodies in the leading role. Who needs a film when you have music that makes you dream away to Heavenly Lemonly territory?

Lemon Please is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Horrible and the Saucers || Farewell Quackery!

Last month, Michael Horrible’s band, Horrible and the Saucers, made their debut at the Wantlist with their second single. I described their sound as “Buzzcocks and Zombies for the price of one,” and I stand by that description for their latest release Farewell Quackery! which dropped this week. The single features two new tracks that are an exciting outsider blend of ’60s psych and ’70s pop punk.

To state the obvious, I’m definitely on board with Horrible and the Saucers, who are conquering the planet one single at a time!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Kelley Stoltz || La Fleur

San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Kelley Stoltz, a living legend and musical hero in our world, returns with yet another full-length album, La Fleur. On LP no. 18, we hear 12 new psychedelic indie pop songs with melodies and hooks in the first-class quality we’ve come to expect, with all instruments played by the master himself (and of course it’s also his hazy voice that you hear singing), assisted here and there by Jason Falkner and Fred Barnes. Lyrically, the songsmith stayed close to his own experiences, from riding around Manchester in the car of Stone Roses drummer Alan ”Reni” Wren (“A black BMW // Hope to impress you” – in Reni’s Car) to advising his daughter to live in the moment (“You’re too young to know // About time // Doesn’t do any good / Pay it no mind” – in About Time). What makes this record extraordinary, however, is that each track is peppered with its own unique decoration, from subtle orchestration or unexpected instrumentation to almost doo-wop-like harmonies or spacey sound effects. It makes for an exciting trip that captivates for the entire 44 minutes and 19 seconds.

La Fleur is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Agitated Records (Europe/UK) and Dandy Boy Records (USA).

Add to wantlist: Agitated @ Bandcamp || Dandy Boy @ Bandcamp

New album: Shop Regulars || Shop Regulars

Among the many releases this week, one that stood out to me is Shop Regulars’ first LP. This self-titled album arrives after seven self-released cassettes, and while it only has six songs, its total playing time justifies an LP release. The album is masterminded by Matt Radosevich (formerly of Honey Bucket), who leads the band and collaborates with a rotating cast of like-minded artists to bring his ideas to life.

There is a lot of repetition on this album, and while that might not be for everyone, there is something special about Shop Regulars. They are noisy and highly experimental, with creativity flowing freely—not unlike one extended jam session, but one that even people who hate jam sessions can appreciate. Case in point: they put an 11-minute song on the record, and I managed to reach the end without triggering my short attention span anxiety.

If you’re looking for something different and unique, Shop Regulars may very well be your next craze.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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