New EP: Sorry Darling || See This Through

See This Through is the debut EP from Brooklyn quartet Sorry Darling. The band plays alt pop infused indie rock with a solid balance between jangly and palm muted guitars. The dual and alternating vocals between the band’s songwriters Stephen Bailey and Liz Wagner Biro are another selling point of the band.

There is plenty more to like about this record though, and songs like In Theory and No Angle provide easy points of entry. But I’d like to place the spotlight on the song that carries their band name. Sorry Darling is a contemporary twist on jangly power pop that is hook-filled, and simply delightful.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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New album: Twin Temple || God Is Dead

“Despite relentless death threats and moralising, our allegiance to Satan and the golden oldies remains unwavering. God Is Dead is our most blasphemous, horny and painstakingly period-correct work to date. Saturated with the blood of babies and forged in the ashes of burning churches, we spared no one in the making of this album. See you in Hell!” Well, that sure is one way to introduce your new record, Alexandra and Zachary James, aka the duo that makes up Twin Temple. On their second LP God Is Dead, Twin Temple sound like a throwback act build on Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound, but also ’50s and ’60s rock’n’roll. If you love that sound, you will go crazy for Twin Temple. There is one caveat though, as hinted upon in the quote above: you must not mind occult references and explicit lyrics.

Elevate your next gathering with friends by putting on God Is Dead and introducing them to the captivating world of Twin Temple. Prepare for their curiosity to soar as they draw comparisons to the likes of Shannon And The Clams, Amy Winehouse, and Phil Spector. Brace yourself for the inevitable barrage of questions: “Did she really sing Be A Slut?” and “Are they really singing Let’s have a Satanic orgy?” Spoiler alert, the answer to both of these question is yes!

The Jameses describe their sound as Satanic Doo-Wop, and it sounds fine with me. God Is Dead is out now at Pentagrammaton Records.

Add to wantlist: Twin Temple || Discogs

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New album: Black Mekon || NEAT!

Last Friday (the 13th), Birmingham, UK-based garage punk duo Black Mekon released their 13th album, NEAT!, named after their own fanzine. With this, the 2 masked brothers deliver 12 new songs that are as eclectic and surprising as they are growling  and swinging, but also sound better than their previous work, the result of an (unexpected) deviation from their strict ‘one-take-will-be-fine’ DIY ethos and the contribution of labelmate Lucern Raze as producer. They make forays into harmonica-fueled rhythm & blues, folk, films, and old school rap-rock including scratches and skits, and miraculously it (almost) all works. Another intriguing experience.

NEAT!, produced by Lucern Raze, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through PNKSLM Recordings. There’s also a magazine with a CD.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || PNKSLM

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New album: Connie Cunningham and the Creeps || Going, Going, Going Gone – The Rare Recordings of Connie Cunningham and The Creeps, Vol. 1

Method actors aren’t that uncommon (Joaquin Phoenix, Daniel Day-Lewis come to mind quickly), but what about method musicians? Here is one: Nick Kinsey, a veteran musician who played with the likes of Waxhatchee, Kevin Morby, AC Newman, Hand Habits, and Cold War Kids. For his latest project he took on the persona of “fictional weirdo and failed session musician” Connie Cunningham. It wasn’t just a way to escape writer’s block, it was a purposeful move to create something special, a way to satisfy his dream of stumbling, in his new farmland house, on lost recordings from some eccentric artist who’d previously lived there.

The approach pays dividends in full. Going, Going, Going Gone is a quirky record full of songs that are timeless, yet sound like they were recorded in the fifties or sixties, or perhaps even earlier. It all sounds dreamy and orchestral, like Tom Waits meets Sufjan Stevens, going from latin to beach boys, from jazz to girl group – How delightful are those backing vocals by The Creeps (Cassandra Jenkins and Annie Nero) on title track Going, Going, Going Gone? Nick Kinsey has created something magical with this project, something to dive into and wrap yourself around with. So much to unpack!

The Vol. 1 in the album title suggests that there are even more Cunningham treasures lying around in Kinsey’s attic. I can’t wait to find out.

Going, Going, Going Gone – The Rare Recordings of Connie Cunningham and The Creeps, Vol. 1 is out now on LP at Earth Libraries. Also involved in the recordings: Josh Kaufman, Mike Irwin, Oliver Hill, and Jared Samuel.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Earth Libraries

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New album: Just Friends || Gusher

Throwing an eclectic party, leave that to Just Friends aka JF Crew. The sound Avijit Dey, Benjamin Cole Donlon, Brandon Downum, Brianda Estefania Goyos Leon, Kevin Andrew Prochnow, Matthew Yankovich and Samuel Jerome Kless accumulate together can’t really be pigeonholed. One thing’s for sure: the Californian besties will take you from one surprise to the next. Their new (fourth) album Gusher starts with some uplifting rap-rock tracks that wouldn’t have been out of place at the end of the 90s, but then they take off in all directions, with influences from groovy funk, alternative rock, tough hip hop, catchy pop punk, contemporary R&B and even candy-sweet pop mixed in an inimitable fashion. The combination of genres and vocal styles is as idiosyncratic as it gets, but it pays to let the full 43 minutes roll over you before deciding which two or three tunes to skip.

Gusher, produced by Brett Romnes, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Pure Noise Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Pure Noise

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New EP: Hobby || Nombre Parfait

Hobby are a slacker indie rock outfit from Paris. Following their self-titled EP, Nombre Parfait (Perfect Number) is the band’s latest output. It was born out of accident rather than intent: Hobby was working on writing and recording a full length that for several reasons became a struggle. With the full length shelved indefinitely, Hobby turn the page with the Nombre Parfait EP, featuring 6 songs that were written in a short period of time and recorded mostly live. Judged on the spontaneity an creativity of these songs, it appears that Hobby have managed to revive the band and reinvent themselves.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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Summer Break!

Hi. We are offline for a summer break. We’ll return in a couple of weeks with recharged batteries.

Still thirsty for new music? Check out our Recommended New Music (2022) and Dusted (featuring the finest covers of 2022) playlists on Spotify. Or check out awesome blogs like Faster and Louder, Janglepophub, & onetwoxu.

See ya soon. Have a great Summer!

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New album: Ben Woods || Dispeller

Some releases you have to experience in a live setting to fully “get.” I’ve been at countless shows where I left with a better appreciation or understanding for a new record. This also applies to Ben Woods sophomore album Dispeller which is out today, although I haven’t seen him perform in real life yet.

When I received the advanced stream of the record, I did not know what to think. It simply was too far from what I normally listen to. But then Woods released a short film with three live performances that changed how I feel about the record – watch the 15-minute video below, I particularly like the middle song (Hovering At Home) starting around 6:52. It starts slowly and timid, but explodes at the 8:08 mark in the coolest way.

The short film is beautifully directed and showcases the complexities, the layers and labour of love that went into the songs on Dispeller. Having watched the video, I’m listening to the record with fresh ears. I still don’t know how to describe it though. The press release talks about the New Zealand artist leaning “comfortably into intuition and abstraction,” and “experimenting with the disparate and the disharmonious.” But I’m not sure if that helps. I think Ben Woods’ music is just meant to be experienced – in the morning with some coffee, or during late night walks.

Dispeller is out today via Shrimper Records (U.S.), Meritorio Records (Spain/EU), and Melted Ice Cream (N-Z).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Meritorio Records

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New album: Abel Natürlich || Smug

Geertruida, a record label from the Northern coastal province in the Netherlands, provides the perfect metaphor for Abel Natürlich’s debut record Smug: “A restless theme park ride.” It’s probably the weirdest thing I actually enjoyed lately.

THERE IS JUST SO MUCH GOING ON! That was my first impression. Smug is a kind of record that intentionally overstimulates. And musically it’s all over the place. There is a chiptune element to most of the songs, there are egg punk parts, there definitely is some baroque pop to the record – the vocal melodies strangely remind me of The Zombies’ Odessey And Oracle.

About that theme park metaphor. Smug sounds more like a really dense theme park than a specific ride. Let’s say each of the songs has a lot of rides that are all hectic and unpredictable. The waiting time in between? Minimal.

Bring your own food and drinks. Smug is out now through Geertruida Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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New album: Ross Storm || The Meridian

Instrumental music that is a blend of “prog & math rock, with notes of jazz and post-punk” is not something I expected to like. But somehow I’ve been enjoying The Meridian by Storm Ross quite a lot. Apparently, it’s already Ross’ fourth release on Already Dead Tapes, but relative to previous releases it’s more of a team effort. On The Meridian, Ross is joined by Yuma Uesaka on tenor sax and Skeleton Birds bandmates Jeremy and Jonathan Edwards on bass and drums respectively.

According to Ross, this is some of his best work to date. And although I’m unfamiliar with his previous output, I’m taking his word for it. The Meridian is as exciting as it is hypnotic, and as vibrant and colorful as the album art. These are no bedtime instrumentals to make you fall asleep, nor will they provide a relaxed start to your day. But I expect the songs on The Meridian to keep you fully awake at work. In fact, I’m pretty sure A/B testing will show The Meridian will significantly raise your focus, productivity and quality of your day.

The Meridian is out now on Tape at Already Dead Tapes.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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