Browsing Category Tracks

Cory Hanson – “Angeles”

The second offering from Cory Hanson’s (Wand) upcoming solo LP is another tender touch of folk, this time dedicated to the West Coast crown jewel, but also scratching deep into the scars of soured relationships. The song is one of his most polished pieces — an aching guitar line, resigned organ, and a pre-dawn chorus that feels like it has years coming to a head within its bars. I’m always gonna be a sucker for a well-placed slide guitar, and “Angeles” wields it well, sighing into the night air along with Hanson’s woeful croon. If anything makes the case for Pale Horse Rider this is likely it. A nice step forward from the heartworn brood of his last LP. The new record lands March 12th on Drag City.




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Cool Sounds – “Crimson Mask”

While its a bone cold January in area, down South Hemi way its just warming up and the sun-scrubbed air on “Crimson Mask,” the new single from Aussies Cool Sounds feels just right. The song’s as hammock-slung as anything that the band has released, letting buttered strums lay on top of a skitter-slide beat with the band laying back into their reclined pop pocked once more. The new record, Bystander follows nicely on their solid More To Enjoy from 2019. The band’s breezy charm and percolating pop have always been their strong suits and it seems that there’s plenty of that to count on when the album lands February 12th on Osborne Again.

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Cool Ghouls – “Helpless Circumstance”

Happy to have some more news out of the Cool Ghouls camp today. After that stellar first single from Ryan and Alex’s Supreme Joy, the Ghouls themselves announce a new album on the way from Empty Cellar in March. “Helpless Circumstance” finds the band right back in the sunshine glow of their stum n’ twang, with the harmonies as thick as ever, but this time the band moves the needle from ‘60s tangle to an ‘80s underground swell that hits the hearts of Homestead, Throbbing Lobster and Bus Stop fans. The skies feel wider, but the smog seems a bit thicker on “Helpless Circumstances,” with the cheery melodies shuddered by uncertainty and sighing heavy with melancholy. There’s been a groundswell of new janglers lately, but the Ghouls have always been ahead of the curve on that front. Nice to see that the band evolving their take while still checking off more than a few boxes that feel quintessentially bound to the band. The new LP, At George’s Zoo is out March 12th from Empty Cellar in the US and Melodic in the UK.





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Vapour Theories – “Breaking Down (The Portals of Hell)”

The end of the year got dense, to say the least and I definiely missed out on this when it was announced, but it still hits like a corroded kick to the carotid. Vapour Theories, the Bardo Pond side project of John and Michael Gibbons, have risen once more with a new album out in February on Fire Records. The album was chopped out of hours of improvisational recordings that traverse a familarly scorched and shrouded landscape that both VT and The Pond have traversed in the past. The record digs deep into undulating fuzz and ambience that won’t let itself be shoved into the background. The brothers even tackle an Eno classic in the form of “The Big Ship,” but on “Breaking Down (The Portals of Hell)” the band enlists a groundswell of growl that would befit such a title. The song vibrates with a barren ache that can be felt to the last dying moments. The record is out February 26th from Fire Records and it feels like a necessary part of the Bardo extended fam.



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Painted Shrines – “Gone”

Hard to resist this one, with perennial RSTB faves Jeremy Earl and Glenn Donaldson pairing up for a duo that splits the crux of their current outputs — finding a jangle-pop dipped amalgam of the most pastoral fare that inhabits Woods and the more tightly buttoned ‘90s indie that Glenn’s been mining. Like Felt turning in Byrds covers, the work of Painted Shines hits a lot of pressure points around here. Not surerising that the two would find themselves musically entwined, with Glenn’s releases (Art Museums, Skygreen Leopards) finding a home on Woodsist over the years, and some hits at collaboration on their last couple of records. Glenn finds his way into the credits of Sun & Shade while Jeremy pops up in percussion on Glenn’s last LP You Might Be Happy Someday. Seems the back and forth stuck, and the pair decamped to Glenn’s studio in 2018 to record the songs on Heaven and Holy.

The first single “Gone” is a wistful amble through sunny streets with Earl’s voice lending the song his usual bittersweet textures. The song shares a lot of the same heavy sigh signifiers as Glenn’s last LP, finding the Kiwipop pedigree of The Cean and The Verlaines lingering among their more ‘60s saturated jangles. The full record finds its way out March 5th, on Woodsist, naturally. Gonna want to get this one on the list as soon as possible.


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Sunburned Hand of the Man – “Flex”

There may be few freer flowing catalogs than that of Sunburned Hand of the Man. The longstanding Northeast collective have long kept the candle burning on free psych in the new age, letting out a steady stream of CDrs, cassettes, and limited digital ephemera in the name of digging into the deep scatological burn of psychedelic fallout that lives and dies in the room. The band breathes a noxious exhalation of groove battered funk, jazz-wrenched psych, and noise scuttled concrete. The lucky takes find their way imprinted onto tape for preservation on the shelves of those who’ve already felt the call of the cosmic and are keeping tabs. They are totems that aren’t often easy to come by. Last year the band pulled out of a longtime vinyl drought to slip out an excellent LP for Cardinal Fuzz. Headless hit like a second coming, hammering in everything that kept the band vital over the years and packed it onto a platter that was woefully here and gone before too many hands could feel the heat. It was their first LP since 2010’s A on the long shuttered, but much missed Ecstatic Peace, but this time they don’t make the wanting wait too long between records. The band announces a follow-up today as part of Three Lobed’s 20th anniversary series.

Pick A Day To Die leads off with the slinking kosmiche coil of “Flex,” finding the band cleaning up their corners with a tightly wound flash of liquid-skinned guitar propelled by a groove that owes its blood to a few German Progressive forefathers. Shot through with a mercury-melted pulse, the song sets out some high expectations for the next round of Sunburned singe. The band is ever elusive on the details that birthed this batch, but the band’s Ron Schneiderman sets it up with an ominous air. –

“Sources say: you need to get the fuck in a car and drive.
Like, get way gone. Crime-solving spree style.
Did we tell you about the time everything changed?
We will not even pretend that things are okay.
Ride with this hope and welcome the collapse.”

Pick A Day To Die is out March 12th from Three Lobed. Nab one of the limited LPs below as part of their essential new anniversary series.


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Bobby Lee – “Impregnated By Drops of Rainbow”

Just around the corner from his excellent album Shakedown in Slabtown UK purveyor of cosmic country calm Bobby Lee is back with a new EP packed with eight more kosmiche oases to fold into your consciousness. Skimming down his runtimes a bit for this short-format mind massage, the first couple of cuts out of the gate amble slow but stick to the soul with a thick sonic porridge of Ashra and Steve Hillage’s Rainbow Dome Music left to bake in the Southern California sun to soak up some twang. The new EP is out as limited cassette (ltd to 30) or download on March 5th. Highly recommended for fine tuning your senses today.



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Plankton Wat – “Nightfall”

Finally got a burner off of this new Plankton Wat out today. Thrill Jockey announced this one a couple of weeks back but today “Nightfall” graces the speakers and its another lysergic dose of float from Dewey Mahood (Eternal Tapestry, Gärden Söund). The Wat has always been a more meditative side of Dewey’s music and “Nightfall” embraces the elegiac strain that’s rippled through his works in the past. Guitars sparkle with a dampness in places before the heat-rippled fuzz takes hold of the track. There’s a West Coast air to this cut, sun glinting off of the water and head swimming in the lat August heat before the soft call of brass and brimstone wash away the calm. The new album is out February 26th from Thrill Jockey.





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Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt – “Some Tennesse Jar”

Both the names on this one have been busy since their last outing, which was only in 2018, but seems like forever at this pint. Its good to hear them back in company again and finding new crevices of sound to burrow into. There’s immediately a looser feel to “Some Tennessee Jar” than when these two last met in the recorded groove. Brace Up! was brittle and blunt — not to say it wasn’t nuanced — but it was a wrecking ball of an album that hit from all sides. Here Orcutt and Corsano are picking at a dizzying blues of sorts. Blues in the sense that Mingus used to pick them apart and put them back together into complex patterns that still beat with the same heart of the lone back porch picker looking to tangle emotions through the steel strings. There’s not a stomp of groove on the track — Corsano has never been so direct — but the circular nature of the song swims through a delta of some sort, swelling itself with ghosts of Sharrock thrown into the stark Mapplethorpe relief of Verlaine’s iced riffs. The record arrives on Bill’s label Palilalia on March 26th and from this early taste, it feels like an essential one.




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Weak Signal – “What’s A Girl To Do”

Weak Signal prove fruitful with another surprise offering for the new year. The band let loose a solid album alongside a split single with Endless Boogie last year and this EP starts the year off with a nice reminder of their heft. The EP boasts a mix of covers and originals, barreling out of the gate with a gritty reimagining of an ‘80s new wave sprinter “What’s A Girl To Do” by Christina. The original is a turquoise and pink splatter of mall pop with an endearing aloofness. Weak Signal give it a dirt bath, supplanting the synths with fuzz dusted guitars, but the song’s thrust remains alongside its indelible hook. The trio revamps this lost nugget for a new age and its hard to argue with the results of a of grunge-pop glow-up. The rest of the EP finds Weak Signal in reflective mode, bittersweet and melancholy as they slide through calmer waters than they churned on Bianca. Add in a cover of Neil’s “Cortez The Killer” and a cameo from Brian Degraw and Look See is a solid Bandcamp grab for the start of ’21.



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