Browsing Category Tracks

Buck Curran – “War Behind The Sun”

Guitarist Buck Curran last landed here with his shadowy Morning Haikus, Afternoon Ragas LP in 2018 and he’s back with a renewed darkness on “War Behind The Sun.” With a parched approach the track spreads like the doom sprawl of war across the horizon, an all-consuming ache that can neither be reckoned with or ignored. The track takes its influence from Raag Marva, a Hindustani raag that represents sunset and ushers in a feeling of anxiety and solemn expectation. Those feelings are translated well by Curran, turning the raag into a high-plains exorcism of light and goodness as it sweeps through the speakers. The track is released in advance of Curran’s upcoming album Delights & Dangers of Ambiguity coming in June on Obsolete Recordings.

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ML Wah – “Santal”

New deep vibes today from Matt LaJoie, who downplays his guitar in favor of creeping drones, midnight creaks of percussion, keys, and brass as “Santal” unfolds slow and sacred, rising from the deep like smoke through a fissure. There’s a touch of Turkish folk in the mix, but at its core the track exudes bayou vibes – a humid, hungry creep of eyes, rough scarred scales, and scattered bones. When LoJoie’s guitar finally surfaces through the haze, it slithers through the slick with a possessed gate, ambling and roiling against the thick air. Contrary to some of his tighter works with Ash & Herb, Herbcraft, and under his own name, this record comes closer to the peyote pulse of cosmic entanglement – dislodging itself from the yolk of traditional song format. LaJoie and label Flower Room invoke Don Cherry comparisons, and that’s not a bad place to start or finish, to be quite honest. Very interested to see how the rest of this one shapes up. The record is out May 24th and comes in some choice deluxe options.


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Red Channel – “Demons”

Can’t go wrong with a new track on UK DIY powerhouse Upset the Rhythm and they’re offering up some prime post-punk/new wave goodness today. “Demons” is the first cut off the debut LP from L.A.’s Red Channel. The band has cobbled together an EP of stripped-down simmer that calls back to punk’s willingness to lop off the fringes. Atop a squirming beat the band backdrops the vocal magic of singers Melody and Casey who slash at singles from Blondie, The Go Go’s and We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and reassemble the pieces into their own image. The resulting track keeps its cool, never breaking a sweat but inviting dance and debauchery with a great detachment that pulls in some of their more Teutonic peers as well (Monopol, Starter). It’s a pulsating cut that positions the band as ones to watch indeed.



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Rose City Band – “Rip City”

Got a great gift to the psych-folk feeder today with the first offering from Rose City Band. The first single slides in on an autumnal glow of golden shivers, slow-motion choogle, honeyed hues, and cedar swoons. “Rip City” plays right into the hands of the Cosmic American cavalcade that’s building steam in all the best nooks and nodes across the tattered tableau of 2018-2019 – a sound I can’t quite get enough of these days. The album’s produced by Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo) and mixed by Chris Cohen. It’ll serve as the first LP release on Johnson and Sanae Yamada’s Jean Sandwich imprint, who describe the LP as “finding its niche in the hazy sonic landscape of private press country and psych records, and alongside artists like Relatively Clean Rivers, Jim Sullivan, Kenny Knight, and countless other explorers of the pastoral underground.” While the rest of the details on the band remain locked and lean, the astute among you might recognize the voice floating above the amber ether here and crack a knowing smile.

The band offers a bit more insight into the roots of “Rip City,” in particular, noting that it’s “about trying to find peace (and maybe salvation) in a song, or more specifically in a sound. It’s about feeling melancholy and being OK with that. Looking out on a rainy day and just soaking in the dark and beautiful aspects of nature; maybe turning that into some kind of inspiration.” The record is out May 24th. First pressing is limited to 300 colored and 700 black vinyl LPs. Colored vinyl is available for pre-order exclusively from the band’s Bandcamp page.



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The Babe Rainbow – “Morning Song”

More bucolic psych-pop sprouts from the bounty of Aussie’s The Babe Rainbow this week. The band, ever lodged in the sweep of the ‘60s, unveils a dewy bop of early morning folk that would easily appease the Donovan fans out there, but they give it deeper delve with some shimmering flute floating above the strums and insect buzz beat. There’s a feeling of childhood sweetness, glowing sunlight, and the smell of fresh cut grass and lilac. This is the kind of song that can smack scowl right off your face. Despite hooking up with a few heavy backers her in the states, the band seems to have eluded much notoriety, but if they keep it up with singles like these, someone’s bound to notice, eh?


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Protruders – “Hydrophytol”

Canadian punks Protruders have an EP landing in a few weeks on Feel It and the first single from that slab is a savage shard of burnt wire pyrotechnics. “Hydrophytol” is bruised and bent, clinging to fidelity by its fingernails as the bastard son of Electric Eels and Pere Ubu, though inevitable Fall comparisons are welcome as well. Haywire squonks jut out in every direction from the track while the on the vocal front, the mood swerves from any touch of mania. Like a calm nihilistic walk through the streets of a riot, Protruders seems to be enjoying the chaos while never letting it get under their own skin. Gonna want to get into this one when it leaps to the streets on April 20th.



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Wooden Shjips – “Flight (live in San Francisco)”

While the Shjips are crushers in the studio, its always been true that they conjure a very specific spell live in the room. Its a heady, sweaty, thick as potato soup frozen in amber type of feeling that comes at you in waves. Up until now the true solution to landing in this particular haze has been to seek out the asylum of a Shjips show as release schedules dictate and get lost in the fuzz-drenched deluge of sound. However, this month Silver Current and the band have paired to bring the first official live LP to the band’s catalog. Shjips in the Night: Live in San Francisco: June 8, 2018 captures the band in their element – divining the cosmic thrum and channeling it through the speakers in cascading waves of pure aural bliss.

The set is, as the label states, “the capture of a single live performance, multi-tracked at Slim’s in San Francisco by Eric Bauer and Damien Rasmussen and in a unique creative twist, was mixed by the band’s friends and colleagues in underground psych rock; Heron Oblivion, who hand out the Nitrous balloons and bring their own subtle (and not so subtle) enhancement of the show’s dark but kaleidoscopic color palette to the Shjips’ universe through performance mixing and post-production effects worm-holes, all the while keeping the Shjips’ long time band chemistry and natural sonic power at the forefront of the listener’s experience.”

The set’s available in limited press blue and purple and standard black and will be available in a special RSD version on red and yellow (ltd to 650) as well as cassettes. If you were super early there was a handmade edition as well, but those are long gone. Check out first listen to a live version of West’s “Flight” below, expanding on the track’s natural reverberation and setting the venue on fire with some firelight guitar work. The LP is out on April 12th.

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Steven R. Smith – “Everything In Circles”

I’ve previously mentioned that when Steven R. Smith is on guitar, I’m listening. No matter what pseudonym he’s under (Ulaan Passerine, Ulaan Khol, Ulaan Markhor, Hala Strana) there’s bound to be cinder and ash woven between the frets. This time, though, there’s no name but his own on the marquee, and the announcement comes today for the release of A Sketchbook of Endings, his first solo album under his given name in eight years. The first cut from the LP is haunted by the same ghosts that walked the lands of this year’s Ulaan Passerine offering – driven by somber strings, hounded guitars, and the feeling of gaunt hunger and the edging panic that’s at the root of his recent body of work. “Everything in Circles” is defiant as well, a hardened resolve barrels through its being, rising with the winds through the song’s resilient swells. In many of Smith’s pieces there’s the feeling of being pursued, but here he flashes his own teeth in a moment of tremendous turnabout that feels like a turning tide. The LP lands at Soft Abuse in May.



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POW! – “Here It Comes”

“Here It Come” is another infected vessel from POW!. The SF synth-punks dredge the shadows for a slinking dirge that crawls from the crevices of the nihilistic neververse. Byron Blum’s guitars vomit twisted coils of wire and chromium tape. The drums are bounced through hammered cardboard and tin and the synths skitter across the headspace like feral androids, crouched and hissing. Fans of Simply Saucer, Chrome and Starter have a new touchstone to scratch at when the band’s upcoming Shift is released, but for now this scrap of hot plastic will have to suffice.

Filling in the origins of “Here It Comes, Blume notes, ”I had the drumbeat in my head and punched it into a sequencer before i would forget it. When we were in the studio, I wanted to do something with it and Tommy gave me the idea for lyrics. He would say ‘ready? Here it comes’ probably every time before he would press the record button. I loved that so much and we made a ditty out of it. It’s about relaxing in space and feeling strength running through my body, ready to face the unknown and whatever is arising in the moment”

You too can face the unknown when the LP seeps out from Castle Face on May 10th.

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Drugdealer – “Honey”

The second single from the sunset slathered new LP from Drugdealer reaches out this week and it features a vocal contribution from his longtime collaborator Weyes Blood. The pair have always managed to shift time in a way that drapes the listener in memories of the past without truly succumbing to the kitsch of nostalgia. It’s the feeling of childhood FM radio as you fall asleep in the car with the sun on your face – a sense of coming home, safety, security, serenity. There’s more than a little George Harrison coursing through the strings here and Collins lays out an inviting musical landscape for Natalie Mering to luxuriate in. Her vocals here, as on her own eternally classic compositions, are tinged in sepia tones and tugging at the emotions like a permanent lump in your throat. Mering is just one of a few great vocal ringers that Michael Collins employs on his latest album, which is proving to be his most complete and immersive album to date. Pick it up from Mexican Summer on April 19th.



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