Browsing Category Singles (7″, 10″, 12″)

Landing / Headroom – Split 12″

Man, thank all your gods for independent record stores, especially right now. Connecticut’s finest, Redscroll is giving the nod to two of the state’s best psych exports and giving them space on two sides of a split 12”. I’ve long been fans of both Landing and Headroom — kindred spirits in psychedelic float and noise welding. On their half, Landing, who were last seen making some cosmic ripples for El Paraiso Records, let their side stretch out, opening immediately into a 12+ minute monolith that’s built on atmospheric synth and rivulets of guitar that play well to their strengths, laying out a subtle stretch of Kosmiche quiver before they light the match and let things fry for “Seen”. On the flip, I’m always game for an outing from Kryssi Battalene’s Headroom. One of psych’s premiere players no matter what band she’s in, but when at the helm of her own psychedelic force, she’s the most potent.

Headroom’s side shows the band flexing their many sides — restrained mysticism, riffs rife with hot coal cauterization, and Battalene’s voice floating in the same ethereal float as Adrienne Snow entry just a few minutes before her. They build slowly though “Bend” before laying sonic waste to the listener with “Loose Garden,” tying things back into a euphoric bow with the closer, “House of Flowers.” The latter takes on a bit of a dreampop pacing, feeling like the culmination of a Galaxie 500 show gone very right. Both bands are CT at its finest and its great to see this pairing all around. LTD copies, so you know what to do.




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Color Green

This loose-knit EP hits just right for the country-psych leanings I’ve been feeling these past few years. Admittedly the hold’s only getting stronger this year. Maybe there’s a comfort effect in the genre somewhere, but the melancholy melt has taken root this summer for sure. There’s been a solid pocket for works that fall just this side of psych-folk, and just that side of cosmic country pulling out of the tailspin of the ‘10s and Color Green fit the form well. The EP is the work of Noah Kohll and Corey Madden who have an admitted debt to the drift of the Dead that’s been wafting through the rafters of late, but they also give this a wash through New Riders waters with some stops off at the kind of private press gold that birthed Relatively Clean Rivers. The twang sits high in the band’s repertoire, but the vocals are whispered on the wind and buried in a second-hand bootleg ripple of tape hiss that gives this a timeless feel, rather than the usual lo-fi associations dredged up with the noise floor of Teac turbulence.

Faded sun is in the band’s veins, dipping just below the mountains while the band peruses a wrinkled junk shop copy of the Whole Earth Catalog. It’s just languid enough to eschew proper jam territory, but sprawled out so much that you know they’re itching to take it that direction on stage. The release is out via small Toronto imprint Maximum Exposure who’ve brought out some great small releases from RSTB faves Young Guv and James Matthew VII in the past few years. The site mentions this being an early release, so no word on whether that means a digital drop before a physical but no matter what format this one lands on your speakers, it’s worth it. There’s a perfect end of summer feeling to the songs — amiable, easy, and drifting on a wind that’s got change on its mind. Keep the band in your watchlist for good things to come. If the early James Matthew tracks give an indication where these EPs can lead, you’re gonna want to see what the band does when they get some proper sine on ‘em.




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R. McClure & Tall Shadows – “What Have I Done / Me and My Hangover”

More goodness from our neighbors to the North today, with a single from R. McClure & Tall Shadows. McClure wades into the cosmic end of the country spectrum, layering his twang with a gauzy glare that settles onto the speakers in folds of pink fog. The A-side is subdued and nestled into a hammock of harmonies that rock in the breeze. Like his fellow Canadian crooner James Matthew VII he’s plucking some fruit from the trees of Beachwood Sparks, finding that bliss between the bars and its always good to see folks picking at that lineage. The b-side kicks up the tempo and backs off the fog machines just a touch, but there’s still a pillowed glow around the track. The flip might actually be the winner here, as it balances the soft-touch with a heavier dose of slide guitar glee, still scraping the cosmos, but with a bit of dirt caught in its boots. From the sounds of this and a few other scattered tracks from an upcoming LP on Factotum, McClure marks himself as one to watch.




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Ty Segall & Cory Hanson – “She’s A Beam b/w Milk Bird Flyer”

An excellent collab up this week from Ty Segall and Wand’s Cory Hanson. The pair have had intertwined paths in the past with Segall releasing Wand’s first LP on his own God? Imprint and the pair kicking around the same L.A. psychedelic headspace. The songs were recorded five years back but they’ve held them close to the vest for some time. This week all sales of the single go to the L.A. Black Lives Matter efforts, so pick it up asap for maximum impact. The songs tackle the turbulent and soft-psych sides of the both artists’ endeavors. “She’s a Beam” has a sloow build before exploding into psychedelic sci-fi light. I’m partial to the flip, myself though. While the a-side is full of blinding flash, “Milk Bird Flyer” has a verdant, psych-folk feel to it, with Segall’s rather documented love of T. Rex coming through nicely. Soft guitar rambles are accented with refracted beams of guitar glitter that feels familiar, yet still thrilling each time they sprint into that sunburst sound. Fans of either artist will find plenty to love here.



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The Reds, Pinks and Purples – “I Should Have Helped You”

Some subtle news slips out over the long weekend that there’s a new 7” from The Reds, Pinks and Purples coming on EU label Discreet Music. The official follow-up to the band’s last LP, Anxiety Art culls four tracks from Glenn and co.’s prolific Bandcamp run over the last few months. In addition to the title track, “I Should Have Helped You,” the record picks up official version of “Unrequited,” “Keep Your Secrets Close,” and “They Only Wanted Your Soul.” As with the last album the band excels at mining the Sarah Records heyday with songs that tip both jangled and jilted – catchy but with a true melancholy heat. There’s not a cut on here worth missing but check out the autumn sighs that abound on the EP closer below. The song’s got Glenn’s earnest delivery humming and close enough to feel breath in the speakers, but its heard to push down the lump in the throat that forms over these two and a half minutes. Seems there should be some copies stateside soon, but there’s a link below for the import as well. Along with his Telephone Numbers output, these are some of Donaldson’s most intimate, but aching songs and its worth keeping an ear on them to see what’s popping up next.




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Powerplant – “A Spine / Evidence”

London label Static Shock has been a solid bet over the past few years, culling in some of the best punk and post-punk from fields afar and corralling them all under the SS umbrella. They nab London via Ukraine new wave miscreants Powerplant for a new EP that finds the band both tucking into their Screamers / Devo / Units foxhole and grasping outside of it. They employ tweaked, frantic synth/guitar grappling that begs to be bagged in plastic and freeze-dried to a flaky crisp. Yet on the opener there’s a loose and limber bout of post-punk at play. The bass line lassos and grabs, with expectations high for a nasal wormhole of wobble on the vocals, but instead the band swerves to an almost cartoonish croon. It almost sounds like the band is playing at one speed and the vox at another, but somehow it works. As they careen into the rest of the EP the pace picks up and the rubber grooves get traded for some frantic scratch, passing their new wave wavelength through an MX-80 torque and letting it sizzle and smoke. Most of the songs here barely let the band take a breath, but the invigoration feels vital and vibrant. Recommend throwing this on the table and turning the volume ’til it snaps.




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Julian Never – “Silver One”

Been a while since I’ve heard rumblings from Mayyors’ camp, but this new project from the band’s Julian Elorduy and Mark Kaiser embraces a less gritty vision of pop, setting their sights on the sun-warped jangle of ‘80s Flying Nun this time around. Backed by ethereal synths and beset with jangles, the title track to this single is a bittersweet gem that would fit in well with the acolytes of the Nun that have currently cropped up all over Australia in the last few years. Elorduy and Kaiser have worked out a pretty solid handle on pop here, shedding some of their raucous punk past (Kaiser was also in Male Gaze), and it all comes crashing to a head on “Silver One.” On the flip, the band postures in am more tender vein, opening with the somber strains of piano, given a slight nod to their more lo-fi past before swapping the keys for strums that, like new works from The Tubs, rope in some of the more tender side of the Creation catalog to the mix with touches of Felt and The Sneetches sneaking in. A solid single from the new band and one that gives cause to keep an eye on them. Hoping that this works itself out into something longterm.



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The Telephone Numbers – “Pictures of Lee”

As I mentioned Friday was a hectic day with the feeds flying fast, but if you were looking in the right places there were plenty of gems to be had. This new single/digital EP from The Telephone Numbers is just such a gem, so let’s rewind and take a listen. The band’s popped up here before and its a new one from Glenn Donaldson (The Skygreen Leopards, The Reds Pinks and Purples) who’s hooked up with a few more SF janglers to create some pristine and perfect pop in this absolute shit year. Sometimes all you need is a crisp jangle, earnest harmonies, and a good dose of swoon and everything just melts away for 3 minutes or so. The title track off of the single garners this kind of appeal. Its a such a crystal clear moment in sound that everything relaxes for a moment and just soaks in the West Coast sun for a few suspended minutes. The rest of the tracks spar between the melancholy shuffle of “Curtains Close,” the late-afternoon sidle of “It’s Not All About Your Life,” and a cracking cover of Alec Bathgate’s “Run.” Just like their last single, there’s a lot to love here and the band’s poised to be one’s to keep tabs on as these singles sneak out.



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Psychic Ills – “Never Learn Not To Love”

Over the tenure of this blog Psychic Ills seem like such a load-bearing staple that its hard to believe that songwriter Tres Warren has passed. The band evolved through myriad incarnations — mutating lineups and sounds through the psychedelic swamp. Their early record were nerve-bitten and bracing when others were looking to hang onto more of a pop life raft. Then Warren and his compatriots worked their way to a sort of psychedelic ebullience on their final album, Inner Journey Out, a poison-tipped country-psych ramble that stood as one of their best. While its bittersweet to know that there was yet another album in the making that may never reach our ears, this double sided ode to the relationship between Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson is a lovely curio of remembrance. The band tackles both The Beach Boys’ “Never Learn Not To Love,” the song that was based on Manson’s “Cease To Exist” and part of his rift with Wilson over changes made to the final version. The version here is lush and hazy, wrapped in the same sort of beautiful grace that marked their last album.

On the flip they tackle Manson’s original and give it a much starker treatment, letting the two versions stand in contrast to one another — the former a comforting shoulder and the other a cold rebuke. Both versions are quite worth your time, and wind up an essential pickup for any longtime fans of the band’s catalog. Warren will certainly be missed and reworks like this only prove why that’s true.




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The Tubs – “I Don’t Know How It Works”

The first couple of offerings from Perfect Records, the collaboration between Joanna Gruesome members and Mark Dobson from The Field Mice, have highlighted members of the band post-dissolution. Where Ex-Vöid blend JG’s knack for melody with some spark-changed guitars, The Tubs invests in Sarah Records-styled jangle that feels as timeless as ever. “I Don’t Know How It Works” is a bittersweet tumble down the tubes with organ swells and aquamarine-hued harmonies that can’t help but hurt as much as they heal. The song picks at jangle with a ruffled charm, feeling at once like the most put together track from members of the Gruesome family, yet still one that doesn’t subscribe to the notion of perfection.

The flip is a slightly more driven pop nugget that’s got strains of The Chills and The Bats in its DNA, and could easily crop up on latter-day offerings from either. Both sides are absolutely stunners and here’s hoping that as this label progresses they continue to highlight the crossover chemistry of members from the ranks of Joanna Gruesome while also roping in some likeminded folks along the way.



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