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Boyracer – “Crack The Red”

Got another volley of fuzz from Boyracer, who are just coming into their 13th album. Having blossomed in the ‘90s, working through labels like Slumberland and Sarah, they became nothing if not prolific ambassadors of indie pop over the years. While the lineups would change, the buoyant, blistering songwriting of Stewart Anderson remained a constant and as luck would have it the world found itself ready to love indie-pop with a newfound enthusiasm over the last decade or so and the band’s come into a rather pervasive second (or third) wind. “Crack The Red” is a fuzz-rumbled ripper that works as an ode to a well-earned bottle at the end of the day. While the guitars are set to sunburn, the harmonies cool it off and let the song sink into the skin. The band’s lengthy tenure lets them call in a whole host of friends on the new LP. While Burnt Palms’ Christina Riley joins as a permanent member there are pop-ins from Mary Wyer and Anita Rayner (Even As We Speak), Snowy (Ocean Party), Penny McBride (Cannanes) and Boyracer roster legacies from Simon Guild, Laura Bridge, Matty Green, Jen Turrell, Ged McGurn and Ara Hacopian. The video embraces the bottle in the only way a pandemic vid can – Anderson leads the charge with a whole host of friends sharing the screen to sympathize with a glass. If you’ve missed out on the record, I’d recommend getting it onto the decks.

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Cut Worms – “Castle In The Clouds”

On his last album Max Clarke paid a visit to the 50’s harmonies of the Everlys, cut with a touch of twang that gave them a faded pastiche of Western Fringe and ’60s California neon humming through the night. From the sounds of “Castle In The Clouds” he’s taking the that touch of twang and turning it up a notch. The song pushes him away from those Everly Brothers swoons and into a lonesome territory that’s skewing more Gene Clark as he worked his way from The Godsins to Doug Dillard. I’ve been smitten by the current sweep of indie and folk towards an adoption of the Cosmic Americana and Country corners and Clarke has been doing it as well as most. This one leaves a lot of anticipation for his upcoming LP, which seems to have full details forthcoming. Either way, get it on the watch list and in the meantime spend a few minutes replaying “Castle In The Clouds” on repeat.

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Pop Filter – “Laughing Falling”

Kinda loving this new cut from Aussies Pop Filter. A low-slung jangler that employs a New Wave beat, “Laughing Falling,” is an instant charmer. The song attempts to wrangle the fuzzy delight of being a bit buzzed and walking around and its got a nice take on that out-of-body delight wherein you can almost watch yourself having a good time while simultaneously being sad that its going to end. That curdle of sadness ripples underneath, and in the sunset hues that streak the song, but mostly its a romp. The band takes a nice stab at the distanced video with a steampunk exploration that’s not just band members playing parts in different houses — a trope that’s already worn too thin. The song sidles alongside previous single “Romance At The Petrol Station,” and both will appear on their album Banksia in August.



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Frank Ene – “Flesh In A Womb”

Got a taut new one from Empty Cellar today, the first single off of the solo debut from Frank Ene. The Bay Area songwriter has lately been working with The Fresh & Onlys, and for “Flesh In A Womb” he enlists bandmate Wymond Miles to play on the track as well. Like Miles’ own solo works there’s an out of time quality to the song — a frozen ether that’s hints at the underbelly of ‘80s pop, but isn’t beholden to any true set of influences. It straddles time and breathes in the smoke from past and present through each nostril. What’s most apparent about the track, though, is the numb, weary, pre-dawn quality that hints at something gone wrong. Ene admits that the song was inspired by a particular night in a Copenhagen venue, and however that night transpired, it feels like it may have sent a shudder through Frank’s soul. That shudder is passed onto the listener with raw nerve honesty that may well have come from Scott Walker, or a very narcotized Lee Hazelwood. The video reflects the vulnerability of the track well, and was shot, as Ene says, by Ron Harrell in a dilapidated and miserable motel, off Route 99. The song provides good reason to keep perked for the LP when it arrives on July 10th. Check out the video above.



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Parsnip – “Treacle Toffee World”

Yeah! This new EP from Parsnip is heading towards the top of the list of their releases. Their last album was a killer, but somehow the pop vapors emanating off of these four tracks find them at their peak and begging for more. They already slayed with the opener “Adding Up,” and now they sweeten the deal with a new video for “Treacle Toffee World.” This one’s clipped to an organ wave and fuzz-pedal bubble that make it float. Just one more reason to get this EP in your stack, and they haven’t even gotten to my favorite, the closer, “Repeater.” Though the whole thing’s out today so take a full listen through over at Bandcamp and then do the right thing and get it in your collection.



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Paint – “Ta Fardah”

Good to see the announcement that Pedrum Siadatian (Allah-Las) has a new solo LP on the way under his Paint moniker. He struck out solo under the name briefly in 2010, but really kicked it into motion with an eponymous 2018 LP that perfectly fitted the sandblasted psych that the Las trade upon into an Ayers, Barrett bag with a bit of Rundgren thrown in as well. The record was produced by fellow L.A. scene-haunter and studio wizard Frank Maston, who’s no stranger to crafting a very specific ‘60s sound. He crops up again to produce Paint’s sophomore LP and that sound is still threaded through the excellent first single “Ta Faradah,” a soft-psych spinner that nods to Siadatian’s Iranian upbringing with nods to Middle Eastern psych and funk winding its way out on Finders Keepers and Soundways these days. In addition to Maston behind the boards band also features members of White Fence and Sheer Agony, giving the record a nice sheen that spills way beyond just the sounds here. Its a bump up from the last one, and I loved that, so keep this on your radar for July.



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Leah Senior – “Evergreen”

Aussie enclave Flightless Records has long been an enclave of explosive psychedelia, but the less raucous nooks of their catalog also hold some excellent folk and soft-psych releases that are no less affecting. Grace Cummings, The Babe Rainbow, pre-2020 Traffik Island, and Leah Senior occupy this space well and nod to a lost-era of folk that’s faded around the edges. The latter has just announced her upcoming third LP The Passing Scene, out June 12th and the first single from the album seems to be hitting the same Kodachrome crush feelings as Weyes Blood, Drugdealer, or Bedouine. An airy ‘70s Laurel Canyon quality inhabits “Evergreen,” making it nostalgic, but also familiar, like it might have always been creeping around the stereo. “Evergreen” is indeed a perfect title for the song. Check out the Renaissance-draped video above. No purchase info is lurking about yet, but as with the limited editions of Flightless releases, probably better to snap this one up quick when it does post.

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Galore – “Lydia”

One of the standouts from the recent comp from SFs Rocks in Your Head, Galore packs up what works when things are just barely hanging on. The band dredges up visions of Kleenex’ early days, Olympia upstarts, and NY No Wave luminaries (from whom the song takes its name). Gnarled, unpolished, and unapologetic, “Lydia” is an untethered careen through post-punk, loose-linked jangle, and garage pop that feels like even duct tape couldn’t keep it together and yet it works. The song is infectious even when it tears itself apart at the seams. Grit never sounded so good and the band has a full length of more of the same on the way June 1st. Definitely worth a couple of spins through the speakers.



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Modern Nature – “Harvest”

Modern Nature rev up the release of their new EP with yet another taste from the ranks, this time featuring fellow RSTB fave Itasca (Kayla Cohen) on vocals. As with the bulk of their previous album, the track is built on a low-slung tension that seems to simmer and steam through the speakers. This time, though they build a symbiosis with Cohen turning a yearning folktale into a vibrating mass of sound that’s streaked with melancholy. The song has the feeling of staring into your reflection in a fogged up mirror — immersive, meditative, but obscured by a layer that distorts the truth. This is one of the most complete visions from the band, turning their haunted pop into an aching three-minutes of salvation. The EP is out June 5th.

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Bananagun – “People Talk Too Much”

Aussies Bananagun smear the groove-streaked dance sound of West African and Brazilian funk with a dust-caked approach pulled from the camps of turntablism and reissue retrospectives. There’s a finely curated approach to tracks like “People Talk Too Much” feeling like the band have spent more than a few hours in deep-dive YouTube runs that creak into the early hours of the morning, inspiring a new bounty of grooves the next day. The band manages to make their take on the sounds feel lived in, with touches of fuzz, sun-baked choruses, and production that stops just short of 78 crackle. The band’s been littering the speakers with a few singles and now have a proper full length on the way from Anti-Fade and Full Time Hobby. Check the animated video for “People Talk,” a simple, but solid backdrop for the song’s head-nodding simmer and sizzle of horns. Feeling like a Daptone lost single or Soundway bonus cut, this one hits pretty damn hard. The record is out June 26th.

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