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Joe Wong – “Nite Creatures”

I’ve been letting the Joe Wong (Parts & Labor) cut sink into the skin this morning and its starting to take root. The songwriter and composer might be more well known today for his work with television scoring these days (Russian Doll, The Midnight Gospel, Master of None, etc) but it seems that he’s still got an itch for psychedelic rock, albeit of a much lusher nature these days. His new album for Decca is earmarked with just about as many blissful psych touchstones you can cram in — produced by Mary Timony and mixed in the studio by Dave Fridman, the album brings together Mary Lattimore, Anna Waronker, Steve Drozd, and quite a few others to help Wong drape a bit of velvet over every track. “Nite Creatures” makes great use of Lattimore’s harp as Wong makes a play for Lee Hazlewood spun round in the rotoscope under gelled lights. I know that Wong leans more towards scoring, but from a psych-pop standpoint I hope that after the Lynx Lodge has closed for good, that Tom Patterson can find another mercurial psychedelic show in which to place this one. The Fred Armisen-directed video does little to dissuade that feeling, going for a hidden worlds feel while Wong wanders a Moroccan dressed mansion. The song is from his new LP, out now.



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Badge Époque Ensemble – “Unity (It’s Up To You)” featuring James Baley

New goodness today from the upcoming Badge Époque Ensemble and it tumbles further down the well of psych-soul that the band has been pumping the past few years. Slippery and hitting a note of ‘70s Stevie here, the band is scratching that itch for flute-dabbled, organ grooves. The band’s crushed velvet sound has long benefitted from a perfect pairing of guest singers and here they don’t slip. “Unity (It’s Up To You)” features Toronto singer James Baley, who has in a tangental move, popped up on the last U.S. Girls LP following his own Roads in 2017. Baley joins U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy, fellow Canadian Jennifer Castle, and and longtime collaborator Dorthea Paas as the voice of the new BEE on Self Help. The band further augments their Summer of ’74 vibes with a psychedelic claymation video, which seem to be making a nice comeback in 2020. The video comes courtesy of Alex Kingsmill of Beyond Wonderland Films. The new record lands on November 20th on the band’s home at Telephone Explosion.



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The Weather Station – “Robber”

Had a day or so to soak in this new song from The Weather Station and it’s getting under the skin quite nicely. With a move to Fat Possum and a shift in sound that embraces flannel blurts of sax, soaring strings, and overdriven organ, Tamara Lindeman has elevated this above her already fairly sterling catalog. Lyrically the song hits a prescient note, alluding to the elaborate denial we all undergo in order to let ourselves support systems that constantly seek to undermine our best interests and strip mine our personal resources, rights, and dignity. We’re all making excuses for the robber — letting government and capitalism corrupt because the hand that takes is so large it seems like its not there at all. The song definitely sets a high bar for what comes next from Lindeman. The song appears on a new 7” out this week backed with b-side “Better Now.”



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Triptides – “Hole In Your Mind”

Got another ripper of a single from Triptides this week. Tapping into their fuzz-soaked psych with a nods to garage days gone past, the song was written together in quarantine and the video was shot at a shuttered Zebulon in L.A. Stomping riffs give way to jangles and reverb-laced lyrics. A lounged bridge cools the waters, but only temporarily, and then the band jumps back in with all the force of rave up rippers who’ve long found their place among the new generation of psych-pop acolytes. The band has been especially potent of late in the single format, and this track seems to be yet another stand-alone nugget of heady bliss. While it’s not heralding a new album, it’s more than enough fun to pop on repeat for a few runs around their kaleidoscopic roller-coaster.

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Sky Furrows – “36 Ways of Looking at a Memory ”

Capturing a vibe halfway between Patti Smith and Sonic Youth, Albany’s Sky Furrows bring together poet/writer Karen Schoemer and members of psych rock unit Burnt Hills. The latest taste of the album winds in crouched, its surfaces calloused — a song pent up and pacing around the streets looking for an outlet. The first sip of the album, “Alyosha” started tense but burst into serrated shards of guitar, but here the relief never comes, the song strapped with tension to the last moments. That palpable tension works well. The guitars are still pulled taut, tripwires in waiting, tiny traps without prey. The narrative spins — drudgery or dream, its hard to tell. Sky Furrows have a way of capturing the ‘90s burn that skirted experimental while seeping into the mainstream as labels scrambled to get their alternative ducks in a row. For casual listeners something like “36 Ways of Looking at a Memory” was a head scratcher between the more explosive moments on a favorite album, but for those with the right kind of ears, it’s the bound confusion we were looking for all along. The eponymous record is out October 15th.

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Sleeper & Snake – “Shoot Through”

Getting closer to the release of the sophomore LP from Sleeper & Snake. The project, which pairs Amy Hill (Primo, Terry) with Al Montfort (Total Control, Dick Diver, Terry) for a slinking, pop prod through uneasy pop waters. The latest single drapes itself over the listener, maybe a bit too close. It’s off balance, woozy, and wobbling in the way a friend might after one glass of wine too many. The metronomic beat persists, but the sway of strums and muffled sax give it a cottonmouth pop quality that’s ultimately endearing, as is the rest of the band’s upcoming LP for Upset The Rhythm. Fresco Shed is out October 23rd.

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Frank & The Hurricanes – “Balsam Babe”

Another one from the Sophomore Lounge stable today and it brings news of a new LP on the way from Frank & The Hurricanes. The band last popped up as The Hurricanes of Love with a release split between Feeding Tube and Crash Symbols, and the worn-in, reclined vibe that Frank was hitting on the lat release remains in tact. Frank’s got a way of translating summertime backyard beers to an entire aural aesthetic, feeling like a half ton of tension-melting good will in every bar. He’s only shored up his grip on the Americana trickle out of classic rock, perpetrating his mud-caked gospel over the sunny tangle of strings on “Balsam Babe” Its good to know that Frank’s out there taking it easy for all of us sinners. The new LP lands November 20th on Sophomore Lounge.



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Silver Synthetic – “Unchain Your Heart”

Another taste of the new Silver Synthetic EP on Third Man comes out with a ‘70s swathed video of the band playing a Top of the Pop style setup. The trappings fit the band who are definitely hitting a low gear choogle on “Unchain Your Heart.” Its an even looser side to the band than on the previous single and they nab the last of the summer breeze and bring it curling down the coast with them. They’ve let go of the motorik sway that infected “Out Of The Darkness” and let this one go full denim stomper with a smooth groove and some subtle handclaps underpinning their sunshine harmonies. The whole record’s a short, but excellent addition to the Cosmic Americana cannon of late and it feels like just the beginning of larger things. The EP is out 10/2 on Third Man.

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Fuzz – “Spit”

One last kicker before winding down the day. The new Fuzz album looms and its another bout of blasted rock from the trio of Ty Segall, Charlie Moothart, and Chad Ubovich. Slung low and lurking, the track utilizes their power trio approach to the fullest capacity. A tempest of guitar and bass, a crush of drums and some falsetto sizzle, what more are you looking for from these guys? Now the band hasnt’ radically reimagined their formula, but when the grit hits this hard why shake the system. They pair the cut with a fun stop-motion video created by Moothart. The record is out at the end of next month, October 23rd, from the band’s longtime home at In The Red.



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Wolfmanhattan Project – “Summer Forever”

A nice surprise this morning in the form of a new track from Wolfmanhattan Project. Wasn’t expecting anything new from this team up of Mick Collins (Dirtbombs), Kid Comgo Powers (Gun Club, Bad Seeds), and Bob Bert (Pussy Galore), but they’re back at it after their debut LP from last year. “Summer Forever’ slides in on a queasy, greasy guitar vibe that sees Mick and Kid trading riffs. There’s a powerful wave of overindulgence wafting off the track – an endless summer that may or may not be a good thing in the end. It seems its the end of the world as we know it but the beaches aren’t closed and there’s still time for a dip before the bloodshot sun dips below the horizon. When the lineup includes legends like these, there’s always some high expectations, but they continue to come through with a dose of edge-of-the-apocalypse fun. Summer Forever And Ever is out soon on In The Red Records.



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