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Olden Yolk – “Cotton & Cane”

One of my absolute favorite albums of the last few years has to be Olden Yolk’s rain and jangles debut on Trouble in Mind. The band announces the follow up Living Theater today with the first single “Cotton & Cane.” Recorded with Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere, the song retains their grey-skied delivery but sharpens the surrounding haze to a fine point. Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer continue to lock their voices into a heady spiral of harmonies while underneath them Butler’s strums run breathless and brazen, sloughing off the timid trappings of jangle with a defiant charm. The accompanying video finds the band wandering pastoral plains and flashing cryptic cards – embracing the bittersweet veil that falls on their sound. The new finds them again with powerhouse label Trouble in Mind, released on May 17th. Personally, I can’t wait.



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Mystic Braves – “The Great Unknown”

Mystic Braves continue to sate with the singles slung from their new LP. Sweetening the pot, they give their latest track, “The Great Unknown,” a superb stop-motion video via animators Andrew Pitrone & Ignacio Gonzalez. The clip pairs well with the kaleidoscope cool of their jangle-pop throwback. Everything about the record wafts in on a California vibe of permanent summer with responsibilities left hangin’. Should be a good companion to the warmer months ahead. Check the video above.

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Gonzo – “Never Say Never Again”

Geelong garage-punks Gonzo are back already with a new single and matching vid off their upcoming Anti-Fade. The track’s another ripper – octane oozin’ punk that’s sinewy and sweaty, oddly buttoned up, yet tearing apart at the seams. The boys pair the panther pounce of the song’s nimble grooves with a strangely silly vid that shows the band wandering the streets dressed as plants. Who cares if it brings something new to the table, the clip is offbeat and the song’s flexin’ for a fight. The LP lands at the end of the month on Anti-Fade (who are having a great year already). Pick it up!



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Patience – “The Girls Are Chewing Gum”

Following the dissolution of revered band Veronica Falls, Roxanne Clifford’s taken a shift towards synth pop, using her gift for gauzy pop to pin down deft hooks to a more propulsive muse. Patience has been issuing a sterling run of singles since 2016, but today she announces her debut LP, Dizzy Spells for Night School/Winona Records. The announcement comes with a new video in tow for the Eurythmics via Tones on Tail slanted cut “The Girls Are Chewing Gum.” The track dances in the corners of the room, lost in its own dream. The synth tones sidle up just this side of goth, but those skittering drums splash a bit more sun on the track, keeping the velvet curtain of that particular genre at bay. Slotted alongside former standouts “White of An Eye,” “The Pressure,” and “The Church” the album already feels like a future classic. Check the neon nostalgia of the video for “Girls” above and watch for the LP May 3rd.

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Elkhorn – “To See Darkness”

For the past couple of years psych-folk duo Elkhorn has been amassing a catalog of burnt-cinder and toasted molasses guitar gems on labels like Beyond Beyond is Beyond, Debacle, and Eiderdown. Now they stand ready to stun with a two LP set on the way from Feeding Tube that’s packed with their best burners yet. I’m happy to premiere the video for one of the set’s absolute standouts, “To See Darkness.” The track’s steeped in soul-scarred smolder, carrying weight of apocalyptic magnitude in its wounded fuzz leads. The duo’s interplay of fingerpicked runs and high-plains sonic pestilence is peaked and prowling on this track. Should the gods of the small screen ever get around to working out a cinematic vision of Jonathan Hickman’s East of West a wise seeker should tap the duo to soundtrack the menace of Death spreading across the salted plain.

The pair rightly accompany the cut with an austere video of them live in the room with just a somber backdrop of blue to buoy the track’s sonic slash. Captured by Eric Silver (photography) and Josh Johnson (sound) the clip shifts the focus to the power of the music without looking to flood the viewer with anything except the awe and menace the song rightly inspires on its own. The album set, Sun Cycle + Elk Jam, recorded by Jason Meagher at Black Dirt, is out April 12th on Feeding Tube, I’d feel inclined to mention how necessary these are, but I feel like that video might have just made my case for me.



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Vital Idles – “Careful Extracts”

Got another peek at the new Vital Idles EP, out today on Upset The Rhythm, and it cuts just as hard as “Break A.” Clangin’ the post-punk dinner bell hard and making the call out to those with a hankering for a crunchin’ crush of guitars, clipped rhythms, and the strident slash of Jessica Higgins’ urgent vocals – “Careful Extracts” is another stunner. Jessica weighed in on the track, saying, “Just me and my, who cares! I wrote the words from bed, who cares! Really, it’s trying to shout or work through or against the looking for something with which to build a rationale, or being rational, or even being asked to be rationed, as in economic or efficient, while actually, sensually, potentially (phrasing not my own) having a rationale all the while of undoing and of trying to spread into that gap between being in a private space and anticipating the requirement to present.”

The band paired the track with a video that’s obscured and claustrophobic – the members flashing camera bulbs over themselves in barely seen snatches. It’s a complimentary take on their sun-parched propulsions. Grab that EP over at UTR ASAP!

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The Mystery Lights – “Someone Else Is In Control”

On their sophomore LP, The Mystery Lights scrape at several layers of the psychedelic onion. Lead single “Someone Else is in Control” locks a heavy chuggin’ beat to some Eastern sounds, feeling like Erkin Koray gone Krautrock. There’s more than a touch of menace in the slippery slides and hounding bass riffs that lock the track into place. Naturally the accompanying clip for the track is hazy and haunted, digging up all manner of psychedelic ephemera and throwing it at the lens. The new LP lands at Wick, which, while always overshadowed by the dank grooves of Daptone, is shaping itself up into a nice enclave of garage and power pop these days.



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Kevin Morby – “No Halo”

Excited to see a new offering up from Kevin Morby today. The songwriter’s post-Babies career has only seen him perfect his shaggy L.A. troubadour persona, and with “No Halo” he’s sliding into a refined space – adding a cascade of flutes, stabs of sax, and smoky background vocals to his palette. The song is both a long way from his debut Harlem River, in terms of production, and yet not so removed from the heavy-lidded, heavy-hearted delivery that’s made each new of his records essential. With the expansive approach, Morby also turns in a high-concept video directed by perennial collaborator Christopher Good, who’s been putting his imprint on artists like Mitski, Waxahatchee, Anna St. Louis, and Okkervil River. The new record’s out April 26th from Dead Oceans, which you can apparently pre-order with, a, uh 24-page hymnal and sheet music. I guess. Sure, why not?



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Centrum – “Stjärnor”

Great new track today from Centrum, the Swedish duo comprised of members of Hills and Weary Nous. The band’s ethos centers around meditation, and while “Stjärnor” does have a meditative thrum to it – built from sawing violins, organ drones and the slow amble of drums – the track doesn’t shy away from the psychedelic melt either. Much like contemporaries Myrrors, and by extension , Träd, Gras och Stenar and International Harvester, the band builds slow tsunamis of souund, with “Stjärnor” crawling towards the ignition of guitar that burns the track down by its close. The cheekily titled För Meditation is out April 19th on Rocket Recording.

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Shana Cleveland – “Don’t Let Me Sleep”

Shana Cleveland lets out the second single from her upcoming, Night of the Worm Moon, which is quickly becoming one of my favorites of 2019. Much like the previous single, “Don’t Let Me Sleep” languishes in late-night vibes and spectral calm. The song, and album, are a departure from the taut garage pop of her La Luz days, but Cleveland proves that less is more with these affecting and dreamy tunes. The accompnying video is no less dreamy, in fact. Centered on an extraterrestrial concept, the clip is awash in shimmering colors and midnight locales. Its a perfect compliment to Shana’s lullaby pleas. The album is out April 5th, and I highly recommend looking into a copy.

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