Posts Tagged ‘Fred Thomas’

Failed Flowers – “Faces”

Slumberland continues to keep their latest singles series sprinkled with compelling reasons to funnel $100+ bucks into their pockets. They announce two more this week including the reappearance of Failed Flowers, Michigan’s indie pop sweethearts. The band, which holds Anna Burch and Fred Thomas as members delivered a solid, Sarah Records-soaked debut in 2016 and has remained largely silent ever since. This is likely due to Burch’s own solo career and Thomas’ busy schedule, but they roar back with two sides of C86 jangle that should put a smile right across your sourpuss. “Faces” is bright and sunny, janglin’ in twin guitar glory and ringing with the autumnal vocals of Burch that seep under the skin. If there was any doubt that the band still had that magic spark, this is proof positive. Gonna keep this one on repeat for the rest of the day.


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Blue Jeans – “Friends & Lovers”

Got a brand-new track from Michigan jangle-pop trio Blue Jeans and its swimming in allusions to the golden years of the twee end of the spectrum. Shades of classic Slumberland, Cloudberry, Flying Nun, and Subway abound, and with good reason. The band boasts a trio of music writers, alongside Saturday Looks Good To Me’s Fred Thomas, at their core. The band leaves influences draped all over their sleeves and the joy they get from dipping into the fray is palpable. The song itself celebrates making records, listening to records, and loving records with the kind of anguish that makes one stay awake late at night playing a song over and over into the headphones until the dark finally wins the fight. They’ve captured the long sigh of indie-pop with the attention to detail of listeners who’ve made it their duty to absorb every last lingering lilt. Check out the zine-worthy video above and be sure to keep an eye out for their debut LP May 17th.



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Stef Chura

As a Michigan native, I gotta love Stef Chura, just for stickin’ it out and never pulling roots on the rust belt. There’s a certain kind of malaise and self-flagellation I inherit to living in the mitten and it comes through on her debut record, Messes. She’s landed in Detroit and made the city headquarters to the recording of the album, enlisting fellow Midwest holdout Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me) on production and bass here. The record leans into certain ’90s touchstones that anyone coming of age during the era might let warm their nostalgic heart; the distortion pedal punch of noise rising out of the calm chorus, feminist punk prose, and a starkness that feels like Albini might be creeping ’round the cables (alas, he’s not). The sum of the parts, though, doesn’t sound like it’s lost in the past, just keeping the best parts aloft.

Chura packs the album full of doubts, anxieties, stresses and breakthroughs. Its an album about all the shit that life throws as you and coming out, at least somewhat, better on the other side. It’s not about erasing that emotional heap from your slate, just not letting it overwhelm. Perhaps that vulnerability is what really brings the album swimming to the surface out. Chura’s ability to be self-effacing and pack it on top of thick, fuzzed, slightly knotty, and certainly catchy songwriting lets her stand as not just another artist flipping surf, jangle, or girl-group swoon into faded memories and faint touchstones. She’s cheekily mentioned that she decided she’d had to write at least album before she dies, but now that she has, I’m hoping its by no means a solitary creation.



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Stef Chura – “Slow Motion”

Detroit’s Stef Chura brings a dose of grunge love to her half of a split tape with fellow motor city resident Anna Burch. Both halves of the tape were recorded by Saturday Looks Good To Me’s Fred Thomas and he contributes instrumentation to both artists’ tracks. “Slow Motion” has a scuzzed but sweet quality that recalls Colleen Green’s recent grunge revitalizations, though Chura’s got a tougher delivery by far and hits the 90’s grit dead on. Like Green, she knows what she likes and her flannel influences wear sleeve deep. This one bodes well for some more material from Chura and if the EP’s just a taste, I’m interested to hear where she’s going. There’s an album in the works, titled Messes so all ears on that when it comes out later in the summer.

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