Posts Tagged ‘Indie’

David Nance – “My Love, The Dark and I”

This week sees another raw blues tangle from David Nance’s upcoming LP on Trouble in Mind. The latest, “My Love, the Dark and I” is delivered with a grit-teethed grimace. Nance’s stripped things back to the bones and it suits him. While the last album brought a storm front that was hard to ignore, Nance’s forte has long existed in shaking a good dose of grit out of a more paired down setup. The guitars wrestle into a tumult of twang and charcoal-crushed smolder. Nance is appropriately weary here, run ragged by the road and love and the endless stretch of night. The new album, Staunch Honey is out November 13th.


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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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Raven Mahon on Roland Blinn – Rosebud

When writing up The Green Child this week I mentioned that they’re mining some real fun off-kilter synth pop tendencies, finding blending The Creatures and Strawberry Switchblade with jangled touches. One thing I’ve long learned, though, is that while there may be some scars inherent in a record that by no means dictates an artist’s current obsessions. Raven Mahon might be familiar here from her work in The Green Child, but perhaps more so as a member of Grass Widow. The band was long a favorite from the beginning of the last decade, mining post-punk and jangle pop with a carefree flair. I’d asked Raven for a Hidden Gems pick and she’s found an offbeat chem that certainly meets up to the overlooked part of the equation. Check out her take on Canadian songwriter Roland Blinn’s LP Rosebud.

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Pearl Charles – “Take Your Time”

Today finds us left with another tender single from the upcoming Pearl Charles LP. The record pushes her away from some of the disco skip of her last record and into the full sway of the sunset stretches of ‘70s Canyon nights with a light scent of Cosmic Country on the breeze. “Take Your Time” is more at peace than “What I Need” — laced with the soft twang of guitars, a tumble of last call piano, and Charles’ heart-stung vocals. The song’s a reminder to slow down and drink in the moment, which is perhaps a helpful reminder while we’re all preoccupied with the crumble of Western Civilization. Yet it still bears some weight that a comfortable autumn afternoon with the right kind of air and a ripple of wind through the leaves can let most anything wait for an hour or so. The new album is out January 15th from Kanine.




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Woods release archival collection Reflections Vol. 1

More Bandcamp goodness today with a new collection of archival material from Woods. Dubbed Reflections Vol. 1 (which bodes well for a volume 2), the comp picks up unreleased tracks, refined demos and live material that showcases the band’s tender folk. The collection includes a track recorded spontaneously on the roadside in the Arizona desert, a previously unreleased live jam from the band’s stint at Party in the Pines, put on by Mexican Summer, and a Brian Jonestown Massacre cover. The material’s quality feels far from b-sides and throwaway tracks, giving the collection the feel of an alternate reality album of Woods tracks that somehow went missing. Check out “Midnight Moment” below which was recorded during the sessions for With Light and With Love and finished this year in their home studio.


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Nick Mitchell Maiato

There’s joy and sadness in the new solo LP from Nick Mitchell Maiato. The joy is always inherent in his works — it’s a feeling that bubbles under his songwriting these days and one that explodes into waves of color when he lets fly guitar parts that shift and shimmer as much as they burn incandescently. The sadness comes, as most seems to of late, with the knowledge of what could have been had we all not been set adrift due to disease. The songs on this album were to be the beginning sketches of the lineup for a third One Eleven Heavy album that, at least in this form, will likely never be. The band was set to convene and combine these with works by Toth and Chew that would have carved themselves into their latest love letter to classic rock cyphers and cosmic choogle. That third album will come, but not as it was originally conceived.

Still, the feelings of joy should win out in this struggle of the senses and sentiments, as we cannot lament forever what might have been and instead have to embrace what Pino Carrasco has become. Those sketches were worked into full flight songs that embrace Nick’s half of the Heavies — the buoyant tangle of guitar that’s rooted in Crazy Horse’s grit, Canned Heat’s heartbeat boogie, and Satana’s playful willingness to experiment with rhythm. That Nick’s able to channel the push/pull feeling of testing one another that a full band can attain is impressive to say the least, for an artist alone. While the Heavies have an ecstatic dynamic, Maiato’s able to create his own imaginary ensemble in the studio, adopting amiably the instruments of his peers and creating a whiskey-rubbed Brill Building of one with cosmic ambitions. The dynamic comes to a head on the album’s anchor pieces “Show Yourself” and “Ode To What,” the latter an impressive feat of time-change gymnastics that tumbles the listener through more than a few hairpin highs. Don’t lament the loss, just let Pino Carrasco lift up your heart during the dour months. Its a sunshine-scrubbed delight that keeps the listener on their toes.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE (UK) or HERE. (US)

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Kurt Vile with John Prine – “How Lucky”

I’m sure I won’t be the first to tell you about this one but KV’s always held a soft spot in my heart ever since some basement shows back in NYC so many years ago. It was worth waiting until deep into the morning then and its worth flagging this excellent collab with John Prine for his upcoming EP. Can’t even imagine Vile collaborating with an American legend back then, but here it sounds so natural with the both of them taking on Prine’s “How Lucky.” Speed, Sound, Lonely KV wraps up a few covers of John Prine and “Cowboy” Jack Clement as well as two originals — and was recorded with Nashville with session notables Bobby Wood, Dave Roe, and Kenny Malone along with with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf). Hearing Prine here, sounding as natural and weathered as always just makes this year’s loss harder to take, but this curio from Vile is a reminder of what made him an indelible voice in American songwriting. The EP is out October 2nd from Matador.




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Yo La Tengo – “Bleeding”

YLT has had some room to run this year, putting out an album of atmospheric instrumentals before vaulting into an EP that’s exploring some handpicked covers. Originally the tracks on Sleepless Night were included with a retrospective of works of Yoshitomo Nara for the LACMA exhibition. The band worked with Nara to pick tracks and they span cuts by he Byrds, The Delmore Brothers, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Lane, and The Flying Machine alongside this one, “Bleeding,” as the sole original. The song is lost in a haze that might feel familiar to Tengo fans — gauzy, tender, and just a bit disorienting. The listener wades through the song like morning fog and it begins to dissipate by the end, chased off by a light lap of feedback. There are moments of feeling lost in its humid embrace and it nestles in nicely among the boquet of covers that lean towards quiet and bittersweet. The EP is out October 9th from Matador.




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Chloe Alison Escott – “Back Behind The Eyes Again”

The last time I had mention of Chloe Alison Escott, it was with an entry to Chapter Music’s healing Midnight Meditations compilation. The song was a far cry from Chloe’s work with The Native Cats. While the spare delivery remained, she’d traded propulsive post-punk for a midnight sigh of piano. There was mention of a full album in the same light and now further pieces of that album, Stars Under Contract fall into place. “Back Behind The Eyes” is just as worn, weary, and smudged with rain as her last single and it precedes an album of worn resolve, self-acceptance, and growing into the person you’re trying to be as an adult.

While it seems this one has been bubbling under the skin — a part of Escott’s live repertoire in flux for several years — the feelings finally fit into the emotional puzzle that’s laid out on Stars Under Contract. Escott mentions “I wrote “Back Behind the Eyes Again” 12 years ago. Sometimes it takes a while for me to get around to recording a song, and the lyric and the structure will evolve over that time; in this song I changed one word (“another” to “better”) and it’s otherwise exactly as I played it at shows in my 20s. It’s about drifting in and out of yourself, and about dramatising life with music.”

While the nervous energy of The Cats has been burnt off of these songs, the scars that Chloe brings to light are still there, acting as a thread tying the new album to her past. The song seems like a moment of healing, a reminder not to pick at the wounds, but to be mindful of them to let them heal. The album is out October 16th from Chapter Music.




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Kelley Stoltz – “The Quiet Ones”

For those of us who’ve found the entryway into Stoltz’ disorienting alternate history of pop, each new record is a tumble down a new unseen corridor in his secret world. The last record pulled on a crooked tie and a cocked smile for a power pop pub crawl that came and went with only the lucky to nab it for their shelves and the rest to pine. Stoltz is a wily one, though, and he’s not through with 2020 just yet. Another LP looms, with the SF songwriter returning this time to his roots at Agitated Records, stewards of his ’01 kicker Antique Glow. The first taste of Ah-etc packs the power pop back in the suitcase and returns to the lacquered Formica lilt of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Tiptoeing a guitar slink through hallways of chromed keys, the song turns up the voyeurism and eavesdrops on the neighbors, lurking with a queasy charm. Stoltz, ever the Echo & The Bunnymen fan, spent time as a touring member and his bandmate Will Sergeant returns the favor and lends guitar to “The Quiet Ones.” There’s something of a lost afternoon feeling to the track, swirling around the listener and feeding the internal monologue that turns neighbors into puzzles that populate the mind. The loneliness is palpable and the fluorescent flicker just seeps into those synths harder on each listen. The LP is out November 20th from Agitated.

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