GospelbeacH – “Albatross Baby”

This one’s for the nuggets freaks and bubblegum creeps out there. West Coast swingers GospelbeaH nail a cover of the ’73 Glam-rocked single from platform obscurities Chunky. A dash of Norman Greenbaum, a splash of Sweet in full blown form and the song’s stuck in your head for life. Brent and the band give their single a welcome revival and a huge sound, melting the wires together with polyester panache and dragging this one through six pounds of shag on the way to your speakers. I’m always gonna be a sucker for a good glam cover and this one does an excellent job of welding GospelbeacH’s already fried sensibilities to the song’s natural bulbous bounce. The cut appears on a new EP from the band that rounds up an excellent crop of glam covers including Michel Pagliaro, The American Jam Band, Crazy Elephant, and Sandy Salisbury. The EP lands at Brent’s Creation Records April 15th.



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FACS – “Strawberry Cough”

Making good use of their record collection in this new video, Chicago’s FACS lay out an ode to influences on “Strawberry Cough.” Pairing the song’s venomous slink, and growling guitars with a flip book of the sounds that have seeped into their songwriting — whether consciously of subconsciously — the video finds invisible ties between the music that forms our foundations. The band’s been scraping at the post-punk nerve over a few solid releases in the past and “Strawberry Cough” extends that run while adding in a bit of disorienting quiver to the palette. The new LP is out May 21st from their usual home over at Trouble in Mind.



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John Andrews and the Yawns – “New California Blue”

When John Andrews’ last album sidled onto the speakers it was a nice extension of some of the quiet cool he’d gathered while in his band Quilt. While it stepped back a bit from the band’s verdant folk sound, he kept the windswept pastoral feelings that made Quilt an indelible part of the aughts indie psych landscape. In the meantime John can be found haunting albums from Hand Habits and Purples Mountains, Woods to former bandmate Shane Butler’s Olden Yolk. As he approaches for a third round under the Yawns umbrella, he’s finally filling the hole of his legacy in Quilt. The album’s first single “California Blue” is imbued with a strain of melancholy distilled from the same well that fed the pipes of his past. With a renewed reliance on twilight-stained keys and some Joni Mitchell in mind, he’s crafted a pillowy ode to the West Coast, while hunkering down in his New Hampshire barn. The new Yawns album, Cookbook is out May 14th from Woodsist.



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Grave Flowers Bongo Band – “Down Man”

A second dose descends from Gabe Flores’ Grave Flowers Bongo Band, this time picking up stakes and moving crosstown from Permanent to Castleface. The band’s first single brought their first dose of renewed fire, aided and abetted by some production from Ty Segall and they keep on careening into the blaze on this second offering, a cover of Dutch mindflayers Brainbox’s 1969 single “Down Man.” Gabe and the bongos thicken the smoke in the air and deliver a scuzzed and slightly glammed version of the song, but it fits right in with the oil spill psychedelics of their new LP Strength of Spring. GFBB crosses over membership with fellow RSTB faves Hoover III and both seem to be bulking up their sounds on the way to new LPs which feels like a boon to us all. Gabe notes that the with the cover, We tried to funkadelitize this one. Channeling “Maggot Brain” energy to this classic song by Dutch psych rock royalty Brainbox!” The new LP is out April 30th. Mind meld with that video above and get pumped.



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The Peacers – “The Ghost of a Motherfucker”

Happy to see that one of my favorite cuts from The Peacer’s new LP, Blexxed Rec gets a video this week. The excellently named “Ghost of a Motherfucker” is blessed with a low slung blues shuffle from Mike Donovan (Sic Alps, The Mother’s Network), further bashed into fine form with the songwriter’s weather-worn vocals. Playing off its dusted denim swagger, the song capitalizes on what The Peacers do best — sun-toasted slow burn anthems that sweat through the speakers. The song is given an equally easy moving video, with riverside images from Benjamin Maddox providing a dank, dusty backdrop to an equally gnarly cut. The new LP is out March 26th from Drag City.


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Satomimagae – “Numa”

I’ve been letting this one soak in today. An excellent new offering set up a split release between Gurugurubrain and RVNG, Intl. Satomimagae trades in a deeply furrowed strain of folk – immediate, yet resonating through time in all directions. A resonant hum anchors the listener to “Numa,” but Satomi descends through the emotional strata dragging us on the tether with her. A scarred blues play out with notes of the nature of struggle. Fights that cannot be won because the forces are too large, too alchemical, too ingrained in the nature of the rot of the world. Its cyclic. Any perceived win lands us right back at the starting point, bewildered and needing to relived the moment all over again. The accompanying video from Soh Ideuchi is fraught with a reckless energy, that comes crashing down in waves of futility by the end. Satomimagae’s Hanazono is out April 23rd.

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The Reds, Pinks and Purples – “The Record Player and the Damage Done”

Another excellent single lands from the upcoming Reds, Pinks and Purples LP. Taking even a cursory look at Glenn Donaldson’s output over the years — from the noise of Thuja to the sun-soaked folk of The Skygreen Leopards and the jangle-pop pervasiveness of Art Museums and RPP — Glenn clearly suffers from the same record addled affliction as many of us. “The Record Player and the Damage Done” is an ode to the spiritually fulfilling act of playing records. There’s something satisfying in pursuing a sound that’s just right, pouring over discographies and dollar bins to find something that’ll make your heart soar or match you in a melt to the floor. With touches of Felt and the Dunedin sound coursing through this song, Glenn’s sending out a beacon to all bin riflers out there, an instant jangle-pop classic. The new LP lands him a debut at Slumberland and a second offering in the UK on Tough Love. Uncommon Weather is out April 9th.

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Matt Sweeney & Will Oldham – “Hall of Death”

Following a few hints this past summer and fall, the return of Matt Sweeney and Will Oldham is now official with a new LP announced for Drag City in April entitled Superwolves (naturally). The album includes the dark, harrowing “Make Worry For Me” alongside the more celebratory new single “Hall of Death.” The new cut was produced with Tuareg guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane (Les Filles de Illighadad) and is backed by Mdou Moctar and his ensemble. The song roils along on Moctar’s sunburnt guitar lines, slicing the air in tandem with Sweeney’s own insistent choogle. The song’s got a supreme summertime glaze to it and, while we’re all stuck in the greyed doldrum of February, its nice to let the track open up a little warmth whenever you you might need it. From the first pair of singles, its clear that the duo has never lost their ability to twist between sorrow and joy and this one should likely jump up the list of anticipated LPs for 2021. With Malkmus mining the blues and Superwolves going Tuareg, its a good couple of years for the fried guitar streak in ya. Superwolves is out April 30th from Drag City/Palace Records and Domino

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Hoover III – “Control”

Hoover III return to the fold, moving from Permanent records to the similarly psych-minded crew over at Reverberation Appreciation Society. With a heavier lean into prog (cut wit a dose of psych-pop) the band enters a quivering headspace that’s been occupied by Secret Machines, Spacemen 3 and Loop. The first single, “Control” pulses along on a chugging rhythm slashed by thick ropes of guitar and pillowed organ plumes. The band spent some time absorbing the air of Berlin before writing the album and there’s a legacy of the German Progressives in the bones of the album that rears its head here as well. Hoover and his crew continue to refine their space rock ruckus and “Control” ought to whet the appetite for what’s to come on 4/9 when “Water For The Frogs” lands on shelves.



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Nashville Ambient Ensemble – “Conversion”

A wash of relief floods the field with the first cut from the debut of the Nashville Ambient Ensemble. The record was brought together by composer Michael Hix, roping in some of the city’s best to add textures to his embryonic dose of cosmic country. The assembled players include Cynthia Cárdenas, Timon Kaple, Deli Paloma-Sisk, Kim Rueger, Jack Silverman and RSTB fave Luke Schneider on pedal steel. “Conversion” wafts in on a wave of euphoric steam, fogging the foreground with shifting synth and aqueous guitars that seep through the senses, radiating golden hues across the synapses with each progressive moment. The textured vocals dart through the mists unseen, feeling everywhere and nowhere until the song simply retreats back into the air. Hix’s ensemble pull an unseen weight from the mind and body, loosening the nerves with each second on their upcoming LP for Centripetal Force. The LP, Cerulean arrives on March 19th, and I’d recommend letting it find a way onto your speakers.

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