NEW MUSIC: Koalra – Dear Daylight

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Hailing from Chicago Illinois, Koalra cut some fine indie rock shapes on this single ‘Dear Daylight’. There’s the rough and tumbling guitars – part jangle, part visceral screes – post-punk rhythms and a voice that hollers and sings with a beautiful melancholic angst. It all fits together just right on the single, one of many great tracks on their EP Surprise Lights.

Koalra call themselves a noise punk band and there’s undoubtedly that in the abandon and frantic pace of their songs, but they also dial into that sweet spot between energetic flailing and clever, twisting guitar shapes, in the lineage of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and No Age.

ALBUM REVIEW: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Sideways To New Italy

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Sideways To New Italy
Ivy League

Since the release of their debut album, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have traversed the globe, playing numerous headline shows and music festivals. Now those experiences and the associated dizzying dislocation have fed into their second record, a consistently superb collection of songs that matches the hit rate of their debut.

All three singer/guitarist songwriters again contribute songs, managing to stamp their own style and  personalities without bending or breaking the symbiotic jangly guitar rush and heady pop clamour that defines their sound. You get a sense of homesickness – both geographically and emotionally, a searching for place and context after the last few years of the band. 

Joe White’s She’s There and The Only One are love songs, the latter introducing a 80s indie pop sound reminiscent of Prefab Sprout while the former tumbles forth with irresistible guitar riffs. Fran Keaney’s Cars In Space is both urgent and intricate, like The Smiths at their most nimble. Sunglasses At Night imagines itself as a lost You Am I ballad, while the guitars of Not Tonight swoon and dive before the band hits one of their most divine pop choruses to date.

The heady rush of the band’s sound is still intact but there’s an additional sense of wistful reflection and a wider musical palette on Sideways To New Italy that takes their sound to even greater heights. 

Chris Familton

NEW MUSIC: Dei Lucrii – Devil’s Thumb / Scathe By The Bull

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Dei Lucrii are a psychedelic noise-punk quartet based in Los Angeles California who’ve just released their new EP Devil’s Thumb.

Below you can check out the first two tracks from the release, both of which hit the accelerator and burn ominous rubber across the melting highway bitumen. There are shades of stoner rock and punk, with a dark and heavy underbelly, in their sound. You can also hear the desert influence, giving it a western-noir vibe amid the distortion and weighty rhythms.

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NEW MUSIC: Blue Canopy – St. Albans

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Here’s a really nice slice of 60s-tinged, indie guitar pop from Portland-based artist Alex Schiff who records under the name Blue Canopy. The vocal layering in particular grabbed our attention with their tripped-out Beach Boys vibe. ‘St. Albans‘ comes from his debut EP Mild Anxiety which is out now.

“St. Albans is about an old friend who I lost touch with, but consistently visits me in dreams. It’s probably my only falling out (outside of romantic relationships) that felt like a breakup. The relationship was a little toxic, but we were very, very close. We were also songwriting partners through college, and when I decided to end our band, he decided he didn’t want to ever speak with me again. The song is part reminiscent/memory lane and part my feelings about it now after all these years. I showed him the record (we communicate a little bit now) and that was his favorite song! It’s also a little bit Beatles-esque which is his favorite band, so that’s a little bit of a nod to him.”

NEW MUSIC: Chris Child & Micah Frank – Static Wheels

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US composer Chris Child & sound artist Micah Frank have recently released their second collection of songs – Tape Pieces Vol. 2, featuring this fine track, ‘Static Wheels’. Experimental post-rock and ambient drone are at the core of it, generated by the heavy use of filtering with effects so the loops blur together and bear just an echo of resemblance to its original. The ebb and flow of the track makes for a wonderfully immersive listening experience with David Lynch/Den Hurley elements in its atmospheric mood.

Tape Pieces Vol. 2 was created with TASCAM 4-Tracks, the two recorded layers of short tape loops using a few vintage synths and a Rhodes. The loops were further disseminated into drones though an array of guitar pedals. Field recordings from Portland’s coasts were subtly woven in, providing a tactile sense of place which inspired the moods of these pieces.

 

NEW MUSIC: Million Square – First Block

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Million Square (UK) released their new EP Spirit Bloom last month and one of the highlights is this track, ‘First Block’. Glitchy, effervescent, sparkly notes dart between the speakers above frantic scattershot beats. It’s IDM music but when a haunting, romantic saxophone enters the fray it takes on a new, jazz-leaning vibe and it works wonderfully.

London-based electronic duo, Million Square features double-bassist Max Luthert and saxophonist Duncan Eagles, who citing influences as diverse as Autechre and John Coltrane,  expertly blend the sounds of acoustic and electronic instruments.

NEW MUSIC: Fontaines D.C. Release New Single and Announce New Album ‘A Hero’s Death’

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Fontaines D.C., who released one of our favourite albums of 2019, are back with a new single ahead of the release of their second album A Hero’s Death on July 31st. The album title-track is a great first single too – with that trademark energy and verve of the band and some added texture and melody thrown into the mix.

Singer Grian Chatten has this to say about the song and video:

“The song is a list of rules for the self, they’re principles for self-prescribed happiness that can often hang by a thread. It’s ostensibly a positive message, but with repetition comes different meanings, that’s what happens to mantras when you test them over and over. There’s this balance between sincerity and insincerity as the song goes on and you see that in the music video as well. That’s why there’s a lot of shifting from major key to minor key. The idea was influenced by a lot of the advertising I was seeing – the repetitive nature of these uplifting messages that take on a surreal and scary feel the more you see them.

The title came from a line in a play by Brendan Behan, and I wrote the lyrics during a time where I felt consumed by the need to write something else to alleviate the fear that I would never be able follow up Dogrel. But more broadly it’s about the battle between happiness and depression, and the trust issues that can form tied to both of those feelings.”

NEW MUSIC: Holy Wave – Escapism

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Hazy, rolling sonic waves are the order of the day on this blissed-out new psychedelic track from El Paso TX band Holy Wave. It slowly builds, layer upon layer of chiming, effects-laden guitars and astral voices, droning and intoning as it heads skyward.

‘Escapism’ is the 2nd single off Interloper, Holy Wave’s fifth album, out July 3, 2020. You can also listen to the title track and ‘I’m Not Living In The Past Anymore‘.