Hello world! The past week has been a busy one, so I haven’t had time to provide this week’s batch of posts (but I did scrounge up a ton of ideas). Anyhow, the past week had so much good music to discover, so I couldn’t pass up another Roundup. That being said, here is a curated playlist of 20 of the best finds from the past week. And yes, you can expect another Roundup at the end of this week. Score! Scroll to the bottom for the full playlist, and read below for the track-by-track:
The Wombats – “Greek Tragedy”
The Wombats are back stronger than ever on “Greek Tragedy”, a track that sounds more like The 1975 than anything else. That’s not a bad thing either, as the extra polish adds a lot to the band’s sound. This is an especially poppy number, with an extra-creepy NSFW video involving the band and their “number one fan”.
Naps – “Floral Mattress”
Sounding somewhere in the female haze of Waxahatchee and Yours are the Only Ears, Tallahassee four-piece Naps craft fabulous twee-pop that begins somewhat slack and sleepy, but sounds more urgent towards the distortion-laced end (“I hope this scares you sober”).
Leon Bridges – “Lisa Sawyer”
This man manages to sound vintage and current all at once. The steady R&B here is parts Otis Redding and Frank Ocean, and I love every part of it. The doo-wop backup singers, the linear melodies, and the lilting 6/8 beat are just parts to a much greater sum: this incredible track.
Death Cab for Cutie – “No Room in Frame”
The latest from indie rock veterans Death Cab for Cutie is also the opening track of their upcoming eighth record Kintsugi, and if “No Room in Frame” is any indication, this is shaping up to be a great album. With clean guitar sounds fresh out of “A Movie Script Ending”, the whole thing feels like trademark Death Cab. Be right back, eagerly anticipating this record in the corner.
Wet Leather – “Astral Projection”
Coming off as a more soulful and less arty Ava Luna, Wet Leather craft great indie rock (or as their Facebook page says, “anxiety pop”). The band recently premiered the video of their new track “Feel” over on Tiny Mix Tapes, so go ahead and treat yourself. You’ve earned it.
Blind Mice – “Nervous”
Massachusetts pop-punk/emo outfit Blind Mice recently premiered their Sunday Songs EP (due 3/17 on Animal Style) over at BrooklynVegan. Opening track “Nervous” is chock full of angst, anger, and tension.
Honeyblood – “No Big Deal”
Scotland duo Honeyblood create 90s-tinged indie that most readily sounds like EMA meets Waxahatchee. With swooping vocals from Stina Marie Claire, and a clean comping guitar, the whole thing feels older.
Alexei Shishkin – “Goodbye Chile”
A DIY artist sounding close to Alex G and Real Estate, Portland’s Alexei Shiskin is a promising new artist. “Goodbye Chile” is an insular and minimal bedroom pop track, but one that creeps into you. There is a multitude of sounds here, and it feels crafted with much care. The track is part of Shiskin’s upcoming release (the dog tape) (due out 4/14). Keep your ears peeled for this one.
PURPLE – “Extinction”
Berlin producer PURPLE makes music that feels like Blood Orange meets Rhye. “Extinction” is an incredible example of this artist’s range, from spoken word segments, to recurring R&B vocals (“There’s a sin in my heart”). PURPLE’s debut release Silence & Remorse is due out this spring via WeDidIt.
Spaceships – “Woodz”
Here is another slice of indie-slacker-rock-DIY that feels sloppy but lovable. Los Angeles rockers Spaceships sound like they’re paying homage to The Velvet Underground a bit, between the slightly ranty vocals and the similar chord progression. “Woodz” is the opening cut from Little Buddha (out now), a collection of previously unreleased tracks now seeing the light of day. Dig it.
The Tallest Man on Earth – “Sagres”
Kristian Matsson is back, and sounding more polished. “Sagres” is the first cut from his upcoming record Dark Bird is Home (due out 5/12 via Dead Oceans), and while the feel is cleaner and refined, it still feels like the talented artist we have come to know.
Ben Seretan – “Light Leaks”
Sometimes, there are artists that come and go, and sometimes there are ones that really blow you away, reminding you why you listen in the first place. Ben Seretan is, without a doubt, in the latter camp. “Light Leaks” is a sparse, sprawling 7-minute sonic trip, containing solely an electric guitar interspersed with great vocals. But man, does this guy fill that sonic space up. The artistry on here is brilliant, and Seretan’s guitar chops are incredible. The guitar lines flow almost effortlessly, ebbing and flowing, coming and going. Most powerful is the mantra that fills the final third of the song, acting as words to live by for anyone losing faith: “You will be stronger tomorrow/You will be wiser tonight/You will find new love without warning/You will find new joy with every breath.”
Fred Thomas – “Cops Don’t Care Pt. II”
Saturday Looks Good to Me member Fred Thomas takes it solo to make music that reminds me of Andy Sadoway. There are some great stream-of-consciousness lines here, namely this bit: “Life is so incredibly long/Like a kiss on a bridge between two nervous-ass kids/Terrified of doing everything wrong/Fickle, belligerent, fully existent”
Pillow Talk – “Room”
Proving that there is an emo sound for every era, Pillow Talk are to the 80s what Adventures are to the 90s. This Memphis, TN group are due to release their latest EP What We Should Have Said Was Nothing on 3/3, and “Room” is a solid cut. There is a lot of reverb on this track, but there is also a lot of atmosphere in general.
Eartheater – “Homonyms”
Easily the strangest, quirkiest, and most intriguing find this week. The psychedelic, R&B-tinged solo project of Guardian Alien’s Alexandra Drewchin, Eartheater sounds something between Grimes, Little Dragon, Sharon Van Etten, and Ava Luna. Just a bit artier than all of the above. Check it out!
Battle Ave. – “The Sun”
Here is another outstanding find: Upstate NY band Battle Ave. are due to put out a split with Arkansas group The Coasts this week, and “The Sun” is a great taste of what’s to come.The whole thing is powerful and moving, but also feels fragile, like it could break at any second. The wistful, weeping guitar lines are what stand out most to me, amid the worn, raw freak-folk lead vocals. This is a song in three parts: a clean guitar and vocal waltz-y intro, submerging into a tense, melodic middle, finally winding and building to a final anthemic instrumental segment.
Mumblr – “Got It”
When I was really young, I remember jumping around on my sister’s bed to random songs on the radio. One memory in particular was soundtracked by The Offspring’s “Come Out and Play”. Philly band Mumblr don’t necessarily sound like The Offspring, but they have a similar jump-around-on-your-sister’s-bed feel, right down to that punky chorus.
Little Wings – “By Now”
Some more good folk from the folks over at Woodsist. Little Wings is singer-songwriter Kyle Field, and “By Now” is the first track to be released from his upcoming LP Explains (due out 5/26). This feels right in line with other Woodsist output (Real Estate, Woods, Kevin Morby).
Doe the Band – “Late Bloomer”
This female-fronted indie rock feels most immediately like Speedy Ortiz, but not for the guitar parts. It’s more about the muscular, rhythmic feel. And is it just me, or does that backup vocal sound eerily similar to Amanda Palmer? Bonus points all around.
Beat Radio – “Invisible Cities”
Going to close this mix with a track from a local artist you should be aware of. Bellmore, NY artist Brian Sendrowitz creates solid indie pop as Beat Radio, and the production on this track is incredible. Sendrowitz’s vocals sound a bit more auto-tuned than usual, but that adds to the fun of this track. It feels breezy, and summery. “Invisible Cities” is part of a split release with Kid in the Attic (due out 3/10 via Sendrowitz’s own label, Awkward for Life Records).
Mix is below. Until next time, keep your ears open!