May 26th, 2022
The Latest, Circling Back and Playlisted music for your perusal.
Two posts in one month? What the?
I’ve been dragging my feet on the newsletter, but kicked myself in the butt this morning with some coffee so here I am with another round of new music, not-quite-as-new-music, and some playlists for you.
Have had a good run of negativity bubbling around the brain lately. A lot of that “does anyone even care?!” mentality when thinking about my interests and personal projects. That shit can be tough to kick! If you’re out there thinking the same things about whatever you’re working on, you’re not alone! It’s real tough to focus on the fact that - first and foremost - I listen to music because I love it!!! If no one read this, that’s fine, that’s not the point and it really shouldn’t be, but I know all too well that my brain likes to forget that from time to time. A side-effect of social media intake, I’m sure. Anyway, there’s no point here other than please be kind to yourselves out there.
Enjoy some music, and as always let me know what you’ve been spinning these days on Twitter!
Cool Original - outtakes from “bad summer” (2022, Topshelf Records)
My initial reaction to the latest from home recordist Nathan Tucker was an unsure one; I had grown accustomed to the noisy, hooky guitar-rock heard on 2017’s Infinite Hiatus and 2019’s I Never Said I Didn’t Care. As I spend more time with outtakes from “bad summer”, the more I find it an absolute revelation. This album fits right alongside work by bands like Spirit of the Beehive or Dama Scout, taking spiraling bedroom production and exploding it to the widescreen, stuffing the frame with hooks, riffs, pitch shifted samples, and dusty synths. Every song is like some kind of oxymoronic maximalist-yet-minimalist pop epic, burrowing themselves into your ears like a worm but begging you to press one against the speaker to hear the infinite layers peeling back.
a fungus - It Already Does That (2022, Subroutine)
This was one of those records I hit play on one release day morning with no idea what to expect. An unfamiliar band name, an unfamiliar label, but the first few songs stuck with me. This Amsterdam act play a kind of math-rock/noise-rock hybrid very indebted to many seminal 90s bands I’m sure I could namecheck, but would maybe do a disservice to a fungus’ originality. If you can’t get enough of that melting point between post-hardcore riffery and sticky hooks ‘n’ melodies, this will scratch that itch for you.
Body Type - Everything is Dangerous but Nothing’s Surprising (2022, Poison City Records)
Australia's Body Type had their debut LP delayed thanks to the pandemic, but nothing about the album sounds a few years behind. If anything, it’s as potent as ever. I’ll spare you my usual schtick about how the post-punk genre is so overstuffed these days, but Body Type really do feel like they are breathing some new energy into the sound. There’s a kraut-y, psychedelic energy to opener “A Line” sorely missed in the genre, and they can pivot on a dime and drive straight into jangle-poppy tracks like “Futurism” with nary a speedbump in sight. A truly varied and perfectly executed debut LP.
Joyride! - Miracle Question (2022, Salinas Records)
I will listen to anything that Salinas Records puts out, doesn’t matter if I’ve heard the band before or if they are a complete and total unknown to me. They’re just that reliable a record label. In this case, I’ve long had a predisposal to Joyride!’s power-pop indie-punk ever since they dropped their self-titled LP in 2013. Has much changed since then? Not really, and I mean that in a good way. Maybe a pinch matured, a smidge more mid-tempo, but in the best kind of way Joyride! provide the goods, again and again. Jenna Marx and co. are definitely one of the most consistent bands in the pop-punk/indie-rock game, hands down.
zabutom - Resolution (2021, Self-Released)
I know the name zabutom primarily as a chiptune related moniker; I’ve mined some of their earlier work (and collaborations with personal favourite Dubmood) for my Chiptune genre-playlist. On 2021’s Resolution (which I spent the better part of a few weeks thinking was a 2022 release for some reason, dang) they pull a tough trick - make an IDM record for chiptune heads… or is that make a chiptune record for IDM fans??? Either way, it’s a gorgeous blend that has had me coming back again and again.
Chiptune & Hybrid Chip
Speaking of chiptune, why not take my Chiptune and Hybrid Chip playlist for a spin? Shuffle, if you like. Almost 7 hours of crunchy melodies and hybrid-electronic (basically, some stuff has less of a tracker-specific vibe but all songs retain an emphasis on the classic chip sound.)
Power Hour: The Darling Buds
Something about The Darling Buds just feels appropriate for this week. Whether you’re already a fan of the South Wales alt-rock act or a complete beginner, this power hour should do the trick. Let me know if you think I’ve messed up the tracklist on this if you’re a fan, I’d love to know your favourite tracks.
That’s it, that’s all. Be excellent to one other.
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