Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! It’s the one day where everyone – regardless of ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, cultural background – gets to wear green and be Irish for the day. While I could focus our daily mini-playlist – i.e., The Matinee March 17th edition – on music from the Emerald Isle, we’ll save that for a special feature tomorrow. Instead, today, we’ll just share some great new music, including a surprise release from an artist who we came to adore last year.
Annalibera – “Basic Writer” (Des Moines, USA)
A year ago, a little band from Des Moines, Iowa just blew us away with their debut album. Annalibera‘s Nevermind I Love You was spectacular, cinematic, and breathtaking indie rock. Not surprisingly, it was one of our favorite albums of 2015. Just the other day, the band surprisingly dropped a “new” single, “Basic Writer”. Unlike what was heard on Nevermind I Love You, this track is a stripped down, acoustic, alt-country number, but it retains the album’s intimacy. According to frontwoman and project mastermind Anna Gebhardt, “Basic Writer” was written last year for their Love In A Recession EP, which was released shortly after their debut full-length, but the song never made the cut. It’s now been given a second life, as this song has been submitted for inclusion in an Iowan music project. Hopefully the producers of the compilation can hear the quiet beauty in the song and the vivid storytelling that is Lucinda Williams-esque.
Gold Light – “Arm’s Length” (Asheville, NC, USA)
Meanwhile, North Carolina five-piece, Gold Light, have released a song that is of the “Oh yeah” quality. “Arm’s Length” is like a blanket on a cold night – a song that warms you up and something you don’t want to let go. The song is brilliantly paced with terrific, cinematic peaks and even the valleys are stunning with the great melodies. It’s an approach and sound that is reminiscent of and equally as tantalizing as Phosphorescent‘s haunting interpretation of alt-country. This comparison is further validated on Gold Light’s excellent new album, Visions, which is out now via Hearts & Plugs.
Gold Light are Joe Chang, Casey Ellis, Andy Woodward, Josh Carpenter, and Dane Smith.
Loose Tooth – “Bites Will Bleed” (Melbourne, Australia)
By now you know that we all have a huge soft spot for garage pop, dream-pop, and psychedelia. Then when we find a band that puts all of this together into one delirious display of noise dream-pop, you know we’re going to share. Melbourne trio Loose Tooth is one band creating such music that is gritty, shoegaze-y, blistering, and blissful all at once, as evidenced by their newest single, “Bites Will Bleed”. This song tinges with the same infectious qualities of California’s Death Valley Girls, and it has me salivating for the release of their debut album, Saturn Returns. The record will be released on April 1st via Milk! Records.
Loose Tooth are Etta Curry (drums/vocals), Nellie Jackson (guitar/vocals), and Luc Dawson (bass/vocals).
Mint Royale – “Time” (feat. Tom Cane) (Manchester, UK)
As we welcome a new band, we say goodbye to one of electronic’s most underrated artists. Neil Claxton, who goes by the moniker Mint Royale, wrote on his website that “Time”, his collaboration with singer Tom Cane, will be his last as Mint Royale. If we do never hear again from Claxton, he has left us with a memorable and gorgeous single. “Time” is stunning and intoxicating. Claxton’s production work is sublime while Cane’s vocals seem suspended in air. The song recounts the struggles we all go through in determining which direction to go. And through Cane’s voice, Claxton says goodbye to us in the lyrics,
If it’s the last time
Oh why, oh why
I keep telling myself the pull is too strong now
Oh why, oh why
I will be back someday don’t forget I’ve gone.
St. Tropez – “Order” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
We always look to the US, UK, and Australia for the best new music, but the little country of the Netherlands is producing some really awesome bands. One of those is St. Tropez, a four-piece making some terrific garage-rock, post-punk, and what they describe as “yachtpunk”. Their latest single, “Order”, is deep, gloomy, and bleak, but this slow burner is wildly and deliriously awesome. It’s as if Black Mountain teamed up with WTCHS to create a face-melting, mind-altering single. Yep, it’s one of those “Efff yeah!” songs.
Vita and the Woolf – “Brett” (Philadelphia, USA)
Vita and the Woolf is the project of Jen Pague (vocals/keyboards) and Adam Shumski (drum), who have been quietly winning people over with their soulful, symphonic, electro-pop. But after they’re finished at SXSW, the number of followers should swell into the tens of thousands as numerous publications put them on their “favorite discoveries” of the festival. Their latest single, “Brett”, is a cinematic masterpiece. Imagine the symphonic power heard on Florence + The Machine mixes with the crippling, haunting power of Bat for Lashes, and “Brett” would its love child. Pague’s voice, particularly, is amazing, possing the same alluring and transfixing quality as Florence Welch. In finding this track, I asked myself, “Where have Vita and the Woolf” been all my life? You just might be asking yourself that same question.