Today’s mid-week serving of new music cocktails features six tasty treats from the UK and USA. From indie power pop supergroups to dazzling British synthpop, this mini playlist infuses your day with infectious beats.
Filthy Friends – “Any Kind of Crowd” (Portland, USA)
RIYL: Sleater-Kinney, R.E.M., Minus 5
The music scene has a surplus of “supergroups” these days, but few are as stacked with talent as Filthy Friends. Featuring Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker on lead vocals, “Any Kind of Crowd” is utterly infectious power pop. Of course, any song that features its co-writer Peter Buck on backing vocals is an instant winner, but the star power doesn’t stop there. This collaborative effort also includes members of The Minus 5, Ministry, The Fastbacks, and Nirvana. That’s right: Krist Novoselic plays bass on the Filthy Friends’ cover of the Roxy Music classic “Editions of You,” making this 7″ one of the best Record Store Day 2017 gems.
If you weren’t able to grab a copy at your local vinyl shop on Record Store Day, the digital version is available on Bandcamp via Kill Rock Stars. Look for Filthy Friends when they play Portland’s Project Pabst in August and Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival in September.
Filthy Friends are: Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5), Bill Rieflin (King Crimson, Ministry), and Kurt Bloch (The Fastbacks).
Daddy Issues – “Locked Out” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Liz Phair, The Breeders, Veruca Salt
When a new band first forms, choosing a name is often the hardest decision. Not so for Nashville indie grunge-pop trio Daddy Issues. They stumbled upon their name before they had even formed a band – or learned how to play instruments. This “right place at the right time” lightning bolt moment occurred a few years ago. Next month they will release their Deep Dream debut EP that includes the vintage-sounding “Locked Out” single.
“Locked Out” channels the ’90s when female rockers like Liz Phair and the Deal sisters brought some much-needed gender balance to the genre. This slow-burning scorcher never reaches a five-alarm inferno status, but it doesn’t need to. Instead of getting in your face and screaming, it simmers with plenty of tight hooks, talent, and IDGAF attitude. Their Deep Dream EP arrives May 19 via Infinity Cat Recordings on Bandcamp.
Daddy Issues are: Jenna Moynihan, Jenna Mitchell, and Emily Maxwell.
Orchards – “Darling” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Foals, Wolf Alice, CHVRCHES
Some bands get their big break by opening for more established artists, thereby sharing their tour spotlight. It’s a great way to get noticed – if the audience arrives early enough to see the opener. But we all know that is less likely when the support band isn’t quite known yet. This scenario is one that Orchards won’t encounter following their recent stint opening for PWR BTTM. Now with the arrival of their newest single, “Darling,” arrived yesterday, Orchards’ fans will want to arrive two hours early for prime spots whenever they play. Their effervescent sound draws in casual listeners and turns them into devoted fans.
“Darling” is a delicious indie delight from this emerging Brighton-based alt-pop band. It shimmers with bright vocals (think Wolf Alice meets CHVRCHES in terms of alt-pop depth) backed by a dynamic trio of powerful bass, guitar, and percussion. This song propels the band even further into the spotlight created last November when they released their “Honey” single. Orchards are undoubtedly a band to watch in 2017.
Orchards are: Lucy Evers (vocals), Sam Rushton (guitar), Dan Fane (bass, backing vocals), and Will Lee-Lewis (drums).
Twist Helix – “Pulse” (Alicante, Spain and Newcastle upon Tyne, England)
RIYL: Austra, Desperate Journalist, The Cranberries
“Wow! Who is this? And why have I never heard this amazing tune before?”
Those are the first thoughts you’ll have upon hearing “Pulse” from emerging British indie synth pop trio Twist Helix. The powerhouse vocals of Bea Garcia will grab you immediately, and not just because you hear echoes of both Björk, The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, and Desperate Journalist’s Jo Bevan.
Spanish native Garcia has a commanding vocal presence that sends chills up and down your spine. The brooding bass and percussion give this song added allure that is reminiscent of Austra’s industrial tones. “Pulse” is the kind of song you can dive into and become immersed in the depths of its dark layers. It is, in a word, mesmerizing.
Twist Helix are: Bea Garcia Cisneros (vocals/keys), Michael Humble (bass), and James Walker (drums).
Palm – “Walkie Talkie” (Philadelphia, USA)
RIYL: Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Dan Deacon
Small bursts of fireworks mark the start of “Walkie Talkie” from Philadelphia-based indie rockers Palm. You don’t hear actual fireworks in the choppy intro, although each riff is a bright flash of colorful instrumentation. Palm excels at fusing multiple genres – including post-punk, garage rock, indie pop and more – so it’s nearly impossible to describe their sound with one word.
They aren’t going for easy-listening melodies or subtle chord changes. Instead, what reverberates throughout “Walkie Talkie” is a kaleidoscopic display of experimental hues and tones that keep the listener engaged and unable to guess what comes next. This kind of spontaneity and playful expression makes for an adrenaline rush of a listening session. In fact, their forthcoming six-song EP, Shadow Expert, is only 17 minutes long, so you could pair it with (or in lieu of) your morning coffee to keep you buzzing well until happy hour.
Palm are: Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt (lyrics, guitars, vocals), Gerasimos Livitanos (bass), and Hugo Stanley (drums).
Mating Ritual – “Drunk” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Sigur Rós and Bon Iver mixed with M83
The hazy, extended intro of “Drunk” from Los Angeles-based artist Ryan Marshall Lawhon – aka Mating Ritual – floats on an ethereal plane akin to Bon Iver or Sigur Rós. It relaxes your mind and transports you to a fever dream state of bliss. Then, just as the lush tones start to make your head spin around the 1:45 mark, the poppy, ’80s-esque synth tones emerge and shift the song’s direction. It’s not so much like feeling drunk as it is a tidal wave of emotion washing over you.
And oh, what a dazzling wave it is. Clocking in at nearly six-and-a-half minutes, “Drunk” is a delirium-inducing ride from start to finish. Close your eyes as you listen and you, too, will recognize the feelings Lawhon describes: “Floating on top a shallow pool of self awareness.” This kind of punch-drunk euphoria won’t leave you hungover the next day, so keep it on repeat for maximum enjoyment.
Mating Ritual’s How You Gonna Stop It? debut album arrives May 19th on his Smooth Jaws label. You can pre-order it on iTunes. Until then, you can stream his previous releases (including his eponymous 2016 EP) on his SoundCloud page.
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