This week’s Melodic Tonic collection of new singles features some scorching tunes that will kickstart your week faster than six triple espressos. Buckle up for some feet-tapping, because we’re starting off this Monday with a bang!
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Sune Rose Wagner (Denmark) – “Anemone”
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It’s been a year since Danish band The Raveonettes quietly dropped their last album, Pe’ahi. While there is no news of a follow-up (sorry, fans!), Sune Rose Wagner has again taken a quiet approach to his very unquiet new music. Thanks to my Revue colleague, Ben, I learned of Wagner’s blistering cover of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “Anemone.” He released the single earlier this month, perhaps as an audio gift honoring the August 29 birthday of his friend, BJM singer Anton Newcombe. It seems perfectly fitting that Wagner covers this, as the original track – featured on Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request, one of their three albums released in 1996 – is a gauzy, psychedlic homage to The Rolling Stones. Wagner’s version is bold, fierce, and loud – three words always apropos when describing BJM. Do yourself a favor and crank this one.
Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe (Canada) – “Cocaine Cat”
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Speaking of Anton Newcombe, he teamed up last year in his new hometown of Berlin with the young, talented Toronto singer Tess Parks to create a collection of gauzy, psychedelic dream rock. The result, I Declare Nothing, came out in June on ‘a’ Records. Meanwhile, Parks – who is on Oasis manager Alan McGee’s 365 Records – will see the vinyl reissue of her 2013 album Blood Hot released October 23 on Optic Nerve Recordings. Parks and Newcombe will tour select UK cities in September before Brian Jonestown Massacre head Down Under to tour Australia and New Zealand in November.
Wild Child (USA) – “Bullets”
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Austin, TX boasts a bounty of talented indie bands, and Wild Child is no exception. Their energetic sound comes from a large ensemble who use an orchestra’s-worth of instruments, from cello and piano to ukulele and horns. Last month we shone a much-deserved spotlight on “Fools,” the first single off their upcoming third album of the same name, due October 2 on Dualtone Records. This week we’re sharing the equally catchy “Bullets.” Its effervescent pop sensibilities are as irresistible as Kelsey Wilson’s sunny vocals. With lines like “I’m still smiling with the sun,” it would be easy to assume this is just another happy pop song instead of a kiss-off to an ex. Never has a breakup sounded so good! The album is available for pre-order on iTunes. Wild Child have an extensive U.S. tour planned for October and November.
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The debut album from Los Angeles indie band Gems should come with a disclaimer warning that shortness of breath may occur. Full of existential longing, each listen leaves you swooning and wanting more. The voices of Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher blend enchanting melodies amid lush layers of synth pop, and it’s quite a sparkling, polished jewel. Kill the One You Love releases October 30 on Carpark Records and is available for pre-order online and iTunes. The band will tour in October supporting Autre Ne Veut.
John Grant (USA/Iceland) feat. Tracey Thorn – “Disappointing”
One artist who has not been living like a ghost is John Grant. The American-born, Reykjavik-based singer name-checks a few of his favourite things on his new single, “Disappointing.” It’s not the meaningless laundry list of an optimist. Instead, Grant sings about things that are “disappointing compared to seeing a smile spread across the face of the one you love.” Grant has a penchant for collaboration: he teamed up with Sinéad O’Connor on his 2013 album, Pale Green Ghosts, and also worked alongside Goldfrapp and Icelandic singer Ásgeir in the last few years. True to form, Grant’s upcoming third album features Tracey Thorn (Everything But the Girl), Amanda Palmer, and former Siouxsie and the Banshees drummer Budgie. Grey Tickles, Black Pressure is due out October 2 on Bella Union (UK/EU) and Partisan Records (US) and is available for pre-order online. Grant is slated to play a few U.S. cities in October with a full European tour through November and December.
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