Last week’s Saturday Sampler was a hit, or we think it was. Regardless, here’s the second edition of the Sampler, featuring ten new singles to satisfy your craving for new music.
Astronauts. – “Civil Engineer” (London, UK)
East London electro-folk-rock outfit Astronauts. gives you “something to recognize” on this new single: the unmistakable voice of Dan Carney, formerly of Dark Captain Light Captain. Amid dream-inducing layers of gentle guitar strumming and subtly cosmic sound effects, Carney’s vocals remind us why folk music should never be labeled as boring. The single will be officially released February 19th by Lo Recordings.
DIIV – “Is The Is Are” (Brooklyn, USA)
One of our most anticipated albums of this year is just around the corner. DIIV‘s Is The Is Are comes out on February 5th via Captured Tracks, and the Brooklyn-based band has shared the title track to further whet our musical appetites. The track hints at a new phase in DIIV’s growth. Instead of the body-swaying, moody indie-pop of their debut, they’ve channeled a bit of Tame Impala on this driving psychedelic, shoegaze-y tune. The result is something that is anthemic, that is beautifully stunning, and absolutely brilliant.. Read more about the ideas and development of the song on DIIV’s Tumblr page.
Laura Gibson – “The Cause” (New York City via Portland, USA)
Indie folk singer Laura Gibson overcame considerable adversity getting to the release of her new album, Empire Builder. After moving to New York City from Oregon in 2014, she experienced setbacks that might cause less determined artists to call it quits, including a broken foot and an apartment explosion last year that consumed everything she owned. She soldiered on, and this veteran of the first NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2008 has released this new single that is immediately personal and endearing. The album is due out April 1 on Barsuk Records.
Oscar – “Sometimes” (London, UK)
“Sometimes” may not be Oscar‘s newest song (it originally appeared on his very first self-released, four-track EP, 146b, back in 2014), but it’s finally given its proper dues on a full album. It’s the lead single from the London singer’s forthcoming debut LP, Cut and Paste, which drops May 13th on Wichita Recordings. Oscar’s rich baritone pairs with an old-school Brit-pop beat that instantly transports us back to the early ’90s – which is a bit ironic, since that’s when he was born. He’s been making music for over a decade, proving that age has no bearing on musical talent.
Paves – “Take Me While I’m Here” (London, UK)
The big, ’60s-inspired blues-rock riffs on this new single from emerging London band Paves will have you questioning how you’ve never heard of them before. It’s got swagger for days. The four-piece outfit are still working on their debut album, so we’re looking forward to hearing more from this promising band. If “Take Me While I’m Here” is any indication, 2016 will be the year that Paves sets fire to the music scene with their scorching sounds.
Porches – “Be Apart” (New York City, USA)
Porches is another New York City-based band that knows the struggles of adjusting to life in the Big Apple. “Be Apart” is their latest single, full of synth-pop hooks that tell of wanting to integrate and be a part of something instead of being an outsider. Lead singer Alex Maine wrote and recorded most of the album in his Manhattan apartment, so there is autobiographical truth in its storytelling. He is definitely part of something larger now, having signed to Domino Records, which will release the debut album, Pool, on February 5th.
WAYNOWAY – “Haunted Beach” (Manhattan, USA)
First of all, WAYNOWAY is not a new band consisting of Chandler and Ross of Friends, who were respectively played by Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. I couldn’t tell you whether the band’s name is a nod to the long-running sitcom, but it could very well be. This young trio of Thomas Louis, Michael Cooper, and Alex Costantino are doing things the old-fashion way. They have very little social media presence other than on Instagram. Their debut single, “Haunted Beach”, has received a lot of buzz over the past couple of weeks thanks to old-fashion means – friends and acquaintances spreading word about their song and the threesome doing interviews. One listen to “Haunted Beach” makes you realize that the buzz is well deserved. This jangly, surf-pop tune is like a cool, summer breeze on a hot day – extremely pleasant, enjoyable, and one that you want to hear over and over again. If a comparison is needed, they’re one part Mac DeMarco and another part Youth Lagoon. These guys could be this year’s unexpected surprise success.
Wildhart – “Fantasy” (Gothenburg, Sweden)
“Fascinating”, it was the first one word I uttered when hearing “Fantasy”, the new track from Swedish synth-pop trio Wildhart. The song is sensual yet dreamy. It has a captivating and surreal quality as the synthesizers, keys, drums, and frontwoman Ylva Holmdahl’s beautiful voice collide into a single wave of stunning aural beauty. Imagine if Daughter collided with Lush or Slowdive, and that’s what you have with Wildhart.
Wildhart are Ylva Holmdahl (vocals), Kiwi Berg (synthesizers), and Josefin Runsteen (drums). Their debut EP, EP1, drops March 4th.
WOODS – “Sun City Creeps” (Brooklyn, USA)
On their upcoming ninth album, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, Brooklyn indie folk-rockers Woods will once again dazzle your ears with their audio magic. “Sun City Creeps” has a gently psychedelic, mellow sunset vibe with a bluesy, world music undercurrent that evokes The Black Keys and Calexico on an African safari. It’s instantly addictive, so leave plenty of time for the repeated listens this single demands. The album is due out April 8th via Woodsist.
Work Drugs – “American Fool” (Philadelphia, USA)
We have been fans of Work Drugs for a while and were a fan of their last album release, Louisa. The Philadelphia duo are now back and continue to impress us with “American Fool”. The track is laid back and dreamy with nice 70s undertones. The PA duo of Thomas Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana have a knack for really great lyrics and they don’t disappoint here, either as you can finally sing along to “They hate us cuz they ain’t us”.
“American Fools” is the lead single from Work Drugs’ forthcoming new album, False Highs and Actual Lows. It’ll be released later this year via the Bobby Cahn Records Imprint.
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