Here’s the weekly Saturday Sampler that once again features ten delicious servings of new music. We have a little bit of everything today – indie pop, indie rock, Americana/folk, alt-country… Have a listen below.
Aoife O’Donovan – “Magic Hour” (Brooklyn, USA)
American singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan delivers a bit of jaunty folk-pop on this single from her second LP, In the Magic Hour. This talented artist (formerly of Americana group Crooked Still and who recently toured with Glen Hansard) incorporates the storytelling of her Irish ancestry on the tune which is more pop-inclined than her previous folk-bluegrass work. The song, “Magic Hour”, and album were inspired by her Irish grandfather who died before the album was recorded, so there is a bittersweetness to its tone. But imbued with O’Donovan’s gentle vocals, the song is a shimmering delight. In the Magic Hour released January 22 on Yep Roc Records.
Big Ups – “National Parks” (New York City, USA)
If this new single from New York indie rock/post-punk outfit Big Ups were a person, it would be that scruffy looking dude wearing a tee that reveals a “Mom” tattoo on his brawny bicep. That’s because “National Parks” is an ode to lead singer Joe Galarraga’s single mother and the sacrifices she made providing for her two children. The lyrics that mention how she “walks alone because she is alone” aren’t typical fodder for a punk song, but it really works here. The song is from the band’s upcoming sophomore release, Before a Million Universes, due out March 4th via Exploding in Sound Records (US) and Tough Love Records (EU).
Dahlia Sleeps – “Black And Blue” (London, UK)
Electro-pop duo Dahlia Sleeps caught our attention back in October of last year with their immersive electro-pop sound. Lucy Hill and Luke Hester have returned with another startling and stellar single, “Black and Blue”. While the single retains the haunting sounds akin to Daughter, the song is more intimate and lush than “Breathe”, where the duo channel Purity Ring and CHVRCHES. It’s one heck of a track for a duo on the brink of stardom.
Heron Oblivion – “Oriar” (San Francisco, USA)
There’s a deep vein of ’60s-era inspiration running through the psychedelic melodies of Heron Oblivion‘s debut single. The wall of scorching sound on “Oriar” gives the song a “straight out of Woodstock” authenticity, while the crystalline vocals from singer/drummer Meg Baird will leave listeners slack-jawed. This emerging band from San Francisco pulls no punches, unleashing their sonic fury straightaway courtesy of stellar guitar work from Noel Harmonson and Charlie Saufley plus Ethan Miller on bass. They recently wrapped up a tour with Kurt Vile and will head back out on the road next month for some stops along the West Coast and two festivals in Texas. Their self-titled debut album is out March 4th on SubPop and is available for pre-order online.
Late Bloomers – “Mona Lisa” (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Late Bloomers are from Denmark and we are sharing their latest, “Mona Lisa”. The track is a melodic indie pop gem. The track speaks to those relationships of unrequited love.
Late Bloomers is a trio comprised of Kristian (drums), Simon (vocals + bass), and Martin (guitars).
Their style has laid back vibes akin to Real Estate. Even thought it is cold and snowy in some parts of the world today, “Mona Lisa” provides a great warmth and will be the perfect track to spin on a lovely sunny day.
((mothers)) – “Copper Mines” (Athens, USA)
We have had our eye on mothers for a while and included their track “Too Small For Eyes” last month. Each track so far is enthralling and vibrant with deep and sorrowful themes throughout. Leschper’s vocals are somewhat familiar yet unique. If you dig bands like Waxahatchee, you will dig Mothers.
Mothers are Kristine Leschper (guitar, vocals); Matthew Anderegg (drums); Drew Kirby (guitar); and Patrick Morales (bass).
Nate Leavitt & The Elevation – “Take Me Back” (Boston, USA)
Nate Leavitt has been quietly making some of the great alt-country and Americana music over the past few years, and his songwriting and style have led many to compare him to Jason Isbell and Ryan Adams. On his latest track, which includes his backing back The Elevation, the comparisons are right on cue. This uptempo, alt-country rocker combined with Leavitt’s gravelly voice recall mostly Adams during his time with The Cardinals. Hail Leavitt for breathing life into alt-country once again.
“Take Me Back” is from the band’s forthcoming EP Someone Send a Signal, which drops April 22nd. The Elevation are Magen Tracy (piano/backing vocals), Dan Nicklin (harmonica/omnichord/guitar/backing vocals), Brendan Boogie (bass), and Paul Myers (drums)
Soft Wounds – “You Can’t Stay Here” (Toronto, Canada)
What’s a playlist without shoegaze? It’s something we’ve written before, but it’s true. Adding some crystalline guitars and reverb are Toronto’s Soft Wounds, whose self-titled, debut album drops today. From the record is “You Can’t Stay Here”, a terrific shoegaze rocker that resonates with the anthemic power of My Bloody Valentine but with the stirring allure of Ummagma. It’s that rare treat where you can rock out yet be sucked into the song’s immersive sound.
Soft Wounds can be purchased on Bandcamp. The band is comprised of Andrew Peach (bass), Jimmy Fitzgerald (drums), Matt Rimon (guitar/vocals), and Charlie Berger (guitar/vocals).
Working for a Nuclear Free City – “Bottlerocket” (Manchester, UK)
The first eighteen seconds of Working for a Nuclear Free City‘s new single, “Bottlerocket”, call to mind the frantic radio-scanning you do when you’re trying to find a good station only to receive multiple signals at once. The rest of the song continues that genre scan: the funky bass riff propels the song down a danceable path punctuated by top layers of noise and chatter. That’s the madness of this tune: it’s neither perfect nor predictable, but like most everything these Mancunians have released since forming in 1999, it is immensely catchy. It’s from their upcoming What Do People Do All Day? album due out February 5 on Melodic Records.
Wussy – “Dropping Houses” (Cincinnati, USA)
For years, Cincinnati’s Wussy has hovered under the radar. They’ve released five albums and number six is around the corner. As an appetizer of what is to come (or a sampling of what many of us have missed), the band has released “Dropping Houses”. This fantastic track blazes with a reverb-infused, guttural rock sound that echoes in the background while co-lead singer Lisa Walker’s sweet voice hovers in the foreground. Now this one heck of a delirious rocker.
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