The Saturday Sampler for April 30th features several artists whose newest singles have a vintage vibe. Some songs have a disco beat and others have gone retro with New Wave flashbacks. As always, the Sampler has plenty of variety to sate your appetite for new music.
Beth Orton – “1973” (Norwich, England)
Seven is a lucky number. British singer/songwriter Beth Orton will release her seventh album, Kidsticks, on May 27th, and “1973” is one of the early singles. We’re not saying that these numbers predict a successful album – no, this track is all the proof we need.
Summery, sunny electro-pop with a danceable disco vibe, “1973” finds Beth Orton heading forward while glancing back at the past. She’s joined on this track by George Lewis Jr. (Twin Shadow) on guitar and Guillermo E. Brown (Pegasus Warning) on drums. Kidsticks is a new venture for Orton: it’s her first album written on synthesizers instead of acoustic guitar and her first time producing the songs herself.
Big Thief – “Humans” (Brooklyn, USA)
For the past two months, Big Thief have been sharing tracks from their forthcoming, debut album, Masterpiece (May 27th via Saddle Creek). “Big Love” was a soul-crushing song about domestic violence while “Masterpiece” was Joni Mitchell-esque, poetic track about a new arrival. The songs about life and humanity continue on their latest single, “Humans”. The hardest tune of the three, “Humans” is an unexpected love song in the Angel Olsen mode – a track that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking while musically it is a majestic rocker. .
The Cordial Sins – “Angela” (Columbus, USA)
Ambient dream pop never sounded so inviting. The charm of this Midwestern indie band rivals the sirens of Greek mythology. The slide guitar and the effortless harmonies are a beguiling combination. “Angela” features Lucas Harris (of Playing To Vapors) adding vocals and keys to Liz Fisher’s gently gliding vocals. Their harmonies add an extra element to an already enchanting song.
“Angela” is the follow-up to the group’s first full-length album, Daze, which they released last November. You can grab a copy of this single from their Bandcamp page.
The Cordial Sins are: Liz Fisher (vocals, strings), Corey Dickerson (guitars), Kyle Edwards (guitar), Zack Camp (bass), and Jeremy Miller (drums).
Dawg Yawp – “Can’t Think” (Cincinnati, USA)
Last month we featured an indie psych-rock band who have a unique sound that features a sitar. We thought they were a rarity in modern music, but Cincinnati-based indie band Dawg Yawp proved us wrong. We call them “indie” without any of the usual adjectives (indie rock, indie folk) because, well…their sound defies a pre-set genre label. “Can’t Think” has a little bit of everything: a basic country music theme (can’t stop thinking about someone you’re not with), a folk-rock guitar-driven melody, and a psych-rock sitar sound that would’ve made The Beatles proud. Just have a listen to this single and you’ll likely find yourself amazed as well.
Dawg Yawp are: Tyler Randall and Rob Keenan.
The fin. – “Through The Deep” (Kobe, Japan)
From the opening notes of “Through The Deep”, the latest single by Japanese quartet The fin., you’re immediately swept away by the scintillating crystalline notes. Then the harmonies kick in and you’re taken to ethereal heights. Like so many things made in Japan, The fin. may not have invented shoegaze but they sure are perfecting it in the style and breathtaking beauty of Slowdive. Who would have thought that the heir to the great shoegazers’ throne would be found in the Far East? Then again, why weren’t we looking in the Land of the Rising Sun in the first place?
This is the lead single from The fin.’s forthcoming new EP, Through The Deep, which will be released on June 3rd via Lost In The Manor Records. The fin. are comprised of Yuto Uchino (vocals and synths), Ryosuke Odagaki (guitar), Takayasu Taguchi (bass), and Kaoru Nakazawa (drums).
Future Twin – “Are You Rested (Enough Yet)?” (San Francisco, USA)
San Francisco’s Future Twin, the project of Jean Jeanie, could be considered a chameleon of sorts, making everything from shoegaze to synth-pop to punk to soul to plain old indie. You could also say they are a band for everyone. Their latest single, “Are You Rested (Enough Yet)?”, though, is a song for everyone. It is sensational. It is spectacular. Jeanie’s powerful vocals and the emotion that bursts in the song, particularly during the euphoric chorus, are reminiscent of the great LP. After listening to this song, you might be like us and asking, “Future Twin, where have you been all our lives?”
Halcyon Drive – “Books For The Holidays” (Melbourne, Australia)
The music scene in Melbourne, Australia is thriving, and one of the bands to watch is Halcyon Drive. A couple of months ago, they shared their quirky, alt-pop single “Untethered”. Their latest single, though, sees the band head in the opposite direction. “Books For The Holidays” is a gorgeous and euphoric art-rock track that is tinged with a bit of soul and an R&B undercurrent. Frontman Michael’s vocal are stunning, particularly during the song’s chorus and climatic ending. Halcyon Drive’s immersive approach on this song is reminiscent of Menomena, the Portland-based art-rock trio who were masters of fusing together multiple genres to create something unforgettable.
“Books For The Holidays” is from Halcyon Drive’s second EP, Untethered, which will be released on May 13th via Verge Records.
Local Natives – “Past Lives” (Los Angeles, USA)
It’s been three years since we last heard from blissful indie band Local Natives, who in 2013 released the spectacular Hummingbird. The quintet have developed a reputation for masterfully fusing the lushness of the ’70s LA music scene with contemporary indie sensibilities to create music that is emotively powerful, immersive, and spectacular. Yesterday, the band released their latest single “Past Lives”, a gorgeous and stunning tune that sees the band further evolve their dreamy alt-pop. The fantastic harmonies and the shimmering melodies remain, but this song sees the band move more towards the cinematic and anthemic. The slow build is like a rising tide, as wave after wave of breathtaking sound and texture steadily immerses your entire being. The sonic beauty perfectly encapsulates the song’s theme of undying love. And for fans of the band (like us), we are anxiously awaiting to fully embrace the band once again when a new album is announced and released (and there have been plenty of hints that such news is on the horizon).
Local Nativees are: Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, Matt Frazier, and Nik Ewing.
Red Sleeping Beauty – “If You Want Affection” (Stockholm, Sweden)
Red Sleeping Beauty have been dormant for a while, so we welcomed the news that the Swedish electronic indie pop veterans had awoken from their nearly 20-year musical slumber. The band took a pause while member Kristina Borg (for whom the new album is named) battled breast cancer, but now they’re back with “If You Want Affection”. The electronic hooks on this song have an unmistakable synth-driven New Wave vibe (in a Depeche Mode meets Kraftwerk kind of way), yet the nostalgic sound feels fresh and modern here. If this gorgeous gem of a tune is any indication, Kristina could easily be their best album yet.
Kristina is set for a June 17th release via Labrador Records.
Red Sleeping Beauty are: Kristina Borg (vocals), Niklas Angergård (vocals, guitar), Mikael Matsson (guitar), and Carl-John Näsström (bass).
Sonny & The Sunsets – “Well But Strangely Hung Man” (San Francisco, USA)
When you first hear Sonny & The Sunsets’ newest single, “Well But Strangely Hung Man”, you mentally associate it with the creative whimsy of tUnE-yArDs. This single is indeed quirky, but deliberately so. Waves of mild psychedelic rock flow over the disco bass line but nothing here gets drowned out. Elements of ‘70s disco meld with ‘80s New Wave to create a river of funky, danceable fun. How could it not be with Merrill Garbus serving as producer?
Moods Baby Moods is out May 27th on Polyvinyl Records, with pre-orders available from the label’s online store and iTunes. Their month-long North American tour kicks off June 4 in San Francisco and runs through July 7 in Chicago.
Sonny & The Sunsets’ current lineup includes: Sonny Smith, Jordi Llobet, German Carracasco, Shayde Sartin, Pat Toves, Tahlia Harbour, and Garret Goddard.
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