Welcome to this week’s serving of new music cocktails, featuring some upbeat California indie pop, indie folk/rock, a bit of psychedelic shoegaze, and a triple dose of girl power rock. Let’s get things started with a track that will jump-start your Monday.


Decorations – “Promise” (Los Angeles, USA)

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decorationsThis single from LA-based, indie-rock outfit Decorations is so impossibly catchy it should come with a warning about instant addiction. It’s hook-filled from the start with an exuberant tempo, a chorus you can’t help but sing along to, and a very relatable theme: heartbreak. Decorations is the project of multi-instrumentalist Devon Geyer, a Berklee College of Music alum who headed home to California after graduation – without a girlfriend, a car, or a job. “Promise” is his three-minute breakup anthem. He makes a painful experience positively delightful to hear. Geyer wrote, recorded, and produced his debut album, Have Fun, on his own, save for percussion from veteran Ambrosia drummer Burleigh Drummond. Fans of upbeat, New Wave-inspired indie pop/rock (Bloc Party, The Strokes) will love Decorations as much as we do.

Have Fun releases June 10 via Frenchkiss Records with pre-orders from iTunes.

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Young Moon – “Colt” (San Francisco, USA)

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young moonAnother breakup-inspired song this week comes from San Francisco band Young Moon. “Everything happened for a reason,” sings lead vocalist Trevor Montgomery on the group’s new single. “Colt” is a tale told by a survivor of love’s battlefield who emerged scarred from the war but determined to move on. The song’s ambling pace and the slightly gritty timbre of Montgomery’s vocals have a rugged honesty on par with Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen. A calm undercurrent of wisdom flows through this song: “When I was just a colt, everything was easier.” This is the kind of song that brings a centered peace after the storm has passed. If you like the storytelling and expansive sounds of Damien Jurado and Grant-Lee Phillips, then Young Moon should be on your radar. The new album, Colt, releases June 3 via Western Vinyl, with pre-orders from the label’s online store.

Young Moon are: Trevor Montgomery (vocals, guitar), Danny Grody (guitar, synths), Jeff Moller (bass), and Syam Zapalowski (drums).

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Psychic Ills – “Another Change” (New York City, USA)

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psychic illsVeteran shoegaze act Psychic Ills announced their forthcoming fifth album last month by releasing a single featuring Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. As if that wasn’t fantastic enough, the New York City duo have followed up with an equally amazing second single. “Another Change” is steeped in hazy, psychedelic warmth with lyrics about “trying to make sense of my life” – a conundrum this band has surely never faced in their 10-year history. Lead vocalist Tres Warren creates lush harmonies with Elizabeth Hart that rival the atmospheric tone of Spiritualized and Luna/Galaxie 500 with a hint of alt-country twang. You can easily lose yourself in a delirious dream state with this song, so be prepared. It’s so chill that you shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while listening.

Inner Journey Out releases June 3rd via Sacred Bones Records. Pre-orders are available from the group’s Bandcamp page and iTunes. Psychic Ills will launch a brief (10 day) European tour on June 15 with stops in the UK, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Israel.

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Mercury Girls – “Ariana” (Philadelphia, USA)

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mercury girlsPhiladelphia is a hot spot of indie rock these days, with bands like Hop Along and Sorority Noise leading the pack. New indie pop quintet Mercury Girls have now joined that roster. You might expect a group called Mercury Girls to be an all-girl band, but instead they’re a collaborative project of several Philly-based indie bands with a sole female singer. “Ariana” is jubilant, breezy dream pop. It blends echoes of early New Wave and modern rock (think The Cure mixed with Lightning Seeds) with delicious results. This is an early contender for THE summer song of 2016.

“Ariana” releases May 20 via Slumberland Records with pre-orders available from the label, their Bandcamp page, and iTunes.

Mercury Girls are: Sarah Schimineck, Kevin Attics, Chris Schackerman, Kevin O’Halloran, and Andrew Hagiwara.

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Muncie Girls – “Balloon” (Exeter, England)

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muncie girlsFemale bass players tend to get noticed, perhaps because it’s a male-dominated role in the music scene. The most successful female bassists are veterans of legendary groups like Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, and The Breeders, to name a few. Now an emerging British indie punk band seems poised to follow in those bands’ footsteps. Since forming in 2012, Muncie Girls are quickly becoming known for their bass-driven rock lead by frontwoman Lande Hekt. Their bold sound is supported by smart lyrics (the album title references the asylums in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar) that address subjects like sexism and rape culture. “Balloon” has an element of pop sensibility but doesn’t restrain the scorching licks. Hekt’s vocals are in top form here as she repeats “it’s not your fault” on the chorus. If you like edgy music with plenty of substance, Muncie Girls will not disappoint.

Their debut album, From Caplan to Belsize, released March 4 via Animal Style Records (US) and Specialist Subject Records (UK). It’s available from the group’s Bandcamp page and iTunes.

Muncie Girls are: Lande Hekt (vocals, bass), Dean McMullen (guitars), and Luke Ellis (drums).

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Faye – “Chow Chow” (Charlotte, USA)

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FAYE - Chow ChowAnd speaking of The Breeders… Charlotte-based indie rock trio Faye seem to be channeling the punk-rock girl vibe of the ‘90s on their self-titled debut EP. Equal parts Liz Phair and The Breeders, their sound is tight and unrelenting. Clocking in at just over two minutes, the single “Chow Chow” packs a lot into a brief space. The trio of high school friends waste no time delivering wry lyrics (“Let’s take a cigarette break / pretend we really know what we are doing here”) awash in layers of fuzzy bass and guitar. Faye have an incredibly polished sound for such a new band, and we look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Faye’s five-track EP drops May 13 via Tiny Engines with pre-orders available from the label’s online store, Amazon, and iTunes.

Faye are: Susan Plante (guitar, vocals), Sarah Blumenthal (bass, vocals), and Kristen Leake (drums).

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