Welcome to your Monday serving of new music cocktails. We understand if your ears are still reeling from the new Radiohead album released yesterday. It may be hard to get excited about other new music, but trust us: these six artists have great tunes you should spin right away. This week features a selection of funky vibes from Berlin, bluesy rock and dreamy psychedelic rock from the UK, sunny garage indie pop from Southern California, and some American singer/songwriter fare to balance out the mix. Let’s get things started with a pair of powerful singles from Berlin.
Africaine 808 – “Everybody Wants To (feat. Blind D.D.)” (Berlin, Germany)
Brace yourself for some super funky, ultra-danceable disco beats fresh from Berlin’s Africaine 808 (aka A808). This latest single from their recent debut album, Basar, has infectious grooves that blend a world beat with cosmic effects over pulsing percussion.
A808 is the duo of Dirk Leyers and DJ Nomad (Hans Reuschl) who are joined on “Everybody Wants To” by a blind organ player known as Blind D.D. Their effortless fusion of African and Latin grooves with the otherworldly flourishes makes this track the perfect way to kickstart your Monday. Crank it loud to get your game face on.
The Third Sound – “Shake Them All Down” (Berlin, Germany)
Bluesy, psychedelic, shoegaze folk-rock: The Third Sound are a whirling vortex of musical genres that defies classification. They’ve got the dirty blues rock of The Black Angels mixed with the psychedelic shoegaze of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, so it’s no wonder that their 2010 debut album was released on Anton Newcombe’s A Records label. If you didn’t know this is a Berlin-based band fronted by an Icelandic singer (Hákon Aðalsteinsson, formerly of Singapore Sling), you would swear they’re from some dusty desert town near Las Vegas. There’s a tinge of gritty darkness on “Shake Them All Down” that matches the vibe of someone who’s either lost big at the poker tables or won big and rides a motorcycle toward the sunset feeling like a total badass. Since this song fits either situation, it deserves to be used in a movie.
“Shake Them All Down” is from the band’s third album, Gospels of Degeneration, which released April 22 via Fuzz Club Records. The label offers CD and vinyl from their online store, or you can get it directly from the group’s Bandcamp page.
Oliver Wilde – “Look After Your Machine“ (Bristol, England)
Dreamy psychedelia reigns supreme on this newest single from Bristol’s Oliver Wilde. There is a moodiness at play here on “Look After Your Machine”, with echoes of Sparklehorse, Elliott Smith, and Built to Spill woven throughout. But it’s not melancholy moodiness as much as it is introspective musings that can be enjoyed without prescription antidepressants. The music is lush with lyrics that demand your focus. It’s refreshing to hear a substantive album that rewards the listener for investing the time to plumb the depths of its folktronic quirkiness.
Long Hold Star An Infinite Abduction released May 6th via Howling Owl Records. The EP explores themes of personal growth and transformation first heard on his 2013 debut, A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears.
Oliver Wilde are: Oliver Wilde, Hugo Bishop, Caelia Lunniss, Connor Jones, and Andrew Hutchin.
Night School – “Last Disaster” (Oakland, USA)
What happens when three talented female musicians (whose first names start with the letters A, B, and C) are brought together by their love of bands from multiple decades? You get the hazy, reverb-heavy, harmony-enhanced sounds of Night School. On this single from their upcoming full-length debut, Blush, this Southern California trio blends multiple influences to make a fresh, modern sound all their own. From their ’60s-era pop harmonies to the ‘90s-style fuzzy, distorted guitar layers, it’s as if The Breeders played a beach party with The Ronettes. It’s easy to hear why Night School opened for Best Coast on some of their California Nights tour dates last year. Their styles are perfectly complementary, as “Last Disaster” clearly shows. Take a listen and you’ll be swept away by their sunny, doo-wop garage rock.
Night School are: Alexandra Morte (guitar, vocals), Baylie Arin (drums), and Cheyenne Avant (bass).
David Bazan – “Teardrops” (Seattle, USA)
Seattle singer/songwriter David Bazan hits the emotional bullseye on “Teardrops”, the latest single from his upcoming third studio album, Blanco. “Teardrops” was originally released in January of 2015 as part of his “Bazan Monthly” project where he recorded two singles per month and released them on a compilation. While fans appreciate the intimacy of songs recorded in his basement (Bazan is quite the DIY guy), the inclusion of this track on the new album means it’s received a proper studio treatment. The song’s intimacy is still present, only now the subtle tweaks give it an additional warmth. Bazan is one of the most underrated American songwriters, known initially from his early work as Pedro the Lion. Give this one a listen if you’ve never delved into his back catalog. It’s never too late to discover your new favorite artist.
Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – “Bronze Worlds” (Bloomington, IN, USA)
Mike Adams likes to keep busy. When he isn’t writing music or playing in the band that bears his name, he’s hosting his own TV talk show and juggling fatherhood duties. Given all those titles and the group’s humorous name, you may have a preconceived notion of what his music sounds like: meaningful but with a tongue-in-cheek quality. Sure enough, that does describe the vibe on “Bronze Worlds”, the lead track from his upcoming third album, Casino Drone. It seems cliché to describe his music as “shimmering” but hey, if the shoe fits, right? This is smart indie pop with summery shoegaze elements. If you like your tunes fun and refreshing, dive into this one.
Band members include: Mike Adams (guitar, vocals), Zac Canale (guitar), Bryant Fox (guitar), Kurt Friedrich (keys), Ben Lumsdaine (drums), Aaron Denton (bass), and Jessica Adams (electric piano).
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