Saturday Sampler for June 11th is a solo job, so hopefully I’ve done a good job at filling in for Hollie. Ten songs are featured as always with two prominent bands highlighting the banquet of new music.
Ali Beletic – “Ends Of The Earth”(Sonoran Desert via Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Patti Smith, Fiona Apple, Angel Olsen
Back in February when we were introduced to multi-talented artist Ali Beletic, we described her as follows:
If the leather-clad, rock ‘n roll biker chick stereotype had an ideal poster girl, it would be Ali Beletic. An artist by trade – she creates large-scale installations, exhibits and sculptures as well as runs her own print/online magazine – this multi-talented singer tears up the audio terrain as much as the dusty Sonoran Desert trails where she rides her motorcycle.
She is, in other words, the embodiment of everything Patti Smith has championed in her six decades, a singer-songwriter for the everyday person. Her latest single, “Ends of the Earth”, is a beautiful, gritty number that plays tribute to a lost person. The arrangements are simple and stripped back and Beletic’s vocals are slight and fine, but it is this unassuming approach that gives this terrific song its soul-crushing, emotional backbone.
“Ends of the Earth” is from Beletic’s forthcoming, debut album, Legends of These Lands Left to Live, which comes out Friday, June 17th via Lightning Records.
Betty & Oswald – “Schmuck” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: melodic version of Foxygen, The Griswolds, HOMESHAKE
The surf-rock and jangle-pop uprising is not just limited to the US and Canada, as evidenced by the arrival of relative newcomes Betty & Oswald. A recent Triple-J Unearthed selection, the four-piece from Sydney aren’t your typical surf-rock or jangle-pop band in that there isn’t that slacker mentality that often is linked to acts within these genres. Instead, there’s a smooth and cool summertime, beach vibe that permeates in their newest single, “Schmuck”, and the approach gives the song an unexpected sultry undertone. While the song might encourage you to get close to a loved one, the storyline isn’t necessarily for such moments. It’s a song about a loner and his “I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-other-people-think” attitude, which is a philosophy we all can or should relate to. I wonder what this band will come out with if they actually wrote a love song.
Betty & Oswald are Pete, Claudia, Sammy, and Harry.
LIFE – “Rare Boots” (Hull, England)
RIYL: Royal Headache, The Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, Hüsker Dü
A favorite among the UK punk-rock scene is Hull-based four-piece LIFE, whose no-nonsense punk rock recall some of the great UK bands like The Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols. But for those following the current post-punk scene, their high-energy style recalls Sydney rockers Royal Headache. Their new single, “Rare Boots”, is an awesome, blistering number. Get your friends together and start the mosh pit because the frenetic pace of the song will have you smashing into whatever immovable and movable object may be nearby.
Local Natives – “Villainy” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Local Natives
By now, there is no need to compare or file Local Natives with other bands. Despite having only released two albums, the Los Angeles quintet continue to evolve and who create the most blissful and euphoric indie music today. Their latest single, “Villainy”, only validates what so many have known for years. This gorgeous number does see the band add a new wrinkle – a deadpan vocal straight out of Public Service Broadcasting – which only adds to the song’s allure.
“Villainy” is the second single from Local Natives’ forthcoming, new album, Sunlit Youth, which arrives September 9th and can be pre-ordered on their website (see below for the link).
Local Nativees are: Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, Matt Frazier, and Nik Ewing.
Opus Orange – “Not Ready” (Santa Monica, USA)
RIYL: Portugal. The Man, Absofacto, The Zolas
“Not Ready” by California innovators Opus Orange is not necessarily a new song – it was released in February – but this track just recently caught our attention. With an oft-kilter approach a la Portugal. The Man, this tune is brilliant. And like the indie music stars from Alaskan, Opus Orange offer a song that is groovy, highly infectious, and just ear-popping sugar candy. Although the words “I’m not ready to go” are said throughout, the song will have the opposite effect – we are ready to go!
The Pheels – “Turn Me Up” (Atlanta, USA)
RIYL: D’Angelo, Kele (of Bloc Party), Twin Shadow
Each week we like to find a song that just blows us away with creativity. This week’s award goes to Atlanta duo Curtis Fields and Phil Jones, who together are The Pheels. As they get ready to release their debut EP, likeWise (drops June 20th), they share “Turn Me Up”, a song that combines electronica, classic R&B, and soul into one stirring number. It is D’Angelo means Twin Shadow meets ?uestlove (the DJ). “Turn Me Up” is not just a funky number – is a spellbinding piece of brilliance.
Sleigh Bells – “Rule Number One” (Brooklyn via NJ & Florida, USA)
RIYL: Fang Island, The Kills
A couple of months ago, it was Local Natives who surprised everyone with a new single. This week, it is Sleigh Bells, the brainchild of Alexis Krauss and Derek Edward Miller, who give us an unexpected present. Since releasing Bitter Rivals in 2013, the noise-pop group have kept a low profile other than releasing a single at the end of 2015. This time around, though, they have announced their re-emergence with a bit more fanfare thanks to this awesome single, “Rule Number One”. While the song retains Krauss’ fiery and assertive presence and Miller continues to provide the heavy guitar riffs, the song is actually more restrained than much of their past work. It is a more controlled number – one could even say it is a crawling, stuttering song compared to their more frenetic tunes. But it is a demonstration of a band growing, who use pace and tempo to create an animalistic feel at the beginning before subsiding into contemplative, pop tune.
Tetish – “Shipwreck”” (Tel Aviv, Israel)
RIYL: Dear Rouge, The Kills, Silversun Pickups,
Here is a gem from Israel. Tetish are a quintet from Tel Aviv, who have been building a solid fanbase in their hometown. They are now setting their sights on the overseas market with their brand of uptempo, power-pop and pop-rock music. Their latest single is the whirlwind “Shipwreck”, that, for Canadian fans, bears a striking resemblance to the music of Dear Rouge. The song starts off relatively calmly with a familiar power-pop beginning, but it gradually builds into an anthemic monster. The climax is great, as frontwoman Etan Salomon sings about the ending of a ship, which an analogy to a dying relationship.
“Shipwreck” is taken from Tetish’s self-titled, debut album, which is set to be released on 22nd July via Solarie Records.
Itai Shitrit (vocals/keys), Etan Salomon (lead vocals/keyboards/floor drum), Nir Shlomo (guitars/vocals), Noam Shacham (bass/vocals), and Daniel Azta (drums/vocals).
Taught Abroad – “Pantyhouser” (Chicago, USA)
RIYL: Dev Hynes/Blood Orange, Solange
“Wow!” That was literally the first thing I said when when hearing “Pantyhouser”, the new song by Taught Abroad, the project of Chicago-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Sadek. The song radiates with the intimate and blissful R&B stylings of Dev Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange), where the electronic effects provide the canvas to Sadek’s colorful and warm R&B textures. If there was one song perfect for a romantic Saturday night on this mini-playlist, it would without a doubt be this stunning tune.
“Pantyhouser” is taken from Sadek’s forthcoming, debut EP, Harmonizer.
Young Vincent – “Run” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: The Tallest Man on Earth, Iron & Wine, The Wild Reeds
While Melbourne is known for its jangle-pop, indie-rock, and electro-pop scenes, Young Vincent are bucking that trend with their indie folk. Their fourth single, “Run”, is stunning, intimate, and warm, much like the music of Kristian Matsson. Unlike a lot of artists and bands in this genre, the trio do not overexaggerate the song’s climax with a predictable chorus and a wave of instruments. Instead, they allow the song to naturally build and, thus, allowing the intensity of the song and our own emotions to swell. “Run” is a terrific song by a young band to watch.
Young Vincent are Tom Simpson, Josh Walton, and Ryan Fellows, and the song is out on The A&R Department.
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