The Saturday Sampler March 4th reflects the month’s famous slogan – “in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. Hear nine songs that will be buzzing in your head for days if not weeks to come. Bring on March and the oncoming spring!
Beach Fossils – “This Year” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Real Estate, Craft Spells, Wild Nothing
It has been four years since Beach Fossils has poked its head above the sand. In 2013, the Brooklyn-based trio released their sophomore album, Clash the Truth, which is one of the most underrated albums of the decade. The record was a warm, dreamy collection of surf pop-rock, songs made for long road trips and extended stays at the beach. In the time that has passed, ex-Beach Fossils members have made more noise. Former bassist John Peña has launched a successful project as Heavenly Beat, and ex-drummer Zachary Cole Smith went on to start the highly successful DIIV. Now it’s time for Dustin Payseur, Jack Doyle Smith, and Tommy Davidson to re-capture the spotlight.
This week, they announced their third album, Somersault, will be released on June 2nd via Bayonet Records. To get the indie world buzzing once again, they shared the lead single, “This Year.” Their trademark surf vibes remain, although there is a much more contemplative tone to the song. The addition of the strings add a cinematic quality, and the songwriting is more introspective, as if “This Year” represents the band reflecting on the past four years (including possibly the lost of a friend) and what 2017 has in store.
This year I told myself it would be a better one.
Try not to fall back on to you tonight.
By now I told myself I would be a better friend.
I’ll meet you on the other side of life.
The video for this beautiful song is below, which has the band walking the streets of New York City’s Chinatown. Pre-orders for Somersault are available here.
Brandi Carlile – “Tie Your Mother Down” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Patti Smith, Ingrid Michaelson, Kathleen Edwards
It’s no secret that we are fans of Brandi Carlile. As a singer/songwriter, her talent is incomparable. And as an advocate for society’s marginalized people of every age, race, and background, she is a champion. This is why the inclusion of her song “Tie Your Mother Down” on the soundtrack of the new American TV series When We Rise is especially fitting. The show tells the stories of LGBT men and women who fought for their civil rights in the 1990s.
“Tie Your Mother Down” is as fierce as it is rocking. The way Carlile practically growls “Give me all your love tonight” might cause beads of sweat to form on your brow – or leave you scrambling to find a fan or some ice cubes to help you cool off. For the duration of its nearly four-minute length, this tune showcases Carlile’s incredible vocals like you’ve never heard before. Purrs, yelps, and howls accentuate her blistering guitar playing, making this song impossible to ignore.
Day Wave – “Untitled” (Oakland, USA)
RIYL: Heavenly Beat, Summer Heart, Fazerdaze
One thing we love about Jackson Phillips – a.k.a. Day Wave – is that he marches to the beat of his own drum. Yesterday, for instance, he decided to release a new single on his own. No publicity, no planned advertising; he just basically said, “Here it is. Enjoy!” (Well, he wrote more than that.) That single, “Untitled,” encompasses everything we love about Phillips’ music.
Despite the lack of an “actual” name, “Untitled” is bright, warm, and optimistic. The synths blaze euphorically, and Phillips’ vocals are, as always, light and radiant. The song is like the sight of the first flower blooming in March to signal the arrival of spring, and all you can do is smile at the thought of what is to come. Leave it to Day Wave to put us in a great mood this weekend.
Dead Naked Hippies – “Drain You” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Priests, Wolf Alice, Savages
We have been discussing ad nauseum about great band names. Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Cigarettes After Sex, and Diarrhea Planet are just some of our favorites (and not surprisingly we’ve covered all of them). Another name we love is Dead Naked Hippies, who first tickled our ears with their Savages-like debut single, “Lights Out.” They’re back with single number two, which perfectly represents their name.
“Drain You” is a full-frontal assault on the auditory senses. It is gritty, edgy, dark, and just a mind-blowing number. Frontwoman Lucy Jowett’s vocals are powerful and delirious, akin to the roaring moments that Joan Jett once commanded in her prime. The distortion-filled guitar riffs of Joe Clarke are reminiscent of the crippling sounds of Savages’ and Preoccupations’ best work. Drummer Jacob Marston, meanwhile, unleashes a maelstrom of pounding rhythms. Whatever you do, don’t retreat from this aggressive song; instead, embrace the brilliance of Dead Naked Hippies.
The single is available via Dance to the Radio. Once again, Dead Naked Hippies are Lucy Jowett (vocals), Jacob Marston (drums), and Joe Clarke (guitars).
Domiciles – “100 Miles” (Fife, Scotland)
RIYL: Temples, Pond, The Horrors
Are you ready for a head trip? Emerging Scottish band Domiciles have just the tune for you. The steady, 4/4 tempo of “100 Miles” is ideal for an ambling walk down to the pub; the song’s mildly psychedelic tones get you in the proper headspace for a night of adventures. A tune like this feels like it belongs in the opening sequence of a Danny Boyle film: it hints at wilder times to come but refuses to give away any key plot points. This makes it immediately engaging and keeps the listener transfixed.
Technically, “100 Miles” is not a brand-new song (it was originally featured on their now sold-out self-titled 2015 EP), but this new reworking is even better than its original. It’s more focused and even trippier. Have a listen and you’ll understand why BBC 1 Radio named these guys to their “25 Artists to Watch in 2017” list. We couldn’t agree more. Look for this single out now from Little Tiger Records on Bandcamp.
Domiciles are: Nick Young (vocals, guitar), Rory Cowieson (guitar), Daniel Wilson (bass), Jamie Wilson (keys), and Sean Harkins (drums).
GRMLN – “27 Kids” (Kyoto, Japan and San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: Weezer, Superchunk, Nada Surf
GRMLN may be short on vowels, but their sound is big on catchy hooks. The project of Japanese-born, California-based Yoodoo Park, GRMLN began five years ago when Park was writing lyrics between his classes at college. He and his brother Tae Sun soon began recording, and GRMLN’s debut EP, Explore, arrived in 2012. Since then, they’ve continued to master their impossible-to-categorize sound that ebbs and flows from dreamy pop to jangly garage rock. The mainstay of their sound, however, is its catchiness. GRMLN is, in a word, addictive, as their new “27 Kids” proves. It starts bold, with tight hooks and succinct delivery.
The opening line (“Here comes the war I’m counting on”) grabs you from the first note and never lets go of your attention. “Whatchu waiting for?” he asks in the chorus. That’s our sentiments exactly. What are you waiting for? Crank this tune, dive in, and rock the hell out.
Discovery is due April 7; their Bandcamp page has their back catalog. GRMLN will play SXSW on March 18.
GRMLN are: Yoodoo Park (vocals, guitar), Tae San Park (bass), and Keith Frerichs (drums).
Kid Wave – “Everything Changes” (London, England via Norrköping, Sweden)
RIYL: Amber Arcades, Palma Violets, Menace Beach
No song is more perfect for the weekend than this soaring anthem from Swedish native Lea Emmery – aka Kid Wave. “Let’s pray for the weekend / pray it will heal us,” she sings in the song’s open. “Everything Changes” is a tune that takes flight from the first note and leads you on a rapturous journey. Inhale the powerful, shimmering synths for the icy cool refreshment they offer, then exhale the warm vocals that make you feel vibrantly alive.
“Everything Changes” is electrifying and invigorating, with lyrics to prove it: “Say I’m no angel but God knows I’m ready / to bury those demons / shake out the evil.” There is no denying that Emmery’s voice is powerful enough to shake the foundations of an ancient castle. After hearing this song, you’ll feel equally empowered. We’ve been fans of Kid Wave since their 2015 debut, and this single is just one more reason why you should be, too.
Nightmen – “Be My World” (Malmö, Sweden)
RIYL: Blondie, The Cars, The Divinyls
Sweden may only be a country with approximately 10 million people, but the Tre Kronor is a massive music factory. It’s not just the number of artists and bands the country is producing, but the diversity in sound and innovation they are demonstrating. Even when they take a familiar genre, say classic garage-rock, they make it more spectacular. The new single from Malmö-based quartet, Nightmen, is the perfect example.
Like Chrissy Amphlett fronting The Cars, “Be My World” is straight out of the ’70s. The song is extremely fun and highly contagious, as the reverb-filled and crystalline guitars bristle over the groovy rhythms. Frontwoman Christine’s vocals, meanwhile, seduces us with her smokey vocals, luring us in as she tells us to be her world. Dust off the leather jacket that has been hanging in your closet, slick back your hair, and let yourself be transported back to a time when rock ‘n roll was king.
“Be My World” is the second single from Nightmen’s new album, Can´t Avoid Success. Lövely Records will release it on April 7th.
Sweet Spirit – “The Power” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: The Fratellis, The Runaways, Shannon and The Clams,
What’s a weekend without a power-rock anthem? A song that will kick you in the ass and get your moving? We have just the song with Sweet Spirit‘s new single, “The Power”.
This is one of those songs that you cannot help but stand up, wail your fist in your air, and scream to the anthemic chorus. The song is like going to church but the gospel choir has been transformed into a rock band. Instead of a pastor leading the congregation, Sabrina Ellis is motivating people with her positive message of individuality and self-respect. The song also has one of the best lines in music this year:
When I was a little girl my momma gave me a bowl cut
And told me I looked like Dorothy Hamel.
Everywhere we went, people would say, “What a cute little boy”.
Well, I’m all grown up now!
Anyone who had a bowl cut as a kid will empathize with Ellis’ story. We certainly do!
“Power” is the first single from Sweet Spirit’s new record, St. Mojo. It drops April 7th via Nine Mile Records.
Sweet Spirit are Andrew Cashen, Sabrina Ellis, Joshua Merry, Jake Knight, Jon Fichter, and Danny Lion.
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