We start the new year with fresh tunes from familiar voices. The Melodic Tonic ’18, January 10th edition is a strictly North American mix of indie legends and emerging talents alike, so crank these tunes to cure your winter blues. We start with a band that needs no introduction.
The Breeders – “All Nerve” (Dayton, OH, USA)
RIYL: The Breeders, The Pixies
It’s been 25 years since The Breeders released their landmark album, Last Splash. Now the American indie titans show they’ve still got it. “All Nerve” – the title track of their new album that arrives March 2 via 4AD – is a quick hit of fuzzed-out vintage adrenaline that reminds you of when indie rock was pure.
Superchunk – “Erasure” (Chapel Hill, NC, USA)
RIYL: Superchunk, The Magnetic Fields, Waxahatchee
Despite a bit of gray hair, Generation X still rocks – something Superchunk won’t let you forget that on their new “Erasure” single. The song features Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) and Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee), making this a perfect union of old-school badassery and modern pizzazz.
Ron Gallo – “Happy Kid” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Nada Surf
“I’m just a happy kid / stuck with the heart of a sad punk,” sings emerging indie punk-pop master Ron Gallo on his rendition of the Nada Surf classic from their 2002 album, Let Go. The now Nashville-based Philly native was born to cover this song, taking it from its mellow bookends to every raucous sweat-drenched note in between. Gallo is just one of many artists on the upcoming charity tribute album, Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf’s Let Go, including Aimee Mann, Adia Victoria, Manchester Orchestra, and more. All proceeds from the album will benefit the ACLU and The Pablove Foundation.
Ezra Furman – “Suck the Blood from My Wound” (Chicago, USA)
RIYL: David Bowie meets The Velvet Underground
Indie rocker Ezra Furman is a musical genius. His versatility and range defy genre classification, as his new single proves. “Suck the Blood From My Wound” channels ‘70s glam rock on this vivid tale from his upcoming Transangelic Exodus concept album. Surely David Bowie is smiling in appreciation from the next realm.
Dick Stusso – “Modern Music” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: Kevin Morby, Kyle Craft, Mac DeMarco
Psychedelic cowboy fare: that’s one way to describe the ambling, dusty vibes of San Francisco indie artist Dick Stusso. His “Modern Music” is equal parts John Wayne swagger and California mellow fused with irresistible DIY charm. His sophomore album, In Heaven, should bring him the attention he deserves. Stusso is one of indie music’s most promising future stars.
Born Ruffians – “Forget Me” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Blitzen Trapper, Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer
You don’t typically associate handclaps with songs about death. Leave it to Canadian indie trio Born Ruffians to make a somber topic positively buoyant with optimism and hope. “Forget Me” from their forthcoming fifth album, Uncle, Duke & The Chief, brims with optimism and hope – something we all need for this year.
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