Your mid-week just got a whole lot tastier thanks to the treats in the Melodic Tonic ’18 August 15th edition. These six tunes feature a bit of everything, from dream pop to gritty blues-inspired rock. First up is another sizzling delight from one of our favs.
Maribou State – “Nervous Tics” (feat. Holly Walker) (London, England)
RIYL: Maribou State, Holly Walker
Back in June we were certain that Maribou Statehad delivered THE song of the summer with their mind-blowing “Feel Good” single. That enticing number has stayed in constant rotation every day, only now the British electronic titans are making us reconsider. Their latest (which features their long-time vocal collaborator Holly Walker) is equally mesmerizing.
“Nervous Tics” picks up where “Feel Good” left off, continuing that seamless flow of energy and sweet, fluid rhythms. It’s a sonic adventure guaranteed to leave you smiling. We already feel that Maribou State can do no wrong on their own; the energy they create is the very textbook definition of infectious. You simply cannot remain passive and unfazed when exposed to Maribou State. But the addition of Holly Walker’s silky cool vocals amps the charm factor to incalculable levels.
Now if only we could fast-forward to next month when their new album is released.
Kingdoms In Colour arrives September 7th via Counter Records. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we cannot wait to get our hands on this Album of the Year contender!
Saintseneca – “Beast in the Garden” (Columbus, OH, USA)
RIYL: Super Furry Animals and Flaming Lips meet Belle & Sebastian
Is it possible to have a crush on a band’s sound? We’re starting to suspect that may be why we get so tongue-tied every time Saintseneca release new tunes. Last month the infectious riffs of “Ladder to the Sun”gave us plenty to gush over last month, and that single’s follow-up is no different. But where “Ladder” had a more jangly tone, “Beast in the Garden”showcases the band’s versatility – and their refusal to fit neatly into any pre-defined genre box.
This lush number unfolds with delicate guitar work that calls to mind Andrés Segovia. But within seconds the mood shifts into Flaming Lips territory, with plenty of psychedelic improvisation that soon becomes somewhat baroque. Let’s face it: Saintseneca’s forthcoming Pillar of Na has secured its place on our Favorite Albums of 2018 list. Take a listen and find out why.
Saintseneca are: Zac Little, Maryn Jones, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, and Matt O’Conke.
Seafret – “Monsters” (London via Bridlington, England)
RIYL: James Bay, Hozier, Drenge, Kaleo
You may not recognize the names Jack Sedman and Harry Draper – yet. But in time you will, along with every other discerning music fan on the planet. These two talents form the emerging British indie duo Seafret, a group whose intriguing sound will haunt you day and night. Their new single “Monsters” is the sort of anthem that hooks you within seconds.
Seafret may be a fairly new band, but you’d never know it from how fierce this tune is. It simmers with bluesy riffs that would make Kaleo seethe with envy, while the vocals evoke current legends James Bay and Hozier. Moments later you’ll think alt-j have teamed up with Dredge because the vocals captivate you with the perfect balance of ethereal and gritty.
“Monsters” reminds us that “everybody’s scared of something” but the only thing to fear is losing interest in listening to any music besides Seafret. That becomes a real possibility the moment you hit play. It’s simply that good. Get to know Seafret now: with a sound this addictive, they are superstars in the making.
IAN SWEET – “Hiding” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Julien Baker, Big Thief, Crater
What do you get when you sift elements of psych-rock, dream-pop, and shoegaze through a gauzy, sun-kissed filter? Besides a blissfully euphoric rush, you’ll get something that sounds a lot like “Hiding” from Jilian Medford’s project,IAN SWEET. It takes a special kind of artist to create a tune that takes you from crouching to soaring in two minutes. But any music fan worth their salt knows that Medford is such an artist.
Under the IAN SWEET moniker she has been best friend and therapist for fans who are drawn to her warmth and honesty. Over the last five years Medford’s ethereal voice has been a comfort. Now as she prepares to release her next LP, Crush Crusher, this fall, she again offers a hand of support to listeners. Let yourself be drawn into these lush melodies. You won’t regret it.
Medford gets a boost on this album from Simon Hanes (bass) and Max Almario (drums).Crush Crusheris due October 26 from Hardly Art Recordswith pre-orders from Bandcamp, iTunes, and the label’s online store.
Fort Jams – “Far Out” (Long Beach, CA, USA)
RIYL: Andy Shauf, Spiritualized, DeVotchKa
Creativity has the same relentless tenacity as Cupid: fragments of a melody or the hopes of a romantic crush realized both grow when nurtured. That’s exactly how the new Fort Jams album materialized from loose thoughts into lush, emotionally rich melodies.
As a single, “Far Out” floats over to you on a gentle breeze, weightless as dandelion seeds. Fort Jams is the dream-folk-pop project of Joel Bond, a musical craftsman if ever there was one. He seems to have plucked these lush melodies out of the air, because what else can explain the ethereal softness? The gentle textures evoke carefree summer days spent lying on a blanket watching clouds dance high above you. Maybe these songs are meant to be lullabies whispered to a sleeping child? Or maybe they’re just the product of creativity finding a home in a worthy conduit. Either way, fans of melodic rock (Spiritualized, DeVotchKa) and intimate singer/songwriters (Andy Shauf, Youth Lagoon) will revel in the magic Fort Jams has conjured here.
Iron & Wine – “Waves of Galveston” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: Iron & Wine
And speaking of dandelions…when was the last time you found beauty amongst weeds in your garden? Sure, most folks grumble at the pesky growths between your favored blossoms or edible plants. But some realize the value in things that thrive no matter the climate.
“Waves of Galveston” is one of those weeds in Sam Beam’s sonic garden, so to speak. The indie folk troubadour better known as Iron & Wine chose not to include this soft ballad on his 2013 LP, Ghost on Ghost. Instead, this song lingered unreleased all these years, seemingly forgotten or ignored. Beam has shared it with audiences over the years, but only now will it be released on an album, appropriately titled Weed Garden. This collection of similar unreleased songs is the follow-up to last year’s Beast Epic.
Weed Garden officially blooms on August 31st via Sub Pop Records. Pre-orders are available at the label’s store or on Bandcamp. Beam kicks off his North American autumn tour on September 21 in Kansas City. A full list of tour dates is posted here.
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