Author Archive

Long Beard

"Porch"

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“Porch” opens up Long Beard‘s debut album Sleepwalker with a sigh and a strum of loose, jangling chords. It floats along effortlessly while also bearing more substance than its cloudy form would suggest. Leslie Bear sings about time, age, and the ache of unrequited love. A familiar subject to be sure, but in Bear’s hands the sting only lasts as long as it takes for the words to be whispered from her lips. From there the track’s beauty supplants the pain, leaving it the only thing you’ll recall long after the song’s runtime has concluded.

Sleepwalker is out on October 23rd via Team Love Records.

Pleasure Leftists

"You You"

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Members of Cleveland post-punk outfit Pleasure Leftists spent time paying their dues in the city’s hardcore scene as part of bands like 9 Shocks Terror and Homostupids. Now they’re chugging along at a different clip, churning out dark, driving punk music with no shortage of power or melody. Vocalist Haley Morris’s deep-throated howl generates a lot of their force, but the rest of the band isn’t skimping here either.

On “You You,” one of two singles from their upcoming album The Woods of Heaven, they flex the muscles they’ve been honing for the last couple of years. It’s a brisk 2+ minutes, but there’s a lot of meat on its bones. There’s plenty enough to take a bite out of—just know that it’ll probably bite you right back.

The Woods of Heaven will be available on August 28th via Deranged Records.

Gemma

"As Ever"

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As a part of Ava Luna, Felicia Douglass represents an integral part of the band. Some of the their most gorgeous moments (“Prpl” off their debut album is an obvious stand out) have found their strength on the purity of Felicia’s voice. She’s an alluring figure in a band that has a lot of quirk and curiosity to offer.

“As Ever,” the title track and first single from Felicia’s new project Gemma with producer Erik Gundel, takes her airy vocals and applies them to a wisp of effortless pop, hooking you within seconds and taking you on a leisurely Sunday drive—windows down, the breeze blowing through your hair, and the smell of summer hanging in the air. Slices of life rarely get sweeter than this.

As Ever will be available on October 2nd via Inflated Records.

Pure Bathing Culture

"Pray for Rain"

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The title track from Pure Bathing Culture‘s upcoming sophomore album, Pray for Rain, doesn’t waste any time in informing the listener that there are going to be some changes around here. It’s a bold new step for a band that, up until now, left the making of grand statements to others, opting instead to soothe with layers of understated beauty. That’s not to say that this new track doesn’t still focus in on a pretty melody, because it totally does. It’s just that the track they’ve built around it is a conscious step in a new direction.

Keeping their finger on the pulse of retro imagination, the band still mines the past for inspiration. It’s just that this time around they’ve turned the radio dial a few notches in search of something new. Weaving dream pop, R&B, and maybe even a little disco together, the tapestry of this new sound is exciting not only because it introduces a new shade of Pure Bathing Culture, but also because we can hear the original colors we fell in love with shining through.

Pray for Rain will be available on October 23rd via Partisan Records.

Slug Christ & Keith Ape

"Honja"

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If you didn’t know any better you might safely assume that Slug Christ came out of nowhere, but he didn’t. For a while the songwriter was recording as H | p s (and Hips Like Cinderella before that) recording scuzzy, fuzzed-out pop jams. His style found itself spiraling down into a blown-out abyss until he disappeared for a while before resurfacing as Slug Christ, the trap-beat-loving rapper with a love for the profane and sacrilegious.

Keith Ape, on the other hand, did sort of come out of nowhere. The Korean rapper landed with a spark earlier this year following his OG Maco referencing hit “잊지마 (It G Ma)” that saw him and his “underwater squad” bringing the straight fire melding Korean and Japanese hip-hop under one bonkers roof.

Now it seems that these two maybe not-so-unlikely forces have joined up for “Honja.” If you’re familiar with the work of either of these two, then you’ll probably have an idea of where the track will go, but that doesn’t mean the ride isn’t worth taking. This one’s a sizzler.

“Honja” will appear on the upcoming Slug Christ x purpdogg mixtape God Is Under the Porch Where the Dog Died, so keep your lids peeled.

F ingers

"Tantrum Time"

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To hear Blackest Ever Black explain it, “Tantrum Time” from F ingers‘ upcoming album Hide Before Dinner, is best characterized as “deeply drugged, synth-daubed death-folk and DIY electronics.”

To me it seems more like what falling into a black hole would be like and what it would do to your senses. At times the track seems like it’s playing backwards. Other times you’d swear it’s playing backwards and forwards simultaneously. The track folds in on itself until its layers become layers upon layers. As you drift into the abyss you forget what music sounds like, you forget what human voices are. And it’s there that you float endlessly, grasping onto the threads of your disappearing sanity until your eyeballs explode out of your head and you die.

Hide Before Dinner is out next month via Blackest Ever Black.

Black Wing

"If I Let Him In"

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Dan Barrett has been getting gloomy for over a decade now as one-half of the Connecticut duo Have A Nice Life. Together the pair were always rather dark, but not necessarily afraid of getting melodic. It’s just that their idea of melody was taken out, stretched, and left to dry in the hot sun. So when Barrett unabashedly accepts melody as part of his electronic solo project Black Wing, it comes as little surprise.

Preparing to release his long-gestating debut …Is Doomed for The Flenser, Black Wing has shared his first tasting of the album (outside of a few demos) in the form of “If I Let Him In.” It’s an enjoyably languid track that boasts a cinematic feel—that is, if your idea of cinematic is the sort of trashy ’80s synth-based scores of yore. And as with anything that Barrett puts his hands to, even the most imaginative descriptions fall short after a true listen, so go ahead and dive in.

Pre-order …Is Doomed via Flenser Records.

Ivy

"Cave Business"

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Last year, NYC lo-fi hardcore outfit Ivy released their self-titled debut through Katorga Works, the Brooklyn-based label that’s had a hand in birthing the careers of bands like Merchandise, Sheer Mag, Hoax, Institute, and more. The short and ferocious release, which sees the band chopping their way through nine tracks of weirdo hardcore punk, was eagerly devoured by those who follow the NY punk scene closely. So in certain circles, a followup from the somewhat mysterious band was something that was hotly anticipated.

Thankfully that wait is now over with the band’s release of A Cat’s Cause, No Dogs Problem, their 7″ followup. Opening up the short EP is “Cave Business,” a single of sorts that keeps the band firing on all cylinders and delivers more of the blown-out, off-kilter punk that’s been the band’s calling card for a couple years now. And while this time around they sound a bit cleaner, a bit sharper, they’re still catchy as hell.

A Cat’s Cause, No Dogs Problem is out today via Katorga Works.

The Bombshells

"Who's To Say"

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Matt Linden runs a pretty modest operation over at Forged Artifacts. Showing that size doesn’t really matter, he’s proven that even the most micro of boutique labels can curate some kickass content. Case in point: The Bombshells. The garage punk trio from Minneapolis kick all sorts of ass and take names while they’re at it. On “Who’s To Say,” the lead single from their upcoming album Bake Sale Hotties, the band stomps the fuzz pedal to the floor, down through the stage, and into the basement.

Wearing their riot grrl influences proudly on their sleeve, The Bombshells aren’t so concerned with reinventing a familiar sound as much as they are setting it ablaze and roasting marshmallows over it. “Call her a bitch and she’ll say thank you!” they scream on the track, leaving haters choking in a glitter-filled dust cloud.

Bake Sale Hotties is out today via Forged Artifacts.