The new single from Cyprus-based pop rock trio The smallest Creature is fittingly titled “Reboot” as it conjures sonic reminders of late-‘90s radio rock and post-Britpop tunesmithery, whether intentional or not. A vulnerable repetition of rhythmic acoustic guitar chords set the tone with distant vocals calling across militant drums, a well-rooted bassline and gusts of strings which bring a golden warmth to the otherwise cold inevitability of the verse.
Yet, as “Reboot” explodes into its emotionally wailing chorus, it becomes evident that the song’s true power is in its quitter moments, when the intensity of the emotion has room to breathe and build. While the chorus drags you back to some secluded point of 1997, the verse has a timeless whirling quality defying the stern drum cadence and gray melodies, propelling us ever forward.
We’re left in torrents of frigid guitar playing off the chorus melody before pulling back into a contemplative feedback-strewn skeleton of the verse. Short but bittersweet.
La Sera begin their first-ever North American headline tour Friday, October 7 at
the Glasshouse in Pomona, CA. The 23-city tour concludes Saturday, November
5 in Los Angeles at the Bootleg Theater and features Springtime Carnivore
supporting on all dates. This is La Sera’s second run of touring across North
America this year to support their critically-lauded March 2016 record Music For Listening To Music To.
August 26 marks the release of Take It, It’s Yours, a covers album conceived
and recorded by Katy Goodman (La Sera) + Greta Morgan (Springtime
Carnivore), featuring reimagined versions of 70s & 80s punk and New Wave
songs. Already with three songs and videos released from the album, Katy
Goodman & Greta Morgan’s unique approach to punk/indie classics from The
Replacements to Bad Brains and Blondie to Billy Idol is earning high praise for the
combination of new interpretations mixed with the tone and vibe of the originals. (more…)
Los Angeles’ Gothic Tropic introduces a new brand of female fronted, guitar-driven indie rock. Yesterday on Interview Magazine, Gothic Tropic shared their new track “How Life Works” and announced their upcoming album. Check out the featurehere on Interview Magazine.
Interview Magazine: How did you come up with Fast or Feast, the title of the album?Gothic Tropic: There’s always a duality lurking above anything I do. I feel like some of the songs are very generous and loving and some of them are angry and depressing. Also, some of the shit I’ve been through… Fast or Feast is when it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad, it fucking sucks. That kind of sums up last year and this year.
Four great bands, two great labels and two continents meet on this stellar mini-LP. Frequent collaborators Slumberland Records and Fortuna POP! team up to bring you ‘Continental Drift,’ a smashing eight song sampler of some of the finest pop out there in 2016.
Philadelphia’s Mercury Girls are one of the most talked-about new bands in ages. Featuring members of Literature, Little Big League and Pet Milk, Mercury Girls have a gorgeous, layered sound that combines post-punk dynamics with soaring/jangling guitars, fantastic melodies and expertly-arranged tunes. Their recent single “Ariana” turned a lot of heads, and their two contributions contained herein should make us all quite excited for their in-progress debut album. Listen to an advance stream of their latest single “Holly,” streaming over at The Fader. Be sure to catch them on tour in October/November with Balance & Composure and Foxing, full list of tour dates below.
Baltimore’s Wildhoney have been making music together since 2011, forging a fresh sound from raw materials of shoegaze, punk and good old indiepop. 2015 saw the release of their debut LP and follow-up EP, and now we’ve snagged two top-quality exclusive tunes for this compilation.
Omaha’s electronic pop trio Icky Blossoms are excited to share their virtual reality video for their song “Phantasmagoria” today via AV Club. Created by 2DArray, the music video is a full virtual reality experience. Watch it on your phone to explore every corner of the animation on YouTube. (It’s also available for download on the Oculus Rift.) The song can be found on Icky Blossoms’ album Mask, out now via Saddle Creek.
BRONCHO’s new album Double Vanity — out next week — is now available to stream in advance. SPIN premiered the advance stream, calling it “perfection refracted” and stating, “The hooks are still there, buried under hairpin-bent notes and a blanket of reverb that would make anyone but the Jesus & Mary Chain blush.” Double Vanity is out June 10 on Dine Alone Records and is available for pre-order here.
BRONCHO is currently on a North American headlining tour. All dates below.
Brooklyn-based rock collective The New Apollos have released their debut EP In The Shade. The collection is the first of three EPs that the trio plan on releasing the summer. Popdust recently premieredIn The Shade and described it as a “a mesmerizing drink of psychedelic rock, airy moods and garage-pop.” The set is the perfect kick-off to summer and will certainly be on many beach playlists – give the set a listen here.
The quixotic world of Magical Creatures is one of whispered private fairy tales from otherworldly lovers, deified by filled-in blanks and an ever-present spectral haze that softens edges and dulls the will. Much like the lotus eaters of The Iliad, Magical Creatures lull us almost supernaturally on their debut full length Wishing Machine with a myriad of guitars both flowery and direct, subtle electronic percussion that adds fluidity to each track, and airy, enchanting vocals done justice through artful production.
You can almost hear a prom night lament in the longing doo-wop allusions of “Enchant Me Baby” with its saccharine vocals and gently reassuring guitar melancholy. The distinct bravery of teenage naivete and romantic innocence perfumes lyrics about “plucking roses” and the all important question almost posed as a challenge “Would you give your life for love?” Magical Creatures inducts us into their dream with a moonlit serenade in which they’re already drunk on honey wine spiked with stardust. You can almost hear the maturation of teenage vulnerability in the cool laze of the guitars as vocals that could belong to dream girlfriends or maternal ghosts enfold us. A beat shimmering and shining with tambourine sparkle punctuates the aloof charm of “Twilight Soul” which at times recounts the painfully wasted beauty of Love and Rockets. However, the science fiction warbling of what sounds like a theremin underneath it all gives us a window into another romantic world and the track ultimately captures the sonic equivalent of an expansive sky ripening, bursting, and bleeding burning oranges, pinks, and deep violets that make kisses taste sweeter.
Magical Creatures often express a vulnerability in their music like the awkwardness of a young Dorian Gray who hasn’t quite realized how damned attractive he looks. “Birds of Paradise” artfully displays this vulnerability in its guitar strum while vocals carry an energy at once exotic and resigned, like an elegant caged bird that is the last of its kind and actually understands this. The psychedelic shoegaze nod and tastefully subtle programmed beats that give the track motion also lend a clean, refreshing quality of mellow pop modernism.
Plenty of Wishing Machine’s tracks could easily stand alone as strong singles just as they fit snugly into their place on the album. “Spiral Castle” spins a neo-psychedelic fairytale with sunny happy ending guitar lines and avian vocals softened by the purity of their plumage while the chiming psych pop of “Violet Eyes” insulates with fuzzy fullness that simultaneously sounds simple and spaceous in its haziness, further expanded by breathy vocals. “Carnival of Wolves” amplifies Magical Creatures’ charisma with colorful stained glass guitar effects and light doo-wop vocal punctuation while “Satellite City” captures the electrical optimism of new romance through a shared synchronous female and male vocal line over rolling guitar and softly rollicking percussion.
These moments of radio friendly pop perfection are equally matched by Wishing Machine’s more reflective moments. On the stellar “Bounty Hunter”, vocal passion is made clearer against a spacey backdrop of distorted decaying guitar, quickly opening up into an anti-gravity flow of sonic comets, burning tails weaving in and out and gently fading into a greater wall of sound with vocals like love letters broadcast into dead space and left to echo between the asteroids forever. Ornate and intricate guitar swoons into dreaminess on “Helicopter Blues” before culminating into an aural revolution that perfectly soundtrack a new determination in the vocals without compromising their soft allure. “Puella” offers something darker than the rest of Wishing Machine’s tracks, with a foreboding sense of eeriness in its atmosphere and skeletal electronic beat.
With Wishing Machine, Magical Creatures have created a soundtrack to reluctant goodbyes in twilit parking lots, teenage tales of nearly requited love, and imaginary worlds juxtaposed over the universal world that we all share. Each track finds the guitar plugging directly into the heart, vocals as soothing and intangible as gently shifting clouds of cool mist, and a refreshing lack of cynicism that really earns the term dreampop. The only danger of falling into such a dream is never wanting to wake up.