One of the best/worst things about the whole blogging game is the abundance of great music. Unfortunately there are (still!) only twenty-four hours in a day, most of which are consumed with non-WTD things, so even if we get sent ten great albums then chances are we will only be able to cover three or four. While trying to avoid falling into the listicle trap, we thought the best way to remedy this problem would be a semi-regular round-up, ‘Best of the Rest’, where we include all the songs we think you should hear but don’t quite have the time to tell you why. Inclusion here is no comment on quality – this isn’t a runner-up prize!
Ohyeahsumi – Daisy
Ohyeahsumi are Rena and Lena Vernon from California, a pair who describe their journey as going “from wombmates to bandmates to your mates.” Their album, Your Friends Are Looking For You, is due out at the end of the month on the ever reliable Sports Day Records, and you can hear the first single, ‘Daisy’ right now. Dark and languid, the track plays like the midnight meandering of some city river, dreamy and dappled with light yet mildly dangerous, as though beneath the fascinating surface lies something altogether more strange and ominous.
“Scared of being pretty
Room is dirty, mind is filthy
My dress curves clearly
At the waist”
Lizzie No – Crying Wolf
Hard Won is out this spring, so keep on eye on Lizzie No’s Bandcamp page.
Amanda Glasser – Bed
Amanda Glasser is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Baltimore. Not content with her output with her band Purrer, Glasser is set to release her solo debut album, Caelesti Radio, an album which she says “is a light that shines on the difficult emotions surrounding trauma, love, fighting to be heard and moving on.” ‘Bed’ is our first taste of the album and has certainly whet our appetite, a superior slice of bummed out, downbeat indie rock. It’s reminiscent of Low in its use of plaintive melancholy and A Weather in the way it melds the sad and insular rainy-day vibe with swelling instrumentation, primarily throaty guitar and galloping drum beat.
It’s a great introduction and has me anticipating the album impatiently. Keep an eye on the Amanda Glasser Bandcamp page for details.
Batwings Catwings – Sky Blue Haze
LA’s Batwings Catwings make what they describe as “Inspired radio-friendly noise pop with no pretences”. On a recent tour of Japan, the band made a video for the three minute blast of infectious noise that is ‘Sky Blue Haze’, the standout track from last year’s Coast to Coast. The video captures visually what the song does aurally, just a rollicking, no-frills good time that highlights the raw energy of a band with a growing reputation for their live shows.
Caroline Lazar – Nevermine
Taken from a forthcoming EP of the same name, Caroline Lazar’s ‘Nevermine’ introduces her pop/folk fusion, all built up around striking vocals which gather in slow intensity, the energy and intent inching forwards with fluid force like an approaching tide. By the finale Lazar seems barely held together, her voice positively exploding with a depth and energy beyond her years.
Nevermine is set for release on the 24th March and you can pre-order it now from Bandcamp.
Why a fox – Cleland
Why a fox is the recording project of Australian-native, Japan-based songwriter Hayden Marks. With his debut LP Old forest. Young trees. set for release this April, opening track ‘Cleland’ sets the tempo with a pacey, lyric-filled two-and-a-half-minutes, like a cross of Camp Cope and the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 soundtrack.
You can pre-order Old forest. Young trees. now from the Why a fox Bandcamp page.
Brice Randall Bickford – Paro
Brice Randall Bickford made his name with the folk-country band The Strugglers back in the 2000s, before moving back to North Carolina in 2011 and starting to record under his own name. His latest album, Paro, released recently on Keeled Scales explores “themes such as humanity’s tendency toward greed, control over others, systems of government, and the consequences of the adoption of agriculture”. Standout ‘The First Grain’ makes good on this promise, what at first appears a pleasant country-rock song slowly revealing its world-weary literary edge.
“When you cut your teeth on
Whatever you were handed
The first time thinking, I don’t belong
You didn’t know the half of it”
Lizzie Kent – EP
Lizzie Kent is a singer-songwriter from Vancouver, BC, who released her debut self-titled EP last summer. Luckily for those of us who missed it the first time around, the songs are probably more suited to these grey windy days than August’s sun, so now is a great time to right the wrong and get to know Kent’s sound. ‘Secrets’ is a good place to start, a melancholy, nostalgia-filled song where the vocals take centre stage while guitar plucks at the surrounding silence.
“Take me back to just last spring,
when the flowers bloomed and the birds would sing
Take me back to the time in our lives
when all things lost were bound to survive”
You can buy the Lizzie Kent EP now from Bandcamp.
Mt. Doubt – Tourists
Edinburgh-based Leo Bargery, AKA Mt. Doubt, has teamed up with Dunfermline band Foreignfox to put out an AA-side single Tourists / Lights Off, Carry Me Home, out the end of the month on Scottish Fiction. Mt. Doubt’s ‘Tourists’ is best described as a happy collision between The National and The Twilight Sad, Bargery’s baritone vocals and joined by insistent drums and sizeable guitars which sweeps you up within its heft, even possessing a manic Berningerian on-the-verge-of-losing-it shouty finale.
The single is out on the 31st March and you can pre-order it now, though it’s also the first single from a forthcoming EP The Loneliness of the TV Watchers, which judging by the title is a record that’s going to be right up our alley.