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Here are a couple of handfuls of dynamic to reflective rock and pop for you. Brief descriptions this time around. Well, okay, maybe not so brief…!
1. The Men – “Breeze”
These guys are really hard to search for with a band name like that… Anyway, the New York-residing band just released their latest album, Mercy, on February 14th. Stylistically hard to pin down through their recordings, this track at least finds them shaking the punk rock-blues stick agitatedly.
David Musto’s ALBUM REVIEW of Open Your Heart by The Men
David Musto’s SINGLE REVIEW of Singles Going Home Alone #3 7” by The Men
2. Shade – “Brain Suck”
I hadn’t heard of this band until I got an email from them, and this song blew me away for its capturing the raging and grimy ’90s alt-rock sound and emotion; like a cross between Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, maybe??
3. Search & Seizure – “Repeater”
Speaking of ’90s alt-rock, this band also mines that vein to super effect, and with more melody and interesting lyrics. The Kansas City-based act will drop their upcoming EP, Outer Space, on March 6th.
MY SONG PREMIERE of “Missing Person” by Search & Seizure
4. Loveblind – “War Planets”
This is such a cool shoegaze/synthwave supergroup. I know a lot of bands balk at that tag, but when you have Wyatt Parkins of Saint Marie Records as the founder, and rounded out with Joshua Garman of Crash City Saints, Dorian Electrique and Mikel Wegener of Seasurfer, and Neil Burkdoll of Whimsical.
Their debut album, Sleeping Visions, materializes in March on Saint Marie and even contains a track with guest musician Elliott Frazier of Ringo Deathstarr. Talk about nu/shoegazer pedigree!
5. Film School – “Is This A Hotel”
Speaking of nu/shoegaze heritage, here’s the latest from this atmospheric, psych-tinged indie rock/shoegaze band; another one that’s hard to search for online because of their name!
MY VIDEO PREMIERE of “Go Low” by Film School
MY VIDEO PREMIERE of “Give Up” by Film School
ALBUM PREMIERE of June EP by Film School
Steve Holtje’s ALBUM REVIEW of Film School by Film School
Michael Toland’s ALBUM REVIEW of Fission by Film School
6. Peel Dream Magazine – “Pill”
And, well, yes, here we go again; another compelling nu/shoegaze band/project from New York, conjuring up the hybrid magic of My Bloody Valentine, Stereolab, and Pale Saints on this choice track.
Upcoming album Agitprop Alterna comes out April 3rd via Slumberland Records.
Jack Rabid has featured Peel Dream Magazine on his Big Takeover radio show at least 4 times, the band was interviewed in issue #84 of Big Takeover magazine, and Jack Rabid also included them in his BEST OF 2019 LIST, in the Best Singles/EPs, at #18 for their Up and Up EP.
7. Beabadoobee – “Sun More Often”
Filipino-British singer-songwriter Bea is breaking out big-time!! I’ve been following her musical trajectory for a while now, knowing she would blow up at some point, and that seems to be now. with her rising star arc: starting out with lyrically introspective and vocally winsome, but rousing, (again, ’90s alt-rock-driven) wall-of-sound guitar-based songs that she posts to SoundCloud, building up a sizable fanbase, yada, yada, yada, tagged as savior of indie rock (yikes!), winning the NME Radar Award for 2020 at the awards show – and performing (too low-key though) on stage…
Speaking of under the radar, she released her Space Cadet EP a few months ago on SoundCloud – and I didn’t realize that happened until more recently… d’oh!
I included Bea’s “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus” video in my TOP 10 VIDEOS 2019 list.
and Bea live performing “Are You Sure”:
8. Grrrl Gang – “Dream Grrrl”
A sweet Indonesian dreampop/indie rock band that got a compilation album release titled Here To Stay recently via Damnably Records. Again, throwback ’90s vibe to this propulsive, dual male-female vocals tuneful tune.
As chance would have it, Jack Rabid just featured “Love Song” by Grrrl Gang in his latest Big Takeover radio show ! (It’s says 2019, but it is actually for 2020)
9. Stars and Rabbit – “Little Mischievous”
Wow, such a vocally and lyrically intriguing number! Yet again, there’s the ’90s alt-rock feeling, but the vocals are yes, mischievously impish; a teeny-tiny bit like SOAK vocally, but with a grainier, deeper timbre. This Indonesian duo is new to me, but not to many others. I’m now getting converted and becoming a follower…
Their upcoming album Rainbow Aisle shines on February 28th via Green Island Music.
10. Chance Emerson – “How Can I”
This Taiwanese-American singer-songwriter split his time between Rhode Island and Hong Kong – and this song is a super-engaging world music romp that reminds me of some of Paul Simon’s work. Such beautifully perceptive and poetic lyrics wrapped in percolating rhythms and bright instrumentation.
MY VIDEO PREMIERE of “How Can I”
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