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Jen Dan: August 20, 2019

AS ALWAYS, CLICK ON THE 'READ MORE' BUTTON FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT TRACKS AND ARTISTS.

1. Don Vail – “On the Wire”
Brisk and compact, this power pop track pushes forward with all the essentials: sticky melodies, perceptive lyrics, warm and emotive male vocals backed by airy female vocals, anchoring low-end bass, ringing guitar lines, and kicky drum beats. The only downside is it fades away way too soon!
Don Vail’s album Fades landed at #137 on our very own Jack Rabid’s Best of 2016 list: Top 150 Albums

2. Mankind – “No Doubt in My Mind”
This Scandinavian garage-pop band boasts dual male and female vocals, at least on this vibrant track. A mellow flow of emphatic drum beats, cymbals shimmer, and interactive guitar lines cycles and then extends as the song morphs from a standard V, Ch, V structure to a drawn out, but expresive blues guitar-tinged reverie.
Death EP was birthed in May of this year via Lazy Octopus Records.

3. Cultdreams – “We Never Rest”
Just happened upon this song on SoundCloud. I’m hooked. Restless and rich post-rock dazzle and dreamier vocals co-exist with spirited punk vocal aggression. Just like chocolate and peanut butter, baby…

4. Field Mouse – “Heart of Gold”
Yes, this is the Field Mouse, the Brooklyn-based indie rock/pop band that started out a decade ago, with Rachel Browne on vocals. Their new album, Meaning, will be unveiled on August 16th via Topshelf Records.
This number flies by with cantering drum punches, sharp guitar frission, and light, wistful vocals from Browne.
“Heart of Gold” appeared on Jack Rabid’s July 15, 2019 The Big Takeover Show

5. Electric Youth – “The Life”
My new fave band is not so new, actually! The synthwave duo been running since 2011 when their track “A Real Hero” appeared in certain scenes of acclaimed director Winding Refn’s film Drive.
Vocalist Bronwyn Griffin and multi-instrumentalist Austin Garrick’s debut album Innerworld came out in 2014 and after that, they mainly moved on to film scores until the coming release of new LP Memory Emotion on August 9th via Watts Arcade Inc. / Last Gang Records.
This enveloping, entrancing track, peppered with electronic percolation and drifting on soft, heightened synths bliss, is made all the move captivating by Griffin’s angelic vocals.

6. Amy Duncan – “Labyrinth”
Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Duncan wowed me with her debut album, the sweetly poignant and gently powerful Pilgrimage, in 2006. I consider it one of my all-time favorite LPs; one to listen to to gain wisdom, find warmth, comfort, and inclusiveness (the humane part of humanity that seems to be in retreat these days), and gather internal strength, wonder, and joy.
Through several albums, she continues the tradition of lyrics-based acoustic folk, but does so in her embracing, mellifluous, and astute style,and lately, added instrumentation like strings or synths.
MY ALBUM PREMIERE of Amy Duncan’s latest LP, Antidote

7. Ummagma – “High Day”
This track is a delightful respite from the noise of the daily grind, buoyed by singer Shauna McLarnon’s sweetly and delicately ethereal vocals, thoughtful lyrics, wavering flute notes, pulled symphonic strings, and swaying carnival-esque sonics.
The indietronic/dream-pop duo’s new album Compass just bowed on July 26th via Leonard Skully Records. The LP is a compelling melting pot of reflective to danceable, sweeping, dreamy, rhythmic, and rousing musical styles.

8. Fire-Toolz – “✓ BEiNG”
I wasn’t aware of this artist until last month, but this wandering hybrid track definitely caught my ear. The electronic/ambient project of Angel Marcloid, this number features slightly warped, sustained, and lulling sonics flitting with bird tweets and phasing synth sparkle before whipping out ’80s synths buzz and metal guitar ascension topped off with fiery processed vocals. Wild, man…
New album Field Whispers (Into The Crystal Palace) is out August 30th via Orange Milk Records.

9. The Appleseed Cast – “The Journey”
And what a trip it’s been! The veteran indie rock/emo band started out way back in 1997. I remember hearing their name at the time and wondering what it meant. I didn’t get it until just recently (D’oh! on my part…). The seed that was cast has grown up into a fruitful musical tree and this track is an exemplary branch that bends around and reaches outwards…
The band’s recent album, The Fleeting Light of Impermanence, materialized in May via Graveface Records.

10. The Cult of Lip – “A Glow*
The Minneapolis-based post-punk/psychwave duo drop a driving, noir number off their recent Sleep Receiver EP.
The vinyl reissues of Sleep Receiver and Your Feedback are set for August 1st via Minneapolis-based record label MPLS LTD, as one 12” LP.
MY SONG PREMIERE

 

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