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Jen Dan: January 14, 2020


The first half of this playlist is loaded with sharply angular-guitar, rubbery bass line, driving-drum pace, lyrically poetically and socially skewed, post-punk missives, while the second half of the list delves into thickly rich, atmospheric shoegaze/synthwave with dynamically swirling guitar reverberations and reflective to airy vocals.

Most of these songs I just happened to find on SoundCloud, which IMO is an awesome platform for getting music out to the public.

1. Hotel Lux – “Tabloid Newspaper”
A hotly tipped South London-based post-punk/art rock band that will be releasing their debut EP via Nice Swan Records soon and will be traveling in March to perform at SXSW.

2. YOWL – “John The Collector
Another London-based band with an off-kilter outlook, of which this song is a prime example. Their 2nd EP, Atrophy, came out in November via Clue Records.

3. Bambara – “Heat Lightning”
Dark and exciting NYC-based band that has appeared more than once in my TOP 10’s. Their new album Stray arrives February 14th via Wharf Cat Records.

4. Locals – “Songs For No One”
And, yes, another London-located act, this time singer-songwriter Peech Panko whose infectious, yet pummeling punk-pop romp here sounds like it’s alternating between mono and stereo sound all the way through, to cool effect. And the lyrics will appeal to creatives who end up so focused and insular while they’re working on their art. But, you know what? It’s worth it! “Sing that song on your mind / It’s gonna make you feel better in time.”

5. Cable Ties – “Sandcastles”
This Australian (post-)punk/rock outfit is a force to be reckoned with on all fronts and they showcase that on their new track which comes off their upcoming album, Far Enough, releasing via Merge Records and Poison City Records on March 27th.

6. Slow Riot – “Hexes”
This Irish (from Limerick) post-punk band, that’s now sadly defunct as of late last year, takes a familiar page from early- Interpol’s MO, yet still sounds fresh and intriguing. Their debut, and final, album, G.A.D. came out in November 2019 and features many an ace track.
t was difficult to decide which song to post here, but this restlessly churning one goes with the playlist flow the best. Other prime cuts include “Mr Inconsistent,” “Pink December,” and lead single “Heavens Daughter.”

7. Secret Meadow – “Of One’s Desire”
Wow, a stunningly beautiful song here from a shoegaze/dream-pop band from Jakarta, Indonesia. So unexpected from its brief and spare limpid guitar opening, but the track suddenly sweeps by and upwards into the sky with crystalline guitar chime, swirling guitar abrasion, deep bass line chop, propulsive drumming, and velvety, sweet, and gently sighing male vocals.
And underpinning the aerial bliss is a strongly melodic structure that stays lodged in the mind for a long time. Euphoric!!

8. Citrus Clouds – “A Pastel Sky”
This Phoenix, AZ-based shoegaze/dream-pop/gaze band is shining brighter and brighter as they go along, and on this scintillating number they radiate outwards with curving and carved looping guitar reverberation, chugging bass line, driving drum beat, and extended, aerial female vocals that alternate with deeper, drawn out male exclamations. Never touches the ground!

9. Seasurfer – “Lovers Breakdown”
Dirk Knight, the mastermind behind this German dream-punk outfit has reconfigured it again with him and singer/lyricist Apolonia at the core, and they score big with the moodily sweeping atmosphere of this synthwave track, out now as a single with B-side “The Snakebite” via Reptile Music.
Again, there’s a feeling of being suspended in the air as the brooding song floats along with downcast vocal diffusion, misty synths diffusion, pronounced bass line push, and flat-smacked drumming.

10. Deserta – “Hide”
And the comedown arrives in the form of this elongated, vaporous number created by LA-based Matthew Doty of previous post-rock and synth-/post-punk (respectively) bands Saxon Shore and Midnight Faces.
Searing, echoed jags of guitar resound and at times unbalance the harmonious world of delicate synths notes, sedate beats, and hushed vocals. New album Black Aura My Sun will be delivered on January 17th.


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