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, just things we have missed!
Field Medic – Flash Tattoo
If you’ve been following WTD for any length of time, chances are you already know all about Field Medic (if not, check out reviews here, here and here), and the way he makes folk music for the Twenty-first Century. The latest Field Medic single, ‘flash tattoos’, is yet another example, what feels like a sincere classic folk song at heart, a quietly confident paean to celebrating your differences, but embellished with warm lo-fi pop stylings that keep things genuine and rooted to the ground.
“it don’t pay to be different right now
but sometime I know someday it will”
The song will appear on a forthcoming EP, so keep your eyes peeled for the full release.
Praything – You’ll Be Mine
Praything, the project of Brooklyn’s Ju Kovacevich, is another artist we’ve featured several times (for example here and here). Praything’s first song of 2017 is ‘You’ll Be Mine’, another slice of lush and anthemic indie pop, Kovacevich’s distinctive vocals delicate and vulnerable against steady percussion and bubbling synths, before the whole thing breaks out into a cathartic wordless chorus. Sometimes you don’t need words to express emotion.
On the Other Side – Lincoln Oak
On the Other Side is the solo project of Dwight Miller from Modesto, California. He has an EP out early next month on CA DIY label Make Anything Records, and has recently released the first track, ‘Lincoln Oak’. The sound is emotionally charged, emo-tinged, indie rock, with shades of Pinegrove and Modern Baseball. The label say Miller tries to make “music that isn’t just escape from his problems, but forces him to tackle them head on”, so expect heart-on-sleeve sincerity behind the throaty barked vocals.
She Was My Ryan is due on the 7th of April, and you can pre-order it now from Make Anything Records.
Cassandra Jenkins – Red Lips
New York’s Cassandra Jenkins is soon to release her debut album Play Till You Win, and has just released the second single ‘Red Lips’. The song is a beguiling mix of Emmylou Harris’s country rock, Mazzy Star’s dreamy lingering pop and the strange and emotional synths of the Twin Peaks Soundtrack. The song deals with the encroachment of the digital realm on our lives, and the subsequent impact on our mental health. There are messages woven into the fabric of the track, as Jenkins explains, “Each verse takes on one color from the RGB spectrum: red for love and desire, green for jealousy, and blue for sorrow.” If this is anything to go by, the album will be one to look out for as it takes pop music to new ruminative and thematic depths.
Play Till You Win will be released on April 7th through Jenkins’s own label Cassandra Complex, which she set up as a means of making “social commentary in a way that is accessible and beautiful”. You can order it now from Bandcamp.
ULTRAS – Team Handed
The moniker of Scottish multi-instrumentalist Gav Prentice (formerly Over The Wall), ULTRAS is a veritable melting pot of influences, from pop, rock and traditional folk to electronica and hip-hop. The self-titled debut album, set for release this April, is therefore a diverse listen, though lead single ‘Team Handed’ finds Prentice practicing a similar style to that of Over The Wall. Warm guitar and background ambience are coupled with detailed lyrics that manage to sound both dejected and alive, giving the whole thing an emotive, empathetic vibe that speaks highly of Prentice’s songwriting capabilities.
On The Water – Sun Temple
Philadelphia-based experimental folk band On The Water have announced their sixth collection of songs, Superposition, to be released in the middle of April. Written by Fletcher VanVliet and featuring an array of contributors both old and new, the release comprises of unorthodox folk songs which seem to fall somewhere between eccentric and organic, playing like thoughts and feelings presented unfiltered. Single ‘Sun Temple’ is a good example of this, eschewing convention to sound like a direct view inside someone’s head, ending up every bit as immediate and weird as that might seem.
Superposition will be released on the 22nd April and you can pre-order it now from the On The Water Bandcamp page.
Rosie Tucker – Fault Lines
Rosie Tucker is a musician and songwriter from LA. Her latest single, ‘Fault Lines’ is her first new music since her debut album Lowlight, and provides what she describes as an “indie-rock ode to a particular sort of sun-bleached, So-cal feeling of isolation”. Fans of Waxahatchee and Frankie Cosmos will find plenty to like, especially as the songwriting is so strong. As the title suggests, the lyrics use the geology beneath California as a metaphor for movements of a more personal nature.
“California aches on her tectonic plates
she waits to make the break into the sea”
Keep an eye on the Rosie Tucker website for info on future releases.
Sleep Movies – Paper Hat
Sleep Movies is the recording project of Pittsburgh’s Skyler Brimmierer, who featured recently on the Crafted Sounds compilation, Have a nice day. (of which there are a few copies left, if you’re quick). April sees the release of EDG, a hazy-yet warm collection blissful lo-fi pop that plays like a tropical sea mist descending on your day at the beach. Lead single ‘Paper Hat’ serves as a perfect introduction, the vocals fuzzed to the point of indecipherability, yet losing nothing in their message thanks to the expressive delivery and idyllic vibes. As such, the track is temperate and hospitable, allowing the listener to relax back into its cloudy embrace. As the press release suggests: “Watch TV in your dreams, and flip on Sleep Movies.”
EDG is out on the 13th April via Crafted Sounds and you can pre-order it now in both digital and physical formats via Bandcamp.
Panther Hollow – Jamie
NYU music composition graduate Bernardo Ochoa writes and performs for Modern Diet, Ackerman, and a variety of other Brooklyn-based bands, though Panther Hollow is his personal recording project. With the help of Matti Dunietz (drums), Dan Hemerlein (bass) and Evan Lane (trumpet), Ochoa has put together an EP, People Synesthesia, which pulls inspiration from all directions to form what the press release describes as a “stylistically diverse collection of portraits and transient feelings.” While lead single ‘Office’ was a fuzzy slice of grungey garage rock, second single ‘Jamie’ uses banjos and mandolins in support of Ochoa’s gentle, wistful lyrics to create something altogether more pacifying.
People Synesthesia is set for release on the 31st May.
The Saxophones – New Tradition
You may remember us writing about The Saxophones back in August, when we reviewed their debut EP, If You’re On the Water. Excitingly, the 3-song single is now getting the release it deserves on Full Time Hobby. To celebrate, the band have released a video for ‘New Tradition’, a track we described in our review as a “slow dream pop song, like a sad croon in a sparsely filled dance hall, Alexi Erenkov’s sax snaking around and conjuring an almost Lynchian, noirishly romantic vibe”. The video takes a slightly different tack, setting the song to footage of a bright summer day, and one man’s attempts to shake off a sense of gloom.
You can get If You’re on the Water now on 7″ vinyl or digital download from Full Time Hobby.
Day Joy – Fumbling
A few months back we featured ‘Florida’s Warm’, the new song (after a three year hiatus) from Michael Serrin’s Day Joy project. We described the track as, “[not] hopeful so much as hopeful of hope, the narrator holding on to the image of a brighter day, homesick and half-tortured by the slim possibility of the chance the sun might rise once more, bringing a thaw that might allow some sensation to return to frost-bitten limbs”.
Making good on his promise to release the album single by single, Serrin has now unveiled ‘Fumbling’, our second taste of the direction Day Joy will take on the new record. The track is a slow burning ballad, Serrin’s plaintive vocals laid on top of melancholy piano, gentle percussion and winding atmospherics. It’s a stunningly accomplished piece of work that’s wrought with emotion and certainly has us eagerly anticipating the rest of the record.