Kraków Loves Adana – Rapture
The second single from upcoming full-length Songs After The Blue, ‘Rapture’ sees Kraków Loves Adana perfect their slightly weird and fully nostalgic brand of pop music. The project of Hamburg-based duo Deniz Cicek and Robert Heitmann, the sound here is one of ominous romance, as though working emotions loose from the past, exploring the strange spaces and film-grain footage of sun-bleached tapes, their contents at once dark and neon-lit, love and heartbreak entwined into cinematic spectacle.
“Tell me what’s next
Tell me what’s best
Put a cassette into the tape deck
Gotta play it for me
Hear the voices weep
Let the sad poets sing me to sleep”
The single comes complete with a fantastically fitting video by Wy’s Ebba Ågren, which also fulfils the slightly weird/fully nostalgic criteria:
Songs After The Blue is set for release on the 6th April via Better Call Rob. In the meantime, be sure to check out the first single ‘American Boy‘ too.
Cool American – Focus
Following up 2017’s excellent Infinite Hiatus, Portland’s Cool American are back with the latest instalment of their better luck next year series, which collects the b-sides and demos that didn’t fit on the full releases. That, however, does not mean a dip in quality. As ‘Focus’ attests, the differences between these songs and those on Infinite Hiatus are just stylistic, swapping out the runaway energy for something a little more languid and dreamy. Therefore the band get a chance to flex their musical muscles and try out some different formulae, and in doing so explore other faces of the millennial ennui they are making a career exploring.
better luck next year: vol 3 is out on the 16th February via Good Cheer Records and you can pre-order it now from Bandcamp. The first and second volumes, as well as Infinite Hiatus, are available there too.
Bucolic – Blue Tree
The recording project of New Jersey’s Seth Carpenter, Bucolic makes music combining dream and bedroom pop to create something at once downbeat and uplifting. Taken from a forthcoming EP, Glow Worm, ‘Blue Tree’ serves as a great introduction for those new to his sound. Opening with a an emotional sparseness, the Carpenter’s vocals enter to portray a kind of detached regret, as though too sad to properly register the loss. Or else, the Bucolic sound is one so used to the idea of regret, so rooted in the melancholic way of things, that the loss becomes proof of something, using time passing as a way to remember what we still have left.
Glow Worm will be released in March so keep an eye on the Bucolic Bandcamp page.
There’s Talk – Give It Up
The latest single of Oakland’s dreampop trio There’s Talk, ‘Give It Up’ is the opening track of a new EP, bathed water moon. The title of the release feels pertinent, because if ever a string of three near-abstract words could describe the There’s Talk sound then it is this—ethereal and lightweight yet hiding a darker side, the bright face of Olivia Lee’s vocals masking some cold, desolate flip-side, of which her melancholic style seems all too aware.
You can pre-order bathed water moon now from the There’s Talk Bandcamp page, including lovely 7″ vinyl edition complete with an art print and pin badge.
Doomking – I Laid the Prairies to Rest
We featured Doomking, the recording project of Victoria-based musician Jordan Soles, back in 2015 upon the release of their album, A Mark of Something No Longer In Existence. We described the album as “a release very much of and for our times,” with a “mixture of impassioned sentiments and general despondency shrouded in a haze of confusion,” all fuelled by the fracturing of human connection as we increasingly move contact online.
Stripping things back from A Mark of Something, Doomking’s new single ‘I Laid the Prairies to Rest’ feels like the aftermath of the previous album. With the last thrashings of resistance all but ended, an insulated sense of isolation has taken over—sparse and lonely and poignantly pretty, the prairies committed to sound.
‘I Laid the Prairies to Rest’ is available now from the Doomking Bandcamp page.
Airium + Double Honey – Concrete House Of Dreams And Pools
A collaboration between producer Airium and vocalist Double Honey, ‘Concrete House Of Dreams And Pools’ is a rich, expansive electronic pop song inspired by the work of David Hockney. Here, the honey-thick vocals and soaring instrumentation are coloured by an over-arching melancholy, a kind of life-affirming gloom that descends as the sun sets over a city. Indeed, the vocals and instrumental brightness fade into the night-time solemnity, so that the closing stages play like the sun’s dip below the horizon, replaced by shadows and blinking neon.
Airium + Double Honey can be found on Soundcloud.
The Saxophones – Just You
Back in October we told you about ‘Aloha’, the new single from California’s The Saxophones, a track which we described as “both sad and somehow not… like gentle moonlight glinting across a tropical bay.” We also mentioned that the b-side was a cover of ‘Just You’ from the Twin Peaks soundtrack, and the band have now released this into the world too. As we expected it’s pretty much the perfect material for The Saxophones, unfurling in a ways that’s equal parts sultry and strange.
Get ‘Aloha’ from The Saxophones Bandcamp page.
Jelani Sei – LVNDR TWN
Released last autumn, LVNDR TWN was the latest genre-bending release from Hartford’s Jelani Sei—combining r&b, indie rock, pop and soul, as well as mathy flourishes and a sprinkling of a Dirty Projectors-esque oddness, to make a sound that’s as entertaining as it is unpinnable. If, like us, you are late on this one, then allow ‘Divinity’ to win you over. Starting sunny and driven forward by a strong drum beat, the subverts the pop genre by refusing to settle into any familiar pattern, the style, tempo and vocals changing at will to create a thriving collage of musical goodness.
LVNDR TWN is out now and available from the Jelani Sei Bandcamp page.
Why Dogs Why – Linus
Why Dogs Why is the recording project of Alex Johnson from Northridge, LA. Formed after his previous outfit Bedbugs ceased toward the end of 2017, the moniker will be used by Johnson for a series of singles, one every two weeks until the summer. Mixed by Derek Ted, ‘Linus’ is the first such track, detailing a bittersweet opinion of suburban life in the San Fernando Valley that manifests as an agoraphobic terror. As such, ‘Linus’ is a frantic panic of a song, racing with anxious statements and a certain volatility, as if the whole thing might come apart at the seams at any given moment.
Grab ‘Linus’ now from the Why Dogs Why Bandcamp page.
Treehouse – Nonsense
Treehouse, the project of London resident Will Fortna, released his debut EP, Into the Ocean, back in September on Memorials of Distinction Records. We missed the boat at the time, but a recent video for the EP’s opening track, ‘Nonsense’, gives us the perfect opportunity to catch up. The song exists on the smoother end of the bedroom pop spectrum, minimalist grooves undulating behind Fortna’s gently sighing vocals. The video is equally dreamy, a video collage featuring doves and lizards and pastel-hued clouds.
You can get Into the Ocean from the Memorials of Distinction Bandcamp page.