Archive for August, 2022

August 18, 2022

The B-Side: Reticent Alien

What a cool song. “Get the Picture” by Reticent Alien has a bopping, galloping acoustic guitar core that gives it a unique sense of movement you just don’t hear in songs these days. It pulses and moves things along like a strong current, upon which swim the vocals and lyrics that remind us a bit of one of the all time unsung great songwriters; Michael Penn. It’s one of the coolest combinations we’ve heard in a while, with a distinctly different type of shredding and a top notch song to boot.

August 17, 2022

The Midweekly – Horsegirl

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

When shoegazing to some jams, what do you see? A pair of vintage sneakers or some new modern kicks? For the rockers of Horsegirl it’s both. On their first official LP, Variations of Modern Performance, this Chicago trio are pumping some fresh blood into the old sounds of post punk and indie pop. With a rhythm section galloping along steadily, flowing guitar riffs, and the vocal harmonies of a wild spirit, these Variations include tight bangers, washed out gazers, and ambient interludes. These kids are stepping up with one shoe in the past and one in the future. 

August 16, 2022

Tuesday Tip-Off: MoonBell

“Something New” by MoonBell starts off slow and lush, the type of indie ballad we’ve become accustomed to, so it’s an unexpected treat when it blooms with a drum loop and expansive synth pads and does so tastefully. The surprises don’t stop there, a breakdown with a few measures of low brass (tuba perhaps?) and a fast finger picked guitar part make appearances as well, but in all of these things MoonBell does it in a manner where it makes sense. This isn’t switch up just for the sake of switch up, it feels integral and that’s the magic of it all.

August 16, 2022

Week Starter – Martha

Week Starter is our Monday column where we give you a new song to help you get on out of bed & help you power on through the working week.

Look, sometimes you have to start your week on Tuesday because Monday is a wash, and that was the case for the PE offices this week. Regardless, it’s never too late to start it up with a perfect slice of power pop indie rock like the kind from the kids in Martha. Why do we call these clearly young adults kids? Because they got the youthful energy to make you want to dance in your bedroom like you’re 15 again. “Baby, Does Your Heart Sink?” is perfect. End of sentence. It has hooks and heart and hell yeah and all of it. Who would’ve thought a contender for song of the summer would squeak in just under the wire, but it is and it has. Turn it up and feel the warm rays a little longer.

August 12, 2022

Week Ender – Graham Repulski

The Omega to the Week Starter Alpha, Week Ender is the song we want to send you into the weekend with.

On the surface the GBV lo-fi thing seems like it would be easy to replicate, and lord knows we’ve received many a submission of those who’ve tried. Blow out most, if not all the tracks, for instant Uncle Bob magic. But what most of them forget is that underneath the layers of fuzz and squall there has to be a killer song fighting to break through, that’s the magic part. Luckily for us “Flaming Television” by Graham Repulski gets it right. So right in fact that it’d be easy to think this was a lost Pollard track (not that there are any lost Pollard tracks because he releases everything, constantly); and while we generally don’t dig it when artists stick so close to their inspirations we do dig this. Because it’s rare to hear someone get the formula right, and because as prodigious as BP is the world could always use more perfect pop songs wrapped in chaos.

August 12, 2022

Friday 5×5

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words.

Today we keep our lips mostly sealed with micro-reviews of five songs so good they speak for themselves. Check out the latest from Melanie MacLaren, Credit Electric, Vangelism, General Admin and Gonzo Lebronzo after the jump.
.
.

read more »
August 11, 2022

Thursdays With J.R. – Brooke Surgener

Thursdays with J.R. is our new weekly column from lifelong musician and lifelong-er music fan J.R. McIntire, drummer of Arctic Char and multi-instrumentalist on more projects than we have bandwidth to list.

This weeks track begins on the one.  Gently strummed acoustics, chorus-y sliding guitars and possibly mandolins flow in.  There is nothing not to love about the track, “I Hate You The Least” by Brooke Surgener.  Brooke makes us wait for the first chorus and it is worth it when it bellows from its cave…..both times!  Her gentle voice filling each word with meaning, leaving our brains to piece together why there was any hate there in the first place.  Where is this person from?  What have they been through?  They seem happy.  The slide guitar during the humming vocals is just gorgeous sounding to the ear.  She doubles her vocal parts with ease, they sting in the best way because of this.  The lyrics are great, “I hate you the least, it’s my highest compliment”….so good.  She leaves us hanging with the lyric about keeping a picture of them in her wallet.  A sentiment from the days of this songs influences’ which range from shoegaze to country in my opinion.  Really great arrangement and performance, highly recommend this artist, she does not disappoint.

August 11, 2022

The B-Side: Joan of Arkansas

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Some perfectly fuzzed out, rough around the edges in just the right way sunshine pop in a grungy indie rock cloak? Just what the doctor ordered. “Erase Me” by Joan of Arkansas has the energy of early Superchunk, but with its own “sludge pop” twist. It is effortlessly catchy and in a better world would be a smash radio single, or at the very least the break out song at Fest this year (we checked, they’re not on the bill, which is a bummer). Luckily for us love don’t cost a thing and neither does smashing that play again button.

August 10, 2022

Wordless Wednesdays

Wordless Wednesdays is our column where we spotlight the best new instrumental tracks.

Today we bring you the best in instrumental tracks from Aerial2k, Hunters Chorus and Andrew Cosentino after the jump.
.
.

read more »
August 10, 2022

The Midweekly – Giraffes? Giraffes!

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

In a studio, sure you can get a lot of stuff going at the same time with technology and what. But take it to the stage and things get trickier for a rock duo from Massachusetts. Giraffes? Giraffes! They make it happen? They make it happen! (Looping pedals help). On their fifth LP, Death Breath, with Ken Topham on percussion, and Joseph Andreoli on guitars, G?G! produce a solid set of experimental post-rock tracks. There’s a modern flair of polyrhythms and math, and a good dose of classic melody that harkens back to the songwriting of 90s alternative. Moments of high energy, mixed with softer, more subtle numbers give the whole album a dynamic feel that keeps your attention. In the past, their work has been mostly instrumental. But now they’re singing like it’s always been a well built tool in their box. There is a question and an answer. It’s really good? It’s really good!

%d bloggers like this: