After a gentle buzz in the last few years, Tree Machines will finally be releasing their debut album this year called Up For Air and everyone involved will be able to breathe. Check out the first single from it, “Waiting On The Sun” and in time, the sun will arrive to greet the new warmth.
I’ve been listening to Jared Putnam’s music as The March Divide in the last few years and he returns with something new called Saturdays (self-released) which show he continues to do what he does best, and that is to show how much of an artist he is and where he’s willing to go to go to new places. Fourteen songs may sound like a lot one needs to consume but if you’ve been into his style of rock pop, you are going to love each and every track. I still hear different Lenny Kravitz qualities in what he does but I also hear what makes some of Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl, Ben Folds, and Bruno Mars’ music stand out, and that he writes in a way that makes the songs hard to resist. They are well written and have enough qualities that will make you want to sing to its choruses once he sings the second one, only causing you to play the song two more times to be sure you didn’t miss any of the lyrics.
Recorded in 1997 and 1998 and not made available for another 18 years, The Queen Annes have finally released an album that has been in the metaphorical vault until now and we get a chance to hear it. Released! (Green Monkey) is music from a Seattle band that doesn’t sound like your stereotypical Seattle band but then again, when has a Seattle band every sounded like one another? Exactly, and The Queen Annes mix up nice hints of pop with rock to create something that sounds like a mixture of Everclear, Teenage Funclub, The Fastbacks, and Soul Asylum but in songs like “Caught Underneath The Light” and “I Owe You Nothing”, the horn section helps it appeal to Neil Young fans, or at least those Young fans who like it when he mixes up rock with R&B. It’s nice and gritty music you’d expect to hear in a nightclub when you need to be let out of your misery, so you could say the title of the album has a bit of an unintentional double meaning. What is Released! is more than just that, and maybe this is the music in your heart that needs to get out.
Outside of being a band that nicely blend courageous rock with wonderful pop craftiness, halfsour are a band that make their songs well partly due to Ian Gustafson, Matthew Mara and Zoë Wyner trading vocal duties from song to song. One way to describe what they do is power pop but when you hear something as fierce as “Sensitive Rugby”, they are much more than just a power pop band but then again, maybe you could call this Maximum Pop’N’Roll after listening to Tuesday Night Live (Jigsaw).
Corny, I know, and while one may want to compare them to Sonic Youth due to how they trade vocals, halfsour are a completely different band altogether although they both share a kind of energy that their fans can appreciate. I like hearing a band that could be unpredictable, even with one another, and I think they could easily pull some incredible moments in live shows. This is a band to keep an eye on.
On the surface, the music by Great Lake could be a wonderful mixture of pop and rock, but that’s just on the surface. Listen to Wild Vision (Loose Trucks) and you’ll hear that this is just strong songwriting that could be performed in a wide range of different genres. There’s a hint of country here, a slight pinch of soul there, and perhaps a slice of hard rock there too and that may be due to their Athens, Georgia upbringing. With a city like Athens, you may immediately bring to mind a number of well known groups what what Great Lakes do is carry those traditions and mix it up into their own blend. It features songs that will make you believe with what Ben Crum and Suzanne Nienaber are singing about, whether it’s about love found, love lost, the mysteries of life or the sadness of the unknown. It’s personal, just as it should be and Wild Vision is the kind of material that should be honored not only for its own merits, but so other artists could cover it themselves and create a new legacy for these compositions.
San Francisco trio Scary Little Friends have come out with a new 7-song EP called Silent Revolution (Randm) and if you’re someone who loves their pop with a nice and welcome punch of good rock’n’roll, you’ll really dig this. The music on this reminds me of the kind of music I used to grow up in the 80’s, college/collegiate rock that sounds like something you’d hear on albums by Greg Kihn, The Tubes, or The Producers. That comes from the strength of Chris Jones’ songwriting and vocals, where things sound encouraging and you want to stay around to hear more. A part of me also hears a hint of Wilco power but Wilco have never made it close over to the pop side of things, or at least I never heard them go/get there but there’s a slight Jeff Tweedy vibe. What also makes the music work is the drumming of Charlie Knote and bassist Jon Payne and together they clearly show you what it means to not only be a power trio, but just a great group who understand each other to make their songs work beautifully. Nice vibe all around.
There are many artists who have written and released songs with the statement that there is “no way out” by The Sloths want to tell you there is “One Way Out” if you pay attention. The song is from their album released last March called Back from The Grave (Lollipop/Burger), available via Amazon.com by clicking the cover below.
This is easily one of the best music videos of 2016 and we’re barely into the second month of 2016. It’s from The Lemons’ latest album Hello, We’re The Lemons and “Ice Cream Shop” is not only animated but look at the length. Short and to the point, and it works great. The album can be ordered through Amazon.com below, including on vinyl.
Tracy Bryant found himself lounging at a recording studio in Tucson, Arizona and decided to make his video for “Subterranean” there with director Tony Accosta and here it is. You may know of Bryant for his time with Corners and now he’s also trying out the solo thing. I believe this is more than just a thing, it works quite nicely. The song will be on Bryant’s in-progress project but you may have a listen to his debut album and recent single over at Bandcamp.
After being signed to Tiny Engines earlier this year, Brooklyn band Haybaby are ready to release their debut album before the end of the year. It will be called Sleepy Kids and you can pre-order it now but first… you want to know how it sounds, right? Then have a listen to a track from it, this entitled, “Elevator Song.” The album will be out digitally in two weeks while vinyl junkies will be able to pick up the record for it later in the year. Vinyl pressings can be pre-ordered by heading to Tiny Engines.