A lot of good stuff this week. I know I always say this but really, there is a lot of good stuff. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify but please note, as usual, lists are ever so slightly different due to certain songs not being available on Soundcloud or vice versa. Check out both so you don’t miss anything okay.
“The sun has never loved me”…now that’s a line. Tales is the new moniker of Australian duo The Winter Gypsy, and this, their first single under the new name, is transcendently good. Gorgeous harmonizing, layers and layers of vocals, full of sundown and resignation, sounding like a dreampop Brian Wilson (at his most gorgeously morose), “So Blue” is absolutely stunning, filled to the gills with melody, and is a life affirming tearjerker of the highest order.
“Blurry Now” is fat, plush pop, all swirling carnivalesque synth, desperation and self-realization. It sits somewhere between an emo Ladyhawke and a less austere Goldfrapp tune, which is a pretty cool place to be, and features an especially fine, breathy, and warm vocal. Dizzyingly good it is.
A little ELO, a little Scissor Sisters, a little Sgt. Pepper, “Landmine” is old school AM radio-friendly synthetic candy, both utterly earnest and entirely handsome and undoubtedly the # 1 song in a parallel universe.
With a twanging guitar line that feels like getting gently pulled by the hand to the edge of a cliff, and whispering vocals resting on top of a Joni Mitchell “River” like piano figure, “Ophelia” is exceptionally pretty, uplifting, and ominous at the same time. This track features on the new lp “Whatever Helps You Sleep”, and know what, the title track is pretty exquisite too so attaching that below as well.
“I’m not popular enough to be different”
(Quote from Homer Simpson circa 1992)
Anyway, here’s some of the finest new music this side of wherever from the past week. A little heart melting, a little defiant, a little pop, all good. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below but please note there are 2 songs not on the Spotify list because they are not yet available there.
Honestly it isn’t often that a throwback stands up to anything that actually occurred in the era it’s throwing back to…which is why this track is a bit of a stand out. “Just Another Year” sounds like Brandy singing a Chaka Khan song off of the latter’s “I Feel for You” album from ’84 ( yes, it’s that specific a vibe). This type of innately melodic R & B is really hard to find these days…which is why this is a bit special. While a lot of praise has been heaped on the respective albums of Kali Uchis and Teyana Taylor, “Just Another Year” is far more compelling a track than anything on either of those acclaimed LP’s.
And make sure to check out “Who Is This”, another pretty exceptional piece of retro R & B off the same EP as “Just…”, titled “Let Me Fall”:
A brow-beaten anthem about waking up and walking away, “This Is My Cue” is all ascending vocals, snakey twanging New Order style guitar, and self realization and as such is extremely fine.
Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser is Tuvaband and “Wolfpack” is a moody exceptionally beautiful place. Featuring Tuva’s crystalline vocal over a blurry, worn out, lo-fi backdrop, it’s part Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins), part Nico, all hypnotic and completely worthy of worship by us all.
A windswept, fist pumping AOR goth anthem that brings to mind Pat Benatar, Heart, and Siouxsie all at once (an equation we can really get behind), this kind of empowering, dark, big chorus’ed pop is a welcome bad influence in these days of electronic emo top 40 swill…which is to say it’s big and powerful and kicks a whole lotta ass.