With “Good Son”, LA duo Bad Wave have created a new genre we’ll call ” Post Fathers Day” i.e. this is no celebration of bonding with dad but rather a synth washed lament about letting that Dad guy down. It’s plush and pop and while there is a Ben Folds vibe to the whole song it’s not remotely as self-satisfied as one of his typical tracks which is to say it’s earnest and defeated and just really damn pretty.
gentle j is Jordan Thomas and “Smoking’ is disorienting, hot, and a little fuzzy at the edges. Echoey and lush, sounding like Cheap Trick, the Beach Boys, Flaming Lips and early Pink Floyd all melted up in one pot and stirred together, it’s just beautiful woozy pop weirdness. As for the video, if you are a film geek, you will be instantly transported back in time to epic all consuming 70’s road movies “Two- Lane Blacktop” and “Vanishing Point” which makes this all kinds of perfect.
A lo-fi, twisting, turning, sleepy, hypnotically jangling, and maybe even slightly sinister snapshot of childhood, “Work” has a real 90’s Blake Babies/Juliana Hatfield feel to it ( with a tiny nod to Nirvana’s “All Apologies” ) and features some truly transcendent guitar. As far as Momma goes “Work” is just the tip of the iceberg, as in the new album “Interloper’ is full of even more subtle, whispering, lo-fi wonders so yes, yes, yes, please visit it below.
“Backseat” is an absolutely stunning bit of pop with a Nashville-edge and 80’s power ballad-esque vibe ( like a marriage of John Waite’s classic “Missing You” and Madonna’s equally classic “Crazy For You” with a wash of subtle, sweet twang). Wistful, and windblown, simultaneously capturing the feeling of being in the moment, while at the same time letting the film of memories wash over you while, yeah, staring at the lights from the backseat, this is just too fine.
Okay, for anyone who cares, this playlist is very late. As in I didn’t post one last week. And also for anyone who cares I’m sorry, it’ll never happen again. On the positive side, it means it’s a little bit fatter than usual. Stuffed to the gills with wild and free, all wrapped up in mystery # 1 songs in parallel universes. As usual you can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify but please note lists are ever so slightly different as not all songs are available on Spotify as of this writing. Play it loud.
A somber and timeless piano ballad, with a siren song of a vocal, that while instantly bringing to mind Laura Nyro, also delicately references Sandy Denny, Carole King, and Nina Simone which is to say “Time and Again” literally sounds like it was born in 1971. Not lying when I say that upon first listen it caused me to stop what I was doing and just sit in rapt, worshipful attention not only because it was so damn beautiful, but because it honestly didn’t sound like anything else I’d heard this year. What a stunner.
Rabbits with their tongues out. No you can’t beat that ever, but I digress…Welcome again to the Weekly New Wonders Playlist. There are some mighty fine new songs here, full of lust, unrequited love, the universe, broken glass and some ridiculous singing. And hey, the lists are ever so slightly different as not all the tracks appear on both Soundcloud and Spotify so please dig into both so you don’t miss anything.
Here’s the Soundcloud :
Here’s the Spotify:
Sinewy, sweaty, electro-soul: Welcome the “DāM-FunK” of Amber-Simone and pretty fabulous it is. And yeah while there’s a bit of that DāM-FunK type sound in there, there’s also a little of that stuff that’s traditionally inspired him as well, that simultaneously chilly and warm late 80’s soul ( Cherelle, Karyn White, and SOS Band came to mind, and thereby of course Jam & Lewis). This also brought to mind the spacey, lush pop of Kelis oldie ” Trilogy”. It all makes for something undeniably plush and handsome and hot.
Gonna get right to the point: Chicago’s Avantist are a band made up of 4 brothers and “_violence”, off their new “Terasoma” EP, is completely infectious, jittery, anxious prog pop, with a myriad of hooks and tempo changes, that stars an especially angular and assertive guitar line, plus a bubbling in the back fat synth, which is to say it’s sticky as hell and so damn good.
And now for some spare acoustic balladry of the highest order. While there is a real folk fragility to “Bare”, it brought to mind something surprising. Okay, there’s a bit in Aretha Franklin’s desperately emotional 1968 classic “Ain’t No Way” about halfway through where she takes her vocal up an octave and you can hear her physically move away from the microphone. And as glorious as the whole song is, that 15 seconds or so steamrolls everything that came before it and quite literally lifts everything to heaven. Well within “Bare” there exists a similar moment: there is an ascending vocal line about 2 1/2 minutes in that is just mind blowingly beautiful, stunning (it’ll induce some involuntary sighing) and instantly takes an already beautiful song up to some other level. Yes, “Bare” is a completely different kind of record than “Ain’t No Way” but it’s just as fraught with real emotion, and Rosie’s vocal so took me to that same place, to that same awestruck feeling. Yes, really beautiful.