Okay, only recently got woken up to Snakeskin, formerly Shanna Polley’s solo project, now the blanket name of she and her band, via a glowing recommendation from another fab band, High Falls, and for that I owe a big thanks.”Seize” is a bitchin’ alt 90’s classic that never was, with a big fat riff and hook: an ornery, tough kid cousin to the classic “Safari” by the Breeders. It oozes that same ineffable coolness, which makes it a pretty special thing.
Here’s a true embodiment of wearing your heart on your sleeve pop music style: Natalie Davis was so enamored and inspired by Tame Impala that she named her own project “Currents”, after the band’s 2015 album. And while that influence is worn proudly within this delicately spacey, handsome, and lush melodic echo, it has some undeniable charms of it’s own, not the least of which being that it’s about how it’s okay to cry whenever the hell the impulse hits you.
Freya “Nineteen Years”
This song was actually released in the closing weeks of 2017, but never got a chance to write about it, and extoll it’s many virtues and charms. Simple, with a guitar line that circles around and around, bridging a generational gap between, I swear, 70’s soft rockers Bread, gentle emo legends Pinback, and the softer moments from the underrated Wheat, “Nineteen…” is a wistful world of longing, the past, insurmountable miles, and all that good stuff. Freya’s new album is due out in May, but while you wait, I strongly recommend you check her sweet ep from last year, “The Brightest Ones” because it’s brimming with gorgeous stuff like this.
Back to the Future: Meet The Casual Sexists
The Casual Sexists are a pop band that exist in both the past and the future. They sound like the darkest deepest recesses of Danceteria in NYC in 1982…Like gum chewing teenage girls telling a shop owner to fuck off in London in 1988 after he’s asked them to leave because they are scaring the other customers…Like the love baby of 80’s minimalist classic “Laid Back” by White Horse, Cristina’s “Sleep it Off ” album, The Slits, Shampoo, and “West End Girls”…but they also sound like the future : DIY clever, sticky, and disposable in the best way. What does it all mean ? Well, here’s the lead track off their 2017 “Karakara”ep wherein the duo treat the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” like a total rag doll in the in the second verse, which is the best:
And check out the toy robot, poptastic lead track off their previous ep “Let’s Go to the Beach” in which seagulls, sun, strychnine and Nabokov’s “Lolita” are all present and accounted for. And as a personal aside, this is the kind of song that legendary, late NY radio station WLIR would’ve been all over in it’s 80’s “Screamer of the Week” heyday, for sure, as in, this would’ve been a “Screamer”
There’s more shiny double dutch junk punk where these came from, so encourage you to explore via the band’s site and most especially check out their videos within it, featuring discarded baby dolls, blood, and cats, because they are fab :
PuR’s Top Songs of 2017 !
I’m not going to rant about what a great/bad year it’s been in music because really every year, since lord knows when, there have been brilliantly, wonderful, and transcendent songs being born into the world, as well as, you know, less than transcendent ones, and to qualify a year as “unparalleled”, or “bad”, or “disappointing”, well, it’s all pretty subjective, and yes, I’ll save you a seat here on the fence next to me.
” Round numbers are overrated…or I’ve decided they are for a minute”
Okay, there are an odd number of tracks because I opted for honesty over cleanliness but I aspire to like a perfectly round number of songs in 2018 ( editors note: good luck with that). And also these songs aren’t ranked in any particular order…and there aren’t a lot of mega-hits in the conventional sense ( except in some magnificent alternate universe light years away in which case all these songs were # 1, for a day each at least). And a bunch of these artists haven’t “blown up” quite yet so to speak, which makes it a real joy to exult them here, from amongst the millions of others. And hey, did also include a few standout tracks from some of the bigger names we already know, and maybe love, so it’s one big authentic “Rocks” overview of 2017.
I was going to write a line about each song, but that seemed insane, and so I’ll just leave you with this : within this list are songs to enhance any daily activity including crying, staring out train windows, pondering existence, plotting a better 2018, performing manual labor, or screaming your head off.
Lastly want to say love to all these ridiculously wonderful bands for making these ridiculously wonderful songs: you all rule. And one more thing, thank YOU to anyone reading/listening, or in anyway acknowledging this very, very small blog. I’m gonna keep going even if there’s only one of you because dammit, it’s worth it. THANK YOU !
* The lists are slightly different as not all tracks are offered on both Soundcloud, and Spotify i.e. just a tiny handful of difference, mostly the fact that the established tend to be only on the Spotify, while the up and coming tend to be mostly on the Soundcloud, so try ’em both. Okay, go turn it up !
Soundcloud: Best of 2017 ! Right Here !:
Spotify: Best of 2017 !:
Weekly New Wonders Playlists !!
Hey, before 2017 draws to a close, wanted to share one more playlist featuring some fine Capricorn tunes, give or take a week or two. Capricorn. Okay so when I was a kid one of the records in my Mom’s collection was “Jesus was a Capricorn” by Kris Kristofferson ( circa 1972), and that title has been embedded in my mind since forever: it’s just so hippy perfect. Anyway, it popped into my head while I was writing this, and technically it’s true, as in Jesus and these songs have something in common…yeah, okay, I’ll stop. And on that note, here are a couple of playlists for the dusty, windy post holiday days, both on Soundcloud and Spotify…and FYI, some tracks are only on Soundcloud so I encourage you to check out both.
Soundcloud is here ! :
And Spotify is here ! :
Weekly New Wonders Playlists !!
December. The best smelling month of the year, I think we can all agree. And with that here are the latest and greatest to breathe in to. One thing to note : the Soundcloud playlist features 9 tracks that as of this writing are not posted on Spotify, so I recommend checking out the Soundcloud especially, so you don’t miss what could potentially be your # 1 song this week. Enjoy !
Soundcloud is here :
Spotify is here :
Praa “Modeling Clay”
I know. This sounds like some lost Prince song, circa 1988 with Wendy & Lisa singing lead (and a damn good one at that). Sparse, off-kilter, full of air, space, and sweetness, I think the man himself would wholeheartedly smile on Praa for this, and what could ever be cooler than that ?
Loveless Death Scene “Someone Who Loves You”
Plush and lush, a big echo laden, tear-stained Beach Boy-esque kiss-off, candy-coated, swirling and whirling, and mighty fine at that.
Edina Mira “Gone”
Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy” from 1991 is practically it’s own religion: it’s easily one of the greatest singles of the 90’s, and maybe forever…and that’s the song that instantly came to mind upon hearing this for the first time. While “Gone” is nowhere near as orchestrated as the former, and is more defiant than desperate (the other featured trait of “Unfinished”) it shares a similar skeleton, especially in regards to it’s emotive, and world weary vocal, and subtle yet epic hook. It’s damn beautiful and I wish it were even longer.