If Wutip’s “Street Lights” was any more 77″ Brit-Punk, I’d swear it was a re-issue. This buzzy and and energetic single reminds me of all the best things to come out of the London scene, everything from it’s marble mouth intro vocals to the shout along hooks it’s just not a song that you can easily ignore.
Full of Beach Boys’ syrupy sweet sunshine, M.A.G.S. “Drugs” feels like there’s quite a bit of a deeper darkness that lies underneath, that makes me wonder what was happening in those substance fueled nights where Dennis was hanging out with Charlie and the Family those dark nights in his valley mansion.
“Drugs” is one of those songs that has a different feel every time you listen to it, and is ultimately rewarding the more time that you invest in it.
Buzzy and lean Elephant Fire’s “Natural Heart” makes me think of that crucial era in the mid-60’s where bands hadn’t quite given up the uppers that were fueling their 4 shows a night rotation, but had just begun expanding their minds to the universal consciousness.
Not to say that this song is hippy dippy in the least. Elephant Fire is all jagged edges and id with just enough of the ethereal to keep it interesting. Definitely a unique sound that’s worth exploring further.
When I think of Sweden, I tend to think of twee bedroom pop and not huge, sleazy, garage rock riffs. However, that’s a stereotype that Basement Bout is about to knock out of my head for good with their new single “Another Night”.
The song itself is raw, but glammed out in a Beggars Banquet kind of way, which makes you wonder what kind of substances are fueling this night. It’s a well crafted and catchy song that hearkens back to all the good things that come to mind when thinking about 70’s rock without all the over produced bloat.
The Van T’s are heavy riffs and sweet vocal melodies galore. On their new single “Bitter Sweet” we catch back up with the band and their sound has matured a lot in the last year or so. Built on a foundation of solid production and straight forward, catchy, melodies The Van T’s are poised to take over the world one fan at a time with their lean 90’s sound.
The first thing that smacks you in the face about “Fall Guy” is the just how interesting the drumming sounds compared to a lot of other groups out there right now. This punchy little post-punk track really stands out in a world do dominated by Joy Division clones. Detroit native Zach Pliska has apparently been around that scene for years, the massive list of previous bands is impressive. Definitely a starting point to a rabbit hole that deserves to be check out.
The first thing that hits you about “Lined Paper Song” is just the wonderful snotty ’77 punk delivery of Ása Berezny vocals. It’s amazing how tight and poppy these kids (none of them are even old enough to vote) actually play. That being said, Kingdom of Birds plays with more weight and edge than bands with exponentially more experience. Kingdom of Birds is one of those bands that gives you hope for the future of music.
Another band that’s back on Pop Occulture after a year plus absence, with a great new song, Leggy’s “Not What You Need”, which while the delivery sounds smooth and seductive, has a very jagged heart in it’s center as frenetic as it’s funky drumming style. This trio hailing from Cincinnati, OH (Midwest Love) was just featured in a New York Times’ article calling them one of the 50 greatest bands with women dominating rock’n’roll, and listening to “Not What You Need” it’s pretty obvious that this is true. Go throw your money at their feet, so you can act cool and say you knew them before they were huge.
Donating the proceeds of “Victim” to Harm Reduction Coalition, a group dedicated to help victims of the opioid epidemic, Veronica Bianqui brings us a great song full of sunshiny harmonies and crunchy guitars (who could ask for anything more?) The song delves deep into 50’s pop while giving it the harder psych edge, that is built around this a beautifully uptight Ringo-esq rhythm. Which gives the song a very unique style that will bury itself deep into your brain for days.
Just a little over a year later, (I think, time flies when you’re listening to 30+ new bands a day) The ThreeFiveSevens bring back their Bauhaus meets the B-52’s sound, “Witch” brings the infectious gloom with a gusto that no other band does out there right now. With a wash of great harmonies underlying vocalist Thomas Francis Lane II’s stark (and glorious) monotone delivery on this track track, with an up beat rhythm this song really stands out.
While popular in the 80’s and early 90’s, music with a danceable beat is kind of a unicorn out there in the world of indie rock. Any new release by the ThreeFiveSevens should be celebrated.
Straight out of Milan Italy, The Surf Cassettes perfectly capture that hollow but sunny garage surf vibe without becoming just another pale repetition. Having spent a little time with the rest of their album that came out just under a year ago, this song is definitely one of the diamonds on an album full of gems.
Australia’s Georgia June are tackling a subject that many of us are painfully too aware of… being flat-ass broke. This punky pop track is one of those songs that will get caught in your head for days, the guitar chug and the tongue in cheek humor compliment the straightforward in your car top volume sing-along quality of the track. If this one grabs you, don’t forget to go to their Soundcloud and listen to their previous effort “Cool”!
Sweden’s Nala just put out their first single “How, When & Where”, it is one of those tracks where you can’t tell where in the last 40 years it could have been recorded. This hard-hitting combination of psychedelia and stoner metal, just hits all the right spots to be both brutal sounding and poppy enough to be hum-able at the same time.
Digging around on their Soundcloud page, there are several other great demos for you to check out as well. Can’t wait to hear more!
Tai Chi Tommy’s “Buried Under Your Love” sounds and looks like what would be playing at the winter formal in hell. This slow and gothy 50’s slow dance occupies a unique space in the music world that I’m hard pressed to think of any bands that quite have a similar sound.
Come for the wooziness, stay for the infectious bummer the song will leave you with.
Pop Occulture favorites Giant Kitty are back with the video for their new single “You Suck” an all out rocker, that has an important message to convey to the world. That being that you, and I’m pretty sure it is you, my dear reader, do in fact suck. That’s okay though! Giant Kitty has created possibly the best theme song for you in your suckitude.
Giant Kitty embodies the defiant spirit of 90’s riotgrrl without sounding derivative or dated, and this track might just be one of their best yet. Definitely a band that I highly suggest.
Once every blue moon or so New Jersey resident Christopher Padula (Thunder Bunny, Black Rabbit) comes out of seclusion and offers the us a glimpse unique and wonderful world of shoegaze influenced psychedelic folk. However, this time around with his new project, Dracula Factory, he has left the pedals at home and has gone nearly unplugged.
Gone are the drenches of noise guitar, but in their place is something that was always lying under the surface of his early projects, the delicate guitar work and core of solid songwriting that have informed much of his music. Looking ahead it looks like Dracula Factory has a lot of releases in the pipeline, so it would probably be a good thing if you went out and started following them to try to keep up.
Anybody who’s ever submitted to me can attest that sometimes it takes a while to get back to them. (as of this morning my email box was 3k deep) However, the winner of the grand prize for patience, are my new friends* the Illuminati Hotties who have been waiting since long before it started getting cold outside for me to stumble across their email.
Hopefully, you’re already listening to this rather than just reading this ramble, so that you know that the song is a tight and poppily infectious song that’s a ray of sunshine in these graying days post Halloween doldrums. One of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a long time. Definitely a band you should be throwing your money at.
* I say friends in desperate hope for free stuff from the band, and indie cred once they’re a household name. (check, and check)
“Don’t Be Rude” finds LA-Based Broken Baby, burning through the scant 2:40 of the song with a weird and wired energy that’s as infectious as it is caustic. With a wit that’s sorely lacking in these days, the song exorcises the demons of just what’s going on these days between the sexes without becoming redactic.
I’ve been getting so many cold, reverbed out, angsty songs I started thinking that someone has hacked 4AD’s site to have me be the person handling their demos. However, Pink Milk’s “Kill 4 U”, gives more credibility to the darkwave revival than any other song I’ve heard this year. Free from a lot of the retro-worship of a lot of their contemporaries, the song sounds fresh and glistens with a tight atmosphere that’s given weight by the distant heavy guitar chug.
Pop Occulture favorites Dream Nails are back with a buzzy new track that builds upon the Feminist Punk Witch sound of their previous outings. “Tourist” might be the most on the nose song for today’s political climate, as it deals with a woman’s right to own themselves, and not have to worry about what anybody else thinks. This is a great song with a great message, and it has it’s fingers on the pulse of this exact moment and time — more than any other song I’ve heard recently.
Dream Nails continues to be a yard stick of which I judge political punk these days, definitely a band worth following.
Early this year we covered “Pale Skin Latin Girls”, but now NEW EViL are back with a video for this great track. While the song title might sound like a questionable Google search, NEW EViL’s “Pale Skin Latin Girls” is one of those songs that brings in the right amount of diverse sounds from RiotGrrrl to haunted blown out garage rock. After forming off of Craigslist, this L.A. band is already off and ready to take over the world.
And the winner of the video that’s going to give me weird nightmares about cats award goes to… (opens envelope) Kristeen Young “Catland”. This might actually be one of the most of the box songs I’ve covered in a long time, but there’s an undeniable spirit to the song that will worm its way into your head for days to come. Definitely worth checking out.
The Whisky Circle’s “Sweet Darlin'” takes all the best elements of bar-room country and adds a thick layer of Shoegazer distortion for good measure. Vocalist Leanna Patterson summons up a great witchy vibe that rides over the top of one of the best rhythm sections I’ve heard in ages. Definitely going to have to check out the rest of their new album “Into the Valley”
Swedish Death Candy’s new single “Last Dream” is buzzy and dreamy, just the kind of song to lull you into the coming malase of autumn slumber. Pulling elements from Shoegazer to Stoner Metal, the song has the kind of riffs that Billy Corgan wishes he still did.
Leather Girls’ “She” comes out of nowhere with a Bo Diddly shuffle and enough enough distortion to make a shoegaze act jealous. It’s an ear grabbing, toe tapping, undeniable catchy buzz saw of a single from a band that is just doing everything right.
What can I say about Ramonda Hammer that I haven’t already said in the umpteen times that I’ve feared them on this humble blog. Right towards the top of my favorite bands making music out there right now. Go buy all their music!
While, Pop Occulture in and of itself isn’t a politically leaning blog. I think that these days there’s at least one thing that most people can agree to and that is, it’s okay to punch Nazis. This catchy little number that recalls some of the best 90s riotgrrl acts, hits just that spot. (a Nazi’s face) Over and over again in such a desirably cathartic way, that maybe, just maybe every non-Nazi will finally be able to come together under a common flag and make like 40’s Captain ‘Merica and beat some National Socialists to a pulp.
New York’s Megaweapon occupies the space between indie rock and 90’s feminist punk. With humongous hooks and and undeniably poppy sound, “I Won’t Die” will have you chanting along with the chorus by the end of the song.
Iowa’s hardest working man in show-business is back with the sophomore effort from his most recent project Gloom Balloon. For those of you unfamiliar with his body of work, Patrick Tape lemming has toured the country many times over with the Elephant 6 flavored psychedelia of the Poison Control Center. With the latest band however, he along with Chris Ford (of Christopher the Conquered) have built up a world of distorted minimalist beatboxes, and intricate orchestration lead by Christopher’s horn playing into a new kind of post-psychedelia that’s both emotionally devastating yet uplifting.
With their new album, they have taken this world into what sounds like a mid-70’s recording studio with tinges of production techniques straight off of a Lennon or Nilsson album from that period. While this flavors the album, it’s unmistakably a continuation of their 2013 debut album “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Disaster/Fix The Sunshine Pts. 1-7 (An Ode To Bill Doss)”, in it’s ability to create cathartic and deeply personal songs into songs that you’ll want to listen to on repeat for days. “Drying the Eyes of the Goddess of Gloom Underneath the Stars and the Moon” comes out soon on Maximum Ames Records. The first 100 people will get a bunch of interesting bonuses for ordering the vinyl, so order soon!
Based off of the cult classic Emilio Estevez movie Repo Man*, Toronto’s Dearly Beloved presents us with “These Data / RIP” video/short film which recreates a lot of the head-scratching surrealness of the original movie. The songs themselves are buzzy, rippers, that often boarder just this side of sludgy. Definitely a band that needs to be investigated further.
* Which, honestly, if you haven’t watched. Go rent it, listen to the soundtrack a few dozen times and then come back.