As of late, I’ve been trying to stay away from the easy and often uninspired mention of the pandemic when it comes to my write-ups of new music, but the fact of the matter is, it’s nearly impossible, and maybe a little irresponsible to not mention the impact COVID and lockdown has had on the music scene. Whether it be the frequent cancellations of tours, or the music that has been created as a reaction to the stir craziness of isolation, we’ve hit a point where the whole music world has collectively been forced to endure the same thing, so of course the mention of COVID is inevitable. An album that epitomizes the feeling of wanting to punch the walls or to be able to do something as simple as driving to your favorite spot to order fucking fish and chips is “Amyl and the Sniffers'” new album Comfort to Me. The Australian quartet are no strangers to riotous Punk Rock highly energized and ferociously enticing, but what happens when you take that same energy and lock it in a house with no access to the things in the outside world that create normalcy in everyday life? That energy gets amplified of course. The band wrote the majority of this album during lockdown, and the proof is in tracks like “Hertz” and “Guided by Angels,” tracks that convey the feelings that are brought on by isolation, and even those moments of existentialism like on the track “Capital.” “Existing for the sake of existing, meaning disappears,” shouts lead singer Amy Taylor on what is possibly the heaviest track on the album. Those guitar riffs, they bring to mind Kill ‘Em All era “Metallica” every time I hear them, which perfectly echoes the nihilistic nature of the track. Lockdown played a role in this album no doubt, but merely labeling this a “lockdown album” would do a disservice to the band, because the subject matter will resonate with anyone at any point in time. Divisiveness isn’t anything new. We faced it even before the pandemic. Marginalized people have always been victims of prejudice and hate, having to fear walking home alone late at night or just simply being themselves out in public. It’s an unfair reality that fortunately has been brought to light in recent years, but still continues to be smothered by social norms that stifle any progress or innovation, so it’s important to have anthems such as “Freaks to the Front,” “Choices,” “Don’t Fence Me In,” and “Knifey” to inspire and to speak on the anxieties many face on a daily basis. Though the album doesn’t break new ground sonically, it still sounds fresh in a genre that continues to inspire many, and the lyrical content consists of the most important subject matter that people shouldn’t just skim over.
We’re approaching the release of “Amyl and the Sniffers'” new album Comfort to Me, which will drop this Friday via “Rough Trade Records,” and today the band have shared one last single before this release titled “Hertz.” Much like their previous singles “Guided by Angels” and “Security,” “Hertz” is a fired up rager residing in the Punk spirit the band is known for. Lead singer Amy Taylor shouts “Take me to the beach, take me to the country” with immense aggression that prompts one to believe this is a reflection of the stir crazy 2020 we had, and for many, continue to have this year. You can watch the music video for “Hertz” below:
Poppy is set to release her new album Flux on September 24th via “Sumerian Records,” and judging from the tracks off the upcoming album that she’s released thus far, it’s evident that Flux is far from “I Disagree Part 2.” Though the explorations in guitar-oriented Alternative Metal and Nu-Metal are carried over into these new tracks, the heavy Electronic elements of her previous record are traded in for a more organic Rock sound with a focus on live instrumentation, all while carrying a consistent underlying edge of Industrial Metal. Her latest single “So Mean,” is even more of a departure from I Disagree. The Alternative Rock elements are still there, but in this track Poppy seems more keen on incorporating her pop sensibilities, with a style that hearkens back to 2000s Alternative Rock. Flux is looking like it’s going to be filled with surprises, and Poppy isn’t someone who wants to stay in one space for too long. That’s the mark of a true shape-shifter. You can watch the music video for “So Mean” below:
It seems like forever ago since we last heard new music from “Parquet Courts,” and that’s because so much has happened since the release of their last album Wide Awake! You don’t need me to list everything that has happened since then, so instead of delving into the obvious, let’s take a break from the unfortunate reality that renders us divided, and talk about the exciting news that after three years the band are finally releasing their follow-up Sympathy for Life on October 22nd via “Rough Trade Records.” “Wide Awake! was a record you could put on at a party, Sympathy for Life is influenced by the party itself,” says member Austin Brown. As stated by the band, the album was made pre-pandemic, and the songs were created by taking long improvisations and moulding them through their own editing. The band have also shared the album’s opening track “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” which is accompanied by a music video comprised of shots documenting New York City party life. You can watch the music video for “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” as well as pre-order Sympathy for Life below:
Just like that, “Broken Baby” release one of the best love songs i’ve ever heard. Now before you roll your eyes at the term “love song,” let me assure you that the L.A. duo’s new single “Hand Heat” isn’t your typical glamorized Hollywood romanticism, nor is it a cynical look on relationships and romance, instead it is a Punk Rock love story that stays away from the “we belong together forever” cliché’s and replaces them with those real life feelings of love. You know, those moments of staying in and lying on each other on the couch while deciding what to watch next. You don’t know what the future holds, but you know this is where you want to be at this very moment. The track will appear on the band’s upcoming album Late Stage Optimism which is scheduled to be released on September 24th via the band’s own label “Poor Man Records.” You can watch the music video for “Hand Heat,” as well as pre-order the upcoming album below:
Poppy is quickly becoming one of the most prolific solo artists in the music world today. Last year she released her impeccably produced album I Disagree, covered t.A.T.u’s “All the Things She Said,” released an expanded version of I Disagree, released her heavily Ambient soundtrack Music to Scream To, released a Christmas EP, and just this year she has released her EAT EP for WWE’s “NXT” program, and shared a fantastic cover of Jack Off Jill’s “Fear of Dying.” Well, looks like we’re going to continue to eat well, because Poppy has announced that she will release a new full-length album titled Flux on September 24th via “Sumerian Records.” The album will feature her previously released single “Her,” as well as the title track, which was just released today. You can watch the music video for “Flux” below:
I’ve never heard the phrase “get the piss up” before, but it sounds exciting, and it sounds like a fun night of dancing terribly, getting a little too drunk, and hitting up Denny’s at 3:00 A.M. because it’s the only restaurant that’s open at that time. After a year of isolation where we were all stuck inside, much of our partying consisted of getting a little too drunk at home and watching bad reality T.V. Fortunately, Los Angeles Garage Rock duo “Broken Baby” made best of the situation and recorded a rager of a track that proves you can have a good time in any situation whether it be at a show or in your own garage. That’s right, “Get the Piss Up” is the title of the band’s new single, and it’s a fun track that offers a bit of hope, which is a fun alternative to the general consensus that we’re all doomed. You can watch the music video for “Get the Piss Up” below:
Music that delves into the endless abyss of thought provoking themes and topics our multifaceted brains are capable of conjuring up is music that isn’t too keen on escapism. As compelling as this music may be, there’s a time and place for it, and sometimes we need an escape from reality. After all, I’m pretty sure your local bar isn’t the ideal place to play songs about existentialism on the jukebox. “Who wants shots?! Now what’s the meaning of life?” Sometimes music about the spirit of music and it’s healing abilities will suffice. “Flying Rabbit” are a band whose music contains immense substance and creativity, but they can also be a band that likes to have fun, and their song “The Clap” indicates that. This is the band’s version of a dance anthem. A dance anthem that resides in their own universe. This isn’t exactly club music, it’s definitely a “Flying Rabbit” song, but it is a celebration of the primal urge to dance when we hear an infectious rhythm. When we hear music that moves us, we dance, we sing, we clap. The sounds emitted from music possesses one person and goes to another, and another, and another. It’s contagious, it spreads. I can think of another thing under the name “the clap” that spreads, but I’m not going to get into that. Sorry, I just had to say it. Is this a comical analogy? The song title did prompt me to chuckle like a kid in class whose teacher just dropped the F-bomb, but in all seriousness, this track shows the immense versatility “Flying Rabbit” have in their song writing abilities and musicianship. They can make music for all moods. Now throw on this song and clap along.
The wait is finally over. Alexis Marshall of the band “Daughters” has unveiled the release date of his highly anticipated solo debut album. The album is titled House of Lull . House of When, and will be released on July 23rd via “Sargent House.” A new single titled “Hounds in the Abyss” was also released today, which follows last year’s “Nature in Three Movements,” a relentlessly intense, but enticing tune. “Hounds in the Abyss” carries that same anxiety-inducing energy, and I’m here for it. You can watch the music video for “Hounds in the Abyss” below:
At this point it’s no stretch to say Annie Clark A.K.A. St. Vincent is music’s greatest shapeshifter right now. Five albums in and this imaginative visionary continues to reinvent herself with each album both musically and aesthetically, very much in the same vein as legends David Bowie and Prince. Clark is set to release her sixth St. Vincent album Daddy’s Home this Friday via “Loma Vista Recordings,” and today she has released a new track off the album titled “Down,” and much like her single “Pay Your Way in Pain,” this track features 70s-inspired grooves drawing from Young Americans-era Bowie and synth-driven Funk. You can watch the music video for “Down” below: