Michael Nau

Michael Nau | Some Twist | 3hive.com

Michael Nau | Some Twist | 3hive.com
Michael Nau’s latest solo LP, Some Twist, is a chilled-out, reverbed, groove-psych effort with Nau’s vocals as the key ingredient that ties his magic all together. Give “Oh, You Wanna Bet?” and “Light That Ever” (below) a spin, it’s all you need to get hooked. Oh, and if you’re a tad slow like me, Michael Nau is from Page France and Cotton Jones/Cotton Jones Basket Ride. I love the Cotton Jones albums!


Petite League

Petite League | Rips One Into The Night | 3hive.com

Petite League | Rips One Into The Night | 3hive.com

New York duo, Petite League, has been pumping out their fuzz-pop jams since 2014. Their newest release, Rips One Into The Night, is their strongest effort yet – featuring 10 tracks of warm, bedroom pop meets fuzzy, garage pop goodness.

Give standouts “Sun Dogs” and “Nothing” a spin below. They will make you feel happy. You can pick up Rips One Into The Night on vinyl from Native Sound Records and digitally from Petite League’s Bandcamp page.


Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee | Out In The Storm | 3hive.com

Waxahatchee | Out In The Storm | 3hive.com

Katie Crutchfield’s 4th release, as Waxahatchee, is a guitar-driven force to be reckoned with, as she documents leaving a broken relationship in the past.

Out in the Storm is strong and honest and is quickly climbing my list of favorites for 2017. Give the excellent “Silver” (below) a spin for a taste. Enjoy.

Dream Machine

Dream Machine | The Illusion | 3hive.com

Dream Machine | The Illusion | 3hive.com

Matthew Melton recently put an end to his garage pop outfit, Warm Soda, after releasing their 4th LP, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up. His new band, Dream Machine, which includes his wife Doris, is a definite step forward from Warm Soda – it may be safe to say the Dream Machine sound is a little more grown up.

Their debut release, The Illusion, was recorded using the healing powers of A=432HZ, it is eleven tracks of organ driven, garage-prog groove – equal parts Iron Butterfly and the Doors, with some YES sprinkled in for good measure. Go ahead and sample some of their delicious groove on “All for a Chance” below. I can’t wait for more from these guys!

Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco | This Old Dog | 3hive.com

Mac DeMarco | This Old Dog | 3hive.com

Mac DeMarco is back with more tasty, spaced-out, pop songs on his third LP release This Old Dog. At 27 years of age, DeMarco is nowhere near “old dog” status, but 5 releases (3 LPs and 2 EPs) in just over 5 years makes Mac a veteran at his craft. This Old Dog will grow on you with every listen, I recommend that you let it. Give the two earworms, below, a spin – you’ll be glad that you did.

Vex Ruffin

Vex Ruffin | Conveyor | 3hive.com

Vex Ruffin | Conveyor | 3hive.com
Legend has it Vex Ruffin is the only artist Peanut Butter Wolf signed to his Stones Throw label on the merits of an unsolicited demo tape. PBW apparently liked the drawing on the cover and decided to check it out. The untrained punk musician and UPS driver thought his friends were goofin’ on him when he got the phone call.

With that kind of an origin story, you owe it to yourself to give Vex Ruffin a listen. What you’ll hear is really hard to pin down. Vex’s detached vocals recall Beck’s early years. Those wicked minimalist basslines could be outtakes from a previously unreleased Can (or Stones Roses?) record. The eerie, reverb-drenched synths and sounds smack of Cabaret Voltaire’s industrial funk. And that’s just side one of his latest album, Conveyor.

All told, Vex Ruffin is fun to listen to and hard to label. What do you expect from someone who says his favorite artists in high school were The Cure and DMX?


Fazerdaze

Fazerdaze | Morningside | 3hive.com

Fazerdaze | Morningside | 3hive.com
24-year-old New Zealander Amelia Murray writes, produces, and sings as Fazerdaze. Her debut full-length Morningside is an impressive collection of spunky, sun-drenched jams and soaring dream pop. Her songs are tight and her vocals outta sight, with lyrics that get right at it (“I’m trying not to try so hard for you”). Soak it in and make your summer more summer-y.



The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats | Goths | 3hive.com

The Mountain Goats | Goths | 3hive.com
I wasn’t a fully committed goth in high school but I listened to my fair share of goth music, and sometimes dabbled awkwardly in goth fashion. The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle – nowadays known for his storytelling skills, as a lo-fi turned hi-fi musician and awarded novelist – spent his teen years as a “goth kid”, though I reckon we shared a similar awkwardness. So when Darnielle directs an entire album’s worth of songwriting to the genre/culture, it’s because he has enough material to work with.

Whether the Sisters of Mercy-esque strains of “Rain in Soho” or their tribute to the SoM frontman himself, “Andrew Elritch Is Moving Back to Leeds”, Darnielle and company deliver each track with a clear knowledge of and empathy for its subject matter. On “Stench of the Unburied” Darnielle sings, as someone who suffered his way through SoCal summers in all black: “Outside it’s 92 degrees/And KROQ plays Siouxsie and the Banshees”. In typical Mountain Goats fashion, it’s followed by a narrator’s wink and nod: “Ice chest full of Corona and Pineapple Crush/It’ll take 20 years for the toxins to flush.” It’s this tension that makes Darnielle’s songwriting so authentic, endearing, and surprising.

Goths avoids the trappings of a concept album. Musically it wanders, however coherently, from ominous minor key anthems to loungey new wave to flute-driven baroque pop to an entire bonus record of ambient mixes “for the all-night goths who need to reply to the dawn with total darkness.” The thread remains, but Darnielle trusts his listener to figure it out in their own way.

To me, Goths is about the sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous struggle of adolescent identity (which continues to plague some adults). The search for identity often chased by self-doubt and self-consciousness gets summed up in the album’s best line, the chorus to “The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement”: “I’m pretty hardcore, but I’m not that hardcore.”

Even without explanation, Goths is a great album. “We Do It Different on the West Coast” – while relevant here – would fit on any Mountain Goats record, with it’s perfectly Californian brand of self-deprecating coastal pride. It’s followed by “Unicorn Tolerance” which is just plain adorable. Do yourself a favor and listen to Goths, regardless of how much black eyeliner, white foundation, red lipstick, and hair spray you have on your person.

[The deluxe edition of Goths comes in “vampire red” vinyl with the aforementioned bonus LP of ambient mixes. We have it in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]

Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre | Sincerely, Future Pollution

Timber Timbre | Sincerely, Future Pollution

My introduction to Timber Timbre was back in 2011 whilst perusing the goods at, the now extinct, Slowtrain Records, and their latest release (at the time), Creep On Creepin’ On was playing in the store. Timber Timbre’s wonky, psychedelic groove mixed with Taylor Kirk’s smokey vocals hooked me instantly, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Their recently released, Sincerely, Future Pollution, still checks all those boxes that hooked me 6 years ago. Timber Timbre keeps getting better and better. It’s time to let their psychedelic groove hook you, too. Enjoy.

Woods

Woods | Love Is Love | 3hive.com

Woods | Love Is Love | 3hive.com

Woods’ latest album Love Is Love was written and recorded in the first few months following the election. It’s not necessarily a protest album as much as it’s a “…meditation on love, and on what life means now”. Love is Love is a 32-minute chilled-out, psychedelic, folk-rock effort. It is the perfect antidote for any bad feelings caused by the current mess we are in. Check out the awesome trumpet and flute play in standout track “Bleeding Blue” below.

[Feel the love and snag this on black vinyl – the way it’s meant to be listened to – from the 3hive Co-op Shop. While supplies last.]