Slow Pulp

Slow Pulp | Big Day EP | 3hive.com
Slow Pulp | Big Day EP | 3hive.com

Slow Pulp’s recently self-released sophomore EP, Big Day, is a solid 10 minutes of dream-pop meets shoegaze goodness that ends way sooner then it should. Give the standout “High” a spin below, for a taste. Big Day is available now via their Bandcamp page. Be sure to catch them on tour as well. Enjoy.

Shady Bug

Shady Bug | Lemon Lime | 3hive.com
Shady Bug | Lemon Lime | 3hive.com

St. Louis four-piece, Shady Bug, pack quite the punch on their sophomore release Lemon Lime (out now via Exploding In Sound Records). The band’s formula throughout Lemon Lime is lull you into a groove with jangly guitar melodies that float around singer/guitarist Hannah Rainey’s vocals before unexpectedly punching you in the mouth with a brass knuckled fist of blistering distortion. Each song has you waiting for that punch to happen and it’s so good when it does.

Check out “Whining” below for a taste, you’ll be glad that you did, just remember to duck. Enjoy.

Sam’s Faves of 2018

It’s time for my annual blog post…

Without further ado, my favorite albums of 2018:

Khruangbin Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans)
Durand Jones & the Indications self-titled (Dead Oceans)
Bodega Endless Scroll (What’s Your Rupture?)
Jean Grae & Quelle Chris Everything’s Fine (Mello Music Group)
Janelle Monae Dirty Computer (Bad Boy)
Altin Gun On (Bongo Joe)
Smokescreens Used to Yesterday (Slumberland)
Idles Joy As an Act of Resistance (Partisan)
Low Double Negative (Sub Pop)
Cut Chemist Die Cut (A Stable Sound)

I encourage you to enjoy these on vinyl (link will go here as soon as I get off my butt and update the online store).

And because 2018 offered so much more music than can fit neatly in a Top 10 list, here are my 23 favorite songs of the past year…

Olden Yolk

Olden Yolk | Olden Yolk | 3hive.com

Olden Yolk | Olden Yolk | 3hive.com

Olden Yolk, I have done you wrong. Your debut, self-titled, album has been my favorite album of 2018 since it landed on my front porch back in February. I started this post (back in February) to tell the world all about your psychedelic, sometimes shoegazey, all the time rock ‘n’ roll goodness, but I could not find the words to describe the greatness of your 10 song masterpiece. I apologize.

Hello World, if you have not acquainted yourself with New York-based Olden Yolk, now is the time to do it. Their debut album is a solid slab of psych-rock/psych-folk/psych-pop, mingled with just enough fuzz and gaze to make it stand out above all the rest. Give “Vital Sign” and “Takes One To Know One” for a spin below to see what I mean. Olden Yolk is available now via Trouble In Mind Records. I highly, highly recommend it.

Droopies

Droopies | Responsible People | 3hive.com

Droopies | Responsible People | 3hive.com

Philadelphia 3-piece, Droopies, are the definition of the term power-trio. Their sophomore release Responsible People is packed with in-your-face hooks as they bounce between shoegazey punk rock and jangly psych-pop, with one common denominator: fuzz and lots of it. These guys get pretty big sound for there just being three of them.

Responsible People is out now digitally via Droopies Bandcamp page and on a limited cassette release through Funny / Not Funny Records. Give “Gone Wrong” (below) a spin, then go get your hands on a copy of this bad boy. Enjoy.

Favorite Releases of 2017 (Sam’s List)

Better late than never – my auditory loves of 2017, in rough order…

Thundercat Drunk (Brainfeeder)
Intoxicating, weird, vulnerable, and soooooo damn funky. My Album of the Year if I had to pick one.

Slowdive Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
The comeback album of our collective dreams.

Trementina 810 (Burger)
If this hadn’t been The Year of Slowdive’s Triumphant Return, I’d like to think this gorgeous offering of dreamy shoegaze from Chile’s Trementina would’ve been the talk of the town.

The xx I See You (Young Turks)
Now that producer Jamie Smith, aka Jamie xx, is getting his due as the driving force behind The xx juggernaut, I might be able to stop raving about him. But why stop now?

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
What a force. What a voice. What a loss.

Big Thief Capacity (Saddle Creek)
This album has quietly slipped on to a bunch of Best of 2017 lists because it is just that: a quiet album of incredible strength.

Grandaddy Last Place (30th Century Records)
“Even still the rockers are…”

Mountain Goats Goths (Merge)
A wonderfully engaging concept/tribute album – whether you are, were, or have ever loved a goth.

Boris Dear (Sargent House)
Rumored to be a farewell letter to their fans, it’s a welcome return to the nuanced take on sludge/drone/doom metal that first lured me in almost 20 years ago.

Fazerdaze Morningside (Flying Nun)
Nearly perfect bedroom pop.

Moses Sumney Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar)
All the feels.

Molly Burch Please Be Mine (Captured Tracks)
A sparse, timeless album that allows nothing to interfere with the purity of Molly’s hypnotic voice.

Doug Tuttle Peace Potato (Trouble in Mind)
Hypnotic psych pop with enough ragged edges to keep you awake.

Homeboy Sandman Veins (Stones Throw)
Based on record sales in the “>3hive Co-op Shop, not everyone agrees – but I think he’s one of the best, most versatile MCs around.

Waxahatchee Out in the Storm (Merge)
Katie Crutchfield finds her sound and voice amidst the rubble of a failed relationship.

Honorable mentions: Iron & Wine Beast Epic [buy vinyl], Protomartyr Relatives in Descent, LCD Soundsystem american dream [buy vinyl], Destroyer ken [buy vinyl], Open Mike Eagle Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, The Courtneys II [buy vinyl], King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Murder of the Universe [buy vinyl], Jonwayne Rap Album Two, Priests Nothing Feels Natural, Robyn Hitchcock Robyn Hitchcock [buy vinyl]

Favorite Releases of 2017 (Todd’s List)

Here are my favorite albums/EPs from 2017, in no particular order…

Monster Rally Flowering Jungle (Gold Robot)

Spotting Spotting EP (self-released/Aarght)

The Rebel Set 4 Song EP (Hidden Volume)

Ty Segall Ty Segall (Drag City)

Molly Burch Please Be Mine (Captured Tracks)

Doug Tuttle Peace Potato (Trouble In Mind)

David Bowie No Plan EP (Columbia)

FRONDS Cold Across My Skin (Gold Robot)

Jake Xerxes Fussell What In The Natural World (Paradise of Bachelors)

Lilith Apology Plant (Disposable America)

Tall Friend Safely Nobody’s (Exploding In Sound)

Oh Sees Orc (Castle Face)

Bedouine Bedouine (Spacebomb)

UV-TV Glass (Deranged)

Destroyer ken (Merge)

Mountain States Whispers (Coaster)

Kevin Morby City Music (Dead Oceans)

Otoboke Beaver Love Is Short! (Damnably)

Century Palm Meet You (Deranged)

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
RIP

Slowdive Slowdive (Dead Oceans)

Open Mike Eagle Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music)

Milo Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?! (self-released)

Michael Nau Some Twist (Suicide Squeeze)

Thundercat Drunk (Brainfeeder)

Jack Cooper Sandgrown (Trouble In Mind)

Waxahatchee Out In The Storm (Merge)

OCS Memory of A Cut Off Head (Castle Face)

Once And Future Band Once And Future Band (Castle Face)

The Safes Tasty Waves (Hidden Volume)

Slowdive

Slowdive | Slowdive | 3hive.com

Slowdive | Slowdive | 3hive.com
The title of Slowdive’s first album in 24 years is surprising insightful. The self-titled Slowdive is perhaps the most Slowdive-ish album of them all. It could pulled out of today and slotted into their discography and at any point in between their past releases.
The haunting, soaring guitars still take center stage – either doling out delicate melodies a la “Catch the Breeze” or wall-of-sound as they did on Blue Day. No more toying with electronics, this is the core Slowdive.

Given the way Slowdive fell apart at the crashing end of shoegaze, there is comforting assurance from knowing that when these five musicians get together, this is the music they make. Neil and Rachel’s voices still slot seamlessly together, with subtle undercurrents throughout the songs that demonstrate the maturity gained from more time on this planet. While Pygmalion has its fans, today’s new album is the one Slowdive should have released instead.

[Buy a copy of Slowdive on limited edition silver vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop. While supplies last.]

Lubec

Lubec | Cosmic Debt | 3hive.com

Lubec | Cosmic Debt | 3hive.com

Portland, Oregon 3 piece, Lubec, are back with a new release, Cosmic Debt. Like, The Thrall (their 2014 debut), Lubec comes at you in full force again, with more fuzzed-out, swirling guitars and killer three-part vocal harmonies. For a taste, give the standout track “Breakup Haricut” (below) a spin. Cosmic Debt is available on cassette and digitally via Disposable America and Lubec’s Bandcamp page. Enjoy.

Lubec – Breakup Haircut from Cosmic Debt (2016)

Monster Treasure

Monster Treasure | Monster Treasure | 3hive.com

Monster Treasure | Monster Treasure | 3hive.com
According to Spotify, Monster Treasure has only 44 monthly listeners. That’s gotta be a typo, or glitch, or data breach, or whatever the right modern term is… All I can say is I’m happy to be #45. This Stockton, California, trio has been on repeat since I found out about their 2016 self-titled album (somewhat circuitously) by way of the UK label Leisure + District. It’s a potent sonic cocktail of punk, garage, pop, and shoegaze that manages to bounce between giddy and melancholy, rambunctious and introspective, without missing a beat. Have a listen and see if you don’t become the next monthly listener. Or better yet, plunk down a few bucks for the long-player in the Co-op Shop. You won’t regret it.