Parisian quartet Hoorsees’ debut self-titled album is my new favorite thing at the moment. I don’t really know how to describe their sound exactly – calling it indie rock seems like a cop out – It’s like jangle-pop (minus a little bit of jangle) with a little shoegaze (minus the wall of sound) and add some bedroom pop (with better production) for good measure.
However you want to classify the sound, this is the first can’t miss/don’t miss album of 2021.
Check out “Pitfall” and “Instant Tea” (below) then snag yourself a copy via Howlin’ Banana, In Silico or Kanine. Good luck finding a vinyl copy, if that’s your thing, as they seem to be sold out everywhere. Good for them!
Nicole Canaan’s newest EP, Whererver, is 19 minutes of dreamy pop goodness featuring five tracks packed full of lush instrumentation and shoegazy vocals. Check out the EP opener “Lose Yourself” (below) for a taste.
Wherever is available now digitally via UPHERE! Records and will be released on cassette in early 2021 which can be preordered at the same link. Enjoy.
Peel Dream Magazine are back with their incredible new LP, Agitprop Alterna. This sophomore release is so full of shimmery fuzz and gaze it’s sure to make any fans of Stereolab, Yo La Tengo and My Bloody Valentine sit up and pay attention.
The male-female vocals throughout the album really shine alongside the shoegazy walls of sound. Check out “NYC Illuminati” (below) for a taste. It’s a head-nodder for sure and about three quarters of the way through, some sound effect kicks in that has you convinced there is water leaking somewhere around you, seriously, it freaked me out the first time I listened to it.
Agitprop Alterna is a solid record from start to finish. I can’t sum it up any clearer. It’s a contender for album of the year for me for sure.
Dublin-based duo, Submotile, destroy speakers with their debut album Ghosts Fade on Skylines. Their brand of shoegazey noise-rock pummels your ears (in a good way) and is sure to satisfy any fans of bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Check out “Eastern Sky Sundown” below (I suggest cranking it up), it’s amazing that a band of only two can create music this loud.
Ghosts Fade on Skylines is available on CD and digitally via Submotile’s Bandcamp page. It’s a shame this hasn’t been pressed to vinyl. Someone should get on that.
Grow Rich is the one man band project of Jakarta’s Abdur Rahim Latada. His latest EP, Frantic Semantic, is 4 tracks of heavy fuzz meets jangly guitars laid over the top of pounding drum beats, it’s like hardcore shoegaze. Check out EP opener “Bounce Back” (below) for a taste.
Frantic Semantic is available now via Abdur’s Bandcamp page, it’s definitely worth the $5. Enjoy.
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.
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.
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, 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.