Lots of stuff this week!
Widowspeak – “True Believer”
Howdy, pardners! We were big fans of Widowspeak’s dusky, dreamy last album, Almanac, which was released last year. Now they’ve got more goodness on the way in the form of The Swamps EP, with hints of a third album on the way. The EP is out Oct. 29 on Captured Tracks, and you can hear the Mazzy Star-in-a-ghost-town-style “True Believer” now.
Johnathan Rado – “Hand in Mine”
More rootin’, tootin’, country-flavored indie pop on the way from Foxygen’s Johnathan Rado. As if his band’s effing fantastic We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic wasn’t enough for one year (one of the best of the year so far, I’d say), California native Rado has a solo album, the awesomely titled Law and Order, due Sept. 3 on Woodsist. “Put your hand in mine, it will excite you” says the Nancy Sinatra counterpart to his Lee Hazlewood. Cute ‘n’ seductive.
FUZZ – “Loose Sutres”
Music-making machine Ty Segall has a new band with Charlie Moothart (guitar) and Roland Cosio (bass, guitar), with Segall handling drums and vocals. As you might guess from the name, FUZZ is all about the heavy muff distortion, calling to mind classic proto-metal bands like Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer. If you loved Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse, you have great taste, and you’ll love this. Fuzz’s self-titled album is due Oct. 1 on In the Red, and they’ll be in L.A. Oct. 25 SOMEWHERE TBD! Listen to "Loose Sutres" here. Read my interview with Ty Segall here.
Ariel Pink has teamed with his Haunted Graffiti bandmate Jorge Elbrecht for a pair of songs, each by one featuring the other, for a split 7” out now on Mexican Summer. “Hang on to Life” has a hazy, ’70s Beach Boys vibe that seems perfect for this July gloom. Some tenderly bittersweet stuff right there. Elbrecht also has been involved with two acts bands I like a whole lot, Violens and Lansing-Dreiden. His song has an awesome Barry Manilow vibe; hear it here! Pink’s musique concrete album Thrash and Burn was also just re-released, pick that shit up.
Tropic of Cancer – “More Alone”
Dark synth music always piques my interest. This track from L.A.’s Tropic of Cancer aka Camella Lobo (with Dva Damas’s Taylor Birch on guitar) is loaded with cool atmosphere, as moaning and sighing vocals and a distorted bassline ride steadily along a digital krautrock beat. The single is out in August, while her new full-length record, Restless Idylls, is due Sept. 23 on Blackest Ever Black.
Terry Malts – “I Was Not There”
S.F. noise poppers the Terry Malts have a new album called Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere Sept. 10 on Slumberland. Here’s the first sample, the fuzzy, melodic “I Was Not There.”
Lost on Purpose – “Some Other Life” video
Lost on Purpose is Will VanderWyden and Jacquelyn Thropay from L.A. band The Ross Sea Party. VanderWyden started it as a solo bedroom project but expanded it for for the Ronin album. The album is inspired by VanderWyden’s travels to China and Japan over the past couple of years, which can be seen from the scenic video for “Some Other Life.” Like its lonely traveler, the song feels lost in headspace before peeling out into a rousing final third that feels like suddenly awakening to your surroundings. Look for Ronin soon at Amoeba Hollywood (under the general ‘R’ section in Used Rock).
Whispertown – “Parallel” video
Whispertown, formerly known as Whispertown 2000, has released a cool video based on various parallels. It ends up as kind of like wordless nature videos played simultaneously. Morgan Nagler has evolved the Whispertown project to be a more stripped-down version of itself, and “Parallel” is a stunning example of how less can be more. The Parallel EP is out now on Acony.
Cool Ghouls – “Queen Sophie” video
When I interviewed jangly garage-rockers Cool Ghouls a while back, this is pretty much how I pictured them — young guys waking up on the floor from partying the night before only to set up another round of PBRs. No comment on the crotch and toilet shots. Cool Ghouls fine ‘n’ frisky self-titled debut album is out now, produced by Tim Cohen of The Fresh & Onlys.
Spaceships – “Ghost” video
L.A. duo Spaceships make scrappy noisy pop that sounds like candy sliced out of a tin can. They’re set to release their debut LP Cool Breeze Over the Mountains July 23 on Mock Records, and we’ve got the new video for the song “Ghost” now. Like the band’s music, the video mines a whole lot out of a humble setup, proof that all you need is creativity sometimes. And also cats in space. Their record release party is July 19 at The Smell!
Tera Melos – “Weird Circles” video
Sacramento guitar wizzes Tera Melos have a new video for their riffy song “Weird Circles,” from their fine, fine latest album, X’ed Out. As befitting their mathy music, the video links together a lot of disorienting parts for a seamless whole. Check out my interview with the band here.
Shows This Weekend:
Friday: Dream-rockers Roses at the Smell ($5, 9 p.m.).