Currents

  • Wallows

    Wallows

    OK

    Wallows Are Back, and with their first new music of 2020 as they remind us it’ll be “OK” (the new single is Out Now!).

     

    On the meaning of the song and how it applies to the current epidemic the band says, “OK” is a song about insecurities in a relationship; having a hard time accepting something that feels “too good to be true”, but overall learning to embrace it and accept the love you’re receiving and focusing on returning it. Now, given the state of the world and the health crisis we happen to be in at the time of the song’s release, we feel like the main line/hook of the song, “Can we get up and try to feel okay again?”, sort of takes on a new meaning/purpose itself for people at this moment in time. The thought that no matter where we are or how alone/lost we feel right now, we can get up again and try to feel OK. We’re in it together.”

     

    A bit more adventurous, the next musical phase of Wallows “sounds different but right,” says the band. It’s a natural evolution of who they’ve grown to be since recording their acclaimed debut album “Nothing Happens” in 2018, and an exploration of bringing more pop into their sound. They’re eager to introduce fresh material to their fans, record more music and take creative risks. Keep an eye on Wallows for more to come this year.

     

    Comprised of Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston, the members of Wallows have been best friends since the age of 11. Their acclaimed Atlantic Records debut album “Nothing Happens” got them noticed via singles like “Are You Bored Yet? (Feat. Clairo)” and “Scrawny,” and the band has been on the road for a headline tour selling out and even having to Upgrade numerous venues globally.

    Listen: Wallows – “OK” (radio edit)

    Wallows – “OK” (radio edit)

  • The Jungle Giants

    The Jungle Giants

    “Sending Me Ur Loving”

    As Australia’s The Jungle Giants wind down their US Tour (a handful of dates still found on our tour page!), and with a Platinum and three Gold singles in their homeland to date behind them, the rising Brisbane band drop the instant, habit-former “Sending Me Ur Loving,” which the group’s Sam Hales calls “an ode to a feeling of self-confidence and essentially a love ditty at the same time”.

     

    In the “Sending Me Ur Loving” music video below, The Jungle Giants star as employees at an intimacy retreat center, inside an eccentric world where the indie-pop band helps couples re-spark their relationships.

     

    Produced entirely by the band’s frontman Sam Hales, their third album “Quiet Ferocity” saw The Jungle Giants land at the top of multiple Best of 2017 lists, complete two Mammoth sold out national tours and deliver electric sets at a slew of festivals including Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival and many more around the world including the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Listen: The Jungle Giants – “Sending Me Ur Loving”

    The Jungle Giants – “Sending Me Ur Loving”

  • Dirty Projectors

    Dirty Projectors

    Overlord

    Dirty Projectors return with new single “Overlord.”  Tongue-in-cheek ode to surveillance capitalism? Critique of our primal confusion of charisma for actual leadership? Cautionary tale about blind faith in technology? Anti-fascist manifesto? Who knows, but “Overlord” feels like a “Both Sides Now” for our brave new Amazon Prime world. The lyrics are belied by a rootsy, organic arrangement – capo’ed acoustics, upright bass, congas, drum kit, & three-part harmony – that must be Dirty Projectors’ loosest and warmest production since 2012’s “Swing Lo Magellan”.

     

    “Overlord” is also the first Dirty Projectors song to feature the new lineup that lead Projector Dave Longstreth put together around the “Lamp Lit Prose” touring in 2018/19. Guitarist Maia Friedman handles lead vocals and co-wrote the lyrics with Dave, who wrote and produced the music. Felicia Douglass and Kristin Slipp contribute additional vocals. Nat Baldwin plays upright bass; Mike Johnson is behind the kit. Mauro Refosco plays congas.

    Listen: Dirty Projectors – “Overlord”

    Dirty Projectors – “Overlord”

  • Day Wave

    Day Wave

    Crush

    The critically acclaimed one-man indie band, Day Wave (aka Jackson Phillips) will release his new EP “Crush” on April 24th and also has revealed the second single/video “Potions.”

     

    The new song showcases mesmerizing arrangements that have long been a trademark of the Day Wave sound, just as “Crush” will reveal a newfound vocal dynamism from Phillips, whose steady growth as a performer lends an understated weight to EP’s emotional soul searching.

     

    Written and recorded after an extended break from the Day Wave world during which Phillips performed and recorded with Pete Yorn and Jai Wolf, the new collection finds Phillips reconnecting with his sonic roots as he grapples with questions of identity and purpose, fate and independence, memory and nostalgia.

     

    The four songs are built on a structural simplicity that belies their considerable emotional depth, and the arrangements are lo-fi and dreamy to match, conveying a mesmerizing intimacy that hints at everything from Guided By Voices and New Order to The Smiths and Pavement. Phillips produced, mixed, and mastered the entire EP himself in his new homebase of Los Angeles, and the end result is a raw, unfiltered look in the mirror from an artist determined to share his evolution in all its beautiful, bittersweet truth.

     

    “Crush” will be out on a limited 12” on Record Store Day on June 20th.

    Listen: Day Wave – “Potions”

    Day Wave – “Potions”

  • Man Man

    Man Man

    Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between

    Man Man’s upcoming “Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between” isn’t out out until 5/1, but in the meantime you can watch the entertaining new lyric video below for ebullient first single “Cloud Nein.”

     

    Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) has devoted his career to exploring the uncertainty between life’s extremes: beauty and ugliness, order and chaos. The songs on “Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between,” Man Man’s first album in over six years and his Sub Pop debut, are as intimate, soulful, and timeless as they are audaciously inventive and daring.

     

    Man Man will tour extensively in 2020 in support of “Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between”. Live dates will be announced soon.

     

    Honus Honus, who directed the visual, says of the first single/video, “Life is short. Dance, be merry.”

    Listen: Man Man – “Cloud Nein” (radio edit)

    Man Man – “Cloud Nein” (radio edit)

  • Moaning

    Moaning

    Uneasy Laughter

    Moaning, the musical effort from Los Angeles-based vocalist/guitarist Sean Solomon, bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie, will follow-up their 2018 self-titled debut with “Uneasy Laughter” (out 3/20). What happens when an abrasive rock trio trades guitars for synths, cranks up the beats and leans into the everyday anxieties of simply being a functioning human in the 21st century?

     

    “Uneasy Laughter​” is a collaborative breakthrough which significantly brightens Moaning’s once claustrophobic sound, again abetted by producer/engineer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, Melvins). The trio points to first single & video “Ego,” as an embodiment of this evolution.

     

    “The lyrics are about letting go of your own bullsh*t to help other people. Wanting to love yourself to love others. The ego can make you feel like you’re the greatest person in the world or the worst.” stated vocalist Sean Solomon. It makes you think your problems are abnormally different which is isolating and rarely true. The song is a reminder that listening to other perspectives is important and beneficial to both parties involved.”

     

    “Musically, the song was started by repurposing a drum beat made for a different demo and putting it on top of a new synth loop. It was a digital collage where we passed Ableton files back and forth,” added bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson. “We purposely avoided the impulse to add guitars to everything, letting the melodies of the synth and vocals be the focus. We wanted to embrace the songs ability to slip between genre lines.”

    Listen: Moaning – “Ego”

    Moaning – “Ego”

  • The Districts

    The Districts

    You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere

    Following up the evocative first single “Hey Jo”, Philadelphia’s The Districts reveal “Cheap Regrets,” the next single/video from their forthcoming “You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere” (3/13)!!!

     

    “Cheap Regrets is some late capitalist nihilism channeled into a Districts dance party.  It’s about the extremes of American culture constantly reinforcing the self. The mirror reconfirms you.  It’s all iPhone, selfies, and mirrors. Sell yourself baby. The consumer gets consumed. I wanted people to dance together to a song about alienation to find some collective transcendence in that.” –The Districts bandleader Rob Grote

     

    “You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere” was produced by The Districts and frequent collaborator Keith Abrams, and mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoon, MGMT, Tame Impala). The band will embark on a North American headline tour in support of the album early next year (see our tour page).

     

    While “You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere” builds on preceding albums, it takes an ambitious leap to a new level, exhibiting a widened sense of experimentation and expansiveness at its heart. There’s Rhodes, Mellotron, strings, samples, drum machines, tape loops, Wurlitzer, “ambient swells,” piano, synthesizers; heck, bandleader Rob Grote lists 12 instruments next to his name alone. Pulling from the propulsive “Popular Manipulations,” the jagged indie rock of 2015’s “A Flourish and a Spoil,” and the rootsy vibe of their 2012 debut, “Telephone,” The Districts have followed their creative instincts every step of the way, resulting in their most sophisticated and adventurous record to date.

    Listen: The Districts – “Cheap Regrets” (radio edit)

    The Districts – “Cheap Regrets” (radio edit)

  • Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

    “Cars In Space”

    Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have Already Hit The Ground Running full force at new music specialty shows with new single And video “Cars In Space”!!!

     

    Bold and classic, and propelled by the Aussies’ singular chemistry, the band’s Fran Keaney paints the new single as“the swirling words and thoughts before a breakup.” The video below is set in broad daylight at an old-school Australian drive-in and is a fun bit of visual accompaniment so take a look!

     

    “Cars In Space” is the first taste from Rolling Blackouts C.F. since last year’s “In The Capital” / “Read My Mind” 7”, and its predecessor, 2018’s album Hope Downs (“a debut album that applies their infectious brand of motorik jangle rock to lovelorn ruminations and geopolitical laments”–Pitchfork).

     

    Hope Downs was released to an incredible reception, earning year-end acclaim from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, PASTE to name just a handful. Meanwhile, the band’s renowned live show led to selling-out their mammoth Hope Downs Australian tour, as well as sold-out performances in London, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia, New York City and more.

     

    The huge touring schedule also included shows at the world’s biggest music festivals, from Coachella, The Great Escape, Primavera, and Shaky Knees to Lowlands, Pukklepop, Green Man and Splendour in the Grass.

     

    “all those trademark RBCF elements—vocals and guitars layering on top of each other, an ability to rush forward insistently yet precisely, allowing the song to gradually and climactically crest by the end. Like many of their singles, it’s so well-crafted that it at first sounds like just another reliable RBCF composition, before it starts getting stuck in your head over and over.”—Stereogum

     

    “Between the sunny guitar lines, the dueling riffs, and the burst of horns, ‘Cars in Space’ sounds like a perky anthem to give you confidence.”—Consequence Of Sound

     

    “this terrific new single that finds their jangly, three-guitar attack still humming along”—Brooklyn Vegan

     

    “a brand new slice of gorge guitar-pop”—DIY

    Listen: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “Cars In Space” (radio edit)

    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “Cars In Space” (radio edit)

  • Post Animal

    Post Animal

    Forward Motion Godyssey

    Chicagoans Post Animal are heading overseas to open some UK/EU dates for Cage The Elephant, and just before release of their stunner sophomore album “Forward Motion Godyssey” (2/14)

     

    Post Animal released their critically acclaimed self-written, performed and produced debut album “When I Think Of You In A Castle” in 2018. Written in eight days in the majestic Big Sky, Montana and co-produced by the band’s Dalton Allison and collaborator Adam Thein, “Forward Motion Godyssey” finds the band endlessly shapeshifting as they explore new sonic touchstones and expand on their psych-rock origins.

     

    “Making this record, we wanted to go extreme in a lot of different directions—we wanted to be as poppy as we’ve ever been, as over-the-top as we’ve ever been, as grandiose and heavy and dramatic as we’ve ever been,” says drummer Wesley Toledo.

     

    Now a five-piece (co-founder Joe Keery has since taken a key role on Stranger Things and left the lineup, though he continues to collaborate with his former bandmates in various side projects as time permits), Post Animal is deeply rooted in brotherhood, dating back to a near-lifelong friendship between Allison and Matt Williams. The band’s profound closeness is evident across the entire record, from their undeniable musical chemistry and their most emotionally revealing lyrics yet, making this a gracefully complex and cohesive record which rewards with every listen.

     

    “This Chicago six-piece plays heavy, proggy psychedelic rock with just the right amount of power-pop sugar to sweeten the mix…impressive skill for crafting memorable melodic baubles.” – Pitchfork

     

    “Though the lyrics are intentionally obscure, the expansive and rugged terrain [on ‘Fitness’] clearly spills into the song’s boundless adventure and breathless pace.” – Billboard

     

    “moving effortlessly through a series of effervescent passages full of sugary hooks and guitar breaks.” – Stereogum

     

    “Post Animal is for real” – PASTE

     

    “This Chicago-based throwback-psych troupe write actual real-life songs…Their scuzzy, flannel-wearing, day-drunk aesthetic isn’t there to throw you off the scent—these are weed-addled rock songs reconstructed from dad’s record collection.” – VICE

     

    “the next great band to come out of Chicago – wild, electrifying and, seemingly, indestructible” – NME

    Listen: Post Animal – “Safe or Not”

    Post Animal – “Safe or Not”

  • Wolf Parade

    Wolf Parade

    Thin Mind

    Every moment spent gazing at our screens is oversaturated with content, an ever-accelerated news cycle conditioning our ever-decreasing attention spans. The struggle to stay present, and to foresee a clear, sustainable future, feels very real.

     

    Wolf Parade address this phenomenon head-on with “Thin Mind,” the band’s 5th full-length and second to be produced by John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill).

     

    “’Thin Mind’ refers to the way that being around too much tech has made our focus thin,” says keyboardist Spencer Krug.

     

    “It’s opening one more page, scrolling one more thing,” adds guitarist Dan Boeckner, “and the weird, sort-of hollow automaton feeling that you get from it.”

     

    “This record is very personal, but at the same time, we’re all coming from the same place of a general sense of anxiety,” says drummer Arlen Thompson. “How do you deal with the constant barrage of having your opinions swayed by all these different actors when you don’t know who they are or what their purpose is? There is no normal anymore.”

     

    “Thin Mind” marks a return to the original power trio of Dan, Spencer, and Arlen, following multi-instrumentalist Dante DeCaro’s amicable departure from the group in 2018, after the conclusion of their world tour supporting “Cry Cry Cry.”

     

    “It’s the first record where we did the whole thing in one place from start to end,” says Arlen. “It was just the three of us until John came in, woodshedding in this moss-covered, rotting building.”

     

    Paradoxically, the band’s decision to forge a future-forward sound using a myriad of synthesizers—from ‘80s synths and ‘90s MiDi to more modern, kitchen sink instruments—recalls the sonics of Wolf Parade’s earliest EPs.

     

    Album highlights include “Julia, Take Your Man Home,” “Forest Green” and “Against the Day”, with lyrics split evenly between Dan and Spencer.

     

    Ultimately, the band was only able to subvert the “thin mind” phenomenon by jumping right back into its creative process after “Cry Cry Cry”’s tour, with each member bringing their anxieties out of the modern world and re-examining them on an elemental level.

     

    “There’s this positive element to ‘Thin Mind’, too,” explains Dan, “if you’re in that liminal, very modern psychological state in nature. At best, you become an incredibly powerful being for interpreting and processing information at a speed that our parents and grandparents couldn’t possibly comprehend. In the cognitive dissonance where we made this record, there was no escape.”

    Listen: Wolf Parade – “Under Glass”

    Wolf Parade – “Under Glass”

  • The Homesick

    The Homesick

    The Big Exercise

    Dutch trio The Homesick take on the patriarchy in their newly revealed “Male Bonding”—a stand out from the forthcoming Sub Pop debut “The Big Exercise” (out 2/7)!

     

    “The Homesick is allowed to play around in that pop framework, and the goal is to explore what’s possible within it. You can do super radical and weird things, and at the same time convey it all as straightforward pop music. With this album, I hope people will hear things anew after multiple listens.”–Jaap van der Velde of The Homesick

     

    If their debut “Youth Hunt” marked The Homesick’s tryst with faith and pastoral life, the band’s upcoming second album “The Big Exercise” (out 2/7/20) brings them to more grounded, tangible pastures. With its title ripped from a passage in the Scott Walker-biography Deep Shade Of Blue, the record is a concentrated effort by Jaap van der Velde, Erik Woudwijk and Elias Elgersma to explore the physicality of their music in fresh ways.

     

    The Big Exercise” finds The Homesick keenly second-guessing their core chemistry as a live unit, imbuing their angular post-punk workouts with baroque elements such as piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, and even clarinet. “It’s the opposite of trying to translate recorded music to the stage,” the band’s Elias Elgersma comments. “We were already playing these songs live for quite some time, so for this album, we wanted to unlock the potential of these songs further in the studio.”

    Listen: The Homesick – “Male Bonding” (radio edit)

    The Homesick – “Male Bonding” (radio edit)

  • Smoke Fairies

    Smoke Fairies

    Darkness Brings The Wonders Home

    Smoke Fairies’ newly released “Darkness Brings The Wonders Home” has already snagged BBC Radio 6’s Album Of The Day, and is on your radio desks now for play! The UK band travelled to Seattle to record their new album, and called upon legendary producer Phil Ek (Father John Misty, The Shins, The Black Angels) for an intimate and uncompromising month-long session.

     

    “Someone said to me ‘I Never say goodbye in elevators and then the doors rolled shut and I whizzed off upwards. The exchange spurred this song -there is no way of knowing what is going on in someone else’s mind and sometimes it just feels like you’re kind of lost, like being in an elevator stuck between floors, trying to figure them out”Katherine Blamire/Smoke Fairies (on new single “Elevator”)

     

    Jack White’s a longtime fan and advocate of Smoke Fairies, and not only signed them to Third Man Records for an earlier release, but had the duo join him onstage during his 2015 performance at the Grammy Awards.

     

    Smoke Fairies are Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire who first met at school in the south of England. In the making of the upcoming “Darkness Brings The Wonders Home”, Smoke Fairies drew inspiration from mysteries both real and imagined: sea monsters, flocks of crows taking flight in extravagant formation, and strange creatures dwelling in the mud near their new South London abode.

     

    “This is Smoke Fairies’ strongest, most urgent album to date” – MOJO ****

     

    “Spellbinding” – Uncut 8/10

     

    “A masterpiece” – Metro (UK) *****

     

    “Deliciously dark and endlessly engaging” – The Sun (UK) ****1/2

     

    “An album you can truly get lost in” – Clash 8/10

     

    “Blamire and Davies don’t trade vocal duties so much as appear to sing from the same body, their voices nearly indistinguishable, shifting between smoky moans and toe-curling trills” – Pitchfork

     

    “Smoke Fairies rely on intertwining…their two voices move in close harmonies, with timbres blending almost like sisters.” – New York Times

     

    “Smoke Fairies are no strangers to magic… the English rockers have wielded those powers for their upcoming studio album, Darkness Brings the Wonders Home” – Consequence Of Sound

    Listen: Smoke Fairies – “Elevator”

    Smoke Fairies – “Elevator”