Currents

  • Fort Frances

    Fort Frances

    Look At What Tomorrow Brought Us

    Following a string of show placements across FOX, NBC, and CW networks, Fort Frances have Just released their new album “Look At What Tomorrow Brought Us, and the new single at radio is “Seven Days Straight.”

     

    We’re Obsessed with this concise, fuzzy bit of catharsis, and think You will be too! It gets in/gets out, leaves its mark in under 2 1/2 mins, and will hang around your brain for days.

     

    “I wanted to write a song about shutting out all the news, the notifications, the buzzes — all the noise we all hear as soon as we wake up (and that keeps humming in our ears when we try to go to sleep). This one came after a particularly weird stretch of doom-scrolling when it really felt like it had been the phone and me for one long continuous week. So I turned the phone off and wrote this instead. And I love how this song moves from nothing more than a vocal into a punch-you-in-the-gut rock banger. That first chorus feels like the moment when all the lights go on. I can’t wait to play this one live.” – David McMillin/Fort Frances

     

    When you press play on Fort Frances’ newly released “Look At What Tomorrow Brought Us,” you will hear David McMillin and Aaron Kiser having the time of their lives. Spending the past 10 years creating music about fears that the universe is teetering on the edge of doomsday, even if that’s true, the band figures we all may as well just enjoy it all while we can.

     

    On the new album Fort Frances leans into the thinking that if you look for the problems in the world, you will find them. But if you look for the things that are worth smiling about, you will find those too — it just takes a bit more work.

     

    Tomorrow is here. And it brought so many reasons to smile.

    Listen: Fort Frances – “Seven Days Straight” (radio edit)

    Fort Frances – “Seven Days Straight” (radio edit)

  • Weyes Blood

    Weyes Blood

    And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow

    Sub Pop has releases the astonishing new Weyes Blood full-length And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, with ten new tracks written by Natalie Mering, and album production from Mering along with Jonathan Rado (all songs except for “A Given Thing,” produced by Mering and Rodaidh McDonald).

     

    The upcoming release is her follow-up to the acclaimed “Titanic Rising,” the first album of three in a special trilogy. Where “Titanic” was an observation of doom to come, “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow” is about being in the thick of it: a search for an escape hatch to liberate us from algorithms and ideological chaos (spoiler alert: the next one will be about “hope”). “We’re in a fully functional shit show,” Mering says. “My heart is a glow stick that’s been cracked, lighting up my chest in an explosion of earnestness.”

     

    The album was mixed by Kenny Gilmore at 101 Studio, mastered by Emily Lazar and Chris Allgood at The Lodge, and features guest appearances from Meg Duffy, Daniel Lopatin, and Mary Lattimore.

    Listen: Weyes Blood – “Grapevine” (radio edit)

    Weyes Blood – “Grapevine” (radio edit)

  • Royel Otis

    Royel Otis

    “Kool Aid”

    Hot on the heels of the Australian duo’s sophomore EP, Sydney’s Royel Otis are back with more “smartly crafted pop” (TheFADER) in the new song “Kool Aid”! A sweet slice of genre-blending indie, the new single brings together dance-leaning electronics with jangling guitars, and of course the pair’s knack for an overarching pop melody.

     

    “’Kool Aid’ is a slice of the moment after years of being smitten by the coolest girl on the street. She’s a little older and has all the rumors about her but for some reason she is entertained by you and wants to teach you new tricks. Although she walks all over you it gives you a new strut and lifts your street cred in the neighborhood.” – Royel Otis

     

    Childhood friends and now songwriting dream team Royel Otis (aka Otis Pavlovic and Royel Maddell) released their debut EP, “Campus,” last year leaning into the band’s organic, nostalgic sound, bringing a swooning psychedelic edge to proceedings for extra-added blissfulness. With the dream pop flow fully nailed, the band wanted to get a little looser, a little edgier. That’s just what they did on the latest EP, “Bar n Grill,” which saw them swapping synths for guitars and making everything that much grittier, while still showcasing their knack for an exceptional pop melody and a killer catchy chorus.

    Listen: Royel Otis – “Kool Aid”

    Royel Otis – “Kool Aid”

  • Homes At Night

    Homes At Night

    If You Were A Stranger

    Homes at Night’s newly revealed single “Wasted On You” comes from the Nashville-based duo’s debut EP ‘If You Were A Stranger’, and the band’s latest Alt Anthem centers on filling the void of missing someone you love with substance.

     

    “Wasted on You is a song that we wrote with JT Daly and Sad Penny. The inspiration of the song came from spending time away from who I was dating at the time. The whole idea of “wish I was wasted on you” came from me being tired of spending my nights in bars and not with them.” – Hank Compton/Homes at Night

     

    “This EP feels more like the mark of an era in our lives instead of just a batch of songs we wrote,” says Homes at Night. “The whole thing was made in the midst of massive changes in both of our worlds ranging from relationships dissolving to moving out of places that made an imprint on us, and on top of that we were in the heat of a pandemic. Reflecting on the creation of it feels like a fever dream, but a very nostalgic one to say the least.”

     

    The band continues, “It was like the whole world was falling apart but having this to work on created so many incredible memories. Creating this felt confessional, like it was our own little world that we could hide in but looking back it was probably getting these thoughts and emotions on paper that helped us heal and move on.”

     

    Homes at Night —made up of songwriters Hank Compton and Aksel Coe — create alt/rock anthems that blur the boundaries between genre and generation. It’s a sound that’s both nostalgic and modern, layered with organic instruments, synth-driven soundscapes, cinematic hooks, and a percussive pulse. On their debut EP ‘If You Were A Stranger’ (out 12/2), the bandmates blend their sensibilities with story-driven songcraft, nodding to their Nashville roots while simultaneously pushing far beyond them.

    Listen: Homes At Night – “Wasted On You”

    Homes At Night – “Wasted On You”

  • morgen

    morgen

    “Lilee”

    morgen’s just released her instantly memorable, and Undeniably relatable new single “Lilee,” just ahead of the bubbling up, 18-year old singer-songwriter/producer’s sophomore EP that’s coming December! Her latest concisely earnest, indie-pop gem will stick around your brain for days, and we couldn’t be more excited to deliver it to you first!

     

    “Lilee is an ode to unrequited love, something i’ve experienced a lot of in my life, and the confusion and self-hatred that come with it. Especially when they are a close friend and you don’t want to mess up your relationship. Writing Lilee really helped me work through the struggle of loving someone who could never love me back, and i hope it provides the same comfort to those who listen.” – morgen

     

    After spending her early teenage years desperately seeking to find her place in the world, 18-year-old morgen is now fully embracing the chaos that accompanies the challenges of becoming an adult. Having recently moved out of her family home to brave the new independent world of LA – life is overwhelming, yet morgen is happier than she has ever been.

     

    Following up radio support as diversely ranging from Zane Lowe’s Apple Radio 1 to Elton John’s Rocket Hour, morgen’s new “Lilee” follows the prior singles Mom Jeans,” which went viral on IG Reels (and bumping her followers there up +53K since just May!), and “Hammock,” both of which will be featured on morgen’s upcoming sophomore EP, due in December.

    Listen: morgen – “Lilee”

    morgen – “Lilee”

  • Housewife

    Housewife

    You'll Be Forgiven

    Following A Pair of fave singles of SubModern specialty shows, including the #1 “Bones (God Like You),” and the #2 “I’m Spent,” upon recent release of their new EP “You’ll Be Forgiven,” Toronto duo Housewife have revealed the habit-forming “You’re Not The Worst,” which came out of the gate Fast this week to nab #1s on Both Single AND Album charts this week!

     

    “This song is one of the more direct and honest songs we’ve written. It’s about undervaluing yourself and allowing people who are overbearing and arrogant to affect you emotionally. Why am I spending time with someone who doesn’t respect me or my time? Then finally working up the courage to cut them out of your life when you’ve had enough.” – Housewife

     

    At 19 and 20 years old, Housewife are quite simply the future. Brighid Fry (she/they) and Pascale Padilla (they/she) are queer and allies, activists and co-founders of the climate initiative Music Declares Emergency and while to be sure their Twitter sums ‘em up concisely as “Opinionated feminist indie band,” We say they they epitomize one of our favorite discoveries this year!

     

    Though Housewife began with folksier roots, their newest music showcases the friends’ experiences living and writing through the end of high school and the pandemic, as well as navigating the life changes that come with growing up. Their joy pervades though, even as Fry says, “we’re figuring out relationships and where we stand in the world.”

     

    “Housewife have been perfecting the type of indie that is at once ’90s inspired and intensely modern, the type that comes across as both expertly crafted and seemingly effortless. …it’s not surprising that ‘You’re Not The Worst’ so perfectly strikes this indie balance. Bouncy, infectious, and honest, the Toronto-based duo have made yet another case for why they’re an act to watch.” Consequence Of Sound

    Listen: Housewife – “You’re Not The Worst” (clean edit)

    Housewife – “You’re Not The Worst” (clean edit)

  • Windser

    Windser

    Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea

    Not Only has indie dynamo Windser (neé Jordan Topf) released his highly anticipated EP “Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea,” but shares that he’s signed to Bright Antenna Records (home to Sports Team, Wilderado, Fana Hues)! The newly unveiled “Paris” off the new EP continues the theme of longing for something far away, but this time it’s a person, rather the past.

     

    “I am thrilled to be signing with the Bright Antenna Records family.  I can already tell they’ll be handling my records with love and care, and continuing to nurture my creativity as an artist/songwriter/producer. This project began in the Bay Area so there is no question that signing to a Bay Area label was fate.” – Windser

     

    “Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea” is a stunning collection of breezy tracks imbued with the well-worn indie rock tenderness and beguiling songwriting for which Topf and producer Jackson Phillips are best-known. Windser effortlessly captures the sound of his California roots with his coastal sound yet despite the carefree sonic world he’s created, there’s an immediacy woven throughout the threads of each track. The EP is a gorgeous sonic representation of both the heavy and light moments one endures and Windser’s captivating storytelling is evident throughout. Topf finds bleary-eyed beauty in joyful memories and painful loss, in the littlest experiences and the life-altering events.

     

    Adds Topf on the EP, “It was 2020 when I returned to Northern California to recount the past times and make a record that reflected the nostalgia of my early life. You can hear the reverberations of the waves against the cliffs, the darkness in the redwoods, and the fading feeling of youth. When I was a kid growing up in Santa Cruz, my dad used to romanticize where we lived. The fog that rolls in every morning through the woods and across the glowing pacific ocean. It was a sleepy, haunting, trippy little beach town which he often described as ‘Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea.’ The memories and echoes of my past never left me.”

    Listen: Windser – “Friends I Barely Know”

    Windser – “Friends I Barely Know”

  • King Tuff

    King Tuff

    Smalltown Stardust

    King Tuff, the project of Kyle Thomas, announced last week his long-awaited new album “Smalltown Stardust” (out 1/27), and the title track’s already hit the ground running with a #1 Single at SubModern specialty!

     

    “A twitchy backbeat propels its fried guitar-pop sound, with Ashworth’s vocals flickering in the background of verses, then fusing with Thomas’ in the chorus. Unsettling piano and synth tones and angular electric guitar appear, then disappear just as suddenly, keeping you chasing the song, much like Thomas himself.” – PASTE

     

    The truth is I never really wanted to leave my little town in Vermont. I knew it was something I had to do in order to actually pursue a career as a musician, but I loved my life there, and I cried and cried the day I left on a Greyhound bus for LA in 2011. In some alternate dimension there’s a version of me still living there, still hanging on the stoop, drawing pictures in the coffeeshop, walking the railroad tracks that run along the river… but alas, in this here dimension, I’m nothing but a townie without a town! ‘Smalltown Stardust’ is a song about keeping that little place and all its strange magic with me wherever I go. It’s a portal that I can access when I need inspiration, or when the city feels too big and hot and I need to mentally escape into some dark woods. It’s a place I found myself going to often in the last few years while I was writing this record, stuck in scorched and crispy ol’ Los Angeles, so it felt fitting as an album title as well as the first song to release into the world. Enjoy!Kyle Thomas/King Tuff

     

    At its core, “Smalltown Stardust” showcases Thomas’s desire to commune with nature on a spiritual level. Images of the natural world, from blizzards to green mountains to cloudy days, fill the songs and create a setting unmistakably far away from Los Angeles, where Thomas resides with SASAMI and Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy. “I consider nature to be my religion,” he expounds, and ‘Smalltown Stardust’ is nothing if not a spiritual exploration.

     

    If the first King Tuff record was content to merely state Thomas was no longer dead, “Smalltown Stardust” is a paean to what that life means. A statement of belief and a hymnal to the magic still to behold all around us.

    Listen: King Tuff – “Smalltown Stardust”

    King Tuff – “Smalltown Stardust”

  • Ocean Alley

    Ocean Alley

    Low Altitude Living

    As Ocean Alley close in on wrapping their 2nd successful swing through the U.S. this year (see our Tours page), the beloved Aussie psychedelic surf rock outfit have released their 4th album “Low Altitude Living”! Following the prior “Deepest Darkness,” and “Home,” it’s now this cruisey bit of feel-good “Double Vision” that’ll refresh and crash all over you like a glassy wave out in the morning sun.

     

    Determined to constantly push their creative boundaries, the writing process behind this album saw Ocean Alley explore their musicality with an instinct and playfulness that allowed them to follow their jam sessions wherever they went. Guitarist Mitch Galbraith explains, “It’s all still centered around a rock guitar, but we might have gone a bit heavier in moments.”

     

    Lead vocalist/guitarist Baden Donegal shares, “We’ve been a band for over 10 years now. Time and growing up are going to affect who we are and what music we are playing.” Lach Galbraith (keys/vocals) adds, “Pushing each other to try new things, inside and outside of music, is really important for us to keep things fresh. Musically, our songwriting has become more intricate as we explore new styles and techniques in recording. Everything we put in is thoughtful and deliberate.”

     

    “Low altitude, being by the beach is where we all have the most peace,” Donegal explains. “The title of the album doesn’t necessarily represent any one song in particular or tie them all together. But it does tie our band to the music. I feel like it’s more of a title that describes why we sound like Ocean Alley.”

    Listen: Ocean Alley – “Double Vision”

    Ocean Alley – “Double Vision”

  • Spacey Jane

    Spacey Jane

    Here Comes Everybody

    Spacey Jane’s “Hardlight” follows not only a #1 Album in Australia (35mil+ streams on Spotify alone), but Both a #1 Single for “Lunchtime” AND a #1 Album At SubModern Report new music specialty shows nationwide! Don’t Miss The Aussies Live during their Quickly Selling Out North American Tour starting next month (check that tour page!).

     

    “I wrote this song about how I was feeling like my life was a bit like one of those nightmares where you’re at school with no pants except I used the metaphor of being on set and forgetting all of your lines (because it felt less silly). I guess it’s about anxiety but also just having no idea what I’m doing even though I want it to look like I really do.” – Caleb Harper/Spacey Jane

     

    “a relaxed and resilient ride through the minutiae of everyday life, and maybe that’s exactly what we need.” – Rolling Stone

     

    “Not many bands currently on the circuit have put as much energy into their performance as Spacey Jane do. Their sets are electric and infectious; even if you don’t know a song, you’re moving by the time it’s finished.”- NME

     

    “One of the standout strengths of Spacey Jane is their live show. It’s utterly infectious. They play like they’re having a blast on stage and it means the crowd does too. Their energy and passion might only be bettered by that of their fans… screaming back the lyrics of every song.”- TRIPLE J 

     

    Taken from the working title of Wilco’s seminal album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (one of the bands’ favourite albums), Spacey Jane’s newly released “Here Comes Everybody” sounds and feels like an album that has truly been lived in. Every note is imbued with hard-earned wisdom now being passed down to a new generation. “I want it to be a guide to the experiences that are coming for those entering the period of life I’m leaving,” frontman Caleb Harper says of the new album’s aims.

     

    “Our first record discussed personal experiences of mine and it was a blessing to see how many people related to those stories,” Harper adds, but wants album two to be “for youth persevering and thriving emotionally under the weight of our generational burden.”

     

    The beginning of Spacey Jane’s astonishing success arrived when the band released debut album “Sunlight” in 2020. Universal adulation followed for the band – vocalist and guitarist Caleb Harper, bassist Peppa Lane, guitarist Ashton Hardman-Le Cornu and drummer and manager Kieran Lama. The album debuted at #2 on the ARIA album chart, was voted Album of the Year in the triple j Listener’s Poll, was nominated for a J Award for Album of the Year and is now certified Gold. The sleeper single-turned-megahit, “Booster Seat” picked up Song Of The Year at the 2021 ARIA’s, the AIR Awards Best Independent Song Of The Year and is certified platinum.

    Listen: Spacey Jane – “It’s Been a Long Day”

    Spacey Jane – “It’s Been a Long Day”

  • Magdalena Bay

    Magdalena Bay

    Mercurial World Deluxe

    LA-based Magdalena Bay recently announced a deluxe version of their breakout debut “Mercurial World,” and the duo have unveiled their first new single of the year off, it in the guitar-driven “All You Do”! The New Track & Accompanying Video swells into a majestic pop gem that perfectly complements the reimagined sonic landscape of “Mercurial World Deluxe”.

     

    Magdalena Bay released their long-awaited debut album, “Mercurial World,” at the end of 2021 to mass critical acclaim. They debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top New Artist and Alternative New Artists charts (Top 20 in Heatseekers, Current Alternative Albums, Independent Current Albums, and Current Rock Albums!), opened for the likes of Charli XCX, Flume and Porter Robinson, and sold out headline shows internationally, earning countless accolades on ‘Best Of’ year-end lists over the course.

     

    One of the most irresistible, refreshing and exciting pop records of 2021 gets reimagined on “Mercurial World Deluxe.” Written, produced, performed, mixed and mastered by Magdalena Bay, the upcoming album now features some new songs, remixes, alternative versions of album tracks, orchestral arrangements and some surprises for fans.

     

    “The Deluxe is a mish mosh of sorts, an amalgamation of new songs that didn’t originally fit the flow of Mercurial World, of reimagined versions of existing album tracks by us and some talented remixers, plus some special secrets,” the band explain. “ When we started working on the Deluxe, we wanted it to flow like the original album did. These secrets tie the record together in a cool way, we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

    Listen: Magdalena Bay – “All You Do” (radio edit)

    Magdalena Bay – “All You Do” (radio edit)

  • Foreign Air

    Foreign Air

    Hello Sunshine

    For duo Foreign Air, both the concept And name of the band has always been rooted in experimentation with sound and instrumentation. The new single “Lonely People” is a memorably thought provoking, and anthemic head-bobber, pulled from their impending sophomore album “Hello Sunshine.”

     

    Foreign Air dropped their debut album, “Good Morning Stranger,” in October of 2020. Before that, they released 10 singles, as well as the “For The Light” EP, starting with the glitchy, spectral “Free Animal,” which became an immediate hit. Nike snapped up the latter for an ad – and everyone from Samsung, Vodafone, Microsoft, to Showtime, ABC, and Vice soon followed.

     

    All told, Foreign Air’s music has been streamed more than 140 million times on Spotify and Apple, they have been featured on sites like Billboard, Grammy.com, and COLLIDE, and they have toured with the likes of Bishop Briggs, Bleachers, Misterwives, and more.

    Listen: Foreign Air – “Lonely People”

    Foreign Air – “Lonely People”

  • The Afghan Whigs

    The Afghan Whigs

    How Do You Burn?

    After feeling the audience reaction to “A Line Of Shots” during The Afghan Whigs’ May U.S. tour, it was clear the new single needed its moment in the sun! The new reveal is pulled from “How Do You Burn?,” one of the most anticipated of Summer 2022 (Pitchfork, Forbes, Brooklyn Vegan, etc)!

     

    “a reminder to embrace the competing fear and freedom that comes with facing a critical moment. Its adrenaline-boosting build and invigorating production echo the simmering anticipation of lyrics…a storm of sirens, shoegaze distortion, overlayed vocals, and the rapturous refrain” – Consequence Of Sound

     

    “a shimmering, swaying midtempo rocker with the very Greg Dulli-esque title ‘A Line Of Shots’” – Stereogum

     

    “their most direct presentation of abstract passion ever” – Rolling Stone  

     

    “Three decades after forming, the Afghan Whigs remain vital for its willingness to ignore boundaries” – New York Times

     

    “How Do You Burn?” is The Afghan Whigs ninth album overall and following on from the brace of widely acclaimed records they’ve made previously since re-grouping in 2012, “Do to the Beast” (2014) and “In Spades” (2017). “How Do You Burn?” picks up the baton laid down by each of those records and runs it to the horizon.

     

    Work on it was begun in September 2020 – the COVID pandemic having forced Whigs frontman/songwriter Greg Dulli to abandon plans to tour his highly praised solo album, ‘Random Desire’ – and continued over the next 14 months.

     

    The global pandemic dictated also that the band record largely apart from, and in different locations to, each other: Dulli, his co-producer Christopher Thorn and drummer Patrick Keeler together in California; bassist John Curley, guitarist Jon Skibic and strings man Rick Nelson laying down and engineering their own parts in Cincinnati, New Jersey and New Orleans, respectively.

     

    “Once we got the system down, we started flying,” says Dulli.

     

    For his supporting cast, Dulli called upon several serial collaborators including the late Mark Lanegan, who was a regular in Dulli’s Twilight Singers, a partner in The Gutter Twins and a close friend.  Lanegan makes his The Afghan Whigs debut singing backup vocals on two tracks.  “It was Mark who named the album,” Dulli remarked.

    Listen: The Afghan Whigs – “A Line Of Shots”

    The Afghan Whigs – “A Line Of Shots”

  • Built To Spill

    Built To Spill

    When The Wind Forgets Your Name

    Since its inception in 1992, Built to Spill founder Doug Martsch intended his beloved band to be a collaborative project, an ever-evolving group of incredible musicians making music and playing live together. “I wanted to switch the lineup for many reasons. Each time we finish a record I want the next one to sound totally different. It’s fun to play with people who bring in new styles and ideas,” says Martsch. “And it’s nice to be in a band with people who aren’t sick of me yet.”

     

    Following several albums and EPs on Pacific Northwest independent labels, including the unmistakably canonical indie rock classic, “There’s Nothing Wrong With Love,” released on Sub Pop offshoot Up Records in 1994, Martsch signed with Warner Brothers from 1995 to 2016. He and his rotating cast of cohorts recorded six more, inarguably great albums during that time. There was also a live album, and a solo record. While the band’s impeccable recorded catalog is the entry point, Built to Spill live is an essential FORCE of its own: heavy, psychedelic, melodic and visceral tunes blaring from amps that sound as if they’re powered by Mack trucks.

     

    Now in 2022, Built to Spill returns with “When the Wind Forgets Your Name”, Martsch’s unbelievably great new album (and also his eighth full-length)… with a fresh new label. “I’m psyched: I’ve wanted to be on Sub Pop since I was a teenager. And I think I’m the first fifty year-old they’ve ever signed.”

     

    “When the Wind Forgets Your Name” continues expanding the Built to Spill universe in new and exciting ways. In 2018 Martsch’s good fortune and keen intuition brought him together with Brazilian lo-fi punk artist and producer Le Almeida, and his long-time collaborator, João Casaes, both of the psychedelic jazz rock band, Oruã. On discovering their music Martsch fell in love with it right away. So when he needed a new backing band for shows in Brazil, he asked them to join. “We rehearsed at their studio in downtown Rio de Janeiro and I loved everything about it. They had old crappy gear. The walls were covered with xeroxed fliers. They smoked tons of weed,” Martsch says.

     

    The Brazil dates went so well Martsch, Almeida, and Casaes made the decision to continue playing together throughout 2019, touring the US and Europe. During soundchecks they learned new songs Martsch had written, and when the touring ended, they recorded the bass and drum tracks at his rehearsal space in Boise. After Almeida and Casaes flew home, Martsch began overdubbing guitars and vocals by himself.

     

    Martsch, Almeida, and Casaes had planned to mix the album together later in 2020 somewhere in Brazil or the US, but the pandemic kept them from reuniting in person. “We were able to send the tracks back and forth though, so we were still able to collaborate on the mixing process.”

     

    What emerged is “When the Wind Forgets Your Name,” a complex and cohesive blend of the artists’ distinct musical ideas. Alongside Built to Spill’s poetic lyrics and themes, the experimentation and attention to detail produces an album full of unique, vivid, and timeless sounds.

    Listen: Built To Spill – “Gonna Lose”

    Built To Spill – “Gonna Lose”