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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”

Smoke Fairies

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Smoke Fairies

Darkness Brings The Wonders Home

For Smoke Fairies‘ triumphant return, the UK band travelled to Seattle to record the upcoming “Darkness Brings The Wonders Home” (out 1/31), and called upon legendary producer Phil Ek (Father John Misty, The Shins, The Black Angels) for an intimate and uncompromising month-long session.


Dark moods drifting around in the woods like a wild animal that crawls in when you let your guard down. You have to do battle with them, to stop them dragging you into their world — like those characters that most people have in their lives who continually resurface and still have an inexplicable pull on you, even though you know they’re untameable and troublesome.” —Katherine Blamire/Smoke Fairies (on first single “Out Of The Woods”)


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” (out 1/31), 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.


“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


“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


“The band’s hypnotic songwriting matches sugar-sweet elements to moments of visceral sound” — Clash

Listen: Smoke Fairies – “Out Of The Woods”

Smoke Fairies – “Out Of The Woods”

The Districts

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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)

Post Animal

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Post Animal

Forward Motion Godyssey

Chicago pop-proggers Post Animal Are Back! Sharing their first new song since 2018’s critically acclaimed “When I Think Of You In A Castle.”  “Safe or Not” takes the band’s signature kaleidoscopic, guitar-heavy sound in a radiant, dance-ready direction and hints at more surprising sonic exploration to come.


“We wanted to leave the content more open ended for the listener to navigate, but it’s about self reflection,” ​Post Animal explains. “We played around with more somber, serious lyrical content over a particularly dance-oriented song to juxtapose how one may feel internally versus how they’re outwardly portraying themselves in the moment.”


Post Animal​ will open for C​age The Elephant​ in the UK/EU early next year.

Listen: Post Animal – “Safe or Not”

Post Animal – “Safe or Not”

Wolf Parade

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Wolf Parade

Thin Mind

It’s Indeed a glorious day, and Time To Celebrate as Wolf Parade are Back with their first new music in 3 Years—the synth-driven anthem “Against The Day”.


While most Wolf Parade songs over the years are sung by either Dan Boeckner OR Spencer Krug in the lead role, the brand new “Against The Day” features both frontmen alternating in front of the mic!


The “Against The Day” video for the track follows the release of the acclaimed “Cry Cry Cry” (2016), and is directed by Scorpion Dagger as a post-apocolyptic listening party (dig the opening 16-bit contribution from Doctor Octoroc).

Listen: Wolf Parade – “Against The Day”

Wolf Parade – “Against The Day”

The Homesick

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The Homesick

The Big Exercise

Sub Pop have wisely snapped up Dutch trio The Homesick, and whose debut for the label “The Big Exercise” will be coming 2/7!


First single “I Celebrate My Fantasy” “imbues their brand of post-punk with a prog-pop whimsicality in the form of clarinet and piano flourishes.” (Stereogum)!


“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) 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.”


The first single “I Celebrate My Fantasy” summons a mirage of creeping pianos, sylvan clarinet flourishes and cartoonish sprawls with mock-paranoia, as Elgersma documents a macabre vision he had during a mild case of sleep paralysis.

Listen: The Homesick – “I Celebrate My Fantasy” (radio edit)

The Homesick – “I Celebrate My Fantasy” (radio edit)


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With “Junior”, Montreal’s Corridor make the most dazzling, immediate and inventive album of their young career: 39 minutes of darting and dodging guitars, spiraling vocal harmonies, and the complicated, goldenrod nostalgia of a Sunday mid-afternoon. The album was produced by Emmanuel Éthier, engineered by Samuel Gemme, mixed by Éthier and Gemme in Montreal at ReelRoad Studios, and mastered by Josh Bonati at Bonati Mastering in New York.


You can now watch the new Monty Python-esque animated video for first single “Topographe”, which stars the band themselves. Corridor’s Jonathan Robert directed the visual, and had this to say, “While I’ve explored and mixed many different techniques in my past music videos, it’s the first time that I took the process this far, blending all of them together in one place. It’s a melting pot of stop motion, green screen, illustration, animation, collage, and live video. It’s the visual equivalent of the progression of the song, a simple idea that takes amplitude through repetition.”


Singers, two guitars, bass, drums: the timelessness of the setup underpins the timelessness of the sound, a rock’n’roll borrowing from each of the past six decades—punk and pop, psych and jangle, daydream and swoon.


Sub Pop have never before, in their 33-year history, signed a Francophone act. Maybe the Carridor‘s magic springs from their ingenious hooks, their topaz-tinted vision. Maybe it’s the panache of Québec’s insurgent underground scene, or the camaraderie of Robert and Berthiaume, who have played together since they were 14. Maybe it’s their name—a hallway crossed with a toreador. Probably it’s all of these, and none of them: “Junior” is a joy, a hasty miracle, because it’s so much damn fun to listen to. This album is 39 minutes; each day has 24 hours; you can listen 36 times before tomorrow.

Listen: Corridor – “Pow”

Corridor – “Pow”

Star Parks

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Star Parks

The New Sounds Of Late Capitalism

Austin, TX’s Star Parks has grown into a 7 piece mini-orchestra, a far throw from its beginnings as a solo act of the group’s principle songwriter, Andy Bianculli. The band’s Gorgeous sophomore album coming in 2020, is a record about alienation, dissatisfaction and postmodernism.


“I found an old Concord reel to reel in my parent’s attic in New York and when I played the tape it was my father as a 12 year old boy recording the The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show off the television” explains Star Parks’ Bianculli. “There are so many layers to that discovery that affected me and made me contemplate my place in time, my family, America, culture and music. To me it was like discovering the spark that gave man fire, in that it is a first hand account of a moment that propelled me and the whole world in a different direction. I knew I wanted to write about moments like that, that had promise but inevitably lead to disappointment.”


Producer Danny Reisch (Shearwater, Other Lives) played a pivotal role in helping the band shape the sound of the upcoming Star Parks sophomore album “The New Sounds Of Late Capitalism,” which at its heart was an attempt to reproduce a time where studios could employ dozens of musicians and keep orchestras on hand. Without such resources, the band developed what they called “Burt Bacharach on a budget”. The band cites exotica legends Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman as major influences as well as Ethiopian organist Hailu Mergia, Van Dyke Parks, Kevin Ayers and Alice Coltrane.


“The New Sounds Of Late Capitalism” is due for release in February 2020 by Modern Outsider Records.

Listen: Star Parks – “Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City USA)” – (clean radio edit)

Star Parks – “Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City USA)” – (clean radio edit)