Here’s the single from Lafayette, IN shoegazers YEARS’ debut album, It Can Kill. “Stay Inside” is a striking pop track which bears strange feelings of nostalgia for the familiar and unfamiliar, while still showing the dizziness of the past, present, and future. Singer/guitarist Jordan Banks’ voice sits comfortably over the wavering verses of foggy guitars and the crystal clear choruses. Even at the third track position on the album, the single acts as somewhat of a beginning, a climax, and a resolution to It Can Kill. The remaining nine tracks leave you to decide which ones fits YEARS best. All of It Can Kill is streaming on their website, and you can order the CD from their store.
Check out a fantastic track from the debut album of Indiana up-and-coming shoegaze-pop outfit, broken light. “Dawn of Nothing” is a soaring fuzz-pop anthem, with touches of Microcastle-era Deerhunter and a guitar melody that would make Yuck jealous. The track, as uplifting as it wants you to feel, leaks with frontman Eric Komenda’s lyrics on emptiness and disarray, but you’ll never feel better yelling out lines like, “Greet the void the slowly swallows/ All your secrets until you’re barren and bleak.” The group recorded The Spring Tide, with Brett Sanderson of Champaign, IL band Headlights and the release date/label is TBA. Head over to their Bandcamp to hear another track from the album, “Nucleo/tides.”
“Asunder” is the first taste from Fang Island’s new album, Major (pssh like they were gonna name it Minor). If you’ve listened to Fang Island before, especially their 2010 self-titled, you know to expect explosive sky-high party anthems that Andrew W.K. would be proud of. Listen to the massive “Asunder” in all of its glory, with harmonic guitar lines, sleigh bells, and one incredible triple harmony moment. Major will be out July 24th on Sargent House.
After a wonderfully fantastic debut, which made it into my top five records last year, Sleeping Bag have a new record that will be out this year. Bloomington recording studio Russian Recording, where the band recorded their follow-up called Women of Your Life, sent out an email with news on the album. They said, “We crammed all three of the dudes into the smallest room in the studio and recorded all the bed tracks live (drums, guitar and bass), giving the album a tight, intimate, cozy feel.” They also included a final mix of a track that will appear on the record. “Soccer Ball” is a lovable anthem with simple yet perfect melodies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and a fantastic Weezer-loving chorus. Women of Your Life will be out on Joyful Noise Recordings hopefully sometime in the fall.
Back in March of 2010, I posted about the young Indiana band Mid-American and their first release, Fake Homes. Now some two years later, after a successful Kickstarter, Mid-American has come back with the release of their self-titled debut album. Their early sound was impressive for such a young band, but the group has expanded into a bigger and appropriately dense sound for Mid-American. The second track, “Shadow,” is a crazy-catchy bubblegum-pop ode filled with foot-tapping build-ups and an infectious bell line that you won’t forget for days. Mid-American’s uniqueness comes from a variety of new and familiar sounds including a touch of Radiohead’s remoteness (“The King of Nowhere”), big percussive aesthetics (“The Clearing”), their sheer ability to capture a melody (“Shadow”). and a minute-and-a-half instrumental interlude that proves to be one of the best tracks on the album (“Taijasa”). All of this paired with frontman Phil Johnson’s sentimental voice alongside his powerful lyrics of confusion and loss makes for a rousing debut from this Indiana group. Mid-American is out now digitally on their Bandcamp, with preorders for the album on vinyl and CD.
My good friend Mike at Sippy Cup Everything turned me onto the Atlanta rockers Balkans’ self-titled debut a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped listening since. And it’s a huge bummer that these guys are no more from what it looks like. Despite that, any fan of the early 2000s guitar-pop scene should listen to these guys immediately. Stream the entire album below, and go order the record from Double Phantom.
Gap Dream is the one-man bedroom psych-pop project of Clevelander Gabe Fulvimar, who formally played guitar in the pop quartet Future Days/Clovers. “58th St. Fingers” is the lead track off Gabe’s self-titled debut album, and it’s a great ultra-groovy jangle-pop song that’ll make you feel way too cool when blasting it with your windows down during the recent wonderful weather. This album’s been a surprise favorite of mine this year, and I highly recommend it. The cassette is available from Burger Records, the digital’s up for purchase on Gap Dream’s Bandcamp, and vinyl will be out sometime this summer.