Big Sparks, the sophomore album from Belgium band Few Bits hits shelves for a wider release on September 30th through [PIAS], after dropping in select regions earlier this year. Their latest single from it, “Sweet Warrior,” brings to mind the best moments of The Cardigans with singer Karolien Van Reensbeck sounding like Nina Persson reincarnated. The subdued pop song is ideal for introspective moments with the headphones on or driving down an unnamed road aimlessly searching. Be sure to check out the previously unveiled “Anyone Else” and “Summer Sun” from the LP as well.
We slept on Crown Point, IN’s Via Vegrandis, the alias of Jared Bane, and his first EP back in 2013 and we plan on not making the same mistake again. Today, the experimental, odd-pop musician unloaded new EP simply titled II through Bloomington, IN’s Flannelgraph Records. The five songs that make up the collection is a compilation of sorts bringing together various loose songs Bane put out on Soundcloud or Bandcamp in mastered form since the release of his first EP. While each have their own unique angle, they all work together because of the left of center constructions that falls somewhere in the orbit of say an Ariel Pink pulling in a blend of old and new. You can read more about the EP in an interview done by sometimes MOKB contributor Seth Johnson over at Musical Family Tree. We also recommend you check out his appealing take of Amy Grant’s unavoidable (at least in 1991) song “Baby, Baby” for good measure.
Celestial Shore frontman, Sam Owens, has his debut album, Premium, coming out on September 30th via Saddle Creek under the moniker Sam Evian. Today, he has revealed a second track “I Need a Man” from the LP. Below is what he had to say regarding the track:
“Serge Gainsbourg fans will recognize the reference from Histoire de Melody Nelson. I was listening to that album incessantly last February when the HB2 law passed in North Carolina, my home state. Amidst the routine chaos of global tragedy, things at home were crumbling. My home state was falling back into the dark ages, sexual abuse was (and is) everywhere… the music industry, my NYC community, everywhere. And the police were getting away with murdering young black men across the country – on video. So with all of that going on and “Melody Nelson” in my head, I latched onto Gainsbourg the provocateur and made my voice a twisted version of his story. I imagined part of me was Melody, the naive teenager in Serge’s strange story of love and innocence lost. ‘I need a man I can trust.’ It’s more of a conversation starter… is there such a thing? My hope is that people in my community and abroad will start to look out for each other more, and take more action in preventing abuse and violence.
We recorded most of the song at Figure 8 in Brooklyn, and then caught some last-minute time for overdubs at the Magic Shop before it closed its doors for good. I sang on the mic that Bowie used for his last few albums, a Shure sm7. This was only a few months after he died, and I could feel his presence lingering.”
The album is available for pre-order here, as well as a 7″ featuring another great listen “Sleep Sound” (video below). Be on lookout for several tour dates with Whitney also starting in October.
Heidi Lynne Gluck evokes some Rabbit Fur Coat era Jenny Lewis in the new title track from her August 26th release. “Pony Show” seems to be about the breaking free of dead-end relationship. It’s a classic alt-country confessional full of the melancholy that accompanies the end of love.
Gluck is a Canadian now based in Kansas, but she spent a good amount of time here in Indianapolis collaborating with Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos as well as Lily & Madeleine. We previously featured Gluck’s lead album single, “Mercury Rising“, on our SIRIUS XMU satellite radio show. You can listen to that here.
If you listen to our weekly Sirius XMU Blog Radio spot every Tuesday, you probably have caught us playing several songs from Kadhja Bonet, including the gem “Honeycomb.” Everything about her just screams she has the potential to blow up similar to Leon Bridges due to her transcendent vintage mix of soul, jazz, gospel, and so on along with a voice that is just another level. Luckily, we were able to snag an early copy of her The Visitor EP on vinyl, but for those who didn’t, you are in luck. Fat Possum and Fresh Selects will be reissuing the EP on October 21st with and additional pair of unheard tracks not featured on the original. Looks like we will have to grab another copy of it, which is available for pre-order here. Stream and download “Honeycomb” below and we recommend heading over to her Soundcloud for several other fantastic songs, including an immaculate cover of The Beatle’s “Yesterday.”
Max Shrager and Shannon Wise are the young, but extremely promising talents behind New York City’s The Shacks. They will be releasing their debut self-titled EP October 7th via Big Crown Records ahead of their debut LP expected in early 2017. While being listed as a bonus track on the EP, their collaboration with another NYC outfit El Michels Affair, “Strange Boy,” will certainly be one of the highlights. The song is littered with all sorts of amazing throwback touchstones brought full circle by Wise’s fixed delivery vocals which have drawn comparisons to Hope Sandoval and Jane Birkin. The video captures much of the retro vibes of the song utilizing grainy textures and found footage. It was directed by Leon Michels. You can purchase the song as a part of a 7″ with another collaboration with El Michels Affair, “No Surprise,” here or wait for the EP available for pre-order soon.
We were only mildly into Iceage, so we had little expectations when lead singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s (also of Vår) Marching Band and his 2014 debut album The World Is Not Enough unpredictably became an album we kept coming back to time and time again. On October 28th, the once solo outlet, now band will be releasing their sophomore album, Telling It Like It Is, on October 28th via Sacred Bones Records. The first single from the album “Heart of Life” might be our favorite from them yet offering accessibility, yet maintaining the unkempt delivery that drew us to them in the first place. You can download the song via Soundcloud and pre-order the LP via Bandcamp.
It is always hard not to start getting nostalgic about the fading summer every year around this time. Rochester, MN duo of Josh Augustin and Sam Winemiller, known as Vansire, do just that with their latest song “Pontchartrain” off their upcoming album Reflections and Reveries out later this week on August 18th. Named after the large lake that north of New Orleans, the song is a contemplative number about Augustin’s time in NOLA, where he spent a large amount of time this past summer, along with relating to the limited time he has left in his home of Minnesota before he goes off to college. Augustin calls the song a “meditation on maintaining connection despite distance” and exploration of the “dream state” he falls into upon air travel. The hazy guitar chords should draw immediate connections to Real Estate’s most successful work and 8mm imagery soaked in sunlight and blue skies.