Single & Lovin' It Vol. 25
By Mandi Kimes
HOOPS - "COOL 2"
Bloomington, Indiana four-piece Hoops recently signed to Fat Possum and they announced the release of their debut EP. Self-recorded, produced and mixed by Hoops themselves, the self-titled EP will be out on August 26th. The opening track and first single "Cool 2" is an infectious tune packed with lo-fi vocals and jangly guitars, clocking in at just under two minutes. Hoops just wrapped a support tour with Whitney, and are hitting the road again for a string of shows which includes opening for Porches at a Pitchfork Festival Aftershow in Chicago next month. What began as frontman Drew Auscherman's solo ambient project, Hoops ultimately became a quartet in 2014. Named for hoop houses in the greenhouses which Auscherman used to work in high school, Hoops draw on influences from Prefab Sprout and The Clientele, and recall the idea of breezy afternoons and sticky summer nights in both name and sound. The fuzzy, summer-ready Hoops EP follows the band's first releases, Tapes #1-3, which earned Hoops early praise.
FIELD MOUSE - "OUT OF CONTEXT"
Field Mouse has shared the second single, "Out Of Context" off their sophomore album, Episodic, out August 5th via Topshelf Records. The tender track features guest vocals by Waxahatchee's Allsion Crutchfield and Cymbals Eat Guitars' Joseph D'Agostino. If 2014's Hold Still Life was the fruition of Field Mouses' evolution from a fiery two-piece into a fully-fledged band, then Episodic is the letting go; the abandonment of past persuasions for something altogether more untamed. Where the band's initial work was self-recorded by founding members Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral, the new record signifies the first time that the quintet has composed an album together from start-to-finish, and the result is a record that feels altogether more defined. Recorded in Philadelphia with Hop Along's Joe Reinhart, and written through a twelve month period which delivered sudden family illness and a deteriorating relationship, Episodic is fashioned from ten feverish bouts of guitar-pop; led by Browne's fearsome and fearless vocal and informed by an instrumental backing that underpins the entire record with a vibrant concoction of guitar, drums and keys. Episodic is the sound of a fully-realized band truly coming in to their own; honest, direct and immensely powerful.
Oxford, Mississippi-based Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster will release his debut solo album Constant Stranger on September 30th via Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum, with a debut of the first single "Headed South." The eleven songs on Constant Stranger feel like snapshots documented, processed, and archived, filled with stories and images of how the small and often overlooked everyday moments affect the larger ones. There's a weary yet warm, resigned yet hopeful, realist yet romantic nature to Kinkel-Schuster's writing, which here strikes as an attempt at reconciling - or reckoning - the complicated and changeable nature of memory and all human relationships. With evocative imagery of the natural world, Constant Stranger seamlessly blends these deeply personal ruminations on family, lovers, a musician's transient life, and the frequently confounding nature of existence - and creates a universally felt home for memory, gratitude, acceptance, and regret. Written throughout the past fall and winter, Kinkel-Schuster recorded Constant Stranger in Water Valley, Mississippi's Dial Back Sound and played every instrument on it save for one bass part. The album was mixed at the Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis. Over the past four years, Kinkel-Schuster has released three albums with his previous project, Water Liars - 2012's Phantom Limb, 2013's Wyoming, and 2014's eponymous LP.
HOCKEY DAD - "JUMP THE GUN"
Hockey Dad has shared a brand new song, the sunny summer anthem "Jump The Gun," which will appear on the Wollongong, Australia duo's debut album Boronia, due out August 12th on Kanine Records. Their story is simple: best mates first, band second, and their music flows from their surroundings: sunny and jangly guitar driven rock complete with anthemic choruses. Guitarist and vocalist Zach Stephenson and drummer Billy Fleming have been best friends since age four. The past year has seen the duo move from aspiring garage band to Australian indie pop stars. After releasing their debut EP Dreamin' on local Aussie label Farmer and the Owl, Hockey Dad won Triple J's Unearthed Fall Festival Competition in 2014 gaining them national radio play and sold out shows across Australia. With headlining festival appearances in their hometown under their belt, in 2015 they headed stateside for CMJ where they met up with Brooklyn indie Kanine Records (Surfer Blood, Splashh, Beverly) and cemented a deal to release their debut album in the US. Boronia is 11 tracks of pure unadulterated fun that comes straight out of the surf and skate culture surrounding them in their native Wollongong. The album is a testament of the good times that the boys have pouring out of them. And now they want to share those good times with the world.
CASS MCCOMBS - "RUN SISTER RUN"
Cass McCombs will release his eighth studio album and debut for ANTI, Mangy Love, on August 26th. Throughout, McCombs tackles sociopolitical issues through his uniquely cracked lens of lyrical wit and singular insight, but the severity of his lyrics is contrasted by the music, which ventures into groovy realms of Philly soul, Norcal psychedelia and New York paranoia. And as evidenced on new single, “Run Sister Run,” hip-hop and beat poetry influences are more evident than ever before with several songs employing a clever fast-paced wordplay. The political impact of corporate greed and bias appear all throughout Mangy Love, but are most bluntly tackled in this new single, titled as a mantra for a misogynistic justice system. Inspired by Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan, who was imprisoned for defending herself against police, the song jabs at the Supreme Court, calling it the “highest authority…on Cheez Whiz.” It simultaneously recalls the shooting and subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, as McCombs shouts “Don’t shoot!” in the song’s closing verse. McCombs, accompanied by a full band, will tour North America this fall.
DANIEL AMADEE - "LIFE"
New Orleans singer-songwriter Daniel Amedee shares "Life," the title track off his upcoming EP Life, which will be available August 16th via Record Office Records/Saguna Records. Amedee feels that all of his life experiences have led him to become a musician. Although New Orleans born and bred, Amedee found his musical footing in Cork, Ireland after relocating there at age 18 after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He greatly developed himself as a writer, performer and producer while touring across Ireland and England as the bassist in popular Cork band Remma (Attack Records). When Remma called it quits in 2010, Amedee relocated to San Francisco to begin recording his debut solo album Themes From… in 2011 with Chris Gonzales. He has since released two additional albums and spent the past two years touring across the United States and Canada in support of 2013’s Climbing. Amedee then took a break from touring to return to New Orleans in 2015 to record his fourth studio effort, Everything Will Change, which was released in February of 2016, and begin work on Life. Amedee, whose distinctive urban folk has been called "meditative with an edge," continues to mature as an artist with Life, delving into the concept that we each create our own individual realities, and are capable of moving past negativity. With haunting vocals and a mesmerizing rhythm that has a lifeblood all it's own, "Life" is a enthralling first taste of the new EP. Life will be available August 16th, 2016 via Record Office Records/ Saguna Records!
BRENDAN CANNING - "BOOK IT TO FRESNO"
Brendan Canning, founding member of Broken Social Scene, announced his forthcoming solo album, Home Wrecking Years, to be released on August 12th via Arts & Crafts. Canning is the co-founder and a singer-songwriter for the Toronto supergroup Broken Social Scene that includes members of Metric, Do Make Say Think, Stars, as well as Grammy-nominated Feist. One of the most enduring and influential alternative bands of the 00s, their record You Forgot It In People defined the “indie rock” era and paved the way for Canadian acts such as Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. Home Wrecking Years is the first full band album since Broken Social Scene's 2010 Forgiveness Rock Record, featuring swooping melodies, alluring keyboards, free-form feedback loops, all in abundance. The album also contributions from Broken Social Scene members Sam Goldberg and Justin Peroff, and Liam O’Neil (The Stills, Kings of Leon). The album is a vibe-y backyard barbecue-ready indie album. Smart and breezy 4-minute pop tunes that run the gamut from 90s-era college rock to tropical baroque pop. First single and lead track “Book It To Fresno” features churning electric guitars and pounding drums forming a wall with Canning’s sweet tenor vocals. Home Wrecking Years captures a throwback ’90s sound lifted by ’00s ambience, all set against the backdrop of his beloved Toronto, and you're in a classic Brendan Canning headspace. The album was written between the fall of 2013 and the spring of 2015. Canning found the inspiration for it while building the live band for his more acoustic 2013 You Gots 2 Chill album.
NAVY GANGS - "SPECIAL GLANDS"
Navy Gangs debut "Special Glands," the first single from their upcoming self-titled EP. Navy Gangs is a pop quintet currently residing in New York City. Singer-guitarist Matthew Tillwick, guitarist Noah Kohll, and drummer Gavin Cordaro began orchestrating music together in 2012 at Central High School in the red light district of Omaha where they failed their junior years miserably. For two months they took jobs working in the desert dome at the Henry Doorly zoo until they saved enough of their wages for one way bus passes to New York City, where they moved in temporarily with Kohll's grandmother Estelle. After making some new friends in Washington Square park, the three boys found themselves in a basement scene in little Italy. It was there that they met their bassist, Wilson Keithline from Providence, Rhode Island. Together they became Navy Gangs, a troupe whose songs grab influence from dark rooms, hopeless romanticism, table wine, and back page humor. On September 14th, they will introduce their self-titled EP via No Roads Records. The EP was recorded in Kohll’s grandmother home by Joey Kimono straight to 2-inch tape and was mixed and mastered by Steve Marion of Delicate Steve. It features vocals and percussion from long-time friend Coley Gold, a nomadic vixen who plays shows with the band often but never rings ahead of time and just shows up. Derived from heartbreak, endless internet streaming, and the pain that is being social, Navy Gangs’ debut EP is a pop miracle.
NEGATIVE GEMINI - "DON'T WORRY BOUT THE FUCK I'M DOING"
Negative Gemini's sweltering new single "Don't Worry Bout The Fuck I'm Doing" is a listless anthem as equally well suited for the dance floor as it is for languidly wandering through the scorching NYC summer streets. Lyrically, the track is an expression of anger and frustration with the inability of many women to simply exist in public spaces without feeling harassed or objectified by catcallers. "Don't Worry Bout The Fuck I'm Doing" is from Negative Gemini's upcoming album, Body Work which will be out August 12th on 100% Electronica. A year after the release of Negative Gemini's 2013 debut album, Forget Your Future she relocated from Richmond, Virginia to Ridgewood, Queens where she promptly started working on her follow up EP, Real Virtual Unison. Upon its release in 2015, critical response amassed from numerous online media outlets including Gorilla vs Bear, Pigeons and Planes, KEXP and others. Negative Gemini’s sophomore album Body Work is an intimate journey through Lindsey's transformation from an experimental bedroom pop artist, to one of New York's most promising new talents as a producer and songwriter alike.
NARCS - "EMPATHY THE DOG"
Leeds based indie alt-rock quartet NARCS have premiered their new single “Empathy The Dog.” The single comes ahead of the release of the bands second album A Thinking Animal, which is due out on July 8th via Clue Records and a string of UK live dates and festival appearances. Pouring fury on driven-alternative-indie noise, NARCS create a unique blend of passionate lyrical incisiveness with powerful, spine-cracking intensity and the occasional shaman-like rantings of a possessed mad man. Following on from their dark and tense recent single “Pig” the band are now gearing up to release A Thinking Animal. Describing their sound as “guitar-centered alt-rock aimed at Tory scum,” A Thinking Animal is a visceral attack on political apathy. It’s a passionate yet desolate onslaught on topics such as misogyny, greed, nepotism and self-loathing. However, this shouldn't be taken as en-vogue right-wing sledging or liberalism, the content is both intelligent and sincere. As a whole body of work A Thinking Animal is a punishing yet driving album, which mercilessly fires on all targets. It is the product of dejection, vexation and resentment for the shape of current affairs, and is both a battle-cry and a wake-up call, which urges you to stand up with the band and scream along with them.