Party Music! is the new album from Chicago's Phil Yates & The Affiliates. The ten tracks are energetic rock in the vein of Jimmy Eat World and All American Rejects. With plenty of fuzzy twang, catchy melodies and good hooks, the band serve up a record that grabs one's attention and then holds on. This is a strong record, if somewhat derivative, but what commercial music isn't these days. The album is aptly named as this is great music to put on when friends are over and you want to get a party going. It's music guaranteed to put a smile on you face. Stream and buy Party Music at the link below!
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Decline & Dislocation is the second album this year from FZB favorite Nanaki, aka the solo project of prolific artist/producer Michael Daugherty. The nine tracks continue the instrumental variety from light melodic passages to full on metal crescendos. Daugherty has churned out a tremendous amount of music ranging from his solo projects to that of his band Postcode. This album shows the artist combining dense sonic experiences with minimal almost lyrical instrumentals all to good effect. Readers of this blog know well that we disdain most instrumental rock. It sounds unfinished to our ears and waiting for vocals that never come, like a commuter waiting for an already missed train. Daugherty manages to overcome this with his carefully crafted pieces that work well as instrumentals and elevate the form to art in its own right. A definite must have. Watch the video for the album track The Days Go By, then stream and buy Decline & Dislocation at the link below.
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Pushing Up Daisies is the debut album from Vienna based Death By Delirium, on Wilhelm Show Me The Major Label. The twelve tracks are dark electronic post-punk in feel, with plenty of industrial vibes thrown in. The tracks are edgy, club fair with a hard sheen and a dense core of sound. Stark, foreboding and imaginative, this is music to drive a mosh pit frenzy and stage diving lunatics. This album is best appreciated at high follow, so don't be a wimp. Turn it up and destroy the neighborhood. Stream and buy Pushing Up Daisies at the link below.
All Electronica Must Go is the new album from Albany based Cultural Critic, aka composer/producer John Malmborg. The 10 tracks (+ 2 bonus tracks) are melodic electronic music, with deep, intricate synth lines and precise driving beats. Weaving its way from soft, swirling, ethereal electronica to glitchy rhythm driven house, the album is densely packed with interesting synth pads and production flourishes. The songs however, lack the cohesive feel necessary to engage fully with the listener. The album is more a production exercise than a finely crafted listening experience. Stream and buy All Electronica Must Go at the link below.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
The Pulse Of Life is the third album from Chicago based group Killwave. The eight tracks are a blend of synthpop, post-punk and prog rock. With a theatrical flair and out front vocals, the band build a sonic structure that is bold, expressive and ready for large venues. This is not meek pop like Chvrches or Purity Ring, but is the kind of synth based music one would expect from heavier rock bands like Yes and King Crimson. The album is an interesting take on the prog rock from a modern perspective and serves up original lines and phrasing. Stream and buy The Pulse Of Life at the link below.
Pickings is the debut album from NYC singer/songwriter Kate Vincent, and is also the original soundtrack to an independent movie of the same name in which Vincent has a role. The eight tracks are acoustic based altcountry, where the real star is Vincent's songwriting and voice, both of which are memorable. With minimal production and an acoustic guitar, Vincent delivers a stunning and engaging performance that shows she is a force to be reckoned with. Her vocals are powerful, her lyrics deep and the album is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Pickings at the link below.
Friday, May 25, 2018
All The New Ends is the latest EP by Amusement Parks On Fire, released on Saint Marie Records. The three tracks are smart indie rock, with lush harmonies and strong songwriting. The instrumental work is flawless and creates an immense sonic space. Fusing elements of shoegaze, psychedelia and dreampop, the band delivers an EP that is dense, ethereal and stunning. High on originality and deep with aural complexity, this EP is a must have. Stream and buy All The New Ends at the link below.
Deep River Series is the new EP from Deerest, aka Linnea Talp, on Lazy Octopus Records. The five tracks are dark, powerful post-punk tinged pop. With influences from Chelsea Wolfe and Stina Nordenstam, Talp's huge vocals tower above a deeply moving instrumental base, with stark dynamic changes and an intensity that is totally compelling. With songs that are heavy, yet retain a pop feel, the EP has strong originality and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Deep River Series at the link below.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Honest Man is the new album from Australian band John Flanagan Trio. The twelve tracks are superlative Americana folk. With guitar, double bass, mandolin and his playmates, Flanagan delivers what will surely be one of the best albums of 2018. With a voice that sounds strikingly like James Taylor, Flanagan serves up such stunning songs that it seems trite to even try to write about them. This is an album that sets the bar as high as Everest and then climbs right past the peak into outer space. This album is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Honest Man at the link below.
Swedish new wave band The Search are back with a new album, A Wave from The Sidelines. The twelve tracks are pure 80's homage, cut straight from the cloth of New Order, Depeche Mode and OMD. The songs are radio ready, the synths are clever, the beats danceable and the vocals silky smooth, Everything one would expect from the 80's bands mentioned above and that is part of the problem. For all the strength this album shows, and it shows plenty, it is also completely derivative. Rather than taking influence from the era and finding its own sound, this is an album of pure regurgitation, copying rather than channelling the new wave influences. Stream and buy A Wave From The Sidelines at the link below.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Shut UP! You Liberals! is the debut album from UK band The Common Cold on Action Records with distribution from FZB fave label Dirty Water Records. The nine tracks have a solid punk edge, new wave smoothness and enough swagger to make Sinatra hide in the corner. This is an album that recalls the provocative days of bands like The Fall, Joy Division and Gang of Four. The album is dark and dense, with some inspired guitar playing and a sound that would fill an airplane hanger. This is one of the best debut records we've heard and it is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Shut Up! Yo Liberals! at the link below.
Obey is the new 7" release from Lonesome Hot Dudes on Vienna's Cut Surface Records. The two tracks are edgy punk, that takes a bit of an experimental approach. The tracks have non-standard changes and phrasing, elevating the EP to more of an avant garde exploration, than a traditional punk or riot grrrl release. This is a band of vision and creativity, strapping themselves in and launching full speed into the music. Not for the weak or timid and an absolute must have. Stream and buy Obey at the link below.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Toronto based Midge, aka the duo of Olivia Fetherstonhaugh and Shane Turner have released their debut EP Still Receiver on Utah indie UR AudioVisual. The five tracks are enticing dream pop/indie rock in the vein of artists like Tennis, where the guitar drives the arrangements, which are positioned around the lead vocal. With so much of the genre being a bit pablum, it is nice to hear this EP going an edgier direction. Interesting arrangements and a changing palette of dynamics are the highlight, where commercialism is sacrificed for a stronger rock persona. This is a great debut and showcases a duo on the verge. Get in at the beginning, stream and buy Still Receiver at the link below.
Climbs+1 is the new EP from FZB Favorite Broads. Coming only a couple of months after their acclaimed album Field Theory, these two tracks are a further testament to a band that has become a world class exponent of synthpop. With stunning arrangements, musical mastery and some of the best songcraft this side of the classics, this is a band at the height of its powers and making important music. Stream and buy Climbs+1 ast the link below.
Monday, May 21, 2018
Lucky Me/Just in Case is the debut EP from Toronto's Long Branch. The three tracks are fresh takes on classic rock-n-roll sounds. Stylishly raw, melodically edgy and as smooth as a folk song, the band craft a sound driven by stunning harmonies and masteful phrasing. This is an EP that's good for all the right reasons, just tons of chops and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy LuckyMe/Just In case at the link below.
Ohio based Something Within have released their S/T debut album. The eleven tracks are pure formula hard rock. The guitars are grinding, the drums driving, the bass heavy and vocals right out of an old Scorpions album. This kind of rock has become so cliched and lacking of invention and originality that it is almost a caricature of itself. This album is no different, totally derivative and everything that's been heard before ad infinitum. Stream and buy Something Within at the link below.
Friday, May 18, 2018
Tell Me You Love Me is the debut album from Toronto Based Cubs Refrain. The fourteen tracks are synthpop, but not like you've heard it before. Gone are the mousey, hushed vocals and the cliche synth pads. Instead you have powerful edgy vocals with huge harmonies and towering refrains. This is an album that throws out the book and reinvents synthpop as a dynamic rock subgenre, embracing influences from retro New Wave synths to dynamic folkrock vocals. This is an album of imagination, originality and style. This is an album that is engaging, compelling and totally immersive. This is an album that is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Tell Me You Love Me at the link below.
Outside Saskatoon b/w It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken is the sophomore virtual 7" from Toronto based Espanola, the project of frontman Aaron Goldstein. The A-side track is pure formula country. Just mainstream country radio fare. The B-side is much more interesting. While still formula and mainstream, there is at least some edge and real energy in the track, which is a slow altcountry leaning ballad. As a whole both tracks are good listens and enjoyable in their own right, but it's all just more of the same tame radio music. Nothing to distinguish this from the masses out their trying. Stream and buy Outside Saskatoon b/w It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken at the link below.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
California based Soft Science have released the virtual 7", Undone b/w I Don't Know Why I Love You on Sacramento indie label Test Pattern Records. The two tracks are trendy shoegaze with a solid radio patina and lustrous vocals. The tracks showcase a band that is tight and engaging, and you'll want to keep them on repeat. With a catchy feel and infectious beat, the music is a testament to the fertile musical ground of Northern California. This is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Undone b/w I Don't Know Why I Love You at the link below.
Winter Sun is the third album from Melbourne based singer/songwriter Lucy Wise. The fourteen tracks are stylish folk music that recalls the great folk singers of the 50's and 60's. Wise is a troubadour and a story teller. her songs are totally compelling and are delivered with her stunning vocals that showcase her wide range and tender texture. Choosing ukulele rather than guitar as her main instrument, gives the songs a personal and accessible feel. This is one of the best albums we've heard this year and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Winter Sun at the link below.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Melbourne singer/songwriter Susie Scurry has released the single The Elvis Hour, thew title track to her upcoming EP due in June. The single is a lament to a mundane life and the hope brought from a weekly radio show paying homage to Elvis. The track is sleek, chic and intriguing, with some nice lap steel lending counterpoint to a solid indie pop delivery. Scurry's vocals are soft and alluring, with the track certainly building the anticipation for the EP to come. Stream and buy The Elvis Hour at the link below.
New Comfort is the sophomore album from Chicago based singer/songwriter Andy Ketch. The ten tracks are a nice cross between Weezer and Tom Petty. With a good post-punk vibe, a bit of a lo-fi sheen and dominant acoustic guitar taking on the din, this is an album that is interesting, enjoyable and one that you'll want to come back to over and over again. No gimmicks here, just straight ahead power-pop delivered with panache. Stream and buy New Comfort at the link below.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Conductor is the new album from Goodnight Texas. The duo of Avi Vinocur (Stone Foxes) and Patrick Dyer Wolf are a cross country collaboration of epic proportions. The eleven tracks are a blend of folkrock, Americana and blues, so authentic only the entire country could contain it. This is an album that is stunning in its simplicity and exciting in the complex way that simplicity is presented. Catchy songs, great instrumental performances, intimate vocals and enough edge to shave with are the hallmarks found on this record, which is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Conductor at the link below.
Philadelphia rockers The Deadeyes have released a new virtual 7", No More Later b/w Narco. The two tracks are solid rock, that stay to an altrock/post-punk blend with the bonus of interesting violin licks. The sound of the tracks is quite thin and detached, and the tracks could benefit greatly from better production, but we dig what they're trying to do musically. This is an interesting record that takes some chances, comes up a bit short, but is a worthy listen. Stream and download No More Later b/w/ Narco for free at the link below.
Monday, May 14, 2018
London based indie label Trestle Records continues their One Day Band Project, with Session 14, the latest release in the series. One Day Band is a unique concept which sees a group of musicians, many meeting for the first time, enter the recording studio with a day to make a record. Largely improvisational, exceptionally performed and always interesting, these sessions are gems like a large comet that is seen and then lost back to space. Don't miss hearing this comet. Stream Session 14 and all of the One Day Band Sessions at the link below.
Rites is the new album from indie artists Eoins on Estonian indie label Seksound Records. The ten tracks have a progressive rock vibe and recalls a varied influence from 80's new wave artists like Gary Numan to prog rockers like King Crimson. The album has a fairly wide stylistic depth going from prog folk to synth based pop. All the while one finds loads of originality, interesting melodic patterns and songs that engage and hold interest over extended plays. This is just another example of the great music to be found when one goes outside of the North America/UK box. Stream and buy Rites at the link below.
Friday, May 11, 2018
Russian Winter Records has released the Say Goodbye Virtual 7", the debut single from acoustic duo Ehrnman/Pearson. Featuring the title track b/w the nice instrumental Juniper Breaks, baritone acoustic guitar virtuoso Nathaniel Ehrnman and vocalist/guitarist Erik Pearson deliver a superlative performance of fingerstyle acoustic music that will satiate even the most discerning aficionado. The title track is a catchy breakup song that showcases Pearson's unique vocal styling. The real hallmark on both tracks though, are the layers of beautifully delicate and melodic acoustic guitar lines, Weaving a compelling sonic tapestry that ebbs and flows with such engaging mastery that you'll have these two songs on continuous repeat. This is the perfect introduction to the duo and piques one's anticipation for their debut album coming in the fall. This is an absolute must have. Stream and buy the Say Goodbye Virtual 7" at the link below.
Montreal based synthpop auteurs Young Galaxy have released their first fully independent album, Down Time. After stepping away from the music industry for a time of review and introspection., the band decided that the conservative and exploitive nature of the biz made their future direction clear. The duo have started their own record label to rediscover a sense of community and experimentation. Their new album is the result. The ten tracks are an inspired glimpse into what is a bright future for the duo. The songs are lyrically deep, the synth pads are beguiling and the vocals are stunning. This is a definite must have. Watch the video for album track Frontier, then stream and buy Down Time at the link below.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
FZB favorites Postcode are back with Dandelion Radio Session II, their second time to be recording a session for the venerable internet radio station. To mark the band's 10th anniversary, they revisit some earlier material for this radio session. Postcode remains a great rock band and every release is an eagerly received treat at the blog. If you're a regular reader here you'll know Postcode, if you're not familiar with them, this record is a great entry point and is a must have. Do something nice for yourself, stream and download Dandelion Radio Session II at the link below.
Disaffection is the new album from Seattle's Nostalgist, the post-punk project of Asa Eisenhardt and Aesop Dekker. The six tracks have a prog rock feel, melded to a shoegaze ethos, yielding dense, towering songs that exude an anthemic vibe. Heavy reverb, multitudes of melodic lines and a dark sheen mark an album of depth and style, totally engaging, totally satisfying. Stream and buy Disaffection at the link below.
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Beautiful Life is the debut EP from Leeds based singer/songwriter Average Dez. The four tracks are sparse mainly voice and guitar, with a minimum of overdubs. The straightforward nature of the presentation fits the songs, which are personal, a bit melancholy and overly simple, but still catchy. On the whole though, the EP would have benefited from more production and a bit more in the tracks, as the EP comes off a bit underwhelming and repetitious. Stream and buy Beautiful Life at the link below.
If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous is the new album from UK based singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid and produced by Michael Chapman. The twelve tracks are stunning sonic depictions of songs of depth and meaning. McQuaid's style is full on engagement, with vocals that draw you to the lyrical rocks better than any siren song. The album is brilliantly arranged, with flawless production and a completely compelling aural persona. This is about as good as it gets and is an absolute must have. Watch the video for album track Slow Decay, then stream and buy If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous at the link below.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
On The Line is the debut album from Florida band The Cravens. The eight tracks have a retro altrock feel with a pinch of southern rock cliches. The album is solid but unexciting, lacking a strong single and delivering a commercial formula of enjoyable, but also somewhat forgettable music. Those that like their music more mainstream old style rock will love this release. Stream and buy On The Line at the link below.
Deep River II is the new single from Deerest, the solo project of Linnea Talp on Stockholm based indie label, Lazy Octopus Records. The track is dark, heavy and atmospheric, with Talp's vocals towering above the listener like a disembodied spirit. Talb offers a beautifully textured voice that maintains its smooth sheen, while surrounded by brooding hard guitars that provide both edge and counterpoint to the melodious singing. A strong single that makes one anticipate the artist's coming EP release. Stream and buy Deep River II at the link below.
Monday, May 7, 2018
Fear Of The Horizon is the new album from Bunny & The Invalid Singers, aka Dave Hillary, on FZB favorite Bearsuit Records. The ten tracks are theatrical excursions in experimental rock. With a wide ranging palette of guitars, synths and many other instruments and noise, Hillary creates a lavish album of the sonically unexpected. The whole thing could be "in scene" background music for some far out science fiction flick, were it not so sophisticated and erotic in its own right. This is an album for the adventurous, those who like challenges and disdain the commonplace. Stream and buy Fear Of The Horizon at the link below.
Rito is the debut S/T album from the polish electro/ambient group on Nasiono Records. The five extended tracks delight with nice melodic variety, engaging rhythms that keep the pieces moving, all the while creating a deep ambient soundscape that pervades and entices. With both guitar and drums complementing synths developing the sound, the album delivers with textural complexity in a simple accessible aural experience. This is a finely crafted series of pieces that challenge the listener with both compelling dissonance and harmonious counterpoint. Stream and buy Rito at the link below.
Friday, May 4, 2018
Welcome to another edition of the Floorshime Zipper Boot Feature Friday. Today we introduce you to Kool Things PR. Read what the have to say about their business, the artists they work with and the challenges they face.
Kool Things is a PR company, run by Sebastian Lugli and Laura Iacuzio (both in shoegaze band Rev Rev Rev), offering worldwide promotion and radio plugging in the independent network. We work for the standard PR results, but we are a bit different from other PRs because we are focused on shoegaze / post-punk / indie etc., the kind of music we love and know the most. Furthermore, we feel that working with music you truly appreciate is a big asset for getting higher results. In other words, instead of defining ourselves in terms of geographical borders, we identify ourselves in terms of music genre.
We started Kool Things in early 2017, so we're barely one year old, but we've been lucky enough to work with some of our favourite bands and labels: Saint Marie Records, Secret Shine, Pia Fraus, Lotte Kestner, Amusement Parks On Fire...
Our “promoting credits” include artists like Dave Catching (Eagles Of Death Metal), that was featured on Vast Asteroid's first LP, and Joey Burns (Calexico), on Richard James Simpson's debut solo album, and both Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie from Cocteau Twins: the first was featured in Crash City Saints' latest album, while the latter produced the new EP by Heligoland.
At a certain point of our path, we simply felt that the indie scene was lacking an affordable, no-nonsense PR capable of targeting a new record to the right audience, regardless of where it's located. Also, having faced as a band the issue of living in a country whose music scene is very self-referential, we felt particularly the need to get across the borders. Most Italian bands hire national PR agencies which promote the band only in Italy, while bands who play our kind of music have their potential followers scattered worldwide. Our goal is to establish a deeper connection between bands and their audience, through a network of passionate journalists, bloggers and DJs. Usually artists find us through word of mouth and recommendations by former customers. We also have ongoing partnerships with some labels, for which we promote all their new releases.
One of the main challenges we have to face is of course being competitive with bigger PR companies which have bigger marketing muscle to get their artists on major media outlets; we try and carve out our space in the market by focusing on music quality and sending media targeted submissions, bands they can actually appreciate. Also, we usually work with indie bands and labels and, like we know from personal experience in the first place, it's not always possible to be perfectly organized and meet deadlines. So we have to be flexible and always ready to change our plan when needed.
Bristol outfit Secret Shine, formed in 1991, are considered among the most inspiring shoegaze / dreampop bands of the first wave, a highlight of their production being the album 'Untouched', featuring single 'Loveblind', which entered the Top 20. Out via Saint Marie Records, the new album has been referred to as "the best thing Secret Shine has released to date" and has impressed, among others, Northern Transmissions, Drowned in Sound and Spill Magazine.
Amusement Parks On Fire
Amusement Parks On Fire came to prominence in 2004 with the release of the eponymous debut album, entirely written and played by the then-adolescent founder Michael Feerick. On the strength of the recent 'deluxe' reissue of their acclaimed LP 'Road Eyes' (2009), characterised by Alternative Press as ‘a near-perfect album’, Amusement Parks On Fire are now set to come back: after the single 'Our Goal To Realise' and an extremely successful UK tour, the band is currently recording a new EP and gearing up for a European tour next spring.
Lotte Kestner is the pseudonym of Anna-Lynne Williams, formerly the singer in folk/dreampop band Trespassers William and featured on the Chemical Brothers' Grammy winning album Push the Button; she recently garnered international attention when HBO series The Young Pope used her version of Beyoncé's “Halo” in a pivotal scene. Her new album Off White, out on Saint Marie Records, has been praised by influential media outlets including Culture Trip, Les Inrockuptibles and Popmatters.
Vast AsteroidHailing from Los Angeles, Vast Asteroid is a supergroup of sorts, made up of The Warlocks former bassist Mimi Star, seminal Mancunian punk-rock band Slaughter And The Dogs drummer Mark Reback and singer and guitarist James Poulos. Their debut album, which also features the likes of Dave Catching (Eagles Of Death Metal) as a special guest, is able to instantly bring together the lovers of shoegaze, cosmic rock, britpop and heavier stuff like stoner and desert rock.
Pia FrausEstonian dreampop veterans Pia Fraus are back with their first full-length album in almost a decade. Released on Seksound (Europe), Shelflife (US), and Vinyl Junkie (Japan), Field Ceremony is a triumphant return for the band, bringing back their signature dreampop sounds alongside fresh takes on pop structures. The band is now about to set out for a short tour of Japan and China.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Reflections is the debut EP from Toronto singer/songwriter Lavender Child. The five tracks are alluring, intimate portraits framing a singular voice. Strongly soft in texture and wide of range, Lavender Child uses her voice to cherish her songs in a compelling blanket of beautifully crafted vocal lines, surrounded by minimalist instrumental arrangements. This is a singer that draws to mind the vocal control of Natasha Khan and the EP is an absolute must have. Watch the video for EP track Plutomania, then stream and buy reflections at the link below.
Little Secrets is the new EP from Ontario based Lava Dolls. The five tracks are produced by recording icon Steve Albini and bare his unmistakable rock inprint. The EP is heavy, commercial and recalls the best EMO bands like Dashboard Confessional and My Chemical Romance. Stylish, edgy and intriguing, this is an EP that is more than the some of its parts, with commercial range from ballads to anthems. A serious radio ready work of altrock mastery. Stream and buy Little Secrets at the link below.
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Hey cool cats, get your swing on and join us for this week's Digster Wednesday Playlists featuring their Jazz Playlists. Start off with Blue Note Monthly, 28 tracks from the vaunted label's vaults that change every month. Or maybe a night of sax is your thing with Greatest Sax Tracks, 3 hours of the very best from an instrument synonymous with the art form. Then give Jazz Cafe a try, with 125 songs to chill out with for wine, dinner and Sinatra. Try these and all of the Digster Jazz Playlists at the link below.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Citys A Hell is the first new music in several years from former Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen collective head honcho Oliver Ignatius. The single is a hodgepodge of recalling the jugband persona of a band like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, but lacking their folk influences. The track moves to and fro through funky interludes and edgy more post-punk passages. What transpires is an uneven track, that is none the less engaging for its jitteriness. A uniquely original piece. Stream and buy Citys A Hell at the link below.
How You'll Grow is the debut EP from Toronto's Freedom Baby. This nine piece band serves up a big sound that has similarities to Arcade Fire, but with prominent horns recalling Beirut's sound stylistically as well. With female/male lead vocals and a nice dreamy sheen, the tracks expertly blend complex instrumental parts with engaging pop simplicity, all the while delivering ample amounts of edge. This is a truly remarkable debut and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy How You'll grow at the link below.