By not keeping my ear to the ground for the past however many months, I am likely to come across a number of artists who have already established themselves that I am new to. That said, one of my favorite discoveries from my lengthy blogging hiatus is Oakland’s Day Wave. I mentioned Day Wave last summer when I put up something about Beach Slang, but I never took the time to write about him/them in any more depth than just the mention. And as it turned out, their Headcase EP was one of my favorite releases of last year – all shiny and sad and self-deprecating.
Since that EP, Day Wave has released a few new songs – all worth the time investment – but this track is from a recently announced new EP entitled Hard to Read that will be released on March 4, and springtime can’t get here quickly enough.
“Gone” is the epitome of Day Wave’s sound – shimmering pop hooks and jangly guitars reminiscent of the best parts of Eighties post-punk/new wave. Think The Cure without nearly as much despair and you’re in the neighborhood. Hard to Read will be available digitally through the folks at Grand Jury – and, in addition – there will be a physical release forthcoming that combines both of Day Wave’s EPs – perfect for people like me who can’t stop listening to his output.
Connect with Day Wave :: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Tumblr
New Yeasayer? New Yeasayer.
It’s been a long time since anyone heard new material from the Brooklyn outfit – nearly four years by the time the actual album hits shelves, in fact. And even after all that time (a lifetime in the fast-paced music world in which we live), the experimental foursome doesn’t disappoint their long-suffering fans with this new track, “I Am Chemistry.”
Sure, it’s not as immediate as “Longevity” or “Ambling Alp” was, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. It’s a slow burn, building to a children’s choir singing about how their mother told them not to fool with oleander. Kids, your mother was right about that.
Amen & Goodbye is the title of the new album, and it sees the light of day on April 1 (which is shaping up to be a hell of a date for new music). It’s available for preordering in various formats now through Yeasayer’s website, if you don’t want to wait to secure your copy, or if you’re the type of music collector who is partial to limited edition colored vinyl.
Connect with Yeasayer :: Twitter | Facebook | web
The impact that Jeff Buckley has had on my own musical journey is impossible to understate. “Last Goodbye” was my initial introduction to Buckley’s music, and I branched out after purchasing Grace, delving into Leonard Cohen and Nina Simone, and moving on from there. Buckley’s music underpins most everything else that comes after it, in an autobiographical sense.
Generally I have disdain for “found” posthumous material because it always feels like it’s a way to capitalize on an artist’s passing. When I heard about this upcoming release of “new” Buckley material, entitled You and I, that same skepticism cropped up – despite the fact that it’s been nearly twenty years since Buckley’s untimely death.
But now they’ve released the second track from You and I – which is mostly comprised of covers ranging in scope from Led Zeppelin to The Smiths to Sly & The Family Stone. This particular cover, of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman”, showcases the brilliance of both artists – Dylan’s songwriting and Buckley’s arresting voice and knack for making someone else’s song his own – and it is just breathtaking.
You and I is being released on March 11. If you pre-order it on iTunes, you can get this track, along with Buckley’s version of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People”, immediately.
Normally, I try to keep my online presence fairly close to the vest. And I know these problems pale in comparison to those of others around the world, but please indulge a bit of venting: sickness has typhooned this and that-a-way through my house at an absurd rate; I had to replace a refrigerator that wasn’t particularly old and pay for four new tires; in the wake of a merger, there has been a ridiculous amount of turmoil at work – mostly indirect – but stressful to witness when heads roll all around you and the very nature of your work morphs continuously; I was blocked yesterday on twitter by a local organization for some indecipherable reason that ultimately doesn’t matter one iota yet I allowed it to affect me; plus some other aggravating things I won’t delve into further. All that is to say, I’m looking forward to a planned vacation to warmer weather in a few weeks that is luckily already paid for.
Music evoking certain types of environs and climates is not a topic with a great deal left remaining to explore. But drawing forth some sort of escape, however momentary, is the best one could reasonably ask of a piece of music, correct? When listening to the delightful “Oh My Love” by Francis Lung, one is transported to more pleasant weather than is currently being experienced in the Northeast United States, and along with it a sense of warmth and joy. The weather here in Rochester hasn’t been too acrimonious thus far this winter season, but a large storm is always lurking behind another set of grey clouds on the horizon. Singing along with those extended ‘ooohs’ of the song’s title has me excited for the pending vacation. The last time I made this particular trip, “Morning Tide” from The Little Ones was a song I listened to extensively for days on end, and it ultimately sound-tracked that great trip and brought me back to that place in the aftermath. I hope Francis Lung will do something similar this go ’round.
Francis Lung :: Facebook | Twitter
While completing some research, it seems Francis Lung is the solo product of former WU LYF bassist Tom McClung. The third(?) such offshoot of the former band, McClung also joined forces with other ex-members Joe Manning and Evans Kati to form the pop outfit Los Porcos. WU LYF frontman Ellery James Roberts also has a solo project. The more you know…
Slightly before the conclusion of 2015, Austin’s Holy Wave released a seven song EP titled The Evil Has Landed, Pt. II. Because of its release in the music release wasteland that December has become (see: every Best of 20XX list released throughout the month), the EP likely missed a lot of appreciative ears. This is your opportunity to correct that oversight, friends.
The EP isn’t actually seven new songs, though. As EP’s are wont to do, there’s a rehashing of “Son of Sound” from the band’s excellent, 2014 sophomore effort Relax, aptly named “Son of Sound 2.” But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth your time. “Son of Sound 2” is, to my ears, a fine retelling, as is “Lady Madonna’s Operation” – a surfy pop number imbued with a healthy dose of psychedelic.
If you’re the type that likes your music in physical format, you can (and should) pick up a 10″ version of The Evil Has Landed, Pt. II from the fine Levitation label, along with the aforementioned Relax. The band is off to Europe around the beginning of March; no shows on North American soil have yet been announced for 2016.
Holy Wave :: Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter