As the original member of the experimental rock band PC Worship, Mike Etten steps out of a darker and rugged sound and into a more authentic project of self expression on his new album Love Wash. No stranger to sharing a stage, as a guitar and bass player in the Dougie Poole band, Etten’s support within various projects allows for myriad musical experimentation. Love Wash displays this fluid artistic experience through a variety of moods carried across the ten track album, as Etten describes scenes in time through a detail oriented lens. His romanticization of life through lyrics is utilized like a tool, with songs like “Drive”, where a late night ride home feels like a poetic act of alone time.
On “One More Last One,” Asheville’s Wednesday blanket haunted romance with distortion. The band bills the sound featured on the group’s forthcoming album Twin Plagues, set to release on August 13th, “country gaze.” The inspiration of Appalachia dots the band’s discography, blending acoustic elements with overdrive and reverb. “One More Last One” adheres to classic dream-pop trappings, but there’s a Southern gothic bent to the way vocalist Karly Hartzman, accompanied by Xandy Chelmis, spins a cryptic tale of survival from behind a wall of fuzz.
Written After a decade of honing their sound, Iceage returns with their fifth LP, Seek Shelter — out May 7th on Mexican Summer. Recorded in a dilapidated studio in Lisbon, Portugal, alongside Pete Kember (Sonic Boom), days of heavy rainstorms leaking through the roof informed the session’s mood, forging an album rife with themes of searching for shelter amid uncertain times. Below, we catch up with vocalist Elias Bender Rønnenfelt to discuss the album’s creative path, recording in Portugal, working with actor Zlatko Buric, and more.
Written in the midst of last year’s lockdown, Nana Yamato breaks away from the weariness of isolation on her debut album Before Sunrise. Music has served as an escape hatch for the 20-year-old Yamato, who would retreat to Big Love Records in Harajuku after school regularly to find solace among the stacks. Released by Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts’ Dull Tools label, the record explores Yamato’s place within the fabric of Tokyo—a city she describes as lonely at its core—via daydream pop, pairing MIDI blips, DIY beats, gleeful guitar pop, and neon-lit romance.
With The Pet Parade, Eric D. Johnson heads into Fruit Bats’ twentieth year with a rolling, easy charm. While his main band has remained at the core of his musical practice, Johnson has spent the past few years expanding creatively, scoring films, touring with The Shins, and joining up with fellow folk explorers Anaïs Mitchell and Josh Kaufman in Bonny Light Horseman. These outings offered new perspectives, which subtly shade the nostalgia and reflection at the heart of the new lp. Johnson joined us for a discussion about the new album, home recording, the pandemic, and how it feels to walk his musical path for two decades
Creative expression and religious witness abide side by side in Natalie Bergman’s music. Raised in a faithful family of musicians, songwriters, and artists, Bergman and her brother Elliot took to the family trade, forming the rhythmic and varied duo Wild Belle, pulling from Afrobeat, reggae, post-punk, and hip-hop. One October night in 2019, Natalie and Elliot were ready to take the stage together at Radio City when they received a call that their father and stepmother had been killed by a drunk driver.
It’s not a concept album per se, but there is an overarching tender spirit unifying Lenker’s riffs and distinctive lyrics, which string together examinations of time and nature, contrasting the way a jagged coastline is shaped by the wind and the effect a lover has on their partner as the days drift by. On songs, the sounds are raw—it’s hard not to exhale a sigh of relief listening to rain hit her cabin roof—but the feel is expansive: sorrow and hope share same landscape. Time gives, but it takes too. Lenker’s songs are fitting companions as late autumn makes its transition into another sharp winter.