Finally after years of ardently building a loyal legion of fans both in their Bay Area haunts and elsewhere, Waterstrider are capitalizing on all the anticipation and gradually applied creative potential with their debut full length album Nowhere Now.
By now the Oakland based fivesome have given enough of a preview at what you to expect on their album with all the excellent singles released so far – from last year’s “Redwood” to the blistering, percussion-heavy title track that you should be firmly onboard but if that’s still not the case, you can now listen to the whole album before deciding if you want to buy it (which you totally should).
Waterstrider’s debut full length Nowhere Now is out now.
The last thing the world needs is another surf rock band and yet IF there were going to be the genre is in no safer hands than that of Matthew Meade, whose work with Friend Roulette is all about dismantling and reconfiguring chamber pop innovatively to great results. Spritzer, is Meade’s take on beach pop and rather like Friend Roulette there’s a lot more to it than the typical characteristics of the genre like vibrant melodies and bright, summery guitar riffs namely in the darker dissatisfaction in the lyrics. It’s not just sunny days and choice swells on Meade’s beach and he finds a perfect balance between the upbeat jangle and the deeper frustration that can’t quite be buried beneath the buoyant shuffle.
While I’m still waiting for the release of their debut full length Rambutan on this side of the pond, London’s Landshapes are clearly pressing forward with the recent announcement of sophomore record Heyoon. “Stay”, the second single from their upcoming follow up jaunt probably puts as much distance as possible between the folk pop of their Lulu and the Lampshades days and is perhaps all the better for it. In a page out of Peggy Sue’s playbook, the foursome have turned sweet harmonies into the haunting and mysterious, traded dueling ukuleles in for blistering guitar and bass.
Landshapes may have debuted their more mature turn in Rambutan single “In Limbo” but “Stay” finds them growing even more – weaving together dense textures with ominously delivered hooks. There’s no denying Landshapes are still adept at crafting infectious music but on “Stay” they pair that with an exploration of textures and experimentation with song composition for a song on just the right side of wrong. Luisa Gerstein, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, and Jemma Freeman imbue their sweltering siren song with a warrior’s fervor while Dan Blackett’s drums sets the shadowy amble on its dark course.
Landshapes sophomore record Heyoon is out May 4th in the UK on Bella Union with US release details forthcoming.
The world needs a whole lot more of this. I’m not blogging as often as I used to, but this reminds me exactly why I started IGIF nearly a decade ago, and gently pushes me to keep it going. Hits me right in the feels. Watch here »
While normally Kingston duo Shana Falana fall somewhere comfortably in the middle of dream and psych pop, on “Heavenstay” the first single from their upcoming record Set Your Lightning Fire Free finds the duo channeling the spirit of 80’s pop rock.
On “Heavenstay” lifts the meditative chant from their In the Light EP’s “Light the Fire” and gives it a treatment not unlike candying an apple. The vocals are saccharine, true, but the harmonies catapult it to euphoric highs and there’s just the right amount of rock grit towards its climactic surge that it doesn’t feel like Shana Falana are making too much of a departure. It’s a short, aggressively sweet introduction to Shana Falana’s upcoming full length that falls on just the right side of pop rock confection.
Shana Falana’s Set Your Lightning Fire Free is out April 7th on Team Love Records.