Jeff Tweedy ghosts you, Mitski rocks the walk, Clinic laugh it up, Imperial Daze get hazy and more in today’s Roundup. Why won’t the Canada Post delivery person look me in the eye when she delivers packages to my house? Is it something I did?
1Jeff Tweedy is getting warmer. And so are you — since Warmer is the title of the Wilco frontman’s new album. A fittingly titled sister disc to last year’s Warm, it was recorded at the same time, and is being released in a limited edition on Saturday to celebrate this year’s Record Store Day. Here’s a taste: The T.Rexish, suitably swirly acoustic rocker Family Ghost. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Lead single Family Ghost is a reflection on the difficulty of understanding and eliminating the types of casual and systemic racism pervasive in Jeff’s southern Illinois upbringing. The song’s accompanying video distorts footage of crowds until the images are an unrecognizable sea of color and beauty.” Roger that:
2 Mitski is tired of your money — or at least that’s what she claims on the song Drunk Walk Home, from her 2014 album Bury Me at Makeout Creek. But since people understandably never get tired of the idiosyncratic performer and her latest album Be the Cowboy, here’s a live video of her and her band unleashing a devastatingly heavy version of Drunk Walk Home, filmed during one of four sold-out shows late last year in Brooklyn. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I asked filmmaker, Derrick Belcham, to film some of the four Brooklyn Steel dates we did at the end of last year’s US tour, mostly to commemorate the first big Be The Cowboy tour, especially since I knew we wouldn’t repeat the same set again after that round of tours,” Mitski comments. “Now that we’ve started to tour a new set this year, I wanted to put this video out as a goodbye to this old set, and a thank you to everyone who came to the shows last year.” No wonder she’s tired:
3 It’s been seven years since we last heard from the sugeon-masked weirdos of Liverpool’s Clinic. But based on their latest single Laughing Cavalier, time has not straightened them out one iota. Reminiscent of The Residents and Syd-era Pink Floyd, the warped little platter of retro-jangle is an appetizer for their upcoming eighth album Wheeltappers and Shunters, titled after a bizarre 1970s British variety show. Because of course. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Wheeltappers and Shunters is neither a celebration nor a denigration of the culture of the era in which Ade Blackburn and his collaborator-in-chief, Jonathan Hartley, grew up. “It’s a satirical take on British culture – high and low,” explains Blackburn. “It fascinates me that people look back on the 1970s as the glory days. It’s emerged that there was a darker, more perverse side to that time. When you look back on it now it was quite clearly there in mainstream culture.” Ha ha ha, ho ho ho:
4 You can mind the store. You can mind the gap. And thanks to London psych-pop band Imperial Daze, you can now mind the haze. And you can watch the crack combo Minding the Haze — and previewing their June 7 EP Surfaces Sensibles — in this performance clip of their expansively groovy number, filmed live at Electric Eel Studio. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Minding the Haze is a slice of sunny psychedelia which the band describe as “a melancholic picture of a fleeting hazy summer spent as a teenager, engrossed in youthful romance, wilful boredom and insouciance.” You won’t mind at all:
5 Music or video games? Sometimes it’s hard to choose between the two. Thankfully, Toronto indie quintet Good Kid make it easy for you with their energetically hooky new song Slingshot, which blends old-school graphics and video-game synths with some sugary, scrappy pop-rock. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Written about childhood rivalries and the frustration & urgencies of being a kid, we took a lot of inspiration from the rambunctious tales of friends turned bitter enemies found in our favourite fantasy and anime series. We also drew on our own experiences of growing up in small towns where you’re stuck with what you get.” Play now:
6 You might think you can’t pick your birthplace. You’d be wrong — at least according to singer-songwriter Kris Kelly, whose ethereally beautiful folkchestral single Birthplace serves as a splendid introduction of his forthcoming debut album Runaways, due this summer. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Kris Kelly is a singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Austin, TX, he moved to New York City at the age of 17 to attend NYU, where he studied classical vocal performance and music composition. For years he performed his original compositions for guitar, vocals, flute, violin, bass, and percussion at many popular NYC venues.” Who let the dog out?
7 Some people just aren’t made for the weekday working world. Keeley Rochon, the singer of Vancouver’s Dead Soft, is one of them — judging by the chorus of the dreamy psychedelic strummer The Static. I’ll let her explain. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nat and I wrote this song during the last year we lived in Vancouver. I was struggling with deep-seated mental illness and would take the number 9 bus to work every morning filled with all-consuming dread and panic for no reason that was apparent to me at the time. Every moment was a sickening struggle and the only way to prevent myself from smashing my way out of the crowded bus was to create and recite mantras in my head. “I don’t know why I panic, wild is the wind and so is the static” was one that stuck with me.” Me too:
8 Is it just me, or are TLC having a moment these days? First Weezer celebrated Left Eye, T-Boz and Chilli with their sassy version of Scrubs on their self-titled Teal Album. Now London indie-rockers Ten Fé have covered their hit Waterfalls — and done an incredibly loving job, with a version that starts off sweetly a cappella and then evolves and swells to a majestic, anthemic close. Chase this down. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “A beautiful a cappella which shows off the band’s 4-part harmony and builds to an almighty instrumental ending.” Go with the flow:
9 Breakfast in bed is a treat. Bed in breakfast, not so much. Unless, of course, you happen to be talking about Brooklyn psychedelic art-pop quintet Toebow’s charmingly noodly new single Bed in Breakfast. Then you can count me in — and put me down for another helping when their album Themes comes out May 24. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Awake is better. Enter the ethereal mental playground of five bleary-eyed musicians who just woke up. Coming into consciousness, they discover that Tucky, a new friend, is gone– was he just a dream all along?” Come back, Tucky!
10 Sometimes, the man of your dreams isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Especially when he won’t get out of your dreams after you split. Take it from Toronto indie-folk singer-songwriter Merival, whose Joni Mitchellesque single I With Mine — from her upcoming debut album Lesson — puts it elegantly and movingly. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I With Mine is the sonic representation of a dream-like state. I walked around in this space for a period of time, fuzzy-headed, mind racing with fantasies that felt both painful and exciting. For months on end, I had weekly intense dreams about someone I had dated 6-7 years prior, someone who played a very formative role in my life. It began to feel like a funny loop I had created for myself – this magnetism to somebody who had hurt me very badly but who had nothing to do with my current life. I feared I might have to deal with these thoughts for years to come. I felt powerless. If that person had called me up and asked to see me during that period, I don’t think I would have been able to say no.” Wakey-wakey:
11 Many artists have a lot to say about their music. Then there’s the exotically named long-distance electro duo Løzninger and Kitowski — an American singer-songwriter girl based in Houston and a French singer-songwriter-producer based in Brooklyn — who keep it short and sweet on the press release for their dreamy new single Perforee, which cleverly borrows some clips from the movie Detour to complement it’s noirish, twangy vibe. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It sounds like Massive Attack scoring Dario Argento.” Close enough: