J Mascis gets petty, Black Belt Eagle Scout hits home, Tokyo Police Club keep it simple, Roots of a Rebellion jam, Faye Webster gets plucky and more in today’s Roundup. On your marks … get set … rock!
1 The good news: Dinosaur Jr. majordomo and all-around king weirdo J Mascis has recorded and released a cover of Tom Petty’s classic Don’t Do Me Like That, starring his trademark creaking pipes and fuzzy guitar abuse. The bad news: It’s not the first track from a massive box set entitled J. Mascis Covers Every Song Ever Written. Come on J, get on that. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This cover is chock-full of the classic Mascis shred that we’ve come to know and love.” This is how you do it:
2 You can go home again. At least, that’s what Black Belt Eagle Scout’s Katherine Paul apparently does in the beautifully scenic video for her majestic new track Loss & Relax. The single, which builds from a spellbinding soother to a noisy Crazy Horse folk-rock cyclone, is out April 26. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Loss & Relax is an ode to Paul’s ancestors, past, present, and future, and informed by the experience of traveling home. It was first written in Anacortes following the recording of 2018’s Mother of My Children when Paul was particularly full of emotion and pride.” With good reason:
3 Keeping it simple is seldom a bad idea. Especially when you’re singing a simple song called Simple Dude — which is what Tokyo Police Club frontman David Monks is doing in this intimate, live-in-the-studio acoustic solo performance of the track from their latest album TPC. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Written over the course of 2017 in a church in remote rural Ontario, TPC marks a fresh beginning for a band who have been playing together since high school … Plugging in and playing for the sheer fun of it for the first time in years, they discovered that the songs came easy, crackling with the raw energy of a band falling in love with music all over again.” Simple, no?
4 Tokyo Police Club aren’t the only ones bringing it from the studio today. Nashville reggae-rock jammers Roots of a Rebellion take a break from recording to unveil the mellow, horn-dappled pop of Shapes of a Soul — the title track from their upcoming album — live at their hometown Castle Recording Studios. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Roots of a Rebellion pride themselves on playing heavy reggae/rock/dub music for the soul. Known for their dynamic live shows showcasing their progressive sound and energy, the band was once voted Best Local Band in Nashville Scene‘s reader’s poll.” Rebellion ain’t what it used to be:
5 Sometimes you’re in the mood for quirky indie-folk. Sometimes you’re in the mood for laid-back hip-hop. But what about when you’re in the mood for both? That’s the time to spin songs like Flowers, idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Faye Webster’s collaboration with rapper Father — and the latest single from her upcoming album Atlanta Millionaires Club. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Flowers serves as an homage to Father and Awful Records, the Atlanta rap collective who helped start her career. According to Webster: “During My Time on Awful I learned a lot about making music with other members. It was refreshing because you don’t think about it and it’s always a spontaneous thing to be in the same room as someone and start working on a song without over thinking. This song is one of those.” No kidding:
6 All these years I’ve been using my laser pointer to entertain the cat. Turns out I could have been making videos with it to entertain people. That’s what I learned today from watching the fittingly freaky clip for married duo Mass Gothic’s How I Love You, the understatedly trippy single from their recent album I’ve Tortured You Long Enough. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: Mass Gothic’s Jessica Zambri says of the song, “The lights turned on for me. Committing to something can be relieving, even pleasurable. I used to think I had to protect myself from anything that I perceived to get in the way of making music, but all that did was close me off. Whatever is happening I want to enjoy it. I wrote this song as a reminder to live and not be lived.” Follow the red dot:
7 All these years I’ve been using a piece of red string to entertain the cat. Turns out I could have been making videos with it to entertain people. That’s what I learned today from watching the stylishly nautircal clip for singer-songwriter Hayden Thorpe’s Love Crimes, the hypnotic piano-pop charmer from his upcoming album Diviner. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Diviner is a deeply emotional album: lyrically generous in its candid tone and self-awareness, the melodies resonant with sense memory. The album feels like a startling departure from Thorpe’s previous work with Wild Beasts and also unlike anything else being made at the moment.” String it out:
8 Sometime, somebody should do a tribute disc of In the Wind songs. You know: There’s Elton John’s Candle in the Wind, Kansas’s Dust in the Wind, Peter Paul & Mary’s In the Wind — and now, Ribbon in the Wind, the gorgeous new single from indie-folksinger My Father’s Son (a.k.a. Montreal’s Mark Kulmala). Pity he couldn’t convince a single person to come and watch him film the video. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a very personal song I wrote just after turning 30,” Kulmala shares. “The further I get away from childhood, the more I find myself looking back on it. It’s about how time ahead is seemingly infinite, and the time behind was only a moment.” A moment in the wind?
9 As Maureen McGovern reminded us oh so long ago, there’s got to be a morning after. (Actually, she called it the morning “aaaaafffffteeerrrrrr,” but you get the idea.) Of course, as Toronto electro-pop oddballs Bon Villan know only too well, what really counts is the night before — and whether you went All the Way, as they obviously did in their slow-grooving, soft-voiced single and its black-lit celebratory video. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video for All the Way was produced by PRESS IT and features cameos by members of MONOWHALES and MKLA.” Way?
10 Life is full of surprises — and the occasional natural disaster. Coincidentally, Natural Disaster, the latest single from singer-guitarist (and former Sullivan frontman) Brooks Paschal’s new project Surprises, is full of life. Specifically in the form of power-pop hooks, emo-tinged melodies and an infectious singalong chorus laced with NSFW profanities. Surprise! SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Natural Disaster is a concentrated amalgamation of all the driving, melodic, soaring, and fragile moments that made Paschal’s previous work with Sullivan so appealing.” Naturally:
11 Escalators. Pet groomers. Giant crabs. Video games. Dog butts. Sidewalk art. A well-mannered deer. And funhouse-mirror camera work. What does it all mean? Well, in this case, it means that French musicias World Brain — real name: Lucas Chantre — has released a video for his new single Hypertext, a sensual, swirling slice of synth-pop strangeness from his impending Peer 2 Peer album. At least, that’s what I think it means. Your mileage, as always, may vary. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The track is more on the pop-side compared to the rest of the album. A lush synth pop track with lyrics about the internet.” The world is yours:
12 Some missions are life-changing. Others, not so much. Thy Mission, the latest lo-fi punk-pop single from California twin-sibling duo The Garden — featuring an assist from ubiquitous Canadian-born hipster Mac DeMarco — probably falls into the latter category. And that’s OK. Not everything has to be a big deal, you know. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Thy Mission began as a demo for a future album. Interested in the idea of features, The Garden sent the track to their friend Mac DeMarco for his ideas. Together they spent a full day collaborating in DeMarco’s home studio in Los Angeles. By midnight a result was reached that they all liked and Thy Mission was born.” But who did they consult about this promo pic?
13 Here’s a new one for you: Swiss band We Are Interview call their musical style Frontal Rock. I have no idea what that’s supposed to me. Frontal like full-frontal? Frontal like confrontational? Frontal as opposed to backward? Ah well, no matter. All you need to know is that on their latest single and video Chicago, they rock out respectably (and frontally, one assumes) with the help of radio-ready riffs and a driving beat. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “In 2013, John (vocals/guitar) and Kim (bass) coming from various musical origins, decided to launch themselves into a new rock project called INTRVIEW and later We Are Interview, which is both impulsive and powerful.” That’s up-front of them: