Nightstalker get out the knives, Jeremy Ivey walks it off, Misha Bower goes midway and more in today’s Roundup. Get on your bikes and ride!
1 One of the many things I have learned from doing this site: Greece has an awesome stoner-rock scene. Don’t take my word for it — check out the latest in a long line of killer cuts to grace this space: Sweet Knife, a fine slow-burner from Athens vets Nightstalker. The Sabbathy slab comes from their Oct. 4 album Great Hallucinations, and if this is any sign, it might live up to the first half of its name. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Great Hallucinations will hit your soul straight away. Its eight blistering tracks ooze with the band’s colorful sound imprint of punchy bass lines, galvanising riffs, all together with Argy’s powerful and soulful vocal. Listen to Nightstalker and you’ll figure out why Greece is the perfect country for stoner rock and why its scene is one of the most thriving worldwide.” Told ya:
2 Some days I think everything in this world is just getting worse and worse. Other days I get a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, things will work out somehow. I can’t tell you whether Nashville singer-songwriter Jeremy Ivey’s mood swings the same way — but based on Diamonds Back to Coal, the thoughtfully twangy first single from his Sept. 13 debut The Dream and The Dreamer, it’s clear we share the same doubts from time to time. On the plus side, I have no doubts about the fact that I want to hear more from him. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I wrote Diamonds Back To Coal during a very frustrating week in America,” Ivey said. “It was the week that the Vegas shootings and the alt-right march happened. The slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is an influence on the chorus. [Because] if anything, we’re making the environment worse. When we came and infiltrated the Native Americans’ way of living, we started reversing the beauty that this land had. It has to do with modern man being a trespasser.” Get a move on:
3 The carnival midway can be the most joyous place on Earth — or the saddest, depending on your mood. I know how I feel about it. I’m not going to tell you how it goes in Misha Bower’s video for Trying to Have It All, the title cut from her debut solo album. I’ll just say that it’s very sweet of the singer-songwriter to give away her prizes to passing children. Even if she does have to ride the Ferris wheel by herself. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Set against the backdrop of a nighttime carnival, the environment provides the perfect setting for a song whose character has a constant eye out for possibilities on the horizon. “The bigger ride, the better prize, the chance that life will deliver an experience that quenches desire once and for all,” says Bower.” Do you wanna go faster?
4 How are you spending your summer? Boating on the lake? Walking in the woods? Cooking over the campfire? Fooling around with your best friends? Making silly videos? Congratulations: You’re living the life of an indie-rock band. Assuming, of course, that the indie-rock band in question are Seattle vets Chastity Belt. Either way, their self-made clip for the heartfelt and breezy song Ann’s Jam — the first preview of their self-titled Sept. 20 album — should make you feel right at home. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chastity Belt’s energy is like a circuit, circling around the silly and the sincere. Tongue-in-cheek shit-shooting and existential rumination feed into each other infinitely. Theirs is a long-term relationship, and that loop sustains them. That’s a creative thesis in and of itself, but isn’t that also just the mark of a true-blue friendship?” Get out the selfie stick:
5 There have been some great punk anthems written about life in the big city. Like, say, Fear’s I Love Livin’ in the City. Or The Jam’s In the City. And Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities to Love. You get the point; the list goes on and on. And now you can add another entry to it: Metropolis, the new-old track from Ontario punks Single Mothers. Play it loud enough for the neighbours to hear. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vocalist Drew Thomson explains … ‘I had recently moved apartments and my old landlord had sold the building we lived in and kicked everyone out. There was a real estate boom and we were all seemingly in the middle of it … I was just venting. A few years before I was living in my van. Sometimes it takes all the energy you have just to keep the lights on.’ ” But the suburban scumbags, they don’t care:
6 Some bands personify to their name. Some don’t. Dizzy do not — and in a very good way. These Oshawa popsters aren’t some sugar-buzzed pop-punk kids blasting out breathless ditties. On their latest single Heavy — which also is a bit of a misnomer, come to think of it — they deliver the sort of glistening melody and gorgeous melancholy that makes you think maybe they should have called themselves Dreamy. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Heavy is a song about feeling sad for long periods of time and being afraid to tell others what you’re going through in fear of hurting or worrying them,” vocalist Katie Munshaw explains. “I wrote it after a span of touring where we’d been away from home for a long time. I think touring is publicly made out to be exciting but often times, for me at least, it can feel monotonous and lonely, and can incite a lot of self-doubt.” Heavy indeed:
7 It never hurts to expand your musical horizons. And here’s a fine way to do it: By checking out Last Straw, the instrumental single from London jazz collective Nerija’s Aug. 2 album Blume. It’s got a decently funky groove, some strong solos, a vibrant energy and other laudable qualities that help it go down smooth even if you’re not a jazz fan. Try it and hear for yourself. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The new track, composed by Sheila Maurice-Grey with solos from Sheila on trumpet and Nubya Garcia on tenor saxophone, is one of the more dancefloor-ready moments on Blume, perfectly exemplifying the collaborative nature of the band.” Free your mind: