The Shinola | Demob Happy, Sonic Tides, Hotline TNT & More Explosive Hits

All the things that are cool — and none of the things that suck.

Every day I get hundreds of new singles, videos, EPs and albums from artists, publicists, managers and record labels around the world. And here’s the honest truth: Most of them are crap. You know it. I know it. Even the people pitching me know it, whether or not they’ll admit it. But within that avalanche of mediocrity, I sometimes find nuggets of awesomeness. And I compile them into this all-killer, no-filler rundown. You’re welcome. Let’s get to it:


Demob Happy | Sweet & Sour America

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s our ode to America, a country we love… a beautiful and complex place,” says singer/bassist Matthew Mercantonio of Brighton alt-rock trio Demob Happy about their new single Sweet & Sour America. Released in advance of their upcoming North American tour — their first venture Stateside since 2019 — the single highlights the band’s penchant for riff-driven rhythms wrapped around Velcro-like melodic hooks. “It’s about the good and bad of the country. You see a lot of things on month-long tours on the road — beautiful things and terrible things — but it always remains an enigmatic place. This is our ode to the strange dichotomy of America.” Entwined in Adam Godfrey’s minor guitar chords and Thomas Armstrong’s muscular beats, Mercantonio’s vocals dangerously swerve around the track like an Indie race car. “The song came from a warmup jam we’d been playing for a while,” he explains. “We didn’t want it to sound too grand. We purposefully wanted it to sound like a band playing in a little beat-up rehearsal room in the middle of some forgotten town, unsure what all the dials on their amps do and with only one inherited old half-broken guitar pedal between them. Basically, Demob in the early days!”

Sonic Tides | The Maze, Pt.1

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Noisy post-rockers Sonic Tides proudly release The Maze, Pt.1, the first single from their upcoming EP Six Sided Square, scheduled for Oct. 13. As if navigating a labyrinth of complexities, The Maze, Pt.1 adeptly captures a sense of entrapment and desperation, reflecting the relentless pursuit of an elusive escape. This intricate composition paints a vivid picture of an inescapable cycle, mirroring the struggle to break free from suffocating circumstances. The poignant lyrics serve as a mirror to the emotional turmoil of seeking an escape that seems just beyond reach, while an external force lingers beyond the maze’s confining walls.”

Hotline TNT | I Thought You’d Change

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hotline TNT, the project of Brooklyn musician Will Anderson, announced their new album and Third Man Records debut Cartwheel, and presented the lead single/video I Thought You’d Change. It turns up the tempo and turns the tables, allowing two jilted lovers to offer their bemused but bummed takes on what happened between them. “There’s a part of me that still feels weird,” Anderson admits as the drums cave in around him, wondering if there’s still a chance even as he knows that there probably shouldn’t be.”

Ida Mae | Feel The World Turning

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Feel the World Turning was written as a kind of hymn,” the duo write. “We wanted to share something of what we’d felt when traveling through quiet remote communities and stepping into other peoples worlds for a short moment. It’s deeply personal to our time spent together on the road. It would give us a great sense of peace and appreciation (as well as being a little nerve wracking) pulling into a motel or hotel on the edge of the highway and finding a bar or cafe of locals with incredible stories.”

Jaime Wyatt | Love Is A Place

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This is one of my favorite songs on the whole album, dudes!! A song about my first love, but it’s a love song for everyone. Single or partnered, Love is A Place you can always go. I’ve never actually written a song singing to another woman, and I’d like to dedicate this song to the guy in Nashville who told me I can’t sing about ‘that gay shit.’ Please help me prove that goober wrong and share the song with folks you think might enjoy! Also, I hope this song brings you as much joy as it’s brought me.”

Cinnamon Gum | Mona Lisa

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Seductive, unattainable, ideal — this is how the portrait of one of the most popular women in the painting world is described. In Cinnamon Gum’s song behind the painting is love, platonic, but also full of romance and fantasy. Cinnamon Gum invite you to a story full of sweetness but also bitterness. Mona Lisa is a second single announcing Cinnamon Gum’s debut album. Inspired by ’70s soul hits, Mona Lisa is a story of fantasy and desire. The single was produced by Maciej Milewski (MaJLo), who wanted to replicate the sound of artists such as Curtis Mayfield and Al Green and invited his friends great musicians to participate in the recording. Paul Gold of New York’s SaltMastering studio (Sharon Jones, LCD Soundsystem) worked on the final shape of the album.”

Church Girls | Nightmare Nights

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Philly four-piece Church Girls write propulsive melodies and achingly vulnerable lyrics wrapped in the throbbing anxiety of post-punk and joyous aggression of pop-punk. Formed in 2014 by Mariel Beaumont, they have toured extensively across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Europe.”

Naima Bock | So Long, Marianne

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I first found out about Leonard Cohen’s So Long Marianne when I was walking in Fordham Park in New Cross, London as a young teenager. I saw ‘To laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again’ inscribed on a bench plate in memory of a woman called Marianne (this bench has now sadly gone). The lyrics touched me in a profound way, and I remember crying a little when I saw them. These words in the context of someone’s passing were so profound and (for me) encompassed all of life and its constant tides. Of course, I later went home and listened to the hell out of Mr. Cohen, which I would continue to do for many years after, always finding safety in his voice and words.”

Guppy | Texting & Driving

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: None that I could find. But the lyrics are fantastic: “I’m catching Kony. It’s me – I got him / I made a trade for Osama Bin Laden / Mission accomplished because America’s awesome / They wrote the scripture and I’m just their Gollum / And I chose to believe them.”

Jesus Gomez | El Rey Del Timbal

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jesús Gómez y su Grupo has been a vinyl jewel impossible to find for decades, a musical treasure ahead of its time with a prodigious voice. Jesús Gómez had not even reached the age of majority when he embarked on the adventure of recording and producing his own album, bringing together songs from the main Afro-Latin rhythms of the moment to which he contributed all his fantastic explosion of creativity. Not long ago, he had earned the epithet of “The Child Prodigy of the Song” which led him to explore and gain experiences in the paths of music since his youth, a passion, but also a craft, that his mother had instilled in him since his childhood and that he shared with other members of his family. Different rhythms, styles, and learnings hardened Jesús so that at only 17 years old he could deliver such a fantastic work, a clairvoyant sound of pure Salsa even before it became fashionable to call this type of music that way.”