The Shinola | Dion Lunadon, Larkin Poe, Office Dog & More Winning Tickets

All the stuff that rules. None of the stuff that sucks. What could be better?

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:


Dion Lunadon | Secrets

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2022 Henry Rollins heard an early version of Dion Lunadon’s sophomore album Beyond Everything. He liked it so much that he suggested to Larry Hardy at In The Red Records that he should release it. He did. Just over a year later and ITR are set to release Dion’s third album Systems Edge on Nov. 14. The first single is called Secrets and is a fiery little power punker accompanied by a video directed by Dion. The video features a full band performance shot raw on DV camcorder. Dion says about the video, “I wanted to capture a band performance without any smoke and mirrors. An honest feel and vibe that would visually accompany the sentiment of the song.”

Larkin Poe | Bad Spell (Acoustic)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Larkin Poe — the Grammy-nominated duo of Georgia-bred, Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell — have unveiled a new EP collecting stripped-down versions of four fan favorites. Bad Spell (Acoustic) is the first song to be released from An Acoustic Companion, which arrives Oct. 5. “In our world, almost all of our songs start out ‘acoustic,’” say Rebeccca, “with quiet beginnings at the kitchen table on an acoustic guitar. In recording An Acoustic Companion, we really enjoyed stripping a handful of our songs back down to their roots and we hope folks will enjoy getting an earful of these songs as they originally came into being.” Megan adds: “From the jump, Bad Spell was intended to be a big, bad, swaggy rock song, but we’ve found that there’s nothing more creatively freeing than challenging and burning down one’s own preconceived notions. We did just that in re-envisioning the arrangement for Bad Spell and letting it bloom into new life.”

Office Dog | Big Air

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Office Dog release their debut album Spiel on Jan. 26. Hailing from Auckland by way of Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand, the trio are led by the critically acclaimed songwriter Kane Strang. The 12-song Spiel was produced by De Stevens (Marlin’s Dreaming) at Roundhead Studios and was recorded over the course of two days, tracking into the early hours of the morning. Office Dog fearlessly explore the depths of complex emotions through layers of tension and release ,while Spiel serves an introspective view on profound experiences, turmoil, and hopeful prospect. Today, they shared the video for the first single, Big Air. The song was inspired by life’s triumphant turbulence, echoed in its energy and dissonant breakdowns. Kane says, “Big Air came about during a period where I was living back in Dunedin. Lyrically, I think it’s about life’s peaks and troughs and how sometimes with a big high there’s a heavy low that follows. With the video though, I like that it just focuses on this first part — the comedown never comes and it’s just these three kids having a day completely to themselves, catching some big air.”

Joan Smith & the Jane Does | Irrational Anthem

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Presenting a full cycle of songs from the very early pandemic through to the ‘after times’, Toronto band Joan Smith & The Jane Does’ upcoming album Do Me Some Harm encapsulates the struggles of the music industry, mental isolation, the emotions of an immature relationship following through into mature hopelessness, as well as irreverent humour and of course many, many guitars. The first six tracks represent the Jane Does’ most recent output and are mixed by Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Chris Cornell). The next six tracks were originally released during the thick of the pandemic, and have been remastered for this release by Noah Mintz.”

Patio | Inheritance

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Next week Patio will release their sophomore LP Collection. Produced by Nate Amos of Water From Your Eyes, the album is the followup to their acclaimed 2019 debut LP Essentials. Today, the band are sharing a final preview from the record, a dub-inspired dance track entitled Inheritance. Inspired by classic ’80s bands like Pylon, Bush Tetras and New Order, Inheritance was conceived as a shadowy sister song to Relics, utilizing a dense network of cultural and historical references to further explore the idea of generational trauma. As the band explain: “Inheritance summons the forces of southern Italian folklore, weaving together myths, stories, and allusions to family history, cult ’80s punk, and proto-Renaissance art.”

Desire Marea | If You Know

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “South Africa-based artist Desire Marea has announced news of a new EP, The Baddies of Isandlwana, alongside the Triana Hernandez-directed video for If You Know. The new EP, out on Nov. 9, is “a trio of songs inspired by my time living in Amandawe, KZN. It’s an infusion of sounds that dominate nightlife in SA such as Gqom, Amapiano and Afrobeat. The EP is symbolic of a time when I was trying to find myself in the world I occupied, which extended to my ongoing quest to find myself in history, hence the title.” Talking about the video, director Triana Hernandez explains: “If You Know is inspired by that long-gone but never forgotten ‘80s period when pop clips were serving flamboyant, abstract and melodramatic. Desire and I wanted to pay homage to this iconic period through a modern, queer and dreamcore lens.”

The Howdies | Hello, Jukebox

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Howdies will release their debut album Howdies All Around on Sept. 29. The 11-song set was co-produced by T. Hardy Morris and David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Sugar) in the band’s hometown of Athens, GA, and mastered by John Baldwin at RCA Studio A in Nashville. Today, they share the video for the album’s leadoff track Hello, Jukebox. The band say the song “is a little tune about the power of the pool hall and the joy of the jukebox. An ode to all the rundown barrooms and back rooms. The place folks go to forget their troubles, if only for a little while, in the glow of the laughter and the neon lights.”

Hearscape | Promised Me

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Lyon-based sensational progressive pop/rock ensemble Hearscape proudly unveiled their provocative music video for the emotionally charged track Promised Me, taken from their acclaimed album Transient. It isn’t just a song; it’s a journey through the complexities of a toxic relationship. The lyrics delve deep into the raw emotions and scars that anyone who’s been through such an ordeal can relate to. This track becomes an emotional outlet for those who’ve experienced the tumultuous ride of love gone wrong. The video for Promised Me is a true collaborative gem. Crafted by a team of enthusiastic first-year students from a filmmaking school, it encapsulates the vibrant energy of young talent stepping into the spotlight. From directing to filming, every aspect of the video exudes the creative passion of these emerging artists.”

Dirty Sound Magnet | Lonely Bird

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With an impressive track record of over 500 shows throughout Europe, U.K., and Mexico, three studio albums, and a captivating live record since 2017, Switzerland’s Dirty Sound Magnet are an unstoppable, unbreakable force of rock. The uniqueness of their mesmerising music and kinetic live performances has won audiences the world over. Their show is unpredictable; shamanic stage presence, rock star charisma, instrumental prowess, poetic vocals,tantalising dynamics. Expect the unexpected. As teenagers from Fribourg, Stavros Dzodzos (guitar, vocals), Marco Mottolini (bass, backing vocals), and Maxime Cosandey (drums, backing vocals) devoured hundreds of albums, while rehearsing with great intensity. Their passion rapidly turned into an addiction and total dedication to their art. Years of experimentation and practice led to the creation of the DSM sound, and the DSM way of life. The plan has always been the same and is quite simple: “There is no plan B.”

Roe Kapara | The Dead Come Talking

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As brisk nights sneak up on warm summer days, St. Louis-born, L.A.-based singer-songwriter Roe Kapara returns with a spine-tingling new single, The Dead Come Talking. He dabbles in the macabre in a similar vein as Everyone’s Dying (Grandma’s Drunk Again) or ’90s cult-horror inspired Preacher from his recent EP, I Hope Hell Isn’t Real. On The Dead Come Talking, Kapara masterfully crafts eerie lyricism into entrancing melodies emboldened by his raw vocals. An ominously plucky intro builds to a chorus that conjures the uncanny sensation of a spectral chase; but though he teases the surreal, the new song is firmly rooted in this dimension: “Once the person who was supposed to love you most in this world becomes the thing you fear the most, there will never truly be a successful escape,” he reflects. “Even their death could never end the lingering pain that comes to haunt your mind. The Dead Come Talking is a reminder of why you needed to escape abusers from your past, because they could never learn to love you without destroying everything that you loved about yourself. They are better off as ghosts.”

Dopelord | The Chosen One

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Oct. 6 will see Poland’s doom metal giants Dopelord release their colossal fifth studio album Songs for Satan. Following the debut single Night Of The Witch and a recent tour as special guests of Vader, the Warsaw four-piece present their new single and video The Chosen One! Having paved the way for Polish doom metal for over a decade by sticking to their strictly DIY ethos and hard work, Dopelord are about to open a new chapter of its history. About their new single, the band reveal: “The song is about being delusional and thinking god/devil is speaking to you directly while you’re probably a highly disturbed person.”

Derek Smalls | Must Crush Barbie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Derek Smalls, the bass force formerly of the fabled heavy metal band Spinal Tap, is back with a vengeance — this time with his sights firmly set on the movie phenomenon of 2023, that advocate of everything pink and fluffy, Barbie. The self-described embodiment of lukewarm water reaches boiling point with Smalls’ first track in five years, Must Crush Barbie, an excoriating attack on the pink sensation available everywhere. Must Crush Barbie possesses the trademark qualities that Smalls and Spinal Tap are known for — raw, bass-heavy, and most importantly, LOUD, offering a much-needed antidote to the ubiquitous pinkness that has spilled out of movie theatres this summer and onto the high streets with wall-to-wall media coverage. “Been spending the last year or so as brand ambassador for BruegelCoin, the Dutch cryptocurrency,” says Smalls. “Since it was cratering this past spring, I was following the news more than usual, which is where I got bombarded by all the Barbie BS. I don’t know which angered me more, but it’s really hard to write a song about crypto. But the overwhelming shroud of pinkness definitely deserved a major pricking. And that’s where I came in.”

Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country | Hi-Country

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Daniel Donato has released the new track Hi-Country off his highly anticipated upcoming sophomore album Reflector, out Nov. 10. Led by jaunty pedal steel atop a shuffling rhythm, Hi-Country is an uplifting track with jubilant chorus. “There is a fine line between what is real and what is your imagination, but yet, both inform each other,” says Donato. “Hi-Country is a symbol of this strange ever-present duality in life. It is a place that you are en route to physically, yet spiritually, you are already there. Life is but a day’s work, and ‘you got all day to make it true…’ in the Hi-Country.”

Aesop Rock | Mindful Solutionism

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For the better part of three decades, Aesop Rock has used the syntax of the moment to pinpoint the fault lines in that moment’s supposedly solid foundation. With his 10th album, Integrated Tech Solutions, Aes wields insidious corporatespeak as a tool to pry that parasitic worldview away from the parts of life that truly matter. A concept album about an organization offering “lifestyle- and industry-specific applications designed to curate a desired multi-experience,” Integrated Tech Solutions picks apart the charlatan language that hears app inventors put themselves on continuums starting with cavemen and continuing through da Vinci. On Mindful Solutionism, the wheel evolves seamlessly into modern agriculture — and then into atomic bombs, Agent Orange, cigarettes, and surveillance cameras. In a rare moment of transparency, the engineers Aes give voice to sum up this spiral in just a few words: “We cannot be trusted with the stuff that we come up with.”

Polar Son | Youth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Brighton atmospheric rock five-piece Polar Son (FKA Porshyne) have shared details of their new album Wax / Wane, due out Dec. 8. To mark the announcement the band shared a new single titled Youth. Polar Son have developed a cult following for their borderless and ever-evolving sound, whilst also playing alongside the likes of Black Peaks, The Physics House Band, and many more. Now having emerged from Middle Farm and Echo Zoo studios, where they recorded with Mark Roberts (Black Peaks / Delta Sleep), Polar Son are set to return with their most expansive and experimental material to date. Youth is a consummate snapshot of this new sound. Alternating between moments of riff heavy cacophony and gently atmospheric, prog-tinged verses, the song culminates in an explosive convergence of these elements, laced with subtly intricate hints of electronic manipulation. All of this is pinned together by frontman Fergal Lyden’s boundless, wide-ranging vocals.”