Geese - 4D Country
Brooklyn's own indie rockers Geese have garnered quite the following in the alternative community after their June LP 3D Country, which saw the band expanding from the colorful art-punk found on their debut into something much more lush and unique. Incorporating elements of blues, soul, classic Zeppelinian hard rock, all while maintainging their trademark manic performances and introspective lyrical topics, largely written by front-man Cameron Winter. Now, just before kicking off their US tour this week, the band released 4D Country, an EP full of b-sides that didn't make the album, as well as the title track which is an extended jam version of the original title track from 3D Country. Obviously, this project follows the same sonic direction as the album, but it accomplishes exactly what a B-sides EP should: offer more to fans who just can't get enough of the original album.
Favorite Tracks: All of them
- Will Lewis
Loving - Blue
A quiet release from the Canadian indie folk trio, Blue is the first single to be released ahead of Loving's post-pandemic return. Clocking in at a short-and-sweet 2 minutes and 21 seconds, this track features the band's trademark intimacy and simplicity, with dragging, slow-core-esque drums carefully nested with distant guitar and Jesse Henderson's unsure and dejected vocals. The subtle piano and bass provide a quiet, yet rock-solid foundation that pulls you along for the ride. Jesse, along with his brother Lucas and member David Parry have once again delivered a melancholic and thoughtful track that is sure to tug on the heartstrings and relax any listener for hours on end. This song is best described as the way it is best enjoyed: on repeat, with the blinds drawn, wrapped up in a blanket.
- Luke Allen
Muriel - Muriel
Not known to many outside of the Cardiff underground scene, Muriel have quietly gained traction with their self titled debut LP. A tasteful blend of lo-fi art rock, folk, and slow-core, Muriel is a group that fits nicely in the current landscape of esoteric soft-rock. Led by Zak Thomas and assisted by friends and talented musicians sharing a similar background of influences, it's always fascinating to hear a band from their very beginning and follow their creative evolution. Considering the band is largely unknown, not much can be said about their personality and their history. All I can say is Muriel is easily one of the better soft-rock LPs from the year thus far.
Favorite Tracks: "Seaside Painter" ; "Someone's Coming In" ; "Body of Light"
*Jonny is not linked due to explicit material on the album cover*
The Drums - Jonny
The brainchild of Jonny Pierce, Jonny is finally here after an avalanche of singles from the LP being released during this year. One of the most pressing features of the album is its pacing and cohesion: poppy surf-rock into slow ballads never feels out of place a single time during this record. The punchy drums of Plastic Envelope decelarate and disappear into Protect Him Always and come back muffled and lethargic in Be Gentle. The mix of Pierce's lead and falsetto backing vocals seamlessly blend into each other, and bass remains just as present as it did on 2011's Portamento. It's all the more impressive when you recognize that this is largely one person putting together these compositions that continue to grow more complex as his career develops. It's good to see The Drums still making iconic indie-pop after a long 13 years.
Favorite Tracks: "The Flowers" ; "Be Gentle" ; "Plastic Envelope"
- Luke Allen