Keith's Latest Songs
Parquet Courts' new album, Wide Awaaaaaake!, is fantastic, from cover to content, with many tracks worthy of a Most Important choice. I decided to go with "Total Football" because I feel like it captures what makes them great and because it feels a bit timely with World Cup coming up next week. If you've not had a listen to the album, do yourself a favor and cue it up, it's a gem.
Swedish pop-wavers Shout Out Louds are one of the few current bands that really pluck my strings of nostalgia. They're most often compared to The Cure, and I get that, but a strong as the comparison is, that's not the string I'm talking about. (And that incarnation of The Cure, the dreamy poppy version, is not nearly my favorite. Give me the dark, gothic rock of the really early days.) No, to me they remind me of the more sophisticated wave-rock of bands like Visage and Ultravox. This latest single, "In New Europe" feels a bit lighter than all that, it's a bit of a chair dancer, but the hints are there.
We Are Scientists are one of my favorites, and while I've not really been hooked by their last couple releases, I've always enjoyed them. Their latest album, Megaplex, is a little bit of a throwback to either earlier sound and, as such, I'm hooked.
We're still getting into the swing of regular life after SXSW. It was terrific, as per the usual, and we'll have some tuff to share soon. In the meantime, enjoy this peppy, poppy, summery cut from Unlikely Friends, a PacNW band who reminds me of Library Voices and Seattle summers.
Lucy Dacus' new album, Historian, is quite good. And a difficult one to choose a Most Important song from. In the end I went with "Next of Kin", a catchy track that showcases Lucy's lovely voice as a perfect pair for grinding, garage guitars. I could have easily went with the fantastic, if quite different, "Night Shift", which is also a stand out on an album of really good songs.
A casual listen of Philadelphia's Hop Along might give you the impression that they're a fiery, but fairly straight-ahead indie rock outfit putting out punchy, poppy indie rock tracks with polish and passion. And you'd be half-right, but there is more going on here. There's another, deeper and more sophisticated layer to their work that's very much on display in today's Most Important, "Not Abel", from their forthcoming album Bark Your Head Off, Dog, a complicated, eclectic track that shows off their depth.
New Pocket from Cleveland's Runaway Brother is another fantastic release from the amazing Tiny Engines. I've been jamming it non-stop for a week now and can safely say it's an early favorite for 2018's best. If you give a casual listen, I'm pretty sure you'll easily understand why they're often compared to Built To Spill. Listen deeper and you'll see songs builds on each other and a lot of inventive, eclectic rock packed into each track. Ok, yeah, kind of like Built To Spill. :)
Frank Turner is back with another happy-sounding, thought-provoking protest anthem. This one inspired by anger and frustration around the "the idea that Breitbart or Steve Bannon think they have anything to do with punk rock..."
He's coming to Austin for SXSW and then back again in June and I can't wait to be there singing along.
almost featured Caroline Rose a few weeks back, as I've been loving "Money" a rocking, fast-paced and jaunty cut. Today's Most Important, "Getting To Me" is a special song, and it's quite a bit different to "Money". It sounds like Andrew Bird backing Kate Bush. No really. Give it a listen. She's got a new album coming soon and will be in Austin for SXSW, so if you're around, let's go check her set!
Exeter's Black Foxxes are cool. Their 2016 release, I'm Not Well, showcases fiery alt-rock that spans quite a bit of creative ground and stylistic influences. I hear everything from Pacific NW grunge to Scottish glam on there. It's a great listen. They've got a new album, Reiði coming out soon, and the first track, "Sæla", is terrific, evoking a bit more prog and polish than anything on I'm Not Well, a direction that works well. Hope they come by Austin sometime soon.