The record transports the listener from speaker-side at a club, to wandering a party, to sitting at an open window with a pianist nearby. It shifts effortlessly from expansive sold-out-show sound to ethereal, twinkling detail. The writing on Soft Spot outwits even its clever, resourceful production, the lyrics a testament to the multi award-winning songwriter’s belief in the pop format as a venue for prose.
Naomi Alligator generally houses her narratives in beds of minimal, home-tracked instrumentation. For Double Knot, Naomi wanted a fuller, more dynamic sound. Here she continues to hone the winning combination of guitar and banjo, while peppering in computer-generated synths. If anything, Double Knot is a reminder that you can always pack up your bags, try something new, and change your life. As for Naomi Alligator herself? She moved to California.
Deer Scout’s debut full length Woodpecker is a record about memory and the subconscious. And like an unforgettable dream that keeps you puzzling over its riddles for days, it’s as packed with direct symbols as it is with ruminative haze. It’s a culminating collection of the project’s many sounds and influences to date, from Philly’s punk cooperatives to Oberlin’s conservatory experimentalism to New York’s DIY history. At the center is Dena Miller’s assured guitar fingerpicking and boldly clear voice, firmly grounded even as it gently probes uncertain emotional and musical terrain. Though Woodpecker is a record about uncertainty and the unknown, it’s also about compassion and connection—as Miller was able to find over the course of writing and recording this next chapter for Deer Scout and first release for Carpark, which she’s excited to at last share with the world.
"I’m very much a maximalist when it comes to production. I like vast landscapes. I like a stratosphere and a core -- I want the bass to be beneath the floor," Erin says. "This record is, in a lot of ways, a collection of some of the first moments that I was technologically able to achieve accurate renderings of how I hear my own emotional world."
The Beths are back in full force with a new single called “A Real Thing”, their first new song since the release of their acclaimed album Jump Rope Gazers in 2020. “This song is a kind of anxiety dream. It's a bit muddled, a bit frantic, a bit sinister” says lead singer Liz Stokes. Stokes wrote this song in late 2020, following the election in New Zealand and the U.S, attempting to reach for optimism about the future, but ultimately playing more apocalyptic scenarios of climate change in her head. The upbeat urgency in the song is palpable from the very start and paired with the band’s signature bright, raucous guitar hooks and cooing harmonies, the song races and soars, much like an increasing heart rate. The Beths' infectious and insightful songwriting on “A Real Thing” is an exciting marker of more excellent work to come.
On Nightclub Daydreaming, menace teems just below the surface as propulsive, stark arrangements leave space that Schrader fills with strident, reverb-soaked narration.