Wellington, New Zealand four-piece Hans Pucket writes nervy but effortlessly danceable rock songs about feeling bad. Their second full-length album, No Drama, which is out November 4th via Carpark Records, gleefully captures the all-too-common twenty-something anxieties of talking too much and then being unable to find the right words to say. Recorded with the band’s good friend and former tour mate Jonathan Pearce of The Beths at his Auckland studio, No Drama is full of big leaps, immaculate arrangements, and a ton of immediate grooves. The result is Hans Pucket’s most sparkling and confident collection yet. While it’s danceable and fun, it’s also a thoughtful exploration of anxiety, a call for empathy in a turbulent time, and a relatable reminder that it’s hard to figure things out.
On The Beths’ new album Expert In A Dying Field, Elizabeth Stokes’ songwriting positions her somewhere between being a novelist and a documentarian. The songs collected here are autobiographical, but they’re also character sketches of relationships and more importantly, their aftermaths. The question that hangs in the air: what do you do with how intimately versed you’ve become in a person, once they’re gone from your life? The third LP from the New Zealand quartet houses 12 jewels of tight, guitar-heavy songs that worm their way into your head, an incandescent collision of power-pop and skuzz. The album’s title track “Expert In A Dying Field” introduces the thesis for the record: “How does it feel to be an expert in a dying field? How do you know it’s over when you can’t let go?” Stokes asks. “Love is learned over time ‘til you’re an expert in a dying field.”
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cloud Nothings' seminal album, Attack On Memory, the band has announced a very special limited edition vinyl pressing. Pressed on sky blue vinyl and housed in a foil jacket with all new colorized artwork, the anniversary edition includes two bonus flexi 7"s featuring two never-before-released tracks, "You Will Turn" and "Jambalaya", lifted from the original studio sessions at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio.
"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 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.