Review: Stuck – “Change Is Bad”

Holy mother of fuck, how did this one slip below the radar? Born Yesterday Records released the Chicago quartet Stuck’s debut LP, Change Is Bad, mid-pandemic in April and I am left wondering how this atypical and teetering 11-song blessing of angular post-punk didn’t make it itself known on a seismic scale. This thing is that…

Review: Ryan Rumery – “And, Apart”

Multi-instrumentalist Ryan Rumery’s emotive music always has traded in a kind of nuance, with even his most emphatic statements – which often are bookmarked by ethereal sound-sculpture – being underpinned by the sticky uncertainty of second thought. Coronavirus, no matter how society-halting it becomes, simply cannot stop that. So Rumery, now in isolation due to…

Review: Amanda Palmer – “Forty-Five Degrees”

Amanda Palmer doesn’t waste much time getting going on her new record – and she doesn’t pull any punches. On the first song out of the gate on Forty-Five Degrees: A Bushfire Charity Flash Record, which is available online now on Bandcamp, she adds several timely verses to a pristine yet stark (and, at times, rattling)…

Review: Wet Fruit – S/T

The songs just skitter away in a delightful pop of Roman candles on Wet Fruit’s self-titled, debut LP, out last week on digital and cassette via Seattle’s Halfshell Records, each composition uniquely frenetic and painted with minute detail to texture and tone. But to write off the ascending Portland quartet as some incantation of art-rock…

Profile: Revival Choir (2019)

Sean Atkins understates things.  His band, Revival Choir, quietly released its debut LP, Finn, in September. Nobody ever shot-gunned out press releases, blitzed social media or even threw a release party. “Some people were like, ‘You gotta build it up. You gotta start a ground-swell,’” says the Pittsburgh singer-songwriter, whose day job involves accounting. “I got…

Review: Eric Bachmann – “Misinformation Age”

Only Eric Bachmann could make rage over the Trump era’s alienating 24-hour-a-day mind-fuck seem elegiac. His new, one-off single, “Misinformation Age,” out yesterday via Merge for $1 on Bandcamp and also available on streaming platforms, is a bruising missive on the information saturation of the 2010s. And it’s all set to glitchy percussion and overpoweringly…

Profile: Chariot Fade (2019)

When Chariot Fade formed earlier this year, it was contained mostly to three musicians and two rooms of home-recording equipment. Listening to the pristine and ethereal psych-pop of its two-song sampler on Bandcamp, self-released in September, you’d never know the trio’s story was so home-spun. “For the last eight months, it’s been us, locked away,…

Review: Rachael McElhiney – “Apricot Trees”

“You gotta bleed a little bit to put on the show,” Rachael McElhiney sings on a track from Apricot Trees, an EP of four, folk-soul demos she quietly self-released last week on Bandcamp. McElhiney knows the message well. As the frontwoman for Reno-based soul-rock trio Failure Machine – a band more amped up and with…

Review: Lindsay Murray feat. Dw. Dunphy – “Reconsider Me”

A new single from Lindsay Murray, the first song from the Nashville-based singer-songwriter since March’s Nada Surf tribute, is out today on Bandcamp and it’s a beautiful, engaging little nugget due to the collaborator she chose to accent it: New Jerseyan Dw. Dunphy. Dunphy has worked up quite a lather on his underground resume —…

Review: Expires – “No New Futures”

Last year’s Fake Sigils was an engaging slice of glassy post-rock but Pittsburgher Mike Layton’s latest outing as Expires — titled No New Futures, and out Tuesday — has a new target altogether: the acoustic guitar. The unamplified approach does wonders for the six-stringer, lending his melancholy figures and descents shades both of David Grubbs…