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…

Review: Christian Frederickson – “Islands of Light”

There’s this piece of ephemera from the days of the Rachel’s ensemble that sticks to the attic of my mind like so much setting rubber cement – let’s call them the scrolls. Far from biblical or Talmudic or scriptural (in a sense of religiosity, at least), they were large sheets of paper on which members…

Review: Spencer Kilpatrick – “Lungs”

Fans of early Amos Lee – in other words: well-crafted acoustic soul – mustmustMUST tune into Spencer Kilpatrick, a Reno, Nev.-based songwriter who previewed the single “Lungs” on Soundcloud just this week. Like Lee, Kilpatrick – who’s getting primed to tour nationally, starting tomorrow – has an in indescribably smooth and endearing timbre, something transient…

Review: Nonagon – “Tuck The Long Tail Under”

Nonagon sound positively, well, positive on “Tuck The Long Tail Under,” its offering from a new split seven-inch with Cincinnati’s Knife The Symphony out on Phratry and Controlled Burn Records. That’s not to say the trio’s gone all doughy or doe-eyed on its first vinyl outing since 2013’s excellent The Last Hydronaut. The closing third…

Review: Big Weather – “The Lightest Darkness”

Well, turns out climate change – for those rational people who agree with the science behind it – might not be all bad, after all. Big Weather, the latest effort from musician/composer/drummer Ryan Rumery, posits itself as an experiental response to “ever-intensifying natural phenomena.” The Colorado-based outfit’s new record, The Lightest Darkness, is an interesting point…