Growwing Pains play what they describe as “anxiety pop” – and speaking as someone who loves music and needs prescription drugs coupled with an aggressive amount of wine just to get on a plane, I concur. The playing is loose, succinct, and hazily perfect.
Recommended If You Like: The Mantles, Woolen Men, Free Pizza
Getting old can be a drag. Body parts ache that didn’t exist a decade ago, time is commandeered with adult chores, and creativity becomes blunted. The routine of the race can lead many to either vice or complacency – and this is especially true when it comes to art, be it painting, music, or what have you. I’m on the downslope of my 30’s, which feels ancient for someone writing a music blog – let alone the podcast’s & DJ mixes I do in addition to my “real job”. I often feel crazy striving forward and pouring so much of myself into a painting, song, or mix – as I’ve grown older the significance of art has crept off my peers radar, and been passed down to a younger generation with seeming indifference with others my age.
That’s likely why so much music circles around young ideals – and it’s these realizations that make Gladiola’s new album, This Year’s Storm, hit hard for me. The music will make any fan of 80’s college jangle in approval – but it’s the lyrics that strike me like a hammer.
are you still writing? are you haunted by the amp in the basement?
Bill Madden-Fuoco makes each song a story – and the stories, each of them, center around very adult themes. The album kicks off with “We’re Never Going Back” (below) which was mixed by Mitch Easter [R.E.M., Wilco, Pavement] and the rest of the album was mixed by Dave Minehan, who recently toured with The Replacements. Those two names tell you everything you need to know about the music, as not only have the themes of the songs grown up, but so has the music and overall production – making This Year’s Storm an early favorite for 2016.
Recommended If You Like: The Replacements, Son Volt, The Longwalls
The snow outside Boston falls heavy & wet – but the sound inside Volume 4 of the 25 To Life Series series by Grandmaster Flash Drive & The Furious Files falls heavy & hot. Grandmaster Flash Drive is the brain child of acclaimed street poet Monte Smith – and with assistance from Zac Trainor – the fierce mix-tapes they meld together slay with an aggressive underground hip-hop tilt that’s turning heads in both the States and Overseas. When a Wu-Tang Clan affiliate – in this case, Killah Priest, is dropping your intro you know something’s in the wind, and this breeze is more than warm – it’s hot.
Recommended If You Like: Mixtapes, Organic Hip Hop, Action Bronson
Galavant with Dead Trains & cohorts in their newest video as they get off the chain gain and into your basement hearts. There’s tons of SouthWest swagger from this Boston trio – with concrete grit and dirty jean vibez permeating off of their new single, “County Road Bound/Mean Town Blues” – it’s the perfect accompaniment to listen to while working on a serious hangover.
Magic Magic play a lazed out “am I still sleeping – or awake?” version of indie glaze pop that leaves the ears floaty and heart hopeful. The unsigned Boston sextet released Tv Life in mid-January and it’s 11 tracks of fantastic – a perfect accompaniment to an unseasonably warm February as it’s psychedelic surrealness leaves you blended between the physical and the shadowland.
Recommended If You Like: Animal Collective, Atlas Sound, Four Tet
Winter, a band conceived in Boston & stationed out of Los Angeles, recently released a video for “Pretender” – the chill dream vibes of the indie quartet are encapsulated beautifully by lead guitarist Matt Hogan’s direction, as you get a backseat view of what it’d be like to chum around on tour with Winter.
Recommended If You Like: Beach Fossils, Summer Twins, Ducktails
Thee Arcadians hail from Western Massachusetts, the land of dragons, and their music is as unrelenting & fierce as the tamed lizards they ride upon. These cats are young by human years, but their music is as old as the soul, and it’s this battle of complimentary conflictions that make their music fresh as hell and old as stone. This is Sorry Ma’ era Replacements freaked on Berkshire weed. This is Rock and Roll. This is really, really good. This is Thee Arcadians. This is what I want to hear more of.
- Act fast and buy We Have Come For Your Parents before it’s no more. Available via the incomparable Feeding Tube Records in a limited run of 300.
Recommended If You Like: Ty Segall, Sebadoh, Mudhoney, Berkshire Weed
The music of The Ghost of Electricity – a recording project featuring Ray McNamara; is unabashedly adventurous & unique. His upcoming EP, Bones, will be released on 2/3/16 by Spark & Fizz Records – and it’s a sonic sculpture whose psychedelic shape morphs with repetitive listens, forming a topography that makes for constant (and rewarding) change. There’s a meditative quality to the EP that is restrained in presentation but complex in composition – Zen Chaos. “The Ritual” is the opening track off Bones and shimmers you into the jangled depths this EP contains.
Recommended If You Like: Bibio, Dirty Projectors, Buffalo Daughter