kate teague – “in our element”

– featured image courtesy of ben davis –

the oxford, mississippi-based singer-songwriter kate teague continues her impressive streak of singles with “in our element,” delivered on the eve of her inaugural voyage to SXSW.

on “in our element,” teague’s lead vocal swoons in tandem with a melancholic guitar counter-melody, the ends of phrases evaporating in wisps of echo and solidifying the track’s slow-burning aesthetic. it’s another notched victory for teague, who keeps sharpening her songwriting chops with every new single and stoking anticipation for the day her full-length finally arrives.

“in our element” is out now via muscle beach records. take a listen below.

sun june – “monster moon”

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

after a memorable debut campaign last year, the austin quintet sun june are positioning themselves for a victory lap in 2019; their impeccable full-length years will see a second pressing via keeled scales later this month alongside a new four-song extended play, younger.

on “monster moon,” one of two brand-new cuts that feature on younger, sun june float in the ether of laura colwell’s lead vocal, a robust low-end foundation pairing with washed-out guitar chords and melodic flourishes. the track’s soul-infused core reaches its apex in the third and final minute, the aural output of all five members coalescing in a warm collage of sound.

listen in on “monster moon” below.

oyster kids – “losing my mind”

– featured image courtesy of blake zimmerman –

after a string of impressive and infectious singles, the elusive los angeles pop act oyster kids took a minute to collect themselves. centered and focused for 2019, the andrew eapen-led outfit is slated to release both an extended play and a full-length album; “losing my mind” is the first taste of what’s to come.

pristinely produced and crystalline in presentation, “losing my mind” is the perfect introduction, or re-introduction, to oyster kids: ruminative lyrics, glimmering synth counter-melodies, whispered vocals that blossom into anthemic hooks. with an effervescent motif that returns again and again, “losing my mind” embeds deeply to leave a lasting impression.

“losing my mind” is out today; check out the kamell allaway-directed music video for the track below.

premiere – caicos

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

last summer, alex frenkel released promised lands, his first effort under his caicos moniker, a vibrant debut that fused electronic soundscapes with frenkel’s signature guitar playing and vocals. it appears he had more left in the tank; a five-song extended play, dream machines, is due out this spring.

on “genesis,” the EP‘s opening number and lead-off single, palm-muted motifs skitter off of compressed electronic backbeats and acoustic guitar chord progressions, an organic foundation warmed by frenkel’s conversational baritone.

his lead vocal sits comfortably in the foreground, gradually enveloped by the accompanying arrangement until the very final moments, when most timbres exit stage left and frenkel remains with a surprisingly tender sentiment to deliver. an initial glimpse into a project that shows the measured progression of an incredibly assured songwriter, “genesis” is a placid cut, particularly well-suited for chilly days that require a bit extra aural warmth.

dream machine is out may 31st via very jazzed. listen to “genesis,” premiering right here on the dimestore, below.

premiere – bill waters

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

william smith is real; bill waters is a character. the hudson valley singer-songwriter first slipped into the chronically tired persona on 2017’s excellent extended play humid, and is sitting on a companion piece of sorts, honey hi, due next month via the esteemed forged artifacts.

conceived in waters’ home studio below a brooklyn bar, the six-song collection embodies an appreciation for the pop songwriting tenets of the late 1960s and early 1970s, turning on pensive themes of romance and existence and funneled through jangly mid-tempo melodies.

on “it’s true,” the first glimpse of honey hi, waters and his percussive compatriot ian dwy sculpt an ambling five-minute centerpiece musing on relationships, its spritely drums and shaker slotting behind a woozy slide motif that winds throughout the track. a minute of respite kicks in at the end of the lead vocal, the duo biding their time before building a comparatively agitated extended outro, sustaining for some time and driving home the thesis that these tunes are meant to be felt more so than understood.

honey hi arrives march 29th; listen to “it’s true,” premiering right here on the dimestore, below.

interview – barrie

– featured image courtesy of the alexa viscius –

after releasing a handful of sharp one-off singles last year, the brooklyn quintet barrie has their sights set on 2019. the band is slated to release their debut full-length, happy to be here, later this spring and recently shared “clovers,” the album’s lead single, an encapsulation of the harmonically-rich collaborative nature barrie’s music tacks towards.

we recently caught up with four of the five members of barrie via e-mail to talk collaborative creative direction, the significance of “clovers” as a lead single, and how individual members’ experiences have shaped happy to be here. check out the transcript, which has been lightly edited for clarity, below.

there’s a bit of ambiguity as to whether barrie is a band or a solo project, which i think is by design. how do you approach integrating your own creative direction with the input and contributions of the other band members?

barrie: we’re figuring it out as we go. everyone in the band is a talented writer and producer in their own right, and has other outlets outside the band. the best way i can think to describe it is we’re running my songs through the filter of this really interesting group of people who have experiences and talents that i don’t. sometimes that plays out through the music (and very much in the live production), and sometimes it’s in ways beyond music, like in the aesthetics or big picture decisions, or who we collaborate with.

although the band now operates out of new york city, each member originally hails from a different part of the globe. can you speak to any individual experiences, musical or otherwise, that were particularly valuable and/or informative to the band as a whole while making this record?

dom: that is a heck of a question. i would say a great thing we did was to play the first set of songs together many times, as for the first few months we were maybe listening to barrie’s demos remotely and coming together was more about meeting and getting a feel for each other. i think that allowed us to imagine what we could each bring to the table.

spurge: almost all of us are on the other side of twenty-five, so we’ve each had our own experiences, in and outside of the music industry, before coming together to start this project. that’s allowed us to have a patience and self-awareness about our band growth and group dynamic that i don’t think is common for new bands. for example, i’ve worked and interned at a few music studios in new york. that experience has taught me about the prevalence of ego in the creative process, sometimes more so than the actual music making. so, we all make sure to always be empathetic and communicative to each other with this in mind.

noah: yeah, everyone in the band is a bit of an old soul type/has been around it all for a while so longevity and sustainability is something that is a constant consideration, both logistically, musically, and emotionally. we want/plan to be around for a long time and make decisions accordingly.

“clovers” is the lead single from happy to be here, and i’m particularly struck by how the synthesizers in its second half juxtapose the piano in its first, how it encapsulates your aesthetic well while leaving other avenues open for exploration. is there anything in particular you’d like to share about the track, its origins, and/or its significance to you collectively as an ensemble?

barrie: i’m happy this is the lead single because it’s one of the songs that was most shaped by others in the band. i made the demo in boston with the original piano and synth sounds, and it was the first song spurge and noah and i worked on together when i moved to new york. spurge and noah added textures and beefed up the synth sounds, and then once we were in studio, noah beefed and polished them even more.

lol, gross.

it captures the “fucked up classic” aesthetic that we’re after. and of course, like most of the songs on the album, dom’s drumming on it, and that takes it to another level.

dom: “clovers” for me is a great indication of how we wanted to push the record beyond basic “pop songwriter” territory – a lot of that is down to (co-producer) jake aron giving a lot of space while keeping control of what was at the core of each track. the middle eight is mega hard to play though, scary.

polish that beef brisket!

noah: one of the major guiding principles behind this project is timelessness. we wanted to fill the record with a ton of easter eggs so there’d be something new to discover with each listen and listeners can consume it on whatever level they prefer. in this song, we mostly achieved that through running the MIDI that barrie had written into a bunch of analog synths, and playing with filters and stuff in real-time to introduce some human variation and create some happy accidents.

happy to be here is out may 3rd via winspear. pre-order the album here.

premiere – teen daze

– featured image courtesy of paulina isaak –

jamison isaak has been recording and releasing music for nearly a decade as teen daze, a moniker he almost hung up a couple of years ago. after taking the last year to breathe and reflect, isaak has approached teen daze in a rejuvenated state of mind, crafting the eight songs that appear on his forthcoming album, bioluminescence, outside of some of the confines that dictated previous efforts.

on “endless light,” the album’s closing number, isaak explores some of that freedom through the vessel of a six-minute enveloping, meditative dance number, its percussive pulses felt more so than heard, its glimmering synth motifs pinballing through glassy soundscapes. we recently caught up with isaak via e-mail to discuss his new album, self-releasing music, and the genesis of “endless light,” which premieres below.

press play on the track and then scroll down for the full transcript, which has been lightly edited for clarity.

2018 seemed like somewhat of a year of recalibration for you, especially with the release of two extended plays under your own name. did you glean anything from the experience of writing and releasing those particular songs that has transferred over into your latest work as teen daze?

it certainly was a year of recalibration. i think i had exhausted a lot (if not all of my) energy over the course of 2017, and i needed to spend a substantial amount of time to regroup, and address some of the things that i had neglected in my busy previous year of touring. this applied to both my creative life, and my personal life, and both were healed immensely by taking the year to refocus.

honestly, when i started writing and recording those releases under my own name, i was ready to move on from teen daze. i thought i had accomplished as much as i could with it. if both themes records were the last thing i were to ever release as teen daze, i would certainly feel like i was going out on a creative highpoint.

but as the year progressed, i was (gently) presented with the idea of doing another teen daze record by my manager, and i’m so glad that she did. i began to take a lot of the sounds i was working with for those releases as jamison isaak, and look at them through a teen daze lens (sorry for so much third person use).

the result is a collage, rather than an album with a clear concept, which felt very stretching for me. i usually like to give myself a theme or a narrative to work within. this album simply doesn’t have one. even the narrative of how it came about isn’t really that endearing, if i’m being honest. and yet, i think it’s my favourite album of mine to date.

you’ve released music on your own label, FLORA, for the past few years now. has taking control of your music’s distribution changed how you approach making and releasing projects?

it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience to self-release my music, in huge part to two factors: my fanbase and the team of people i work with.

if it weren’t for the people that continue to listen to, and purchase my music, self-releasing wouldn’t be nearly as beneficial for me.

and if it weren’t for the team of people i work with (my manager – dina young, the people that handle FLORA‘s physical distribution – the business in anacortes, WA, and my digital distributors – believe digital), i wouldn’t have the infrastructure to have self-releasing be a financially viable option.  because i have security in those areas, i feel like i have so much freedom when it comes to what, and how, i release my music.

i don’t really think it’s changed my creative process in any way actually.  i’m thankful to have worked with labels in the past who never pressured me into creating something specific for their agenda.  still, it feels amazing to not be bound by those types of constraints.

we’re premiering “endless light” on the site today; without divulging too much about bioluminescence, can you share a bit about the track’s origins and its place within the album as a whole?

at the risk of sounding cheesy, i have to start by thanking y’all for premiering this song. i feel like you have had my back for a long time, and i love that we can team up in this way!

“endless light” is one of the catalysts for this whole album.  the idea for the song was inspired by the jon hopkins episode of song exploder, actually.  he discusses the idea of creating a collage of single piano notes, panned to different spots, which was meant to create the feeling of having these twinkling notes play all around you.  being surrounded, or enveloped, by the sound.  so the sounds your hearing at the start of the song are my version of this!  the album has a very aquatic feel to it, and i feel like those notes are like drips of water happening around the field of sound.

sequentially, it’s the last song on the album, and i did this because i wanted to leave the listener on a hopeful note, because it feels like a pretty positive song to me. also, my trend has always been to have my albums finish with an ambient/drumless track, and i loved the idea of finishing this one off with a more straight-ahead dance track. there’s plenty of slow, quiet ambient music on the album, but it felt appropriate to end in a place of positivity and energy.

when i think about where i was, creatively and personally, at the end of 2017, and where i am now, “endless light” feels like a great place to end this record, and most likely lead into the next.

bioluminescence is out april 26th via isaak’s own label, FLORA. pre-order a copy here and check out teen daze’s spring tour dates below.

may 16th – abbotsford, BCTBA
may 17th – seattle, WA – central saloon
may 23rd – san francisco, CA – neck of the woods
may 24th – los angeles, CA – el cid
may 30th – toronto, ON – baby g
may 31st – montreal, QC – casa del popolo
june 1st – new york, NY – le poison rouge
june 2nd – washington, D.C. – songbyrd
june 3rd – chicago, IL – empty bottle

esther rose – “don’t blame it on the moon”

– featured image courtesy of jen squires –

the new orleans transplant esther rose draws from a childhood of gospel and folk music when sculpting her unique brand of timeless songwriting, peaks and sighs of each instrumental arrangement contoured around pliable and pristine vocal stylings.

on “don’t blame it on the moon,” rose’s first offering since her 2017 debut this time last night, time seemingly stands still, a gentle acoustic guitar lilting in tandem with her lead vocal. it’s a wonderful nod towards – and embracement – of her country forebears and also serves as a sneak peek of her sophomore full-length, due out later this year.

“don’t blame it on the moon” is out now via rose’s new label home, the ever-reliable father/daughter records. take a listen below.

jo schornikow – “incomplete”

– featured image courtesy of david torch –

after years of lending her keyboard talents to the likes of the national and phosphorescent – and touring with the latter – the australian songwriter jo schornikow is poised to release secret weapon, a lush nine-song collection influenced primarily by her experiences in motherhood.

on the album’s lead single, “incomplete,” schornikow’s aqueous aesthetic slots perfectly with director ben chace’s accompanying slow-motion visuals, an amalgam of muted electronic percussion and underwater synth pads percolating beneath the warmth of electric piano chords and schornikow’s arresting lead vocal. it’s an unforgettable performance and perfect introduction to an artist inclined to have a stand-out year.

secret weapon is out march 29th via the ever-reliable austin label keeled scales. watch the music video for “incomplete” below.

premiere – muldue

– featured image courtesy of zac bowen –

max ramsden makes music that sounds like exploring a forest at twilight. as muldue, ramsden has spent the past handful of years recording loosely ambient music, pulling liberally from other genres while honing a rather hypnotic aesthetic.

on march 1st, muldue will release a place both foreign and familiar, his debut effort with the seattle-based label hush hush records and his third overall; the extended play’s five tracks together are sprawling, traversing the haunted terrain of ramsden’s inner mechanisms while bathing his voice in a distant sea of reverb.

a wide tremolo pulsates across the stereo fields of the EP‘s lead single, “i tried,” a five-minute meditation deserving of its status as centerpiece. coupled with an eerie, dissonant ostinato and anchored by a hushed but confident lead vocal, “i tried” is an enticing glimpse of things to come for muldue, comfort food for the dead of winter.

“i tried” premieres here today on the dimestore. listen in below.