clearance – “haven’t you got the time?”

– featured image courtesy of alexa viscius – 

the chicago quartet clearance craft a particular brand of guitar-pop that effortlessly absorbs salient traits spanning the genre’s entire existence, resulting in a final product that is as infectious as it is immediate.  after a string of singles in 2013 and a debut full-length two years later, the band will release its sophomore effort, at your leisure, at the end of the month.

honing in on that aforementioned immediacy is clearance’s latest single, “haven’t you got the time?”  a prominent lead vocal lives in the foreground, examining the vestiges of a relationship, its status couched in the titular question and the static arrangement that initially supports it.  as “haven’t you got the time?” ventures further, the band sprawls out into the bridge and beyond, a gradual wall of distortion encroaching on the soundscape until the track reaches its terminal.

at your leisure is due july 27th via topshelf records.  listen to “haven’t you got the time?” below.

harley alexander – “staring at photographs”

– featured image courtesy of the artist – 

harley alexander’s retreat from halifax to a remote cabin in quebec has yielded harland, an eight-song collection of woozy, wandering bedroom pop that’s due out next friday via sports day records.  framing the album’s aesthetic is “staring at photographs,” its breezy, clave-like chord progression bolstered by saturday-afternoon guitar noodling and alexander’s surprisingly commanding voice, flipping between his natural register and a reedy falsetto with incredible ease and immediacy.

“staring at photographs,” like much of harland, recalls a home recording taped off of a transistor radio: warm and unassuming, its edges carefully smoothed and rounded.  alexander’s awareness of such a nostalgic manipulation extends into his lyrics, as he comes to grips with the fact that an idyllic snapshot from the past often belies the true nature of a present-day relationship.  it’s an uncomfortable reality housed in a comforting vessel, a gentle hand that guides towards realization.  take a listen to “staring at photographs” below.