many folks have spent much of the past month bearing witness to an unconscionable, morally bankrupt administrative decision that mandated the separation of families seeking asylum in the united states who cross the border illegally. as international outcry has surged, renewed scrutiny has been placed on the country’s immigration policies and practices at the southern border in general, especially the role of ICE in enforcing those decisions.
as they so often do during times of cultural upheaval, everyday human beings are identifying organizations committed to curtailing and/or abolishing these policies and are supporting them financially. three of these everyday human beings include the members of major murphy, the grand rapids outfit who released their excellent debut album, no. 1, earlier this year. the trio have released a cover of the kinks’ “strangers,” a track they have interpreted as showing solidarity with marginalized groups of people; all proceeds from the release will go to fianza fund, an organization that provides financial relief to migrants detained at the border.
learn more about fianza fund and their mission by clicking the link above; listen to and download major murphy’s take on “strangers” below.
grand rapids trio major murphy are gearing up to release their debut full-length at the end of next month. the three-piece traffics in a brand of soft rock imbued with the warmth of yesteryear’s am radio compounded by jacob bullard’s harmonic interplay with jackie warren, and all components are on full display throughout their latest single, “one day.”
brassy synth pads envelop bell-like guitar up-strokes and a steady back-beat from the track’s outset, the resulting vessel cooly cruising down a sonic highway before bullard’s lead vocal merges seamlessly into the texture. the end result is a slightly hazy, understated slice of comfort food, a perfect primer for those just discovering the wonder of major murphy.
no. 1 is out march 30th via winspear. listen to “one day” below.
if you’ve frequented the dimestore over the past couple of years, you know that we’ve traced the trajectory of detroit duo gosh pith since their inception. josh smith and josh freed, two childhood friends who reconnected in 2014, have two acclaimed eps under their belts and are now turning their attention towards their debut full-length.
the pair teased a primer last month in the form of “in my car,” a sparse, chilly cut that functions as an apt distillation of their ethos, perhaps the clearest definition of their cosmic trap yet. gosh pith’s latest single, “true blue,” is maximalist in comparison; the crunchy guitar chords found throughout previous efforts make a prominent return, and the lyrics are far more transparent, their intentions downright overt.
there’s still scant information about a title and release date for the new gosh pith album, but we’ll latch onto this track’s effortless hook in the interim. take a listen to “true blue” below.
matt messore marked the end of his tenure in you blew it! with a cross-country move and a new sonic direction. now headquartered in grand rapids, michigan, messore assembled key personnel, among them steady collaborator victoria ovenden, and began recording dreamy, jangly pop songs as dear tracks. after turning in their promising debut ep, soft dreams, at the start of the year, messore and ovenden are now armed with a brand-new single as they look ahead to a handful of fall tour dates.
on “aligning with the sun,” dear tracks intertwine a pair of guitar leads that dance effortlessly through watery textures, while pausing occasionally to drone alongside messore’s blissed-out lead vocal. it’s a perfectly sun-bleached endeavor, a track that lends itself well to the waning hours of summer.
“aligning with the sun” is out now as a limited-edition lathe-cut single via the native sound. listen in below.
rekindled friendships can prove fruitful in a multitude of ways. childhood chums josh smith and josh freed reconnected two years ago and quickly began writing the material that would comprise gosh pith’s first ep, the standout window. the detroit duo showed an early propensity for mashing rigid beats against a combination of crooning vocals and angular guitar, forging a self-described cosmic trap that permeated their follow-up, this year’s gold chain ep.
after touring in support of their nascent yet infectious discography, smith and freed decamped to work on a new batch of tunes. “in my car” is the first taste, its frosty, minimalist beat snapping resolutely underneath smith’s cavernous lead vocal. the track feels surprisingly comforting despite its chilly first impressions, a testament to gosh pith’s ability to write hooks with an inherent amount of warmth and tenderness. take a listen to “in my car” below.
the ann arbor, michigan quartet pity sex is a pop band masquerading as a shoegaze outfit. beneath gloomy exteriors lie adroit guitar melodies and strong vocal hooks, a trait the band first explored on their 2013 debut feast of love and have now set out to perfect on its follow-up, white hot moon. co-vocalists britty drake and brennan greaves again team up for listless explorations of infidelity and longing, toggling between downtrodden narratives and pointed conversations as fuzzed-out guitars buzz in the background.
the album’s twelve tracks rarely waver in tempo, a veritable locomotive engine that propels its train into the realm of 1990s nostalgia with a focus squarely on lyrical development. drake takes more of a center stage than on previous efforts, be it commanding her own lead vocal on early stand-out “burden you” or sparring with greaves in traded stanzas on “september,” but her true apex hits on “plum,” a sparse, heartbreaking reflection on the loss of a parent that eventually gets consumed by a wall of guitars.
greaves’ performance across white hot moon isn’t too shabby either; his mumbled musings are more in-tune and focused than before, and ceding a bit more vocal duty to drake this time around allows for the attentive guitar work sprinkled throughout tunes like “orange and red” and “nothing rips through me.”
white hot moon feels very much like a continuation of its predecessor, and that’s perfectly alright. pity sex excel at honing their craft, and astoundingly resonant pop gems like “pin a star” seem to suggest that downtrodden shoegaze is a comfort zone the band won’t need to rely on for much longer. whether or not they will choose to completely shed their dichotomous aesthetic remains to be seen, but it’s clear that white hot moon is an incredibly focused effort that basks in a soothing analog warmth. soak it up.
pity sex are slated to release their sophomore full-length, white hot moon, on april 29th via the esteemed run for cover records. the ann arbor quartet has long displayed a propensity for crafting a distinct brand of forlorn shoegaze, and its further refinement has not gone unnoticed. following the stellar “what might soothe you?” and “burden you,” pity sex have offered up “pin a star,” a fuzzy, particularly pop-centric single that infuses britty drake’s coos of undeniable truths with echoed sentiments from co-vocalist brennan greaves. take a listen to “pin a star” below.
ann arbor quartet pity sex has long been skilled at pairing fuzzed-out walls of sound with dreamy, vulnerable vocal dialogues, and they’ll continue to hone that craft on white hot moon. the band’s sophomore full-length is due out april 29th via run for cover records; after teasing “what might soothe you?” all the way back in september, pity sex has returned with “burden you,” an intricately-crafted single that effortlessly toggles between the band’s two extremities with greater frequency than ever before. it’s easily their best yet. listen to “burden you” below.
grand rapids indie poppers dear tracks are set to release a new ep, soft dreams, on february 26th via furious hooves and track and field records. the title track of the quartet’s forthcoming effort is also a fitting finale, with aqueous guitar textures trickling through a hazy, c86-indebted soundscape that serves as a beautiful composite of dear tracks’ lush aesthetic. with dreamy vocals that sit just right in the mix, it’s hard not to get lost in this one. take a listen to “soft dreams” below.
those that have been reading dimestore saints since this site’s earliest days may remember that we were quite enamored with ann arbor quartet pity sex throughout most of 2013. their debut full-length feast of love coincided with what felt like the apex of the so-called emo revival, though the band’s penchant for gloomy shoegaze taken at punk tempos set them apart from their peers. pity sex recently wrapped up work on their sophomore effort, white hot moon; it’s due out this coming spring via run for cover records, and today the band shared its lead single. “what might soothe you?” finds co-vocalists brennan greaves and britty drake furthering the gloomy, hopelessly romantic dialogue drummer and lyricist sean st. charles crafted across feast of love while the underneath accompaniment veers towards the extremes, with clean passages suddenly juxtaposed by fuzzed-out guitar smears. take a listen to “what might soothe you?” below.