kevin krauter’s upcoming full-length, toss up, has all the trappings of a quintessential summer album: timeless singer-songwriter cuts delivered in a breezy, mid-tempo capsule. after sharing the album’s lead single, “rollerskate,” at the top of last month, krauter returned earlier this week with its follow-up, “keep falling in love.”
anchored by spacious acoustic piano chords and syncopated guitar and synth interplay, “keep falling in love” is an earnest ode to loved ones enveloped in a relaxed soft rock exterior. an accompanying music video, shot by krauter and friends over the course of a midwest road trip, chronicles the bliss and tenderness of companionship, clips of breakfasting, dancing, and celebrating stitched together into a nostalgic collage.
toss up arrives june 15th via bayonet records; watch the music video for “keep falling in love,” below.
the austin quintet sun june are gearing up to release what is sure to be an essential summer record. laura colwell’s lead vocal on the album’s second single, “discotheque,” has an airy weightlessness that underscores the track’s enduring melancholy, a complementary practice further embodied by the warm bell tones that overlay the track’s slow-burning arrangement.
“discotheque” is paired with a self-directed music video that traffics in equal parts nostalgia and poignancy, wide-open panoramas juxtaposed with intimate home film footage. taken in as a complete audio/visual experience, “discotheque” is an understated, aching exercise in restraint, its slight haze imbuing the aura of a humid summer evening.
sun june’s debut full-length, years, is due out june 15th via keeled scales. watch the music video for “discotheque” below.
after establishing his bona fides as a member of the new york-based band gospels and a collaborator of gabriel garzón-montano, alex frenkel has struck out on his own under the moniker caicos. “turned again (crux)” is the first glimpse of frenkel’s debut extended play, promised land, and it establishes a project equally preoccupied with careful, measured narratives as it is with vibrant collages of pastoral electronic pop.
paired with “turned again (crux)” is a surreal, illustrated music video created by rozalina burkova in conjunction with the wild honey pie. in case the track’s allusions to medusa and greek mythology weren’t explicit, the accompanying visuals hammer home those references with slightly absurdist humor, blossoming flowers coordinated with the vernal bloom of the song’s chorus.
promised land is due out august 10th via the folks at very jazzed. get acquainted with caicos below.
jd walsh makes polychromatic pop music under the moniker shy layers that feels like an extension of his visual artwork. the newly atlanta-based polymath puts this on full display with “gateway,” the effervescent lead single off of walsh’s sophomore full-length, midnight marker.
the self-directed music video feels like using a kaleidoscopic lens to excavate walsh’s brain; psychedelic images continuously swirl with walsh superimposed over them, trotting out the track’s salient instruments: voice, guitar, modular synthesizer. from a strictly auditory standpoint, “gateway” is an unassuming balearic gem, with myriad countermelodies and motifs intertwined amidst walsh’s earworm of a lead vocal.
midnight markeris due out may 25th via beats in space. check out the irresistible music video for “gateway” below.
susannah cutler’s output as yours are the only ears has thus far been sparse but affecting; a handful of standalone singles, along with an extended play, can be digested via the project’s bandcamp archives. at the end of last year, cutler released “saturn,” a wondrous single culled from her long-awaited debut album. that debut album now has a title, knock hard, along with a new single, “seeds.”
“seeds” arrives with a music video, directed by allyssa yohana, in tow, its audio and visual components dovetailing to create an acoustic, autumnal environment perfect for exploring a relationship’s end. resonant steel strings and mournful slide guitars converge around cutler’s lead vocal, which is laid bare twice at its most poignant couplet: “the bark around my heart won’t peel off / as my body slowly rots.” with just a few components tastefully arranged for maximum impact, “seeds” is another telling precursor to one of this year’s most-anticipated albums.
knock hard is out may 11th via team love records. watch the music video for “seeds” below.
details about the forthcoming half waif album, lavender, were still scant at the end of last year when we named it one of our most anticipated releases of 2018. that anticipation has only increased as more information has come into focus; lavender is due out april 27th via cascine and comes front-loaded with an arresting lead single, “keep it out.”
nandi rose plunkett has always excelled at wrapping soaring melismas up in swaths of synth pads and leads, a pairing nearing its apex and on full display throughout “keep it out.” combined with celina carney’s stunning visuals, “keep it out” becomes a masterclass in dichotomy that stretches from its narrative to its arrangement and weaves through the most intricate of details.
that plunkett can distill all of this into a capsule of pop perfection – with a surging chorus to boot – is a testament to her enduring gift as a songwriter. if “keep it out” is any indication, lavender should be one of the year’s more memorable releases. check out the music video below.
english singer-songwriter kerry devine is slated to release her debut full-length, away from mountains, later this year. if its lead single is any indication, the album is poised to be a lush tour de force of brooding, folk-tinged songs.
devine recently shared the pristine music video for “work you,” the clip’s unsettling plot against a pastoral backdrop the perfect analogue for devine’s haunting delivery and instrumentation. sonically, “work you” is majestic, effortlessly ebbing and flowing from muted synth pads to passages that are more fully in bloom. it’s an exercise in restraint, one that devine pulls off with aplomb.
away from mountains is out soon via trapped animal. watch the music video for “work you” below.
kevin krauter plays bass and sings in the bloomington, indiana, dream pop outfit hoops, but he also released a stunning six-song collection, changes, under his given name late last year. consuming that body of work immediately would be ideal.
while each track on changes holds its own as a singular achievement, it’s “reckless,” the album’s fourth cut, that has received music video treatment. like the song it accompanies, hugh sherman donkin’s visuals are sparse but impactful; krauter is filmed alone in various parts of an older building – a gymnasium; a stairwell; a loveseat – either playing or miming the various components of “reckless.” the poignancy of the audio and video truly coalesce in the final moments, with krauter departing as a harmonized piano motif gently drifts off into the ether.
changes is out now via winspear. watch the clip for “reckless” below.
nestled among this year’s shortlist of outstanding releases is tica douglas’ our lady star of the sea, help and protect us. the album’s eleven songs are dotted with characters and stories born out of douglas’ time purusing their master’s degree in divinity from union theological seminary; at times sparse and at others cacophonous, our lady star and its contents should be unpacked over time with the utmost care.
at the center of our lady star lies “weightless,” a song about release, the lifting of burdens. the resounding catharsis is almost palpable once douglas arrives at the hook, their lead vocal toggling between the phrase “weight lift” and the song’s title as hesitant arpeggios further compound its melancholic buoyancy.
perhaps it’s fitting, then, that the new music video accompanying “weightless” seems so preoccupied with the concept of floating. director gracie pizzo aligns molds of slow-moving aerial footage to douglas’ verses and chorus; as more abstract imagery begins to drift by, douglas can be glimpsed taking it all in, transfixed by a fleeting instance of beauty analogous to the lyrical themes they explore.
here at the dimestore, we’re just counting down the hours until yumi zouma releases willowbank, their second full-length album in as many years. the new zealand quartet excels at creating an intimate brand of pop that can switch from microscopic to expansive at a moment’s notice; for a sample, look no further than “half hour.”
the band’s latest single is muted, reflecting the somber subject matter of death and its baggage, but “half hour” opens up into an enveloping entity towards its end, an ensuring, calming embrace. coupled with the black and white self-directed video found below, “half hour” is a welcomed change of pace for the advanced offerings yumi zouma have put forth ahead of their new album.
willowbank is out october 6th via the inimitable cascine. check out the video for “half hour” below.