listen to a new song from waxahatchee

katie crutchfield announced ivy tripp, her third full-length effort as waxahatchee, this morning.  the album is due out april 7th via merge records and its announcement was paired with “air,” an authoritative lead single propelled by changing drum beats, a subtle bed of synthesizers, and crutchfield’s no-bullshit mixture of confessional and metaphor.  take a listen below.

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stream and download the new sayth ep

still riding the buzz off of his past two singles, “eating alone” and “rare candy,” eau claire art rapper sayth has wasted little time in delivering his next cohesive project.  bad habitat is a five-track collection featuring the aforementioned singles along with three new songs, and finds sayth working again with frequent collaborator wealthy relative.  take note, however, that fellow eau claire artist north house is also given production credits (those appear to be his signature beats on opener “with the crocodiles”), suggesting that sayth is becoming even more invested in his hometown music scene.  you can stream bad habitat below and grab a download at a pay-what-you-want rate; a limited run of cds are also available through sayth’s bandcamp.  check it out.

listen to a new song from tennis

the word around the water cooler yesterday was tennis’ impending third album, ritual in repeat, due out september 9th via communion records.  the new album has an entire slew of well-known producers, including jim eno and patrick carney, and already comes armed with a strong lead single, “never work for free.”  still closely riding the heels of last year’s small sound ep, tennis is poised impressed yet again.  check out “never work for free” below, courtesy of the band’s soundcloud page.

mikal cronin – mcii

as i start to branch out into more and more different subgenres of the indie rock spectrum, i inadvertently find myself attaching certain music to certain moods, as well as to certain seasons.  surprisingly, summer is the hardest three-month slot to fill.  for music to qualify for this illustrious position, it must reach one or both of the following criteria to the utmost degree: 1. the music must be equal parts pop and beach-ready, with superb arranging and exquisite lyrics.  2. the music must be perfect for driving late at night through the back roads of wisconsin with the windows down.  the first category is home to your vampire weekends; bands i wouldn’t hesitate to listen to while drinking a pale ale on my porch or reading steinbeck on the beach.  the latter group is for your japandroids of the world, with brash, guitar driven songs and sing-along choruses about youth and girls and driving and cars (see also: the gaslight anthem, early kings of leon).

on his second solo album, part-time ty segall band bassist mikal cronin manages to find some sort of curious common ground between these two categories.  across the ten tracks on mcii, cronin creates bursts of fuzzed-out guitar rock infused with astute pop sensibilities, yielding anthemic results with the support of backing vocals already built in.

 

the extra touches cronin adds, like the 12-string guitar on “weight” and the consistently harmonized lead vocals on “am i wrong,” provide counteractions to any overbearing tendencies the aggressive distorted undertones of the album may have.  the result is a record that is equal parts porch-appropriate and midnight drive-ready.  vocal hooks are abound; i’ve already had the chorus of “see it my way” stuck in my head ever since mcii started streaming on npr, and cronin continues this impressive streak across the album’s entirety.

cronin the instrumentalist and arranger also deserves a nod for his superb musicianship on this album.  his marriage of clean lead guitar lines over muddy, distorted rhythm tracks is surprisingly aesthetically pleasing, and his work with string arrangements on “peace of mind” and his intermittent dabbling into piano is also admirable.  from the simplistic galloping tendencies of “change” to the more cohesive offerings from “peace of mind” and “shout it out” all the way down to the stripped-away brilliance of “don’t let me go,” mikal cronin has given me the record that i will be spinning in all possible scenarios this summer.

8.8/10