japandroids – “near to the wild heart of life”

– featured image courtesy of camilo christen –

it’s been more than four years since japandroids’ triumphant, no frills sophomore album, celebration rock arrived, propelling the vancouver duo to critical acclaim and spurning a massive, grueling international tour in support of its success. time was needed to recoup.

brian king and dave prowse ended a long period of dormancy earlier this fall when they began playing select dates around north america, their set lists peppered with new material.  an album announcement was imminent; near to the wild heart of life is due out january 27th via anti – and polyvinvyl records, a mixture of new and familiar distribution for the band.

the album’s title track also serves as its thundering lead single, with all of the japandroids hallmarks in tow: a wall of guitar (with a lead line superimposed ever so slightly over the top); punishing floor toms; beer-can-in-hand sing-along hooks; a chorus of “whoa-oh”s for good measure.  in the sequence of the overall album, however, this song may prove to be an anomaly, as an extensive pitchfork interview conveys the band’s desire to become more three-dimensional in their songwriting.  expect near to the wild heart of life to be just as grandiose, just perhaps in a different manner.

in the interim, there is this titanic lead single, an anthem of anthems from one of this century’s most anthemic bands.  take a listen to “near to the wild heart of life” below.

pity sex – “burden you”

pity sex
photo courtesy of the artist

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.

listen to a new song from diet cig

photo courtesy of andrew piccone
photo courtesy of andrew piccone

new paltz duo diet cig has already rustled up one of our absolute favorite eps of this year with their debut, over easy, a release soon to be augmented by a new 7″.  “sleep talk” b/w “dinner date” is out jointly via father/daughter and art is hard on september 18th, and today the band let go of its a-side.  like its predecessors, “sleep talk” is simple and concise in construction – although the guitar’s higher end is noticeably more pronounced this time around – a foundation built to support a lyrical set from alex luciano that fluctuates between self-deprecation and hesitancy and a prevailing shoulder-shrugging, fuck-it mentality.  it’s the coda that really sells this track, though; a poignant, cyclical line delivered in half-time quickly becomes a mantra of sorts for all of the preceding fragments.  take a listen to “sleep talk” below.