To balance the terror of living in the tiny clutches of a flaming Orange Cheat-o, 2017 is already Making Music Great Again by serving up bushelfuls of spellbinding new records you will surely want to get your regular-sized mitts onto.
Upcoming Popdose roundups will focus on bands re-surging from the 80’s, deluxe reissues, live sets and other hot new releases. THIS round-up focuses on new releases from exciting breaking and breakthrough artists who will soon be your favorite new bands.
New Mystics • Modern
Zane Lowe (late of the BBC, now presenter on Apple’s Beats 1 radio) is the John Peel of the modern age, so when this tuned in tastemaker and champion of new music pays attention to a new act, so do I. Of ‘Modern‘, the debut single by New Mystics, he said, “Beautiful to listen to… music that has to be made.” I gave it a spin and fell in love. The ominous lyrics wrapped in a buoyant melody reminded me of the Brit Pop heyday, especially my beloved Wild Swans from Liverpool (I immediately paired ‘Modern’ with the Wild Swans’ Sire classic, ‘Bible Dreams‘ in a playlist). Turns out, New Mystics are from Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Pick up ‘Modern’ by New Mystics on Amazon Music and iTunes.
Bummed there wasn’t an immediate full-length New Mystics LP for me to dive into, I was relived to discover frontman Jesse Tabish has several platters out under the band names Other Lives and Kunik…
Other Lives • Fair Weather
Within minutes of hearing ‘Fair Weather‘, the lead track on Other Lives’ 2015 album, Rituals, I was hooked — imagine My Morning Jacket’s Jim James searching for Kid A in a dark southern forest after midnight. Stream it here, ideally with headsets…
Rituals only gets better and better the deeper into it you get. The roots of the Radiohead might trace to gigs they shared together. Thom Yorke remixed their earlier ‘Tamer Animals’ single. Once I get caught up with all of these POPDOSE round-ups, I will eagerly explore their other albums — must pace myself and savor it all.
Check out their mesmerizing performance on Seattle’s KEXP:
Beth // James • Lion Eyes
I am totally down with what Dave Lowery once said about folk singers in Cracker’s hit ‘Teen Angst‘. My Popdose inbox is flooded with folky, singer/songwritery snooze fests. But when it works, when it’s passionate and authentic, then folk yeah I like it. I’m loving All in Life, the new EP by Beth // James (out April 28). The Austin-based group’s namesakes are Jordan James Burchill and Mikaela Beth Kahn, so one can only imagine they tried on the name Mikeala Jordan first (instant built-in fanbase with Chicago Bulls fans, potential Nike sponsorship of their tour, but hey, the one they went with works too).
As a band name, Beth // James might be a nightmare to Google, but their music is a total pleasure to listen to once you find it. The five tracks wander back country roads between western country, alt country, folk, lullabies and Americana. They’re fine singers when they trade verses, but when they harmonize, as George Takei would say, “Oh My.”
All in Life is essential listening for fans of Neko Case, The Weepies, Buckingham Nicks, Jack and White, Civil Wars, even Rilo Kiley.
Can’t wait for the EP? Download the single for FREE via that Soundcloud embed and be sure to connect with the band and check out their tour dates on facebook.
Now that we’re all nice and relaxed, here’s a shot of audio Red Bull…
K Flay • Black Wave
K Flay is one of the most exciting and dangerous artists in modern music. Hip hop, punk, metal and dance beats explode with force from her captivating pop anthems. ‘Blood in the Cut‘ from her Crush Me EP was my 2016 single of year in my Village Voice Top 10. ‘Black Wave’ crackles with early Nine Inch Nails energy, sinister guitars pushing Flay’s fierce vocals above the thundering surf. Of the track, the lead single from her new album Every Where is Some Where (out April 7), Flay says it’s “about facing something immense and menacing and choosing not to cower, but to rise up.” Liberal elitists everywhere — presenting the anthem for the Resistance.
Rotana • Daddy
K Flay ain’t the only name making sinister dancefloor anthems that rock. Thank God Rotana slipped into the United States from Saudi Arabia before SCROTUS (so-called ruler of the US) put that whole travel ban in place. Coming from the Middle East, she knows a thing or two about the war on women’s bodies and rights from a culture controlled by insecure men.
“Daddy is about the moment you step into your power,” says Rotana. “It’s the decision to question shit and not dilute yourself to make other people more comfortable. Daddy is societal boundaries, the obsession with celebrity and wealth. Most of all, Daddy is the voice in your head that has convinced you that you can’t.”
Connect with Rotana on facebook.
And finally, let’s hop across the pond.
Urban Cone • Old School
Let’s face it, Sweden is the pop capital of the world. When you instantly fall in love with a hook, a look or a verse, chances are it was written, produced or born and bred within a stone’s throw of Stockholm. As Urban Cone, Emil Gustafsson, Rasmus Flyckt, Tim Formgren and Jacob William Sjöberg have been building blog buzz and a global fanbase for the past few years — especially with ‘Come Back To Me’ featuring fellow hot Swede export Tove Lo:
Their new song, ‘Old School‘, will surely be the one that breaks them wide on radio, streaming platforms, and good old fashioned stereos.
Go old school and download an MP3 of ‘Old School’ on iTunes or Amazon Music. Connect with the band on facebook.