The unofficial start of summer has arrived with this most unusual of Memorial Day weekends. I've had a little more time recently to catch up on some new releases and have included a few of them here, including a great one from a favorite band of mine. We got some jazz, rock, psych, and new wave here to keep you interested. Take some time to explore new music now before the world gets suddenly busy again. Enjoy.
Le Butcherettes - Don't Bleed: I was introduced to this L.A. noise rock band last year and fell instantly in love. They've been around for nearly a decade and recently released this EP, which is another fantastic effort, if a little quieter than usual. I was supposed to see this band in my town last month, but then, as my 5 year old would say...Poof! Coronavirus! One day I hope they come back around because this band is dynamite, and reminds me of Queenadreena and Emma Ruth Rundle.
Twink and the Technicolour Dream - Sympathy for the Beast: Released on Sunbeam Records for Record Store Day last year, this sees the legendary Pink Fairies frontman paired with the Italian neo-psych band as they interpret Aleister Crowley words into songs. This is top notch musicianship, similar to Hawkwind or even Pink Fairies, and feels straight out of the '70s. It mixes spoken word with Floydian vocal tracks and the end product is something fans of this genre will totally dig...at least I do.
Earl Hines - Earl Hines Plays Duke Ellington: Recorded between '71 and '75, this four album set was released as a special compilation from Book of the Month Club in 1982, one year before the legendary jazz pianist's death. Though only six years younger, Hines always considered Ellington his role model, and the admiration shows in the delicate beauty with which he plays these pieces. More so than rock, jazz is often the meeting of talent and from that comes creativity and legendary performances. This is an amazing set which is also available as individual albums.
Beach Slang - The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City: Five years after their debut comes the Philly band's fourth album, released back in January. I hadn't heard this band before but I'm usually willing to check out a band from the hometown. This is energetic rock, if not all that passionate. Something about it just didn't grab me and therefore it felt like hundreds of other bands that I've forgotten about through the years. There's nothing overtly bad or offensive about it, it's just kind of boring.
DMA's - DMA's: The second EP from the Sydney band was released in 2015 and featured the singles "Laced" and "Delete". While this band has gained a following in their home country of Australia and in the UK, they are still relatively unknown here in the states. They are often compared to Oasis and the songs do have a Noel kind of structure, but they actually remind me more of The View and the other second/ third wave Britpop bands that came around in the early 00's, bands that added a garage rock element to their sound. "Feels like 37" and "So We Know" (along with the two singles) are all fantastic tracks.
A Flock of Seagulls - The Story of a Young Heart: The Liverpool synth-pop new wave band burst into stardom in '82 with their debut that featured the smash hit "I Ran." Two years later, the music landscape was changing quickly, but the sound was still viable as this, their third album, came out. The thing about new wave is that it is so rooted in a very specific time and I wonder if it would mean anything to people who weren't around then. For me, this album brings back all those elementary school years, Brat Pack movies, summer at the pool club, and childhood crushes at roller skating parties. "Remember David," "Heart of Steal," and the title track are my personal favorites.