Sometimes I post infrequently and pile up a heap of great new tunes. This is one of those times. On the 4th Blue Tape Special, you’ll find a whole lot of lo-fi pop. It’s the kind of music that seems right as the heat of summer sets in and my mind searches for songs and albums it can really grasp tightly. Most of these have a rough aesthetic and loud emotions that somehow all come together quite nicely. Hopefully, you’ll find some new artists to love.
Teen Suicide – “Falling Out Of Love With Me”
Haven’t heard much from Teen Suicide in awhile but this album is an oddly beautiful dream. This particular track captures the happier side of the collection nicely in a riff-laden drift.
New Weird America (Tiny Little Houses) = “You tore out my beating heart, and that’s not fair.”
The demo version of Tiny Little Houses’ “You Tore Out My Heart” is something special. Distorted and blaring, that same yearning still pulls through with more insecurity padding its heartbroken walls. I’d listen to anything Caleb writes.
Strawberry Milk – “Baby Birds”
Strawberry Milk is one of those magical bands that grows from two already talented musicians tinkering around until a song comes out. A fantastic supergroup of Philly musicians have created the theme song to the best of summer days with sugary vocals that are as sweet as their name.
ROIDZ – “DO YOU WANNA MAKE OUT WITH ME”
This crunchy punch of punk from New Zealand really gets stuck in my head. It’s middle chunk really sinks into probably the grossest make-out invitation ever but comes back in for a soft third attempt.
Middle Kids – “Edge Of Town”
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a debut single this thoroughly promising. We’ve put this on a playlist already but its full ride from uncertainty to declaration is insatiably addictive. Many of the strong points of the current Australian heavy hitters can be found in its structure and melodic composition but it still feels unique.
Microsoft Saint – “minimart”
This EP is just wonderful and deserves much more attention. I love the weird song structure and the tone of their voice.
Big Thief – “Paul”
Every track on Big Thief’s debut has it’s own personality. “Paul” flows with sincerity like a diary rhythmically churning through the nostalgic soft spot nostalgia between heartbreak and regret. This will be one of my favorite albums of the year. They play tomorrow at World Cafe Live with Nada Surf.
Pansy – “It’s all over now”
Pansy is a thoroughly textured new pop project from Ferg of Bored Nothing and Anna from Major Leagues. It’s every bit the subtle dream you might imagine.
Bonus Fun Fact: Bored Nothing was on a stage I was running at CMJ. When I asked the event runner what Ferg looked like, he said, “Well… Like you.”
I got overwhelmingly excited on my first listen through these two tracks. Trophy Dad’s half is warm and triumphant while Barbara Hans is fittingly blazing.
Swanning – “Sleep My Pretties”
Clearly a Philly-bred album, Cynthia Schemmer’s debut EP is adorably quirky. “Sleep My Pretties” is darker than its upbeat facade but still endlessly catchy. Her record release last night felt like a homecoming for a project long overdue.
Sun Organ – “Blood in the House”
It has been a hot minute since Sun Organ have put out new music and this one doesn’t disappoint. Taking the kinetic and atmospheric aspects of their best tracks until now, “Blood in the House” feels just right. Thanks, Ranch Records. Check out the rest of the split for more Philly goodness as well.
Naps – “Bad Vibrations”
Finally, I’ve seen these elusive Floridians in real life. It seems their future, much like “Bad Vibrations,” is undoubtedly bright. This track is invigorating despite its self-doubt.
Lady Parts – “Lips Talk”
Lady Parts played the same show as Naps and I was impressed with every song. They have a coolness about them that comes from being themselves. At the moment, they are going through a line-up change but this song is still a standout.
Jay Som – “I Think You’re Alright”
I can see why Fat Possum put faith in this one. Its complexity gently unfolds in layers, controllably exploding towards the end. Something shifts as it progresses, entirely changing tone and ferocity but not at all in sentiment.
CLIQUE – “Boundaries”
Burden Piece is an album I’ve listened to so many times. It’s urgent, frank, unafraid, and aware. Though most tracks are around 2 minutes, they all form complete sonic ideas and lyrical thoughts that echo the current state of the Philly scene. “Boundaries” is my favorite of the bunch.
Bleu Velvet – “Celestial Blue”
Our very fun uncle and favorite videographer, Bob Sweeney, put this track on a mix we made for Queen of Jeans. I have been in wading in its relentless, choppy waters ever since.
Mumblr – “VHS”
This album will be one to remember. Nick’s melodic voice really melds into their peculiar punk. Moving with ease, “VHS” shows of Nick’s register and the way the group’s wall of sound can pause in an instant. We’ve also got a brand new live session with Mumblr coming out very soon. So, stay tuned for that.
Lowercase Roses – “boys”
Matt’s songs say so much with so little. His voice is comforting and his songwriting is timeless. He played below the twinkling lights of Everybody Hits for Thin Lips’ Record Release and the crowd hushed to hear every bit of it. This track is old but too good not to share.