This Blue Tape Special is a balanced meal. It might not have all the food groups but it’s got a lot of the good ones. A whole range of soothing sounds, this mixed bag of tracks that I’ve currently been listening to is a special set with a ton of standouts. Dig in below.
Boosegumps – “Cosmic”
There probably aren’t too many songs in the world about Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies. But once you’ve heard this one, you won’t need any others. Appropriately, it’s super sweet. Picture it performed with tiny, timely hips swivels, rockin’ sunglasses, and one upbeat Heeyoon. It’s magical enough that it was stuck in my head for days after seeing them perform it. The rest of their new heart peach EP is more unexpected keyboard glory.
Middle Kids – “Doing It Right”
On a debut EP full of hits, I never expected the quiet closer to stick out so strongly. I saw Middle Kids put on a 10/10 live performance last week at Boot & Saddle. Hannah easily sold this one to a very anxious crowd with endearing vocal warbles and an electric guitar replacing the hard-to-carry piano in the original. It’s about that point where you have decide if a daily routine is insanity.
Wedding Ring Bells – “Public Phone”
Fergus Miller made eternally beautiful music. This track from his album as Wedding Ring Bells is a pretty example. Slowly unraveling thoughts lead in a musical search for comfort. A comfort easily found in one listen and certainly in the multiple that will ensue.
Major Leagues – “It Was Always You”
You want summer and sunshine and some airy pop? You got it. Well, Major Leagues have got it for you. The latest from the Brisbane band bounces off into the sunset with the same kind of hope that warm weather seasons bring.
Maddy Kirgo – “baby let us happen”
Any good day starts with a new Maddy Kirgo lullaby. This demo is another short and wonderful peek into her songwriting that somehow soars even in it’s humble recording. The rise and fall of this romantic ballad perfectly suits her honeyed lilt.
She’s not embedable but so worth clicking on -> https://soundcloud.com/maddkirgz/baby-let-us-happen
Ohyeahsumi – “Daisy”
Twin sisters Lena and Rena carve out a haunting space on this minimalist soundscape. The guitar lines come in dark waves that wash over their voices as they preach just above a whisper. Our friend Theo just put out this record on his label, Sports Day Records. He never fails to pick the best new stuff.
Yellow Days – “Go Home”
Yellow Days makes music that beckons. Emotion dripping from his voice, George van den Broek creates a smoky atmosphere on this cut. At only 17, he puts together massive songs like this one in his bedroom that sprint (or in this case slowly wander) past “lo-fi” or any marks of the beginning of a career.
Fog Lake – “Ventriloquist”
No one makes DIY sound better than Fog Lake. It seems like they can “communicate with just a song.” “Ventriloquist” fits snuggly in their lo-fi cannon and doesn’t stop chugging until the very end. Like all the rest, the song has a timeless quality that elevates it to a special feeling not captured often.
While I’ll always pine for some more of the kind of music The Cactus Channel was making during the beginning half of their time as a band, it’s equally as interesting to see how their influence can stretch Sam Cromack’s musicality. His signature voice takes on new shades for the second track from their joint release. All the pieces flow so smoothly.
Summer Salt – “Candy Wrappers”
Songs from Summer Salt just feel good. They’ve really learned how to trap sun-soaked breezes into sort of sultry songs. You taste the empty satisfaction in all that candy they’ve eaten in frustration and the surf guitar makes it even richer.
Julia Lucille – “Darkening”
With the posting of this track, I think we’ve managed to post all of the released singles off of Julia Lucille’s upcoming album Chthonic on Keeled Scales. It’s really something special. For its constant drift, imaginative imagery, stunning vocals, and everything in between, it’s shaping up to be one of our favorite records of the year. This tune explores what seems to be a dark cave with a whole lot of harmony. We don’t have many dark caves in Philadelphia but it still feels recognizable. PS – Please come play a show here.
The Babe Rainbow – “Losing Something”
Here’s some peace and guitar picking for the 21st century. The newest track from The Babe Rainbow is a dream, an adventure, and a tip of the hat to summer’s delightfulness. The lively bunch were clearly born in the wrong decade and we are very thankful that they are here to bring us such a sprightful ditty.