The Picturebooks – “I Need That Oooh”: I kid you not, barely ten seconds into this song I thought to myself “I need to see this band live.” The song is homage to the sensual rock and roll tunes of the late 70s and 80s. The lyrics might sound sexual, but according to the band that “oooh” they speak of points more to that “eureka!” moment people seek, but of course, like all music, lyrics are open to interpretation. All I know is that I like that live setup they use in the music video and hope they use it everywhere. And that riff is gnarly too. View the music video here.
Die So Fluid – “Bittersweet”: Arena rock perfect for Rock On the Range from a female fronted band. I don’t even like typing out “female fronted” because I don’t think having a female singer should be considered a separate genre, but to a lot of the public this will add context – and that context is that this is song is badass. “I think it’s criminal, not to be original” she sings. I couldn’t agree more. That line is followed up by a classic sounded guitar solo to drive the point home. The song comes from the forthcoming LP One Bullet from Paradise. Drumming on the record is Justin Bennet from My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult.
so many wizards – “Just Poison”: I’m sitting here trying to figure out if I’ve heard anything called “dream punk” before. Well in any case, the Lollipop Records band has a sound that is both heavy hitting and calming at the same time. This weird juxtaposition is complicated even more by desperate vocals and a driving rhythm section. Jangly guitars keep things lighthearted. Keep an ear out for the band’s album Heavy Vision.
PONCÉ – “Elevator”: Yay for rock and roll duos! I write that without jest. I was tipped off to this band by my pal Brandon Hughes, so when a publicist reached out I figured I had better pay attention. Listening to this song is like going on a joyride through the hilly countryside. I think of the area around my dad’s hometown of Mansfield, Ohio where the landscape rolls and where as kids we used to find a thrill by down big hills on car rides, oblivious to any danger in getting up to speed. This song would be good for such a setting. Disclaimer: my parents never put us in any actual danger. Just saying!
Astra the 22s – “Paris Love”: Speaking of rock duos, here’s the glam rock duo Astra the 22s. The vocals kind of remind me of rising electropop Cappa (whom toured with Matt Wertz last year) – how the verses are at times almost whisper-sung, crescendoing into the chorus where they are really belt out. The overall vibe hangs somewhere between glam rock and darkwave, but leans more toward the former.
Lisbon – “Tyler”: The Newcastle, UK trio makes a transition to a sound that somewhere between Glass Animals and outright electropop. I’m reminded of some of the groups I’ve heard coming out of the pop scene in Nashville recently. The song is bombastic, layered, and really really fun to listen to.