Dylan Thomas "Suceso en la Plaza" E.P. (dylanthomassjo.bandcamp.com)
Here's a truly delightful E.P. from this San José/Costa Rica based shoegaze unit that go by the name Dylan Thomas. Starting out with the upbeat flair of " Fuegos Artificiales a la Distancia" you know you are in for something special. It's got that breezy, feel good spirit to it that also channels a bit of "Boys Don't Cry" era Cure. "Últimos Días" relishes in a sea of jangle pop swag as it's pumping bass line, straight forward beat and lulling guitars move through the speakers in fine form. Rich layers of modulated guitars surface in "Suceso en la Plaza" while the upbeat stance of "Atacama" reminds me of something from R.E.M.'s "Murmur". It's a nice collection of songs that are incredibly well produced. Top notch across the board.
Everything And Everyone "Making Space" E.P. (everythingandeveryone.bandcamp.com)
I can't get enough of this vibrant, inspiring E.P. from Boston's Everything And Everyone. This band just has an amazing knack for writing catching, fun uplifting indie pop songs that get you signing along in no time. "Happens All The Time" features a shuffling groove, rolling bass line and feel good vocal presence that gets everything off to a great start. The hook filled "Gypsy Rock" balances lo-fi indie rock sounds with country nuances while "Hide It All" moves quickly and makes great use of chiming, intricate guitars that add an element of brightness to everything. Closing piece "Ain't my House" has a slightly darker bit to it and really shows just how amazing this band is with it's heartfelt lyrics and comforting arrangement. Hands down four of the best songs you will hear all year. Get into it.
Lee Ranaldo "New Thing" Single (Mute)
"New Thing" from the forthcoming Lee Ranaldo album "Electric Trim" is a truly incredible song that seems to channel the likes of John Lennon, Lou Reed and Wilco with the undeniable coolness that is Lee Ranaldo. It's simple structure and matter of fact vocal style impress throughout as layers of atmospheric sound and noise shimmer in from time to time. Everything I've heard from this new record is amazing and what I like most about "New Thing" is that it's got a style to it we have not really heard from Lee Ranaldo before and that makes me feel good. The album will be available on September 17th courtesy of Mute Records.
Los Lemons :Pink Beach" E.P. (loslemonsband.bandcamp.com)
This Indiana garage/surf outfit offer up a stunning 4 song E.P. full of jangling guitars and infectious pop hooks. "First Date" kicks things off with it's striking three chord riff and laid back vocal cadence. The track also features some stellar lead guitar work that puts things over the top. "Dreaming" has that sorta slack rock feel that is just flat out fun while the slow pace of "Fade" shows off another positive dynamic of the bands sound. Everything comes to an end on the rich, dream like "Wavves". It just might be my favorite track of the four as it really creates a sense of passion and attitude while layers of underlying melodies enhance it even more. A promising debut that's inspiring, honest and warm.
Russian based project Total Euphoria has released one of the most intense and haunting albums I've heard in some time. Over the coarse of it's 12 tracks things grow from blasts of dirge driven synths and spaced out noise to lush soundscapes and epic soundtrack style post rock numbers. I'm particularly impressed with the guitar based piece "Mind Explosion" as it features a culmination of multiple guitars, interacting in seriously inspiring ways. From it's soothing clean melodies things move into full on frantic mode in a matter of minutes that create an almost psychedelic like haze. Other favorites include the calming feel of "Hard", punk rock stance of "Crumble" and experimental spirit of "Sick Tools". Overall "Rupture" shows off a sense of an artist that's really just going for it and isn't afraid to take chances or feel they have to stick to one particular style or sound.
Peppermint Showers "Joy Boy" E.P. (peppermintshowers.bandcamp.com)
Perth, Australia based shoegaze outfit Peppermint Showers deliver an eye opening effort on their latest E.P. "Joy Boy". Opening number "Dominoes" glides with elegance and grace as stretched out layers of shimmering guitars float alongside a lush, atmospheric vocal delivery. The slightly more experimental "Summer Still" takes you down a lulling path that's drenched in reverb and emits a sense of mystery, while the intriguing tones of "Scary Close" only add to the records evolving cinematic mood. Overall "Joy Boy" is a phenomenal release that draws you in and submerges you with their radiant and inviting sounds that wander through grey territories that are lined with lushly textured and colorful guitars. Highly recommended.