Elizabeth Colour Wheel – Nocebo

OK, this one is going to be hard to review so I’m just going to start like this: Elizabeth Color Wheel’s Nocebo is one of the more earnest records I’ve heard in a long time. Forget the musicality of it for a second; it’s just extremely honest. You can hear…

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PREMIERE: Spooky Cool’s “Black Wine” Is The Deviously Infectious Summer Jam You Need

Maybe I’m finally showing my age, but I’ve gotten to the point where it takes something really special in the indie rock sphere to impress me. Albums still come through occasionally that scratch that itch I felt so often throughout college and much of my 20s, but few things really stick and weave their way into my brain like they used to. I still keep my ears out though for new bands and tunes that can bring those earworm melodies packaged with interesting songwriting that deftly balances hooks with more challenging meat that I crave. This is exactly what drew my attention to Richmond, VA’s Spooky Cool when I found their debut EP Every Thing Ever in my inbox. Formed in 2015, the band blend the big hooks and powerful melodies of classic indie like The Pixies, unconventional art-rock/pop noodling and vocal stylings reminiscent of Dave Longstreth and Dirty Projectors, with the occasional outbursts of angular guitars and noise that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Deerhoof record. The band have already premiered the excellent tracks “Strange Rooms” and “Old Hair Mine,” which you can hear on their Bandcamp. We are pleased to be premiering another track, the epically groovy “Black Wine,” which you can listen to here!

Bent Knee Are Good At Naming Obscure Land Animals, Want You To Take Them On Tour

Of the many bands I became familiar with and wrote about in 2017, few meant more to me than the Boston art-rock/prog rock/whatever you want to call it collective Bent Knee. I’ve written about them several times this year, including a lengthy interview and profile of the band with frontwoman Courtney Swain. Frankly, by the time we were ready to roll out our album of the year list (where they ranked #17) I didn’t think I would be writing about them again for a while. But they were stopping through Brooklyn again in December, this time with the always amazing prog force that is Thank You Scientist, and I knew I had to come out and see them.

Hey! Listen To The New Tarot!

The beauty of good art-rock and pop is that it often presents the best of many musical worlds. For those of us who love a good vocal hook, catchy choruses, and a certain immediacy that pop offers but still crave some amount of edge and compositional twists and turns to keep things from getting too simplistic or repetitive, it’s the sonic equivalent of having our cake and eating it too. That mixture of familiar and the unexpected are the things that make acts like St. Vincent or Bent Knee at their best so utterly engrossing, addictive, and fun. And for those who are fans of either of those two aforementioned groups/artists, here’s another to add to your rotation who will surely not disappoint: The New Tarot.