Week in Pop: Baywitch, Laurel Saints, unhappybirthday

Sjimon Gompers

Stockton sons Laurel Saints, from left, Jose Medina & Marcos Gonzales; photographed by Jameel Rasool.

Week in Pop

The awesome Amy O; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Bloomington, Indiana hero Amy O caught the world’s attention this past week with the spirited & harmonic new single “Spill” featured off the anticipated new album Elastic available August 4 from Winspear. “Open the bedroom window & touch the sky,” sings Amy amid perfectly delivered sparse chords that exemplifies the thrill of the air outside that couples together the spaces where we dwell along with the places that we wish to wander to in flights of fancy. In Amy’s own introductory words about the new single “Spill”:

It was the last song written for the album. I was stubborn about keeping it stripped down throughout the recording process, thinking of it as a meditation of sorts on coming back to the present when you’re overwhelmed by life. It’s about how much we rely on the people we love to shape our perception of things. That can be scary, especially when you lose someone, but the beauty of loss is that it means you really care.

BOSCO has sent word of the forthcoming release b. available August 11 through Fools Gold & we offered up a listen to the accelerated futuristic r&b single “Adrenaline”. A host of intimate reflections on truths & experiences are expressed in a ballad that pushes the sound toward new realms of pop illustrations of intrigue.

b. is a collection of songs about escapism, freedom, self-discovery, and relationships while transitioning into womanhood.I created this body of work in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New Orleans from intimate moments in my bedroom, friends’ stories, unfinished conversations and feelings while traveling, Uber + plane rides with fleeting thoughts, and self-love/worth during solitude. During this process, I learned a lot about myself, facing things no one really wants to see about themselves. I guess I’m telling my truths this time around.

Don Mykel presents the first fresh single featured off the forthcoming EP Infinite with the new world order heralding single “N.W.O.” that sports production from Scott Farlee. That feeling of the new new replaces the old with something bigger, badder & radder that presents something bolder & better with a whole new set of slaps that moves in all sorts of tempos in a host of various new directions.

Ice Balloons (featuring folks from TV on the Radio, Samiam, Surfbort, Midnight Masses) dropped the video from Chicago animator Jim Trainor (oka The Anti-Disney) for the single “Fallen Family” found off their new album Fiesta available August 11 through Volar Records. The brooding & atmospheric echoes of vocals & foreboding chord sustains & sparse rhythm crashes invite you into an abstract world of absurd cartoon creations that appear to be one big happy, albeit dysfunctional, family.

Hamilton, Ontario’s The Crowleys (who more likely than not have ripped their moniker from a certain Aleister Crowley) present their single “L.A. Sunset” that harkens to those blissful sun downs at dusk witnessed in the Southern California territories. The thrill of a happening gathering with friends is heard like an event spent watching a ball of fire descend into the arms of evening. In the band own words on the new single:

“L.A. Sunset” is the first song we figured out as a band that was primarily written by Stuart, our drummer, and it is kind of an oldie that we finally got around to recording. It is named after a pair of sunglasses bought from Giant Tiger, and although it doesn’t directly relate to the lyrics, we believed it fit the soundscape well. We are releasing this as our first single because we believed it encapsulated all of our influences and styles. The intro is a fresher sound for us- more relaxed and poppy- that local listeners may be surprised to hear. The body of the song is our more typical psych-surf style to get new listeners familiar with our sound. While the ending is a drawn-out, heavy psychedelic climax to keep people wanting more.

NYC collective House of Feelings gathered together by Matty Fasano presents a listen to the danced-up single “Falling” ft. Shamir that pushes the kinetic pop conversation toward the next levels of rhythm & wild audio illustrations. Featured off the upcoming Last Chance EP available August 11, Fasano described the collaborative & creative majic at work behind a collective that includes GABI, Meredith Graves & of course Shamir:

This track was written with a specific instrument in mind: the unmistakable voice of Shamir Bailey, who recently traded glimmering disco-pop ballads for a new brand of soul-searching lo-fi. A duet with House of Feelings bandleader Matty Fasano, who contributed sax on Shamir’s 2015 debut Ratchet, the song appears to bookend a certain phase of Shamir’s musical life (the above quote was tweeted by Shamir when we announced the track’s existence). That bittersweet, maybe-an-ending, maybe-a-beginning feeling is manifest in the series of repeated, unanswered questions that make up the lyrics. “Who’s gonna change the motion / when you’re standing right by my side?

Bronx, NYC’s own TYRXNE (fka Breeze Embalm) dropped the new single “New Day” featuring production from Keaze that offers up the latest project from the artist on the rise. Never one to be content with accepting the state of hard times for what they are; TYRXNE expresses the exuberance of what wonders can be wielded when starting with a clean slate & a whole new scheme. Keep an ear out for more from TYRXNE.

Krystle Warren’s upcoming album Three The Hard Way will be available August 18 from Parlour Door Music, produced by Ben Kane and we provide you the following preview. The Kansas City by Paris artist blends together some of the most heartfelt styles that spins the modern hymn book of styles on its head to exhibit an earnest & organic experience that is full of life & feeling. On the lead track “So We Say”, Warren works with inspired expressions & rhythms that strips down conventional rhythms & blues to find new points of meaning & purpose that frames hopes for the future while still holding remembrances of the past in heart & mind.

Also check out Krystle Warren’s “Thanks and Praise” accompanied with karaoke style lyrics that presents an intimate testimonial of deep felt sentiments & connective meanings that are sublime beyond words.

Henry Hall returned this week with the lovely new single “Love For Serious” that confronts issues of amour in a truthful & uninhibited manner. A subtle & restrained valentine that works in mysterious ways; “Love For Serious” bubbles with a brightness that exemplifies that infinite open roads that some of the best relationships can take you on.

George Glew lent us some slow burning & big time expressions of potent power with the soul baring ballad of “Bury Me”. Laying it all out on the line, Glew offers up sentiments that are fixed firmly to the artist’s shirt that rings out with an honesty that is buried in emotion.

Found off Shitty Hits available August 28 from Ba Da Bing Records / Full Time Hobby; Katie Von Schleicher wowed the world with the appropriate single “Midsummer” that provides dulcets to dream upon. With a timeless arrangement that mixes classic & traditional elements together seamlessly; Katie crafts sounds of seasons past, present & future that will bring the listener back to that special summer that they hold tight to their heart’s dearest memory.

Flood Coats offered up the synth sparkling new track “Don’t Hold the Door” featured off their debut album Vaquita available July 28 on Hey Amigo Records. A statement of autonomy & independence; Flood Coats open up the proverbial flood-gates of insistences on the inherent right of being able to do things your way (no matter what anyone else says or does).

Brooklyn via Woodstock’s Photay, oka Evan Shornstein, presents the percolating joy & beauty of “The Everyday Push” found off the upcoming debut album Onism available August 11 from Astro Nautico. A host of natural & acoustic elements are brought into the digital fold where holistic components discover newfound possibilities brought about by digital achievements in technology & the sciences of sound production.

Indulge in the ultra-neon iconic glow with KRON’s illustrious & indulgent visual for “Arcane Sanctuary” featured off their upcoming Raptoid available August 11 from Ring the Alarm. The electro instrumental illuminates & dazzles with a host of bright lights, colors & effects that will mesmerize instantly.

Kelsey Kerrigan presented the single “Driving Around” that revels in the jingle-jangle joys of just aimlessly driving about for the heck of it. It’s the kind of track that will fill you with a sublime sense of jubilation that embraces the happenstance of it all whilst wandering about our collective world of wow. In Kerrigan’s own words:

This a song I wrote about existential nothingness and if you feel the same, let’s talk about it. [Because] then we won’t feel alone? Just kidding. We’re always gonna feel alone. But maybe you won’t feel AS alone while this song plays. More tunes coming!

Montreal’s own Lunice presents a look at the fuzzy analog visuals via Sam Rolfes’ video for “Distrust” ft. Denzel Curry, Jk the Reaper & Nell featured off the upcoming debut CCCLX available September 8 from LuckyMe. Like witnessing a wild night in the club on some heavy psychotropics; Lunice blends Denzel, Jk & Nell’s delivery into a fun house of moods & brain twisting production effects. An event not to be missed.

Teflon Sega dropped the WAJU produced single “Press Play and Escape” that brings about escapist electro expressions. The feeling of abandon moves from earthly dwellings up into the stratospheres of musical mystery & intrigue.

Raveen shared the meditative Max Taeuschel video for the title track “Always” found off the upcoming album of the same name available July 28 from So Sorry Records. Gorgeous garden menageries & a host of natural settings will spirit you away out of your situation & toward ethereal realms that words themselves cannot relay properly.

Alice Kristiansen presented a listen to the vibrant single “Lost In Translation” accompanied by a host of equally exquisite lights & designs. The notions of things lost in translation are relayed in in ways that blend musical sounds & visions that break through the barriers that language can barely convey.

Performing at the Lollapalooza after party along with The Lemon Twigs; Chicago’s Bunny announced the debut EP with the intimate & evocative “Not Even You”. Introspective reflections carefully cascade along with the gentle chords and warm rhythms that offers a wealth of comfort & warmth.

Rén with the Mane brought the pop hypnosis with “Hypnotize” that transports the listener to new consciousnesses like the hypnosis of a swinging pendulum. With an infectious organic rhythmic loop, Rén catches you in a tractor beam of bountiful passions & persuasions that just might leave you in a trance afterward.

New Jersey’s Blood Cultures delivered a listen to their album Happy Birthday ahead of their upcoming Rough Trade NYC show August 9 that finds the group pushing their sounds into all sorts of fascinating directions. Like an experimental outing that dabbles in an array of cool & creative pop tropes; Happy Birthday is here to make it feel like your birthday for the rest of the 364 days out of the year (that your birthday doesn’t fall on).

Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire presented the Mandy Shannon video for “Sliding” featured off the album Swithering via Middle Of Nowhere Recordings that pairs the evocative lyrics with wild motion effects that are guaranteed to bring a sense of vertigo. From the wildest & most dizzying of heights to the perception depths of the eye; the visuals for “Sliding” will send you toward all sorts of charted & uncharted territories of the imagination.

Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire presented the Mandy Shannon video for “Sliding” featured off the album Swithering via Middle Of Nowhere Recordings that pairs the evocative lyrics with wild motion effects that are guaranteed to bring a sense of vertigo. From the wildest & most dizzying of heights to the perception depths of the eye; the visuals for “Sliding” will send you toward all sorts of charted & uncharted territories of the imagination.

Peep the Alyssa Shea video for Tinmouth’s video for “Coast” that finds the Philly trio paying homage to their favorite Spike Jonze & Michel Gondry moments. From performance screen tests, scenes of the group running about the neighborhood to busting moves on boards; “Coast” illustrates Tinmouth strolling & strutting to the tune of their own inspired drum beat that will have you rocking out & letting your own freak flag fly with unabashed joy.

Luna covered a CBGBs 1976 obscure classic with their take on Mink DeVille’s “Let Me Dream If I Want To” that provides some cool classic NYC punk attitudes featured of their forthcoming covers record A Sentimental Education plus their instrumental EP A Place of Greater Safety all available September 22 through Double Feature Records. Through peppy chords & minimalist attitudes & a whole lotta coolness; Luna illuminate why that iconic mid-70s period of cultures & sounds still resonates with many of us today.

Paperhaus presents the illustrious Emre Yagci, Kevin Chambers (ft. special effect lasers from Zak Forrest) for the single “Go Cozy” featured off the new album Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? available October 6 via Misra Records. From various blended images that move in manners of visual triptychs & diptychs that embody the energy of an exquisite & cozy night spend with friends & endearing pop tunes.

Currently touring with Rozwell Kid with further dates along with Vundabar & Chris Farren; Seattle’s Great Grandpa presents the Lisa Jake animated video for the single “No” featured off the Double Double Whammy album Plastic Cough. Like a children’s book of clever cut-outs brought to life; watch as the metamorphosis of a caterpillar takes on a wild new life involving all kinds of eccentric entanglements with surrounding insects.

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