Week in Pop: Daddy, Hellrazor, JEEN., The Lentils

Sjimon Gompers

The multidisciplinary patriarch on the rise to be the new king of New York—Daddy; photographed by Isabella Tan.

Week in Pop

San Diego’s Flat Worms rise up from the subterranean zones to share a listen to their new set of singles “Red Hot Sand” b/w “Petulance” & “Sovereignty” all of their debut 7″ EP available now via Volar Records. Will Ivy (from Dream Boys, Wet Illustrated, Bridez), Justin Sullivan (of Kevin Morby, the Babies) with Tim Hellman (of Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Sic Alps) surveys everything from grains of earth, insects of the air to issues of land ownership & more. Unexpected punk-y melodic grinds & groans like a well oiled machine put to task. “Petulance” brings out all the worst behavior as “Sovereignty” sends out a standard of sonic, saloon styled skronk.

Bay Area electro-beat & beyond phenom Avalon Emerson unleashed the Furiously Awake Version for the super sweet “Adrift” single from Octo Octa. Featured as a 12″ single available now from Honey Soundsystem/Phonica Records; Emerson discovers a whole new set of rhythmic gears & cinematic cues for the track that are paired next to Dorisburg’s remix of the same cut.

Camden artist Laura Elvin shared the wondrous single “Wonder (Music Box Version)” that exhibits a kind of natural mystique that is the feeling of discovering an ancient, familiar yet new song upon opening a wooden chime-box complete with a dancing figurine. Elvin’s vocal flutters like a school of butterflies taking off for the skies together to seek new floral essences & newfound discovered botanicals of limitless beauty.

Toronto artist Sarah Cripps shared the single “Leave Behind” about the passage of time and thoughts about the places & people that get left behind during life’s shifts & shuffles. Introspection is illustrated through a smoky, road-rolling sense of traveling from familiar places, headed toward tomorrows of the unknown with reiterations of don’t forget me….. Sarah introduced the single with the following reflections:

During the making of this album, I was going through a turbulent transition in my life. I was struggling with the perception of who I thought I was supposed to be, and who I truly am. It left me feeling pretty dark at times. It was making this record that helped me decide I would embrace the darkness and the weirdness. I pulled myself out of the perfect box I thought I had to fit into. I found a way to create my own narrative and not subscribe to the one that is often forced on young women. Although “Leave Behind” is a reflection of losing myself and some of my lowest moments, ultimately, it’s the turning point that gave me the guts to just embrace the weirdness.

LA by NYC’s Willowz return after nearly eight years with their upcoming latest album Fifth available September 15 from San Diego’s Thrill Me Records & dropped the enlightening heavy chord cruiser “Now You Know”. The group is back with a whole lotta attitude that offers up a wealth of inspiration/information & a whole lotta mean licks.

Toronto’s Aerin Fogel (previously of Bitters) makes music under the moniker Queen of Swords & is readying a self-titled album available September 15 presenting a look at the cosmic Danielle Aphrodite video for “Rise Instead”. Aerin entertains all the enchantment that can be found with a green screen as an anthem to ascension is combined with stratosphere bound visuals that compliment that track’s own celestial composition.

Oakland’s own Club Night just released their Hell Ya EP via Tiny Engines & we give you a listen to the trio’s extended player that was sent to help close out the summer in shimmering style. The locomotive momentum begins with the energy of “Shear”, to the inclusive-invitational rallying call of “Rally”, to the unleashed & unrelenting jubilation where the energy spills out everywhere on “Well”. Electrical experiments & exercises permeate “Hair” that drones into the closing number “Work” where the group rolls up their sleeves & offers up a sampler platter of musical tropes that will enamor, enchant & entrance that readies the spirit for the autumn season transitions.

Available now from Nicey Music, don’t miss the event of the summer with Banny Grove’s Cars in Control EP that delivers the latest from the magical & enlightened realm of Louise Chicoine. Recorded at their Los Angeles Nicey Studio; Louise & Peter Nichols offer up their most electrified outing on their DIY imprint to date. Personification of automobiles is part of the equation as heard on the super slippery synth-sundae of the title track that descends into emerald garden of “Baby”, to immaculate conceptions & other such concepts on the electro-blend “The Manger”, with further industrious auto-fixations on the eccentric “Trash Truck” (that almost sounds like something that Keith Rankin might have curated), to cherishing canine companionship on the exuberant & life/animal affirming “Dogs FM” that hold you over over until the next Banny Grove record.

Recorded with the one & only Christopher Daly via New Paltz, New York’s Salvation Recording Co.; we present Kate Larson’s radical group Guilt Mountain & their Rare Energy EP (available now via Team Love) that channels obscure sentiments into sonic-speared bliss. With a rhythm section assist from Matt Ross, Sarah Ayton with backup vocals by Kaitlin Van Pelt; Kate & company convey those expressions that are hard to say in casual conversation where intimate honesty & an inspired DIY aesthetic allows every song to spring from inception to auditory manifestation. “Fever” brings about spiraling swarms of thoughts together in some sort of organized unison that descends into the celebratory traumas & dramas of “Birthday Song”, to intricacies of “Erasure” that then grows wings & flies forward with the solemn human observances of “Slowing”. This is the EP that you have longed for all year that will make the passing of summer feel a little sad.

Cold Specks delivered the lunar meditations of “New Moon” featured off the forthcoming album Fool’s Paradise available September 22 from Arts & Crafts. Ladan Hussein provides new proverbs for our current era where the chances for newfound renewal & new beginnings are heard through illuminated expressions that offer up hopes for a beautiful new tomorrow.

Indianapolis artist Duncan Kissinger shared the reflections on the tempo of time with “Slower & Slower”, featured off the forthcoming album Make Time Stop available September 22 from Winspear. Candid expressions are delivered over a modernist arrangement of forward strumming guitar rhythms & a whole lotta illustrative solos that spell out stories of past with the wishes of the future (and all the inherent intricacies therein). The notion of time is both sung & felt in the arrangement where the concept of chronology moves in the pacing & percussion arrangement where the entire track moves along the dusty trail like a drifter dragging their accompanying baggage.

Bring us their first song in about six years time, Company of Thieves brought a listen to their fist clenched & fiery single “Treasure” that seeks a treasure beyond the veil of material conceits. From politician disses to expressions uttered from the heart’s own sacred & guarded truths; Company of Thieves return swinging with an aggressive & assert attitude that operates on a determined centered & focused axis of their own devising.

With a self-titled EP available October 6, Chelsea Cutler caught the pop world’s attention with “You Make Me” that operates with all the big maximalist FM radio pop hooks & arrangements. Cutler’s delivery is intertwined with a twinkling array of keys, guitars & electric atmospheres poised to be played everywhere well before winter descends.

YFS offered up boasts of opulent hedonism in manners that mix throwback dance hall styles with a contemporary holiday-hymn approach to smooth beats on the visual for “Way I Live”. YFS revel in that high life living large & creating a kingdom that is all of their own design. Look for their new EP Next Life dropping later this fall.

Wolf Solent shared the psych-saturated serenity of “See You Leaving” is taken from EP // 4 available via Sea Records/Shellshock. A cycle of songs spun by Danny Trew Barton; the York based group offers up a stirring of echoes that indicate those rugged routes & passage ways overlooked & under-appreciated. Like “Red Moon” & the restrained & gentle majesty of “See You Leaving”; Wolf Solent shares in a tradition of allowing the most subtle of sounds float upward with a windy effervescence that works like the happenstance structure of weather patterns.

Sporting production from Suede/Brit-Pop icon Bernard Butler from their upcoming debut album soon to be available from Dirty Hit; NYC’s QTY delivered the new single “Dress/Undress” & accompanying b/w video that mixes performance footage with the group hanging about the Big Apple. The super suave sounds of the oughts & 90s collect together in one NYC by way of London bundle of modernist cool with those trademark wall of sound guitars that Butler’s production places a heavy emphasis upon as if the glam rock era never left our hearts.

Mini Dresses’s self-titled will be available via Joy Void this forthcoming September 15 & we offer a listen from the Boston trio with “Fantasy Nails” that takes salon-styled affections & elevates it toward a special & sacred sort of sound. Lira Mondal, Caufield Schnug & Luke Reed make music made for daily moments whether it be running errands, going to and from jobs or just a lazy song to bask in while getting your nails did.

Twain’s upcoming album Rare Feeling will be available October 20 through Keeled Scales & we offer a listen to the serene strums of “Solar Pilgrim” that floats up toward the sun during a gentle afternoon. With every note & vocal utterance; Twain offers up a helping of restrained arrangements made with heart aplenty that that holds tight for all the events that make life worth living.

Available today, check out Broken Bellows’ new EP The Card Table available August 25 from Fervor Records; Cory Brent & Will Prinzi from Reckless Serenade deliver a song cycle made at home. The duo offer up a wave of festival friendly feels that will carry those firefly summer sentiments well into the autumn entrances with a host of electrified affinities of audio interests.

Off the upcoming album of the same name, check out Nick Ferrio’s “Soothsayer” that mixes classic modernist pop tropes with visions of the temporal & futuristic. From electric chords & commentary on contemporary conceits; Ferrio makes music for living in our muddled material world & more. In Nick’s own words:

“Soothsayer” is a song about getting my fortune read, getting sage advice from a close friend. It’s the first song I wrote for this album and it led me to decide to make rock and roll on my own terms. I think I was listening to a lot of “Taxman” and “Helter Skelter” by the Beatles around the time I wrote this.

London artist Nick Wilson just released the harmonic resonances & reflections of “Miles Apart” that questions the life trial notions of sustaining things in the thick & thin of the duality of bonds strung together through the best of times & the worst. Restrained percussion & chords collect like a tear-fall downpour of rain that reaches across expanses of lands and toward loves in absentia that are beyond the lakes & ponds of immediate reach. Wilson introduced the single with the following reflections:

The song was always this delicate thing from the moment I wrote it, it just felt right to bring the production down and let it keep the imperfections that a home recording brings.

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