Week in Pop: Cal Fish, Halfalib, Holy Youth

Sjimon Gompers

Image still taken from Cal Fish's visual companion for Cassette Traveler.

Week in Pop

Athens, Greece four piece Baby Guru presented us with a listen to “Tell Me What You’re Made Of” featured off their new album IV available April 7 from Inner Ear Records. Following up their 2015 mini-album Sunshine Special, the band’s own Prins Obi, King Elephant & Sir Kosmiche have been moving in a variety of different directions while retaining an ultra-creative ethos that they have established since the beginning over seven years back with the emergence of their Yogi Sister EPs. “Tell Me What You’re Made Of” is a prime example of Baby Guru’s own aesthetic code that allows the song to journey toward wherever the quartet desire their inspirations to travel.

Hear the catchy & sun-soaked title track “Sunbelt Emptiness” from Pollen RX’s upcoming album of the same name available now from ATH Records. The track draws you in with all the catchy DIY sorts of well-organized & melodic discord that brings you into a blissful world of dissonance that you may never want to leave.

Très Oui, a Literature side project presents the following listen to their debut EP available from ATH Records. Their self-titled instantly makes a splash with the brilliant autumn dreaming “Fall Back”, to emulating 80s indie idols on “Prince of Pop”, the hedonistic herald of “Party Planner”, the summer island wish-swimming “Honolulu” that closes with an ode to everyone’s favorite cult show “Twin Peaks” that is something that could have been straight out of a Lynch/Badalamenti composition.

Dav Savage, the duo of Exile & Johaz dropped the single “What Makes A Mutha Fucka” ft. Cashus King to accompany their announcement of a European tour with Blu spanning from night in Switzerland through February 18. Courtesy of Dirty Science Records and featured off the forthcoming fourth project Volition; Exile’s big & boisterous production provides the framework for Johaz & Cashus to claim their prowess & the various composite qualities that comprise their beings (complete with the democratic anarchy of an acapella Cashus King versus that drops at the end of the track).

Montreal trio CHANCES rolled the dice and brought us the light of “Shine” that sends out a sound beacon from the land of all things inventive & creative. CHANCES take a chance by channeling harmonies & arrangements to sound like a stray ray of light to illuminate an entire world waiting for their next single.

Don’t miss the new RAINE single “Moon City” that sends out metropolitan night-lit sparkles from the utilitarian posts & glow from the buildings to RAINE’s sung that floats like an anthem unleashed to the airs of infinite atmosphere.

Getting ready for a big Canadian tour & the release of their debut album All Day Breakfast available April 7; we give you a listen to Surf Dad’s “Up All Night” that rages with the caffeine levels of a hopped-up energy drink. “Up All Night” is the sound of sleepless eves where all the energy of being too excited to rest is molded into the poppiest of the pop punk variety.

In case you missed it, bask in the vocoded glory of SVFARI’s single “For Something You Love” produced by the London artist’s brother who crafts beats under the moniker ATLAS. The piano synths and electronic treatments make for a digital ballad of melancholy & plenty of make-up motions that will assuage the most turbulent tempests.

Out now via DiTC Studios, we bring you snippets from O.C.’s Same Moon Same Sun (1st Phase) that features support from Lord Finesse, Showbiz, Motif Alumni, Gwop Sullivan & other fellow legends.

L’Amour Bleu dropped the video for “Human Mattress” that offers up all kinds of goth-y macabre late night industrial romance insinuations, found off their upcoming album debut Please available this upcoming Valentine’s.

Also peep L’Amour Bleu’s video for “New Dominance” that features all the fun of a Little Richard impersonator and much more.

Allan Rayman presented a listen to the ballad “13” featured off the Communion Records album Roadhouse 01. The Lost Springs artist operates with a big-time swagger & sensibility that alludes toward a strange night of surrealness where anything feels possible.

Tempers are about to take you out to the furthest regions of earth & water (and those sacred places where they intersect) via their video for “Further” featured off the album Fundamental Fantasy available now from The Vinyl Factory. From a variety of film lenses & dramatic poses & frame rates; Tempers focus on those rocky points where bodies of land & ocean like arms & hands in congress.

Les Gordon dropped the “Paradise” (Robin Remix) that entertains new celestial-bent discoveries designed for clandestine club after-after-after-parties.

Indulge in the ultra-beauty & glow of “Crystal Ball” from Pat Lok featuring Montreal’s Claire Ridgely delivering some bouncing vocals surely to keep your weekend party raging all day & all night forward.

Doc Robinson brought their new single that shines like an early spring here to melt these February sidewalks & streets with “I’m Not Gone”. It’s a track that hearkens back to another place & time that contains a kind of rich arrangement & wisdom that makes this gem worthy of many listens.

Australia’s Ukiyo dropped the single “Calling” feat. Your Girl Pho featuring production from Timothy Arnott that dazzles with a buzz like that special, long-awaited phone call. The artist exhibits the phone-tag games of amour in a leisurely style of manner where conventional lounge tropes are turned inside out for the digital now age.

Alex Chilltown, oka London artist Josh Esaw, dropped the haunted synth-drenched wonder of “Hollow” found off the his upcoming Eaten Up By Nothing EP available February 24 from Witchgirl Recordings. Esaw takes his power pop affinities heard via previous releases for Art is Hard & Havana Tapes and makes them into progressively more majestic mountains of audio bliss.

UK artist Emma Gatrill announced her new album Cocoon available March 17 through Japanese imprint flau. The harpist/vocalist follows up her debut Chapter I with gorgeous arrays of strings that speak to the most sentimental parts of the spirit. Gatrill shares some of her latest compositions off the upcoming new albm with “Skin” that reaches beyond the surficial for the touches & feelings that matter beyond the skin-deep constraints & concerns that point toward something more substantial.

Sharing also a listen to her title track “Cocoon” from the upcoming flau release of the same name; Emma Gatrill offers up her own kind of chrysalis process that feels like being wrapped up in a warm series of comforters in the quaint & quiet chambers of one’s own room.

Get to know LA’s Bad Wave who are about to bring you all kinds of good vibes with their new big single “Time To Get Lost” where they throw every big production trope that they can muster at you. From electronic components & big orchestral strings; Bad Wave will bury you in a mountain of bliss that will keep you wanting more. Keep an eye & ear out for more from this Los Angeles twosome.

Tim Kasher (of Cursive & The Good Life) shared the single “Break Me Open” with us off the upcoming album No Resolution available March 3 from 15 Passenger Records with news of a April/May stateside tour. Kasher deals with those moments & instances where the entire world changes, everything is different, rearranged, where the rug & rules have been swept up from beneath you.

George Ogilvie provided some overseas & domestic sentiments on the escapist ballad “Foreign Hands” that stretches across waters & lands both familiar & unknown.

Check out BLESSED’s video for “Insanity” from Julian Machuca & starring Laurence Macrow-Cain & Shenay Carey. The Australian artist’s visions & rhymes are acted out in literal senses where intimate exchanges & emotive moments are exhibited with an honest lens as the action rises & falls with the lyrics & movements of the track’s own narrative arc.

Embrace the warm feel of those evenings brought about by the season of the sun with “Summer Nights” from Paris pop star on the rise, Cocovan. The Franco by LA artist emulates the energy of those long days & longer nights with the most electric & digitally liberated energy.

The Buttertones presented us with their cult-looking short film from Alex LeGolvan & Richard Hilton for “Sadie’s a Sadist” featured off the group’s new album Gravedigging available from Innovative Leisure on March 31. Pulp fiction double features & all kinds of serial action thrills take charge as the Buttertones butter you up with their timeless tunes that makes yesterday feel like the future of everything.

Instant Karma remixed SIRMA’s “Dancing into Life” that introduces a new rhythmic dance life to compliment the original guaranteed to ascend the party to the next accelerated level & scale.

Fatt Father presented us with the visuals for the track “Why” featuring Chordz Cordero, directed by Terrell Culbert & featured off his recent Veterans Day release from Fueled By Life Media Group. Culbert’s video shines a light on the whys that exist behind every Insta-selfie & more that we see where real lifes exist beyond the avatar profile pic that sits to supplant for anything of substance (starring Stephanie Yousif & Clifton “Mr. Cliffnote” Perry).

Readying the release of The Courtneys II for February 17 via Flying Nun & a massive tour with Jay Som; The Courtneys gifted us with “Minnesota” which offers up a brilliant rock anthem that is warmer than the cold state of that American State at this very moment in time.

Gothic Tropic presented the Matt Larsen (of Pipus The Wise) video for “How Life Works” found off the upcoming albumFast or Feast available May 19 from Old Flame Records. Cecilia Della Peruti provides a privy view into her luxurious world of sketches & reflections where old epistolaries & drawings return as if by an act of providence.

Samantha Ronson’s new outfit Ocean Park Standoff provided the emotional video for “Good News” that seeks a sound bountiful truth, solace & safety.

Introducing Toronto’s Young Clancy who delivered the new single “Coming to U Live” off the upcoming EP Yung Prince of the Basement available February 10 that opens up with a slowed-down sample ripped from the opening of the MC5’s iconic Kick Out the Jams live album. Clancy operates on some thick, syrupy sort of digital electro steez that puts the whole lovers rock rhythms & blues on a pedestal that points toward futures of intrigue & interests.

Featured off their Dirtnap release Raw Wave from late last year, Drakulas (comprised of Riverboat Gamblers and Rise Against members) presents us with their Justin Wilson & Mike Wiebe video for “Neon Town” that toasts up a sensational city bathed up in that poly-chromatic luster & allure that continues to attract us like flies to the city lights allure late at night.

Balto’s Strangers will be available February 24 through Total Reality Meltdown & we bring you the string-strumming/toe-tapping twang of “Shots In The Dark” that presents a testament to those maneuvers in the absence of late that are more often than not a haphazard to attempt.

In case you missed it, put that “Work” in with all the big popped-out production tropes brought about by Swedish duo Death Team that may or may not inspire you to finish up any incomplete projects that have been waiting in the queue.

Courtesy of Big Yellow Dog Music, we bring you Leah Nobel’s “Strawberry Fields” that provides a holiday in the heart of the listener. Romantic & dreamy notions take flight like escapist dreams that seek newfound Elysian fields of refuge & solace.

UK artist Rudie Edwards presented the poppy single “Lover Like You” that channels r & b desires toward a kind of ineffable intimacy that are transformed with a discotheque ready track begging for a thousand remixes.

Dear Reader delivered the Annikki Heinemann, Anna Piltz & Maximilian Andereya video for “Then, Not Now” off the Day Fever album produced by the one & only John Vanderslice available February 2 from City Slang. The Anna-Zöe Schmidt production offers up styling from Mona Guesnet with efffects & set arrangements by Heavymutations & interpretive dance moves from Eric Jäger make for an all-out otherworldly experience for the senses.

New Zealand’s Fazerdaze shared the peppy single “Lucky Girl” featured off the debut album Morningside available May 5 from Flying Nun that offers up a wealth of excitement & anticipation in ways where the energy feels like a shaken-up soda can that bursts in an explosive array of bubbles. Amelia Murray pens a track that sounds as if it could have been created in the mid-80s C86 fever that sounds right at home in 2017 as we await new heros to believe in now, for forever more.

It’s the moment you have waited a while for & now it’s here….we’re talking of course about the new Mega Bog album Happy Together available today from Nicey Music. Erin Birgy has released one of the year’s best albums without question with her most wild & ambitious work yet, opening up with the dizzying brilliance of “Diznee” that careens to the tragic beauty of “She’s History”, to the elaborate wonder of the beguiling bewilderment discovered on “Marianne”. An album that chronicles Erin’s own move from Seattle to NYC with assists from folks like iji’s Zach Burba, Will Murdoch to James Krivchenia of Big Thief & more; Happy Together happily exists in a world & class of it’s own. The most unexpected arrangements, twists & turns translate to a form of fascination that remains piqued throughout on abstract wonders of experimental catharsis on “192014”, the dreamy “TV MAC”, UK bound dreams & enchanted delights heard on “London”, dabbling too in electronic experimentalism on “Modern Companion”. Feelings, desires, urges & more intersect in the collision of “Worst Way”, the consciousness breaker ballad of “Blackout”, the forlorn floral goth hymn “Black Rose” that is rounded out with the liberating “Fwee” that leaves the listener with the feeling of flight as if after the eleven song cycle wings have suddenly begun to sprout from your very shoulders. For all lovers of music, pop culture, counter culture & all cultures; Mega Bog’s Happy Together stands as testament of essential listening for a year that is already in deep international upheavels & more. Turn the page after the following listen as we help celebrate Mega Bog’s big release day with guest selections & insights from the one & only Erin Birgy.

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