Week in Pop: Foster Olson, Pangs, Rainsford

Sjimon Gompers

Foster Olson's rising star; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Week in Pop

Presenting Sankofa from Liverpool who unleashed an early listen to the single “Into The Wild” ahead of it’s release March 4 from In Black Records. The group offers up a sound that echoes the outsider aesthetic & attitudes of gauchos on the wrong side of the law, tracks & more who have given up on making right. Listen for more from the Liverpool group as their debut album will be available later this year.


In more In Black news, we give you the latest single off of Acting Strange’s upcoming debut album TALK TALK TALK with “Start It Over” that dives head first into the renewal that new-beginnings can bring. The Glasgow band brings about their Saturday night best with ripping timeless riffs that look toward better days to start everything over anew.

Godmode and I Oh You introduced us to Brightness, oka Australia’s Alex Knight who delivered the a look to the rural down home comforts seen & heard on “Oblivion” directed by Mclean Stephenson. The Australian country life is seen here through a lens that showcases the lay of the land where Alex’s sound is coupled with an intimate view that compliments a sound that will melt your heart & mind.

EL MAR, oka pop wizard Joey Primero, returns with the new single “Drifting” that floats along the raging seas for new shores. Fleeing the choppy waters of the great deep sea, EL MAR swims out for new senses of love, peace & perhaps a newfound serenity previously unknown. The back & forth of previous relationships are recounted as cause to drift away toward to new waters & new lands of new beginnings where a new start beckons with the allure of the magical & mysterious.

As Wild Pink prepares their self-titled full-length album for release February 24 via Tiny Engines, and we’re marinating on the beautiful single “Broke On”. Thoughts of PMA & more are meditated upon in a song full of intimate reflections that finds an ecstatic section of deliverance that must be heard to be properly understood.

Cornwall by London’s Matthew Oliver aka Goddam Nobody has spent the past few years cooking a follow-up to Stranger Daze from 2015. Of the Falmouth scene, Oliver enlists the company of Holy Ghosts’ Benjamin Woods and personnel from The Red Chords, Pastel Colours, The Golden Dregs & more to make the Dead Beat EP, available February 24 from the exceptional imprint Super Fan 99. Get a taste of the derelict, long-road traveling & suitcase dragging title-track ballad “Dead Beat” that echoes your favorite destitute outlaws of the Sunset Strip that keeps the tales & tunes from the art-damaged fringes alive, thriving & well.

MALKA shared the big single off her upcoming album with the glamorous Lee Bamsey directed video for “Breakout” that mirrors the track’s energy & mood quite accurately. The heavy organic rhythms and sing-along inspiring choruses are met with some super posh hedonism that dances until the new day dawns.

Introducing Black Needle Noise (from John Fryer, of This Mortal Coil, 4AD producer, etc) who presents an ambient listen to the gothic-clad single “Swimming Through Dreams” featuring Mimi Page. Available February 17, Fryer arranges the sound of underground, tenebrous cathedrals built out of the acoustics of ancient cistern wells that make for expansive experiences of transcendental shifts of consciousness.

Crystal Fighters brought us their Wayne McCauslin video for the animated rendering for “Lay Low” that offers ups some romantic, aesthetic expansions that further compliment their recent album Everything Is My Family. Catch the band touring the states throughout March.

SF’s own Blank Square brought the yelling-dissonance & more with the rocking “Charmer” found off the debut Animal I available February 24 from Castle Face Records. “Charmer” works in ways like witnessing a street performing acting out whatever demons are eating him in an open publi market space.

Alex Napping, oka Alex Cohen is prepping the album Mise En Place for release May 5 via Father/Daughter Records with word of the cozy & comforting single “Living Room”. The Austin by NYC exhibits a sound to take notice of with a voice that strikes some of the most fragile & forgotten places of the heart, ear & mind. Essential listening.

Available today, we bring you a listen to SPC ECO’s anticipated EP Under My Skin available via ELaB Records. Consisting of Rose Berlin & Curve’s Dean Garcia, the UK duo moves hearts & skyscrapers with the synth-imbued title track, flying at the cruising altitude of “Meteor”, the electronic obfuscations on “Creep In The Shadows”, the permanence seeking & sinewy “Let It Be Always”, right before you are lead to the celestial redemption of “Found” that brings a sense of resounding peace. An event not to be missed.

Fresh off her new release from Heavenly Recordings, Amber Arcades dropped the new single “Changes” that tackles the changes, adjustments & shifts that life presents. Her classic throwback C86 sound is met with the vibrance, excitement & urgency of now.

Fuzz Club sent us word of the upcoming second album from Sonic Jesus called Grace available March 10 and we have the sanctified song of redemption & perdition “I’m In Grace”. The sentiment of being halfway between the heaven & Hades is illustrated in foreboding chords & brooding vocals that make for a stormy sense of a world being consumed by an entire monster of sound that will have you anxiously awaiting their sophomore full-length.

PONY dropped their Buzz Records debut with the single “DIY” that celebrates all the radical & wonderful things you can do all by your self. With that independent spirit put on front-forward display, PONY gallups ahead with one of the most addictive tracks that will have you playing their big breakout single on repeat.

Sami Wolf dropped the track “Driving 90” from her debut album See You on the Moon that offers up some glances of past demons spit alongside the volition for taking on the open highways ahead. Sami takes no prisoners & makes no apologies for herself past & present bouncing between spoken rhyme & sung verses. Sami Wolf remains an artist to keep a close watch out for.

In case you missed it, catch Griffin Oskar’s album Hostage that pours out all the passion from the opening title track to the emotional “Bulletproof”.

Sydney, Australia’s All Our Exes Live in Texas present the Wheaton Simis video for “Boundary Road” featured off their album When We Fall available March 3. From here we witness a variety of live captured images of the group that provide a holistic & intimate experience of the group’s character & creative, classic approach to musical synergy.

Jenn Grant shares her title track “Paradise” off the album of the same name from Ba Da Bing Records available March 3 that will sweep you away to celstial places. Atmospheres, ambience & synth sustains will transport you to the most magical & majestic of places in the mind.

Introducing Magic Island who presents a listen to the moody title track off the upcoming album Like Water available February 24 where everything feels as if it flows in liquefied elements of aquatic forms.

Xylouris White (previously of Dirty Three, drummer extraordinaire) presented the live video for the energetic grandeur of “Forging” via WNYC: Soundcheck video off the album Black Peak available now from Bella Union.

Victoria, Canada’s Jons tap into their DeMarcos & more lo-fi fun with the single “Trip Ads” ripped from their upcoming At Work On Several Things available on wax March 17 courtesy of Field Mates Records. But never mind all the cheap comparisons to fellow Canadian DIY-pop heroes & the like as Jons make some of the best gawsh-darn-don’t-call-it-bedroom pop around that is everything you have wanted to hear all week & even more than you could have even hoped for. Essential listening for sure.

Operator Music Band announced their debut album Puzzlephonics I & II available March 3 from New Professor Music & Jared Hiller shares the single “Creative Tube Bending”. Inspired by having to deal with a benign brain tumor, Hiller, Dara & company apply their cerebral & sardonic approaches together to make for one of the best singles you might hear all winter.

Electric Floor dropped the Mauro Nigro for N2 Video Productions video for the single “Bluedive” found off the Italian trio’s forthcoming Fader EP available March 6 from Vipchoyo Sound Factory. The sound & visuals of things that go bump in the night take place throughout a Euro night scene chase that is put to the group’s new romantic sound of sleepless dreams.

But your dancing shoes on your fanciest feet and cut a few ballroom floors to “We Dance” which will inspire you to do just that, courtesy of NYC’s Crush Club.

London’s Formation dropped the Subway brawling/make-out video ffor “A Friend” featured off the Leon Vynehall produced album Look At The Powerful People available March 24 from Grand Jury. This a track for all those sometimes enemies, best friends for life, lovers & more.

Belfast, Ireland duo New Portals shared the pop obsessed gem “Stereo”, the grand title track lead featured on their debut EP available March 10. The track is a tribute to all delights enjoyed on the dual channeled & more devices that we enjoy in our worlds that dish out the most exquisite & alluring sounds that we live for.

Courtesy of Buzz Off, Lucille—observe what happens when David Mamet’s daughters of ridiculous privilege Zosia and Clara try yet again to make a crowd-funding pitch to the people, because we all know how their first Cabin Sisters Kickstarter attempt went down. Hilarity ensues…

Hitting up SxSW this year; Los Angeles’ own The Fontaines entertain the pop elements found in the convection cycles of “Evaporate”. Late evening indulgences are alluded to with comparison to the ways of weather that are translated in restrained dance tones that will be sure to get your feet & maybe whole body moving & grooving on your living room ballroom floor.

Athens/Atlanta group Oak House dropped the single “Esque” featured off their second album Hot or Mood available April 7 that offers up a variety of electronic experiments to allure your ears & mind. “Esque” exudes the emphasis of all things ecstatic & exquisite that delivers moods with a heat that are brought to the point of boil.

Dutch Uncles dropped the single “Streetlight” from their upcoming album Big Balloon available February 17 from Memphis Industries that shines some light amid the darkness of night. The Uncles continue to woo & wow with aptly applied electronic elements to their dance-inflected rock code of ethics & aesthetics.

The Tigerlilies share a listen to the a-side off their Shipwrecked / Lovers Du 7″ available February 17 as the feeling of being abandoned in the wreckage & left at shore is conveyed through heavy electric chords as the band plays on & on…

Danny Lannon joined forces with The Kickdrums as Vacances, who presented us the ultra-electric single “Human” that underscores an experience that we can all relate to in one manner or another. Illustrates of affection can be witnessed beyond the digital production points that reaches for a deep human connection that extends beyond the surface of skin alone.

NYC’s Noah Kellman is Nozart, who shares his new single “Puppet” that expresses autonomy overrides & more in expressive electronic forms that dabble in the mechanical post-industrial approaches of aesthetic arrangements.

Bristol’s own Henry Green delivered the single “Loose” full of intimate expressions found off the just released Real EP from Akira Records. Green’s song emerges like a chamber confessional where all those waking sentiments can be heard & understood like the earnest exchanges that often occur within the dawning of a new day’s morning.

Don’t miss the Kat Audick eccentric & outright weird & kinda violent video for Animal Eyes’ single “Guava” that showcases the the band keeping it posi even in the wake of being beaten up.

Those looking for some wintry sort of solace may look no further than the gorgeous new single “Shadows” from JAKL (courtesy of Lookout Mountain Records) that takes itself off the proverbial shelf, stepping out of the shadows with expressions of heart pinned proudly upon his sleeve. JAKL provided the following introduction to the candid & honest song with the following insights:

When you can’t see the light, the shadows are our only comfort. Everything that has gone wrong, everything that can no longer happen is hidden in the darkness.

West Virginia’s William Matheny, former Southeast Engine keyboardist shares a listen to his power pop anthem “Living Half to Death” that glances back at unhealthy life style patterns. from his upcoming album Strange Constellations from Misra Records (February 24). Matheny arises from the wreckage with an upward sound propelled by the song’s brutally honest confessional mode.

Vancouver’s Jordan Klassen presented the title track “Curses” from the forthcoming EP of the same name available March 3 from Nevado Music. Klassen delves into the in-between weird areas & spaces between people where complications exhibited between lovers take all kinds of unexpected detours & twists into the beautiful, bewildering, dangerous & strange.

Paris’s Uppermost just released Origins (2011-2016) and gifted us the joy of witnessing “Constellation” being performed live by the Paris Symphonic Orchestra. Get ready to witness a starry sound alignment like none you have witnessed previously.

Covering Joni Mitchell’s “California”, witness Aish’s self-made visuals for his rendering of the classic that offers a mosaic-kaleidoscopic lens accompaniment for his sparse choral rework.

Spiral Stairs (the creative outlet of Pavement’s Scott Kannberg) announced the album Doris and the Daggers available March 24 from Nine Mile/Domino & delivered the single “Dundee Man” that is full of all the good time, DIY pop feels & thrills to make the day feel a little bit brighter & sunnier.

In case you missed it, check out DENM’s piano laden rendering of OutKast’s immortal “Hey Ya” that is sure to surprise & bring a smile to your face.

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