Week in Pop: Dan Koshute, Foliage, Half Stack

Sjimon Gompers

The rise of Oakland's latest upstarts & innovators—Half Stack; photographed by Julie Juarez.

Week in Pop

Miami’s fabulous ones—Donzii; press photo courtesy of the group.

Miami’s Donzii delivered a look at the Tara Long video for the moody chants & minimalist rhythms of “Mines” off their upcoming Jorge Elbrecht-mixed EP available now from Grey Market. The trio embraces the prospects of an impending apocalypse with a focused sort of stoicism that the group has fun with via a variety of eccentric poses and locales that move from indoor rituals to exotic outdoor adventures. Catch the group on tour now, tonight at Miami’s Gramps through March 17 in Orlando at Little Indie’s (check out the flyer below for further dates).

Stockton by the East Bay’s own Laurel Saints shared some sweet swirling synths & styles with their new single “Matrimony” off their Testarossa EP. The fancy steps of your favorite 80s college dance pop varietal can be felt in full motion as the beats & rubber-ball bouncing & flashy synths keep the swell & sophisticated Laurel Saints party sailing higher & higher.

Take in the Rubberband (Simon Davis & Jason Sondock) video for Toulouse’s single “Found” featured off the Terrible Records release Extended Plea. Reflective moments of intimate reckoning are seen up close with melancholy atmospheres of twilight that are mixed with images of CGI animated sequences of candid, sensual interludes.

Glasgow’s Breakfast Muff presented a look at the visual for their single “Clam” taken off the album Eurgh! from Amour Foo Records. The trio of Eilidh McMillan (from Rapid Tan, Joanna Gruesome), Simone Wilson (of Hairband, Mary Column) & Cal Donnelly (also of Rapid Tan & Spinning Coin) provide snapshots of life in motion (as witnessed in the vintage film shot visual) where actions & streams of conscious thoughts connect. Catch them at SXSW via dates listed here, and look out for their new EP Crocodile arriving April 6.

Currently touring the states with Combo Chimbita with dates that include SXSW; Crumb dropped a look at the video for “Locket” from Haoyan of America. From the lauded release of the same name, the world-spinning style of the visual underscores the psych components at work in the song that offers a unique & warm look at the band.

Bay Area’s VIQUEEN presented the Joshua Danphil Reisz video for “Party Animal (Spill Your Guts)” that showcases a wild day in the life of the trio exhibiting a relentless energy to match their fierce sound. With a visual collage of live performances, the regal world of VIQUEEN is depicted as forces of nature that are not your ordinary or conventional musical monarchy.

Find yourself floating adrift with the new sea-faring single “Out To Sea” from Nina June’s upcoming album Bon Voyage available March 23. Sparse rhythms emulate the chop of sea’s unruly waves as June’s determined delivery is supported with atmospheric synths & proudly pronounced piano struck notes that sends the song outward to new waters.

From the recent album POWER, noise-lord YUZIMA returns with the haunting visual for “Separation”. Meditations on the disconnects that we have between ourselves & others are heard & seen in visuals that traverse across graffiti tagged brownstones where the antiquated windows & doors offer something of a hopeful escape toward peaceful connections, security & safety.

In case you missed it, meditate on the anticipated self-titled release from Quiet Friend (Steven Rogers & Nick Zanca, fka Mister Lies). From the opener “Bath” to the closing “Avalanche”; Nick & Steven showcase the sound of surprise where nothing is expected like the result of musicians inspired by a healthy diet of Noumenal Loom & Orange Milk releases.

In the latest Infinity Cat news, we have Reality Something’s new big single “Stay” arriving May 4 that dives deep into the conflicts of fiercely attached bonds. The back & forth of affection & incidents & all the things in-between are illustrated through ethereal power-punk that will remind us all of similar scenarios from our own erratic stables of friends & acquantances.

With Nectar’s upcoming album Knocking At The Door arriving April 20 from Infinity Cat Recordings; the group gave us something to chase away the indolence & idleness with the radical “Slouch”. Lampooning the stand-up straight lectures & rhetorical lessons; Kamila brings a big anthem to chase away the blues, or at least help lonely & forlorn moods feel a bit more tolerable.

Catching up with LA’s future r&B stylist & visionary Eddington Again, who offered a listen to the new Sweet EP. The beauty begins with the restrained title track where Eddington lays all the emotion on the line, expressing favorites & affinities on “Fav”, indulging & observing in the warm pools of indifference on “IDK”, to the deep blue ambient dive of exploration & discovery on the closer “Atlantis”. Listen for more to arrive soon from Southern California’s rising star.

Also check out Eddington Again performing the titular single “Sweet” via EMOtional at Human Resources that allows the delivery & emotions to simmer & linger in a chamber of lavender/purple aesthetics & echoes.

Hot Flash Heat Wave recently released the new single “Glo Ride” that brings about all the on-set feels of a fresh spring. The arrangement is made of all the ingredients that provide a serene afternoon that gently sway like a flock of birds in flight observed from a lawn chair.

Portland’s own Frankie Simone is readying an upcoming EP for release June 1 via Infinite Companion & delivered a look at the video for the LGBT anthem”War Paint”. The video deals in dance-routines & a message to let people be themselves & casts aside all the name-calling & petty labeling to move consciousness & conversations forward.

Juliet Quick delivered the next chapter in their upcoming ballad suite cycle with “Changeling Part II”. From the Changeling EP available April 6, Quick combines chords together in a sparse cornucopia of feeling that describe paths of realization & new awakenings.

FOTOCRIME delivered the dark clad new single “Nadia (Last Year’s Men)” featured off the upcoming album Principle Of Pain available May 18 via Auxiliary Records / Golden Antenna Records (EU). Fronted by R, oka Louisville local legend Ryan Patterson, builds off the movements of new romantics, goth-mascara streaked post-punk & more that brings a plethora of attitude & presence.

Direct from Queens, Onyx delivered the visuals for the single “Black Rock” ft. DJ Nelson from Industrialism Films, directed by Vicente Cordero. Continuing the movement established with the iconic Bacdafucup debut, Onyx continues to develop the intrinsic marriage between the boom-bap analogue & the new movements & revolutions of today & tomorrow. Fredro shared the following reflections:

We came in with Run-DMC and Onyx are the new kings of rock. The inspiration for Black Rock came from the song (title track) we did for the revolutionary Judgment Night Soundtrack. It’s Hip-Hop meets Rock and Roll, boom bap and guitars; but what people don’t expect to hear from us is what makes this album so dope.

Sofia Härdig provided a listen to the Jari Haapalainen produced single “Let Me Fall” that rises mighty tall with skyscraper synths & extremely potent rhythm sequences. Utilizing a blend of classic piano, crucial electro-keys & a cello; Härdig paints post-apocalyptic portraits of our modern day world that fuses our perceptions of the world’s constructs with the soundtrack to the most intense computer game imaginable.

Couture shared the new grooving electro-glitch blend of sample edits in the single “O.H.M” from Solitaire Recordings. The Melbourne act includes Simon of Nearly Oratorio & Kllo (Ghostly) along with Hamish Mitchell of I’lls that continue to take pop tropes outward to the most beguiling realms of creative experimentation.

Watch the John Mark video for “Bella Muerte” from This Patch of Sky’s Equal Vision Records album These Small Spaces. The cinematic baroque stylings are met by an array of dancers that respond to the strings & horns with motions & actions that make the panoramic sound feel even more expansive & dramatic.

s a r a s a r a provided a look at the sensory-swirling Nikolai Galitzine co-directed video for “Love” found off the album Amor Fati via One Little Indian Records. With upcoming appearances at SXSW & in NYC; s a r a s a r a embraces a mystic ethereal nature where the production creates environmental soundscapes for the artist’s hushed ASMR-styled deliveries to convey intricately constructed whispers of feeling & thought.

Melbourne’s Burning Bones provided the pensive piece of pastoral pop with “Funeral Pyre” featuring vocals provided by KAIA. Thought passages of loss & hopes held tight to the heart are relayed like doves that soar above the scenes of discontinuity & the spoils of existence that reach for a higher ground of consciousness.

Rebounder, aka DC formerly of Your Underdog, delivered a listen to the big-bright single “Japanese Posters” that shines with a similar pop-art aesthetic like the track’s namesake. The arrangement is tightly woven together where chords, rhythms & expressions glow with the festival luminance experienced by those massive outdoor amphitheaters.

Operating under a monsters under the bed motif, Ladysse delivered a look at the visuals for “Eleven” directed by Raymond Rivard of Tradesmen Films with hair & makeup styling by Kathryn Hawkes. The electro-pop anthem of intuitive affection & other intricacies of the heart’s code are complimented with a narrative that Ladysse shares with a fuzzy ogre creature (who occasionally supplies some swift synth action).

Animal Flag announced their upcoming album Void Ripper available April 13 from both Flower Girl Records (imprint from Sorority Noise’s Cam Boucher) & Triple Crown Records with a listen to the big & bombast single “Why”. Everything from the existential to the rhetorical is ruminated upon & inquired with emotive inflections that span everything from urgency, upset sentiments & isolation that resonates with a sharp sense of reality.

Jacksonville, Florida’s own LANNDS provided a listen to the new single “Legends” that oscillates between future electro-pop & the best console video game soundtrack held-over from the 1990s. The group creates landscapes of visions that create an illuminating world of pure, bright unrelenting imagination of brilliant digital artifices manifesting before your very ears, eyes & mind.

Chicago art pop enthusiasts The Curls have been making some ear catching noise as of late & we present the following listen to their recent album Super Unit from Dark Circles Records. The mercurial group kicks the record off with the fun & adventurous single “Slice of Life”, to the infectious “Do It Right”, the beloved brass rhythms of “Prickly Feelings”, to the organic electro breaks of “I Can’t Tell U”, to the danger-psych spectacular of “Violence”. The second side starts off with the wild-weirdness of “Dark on the Sun”, to laying out plans to rule the world on “Bing Bong”, channeling their quixotic brew into almost-conventional pop song material with “Birdland”, entertaining the concepts of forever changes on “Moline” before concluding with the noise-stew of “Release Me” that crafts a clever & almost out of control cacophony of chords & keys. Catch the Mick, Jan, Anna, Carl, Will & Rami playing this year’s Pitchfork Fest in Chicago.

Garden City Movement readies the follow up from their series of releases via BLDG5 Records with the anticipated debut album Apollonia available March 16 from Night Time Stories, sharing the cinematic & shimmering “Foreign Affair”. The Tel Aviv three piece sails strings like packs of birds on the wing in flight as intimate expressions are expressed in a kind of guarded serenity.

King Truth, previously known as Trae Tha Truth dropped the single “What About Us” about the long road of recovery his city Houston is facing after Hurricane Harvey with a whole lot of heart & solemn support. Featured off the upcoming album Home Town Hero available March 16; Truth delivers an urgent message of help & healing for his community (with his Relief Gang helping provide supplies to locals in need post-Hurricane) while simultaneously suing Radio One over a ban, defamation of character, gross negligence & other associated grievances. This a song & hymn dedicated to the perseverance of the people of H-Town.

Gundelach presented a look at the evocative visuals for “Past The Building” ft. ARY from Eivind Landsvik & Andreas Bjørseth & styled by Karen Elieson. Featured off the forthcoming album BALTUS available March 16 via Terrible Records / U OK (Norway); perspectives of cold winters & moments of muted intimacy transpire throughout the emotionally arresting song & visual.

The Parrots graced us with a spirited cover of Bad Bunny’s “Soy Peor” via Heavenly Recordings that adds further layers of electrically accentuated dissonance & passion. Following up “Los Niños Sin Miedo”, the group brings a beautifully noisy & joyous ballroom event to the comfort of our living rooms. Catch the Parrots touring Europe.

Introduce yourselves to the pop world of Michael Seyer with a listen to the evocative album Bad Bonez that moves in manners of cryptic & mystic rhythms & blues. The opening title track sets the mood, with the warped sunshine glow of “Ring Around the Rosie”, the sensual lover’s rock of “Show Me How You Feel (Eros)”, the expressive & solitary sentiments of “I Feel Best When I’m Alone”, to cruising gently down Highway 1 to “Weekend at Santa Cruz”. Tempos & pitches are slowed-down low on the acoustic air of “Kill All Your Darlings”, exploring the lo-fi ether of “Untitled Bonez”, or the vintage throwback cadence of longing on “Waiting For You” (complete with sexy sax), the romantic fever that takes over “Lucky Love”, before leaving you with the parental thought passages that are found throughout the subdued “Father”.

Madam West shared the title track from their upcoming album Warm Bodies available March 23 about human connections & everything in-between that bonds one another. These notions are expressed in a smart arrangement of tight instrumentation that paints a portrait of the conditions that make us who we are as living & loving beings.

If you haven’t already, discover the new single “Torches” from the upcoming Half Waif album Lavender, the new album from Half Waif available April 27 from Cascine. Nandi Rose Plunkett’s presence rises out of a lo-fi verse that towers high above land, earth, ocean & heaven with a voice, presence & purpose that entire art & pop world should take note of.

Vancouver’s FRANKIIE announced the follow-up to their EP Girl of Infinity with news of an album arriving later this year & a look at the Jeremy Wallace-Maclean video for “Glory Me” that depicts a jet-setting the group on the go. A group that initially drifted ways to do their own thing returns to make music that breaks through to a realm of focus, presence & epic chord arrangement that elevate the main stage vocals that soar with the feel of a triumphant summer. Watch as the individual video frames that follow the group see them all break into respective dance.

LA breakout artist Vaines just dropped the heady new single “Nobody Like You” via Kobalt/AWAL that aches with big emotive expressions. Utilizing all the big-pop radio tropes, Vaines wears all the heavy feelings at the seams of their sleeves amid a deep atmospheric production that practically consumes the entirety of the track.

Playing SXSW, Denis the Night & Panic Party deliver a look at their erratic & wild video for “Cosmic Youth” from Eddie Plex & Paolo Monina & extra effects supplied by Daniel Goggin. From an eye-catching assortment of eccentric & wild visuals, Denis & the gang take us deep into the heart of madness that underscores the insanity of the contemporary age of existence.

From their upcoming album The Death of Our Invention available April 6 from Denovali Records, Birds of Passage soar in the lo-fi/slo-mo of “The Love Song”. This is ballad made for meditations that seek to sustain notes, perception & experience through the uncharted channels of sound.

With illuminati hotties’ anticipated debut album Kiss Yr Frenemies available May 11 through Tiny Engines, the LA group shares the single “Cuff” that showcases the group’s uncanny ability to maximize a utilitarian & inspired approach to minimalism. The track is bookended by lo-fi drum machine & key musings that contain an astronomical attitude of cool distilled from rock’s greatest & grungiest moments of rippling cultural influence.

Melbourne’s own Harry Permezel shared news of the upcoming album Wax Man available May 4 via Muscle Beach with a listen to the mellow-rolling low-key feels of “Bonehead”. The thoughts that rock when resting in an easy chair of reflection & the ease that arrives with the closing of the day is felt in Permezel’s muted delivery & the hushed comfort of the guitar strums.

Mike Donovan provided a look at the cab-driving visual for “Spiral Tee Shirt” from Laurel Connell that takes you for a peppy drive through San Francisco. Featured off the upcoming album How to Get Your Record Played In Shops available April 10 from Drag City, Donovan’s psychic & timeless pop tune are set to the local sights of the modern mythical Bay Area city that invites you to join the artist for a magical mystery tour.

San Francisco’s High Sunn provided a listen to the devout passions of “Dedication” featured off the forthcoming Missed Connections album available May 4 from PNKSLM Recordings. Angling a plethora of raw feeling & purpose into the mix, the Sunns send out an infectious & pepped up anthem that might inspire you to be more dedicated to who or whatever you adore the most in life.

Celebrating their new debut album available now from Lucky Number, Dream Wife invite you to meet them in the squared-circle in the action-packed Aidan Zamiri-directed visual for “F.U.U.” ft. Fever Dream. Bringing more hardcore in-ring bumps than your average episode of “G.L.O.W.”, Dream Wife keeps their campaign of aggression rolling hard with an all-female wrestling championship that is more in-your-face & real than anything you’re probably gonna see stateside.

Yours Are The Only Ears presented a look at the visual for “Seeds” from Allyssa Yohana & Sam Williams with an assist from Quinn Moreland & Dave Benton. Featured off the anticipated new album Knock Hard available May 11 from Team Love Records; Susannah Cutler presents cabin fever meditations in the forms of epistolaries turned to song whilst sporting a Batsheva dress. Reflections of solace & desires are seen as a series of winter reckonings where memory-reels run wildly in a pensive projection of feelings that have been accumulated in abundance. Susannah shared the following words on the inception of the song “Seeds”:

“Seeds” was written several years ago after choosing to drop out of art school in Baltimore and move back in with my parents in Manhattan. I was lost and in a relationship that I knew wasn’t right for me. I wrote it in an attempt to reconcile what I was feeling and the emptiness of not wanting to love someone back. I decided to include it on the album because it felt pertinent to the feelings I was experiencing of having to start over.

Moonoversun shuts down the binary-based crowds with the conventional gender obliterating new single “Girls/Boys”. Employing a catchy electro rhythm pop aesthetic, Moonoversun advances the beat & conversation forward for something more inclusive & outside of the close-minded assumptions on the identities of others. In the group’s own words:

“Girls/Boys” is about not worrying what others think and just having a good time. A problem we and others constantly face is people putting us in certain roles; boy as the producer and girl as the performer just because of our gender, which we feel can be reductive. There are so many sick female writers and producers out there so why do people make this assumption?

From their Tangle EP available May 18 via Really Great Gum, Brooklyn’s own Saint Marilyn presents the Che Houston video for “Burn Burn Burn”. From journeys to lavish locales & clandestine trysts; the new romatnic shine of the single is coupled with a short film that further adds to the single’s own elusive mysteries & sinewy moods.

Words In Flight, Drew Brightbill’s new band, presents a listen to the classic trad track “The Ravenous Affair” featuring The Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee on accordion & accompanying vocals provided by Chloé Perrier. The makings of an affair to be remembered are exchanged like words shared over a romantic meal & a night spent enjoying each other’s time out on the town.

AUGUST 08 presented a look at the desert sprawling Scott Cramer video for “Funeral” available from 88rising/Red Bull Records. From intimate shared moments & the burial of feelings; AUGUST 08 brings an epic visual to match the evocative emotions & energy of the melancholic song.

Callum Pitt shared a jangling slice of pure “Happiness” with a song to bring some sun to an otherwise rainy, windy and/or snowy day. With skipping rhythms & an upbeat delivery/arrangement; Pitt presents a song that embodies the pursuit of pure joy in one’s world.

Maria Usbeck returned with the new perfect pop single “Bosque De Bambú” available now via Cascine/Labrador. The follow-up to the lauded solo album Amparo soaks in the sort of pop beauty that is reminiscent Usbeck’s work in Selebrities with an internationally bound sensibility that brings bright & upbeat vibes for all markets located in all corners of the globe. Seen recently touring with artists like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & more; be on the look out for more music on the way from Maria set to arrive soon.

Jouska delivers the unrelenting emotive energy of “calico” featured off the album Elson to Emmett available March 16 via Tiny Engines. A host of vulnerable feelings & confessions are poured outward in melodic outbursts of raw honesty that does not hold back.

Following Comfort Songs, Zen Summer & more; we give you Plays with Fire from Cloud what is said to be the LA band’s last album. So enter the ambient works of “Happer’s Laugh”, the enchantment inherent on “Disenchanted”, the jubilant rhythms on “Two Hands Bound”, the longing echoes of “Me, Her & Lavender”, to the nostalgic drift of “Oh, So Juvenile”. Tyler Taormin & company keep the feels falling freely like rain on numbers like “Heartfluttered”, to the experimental electronic outlets of “Wildfire”, the galactic psych glow that abounds on “Comet Happer”, right before the big red curtain dropping “May Goes Mad Again” that is executed like an aberrated lullaby. Experience it now, courtesy of Audio Antihero.

Having just special guested Week in Pop last week on the heels of their new Carpark album Riddles; Ed Schrader’s Music Beat brings us a view of the Jay Buim video for the title track. All the action & passion that you have come to expect from the Music Beat is here, with a variety of cameos that includes their producer (and fellow Bmore icon) Dan Deacon.

Tim aka GrankBankss just released the debut single “Ownership” featuring Elujay today via Text Me Records that mixes building-block basslines with meditations on counted blessings. Together with Elujay the Bay Area producer presents harmonies about concepts of what anyone one truly owns in this world while keeping the motion in constructive upward swing.

In more Text Me Records news, Sean Paulson just released the album Theriocephaly on the Bay Area label & presents a listen to the illuminating & experimental rhythmic wonder “The Silent Land”. The track blends fidelities of the hi & lo varieties together in a mesmerizing concoction that sends keys & chords glittering into cascading sequences that will make your head spin.

Toronto’s Ralph presented the Gemma Warren & Chris Lew video for “September Fades” that turns emotive thought patterns into one big hotel dance party. With the curtains closed, Ralph invites over all the coolest & loveliest folks to partake in an energetic happening to last all night (or at least until everyone passes out).

Poppy Ackroyd presented a look at the video for “Paper” off the album Resolve available now via One Little Indian Records that brings the audience for an up close look at the mechanisms that comprise a classic typewriter. Musings on how we take print & paper now for granted in the digital age is set to focused orchestrations & moving images of an old type machine in motion, ribbons & all.

Arielle LaGuette delivered a listen to the new EP Case of the Times that will add a smile & spring to your step this weekend. The strums keep the spirit on the up & up on the opener “Won’t Lose With Love”, the going steady energy of “Settle For You”, the mellow & melancholic arts & crafts day of “Trading Paint”, the skanking riffs that frame “The Last Time”, right before closing with the meditative title track where Arielle’s ukulele will continue plunking the strings that connect your heart & mind.

Presenting the Bob Sweeney video for the romantic & real single “More to Love” featured off Queen of Jeans’ new album Dig Yourself available now from Topshelf Records. The band’s style of timeless harmonies & beach-bound riffs are met with a visual about the ins & outs/ups & downs of the weirdness that is dating in the age of smartphone app matches & more.

Gold Casio shared the synth-sparkling glow of the title track from their upcoming Sinners EP available April 20 from Freakout Records. The path of transgressions, trespassers & debtors is lightened with a production of redemption that seeks a sense of salvation by way of transcending the anchors of seemingly inescapable situations.

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