by Mixtape Mandi
Single & Lovin' It, Vol. 3
"Queen's Parade" by Swimming Tapes
London-based indie band Swimming Tapes share new track "Queen's Parade" via DIY Mag. The track was produced by Adam Jaffrey (Palace, Gengahr, Leif Erikson). The now London-based five-piece arrived in 2016 with a self-released demo track, "Souvenirs," which quickly won them acclaim from the blogging world. Follow up tracks saw them reach the top spot on the Hype Machine chart, earned the band their first play from BBC Radio 1, and tipped them well over 1 million track streams on Spotify. Swimming Tapes rounded off the year with the release of their debut EP Souvenirs, named after their first single, on burgeoning London indie label Hand In Hive, and have firmly cemented themselves as ones to watch for 2017. Swimming Tapes are guitarist-vocalist Robbie Reid, guitarist-vocalist Louis Price, guitarist Jason Hawthorne, bassist Paddy Conn, and drummer Andrew Evans.
"Numb" by Lost Balloons
Texas and Japan team up for a trans-Pacific, two-man summertime pop explosion. Lost Balloons are Jeff Burke (Radioactivity, Marked Men, etc etc) and Yusuke Okada (Suspicious Beasts). Hey Summer is their second album, following 2015's self-titled debut on Germany's Alien Snatch! Records. The duo play all the instruments and split singing and songwriting duties. Hey Summer works fantastically well as an album, meant to be listened to from start to finish. Wistful, sunshine-like '60s-inspired pop with a bit of '80s college rock jangle and even a little modern garage and Americana twang, Hey Summer represents a pretty big departure from a normal Jeff Burke project. These two can master any genre that they tackle and make it fully their own. Look for Hey Summer on June 16th via Dirtnap Records, and listen to "Numb" now.
Every week, we compile a list of singles you need to have in your headphones right now. Specially curated by Mixtape Mandi, welcome to Single & Lovin' It for the week of May 8th. Missed last week's? Check it out here!
Bedouine is set to release her self-titled debut album on June 23rd via Spacebomb Records. After presenting lead single, "Dusty Eyes," the artist now shares "Solitary Daughter." Azniv Korkejian explains that "Solitary Daughter" is a "reaction to traditional gender roles, especially that of a woman being the sole nurturer in the relationship. It rejects the notion that conventional romance is anything other than a conversation between equals, drawing from the idiom about empathy 'no man is an island.' Like an ocean, I have a rich inner life."
Born in Aleppo, Syria to Armenian parents, Korkejian spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia, moving to America when her family won a Green Card lottery. Living at various times in Boston, Houston, Lexington, Austin, and Savannah, she eventually found a community of musicians in Los Angeles that feels like home. One day she walked into the studio of bass player-producer Gus Seyffert (Beck, Norah Jones, The Black Keys) to inquire about portable reel-to-reel tape machines, and ended up cutting "Solitary Daughter" in a first take. Eschewing notions of nomadic chic, Bedouine represents minimalism motivated by travel, paring down and paring down until only the essential remains. Her music establishes a sustained and complete mood, reflecting on the unending reverberations of displacement, unafraid to take pleasure along the way.
"Solitary Daughter" by Bedouine
"Bower" by Inner Wave
Inner Wave is a 5-piece intergalactic, melody-driven rock band from Los Angeles. Formed in 2006, the young band released the psychedelic indie pop album Sun Transmission in the summer of 2014. Inspired by the likes of Tame Impala, The Strokes, and MF Doom, Inner Wave has developed a unique and genre-bending style. They are preparing to release an upcoming album which they say will be more experimental and genre-melding than the last. They just released their newest single "Bower."
"De-pression" by Jesse
Jesse delivers "De-pression," a deceptively upbeat earworm of a tune that finds him contemplating impermanence, asking, "What happens when you lost the time, that you had before?" Hard Sky is the anomalous solo debut of Corpus Christi-based Jesse Jerome Jenkins V (Pure X). Whereas Pure X wrote their languid songs as a unit of shared consciousness, Hard Sky is a remarkably singular effort that puts the singer and multi-instrumentalist on full display from the inside out. Hard Sky is a direct expression of Jenkins' bleak, yet playful, personal creative attitude — all narrated and guided by his unmistakable buoyant vocals.
Though largely a personal affair, Jesse is joined on Hard Sky by long-time collaborator Austin Youngblood (Pure X) on drums, percussion, and sax; Kyle Dixon (S U R V I V E) with live-processing, synthesizers, and effects; and Daniel Aged (Inc. No World) on pedal steel guitar. Additional contributions from Malcolm Elijah on grand piano, Memo Guerra on B3 organ, mixing help from Stephen Orsak, and a guitar performance from Matty Tommy Davidson (Pure X) round out Hard Sky's cast of characters as a legitimate creative-family reunion. Hard Sky is out June 23rd via Uniform Group — the very first release for the label.
Dave Depper is set to release his debut solo album, Emotional Freedom Technique, on June 9th via Portland’s Tender Loving Empire. Following the album’s first two singles, Depper is excited to present the album’s next single, "Your Voice On The Radio," which features longtime friend and collaborator Laura Gibson. The track sees Depper indulging his pop instincts, showcasing his knack for layering propulsive, melodic bass and drum beats over a wash of vintage synthesizers. Gibson's vocals warmly compliment Depper as he sings about unrealized and unsatisfied love. About the song, Depper says it is "the only track on the record I wrote with a specific thematic goal in mind, which was to pay tribute to those classic, slightly cheesy boy-girl duets of yesteryear. The song finds our protagonist daydreaming that the girl he hears on the radio is secretly dreaming right back at him, so I figured it appropriate to draft my favorite female singer, Laura Gibson, as my duet partner.”
Sonically, Depper attempted to answer the question, "What if David Bowie's backing band on 'Sound and Vision' cut a straight-up disco track while the boss was out on a smoke break?"
"Your Voice On The Radio" by Dave Depper
"Shark Smile" by Big Thief
Brooklyn's Big Thief shares "Shark Smile," the newest song off their forthcoming album, Capacity, out June 9th on Saddle Creek. Singer and songwriter Adrianne Lenker said, "'Shark Smile' is the story of a car accident in which one dies and one lives. She recalls her lover leading up to the moment of the wreck, wishing she'd been taken into the next realm, too."
The trails that the band takes us down on Capacity are overgrown with a wilderness of souls. These are carnivorous stories, with pangs of sadness and joy. Lenker shows us the gentle side of being ripped open, and then recounts the second act of pulling oneself back together to prepare for it all to happen again. "There is a darker darkness and a lighter light on this album," Lenker reveals. "The songs search for a deeper level of self-acceptance, to embrace the world within and without. I think Masterpiece began that process, as a first reaction from inside the pain, and Capacity continues that examination with a wider perspective."
"Remember" by Lea Porcelain
Take a ride from Grand Canyon to Death Valley in Lea Porcelain's video for new single "Remember," off the forthcoming full-length debut Hymns To The Night out June 16th. Lea Porcelain explain that "this video somehow symbolizes this journey and our train of thought to be patient and to find that special something, that spark. And as we found it, it was so extraordinary but on the other hand so familiar as if it had been there forever. In the end this video became a journey for us as well to find and remember the essential things in life."
Hymns To The Night was written and recorded over a two year period in Berlin's FUNKHAUS, a broadcasting house created under Soviet supervision that now houses the world's biggest recording studio. The spectrum of the album is extremely wide: Hymns To The Night bends genres, yet every song works together, playing with very different moods. Lea Porcelain describe their sound as "atmospheric, cinematic and melancholic."
"Alaovi" by Kynnet
It’s impossible not to fall in love with the songs of Finland’s Kynnet, Teemu Tanner’s solo project, even if you have no idea what he’s singing about. The sound is tense and metallic, but Tanner’s voice feels calming. Speaking about Kynnet, Teemu said, "I had some spare time being unemployed during one summer and I had an 8-track. We spent that summer at my then-girlfriend's parents' place, hiding away from an awful pipe repair at our own home. We eventually broke up during that summer and it kinda gave me the direction for all this that I do under the name of Kynnet. Being honest and spontaneous." He has since tried to widen his palette of subjects, but the ache is still a big part of his musical world. The first single from his new 7" entitled "Alaovi" has dropped.
"Elvis is in the Freezer" by Ratboys
Led by singer-guitarist Julia Steiner and guitarist Dave Sagan, Chicago's Ratboys will release its sophomore album entitled GN on June 30th via Topshelf Records. They have shared the video for the single, "Elvis is in the Freezer." Born out of fierce friendship and a mutual affection for melody, Ratboys aims to "write songs that tell stories and honor the intimacy of memory," according to Steiner. GN offers a bevy of tales, laments and triumphs, which recount near-tragedies by the train tracks, crippling episodes of loneliness, remembrances of a deceased family pet with freezer burn, and on and on. The songs shift and breathe as worlds all their own, tied together by the group’s self-proclaimed 'post-country' sound, which combines moments of distortion and a DIY aesthetic with a devotion to simple songwriting and ties to the Americana sounds of years past.