Release Date Buffet: July in a Handbasket


July 6th

July 13th

July 20th

July 27th

July 6th 2018

Aubrey Haddard – Blue Part
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Self Released
Genre: Soulpop, Singer-Songwriter
Aubrey Haddard’s debut LP is a lo-fi, soul popping singer-songwriter mashup of Norah Jones and early John Mayer. And now that I’ve said it, I can’t unhear it. It’s a remarkably well done debut for being self-produced and released, so expect it to fill out the playlist at your favourite local hipster coffee joint in the near, near future.

The Bamboos – Night Time People
Producer: Lance Ferguson
Label: BMG
Genre: Funk, Soul
A solid block of soul, producer/guitarist Lance Fergusons drops each track right on the lap, so one can get up and shake it off immediately. No respite here. Why would anyone sit down when listening to these Melbourne funk standards? Kylie Auldist is in rare form, powering through like a dynamic combination of Diana Ross and Donna Summer sans Giorgio Moroder and rather en vogue with Ferguson’s classic soul and gospel approach. Night Time People is no perfect LP, but it’s all go, even on the slow songs, and it poses a question on first listen: is this a live album? Because it should be. If the Bamboos fail to follow this record up with a live compendium detailing this entire record cut-by-cut (minus the many versions of Broken, a medley would fit better there), then this universe should be left bamboozled.

BODEGA – Endless Scroll
Producer: Austin Brown
Label: What’s Your Rupture?
Genre: Art Punk
It’s a simple equation: just two tags, punk and new york. Superlatives? None. You don’t need them. You don’t need nothin’, so this is for the ones who want it; a tidbit for why it sounds so familiar, yet modern: Produced by Austin Brown of Parquet Courts.

The Lavender Flu – Mow The Glass
Producer: Chris Gunn? Maybe? Man I wish this information was easier to find.
Label: In The Red
Genre: Neo-Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock
Perhaps I should be happy that some lo-fi psychedelic punk from the Beaver State has found the light of day, but sorry people, this LP doesn’t have cuts, it’s dull knife after dull knife hacking away at stale bread. Lo-fi and psychedelic should excite, but this record is as dreary as the Oregon coast sometimes. Actually, in that regard, the album is commendably successful. But that doesn’t change an opinion: this is the most genrefied-genre music lo-fi can produce. It’s not dialed up eleven, more like four or five…but to any lo-fi genre nut, that’s basically an eleven.

RJD2 – In Rare Form, Vol. 2
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: RJ’s Electrical Connections
Genre: Instrumental Hip Hop, Trip Hop
It’s here, another compilation of instrumental triphop from RJD2. And it’s good—in one utterly basic and banal word? It #vibezzzzzz. In a more sophisticated manner, this is a record that refuses to fall into the background just because of the instrumental moniker. Rather, as someone who spins fire this is just the compilation I’ve been waiting for. And another thing—how coy of you, RJD2, to play the Incredibles II game, how coy of you…

The Stan Laurels – Maybe
Producer: John Lathrop
Label: BMI
Genre: Power Garage, Pop Psychedelic
On the opening notes of “Maybe” the year is 1998, Third Eye Blind, Spin Doctor, Sugar Ray-loving broseps surround me with the last sweaty odors and bits of machismo the century can muster as I take my first steps into the Omega house. This is as close as the Shinsian School of Modern Indie will ever get to the late nineties zenith of college rock, or so I hear. By the end of the record, the odor steps off the stench, but the first impression is already made.

I can’t be bothered doing the lists—they drain my soul and /u/giraffeking does them better here


July 13th 2018

The Babe Rainbow – Double Rainbow
Producer: Wayne Connolly
Label: Flightless. 30th Century
Genre: Psychedelic Pop
Indeed, this is a project of The Babe Rainbow—but let’s all just take a step back and look at that record label: Flightless. On its catalog: the Murlocs, Pip-eye, Leah Senior, ORB, Stonefield and Thee Oh Sees. Fearless founders, the very ambitious King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have changed gears this year. Deciding that one off from an exhausting yet energizing 2017 for the Aussie psych-garage scene that scratched off the watts with each of their five releases, Gizz is letting the rest of the label do the talking or, er, the recording. With The Rainbow Babe’s Double Rainbow, Flightless’ goal to keep the wind under the wings is coming along swimmingly or, er, breezily. Soothing, entrancing and electric yet acoustic, this is a record to make fans of the 13th Floor Elevators, the Byrds, Love, the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and so on oh so very happy. Source: am very happy.

Collections of Colonies of Bees – HAWAII
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Polyvinyl
Genre: Indie Rock, Art Rock
The mathrock wiz-consinites return with a soft indie rock record in the same vein as, well, everyone else it seems (or I’m just a sucker for what’s low and pleasant). Still, this record confirms a rather salient point of the modern music industry: it’s really easy to find average-to-good music. The Tame Impalas and Kanyes of the world may be the lucky ones, but it’s bands like Collections that just prove that every sound has a busy scene. They follow the playbook for independent art-rock and come out with hardly any scuffs on their instruments.

Dirty Projectors – Lamp Lit Prose
Producer: David Longstreth
Label: Dominio
Genre: Art Rock, lo-fi, Alternative Soul
It’s not to say that Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear copy each other—but their simultaneous revolutions around the genre of indie rock—and neo-psychedelia in particular—recall something of binary sunrises and sunsets. One revolves around the other revolving the one in a tango-tandem—no one leads, they just careen towards the void on their dancefloors’, the space in their soundscapes’, the blankness on their canvas’. These two acts are the Picasso and Matisse of this little indie rock world. And for all their similarities in colour and audacity, they still differ in style with their latest punchy art-rock albums. Painted Ruins was lo-fi, bedroom rock makeover, far more interesting in substance than any of their material pre-2012. Lamp Lit Prose, however, is a swanky lo-fi bedroom folk-and-soul record more than it is the misnomer of “indie pop” (Because pop-is-not-a-genre, it’s a lazy term for lazier music writers). Put between the two, I’ll take the latter’s Matisse to the former’s Picasso. It’s not even best Dirty Projector’s LP out there either—but, just for the record, it’s a solid change of expectations.

Echo Courts – Room With A View
Producer: Jean-Luc Swift
Label: Refresh
Genre: Neo-Psychedelic Rock, Indie Rock
For some reason, my auditory senses say Echo Courts listened to some of the Meat Puppets and the Band before making this record. Anyone? No? Just me? Alright well, screw it, even if these modern Kirkwoods-by-Bob-Dylans don’t exactly impress me (I fuckin’ hate Bob Dylan, man), it is impressive that this Room with a View could sound so good after a complete reshuffling of the staff.

Maggot Heart – Dusk To Dusk
Producer(s): Self-Produced, Konie
Label: Self Released
Genre: Post-Punk, Garage Rock
Say what you will about the explosion in Eighties and Nineties garage influence in the last few years that doesn’t include a sentence ending in -irvana, but I think that indie rockers can all agree that a criminally underrated band is Hole, right? Right? Whatever—if you have a vacillating love/hate relationship with noise rock and need a new method to satisfy it, look no farther than Maggot Heart’s debut LP.

Melbourne Cans – Heat of the Night
Producer: Morgan McWaters
Label: Lost And Lonesome
Genre: Indie Rock
Back it up again: I lived in Melbourne once. And then, unlike today, it was not known as Australia’s musical hotspot—that honour belonged to Perth (and should forever by the grace of Kev Parker—a nonbiased opinion, actually—and Eskimo Joe—a totally biased opinion, really). But hey, give it time, and what have we now but one of my favourite cities on this planet just churning out great band after great band for the modern era of independent rock n’ roll: King Gizz, Courtney Barnett, Pipe-eye, the Murlocs and ORB (if you count Geelong—and damnit I do).  Still, I feel like of all the bands to emerge from Melbourne, than the Cans maybe the weakest. Their sound may be a successful derivation of the punchy garage rock of the Sixties, but then so is La Luz’s, Peach Kelli Pop’s, Habibi’s and Snail Mail’s—hell even King Tuff and Ty Segall dabble in that powerful pop of a swingin’ Sixties beachside. Every beach now must have about a thousand different personal boomboxes blasting any number of records in the saturated market of surfrock and frankly, the Cans (much like Snail Mail) are gonna have a time or two breaking into that group.

The Ophelias – Almost
Producer: Yoni Wolf
Label: Joyful Noise
Genre: Art Rock, Dreampop
The Ophelias have done the sophomore solid: releasing a record that both grows off the vine and produces a fruit better savoured than imagined. Almost is as trendy and sweet as it is lofi and as dreampoppy as a polder-by-the-zee. Filtered vocals like a foggy photo reverberate on low over the warm-tone guitars, organic keyboards and glowsome glockenspiels. If Chastity Belt is the Ally Sheedy band of the breakfast punk club, then this is Molly Ringwald’s. Your earbuds will be thanking your music taste all week for this record.

Slightly Stoopid – Everyday Life, Everyday People
Producer(s): Slightly Stoopid, James M. Wisner, George Spits, Miguel Happoldt, Jerry Wonda, Colin “Bulby” York
Label: Self Released
Genre: Reggae
This record was made for that uncle who smokes too much of that reefer and just wants to live with the good vibes, man. Source: my future.

Wet – Still Run
Producer(s): Rostam Batmanglij, Andrew Sarlo, John Hill, Joe Valle, Kelly Zutrau, Loren Humphrey, Robert Ackroyd, Noah Beresin
Label: Columbia
Genre: Indie Pop, Alternative R&B
This is a record of two halves: one is trying its hardest to emulate a sort of xx or London Grammar-esque glum, the other is popping with twee rhythm and blues that sniffs of a certain Slow Club. However, the xx figured out how to make the two harmonize throughout their debut instead of switching and London Grammar goes full bore on the former—Hannah Reid knows nothing but the gloomy dark that surrounds a spotlight. Meanwhile, Slow Club relies on their insane infectiousness of cuts that tug back and forth like a Ross/Rachel Relationship (The vaunted R/RR). What I’m saying is… and even I can’t believe this… is that other bands count these cants with an allure that I find embellished until uncanny on the Still Run LP from Wet.

I can’t be bothered doing the lists—they drain my soul and /u/giraffeking does them better here


July 20th 2018

Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
Producer: DJ Khalil, Mike & Keys, Jahaan Sweet, Scoop DeVille, et al.
Label: RCA
Genre: Neo-Soul, West Coast Hip Hop
Curveball! Dabbling in hip hop this week—let me just layout my preferences: I’m an East Coast, Midwest, jazz and social conscious hip hop head. Common, the Roots, Tribe, Q-Tip Black Star, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Chance and even Lupe Fiasco. But in that same vein, Seventies soul and funk is engraved in bone—the heart and ass bones to specific. Gotta jive to it if I wanna move to it, and if I don’t move it, then I don’t jive with it. Lucky for Buddy then, because this long-player exudes cool sans effort—a modern day Sly and the Family Stone or Al Green or Wee record—so etch it in stone: more neo-soul hip hop is just jive with me.

Carne Doce – Tônus
Producer: João Victor Santana
Label: Tratore
Genre: Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelic Rock
So many synchronicities between the States and Brazil. Perhaps no other Latin American country has taken to Jazz and Rock as well as the Land of Parrots. But don’t take the masters of football for copycats. As one quips: the English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it. But in regard to Carne Doce’s latest effort, Tônus, mastery is far from the appropriate word. In fact one might say it sounds like a step backwards. Between the cuts “Comida Amarga,” “Amor Distrai (Durin)” and “Golpista,” the record plods to the listener’s misery. And the equation doesn’t seem to solve itself in any neat way. More noise would be distracting, more garage would be cliché, more psychedelia and the pace would suffer. But perhaps the clearest reason for why this record doesn’t quite add up: it has no punch. I may hate the pop nom in all its forms (from psych pop to dreampop to rap pop to soulpop, pop is not a genre, it’s an adverb), but damn, Carne Doce’s attempts to play coy on Tônus are downright boring. They are playing hard to get for no reason and damnit, I have no time for these games. I’m just gonna go to back to Princesa and forget about it for now.

DRAM – That’s a Girls Name EP
Producer(s): Josh Abraham, Ogilee
Label: Atlantic, Empire
Genre: Neo-Soul
Three tracks of whacky, eighties infused-soul. It’s dizzy, it’s snappy and it’s quick and it’s easy and all three tracks are so damn good that, it must be asked: more please?

The Internet – Hive Mind
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Columbia
Genre: Neo-Soul, Alternative R&B
Ask NME’s Carl Anka and it’s the best soul album since sliced barbershop quartets. Ask the New York Times’ Jon Pareles and it’s that “nonchalant” dabbling between the line of electronica and hip-hop. Ask me—it’s aight I guess. It’s an extraordinarily ordinary. No chance is missed, the album rolls to its many funk and soul influences and rides to the electronic imbibements of the radio. Not too much, but just enough to keep ears interested

Ovlov – TRU
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Exploding In Sound
Genre: Indie Rock, Fuzz Rock
Ovlov are not new to the scene, but their music, has been replicated since their debut in 2013. Fuzzy, stormy noisepunk emulated by bands such as Bully and LVL UP and sharing a nail-on-chalkboard-massacre tonality not unlike that of A Place to Bury Strangers—if slightly toned down. Well, Am was every bit the mind-munching, metal-shredder as a noise-influenced act can get. And after five years, bandleader Steve Hartlett decided to switch gears and take a fuzzier, more laidback approach. A gambit that pays well, while fans of Ovlov may find the long-awaited sophomore record off-putting at first, those of us deaf to that first release will have little problem settling into the lo-fi fuzzpunk that this long-player loves to spin. Maybe Ovlov will have some trouble restarting the interest, but it won’t be because of a dud studio album. That fuzz is too warm and comfy.

Pram – Across The Meridian
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Domino
Genre: Neo-Psychedelia, Art Pop
I know that spacerock is already a subgenre and/or spinoff from psychedelic rock but uh, Pram’s latest record sounds like an alien heard our hallucinogenic musings and decided to retort. In some ways it’s cool. In others, well, I dunno, I don’t speak that dialect.

Ty Segall & White Fence – Joy
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Drag City
Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock
I don’t get this—I mean why? Why do artists do this? Done right, it should be interesting to hear pots and pans makeup some Fifties-kitchenette percussion and rhythm with minimalist melodies but… why do that have to make it so unlistenable? There should be more than some sort of low-effort attempt to recreate neo-psychedelia à la John Cage. Or at least, it’s sad that Ty Segall and White Fence’s attempt is terrible and that someone out there must have done it better. No? Anyone? Wait, people actually like interludes-upon-interludes-upon-interludes?

Vinyl Williams – Opal
Producer: Lionel Williams
Label: Requiem Pour un Twister
Genre: Neo-Psychedelia
This is the lo-fi study beats of neo-psychedelic rock—look forward to its inclusion on every music streaming channel this side of YouTube. Also mildly amusing that it is easily the most interesting psychedelic rock album of the week despite not trying to be.

I can’t be bothered doing the lists—they drain my soul and /u/giraffeking does them better here


July 27th

The Growlers – Casual Acquaintances
Producer: Julian Casablancas
Label: Beach Goth
Genre: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Velvet Underground meets synthpop garnish—the vocals vacillate between lackadaisical Lou Reedisms, reckless warbles of Bob Dylan and blanc-faced Casablancas cult singing. Dig those vocals, dig this album. If not, struggle as the guitar and percussion persistently attempts to lofi Nick-Cave-on-a-Surf-Wave its way to a Bluetooth-speaker-by-the-beach, in the hands of Neo-Goths trying to fit in. Hold my keyboard, I need to breathe.

Mamajae – Return To The Red Edge EP
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Self Released
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
OH MY GOD YES. Prog’rage (progressive garage) as headlined by the likes of Ty Segall, King Tuff and Woods and grown by the likes of Woods, Wooden Shjips and the Brian Jonestown Massacre is a combination of genres this world needs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, thank you Sonic Youth for existing lest we never have bands like Mamajae, slathering their soulful, baleful lead singer, Teaghan Alexander to summon her inner Clare H Torry and play with her inner Debbie Harry. BRING IT ON

Massage – Oh Boy
Label: Tear Jerk
Genre: Jangle Pop, Indie Rock
Ex-Pains of Being Pure at Heart bassist Alex Naidus, really likes to jangle, and his band sounds like their collective heart was broken to a Weezer record, probably Death to False Metal. It’s a Nineties high-school prom sound updated for 2018, with all the pep of “She’s All That” and all the downers of “10 Things I Hate About You” but none of that post-grunge fuzz—perhaps a good thing, Rivers Cuomo may have worn out those jeans too much for Alex Naidus to get far with them.

Mathew Lee Cothran (fka Coma Cinema) – My First Love Mends My Final Days
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Self Released
Genre: lofi, Indie Rock
Twenty-one minutes. And they all zip by without a memory. I would love to write something about this record, but my chest tightens every time I try to remember the band or my first love and I don’t know which hurts more—the music or my heart.

Ross from Friends – Family Portrait
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Brainfeeder
Genre: Outsider House
Ross from Friends is what they call a spicy meme, so it only makes sense that Ross from Friends would follow in those foot stairsteps. Nay, rather than being spicy, Family Portrait is sublime, deriving from the UK bass and house schools to deliver a next-of-kin to Jamie xx’s In Colour. The record is as attitudinal as it is morose, and it pivots between showing its glowstick teeth for the New Year’s routine to coming home and napping it out with the best F-R-I-E-N-D. Whatever the occasion, it has an aura. And man, when those marimbas throb, the music can’t be denied.

Tony Molina – Kill the Lights
Producer: Self-Produced
Label: Slumberland
Genre: Folk Rock
This is the trickiest record I’ve yet to describe. It’s not progressive-folk because the songs are too short (and if you’re an old school Tony Molina fan, you might consider some cuts two minutes too long), it’s not necessarily country-rock due to its overwhelming comfort-food musicality—and if Tony Molina is rock, he categorically learned under a Byrdsian, Crosby-Stills-and-Nashite school—nor is it power-folk because, well, folk can be powerful, but it never really summons a sound larger than itself (power-genres have a knack for taking the banal, the hopelessly romantic and overly nihilistic and empowering them well past their merits). So what is this? lofi folk? Acoustic bedroom rock? I don’t really know, but folk-rock seems to best fit the line on Tony Molina’s graph. What I suggest is mapping it out yourself, because Kill the Lights is a tight package—as per standard practice—it’s only 14 minutes. If you have a lunch break, then you have time for this.

I can’t be bothered doing the lists—they drain my soul and /u/giraffeking does them better here

And if /u/giraffeking doesn’t quite tickle your fancy then might I suggest:


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About BenJamsToo

A young dude with an old soul from Portland, OR but currently teaching and writing in rural France. A lover of rock n roll since his mother first spun The Police’s “Roxanne,” he’s also dabbler in soul, funk, jazz, blues, electronic and hip-hop. Perhaps it’s easier to list what he doesn’t like; most gangster rap, country-western and modern metal disagrees with his stomach. Spends all day wondering what Ruban Nielson eats for breakfast, why Danger Mouse hasn't made a through and through GOOD record since St. Elsewhere, if Kamasi Washington is the Kanye West of jazz and just what the hell people hear in mumble rap. Between those things he writes for Atwood and his own blog, Come here for the nice clean thoughts; go there for the ramblings of an insane man.