Tennis – “Modern Woman”

Tennis, the musical project of couple Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, have recently announced the upcoming release of their fourth full length album, Yours Conditionally, as well as shared the first striking, vibrant tracks “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” and  “In the Morning I’ll Be Better,” chock full of lush, colorful 70’s vibes. “Modern Woman,” the next tease from the album, is softer and more minimal in its instrumentation, with Moore’s impassioned vocals being the rigid backbone of the entire track. It’s earnest and desperate at the same time, a plea for everything to go back to the way it once was despite the fact that it seems impossible. It’s clear that the duo is taking a slightly different approach to their same aesthetic, less frivolous, more sleek and refined, but still bright and hopeful.

Yours Conditionally will be released March 10th.

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photo via noisey

Tim Darcy – “Still Waking Up”

In less than a month, Ought frontman Tim Darcy will release Saturday Night, his debut solo album. Back in November, he shared the first stunning single from the album, “Tall Glass Of Water,” containing all the tension and glorious noise from his other project, but showed a more personal side, with an aura of honesty and earnestness embedded in its thick, Americana-inspired guitar tones. This week, he shared the saccharine sweet ballad “Still Waking Up,” perhaps the most romantic song Darcy has ever released. The instrumentals are still thick and chunky, but Darcy’s voice, unquestionably the most important instrument he owns, is instead soft and elastic, pure and unpretentious.

Saturday Night will be released February 17th.

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photo courtesy of artist

Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy”

In his career as Father John Misty, Josh Tillman has always been direct, whether it was his bizarre, yet beautifully poetic lyrics, the colorful, orchestral masterpieces that were his accompanying instrumentation, or, more recently, his viewpoints on the world, especially the world of politics. Up until now, fans of Tillman thought his musings were nothing to be taken too seriously, or simply just an extension of his famously controversial personality, until yesterday, when we were hit by the first single and title track from his new album, “Pure Comedy.” Throughout its six-minute duration, Tillman takes the role of doting father, gathering his children around his feet to tell them, detail by saddening detail, how the world went wrong. He’s direct once again, in true “Bored in the USA” fashion, but this time, it’s almost painfully so, as if he’s simultaneously resisting and succumbing to the urge to break his silence on every heavy topic, from politics (“Where did they find these goons they elected to rule them”)  to religion (“Oh, their religions are the best/ They worship themselves yet they’re totally obsessed”). His biting, sarcastically sure observations are wonderfully offset by his soft, soothing voice and simple, yet slightly askew chord progressions, and, though he sounds more than disappointed throughout the track, he ends on a hopeful note, explaining that “each other’s all we got.”
Pure Comedy will be released on April 7th.

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photo by Emma Tillman

Real Estate – “Darling”

Chill wave quartet Real Estate have announced the release of In Mind, their first LP since 2014’s stunning album Atlas. It’s also the first since the departure of guitarist Matt Mondanile, who not only helped found the band but also slowly left to focus on his solo project Ducktails. Along with the news, Real Estate have also released “Darling,” the dazzling new single. It sounds true to form, with Martin Courtney’s lo-fi voice and wonderfully jangly guitars, but now they feature an almost tangible psychedelic undertone, seemingly liquid in the way it travels up and down the melody. It’s most prominent in the chorus, where a lovesick Courtney claims he’s “impatiently waiting” for his beloved, mixing together somber with sanguine.

In Mind will be released on March 17th.

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photo by Shawn Brackbill

Methyl Ethel – “Ubu”

Methyl Ethel’s debut album Oh Inhuman Spectacle was a shining example of just how charming and intimate dream-pop can be, full of shimmering synth and frontman Jake Webb’s sharp, flinty vocals. At it’s core, the Perth trio’s debut was passionate and focused, and that same passion now carries over into their newest release, “Ubu,” the second teaser from their upcoming sophomore album Everything Is Forgotten. Like the first single, “No. 28,” it’s more upbeat and complex in its instrumentals, swapping out soft and intimate for direct and acerbic. Webb’s vocals are elastic and buoyant, with the bassline thick and brooding underneath. It’s a track that grows on you the more you listen to it, and the groove it provides is making us anxious for the new album’s release.

Everything Is Forgotten will be released on March 3rd.

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photo by Anna Victoria Best/ 4AD

Gorillaz – “Hallelujah Money” (ft. Benjamin Clementine)

Over the past couple of months, Gorillaz – the project of Blur’s Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett – have been constantly teasing their upcoming album, including new art, various playlists, as well as colorful, quirky visual backstories of each of the group’s animated “members.” Today, on the eve of the presidential inauguration, they have returned with their first full-length release since 2010’s brilliant album Plastic Beach –  the highly political, anti-Trump track “Hallelujah Money.” The lyrics, communicated by Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine, address the constant desire for power, as well as how money, both the obsession with and the dependence on it, only makes that desire stronger. It sounds incredibly dystopian; the bizarre pacing, the half-sung, half-chanted vocals, and the thick, sparse beats make the track both unsettling and thought-provoking – perhaps more than fitting given the subject matter. It sounds more like an opener to Gorillaz’ new album than anything (also considering its been made known that this is not the lead single), and while it’s still yet to be seen whether the rest of the album will follow suit in its theme, the eeriness of the new track still makes it a wonderful addition to Gorillaz’ repertoire, which has always been anything but ordinary.

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photo via Gorillaz instagram

Temples – “Strange Or Be Forgotten”

Back in November, British psych quartet Temples announced their sophomore album Volcano, the follow up to 2014’s absolutely mesmerizing Sun Structures. A month before, they shared the lush, colorful single “Certainty,” showing off the quartet’s more bright, energized persona since the simplicity of their past work. “Strange Or Be Forgotten” is a dreamy, effervescent anthem about recognizing one’s own true identity rather than directly try and be different from the crowd. The feeling is euphoric, yet focused, and as for frontman James Bagshaw’s buoyant, elastic voice, it’s strong, vibrant, and confident, and seems to peek out behind the thick haze of guitar and synth. As the fitting closing track for the album, it builds until it can build no more, and the menagerie of instrumentals have no choice but to mingle in harmony until it dissolves into nothingness. It’s an absolutely beautiful track, one that’s making us ferociously count down the days until the new album.

Volcano will be released on March 3rd.

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photo by Ed Miles

Cosmo’s Midnight – “History”

The last we heard from Cosmo’s Midnight – also known as twin brother producers Cosmo and Patrick Liney – was their Moments EP, which included the smooth, hypnotizing track “Snare (ft. Wild Eyed Boy)” and the bouncy “Walk With Me (ft. KUČKA), which flawlessly intertwined complex beats with energetic, smooth vocals. Now, the Sydney based duo is back with an absolutely stunning new track to add to their already impressive repertoire. “History” is a gorgeous r&b/pop gem, with bright, punchy, phaser-like synth and an absolutely killer vocal track. We’re hoping this will lead to a full-length album from the twins in the future – we can’t seem to get enough of their addictive persona.

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photo via astral people

The Shins – “Name For You”

Last week, The Shins announced the upcoming release of Heartworms, their first full length album since 2012’s fantastic Port of Morrow. They shared the first teaser, “Dead Alive,” back in October, and now they’ve returned with “Name For You” and, more recently, “The Fear.” Although its been five years, as soon as you hear the first few bits and pieces of James Mercer’s signature shrill, sharp voice and the jaunty, bubbly beat of “Name For You,” its as if they never left, and the uplifting nature of the track was what made it absolutely perfect for our first post of the new year.

Heartworms will be released on March 10th.

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photo by Christopher Jesse Juarez