There’s an expansive quality to Northern Arms’ patient compositions, with the Philly group’s mid-tempo rock working as a foundation for layers of swaying horns and other lush orchestrated touches. In general, the scale and moods of their self-titled debut recall the National, but on the album’s most intriguing moments, Northern Arms imagine what the Afghan Whigs might’ve been like as a chamber-pop band. Premiering on PopMatters, Northern Arms is out 17 June via the BITBY Recording Co.
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Asheville, North Carolina duo RBTS WIN, consisting of Javier Bolea and Cliff B. Worsham, formed in 2008 shortly after Bolea moved from his hometown of sun-drenched Miami to the mountain oasis of Worsham’s origins in Asheville. Their geographical backgrounds make sense when listening to Palm Sunday (Deluxe Edition), out Tuesday on their own Tidal Prism imprint. The album is awash in pop-leaning psych and swirling electronics informed by classic hip-hop sampling techniques, and etched with an imprint that is clearly informed by Since I Left You-era Avalanches. Today we are pleased to present the album stream in full.
Lonesome Shack may be from the Pacific Northwest, but they sound like a great swamp blues band from the Southern regions of the US. The grooves are relaxed as are the vocals, suggesting the soundtrack to a lazy, hot summer day with just a little angst in the air, lingering a little beyond reach. It’s a great sound that, in places, recalls some of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s more stripped down, rootsy recordings.
With the pensive tone of his acoustic strum and forlorn voice, Sad Brad Smith lives up to the modifier of his name. But there’s just a touch of ringing melody to sweeten his twangy folk sound on his new track, “On the Beach,” which premieres on PopMatters. “On the Beach” appears on Sad Brad Smith’s upcoming album Magic, which comes out 20 May.
Of the Everymen’s 2012 album New Jersey Hardcore, PopMatters Associate Music Editor Matthew Fiander wrote, “This is as populist as a rock party gets, and yet despite the common tropes the band visits (and revisits), the emotions still feel specific and dig almost as deep as the hooks do.” That assessment rings true about the Everymen’s new album Givin’ Up on Free Jazz and then some: Expanding from a core pairing of Mike Venutolo-Mantovani and Catherine Herrick to a full-on nine-piece act, this latest effort runs the gamut of retro-y rock styles, with a good humored camaraderie that they’re enjoying what they do holding it all together.
Venutolo-Mantovani shared some thoughts on the album via email in advance of the release of Givin’ Up on Free Jazz, which premieres on PopMatters. The new album comes out on 20 May, via Ernest Jenning Record Co.