Having been featured on NPR Music’s World Cafe as an “Artist of the Week”, Spanish indie outfit Polock have already garnered attention from numerous online outlets for their undeniably catchy take on indie pop. Although they’ve often been likened to Phoenix—by this very publication, in fact—with their latest video, “Freak City”, Polock channel two other artists in particular. In terms of guitar tone, “Freak City” is all about that Nile Rodgers single-coil sound, the kind revived by Daft Punk on their 2013 monolith of retroism Random Access Memories. Additionally, the synths that form the backdrop for these guitars in the verses bring M83 to mind. All comparisons aside, though, “Freak City” is a good time in its own right, and a dead ringer for any ‘80s-themed parties.
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Coming off of their 2014 record Stop Look and Listen, the Connecticut group Lines West lost their rhythm section. As far as things a band could lose, that’s a pretty big one, and this issue no doubt stymied some momentum. Not ones to let adverse circumstances trump their musical passions, Lines West kept onward with their goals, resulting in the soon-to-be-released Two of a Perfect Pair LP.
On this new outing, Lines West continue refining their brand of pop/rock, which is flecked with country and Americana influences throughout. Below you can watch the lyric video to “Perfect Pair” and get a taste of what’s to come from this rising group.
With a fragile, delicate vocal beauty in the vein of Joanna Newsom, Sye Elaine Spence paints a vivid image of her grandmother in her tune “1964”. A bare arrangement consisting merely of Spence’s high-register voice and a guitar creates the effect of flipping through an old photo album, nostalgically gazing at all that has come to pass in a rich life experience. Although Spence is a young artist, the timelessness of “1964” makes it seem as if she’s doing it for a much longer time—in past lives, perhaps.
About a month ago, South Dakota’s own Jami Lynn released her sophomore LP, Fall Is a Good Time to Die. Six years in the making, the record is both a tribute to her home state and a fine collection of folk tunes in the vein of the best Americana. Below you can stream the pastoral “Texas”, whose spare arrangement—voice, banjo, and mandolin—puts Lynn front and center.
With their new record Citizens, the Houston pop/rock outfit the Wheel Workers pull off the trick of marrying “sociopolitical consciousness with a memorable hook.” Vocalist and lyricist Steven Higginbotham was nominated for the Best Songwriter Award at the Houston Press Music Awards in 2014, no small achievement considering that if one tuned out the lyrics, the Wheel Workers could just appear to be another catchy pop group.
To get a glimpse into Citizens, as well as the political insight that Higginbotham and his bandmates display in their music, stream the album cut “Burglar” below.