The Atlanda outfit Starbenders’ frontwoman Kimi Shelter has described their music as “blasphemous candy-coated bubblegum punk.” “Blasphemous” may be a bit hyperbolic, but there’s no doubt an irreverence to Starbenders’ music, one that’s delivered through a sarcastically sugar-sweet image. Case in point: “Diet Soda”, the B-side to the group’s upcoming “Powder” 7-inch release. Although the tune itself is sunny and catchy at times, particularly in the verses, Shelter really lets it wail in the chorus, with the attention-grabbing line “Am I still beautiful to you with this blood on my hands?” becoming the most distinctive feature of the track.
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If based on their name you suspect that Gringo Star are a bit cheeky, you’re probably right. There’s a definite playfulness to the band’s brand of pop, as their latest singl e “Undone” makes plenty evident. The track, whose most distinctive features include plinked piano notes and a whistling melody, sounds like the kind of tune that would play well over a Wes Anderson film’s closing montage. As such, it’s utterly appropriate for the coming summer months; after one or two spins, you’ll be whistling along to “Undone” as you walk out into the sunny season.
LCMDF, formerly known as Le Corps Mince de Françoise, are just the kind of band that suits a Memorial Day playlist. With that weekend now upon us, there’s no time better than now for the duo to drop their latest remix, “Fooled”, remixed by fellow Finns 5/5.
Emma Kemppainen and Mia Kemppaine are the two sisters behind the LCMDF name, and already they’ve started garnering attention, with The Guardian putting them on a recent “Pop Playlist”. When you watch the lyric video for 5/5’s remix of “Fooled”, you’ll see why they’re nabbing the attention that they are now, as well as why they’re ideal aural accompaniment for any upcoming summer holiday festivities.
Had the stars aligned a certain way, and Scott Walker had started off his musical career in 2015 Brooklyn rather than mid-‘60s United Kingdom, he could well have made the music of JOBS. Somewhere underneath “Patient Angel”, a track off of JOBS’ forthcoming killer BOB sings LP, there’s a simple pop song. Yet it’s buried beneath layers of latticework noise and bursts of dissonant asides, to the point that the song’s center, its core, becomes obfuscated by the band’s experimental leaps. This, of course, is the delight of “Patient Angel”: it takes you for a ride. Just when you’ve set your expectations for it, this Brooklyn trio will take a tangent that will challenge what you know about music. Like the aforementioned Walker, the music of JOBS always has its toes dipped in recognizable song structures and tropes, but it never jumps all the way in.
“Patient Angel” now has a music video to match its mercurial structure, with psychedelic and eye-searing flashes of brilliant color tracking and enhancing the shifts in the tune itself.
Songs about breakups are a dime a dozen, but there’s a reason why that’s the case: it’s a powerful universal emotion that has a million different angles to it. No one song can be all-encompassing in its examination of the lovelorn state. Mississippi’s own the Shoe Birds know this, and for their take on heartbreak, “You Leave Me Blind” they craft an anthemic, driving pop/rock number that culminates in its sing-along ready chorus.
“You Leave Me Blind” can be found on the Shoe Birds’ forthcoming Southern Gothic LP.