Respected indie popster Anton Barbeau is back with a new album, Magic Act, releasing Mar 4th on Mystery Lawn Music. Some of these new tunes were originally penned for Barbeau’s UK band Three Minute Tease, but he ended up using them on this release. Barbeau is hyper focused on classic pop songwriting, developing hooks by the truckload and working with the finest pop musicians to translate his songs into memorable nuggets. Magic Act kicks off with “High Noon”—the song we’re premiering today—and true to Barbeau’s delightfully eccentric nature, it poses the question, “Did the CIA really kill the Virgin Mary by sending her on a suicide mission to the moon?” This kind of quirky approach has deservedly earned Barbeau legions of fans worldwide.
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On Friday, February 5, NNA Tapes will release Secret Meeting, the first collaboration between saxophonist Travis Laplante and trumpeter Peter Evans. And as far as collaborations go, it is a pure one. Both are playing from the hip, running back and forth between peaceful pedal tones and lightening-fast skronk. Stylistically falling somewhere between Laplante’s avant-garde super group Little Women and his breathy side-project Battle Trance, Secret Meeting is a sprawling album celebrating “an umbilical cord-like connection” between the two musicians.
Florida’s the Currys prove that the most powerful musical harmonies often come from groups of family members, rather like the Avett Brothers and Jamestown Revival. Jimmy and Tommy Curry and cousin Galen Curry are the heart of the indie folk group with their tight as a rubber band, three-part harmonies. Emerging from the oyster bars and restaurants of the Florida Gulf Coast, the band recently headlined the Florida Folk Fest and have developed enough of a strong following that they were able to crowdfund their sophomore album West of Here, releasing in March. “If I Find It” is the first single from that upcoming release and it’s an infectious tune to say the least. We hope to see them at the Americana Festival in Nashville this fall.
San Francisco’s Panic Is Perfect are a pure pop band who pen super memorable hooks and create intricate layers of carefully composed music. Band member Mike Hoffman says, “We have a lot of multilayered arrangements in our songs, and almost everything we write features big hooks. Everything is catchy, but it’s also complex. The songs are approachable and memorable at the same time.” That’s the approach that leads to pop songs that last and stand the test of time. Panic Is Perfect is a pretty new group, with just a 2015 EP behind them, and so it’s pretty remarkable that their sound is already so fully formed. The group’s debut album, Cellspace, releases this Friday and look for big things from these guys as their songs are irresistible.
Hailing from the chilly climes of Windsor, Ontario, the Blue Stones turn the tables on their environment by playing the hottest kind of rock. Playing as a duo gives their blues rock sound lots of punch, rather like the White Stripes in that sense. The Blues Stones’ 2012 album, How’s That Sound?, charted on Bandcamp’s best-selling list and that combined with buzzed about live shows, puts the group on a path to success for their latest album, Black Holes, which releases this April. Today we are sharing the first single for that upcoming album, charging hard rock number “The Hard Part”.