The kind of music that the Athens, Georgia instrumental outfit Kenosha Kid purveys in is one of those things that is nearly impossible to describe with clarity that nonetheless makes sense by the time it’s all said and done. One spin of any of their knotty, mind-bending jams and it becomes clear that the group, headed up by guitarist Dan Nettles, has a very different conception of song structure than most musicians. Where others would think not to put certain ideas together, Kenosha Kid runs wild with the eclectic. Such is the case for the oddball “Zombie Party”, a track taken from the band’s forthcoming LP Inside Voices. A delirious hodgepodge of jazz, surf rock, and ‘60s pop, the tune’s perplexing composition is matched only by is music video, which… well, it’s best to let Nettles himself explain what’s going on here.
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Last fall, PopMatters premiered the music video “Bad Country” by the Virginia folk group the Last Bison. That song, a fine, sing-alongable number, is one of the key components of the convivial atmosphere that fills VA, the group’s most recent LP. PopMatters writer John Bergstrom asked in his review of the Last Bison’s Inheritance record, “The Virginia septet are legitimate players in the folk revival, so why aren’t they blanketing your radio like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers?” The world has yet to give a sensible answer. The band’s music not only gives those mega-groups a run for their money; in many cases, particularly with Mumford & Sons, they actually one-up them.
As it turns out, the music of VA isn’t over just yet. These Virginians have now readied a followup EP, Dorado, taken from the writing and recording sessions from the last album.
Bob and Martha are not actually Bob and Martha; the actual names of the duo are Aparna Muralidharan and Dan Bonsignore. According to their press materials, they both met and starting recording music in “an explosive firework of creativity and kittens”. Upon listening to Bob and Martha’s new EP, Middle Babies, it becomes clear that description is no mere use of adorkable rhetoric. Especially on tracks like “We Leave”, which you can exclusively stream below, the band’s brand of lo-fi, charming pop more than lives up to the image of a firework of kittens. Add this up with the animal costumes the group wears on the cover of Middle Babies and you’ve got yourself one twee pop outfit with a sense of humor and childlike wonder about their music.
“Just imagine if Wilco and Coldplay had a baby adopted by Radiohead”, says Looms when describing themselves on their website. Perhaps this is an apt description, but Looms use one thing that those bands (or really any bands) use rarely enough: Fender Rhodes. This most revered of electric keyboards is a time-proven way to class up a song or, in the case of “Sunshine”, give it a swanky, lounge-ready mood. In addition to being a pleasant, relaxed listen, the loose playing of “Sunshine” makes it ripe for reinterpretation and expansion, fitting given the group’s improvisational chops in a live setting.
“Let It Go” marks the second single Mirk has released in anticipation of their third studio record, Run. Now, before you roll your eyes at what is yet another cover of the ubiquitous Frozen track, fear not: Mirk’s “Let It Go” shares only a name with that sing-along standard. Their tune is a prime cut of neo-soul, with a summertime mood and ace backing vocals aplenty.
The group regularly performs 75+ concerts per year, which means that the seemingly unbounded energy exuded by “Let It Go” will be available to be seen, heard, and felt in a live setting—don’t miss out.