mp3 premiere: "Fine Line" - Humble Fire

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Humble Fire fights back against the sentiment that we should smile through it all on single "Fine Line". It's the latest track from their upcoming Builder release out July 28. Despite the light, airy vocals and glistening instrumentals, the message of "Fine Line" comes with serious, impacting weight. All too often we're taught to smile through the pain or hide our true emotions, but "Fine Line" banishes that practice and challenges why we force ourselves to wear a fake grin. "I'm alright, I'm okay...so put on your smile and wear it for a little awhile," Nefra Faltas sings, all the while a secret is hidden behind that smile and in the single's dreamy ideals.

The band explains:

"Fine Line" explores the the exhaustion of resisting the pressure women often face to "smile" while struggling to cope with emotional pain. The musical arrangement reflects this tension through meandering, dissonant verses that unravel into a coda of insistent vocal repetition, disorienting key changes, and a cross-rhythmic synth loop.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

stream: Swoon Lake EP - Swoon Lake

From the outset of Swoon Lake's self-titled EP it's clear you're in for a radically special listening experience. The Brooklyn trio of Melodie Stancato, Lucinda Hearn and Paul Weintrob make self-described "ghost folk," the band first meeting on dating sites in early 2016. Ghost folk as it turns out, is as haunting and weightless as you'd expect. It's unhurried and intricate, from the gentle romantic gem that is "Bath" to the woozy whirlwind of "IDK," the EP commandeers and holds your attention with subtle force. The smoky, dazzling vocals of Stancato are haunting, pulling you in, inviting you to sit awhile and listen, just admiring the stories of Swoon Lake. The EP is sure to send a prickle of goosebumps up your arm, hypnotizing you with its spellbinding grace. 

Pick up the release on Spirit House Records.

TGE Recipes: Pink Slime Smoothie with Al Riggs

Welcome to TGE Recipes, a place where our favorite bands share the secrets straight from their kitchens. Think your favorite Food Network show except on a purple blog. Today we welcome Al Riggs.

Pink Slime Smoothie

I’ve been making smoothies since I was old enough to professionally lose a hand in a blender and more often than not when I make a smoothie I make the same smoothie: THIS one. 

It started off as a “clean out the fridge” style recipe and evolved into a Mandatory Breakfast Thing in my meal wheelhouse (mealhouse?). 

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Banana, Frozen
  • 5-7 Frozen Strawberries (or 1 cup of frozen chopped strawberries)
  • 1 Whole Contained of Yoplait Light Blueberry Yogurt (This is just the kind I use, you can use any kind of blueberry yogurt, including greek)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of cranberry juice

NO ICE, ICE WILL RUIN THIS. DO NOT RUIN YOUR PRECIOUS SMOOTHIE CHILD
All kitchen-type measurements are assumed and everything is negotiable, portion wise. 

Directions

Put the juices and yogurt in first before the frozen stuff. Blend until smooth or until air bubble in blender pops on its own. 

BONUS TIP: add either/or chocolate syrup or cinnamon to this smoothie. Or: don’t. I am not your parent. 

Here's a pink album from Al to enjoy with your pink smoothie!

video premiere: "I Am Almost Perfectly Awake" – NRVS LVRS

In a video awash with day-glow colored hues NRVS LVRS use fantastical and otherworldly visuals to set an imaginative stage for single "I Am Almost Perfectly Awake". The track comes from the band's upcoming album Electric Dread out June 30. There's a pulsing undercurrent throughout the track, humming and buzzing pop weaving a tapestry of saccharine sounds as intricate and mysterious as the video. Bevin Fernandez's angelic soprano rises above it all, directing us in an invitation to imagine. Joined by husband, Andrew Gomez, we can hear the band's cited influence of Kate Bush and Massive Attack through the video. "I Am Almost Perfectly Awake" glides with an effortless ease, the band's sparkling electronics appealing to your ears in a way that seems dark, but also beautiful. It's a moment you just have to experience for yourself and you can do so by pressing play below.

mp3: "Plants" - Crumb

photo: Haoyan of America

photo: Haoyan of America

The latest single from Crumb is magic, plain and simple. It's fluid and evolving, beginning with a slow jazzy strum and rising with a funky, unrestrained groove that seems content to float about the atmosphere. "Plants" is undefined, packing in so many sounds and ideals, and each one is beautiful. From the serene vocals of Lila Ramani to a backing of instrumentals that shine and fade away like stars twinkling in the night sky, it's a trip from start to finish. It's unexpected, surprising you with each passing second. Look for their EP out June 23.

split: Walter Etc. / Diners

The glorious arrival of summer deserves an equally glorious soundtrack and thankfully Walter Etc. and Diners have teamed up for a split on Lauren Records that should become a necessity for any poolside playlist. 

A sun-soaked welcoming tone is set from the split's outset with the perfectly named "Night Swim." Its bubbly, bouncy nature continues into follow up tracks, "No One Hits Me Up Anymore" and "Every Lousy Paradise." Together, the three singles echo the feeling of a hidden glimmer of sunshine that's peeking out even during cloudy days. Even confessions of "I'm just no fun anymore," on the tropical track "Every Lousy Paradise," are earnest and golden, a soft chorus of whistles carrying you into Diners' contribution.

When we previously wrote of Diners we remarked of a simplicity that evokes the excitement and feelings accompanying a new crush. That same rush of feeling and the desire to dance off into the sun continue with opener, "Sunrise." While their split counterparts sang of a "Night Swim," Diners talks of the morning after and the hope to "wake up on my own." A persistent drum pattern and just a dash of fuzzy guitar will have you swaying and swinging, as the warped "Blankly at the Sun" begins. The track wraps around you like a tight hug, comforting you with a whispered message of doing something for yourself. The split closes with an alternate version of "You've Got It," and its playful synths and proclamation of - "know that it's okay to feel down," should make you wanna hop and skip off into whatever summer adventure awaits you outside or just on the couch. 

album: Typical Girls Vol. 2

words: Kat Harding

Emotional Response Records, run out of Flagstaff, Arizona, now has a second volume in their Typical Girls compilation series. Typical Girls is a trip around the world, featuring artists from Spain, Germany, the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. A unifying theme runs through the compilation - women, girls, and nonbinary folks are angry. All around the world, these groups are treated as second-class citizens, watching old white men politicians slowly chip away at their rights and future happiness. But not all hope is lost, as long as there are engaged young people, ready to fight, and people willing to lift up voices different from their own.

Named for the Slits’ 1979 question “Who invented the Typical Girl?” the compilation is a searing group of high-energy punk songs. Every song will have you kicking and moshing 'til the end. Standouts include a trip across the pond for the UK’s Skinny Girl Diet’s track “burnouts” and an even longer journey to Australia for Bent’s “Space is Bent,” the opening track. With plenty of atonal guitar work, wailing, and crashing drums, Bent’s track is just over a minute of a pure intensity.

Discover your next favorite punk band on this record. Since listening, I’ve been hooked on Juanita y Los Feos, whose track “Vallecas” is featured on the compilation. It’s catchy garage rock, sung in Spanish, which is a favorite genre of mine. Every track on the comp has something for you to discover, whether it’s an unreleased single from a band you already enjoy, or a new band to check out across the planet.  

Pick up a copy from the Typical Girls Bandcamp page.

EP: Rock Product - Mommy Long Legs

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Mommy Long Legs is daring and bold, a group so unafraid to be themselves, and create some of the most entertaining and gnarly garage rock you'll ever hear. We've long known their signature fuzz and bratty-punk was fun (I mean hell, they sang of puking on sorority girls), and new EP Rock Product continues that trend.

From taunting teases of "last ones there a penis pump" on opener "Diva Night" to a desire to "be left alone on a permanentvacation" at "Bitch Island" to the hilarious callout of a "Dick Move," this EP is one gunning thrill ride. Their melodious shout-outs will have you singing along, dancing along, and embracing every quirky, fun thing that makes you well, you! Mommy Long Legs make fun, energized punk that's exactly what we need when the days seem grim and you can't find an ounce of good. Rock Product is a reminder to don your crown, wear your brightest colors and find a "Bitch Island" escape you can be ruler of. 

mp3 premiere: "Warriors of the Old World" - Dream Version

photo: Helen Schenck.

photo: Helen Schenck.

The world needs Dream Version. In this current political climate we need a punk soundtrack to shout along to, a band to be boldly their own and encourage us to lift our fists in the fight. Dream Version's upcoming album Fight Fair out 7/7 is the answer and on single "Warriors of the Old World" we're given the first stomping taste of their message. Their gritty, snarled proclamation that salutes "warriors of the old world...they know their flags are being taken down," wears the inspiration of The Kinks and Wire proudly on its sleeve. An unchanging guitar and drum line provide a bolstered means of support for their cries, Find your own cause to fight for and take a trip back in time with Dream Version's vintage punk. Here's what Alec Jensen had to say about the track:

"Warriors of the Old World" is essentially about the folks who showed up with torches at the Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia last week. But it also comments on the response to the Ghostbusters reboot that was coming out when I wrote it, and the uproar against taking Jackson off the 20. It's like something old is rotting right now, but before it goes away, a bunch of trolls are gonna make sure they rub our faces in it. I suppose it's ultimately an optimistic song, because it suggests that greater inclusion and equality are inevitable and our current political situation is just the drying breath of a nostalgia for a less inclusive time. But it seems as though we're gonna be smelling the stink of that breath for quite a while still.