mp3: "Deaths Come In Three" - Tica Douglas

These are uncertain, bewildering and terrifying times we live in. It can be hard to grasp it all, to understand or to cope, and Tica Douglas epitomizes those feelings of fear, loss and uncertainty on track "Deaths Come In Three." Throughout the track, Douglas allows their vocals to remain a near hushed whisper, outlined in a smoky softness that navigates a fuzzy, somber landscape of only guitar. "I am here/even when I'm not near/now get some rest," Douglas reassures, and throughout each of the confessions and musings, there's a relatable earnest, a reflection of the anxieties and sadness that various forms of loss can take -"when one thing is gone/everything's changed/why's everyone moving around." Some songs can sneak up on you, tug at your heartstrings and unwind the fibers of your being, demanding you to close your eyes and surrender - "Deaths Come In Three" is one of those moments. 

Look for the full album Our Lady Star of the Sea, Help and Protect Us out 5/5 on Team Love Records.

mp3: "Ram Jam" - Pinky Pinky

Pinky Pinky brings youthful innovation to garage rock with their tune "Ram Jam." The three teenagers from LA will release their debut EP later this month and if this lead single is any indication it's gonna be good. "Ram Jam" is scorching surf rock at its finest, twang-filled guitars, flittering drums and howling over a beau that just won't take a hint. The track unravels and twirls, like a cigarette between the fingers, a trace of smoke twirling in a darkened sky, it's mysterious, dark and incorporating all the best elements of West Coast surf rock that we've come to love. It's supremely impressive and bewitching.

mp3: "Stay Here All Night" - The Total Bettys

words: Kat Harding

Lauren Records’ band The Total Bettys have a new single out in anticipation of their upcoming album, Peach. “Stay Here All Night” tears open with rolling drums and a throwback guitar line reminiscent of the best early 2000’s pop-punk. But this isn’t the boys’ club the genre used to be, as Maggie Grabmeier is out looking for her latest hook up, declaring “You could be the one I crash into if you could call yourself so lucky” over guitar riffs and shimmery cymbals. “I’ll stay here all night if I have to,” she threatens while looking for someone worthy to hang out with for “one night only.” This is a song to listen to in the heat of the summer, while hanging with old friends and maybe making a new one, if only for one evening. Chris Nolasco, Sami Perez and Bri Barrett ground everything in the rhythm and guitar department, ensuring you’ll be moving to their beat. If this is any indication of how the rest of the album is going to be, it’ll be a must-own when it drops April 17.

Preorder the record from their Bandcamp page.  

mp3: "Jenkintown-Wyncote" - Harmony Woods

photo by Emily Scooby Dubin 

words: Sarah Hojsak

Who would’ve guessed that 2017 would be the year for songs about public transportation? It’s only April, but we’ve already been completely taken with Jay Som’s “The Bus Song,” and now we have a train tribute, too, in the form of Harmony Woods’ “Jenkintown-Wyncote.” Of course, what makes both of these songs feel so resonant, so familiar, isn’t that they’re about a mode of transportation, but that they capture the ways our mentalities and relationships exist within this kind of setting. Harmony Woods’ Sofia Verbilla has clearly spent a lot of time on SEPTA’s Regional Rail to and from Philadelphia, but she sings about the draining commute in a way that reflects how it’s shaped her thinking and self-awareness. “I lift my head and all I see is a dark tunnel surrounding me / For a second or two, I question if it's all really worth it,” Verbilla sings on the track, which is lead single from Harmony Woods’ upcoming LP Nothing Special and is named after a train station in the Philly suburbs. 

The Harmony Woods project, which Verbilla describes as “lo-fi by circumstance,” has quickly become a favorite of the local public radio station, who write that Verbilla’s “captivating vocals … shake with equal parts emotion and confidence.” They’re not the only ones eagerly anticipating Nothing Special, though – while SEPTA anxiety may ring particularly true for Philadelphians, Harmony Woods’s commentary on the weighty decisions of everyday life is something we can all appreciate.  

 Nothing Special is out May 5 via Honest Face Records. 

video: "Black Hole" - Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss views a serious subject through the art of a youthful and Matilda-inspired lens on new video "Black Hole." Speaking with Nylon Magazine, Eva Hendricks detailed how the track is about "when you’re caught up in an emotionally abusive relationship, it’s easy to convince yourself that everything you’re putting yourself through is building toward some sort of payoff, when everything will suddenly feel easy and light. That didn’t happen, and the lyrics are about me coming to terms with that, while also still not being totally able to give it up yet.” The track begins easily enough, light patterings of drums and strings moving smoothly along with Hendricks defiant vocals. As the seconds pass though, the intensity picks up, diving off into a quiet moment before a thunderous finish. It's a reflection of the roller coaster ride that can come with our darkest moments in life, even adding a shriek of frustration and rage. Their album is out 4/21.

stream: Had a Dream - Tomemitsu & Alexei Shishkin

When we previously heard the first singles from this joint release between Tomemitsu & Alexei Shishkin we immediately fell in love. Today we're bringing you the full stream of the Forged Artifacts release that's due out Friday, and the complete scope of their transfixing dreamworld is yours to step into and escape with. From fuzzy and blissful to sincere and subtle, the pair bring together their music for a release made for summer days and staring off into sunsets. The split is absolutely gorgeous and breezy, a warm whisper of secrets, dreams and thoughts to surround yourself with.

If you can't get enough, you can catch Tomemitsu this Sunday during a free show at Ham & Eggs Tavern in DTLA, beginning at 8:30 p.m.

mp3: "Just Poison" - So Many Wizards

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Like the recently released "Sic Boys," the latest single from So Many Wizards is a jubilant beam of encouragement. "Just Poison" is jaunty and ceaseless in positivity, beginning at a breakneck pace that continues throughout its 2 and a half minute run time. The uplifting melodies and swinging instrumentals are upbeat and joyful garage pop that you can imagine spinning circles under the sunshine to. It's dizzying in a most glorious way, reminding you that "you can do anything." You could totally take the hand of your best friend and skip off into the sunshine to follow your dreams with this one. The full album is out 4/14 on Lolipop Records.

mp3: "Lullablaze" - Antonioni

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At our most vulnerable, our secrets can feel the most impactful and on the single "Lullablaze" it feels as if you're wrapped up in a significant and powerful truth. The single comes from Antonioni's upcoming EP out later this month, and it's a warped, tumultuous step into the heart of something astounding. Vocals that near breaking, leaving cracks in a noisy and resounding soundtrack of dreamy, but threatening guitar and drums. In a single that speaks of nightmares, somedays and the desire to shake it all away, "Lullablaze" is an unveiling of the deepest part of a heart, combining fear, confusion and self-assurance into an unshakeable single.