CORRECTION: A few weeks ago, I told you about a new young artist named Neighborhood Ryan. During this I mentioned that his band released an EP, One summer, Last year. Well, that was incorrect. It was Ward himself who released the EP, and it was in 2020. I’m sorry the mistake and wish a speedy recovery to all involved. Find Ward on Spotify.
KEEP DEATH ALIVE: There has been a lot of activity lately in the Tears for the dying camp. Although the goth/deathrock oriented Tears existed as a project and creative outlet for the leader Adria Stembridge for a very long time, the band’s profile – and fanbase – has grown exponentially over the past few years. The group now offers a new formation composed of Stembridge (vocals/guitar), Joshua Broughton (guitar), Michael Garrett (bass), Pilot (keyboards) and Mick Payne (drums/backing vocals). This week, the band will wrap up shows in Athens and Nashville with Nox Novacula from Seattle and Secret Shame from Asheville, North Carolina. In addition, the group is currently working on its next LP, Eyes wide open in the darkwith producer Tom Ashton (Clan of Xymox, March Violets) but no release date has been set yet. In non-group news, Stembridge and Gregory Sanders (Pylon Reenactment Society) host a bi-weekly gothic karaoke night for all ages, as well as post-punk, punk and industrial, named Dark entrances. It’s happening at Drink from 7-10 p.m., and its next instance is Friday, April 22. .com/darkentriesathens.
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN SOUND: Elf Power announced their new album, Artificial campaignsas well as her new relationship with the longtime North Carolina label Yep Rock Records. A press release notes that this is the band’s 14th album, but I bet at least a few ardent fans will dispute that number. Anyway, in the last two months the band released two singles from the album (“The Gas Inside The Tank” and “Undigested Parts”). The album is slated for release on July 15, with the band beginning a series of tour dates a few days before, but you can pre-order it now at ffm.to/artificialcountrysides. To discover the singles, head to Spotify or your streaming service of choice, and to keep up with the beat, check out elfpower.com and facebook.com/elfpower.
EARWORM SUPERSTAR: Over the years, there have been a handful of artists who exist in Athens but, assuming a particular artist’s trajectory continues upwards, seem to only pass through our scene. The latest case is Sarah Mootz. His resolutely pop orientation is very contemporary and benefits from great production qualities that are a far cry from his first recordings a few years ago. Her latest single, the second this year so far, is “Something” and features twin vocals between Mootz and Elijah Johnston. Normally, I really struggle to appreciate this kind of mid-throat singing – not exactly vocal frying, but close – which can sound both exhausted and urgent, but I’ve been enjoying Mootz music lately. It has a full release scheduled for later this year. To listen, find her on Spotify, and for other up-to-date articles, please visit facebook.com/sarahmootz and sarahmootz.com.
RETURN BY SEA: golden harmoniumthe musical project of New York transplant Austin Emerson, released his seven-year album in preparation Nostos last month. Everything here (guitars, drums, bass, keyboard, synth, programming, vocals, trumpet and percussion), as well as all recording and production, was handled by Emerson. I don’t know why it took seven years, though. Maybe he got stuck in traffic. Either way, these eight tracks form a relatively more cohesive collection of songs than the 2020s. Subjects of The Cave. Of these tracks, most of which can be loosely categorized as experimental-electronic-pop, I’m most fond of the slow unfolding “Twisted Lines” which – somewhat miraculously – features a solid reggae beat without any hint of a reggae melody. It’s not as shocking as it sounds, and it’s actually quite good. Although this collection, as mentioned, is a bit more fluid, Emerson still has several musical tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not shy about rolling up those sleeves. Find it at goldenharmonium.bandcamp.com.
IT’S GENTLEMEN FOR YOU AND ME: Long-time musicians of Athens Tom Jordan and William Tonkswho play and perform like Mr.JordanM.Tonkshave a new album named Disorders. The full lineup of players on this release are the aforementioned on guitar, dobro, banjo, and vocals, plus Mark Cooper Smith, Ben Jordan, John Neff, and Eddie Gliken. The pair play a very nice style that can usually be attributed to a mix of old times and bluegrass, but with a few surprise picks, you might not expect it. To wit: their perfectly usable and somewhat pensive instrumental cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and an utterly charming version of the Squalls’ “Na Na Na Na.” Find this and enjoy it at mrjordanmrtonks.bandcamp.com.
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