Before I divulge both the new and old music I am listening to, it’s interesting to note that Record Store Day this year will occur on June 12 and July 17. Record Store Day is for audiophiles who maintain vinyl records provide a superior listening experience. I remember when vinyl was all there was. LOL! I also recall tossing many vinyl albums, which, in hindsight, would now be worth hundreds of dollars – sigh.
Record Store Day corroborates the axiom – well-known to the field of fashion – that the outmoded may justly return as the avant-garde. This means there’s hope for me – perhaps being ‘old’ will become all the rage. LOL!
Now on to the good stuff.
Velvet Two Stripes – “Fever”
The Swiss blues-rock outfit Velvet Two Stripes will release their third album, Sugar Honey Iced Tea, on October 15. As an appetizer, the trio recently released “Fever,” a grand song discharging elements of blues, garage rock, and riot grrrl punk.
“Fever” opens on an austere twangy guitar rolling into a rumbling, low-slung rhythm, followed by sensuous femme fatale vocals, dark and moody. When the song ramps up, it sizzles with dirty, growling guitars and tight, rasping voices.
Mozart – “Mass in C Minor”
As usual, I have been listening to Mozart’s “Mass in C Minor,” which is, in my personal opinion, one of the most glorious pieces of music ever written. And yes, it’s classical music. But it positively sends chills up your spine because of its majestic ebb and flow, its sheer beauty.
The best version is from the movie, Amadeus, directed by Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou – “The Valley”
A track from May Our Chambers Be Full, the album released last year by Emma Ruth Rundle’s collaboration with doom outfit Thou, “The Valley” is nonpareil doom, amalgamating the nuanced, evocative voice of Emma Ruth with visceral, sepulchral doom. Deep and delicate, the tune slowly builds to surging aggressiveness topped by Emma’s eerily sumptuous timbres and snarling vocals.
Betsy – ‘Sugar Daddy’ EP
A few days ago, Welsh singer-songwriter Betsy dropped a new EP, entitled Sugar Daddy.
Talking about the EP, Betsy shares, “This EP is a diary of my current life. Moments of color, lust, and love that forever hang on a thin thread of drama and destruction”
Encompassing four tracks, entry points include the title track and “True Romance.” The latter emanates gospel-like savors as Betsy narrates the thrill of wild, hungry romance.
Dresage – ‘Terror Nights / Terror Days’ EP
Los Angeles-based indie art-pop artist Dresage, aka Keeley Bumford, just dropped Terror Nights / Terror Days, a six-track EP.
Dresage explains, “‘Terror Nights / Terror Days’ is the best way I can describe the cat and mouse game I continue to play with my sanity. Living in my head, writing songs as a form of therapy – melodic journaling. I try to sing myself out of mania and back to strength, stability, acceptance. The madness of knowing all that could be as my inner peace gives in to a mutant strain of doubt and fear and my mind becomes the architect of its own jail. This EP is my journey from not only stepping into producing an entire body of work myself for the first time but also granting permission to be a work in progress, just as I am. To start on the rocky shores of what society does to the minds of women and end on a bluff overlooking the untamed waves that let me know I’m on the right path chasing the freedom we all deserve.”
If you decide to check it out, recommended tracks are “Who I Am” and “Wild Sea.” Shifting, oscillating production, along with Dresage’s distinctive voice, edgy and brooding, deliver an innovative sound.
Volk – ‘Cashville’
Cowpunk duo Volk released their debut album, Cashville, last week. Volk’s sound merges raw flavors of garage rock, glam rock, and punk into potent music thrumming with yowling guitars, Jovian drums, and the luscious grimacing voice of Eleot Reich (drums, vocals).
Blistering guitar work, courtesy of Chris Lowe, infuses their music with grubby textures. The entire album hits like an anvil to the chest. Highlights on the album include “Welcome to Cashville,” “Honey Bee,” and “Snake Farm,” as well as the last track, “Simple Western Song.”
Mimi Bay – ‘far from home’ EP
Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, lo-fi pop artist Mimi Bay released her EP, far from home, on June 4.
A self-taught instrumentalist, Bay started writing and recording at age 14, followed by sharing her music on YouTube via her channel ‘Hi I’m Mimi.’ Her mellow sound, rippling with creamy textures sitting betwixt and between dream-pop and R&B, travels on cartoon-like synths capped by Mimi’s cashmere, informal voice. “pick me up” and “b the same” stand out and define her alluring lo-fi sonic soundscapes.
Nayana Iz – “Breaking Point”
Born in India and raised in North London, Nayana’s cool pop sound ranges from hip-hop to alt-pop, to velvety R&B. Effortless and sensuously flavored, her voice bewitches and beguiles. Vaguely reminiscent of Sade’s posh voice, Nayana’s tones ooze gliding surfaces mixed with sighing eroticism
Mysie – ‘Undertones’ EP
Raised in South East London, singer-songwriter Mysie merges savors from retro-soul with funk, reggaeton, and alt-pop. “Over Time” demonstrates her gift for combining various stylistic tangs, while “In My Mind” conjures up Billie Eilish with its singular alt-pop layers.