In The Pharmacy #73 – Late February 2015

Two weeks of the best new tracks. New music from the US, UK, Australia, Belgium, France and Canada. Tunes from Modest Mouse, Dick Diver, Best Coast, Death Cab For Cutie, Django Django, Sufjan Stevens, Calexico, Passion Pit, Surfer Blood, Fred Thomas, The Weather Station, Trust Fund, Broken Water, Cabane, Le Volume Courbe, Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld.

Modest Mouse ‘Lampshades on Fire’

So far, four tracks have surfaced from the forthcoming album Strangers to Ourselves (the band’s first new album since 2007’s We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank). This one is my current favourite, with its jittery post-punk-funk-scratch-meets-reggae rhythms and Isaac Brocks’ distinctive wired, but weirdly mellifluous yelped vocals.
[Modest Mouse]

Django Django ‘First Light’
It’s been just over three years since the Scottish electronic neo-psychedelicists released their debut album, but this is worth the wait, up their with that record’s highlights. Taken from Born Under Saturn (out May 4, Because Music).
[Django Django]

Dick Diver ‘Waste the Alphabet’
Second track to surface from the Melbourne band’s forthcoming third album Melbourne, Florida (March 6, Chapter Music / Trouble in Mind). Like ‘Tearing the Posters Down’ (ITP #72) it feels like the jangle has been turned up to 11, and while they have previously been singled out for wearing the influence of The Go-Betweens, this one has elements that sounds like the early work of those other antipodeans, The Church.
[Dick Diver]

Best Coast ‘California Nights’
I wasn’t a fan of the of Best Coast’s second album The Only Place, but they won me back over with the superior songs and fuzzy pop of the excellent Fade Away EP. This title track from their forthcoming third album finds them getting lost (in a good way) in a more dreampop meets shoegaze sound. It’s a better fit than the cheesy 80s FM n’ country stylings of the last album and seems a more logical progression from the lo-fi garage surf pop of their earliest records. The album is out May 5.
[Best Coast]

Death Cab For Cutie ‘No Room in Frame’
Second track from the band’s forthcoming Kintsugi, their last album to be recorded with guitarist Chris Walla before his amicable departure. Like ‘Black Sun’ (ITP #71) this suggests that the it will be a far better record than the somewhat underwhelming Codes and Keys (2011).
[Death Cab for Cutie]

The Weather Station ‘What It Is, Way It Could Be’
Last featured back in February 2013 (ITP #27) with ‘Mule in the Flowers’, The Weather Station is the work of Torontonian singer songwriter Tamara Linderman (Aussies might know her as Tamara Hope, star of early naughties Melbourne-set fantasy show Guinevere Jones). It’s gentle and beautiful folk music with a touch of Joni Mitchell in both vocal phrasing and styling.
[The Weather Station]

Trust Fund ‘Essay to Write’
This is about as 80s lo-fi indie as it gets in 2015. The stand out track from the band’s (rather good) debut album No One’s Coming For Us, following on from their also rather good split EP with Joanna Gruesome.
[Trust Fund]

Calexico featuring Ben Bridwell ‘Falling from the Sky’
The Calexico back catalogue is a rich and wonderful thing. Here they utilise Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell for the first taste of their forthcoming Edge of The Sun album (Anti-, April 14), the follow up to 2012’s wonderful Algiers.
[Calexico]

Broken Water ‘High-Lo’
Olympia, WA band with a unique blend of grunge, shoegaze and 80s indie rock aesthetics. This is taken from their forthcoming album Wrought (Night People Records, March 24)
[Broken Water]

Cabane ‘Sangokaku’
Big Sufjan Stevens influence on this track from Belgian musician Thomas Jean Henri with aid from Bonnie Prince Billy, Kate Stables, Caroline Gabard and Sean O‘Hagan.
[Cabane]

Passion Pit ‘Where The Sky Hangs’
Super-slick pop from Michael Angelakos and co.’s forthcoming Kindred, the follow up to 2012’s Gossamer.
[Passion Pit]

Surfer Blood ‘Grand Inquisitor’

Intriguing new tune from the Florida band’s new 1000 Palms (May 12, Joyful Noise) follow up to Pythons (2012).
[Surfer Blood]

Fred Thomas ‘Cops Don’t Care Pt II’
Another track from the Saturday Looks Good To Me frontman’s forthcoming solo album All Are Saved (Polyvinyl), this one features Radiator Hospital’s Sam Cook-Parrott.
[Fred Thomas]

Le Volume Courbe ‘The House’
It’s been ten years since French London-based ex-pat Charlotte Marionneau released her debut (and so far, only) album as Le Volume Courbe. Now she’s back, this time with a single which once again enlists the help of Kevin Shields (also Martin Duffy and John Parish).
[Le Volume Courbe]

Sufjan Stevens ‘No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross’
This track from his first proper album since Age of Adz (2010) finds Sufjan Stevens return to the style of the quieter moments of Illinois for the forthcoming Carrie and Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty, March 31).
[Sufjan Stevens]

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld ‘The Sun Roars into View’
Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neifeld teams up with fellow instrumentalist Colin Stetson for an album of minimal violin and horn music that, if this track is anything to go by, promises to appeal to fans of the more esoteric end of post-rock. Never were the way she was is due out on Constellation, April 28.
[Sarah Neufeld]

In The Pharmacy #71 – Late January 2015

The 20 best songs from the last two weeks. New music from Courtney Barnett, Death Cab for Cutie, The Mountain Goats, Torres (pictured), Diet Cig, Sleater-Kinney, Milo Greene, Cool Sounds, Mondo Drag, Mikal Cronin, Twerps, Motorama, Belle and Sebastian, Ty Segall, The Dodos, Diagrams, Girlpool, Chandos, Ryley Walker and Natalie Prass.

Courtney Barnett ‘Pedestrian At Best’

Apart from one track on her own Milk! Records compilation, Courtney Barnett hasn’t released any new music since the How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose EP back in October 2013. She and her band have spent the last 15 months touring the world in support of a compilation of that record and its predecessor (2012’s I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris) which, despite being called The Double EP some people seem to have mistaken for her debut album. Sometime in there, CB and her (now fourpiece) band have found the time to record her debut album proper, the forthcoming Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (due out in March on Milk! / Mom & Pop). This is the first track and if this and live favourite ‘Depreston’ are anything to go by, she is about to totally deliver the album everyone is hoping for.
[Courtney Barnett]

Death Cab for Cutie ‘Black Sun’
The first taste of DCFC’s first post-Chris Walla album Kintsugi (March 31, Atlantic) doesn’t stray very far from the template they’ve carved out on recent albums, but is better than anything on their last album, the underwhelming Codes and Keys.
[Death Cab for Cutie]

The Mountain Goats ‘The Legend of Chavo Guerrero’

First taste of John Darnielle’s wrestling-themed album Beat the Champ (April, Merge) proves that, like his previous works, you don’t need to know much about the subject matter to find his lyrics fascinating (and, of course, the music is great too).
[The Mountain Goats]

Torres ‘Strange Hellos’

Mackenzie Scott (aka Torres) made the best debut album of 2013. Last year, her output was limited to two tracks. One (‘The Harshest Light’) on a Record Store Day split 7” with Motel Beds, the other only available on Soundcloud. The latter track, ‘New Skin’ featured performances from Adam Granduciel and Sharon Van Etten and was my favourite track of 2014. Both tracks appear (possibly in different versions) on her forthcoming second album Sprinter (Partisan, May 5).
[Torres]

Diet Cig ‘Harvard’

After ‘Scene Sick’ appeared earlier this month (ITP #70),this is the second track to get a release from the New Paltz, NY duo’s limited edition cassette EP, Over Easy due out via their Bandcamp at the end of February.
[Diet Cig]

Sleater-Kinney ‘Price Tag’
Opening track from their excellent (and very beautifully packaged) comeback album, out now on Sub Pop.
[Sleater-Kinney]

Milo Greene ‘When It’s Done’
From the fictitiously monikered California pop band’s second album Control (out this week on Atlantic).
[Milo Greene]

Cool Sounds ‘Night Line’
Another track from the Melbourne indie pop band’s new album, Healing Crystals (out now on Beko).
[Cool Sounds]

Mondo Drag ‘Zephyr’

Oakland, CA heavy psych rockers with the opening track from their eponymous second album, out now on Kozmik Artifactz. Is that the influence of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’ in the rhythm?
[Mondo Drag]

Mikal Cronin ‘Make My Mind Up’
The occasional Ty Segall sideman returns with a track from his forthcoming third album MC III (May 5, Merge). Hopefully, like its predecessors, it will contain more lush, melodic psych pop nuggets like this.
[Mikal Cronin]

Twerps ‘Simple Feelings’
Superior Melbourne janglists with an unabashed fondness for The Clean with another track from their excellent second album Range Anxiety (out now on Chapter Music / Merge).
[Twerps]

Motorama ‘Lottery’
Half early-Cure post-punk, half jangle pop, all goodness from the Russian five-piece.
[Motorama]

Belle and Sebastian ‘Allie’

Another stand-out track from the band’s eclectic and wonderful Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance album.
[Belle and Sebastian]

Ty Segall ‘Mr Face’
Title track from the prolific San Francisco-based garage psych rock muso’s new EP.
[Ty Segall]

The Dodos ‘The Tide’

The third track featured here from the band’s forthcoming sixth album Individ.
[The Dodos]

Diagrams ‘Phantom Power’
Taken from former Tuung man Sam Genders’ new album Chromatics. Breezy pop with eclectic influences and bearing a little of the folktronica thumbprint of his previous outift. 
[Diagrams]

Girlpool ‘Chinatown’ 

After their appearance on the The Le Sigh Vol. II comp (ITP #70) this is another new track, from a forthcoming 7” (Wichita, March 24).
[Girlpool]

Chandos ‘Swim Gym’
Taken from the Boston band’s twisting, chugging, a little post-hardcore, a lot great Rats In Your Bed album (out now on Carpark).
[Chandos]

Ryley Walker ‘On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee’
Another track from the Chicago folkie-jazzy guitarist’s wonderful new album Primrose Green.
[Ryley Walker]

Natalie Prass ‘Your Fool’
Taken from her debut Matthew E. White – produced debut album
.
[Natalie Prass]