In The Pharmacy #74 – March 2015

Warpaint ‘I’ll Start Believing’
Unlike the leisurely paced seven-plus minutes of new single ‘No Way Out’, this b-side starts with a communal scream and clocks in at under 180 seconds. It’s all sinuous guitar lines, fuzzed bass and Stella Mozgawa’s urgent drumming. These two tracks are the“first in a series of new songs being released this year” and hopefully a sign of a new period of prolificness for the band who have previously released (brilliant) records at a snail’s pace.
[Warpaint]

Tame Impala ‘Let It Happen’
Speaking of seven-plus minute tunes, this is the first new track from Kevin Parker since 2010’s Lonerism. An electronics-heavy psych number, with the strings kicking in around the four minute mark and it’s not until after the six minute mark where we hear something that is recognizably a guitar. Download it for free over on the Tame Impala site.
[Tame Impala]

The Mountain Goats ‘Heel Turn 2 (edit)’
Second track to be released from the loosely wrestling themed album Beat the Champ (April, Merge) only whets our appetite to hear the whole thing. The full length version of this song has a beautiful instrumental piano coda that’s as long as the narrative part.
[The Mountain Goats]

Bully ‘I Remember’
First featured here with ‘Milkman’ back in November (ITP #67) this tracks is taken from the Nashville based band’s forthcoming as yet untitled album.
[Bully]

Chromatics ‘I Can Never be Myself When You’re Around’
Johnny Jewel and co. return with more 80s indebted electronic pop. This is taken from delayed forthcoming album Dear Tommy, the follow up to 2012’s Kill For Love.
[Chromatics]

Colleen ‘Captain of None’
Colleen (aka French multi-instrumentalist Cecile Schott) utilises her voice and the 15th century baroque intrument viola da gamba to create something hypnotic, haunting and contemporary. This is the closing title track from her forthcoming album on Thrill Jockey (April 7).
[Colleen]

Radical Dads ‘Slammer’
From the Brooklyn band’s third album, 
Taken from the indie rock band’s Cassette Brain EP.
[Radical Dads]

My Morning Jacket ‘Big Decisions’
Taken from Waterfall (ATO, May 4) their first album since 2011’s Circuital. A big stadium filling number driven by Jim James’s vocals and Patrick Hallahan’s drumming, over slide guitar, horns and piano.
[My Morning Jacket]

Evans The Death ‘Expect Delays’
Title track from from the London based indiepop band’s second album (out now on Fortuna Pop! / Slumberland).
[Evans The Death]

Modest Mouse ‘Coyotes’
The other end of the MM spectrum to ‘Lampshades on Fire’ (ITP#73). A waltz-time number from the band’s rather bloody excellent Stranger to Ourselves album.
[Modest Mouse]

Chastity Belt ‘Joke’
Second digital single from Chastity Belt’s second album Time To Go Home (out March 24 on Hardly Art) the highlight is the outro where the band cut loose on the guitars for two and a half minutes.
[Chastity Belt]

Dick Diver ‘Leftovers’
Melbourne, Florida is one of the best albums of 2015 so far and likely to stay that way. It’s one fault? That there are only a couple of tracks that features Steph Hughes on lead vocals. With mournful horns and slide guitar, this one is a real beaut.
[Dick Diver]

Slutever ‘Maggot’
LA garage pop duo of Nicole Snyder and Rachel Gagliardi teamed up with buddies Girlpool for a split cassette last year (though they’ve been releasing stuff through Bandcamp since 2010). This is taken from their new Almost Famous cassette.
[Slutever]

Speedy Ortiz ‘The Graduates’
Lessons learned from the Stephen Malkmus school of songwriting on this second track to appear from the band’s forthcoming album Foil Deer (April 21, Carpark). One of their best songs so far, I reckon.
[Speedy Ortiz]

Sufjan Stevens ‘Death With Dignity’
Openning track from the forthcoming Carrie and Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty, March 31).
[Sufjan Stevens]

Westkust ‘Swirl’
Gothenburg shoegazers who in Hugo Randulv and Gustav Andersson share a couple of members with Makthaverskan (ITP #72). This is taken from their forthcoming album Last Forever (available via their Bandcamp page).
[Westkust]

BRAIDS ‘Taste’
Raphaelle Standell-Preston has featured here a couple of times, firstly with her other project Blue Hawaii and then with ‘In Kind’, the closing track from BRAIDS last album Flourish//Perish. This may not have the quirky edge of that latter track, but it’s a winning slice of 21st Century pop, that takes its influence from the late 20th Century (a bit of drum n’ bass, a bit of trip hop, a bit of Radiohead), but it’s Standell-Preston’s vocals that are the star here.
[BRAIDS]

Soko [featuring Aerial Pink] ‘Lovetrap’
French musician / actress Stephanie Sokolinski (aka Soko) is well known to Australian audiences for her 2007 hit ‘I’ll Kill Her’. Here she teams ups with buddy Ariel Pink for some super smooth 70s-influenced electronic pop. Taken from Soko’s forthcoming My Dreams Dictate My Reality album.
[Soko]

Jenny Hval ‘The Battle is Over’
Previously featured here with ‘Mephisto in the Water’ and her cover of Paul Simon’s ‘The Cool Cool River’, the Norwegian experimentalist returns with this intriguing track from her forthcoming Apocalypse, Girl album (Scared Bones, June).
[Jenny Hval]

Lower Dens ‘Your Heart Still Beating’
Motorik centrepiece of forthcoming third long player Escape From Evil, features some nice Fripp-like guitar in the middle (March 31, Ribbon Music).
[Lower Dens]

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]