Week in Pop: Caicos, Romantic Thriller, YASSOU

Sjimon Gompers

The rise of Brooklyn's Romantic Thriller, oka Rebecca Huston; styled & photographed by Jessica Knight.

Week in Pop

Fresh out of the green room & counting down the seconds to show time with Mr. Husband, oka Kinny Huxpin; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Mr. Husband is back, the alias of Yellow K boss Kenny Tompkins who shared the brilliant & inspiring new single “DREAMDRIVER” featured off the upcoming album SILVERTONE available May 4. That golden sun-hued California pop sound rekindles classic fancies & forwards those sentiments to the doorways of today.

Brighton’s own Underwater Boys just released the single “Apricot” that is here to help ring in the new spring season. Available now via Manimal/Cannibal Hymns; Tom & Nick Klar, Tom Sullivan and Max Fletcher celebrate the sweet rock-fruit offerings of the new solstice that mix in meditations on the lasting emotive effects of human exchanges.

Eureka California announced their new album Roadrunners arriving May 4 from HHBTM with a cold soda-pop refreshing rocker titled “Mexican Coke”. Jake & Marie display an impressive accomplishment that not only showcases their most radio pop sound but is also dually their loudest & biggest sound yet. The group’s latest jam will entertain you & leave you desiring those imported prized glass bottled soft drinks that still use real sugar.

Tayla Parx shared the emotively charged single “Runaway” featuring Khalid that entertains escapist impulses. The draw to flee to the infinite roads ahead that take you to everywhere can be heard & felt in an anthem of inspiration.

Zola Jesus presented a viewing of the Johnny Jewel remix of “Ash to Bone” video co-directed by Jenni Hensler with Jim Larson off the just released Sacred Bones album Okovi: Additions. The deep-steeped synth re-rendering from Jewel takes Zola Jesus’s immortal tale of breaking through the mortal coil to a whole other place of something magical, dangerous, wonderful—yet strange. The art-house visual is witnessed as a piece of inspired performance art that mixes settings of neon lit boulevards of city streets with the graffiti-tagged halls of subterranean corridors that lead to the dimensions of the uncharted (and unknown). Be sure to check out Zola Jesus’s Week in Pop guest selections featured here.

Luna Shadows shared an evocative cover of Dua Lipa’s single “Be The One” that works in piano-stitched hopes for that special somebody to be that significant special someone. Through a subtle electro-tinged production & a warm atmospheric nature; Luna Shadows takes Dua Lipa’s song to heart & delivers a rendering that flies like a breeze soaring love-note folded up into a paper airplane.

The Bones of J.R. Jones is readying the album Ones To Keep Close available May 11 with a listen to the jovial single “I See You”. Based out of Upstate New York; Jonathon Linaberry makes an electric & organic noise that brings yesterdays gritty raw-rock fashions for today’s stages.

Brooklyn’s TOMI has recently signed to RCA Records with the announcement of the upcoming EP What Kind Of Love available May 18 with a look at the video for the inquisitive & affection affirming title track. Fantasias of the greatest forms of loving & caring expressions are the driving force that inspires TOMI’s energetic performance that asks about the attributes of enamorment that can sweep us off our feet.

Mourn sent word of the new album Sorpresa Familia available June 15 via Captured Tracks with the visual for “Barcelona City Tour” that takes the audience around town courtesy of camera work from Alex López, Laura Nūñez & Marc Pujol. Tour Barcelona like you have never witnessed it before as the group guides you to the coolest local spots that are beyond the tourist traps (as they unleash their trademark energetic sounds, rhythms & styles). In the group’s own words:

We like to understand records as personal diaries. Everything you live builds you as a person, so we think it builds your art as well. We use songs as a way to express ourselves and to organize our ideas and thoughts. We use them to understand our own feelings and to grow emotionally. This album sums up everything we’ve lived during the past two years, it wasn’t easy to open up, but we did it anyway without fear. Every frustration, disappointment, delusion, anger… We got everything out, we liberated ourselves and now we’re ready for everything that comes up. The lyrics are very literal; they are our raw experiences—without makeup. We show our most animal side, reduced to our most intense and visceral emotions. Of all we’ve lived, we keep the experiences, what was learned, all the mistakes and successes. Now we know life is SORPRESA (surprise), but above all it is FAMILIA (family).

Moonheart provided a look at the Charlie Schmidlin, Rothwell Polk & Matthew Hoodhood visual for the introspective thought-walking single “Bridestep” off the upcoming album Feel It Out arriving this spring. Kim Mayo of the duo displays inward meditations on intimacy & the most sacred of connections are taken to extravagant locales where the earnest electronic arrangement & honest delivery come to life as a testament to the great feelings of the realest types of love. As Kim explained the track, via Nylon:

The song is a years-delayed love letter of closure. In it, I work through some frustration and regret over not having had the words or capacity to express myself clearly during a time when I was growing apart from someone who is still very important to me. Writing it was a way to process a lot of those messy, unclear feelings and to honor a friend who, though no longer in my life in the capacity that they once were, remains a large part of my heart.

Yours Are The Only Ears provided a listen to the new powerful & organic new single “Fire in My Eyes” featured off the debut album Knock Hard available May 11 from Team Love Records. Susannah Cutler has that ability to engage in the rustic Americana primitive mode to create the most evocative, personal pop that resonates with the audience like a flood of feelings & memories that for many are hard to describe conventionally.

Hammered Satin delivered more glam rocking sounds & visions with the video for “Silver Streak” that features pop-art videography from Logan Feser set to more of the group’s self-appointed sound of 70s Junkshop Glam Bonehead Crunch Motorbike. Presented courtesy of Radcat Records, Noah & the gang bring an ode to motorcycle mischief that mixes in a plethora of smoky & colorful visuals that feel like something out of a 70s cult film.

Also introduce yourself to Orange, California’s new label Rad Cat Records who present the following video promo from Logan Feser, featuring a theme-song penned by Hammered Satin with animation courtesy of the Dream Factory. Starring Aneta Kernova, David Light, Sam Radue, & Hammered Satin’s own Noah Wallace; the Southern California imprint makes their name known with a whole lotta eye & ear catching antics that deserve to be played at maximum volume & witnessed at the highest available definition & resolution.

The Midnight Club delivered the visual for “Scream” via Harbour Records/Caroline that pays homage to glam rock icons Queen & more. The Denver group mixing rooftop performance footage with screen test sequences that compliment the group’s passionate pop delivery.

From Hazel Rose’s fresh new 5th Element mixtape that features production from J. Cole, !llmind, Mr. Carmack & more; the SF artist delivered a look at the Shayna Yasuhara animated video for “Part of Me”. A track that sports production from Marty Mxfly & Mic Angelo; Hazel’s vibrant love letter to the Bay Area is visualized in a cosmic aesthetic that mixes local imagery with colorful impressionistic styles.

Dutch-Ghanaian artist Nana Adjoa shared the earnest mellow observances heard on the new single “Honestly” from the self-released EP Down at The Root (Part 2). Adjoa expresses the fallacy of trying to control everything in life that is outside of our grasp that finds a certain evocative & instinctive peace in just accepting & attempting to understand all the complicated events & items that we cannot necessarily change.

Ed Vallance announced the upcoming album Midair available June 15 from International Rescue Artist Development, sharing the power-pop pastoral “Dark Matter”. Like a demo that could have been recorded during the heyday of Apple Records when the Fab Four were seemingly on top of the world; Vallance launches land-lobbed hopes outward to the spaces of atmospheres that extend into the spaces of air that lie between the oceans & the overhead celestial galaxies.

Duckwrth takes us in a back-in-the-day time machine Mojave-mobbing video for “Tamagotchi” from Lino Asana Producer & Winnie Wong from Chocollective starring AUGUST 08, Ima Djie, Barney Bones, Art Haynie & of course, Duckwrth. Found off the XTRA UUGLY mixtape, Duckwrth’s 90s big-boss ode toasts digital pets in an arid desert speeding tour de force (mixed with a plethora of pixelated animations that are created in the aesthetic of the title’s namesake).

From the upcoming album Holding on to Forever, Work Drugs shared the new single that flirts with the feeling of an ineffable form of infinity. Mixing images taken from Lost in Translation, the Philly group grasps dearly & gently onto the feeling of holding tightly to those cherished moments that you swear could possibly portend to an eternity of joyous intimacy.

Touring with Bishop Briggs this spring, Matt Maeson of Neon Gold delivered the Cody LaPlant video for “Hallucinogenics” from the forthcoming The Hearse EP available April 27. Maeson track grapples with realities & perceptions that are cooked up on a psychotropic stew of motel blues that are delivered with heart-felt intimacy.

Salt Cathedral takes us to their Colombian hometown in the visual for “No Love” via Ultra Records that features the a cast of local characters from the Cartagena community. The currently NYC based duo of Juli and Nico sends out a song of peace & coexistence for everyone to find a love & respect for all living persons both locally & globally in an invitation for everyone to partake in an inclusive dance of life & joy.

Chris Crofton presented a look & listen to the video for the single “UFO Hunters” featuring Jim James off the upcoming album Hello It’s Me available June 22 from rising imprint Arrowhawk Records (Arrowhawk’s fifteenth release, celebrating their fifth year anniversary). The intimate visual from Alex R. Johnson, Steve McCord, Pat Cassidy & Louis Watt for Onion Creek Productions exhibits the personal thought process one has in their own chambers where intimate bedroom introspection is mixed with visuals of the great wide wilderness. The song’s own reflective home-bound sentiment is drawn to arid landscapes of the unknown where supernatural forces are witnessed interfering with the otherwise solo journey that underscores the lyrics of I’m not alone pertaining to the paranormal that concludes with the bright extra-terrestrial light.

Ruler shared the new single of dreams, desires & aspirations with “Cars and Houses” featured off the upcoming album Winning Star Champion available May 25 from Barsuk. All of the hopes & wants are tallied up into an energetic arrangement that celebrates the goals & determination that connect us all on a human level in terms of materialistic pursuits.

Reuben and the Dark offered a listen to the meditative & endearing title track from the upcoming album Arms Of A Dream arriving May 4 via Arts & Crafts. The grip that dreams have upon our waking world & the subsequent echoes of the unconcious are illustrated in observing attachments that transcend the physical for something that feels akin to the spiritual natures that are hard to articulate.

Chicago’s the Claudettes caught our attention this past month with the release of their Mark Neill produced album DANCE SCANDAL AT THE GYMNASIUM (via Yellow Dog Records) that sets the stage for a prom full of suspense, mystery & strangeness. The dance begins on “Don’t Stay With Me”, leading into the dramatis personae of “November”, the theatrical “Give It All Up for Good”, the old-timey meets the modern scandal showcase of “Naked on the Internet”, the duet of passions “Pull Closer to Me”, alongside the energetic floor shuffling title-track. The big band antics pick right up on “Bill Played Saxophone”, to the agricultural icons that inspire “Influential Farmers”, rising to rhythmic & emotional heights on “Death and Traffic”, orchestrating odes to the outsider on “Total Misfit”, rallying up the recipes for “Taco Night Material”, right before shutting down the entire time-warping dance party with “Utterly Absurd”. The new Claudettes record is one worthy of repeated listens to enjoy a variety of different facets from what is ultimately a complex piece of performance concept pop.

Get mesmerized by the Kyle Macfadzean & Jack Mortimer visual for Mellow Gang’s “Temps”. The ennui of the temporal is delivered in an artistic delivery of grandiose settings, dramatic poses & gestures that makes the fleeting feel like something almost permanent.

Dive into the lo-fi subterranean sounds of “Redacted Memories” courtesy of Portland’s Public Eye (fka Autistic Youth). Featured off their split 7″ EP with The Estranged available now from Blackwater Records; the analog sound & rhythmic core of the new single keeps the entire aesthetic chugging forward toward an uncertain tomorrow that never quite knows what is in store.

Feel Alright shared the gentle & pensive single “Cool Water” featured off the upcoming album In Bad Faith available in June via Pleasence Records. The track has a landscape wandering & mind wondering quality that works to keep the faith & keep the human touch intact through all the ups & downs experienced on the rollercoaster of life. Craig Fahner from Feel Alright shared the following insights on the new single:

I wrote this song when I was moving back to Calgary from Pittsburgh. I was thinking about the kinds of people who work thanklessly to contribute something vital to the music community, without receiving anything in return in terms of conventional ideas of success, and the cycles of exhaustion and propulsion that characterize being a cultural worker in a place like Calgary.

Check out the Amanda Mair “Empty Blockings (Dirty Nice Remix)” via Despotz that adds some new beats to the original. The track remains cool & calm that pronounces subtle & warm percussion for all international dance floors.

Chüko presented a listen to the 7″ arriving April 20 from Pineapple Lung Cleanse that features the cuts “Lo-life” b/w “Aquarium”. “Lo-life”, mixed by J​ohn Kolesnikow, shares tales of low laying creatures delivered in gritty lo-fi while “Aquarium”, mixed by Andrew Oswald, floats & swims about like a scuba diver exploring an expansive water tank. Look out for the record arriving April 20 with 300 very special edition pressings given the clear-green vinyl treatment with a record release happening the same night in San Francisco’s Mission District at a secret location (follow the band’s Instagram for the addy)

The Magic Lantern, oka Jamie Doe, delivers the sentimental strings of the new song “Lydia” courtesy of Hectic Eclectic Recordings. From the forthcoming album To The Islands delivers the kind of acoustic aspirations that seek reunions & homecomings to those special places both real & imagined with heart.

Berlin’s John Moods, of Fenster, has been working on an album created on his phone whilst traveling about Northern Spain that is arriving April 20 via Mansions & Millions. Sharing a listen to the single “Take It Home” ft. Sean Nicholas Savage provides the sound of wandering troubadours far from their abode navigating the coordinates for a warm-homecoming (complete with plenty of sax styles).

Ane Diaz dropped the new single “Allá Viene Un Corazón” that deals in a vérité of brass inflected melodies & arrangements. The sincere & impassioned approach draws extensively from the Diaz’s Venezeluan heritage with a crooning delivery & arrangement reminiscent of stateside clandestine lounges from the 1950s. Known for work in Causey (Alternative Tentacles), Ane’s song moves with musical brush-strokes that paint the passage ways to the heart of human affection.

Valley Queen are releasing their debut album this summer & shared the single “Chasing the Muse” about pursuing inspirations of infinite intrigue. The LA group has been touring lately with Liza Anne & creates sounds that are spun from the unbound & unwound energy from the heart & spirit that seeks limitless enlightenment.

Sons of an Illustrious Father delivered a look at the earthy & energetic visual from Rafe Scobey-Thal for “Extraordinary Rendition” from an upcoming album arriving June 1. The group embraces a sense of the supernatural in an exotic natural locale that sends their song & inspired dance moves outward into the world & the realms of the unknown.

Philly artist Katie Frank has been working on the upcoming album All You’ll Get From Greed with Kevin J. Killen & delivered a listen to the mirage shattering single “The Delusion”. Katie creates a rocker about the pros & cons of giving into “The Delusion” that oscillates between aspects of joy & misery along with the utter abandonment of giving into the quixotic visions of untold grandeur.

Juliana Daugherty shared a listen to the new electro-blended single “Player” of evocative expressions featured off the upcoming album Light available June 1 via Western Vinyl. Feelings rush & rumble through ethereal rhythms & atmospheres that provide an environment for Juliana’s vocals to echo & reverberate with a mystic sense of urgency & an enlightened air of mystery.

We received news that gobbinjr announced the new album ocala wick available June 8 from Topshelf Records, delivering the uplifting & organic single “afraid of me”. With economic rhythm guitars & a wistful delivery; earnest & candid thoughts of observations & feelings ring together in a unison of instant wonder & a catchiness that will chase away all senses of fear & apprehension about the world.

Enjoy all the honest intimacy & inclusive exhibitions of love & exchanges in worlds greatest dad’s new video for “laughing (while you’re smiling)” from James Hunt off the upcoming album get well soon available May 11 from Deep Rest Records. Band leader Maddie Duncan’s song about make-ups, breakups & finding better regiments of self-care is displayed through tales of two people finding love, turbulent times & a blissful reunion that will inspire tears of joy, laughter & bring a smile to your heart.

Let yourself be moved by the acoustic hymn “Our Friend Bobby” from Donovan Woods’ upcoming Both Ways album available April 20 from Meant Well. The track shares a testimony & tribute for those that inspire us with legacies that are immortal & life affirming in an arrangement that is delivered straight from the heart & the photo-books of memory.

Currently on a UK tour with Otherkin; Newcastle’s FEVA delivered the single “Makin’ Waves” that makes a ripple with music made to rock like the rolling rhythms of the ebb & tide. The delivery flies with a structure of chords that rage like untamed waters that take cues from a cosmic kind of volition.

Denmark Vessey presented the new track “Sellout” ft. Vic Spencer & DrxQuinnx with production from Earl Sweatshirt that delivers versus about putting in work & the art of aspirations set to some stoned & subdued back-beats. Featured off the upcoming Sun Go Nova EP available April 20 via Mello Music Group that also features production from Knwxledge; Vessey, Quinnx & Vic share a host of inside exposition about the angles & various aspects that comrpise the rap game & life hustle.

Roz Raskin of Roz & The Rice Cakes follows up the Team Love Records album Devotion with the solo project Nova One, releasing the debut EP Secret Princess available in spring through the exceptional imprint Community Records. Unveiling the single “your girl”, Roz offers a new take on the classic romantic pop tune where desire, autonomy & identity are echoed in a track that is etched from another time designed in a mesmerizing hour-glass breaking ballad to last for all time.

Australia’s LANKS delivered a listen to the uplifting title track “Twentyseven” featured off the upcoming album available April 27 from THAA Records. The vocal & arrangements stir up a familiar that exudes the narratives that circle around the numeric title concept from age & all the obsessive things that pertain to that figure.

Andrew Luce & Alexander Lewis delivered the intimate & electrifying new track “Take Me” ft. Jojee available via Fool’s Gold Records. Andrew, Alex with Jojee elevates the r&b form toward the futuristic form with a sense of genuine romanticism that aims straight for the skies & the entrance toward the depths of outer-space.

Known for playing guitar with Duckwrth, BayBoogy dropped the glamorous single “LOTTO” produced by Drew Banga & 1-OAK available now from Text Me Records. The track operates on the volition of living every dream where every day is a vacation, every night is a vacation & the winning spirit elevates everyone’s spirit like they got the winning lottery ticket. Keep an ear out for more from BayBoogy dropping soon.

In more Text Me Records news, Lord Morgan got us feeling super wavy with the new track “New Phone” ft. Aunie2dope that has responding with the rhetorical inquiry of new phone, who this?. With a Bay Area production guaranteed to put you in that stratosphere-coasting zone; Morgan & Aunie keep that movement on the up & up with a moment of pause to figure out who the unknown caller is that is blowing up their celly.

Santiago artist Diego Raposo (MITEL DICO collective founder) droppe the track “Life” ft. vocals from NUUXS. The track moves & beams with a Dominican take on North American r & b that puts a new dance progression spin that creates the feeling of constantly elevating upward.

In case you missed it, treat yourself to Queen of Jeans’ anticipated new album Dig Yourself from Topshelf that intersects haunted tales of experience with a message of self-care & being your own hero. From the title track forward, the band takes you through a pop time machine backwards & forwards again stylistically with a whole lotta heart that sends the audience outward into the dissonant cosmos of night on the finale “Space”. An album event not to be missed.

From Remember Sports’ upcoming album Slow Buzz available May 18 from Father/Daughter, watch the wintry video for “Pull Through” from Tim McAleer that stars Jenny Ruymann & the band. From car-stalling situations in the snow to warm time with friends; Remember Sports takes the good with the bad by mixing frustrations with moments of life’s levity.

Christina Schneider (of Genius Grant, Jepeto Solutions, C.E. Schneider Topical, etc, etc) introduced their latest moniker with Locate S,1’s announcing the upcoming album Healing Contest (produced & engineered by Kevin Barnes from of Montreal) available digitally April 20 through Sybaritic Peer & physically May 18 via Nicey Music with a look at the video for “Owe it 2 the Girls”. Schneider invites you to a dance-pop party from another era where you take a time warp into some sort of alternate dimension curated by the artist’s own impeccable approach to song-craft innovations & surreal optics.

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