molly drag – “out like a light”

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

molly drag, the performing moniker of montreal’s michael charles hansford, embodies a homespun aesthetic, tinged with folk tendencies and saturated with collages of ambiance.

hansford is readying his latest release, touchstone; at the helm is its lead single, “out like a light,” a glacial centerpiece populated by meandering guitar arpeggios and the hushed echo of a lead vocal. adding to its intimacy is an accompanying music video, with arresting animations compiled by elijah zimmerman.

touchstone is out october 4th via egghunt records. watch the music video for “out like a light” below.

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oyster kids – “losing my mind”

– featured image courtesy of blake zimmerman –

after a string of impressive and infectious singles, the elusive los angeles pop act oyster kids took a minute to collect themselves. centered and focused for 2019, the andrew eapen-led outfit is slated to release both an extended play and a full-length album; “losing my mind” is the first taste of what’s to come.

pristinely produced and crystalline in presentation, “losing my mind” is the perfect introduction, or re-introduction, to oyster kids: ruminative lyrics, glimmering synth counter-melodies, whispered vocals that blossom into anthemic hooks. with an effervescent motif that returns again and again, “losing my mind” embeds deeply to leave a lasting impression.

“losing my mind” is out today; check out the kamell allaway-directed music video for the track below.

jo schornikow – “incomplete”

– featured image courtesy of david torch –

after years of lending her keyboard talents to the likes of the national and phosphorescent – and touring with the latter – the australian songwriter jo schornikow is poised to release secret weapon, a lush nine-song collection influenced primarily by her experiences in motherhood.

on the album’s lead single, “incomplete,” schornikow’s aqueous aesthetic slots perfectly with director ben chace’s accompanying slow-motion visuals, an amalgam of muted electronic percussion and underwater synth pads percolating beneath the warmth of electric piano chords and schornikow’s arresting lead vocal. it’s an unforgettable performance and perfect introduction to an artist inclined to have a stand-out year.

secret weapon is out march 29th via the ever-reliable austin label keeled scales. watch the music video for “incomplete” below.

majetic – “horseback”

– featured image courtesy of the artist – 

as justin majetich tilted his axis away from full band arrangements and more towards a singular production style, a name change for his output also felt natural.  shedding the moniker CARE in favor of the slightly altered mononym majetic, the queens-based artist will release his third full-length album, club dread, on november 2nd via winspear.

the album’s lead single, “horseback,” is a jarring, dissonant port of entry into majetic’s after-hours electronic dystopia, the tension palpable in frenetic string arpeggios and haunting vocal samples that precipitate its central melody.  equal parts acerbic and austere with an eerie music video in tow, “horseback” is a subversive anthem, suitable for those who have always observed the dance floor from a distance.  check it out below.

harrison lipton – “beacon”

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

earlier this year, the new york singer-songwriter harrison lipton released loveliness, a collection of tracks concerned with the various stages of relationships that together constitute his debut full-length.  at the forefront of the album is “beacon,” a contemplative, downtempo cut that recently received a gorgeous music video treatment.

directed by and starring lipton as the principal character, “beacon” opens with a shot of a cascading waterfall and quickly establishes lipton as a troubadour on a solo venture through the wilderness.  the second half of the video finds lipton encountering and entering an abandoned house, circumstances becoming more surreal with every utterance of the track’s thesis: “i don’t know what to believe.”

with swirling textures and a tumbling falsetto, the aural components of “beacon” square nicely with its visual counterpart’s magical realism, an end result that is simply transfixing.  watch the music video below.

favours – “in the night”

– featured image courtesy of shelby fenlon –

the toronto quartet favours have turned in a transfixing opening statement to their tenure.  “in the night,” the band’s debut single, arrived late last week with a pastel-hued music video in tow, its swirling slow motion and overall tenor the perfect visual vessel for a striking synth-pop ballad.

an eerie central motif, shared by both guitar and synth, lurks throughout “in the night,” compounded by a co-lead vocal whose simultaneous delivery in unison feels like the same narrative advancing in parallel universe.  along with its unsettling, criterion-inspired visual counterpart, the debut effort from favours is a surreal sonic daydream, one that feels impossibly fresh and familiar at the same time.  experience “in the night” below.

tomberlin – “seventeen”

– featured image courtesy of philip cosores – 

sarah beth tomberlin’s output under her surname yielded last year’s at weddings, a stunning collection of songs that examined vulnerability and youth through a sparse sonic lens.  on august 10th, saddle creek will reissue the album with three new tracks alongside its original seven.

one of those new tracks, “seventeen,” is a wistful, finger-picked love song, acoustic guitar arpeggios lilting in time with tomberlin’s lead vocal.  this particular love appears unrequited, as tomberlin searches for any shred of shared intimacy in questions like “my life has always been a kind of secret / can you keep it?” but is ultimately rebuffed, her sentiments lingering unchanged years later.

accompanying “seventeen” is an appropriately pastoral music video, filmed in rural stretches of southern illinois and featuring gorgeous slowed-down shots of tomberlin with her dog.  a new type of companionship surfaces in the visuals that is aching in its own regard – time with any beloved animal is fleeting – with the track’s orchestral swells contributing to its cinematic nature.  absorb the audio/visual presentation of “seventeen,” below.

foxing – “slapstick”

– featured image courtesy of hayden molinarolo – 

foxing’s sophomore album, dealer, found the st. louis quintet separating themselves from the pack of emo revivalists that surged in the early 2010s, continuing to augment their core sound with trumpet and piano while delving into further timbral explorations and ambient introspections.  as the band’s tenure was often tenuous, dealer was poised and ready to assume the role as a swan song for an incredibly passionate and dynamic group of musicians, the collective document reading as an elegy of sorts.

three years later, foxing – now a quartet – are very much still in existence and are sitting on a new collection of songs, nearer my god.  the album’s first offering, “slapstick,” is as cinematic as anything in the band’s repertoire, its skeletal beginnings swelling to a majestic third act punctuated by synthesizers and horn stabs.  accompanying the single is a beautiful music video, written and directed by foxing alum josh coll, that follows the fate of a marooned scientist and his botanical demogorgen.  equal parts tender and heartbreaking with an undercurrent of absurdism throughout, the audio/visual pairing for “slapstick” deposits foxing at the frontier of a new artistic territory, one with ample space for further exploration and discovery across their third album.

nearer my god arrives august 10th via triple crown records.  watch the music video for “slapstick,” below.

cam maclean – “light cast”

– featured image courtesy of sarah o’driscoll – 

cam maclean’s solo debut is only a few weeks out from release; the montreal songwriter’s eight-track full-length seems poised to be brimming with delicate pop gems, as evinced by its handful of singles.

“light cast,” the mid-tempo piano ballad that closes out the album’s a-side, is a concentrated shot of maclean’s aesthetic, his swirling falsetto layered on top of itself throughout the hook for dramatic effect.  packing sweeping orchestral gestures into a sub-three-minute package is no easy feat, but maclean executes his strategy with aplomb, traces of his signature guitar stylings still evident within a saturated texture.

wait for love arrives july 6th via atelier ciseaux; watch the chilly, plaintive music video for “light cast” below.

helena deland – “take it all”

– featured image courtesy of chris almeida – 

helena deland’s from the series of songs “altogether unaccompanied” vol. i & ii contains four songs of spectral, spacious pop music.  we’ve written about the second volume’s “take it all” in these pages before, a standout cut that recently received a music video treatment.

hazy footage intermittently regains its clarity throughout as director mégane voghell follows the exploits of a couple at glacial speeds.  the relationship in tumult deland explores on “take it all” surfaces viscerally in its visual counterpart, which “paints an eerie and overall sad concept of togetherness,” according to deland.  it’s a striking composition, one that allows avenues of interpretation while never straying from a concrete message.  check it out below.