maria usbeck – “obscuro obituario”

– featured image courtesy of holland brown –

after sharing the singles “amor anciano” and “nostalgia” (which we did not cover, but is more than worth the listen), maria usbeck has drifted back into focus with “obscuro obituario,” the third offering from her forthcoming sophomore full-length.

plaintive synth stabs meld with intricate electronic percussion, shaping “obscuro obituario” into the perfect, serene vessel for usbeck to explore the prospects and creeping dread of aging, a theme that richly runs through the entirety of envejeciendo.

envejeciendo is due next friday, august 16th, via cascine. listen to “obscuro obituario” below.

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long beard – “means to me”

– featured image courtesy of nathan bajar –

four years after releasing her debut full-length as long beard, leslie bear returns this fall with a follow-up, means to me. ahead of that sophomore effort, bear has shared its wistful title track.

“means to me” takes a minute to come into focus, its blurry edges becoming sharp and defined as angular guitars and busy percussion work their way into the foreground. the track’s slight push and pull is a boon to bear’s lead vocal, a lilting, steady calm amidst a gradually shifting soundscape.

means to me is out september 13th via double double whammy. listen to its title track below.

pearla – “daydream”

– featured image courtesy of shervin lainez –

pearla is the vessel for the songs of brooklyn’s nicole rodriguez, an amalgam of closely-woven genre cues that feel intimately familiar. as rodriguez readies her debut extended play, to see release later this year, she’s shared its first single, “daydream.”

“daydream” burns slowly initially, rustic piano chords providing the scaffolding for rodriguez’ lead vocal before cascading into something with a bit more urgency, a restrained catharsis to anchor an impressive inaugural batch of songs.

quilting & other activities arrives september 6th via egghunt records. listen to “daydream” below.

long beard – “sweetheart”

– featured image courtesy of nathan bajar –

leslie bear, the new brunswick, new jersey singer-songwriter who records as long beard, has lain dormant since 2015’s sleepwalker, her debut for team love records. the four years in between that debut and its follow-up, means to me, found bear moving back to her hometown and reflecting on past events, eventually transferring that nostalgia to pen and paper and then again to tape.

“sweetheart,” the first single from long beard’s impending sophomore full-length, taps into a plaintiveness that then permeates throughout the track, an account of a past love soundtracked by gently pulsating guitars. bear’s lead vocal ultimately dictates the mood, dovetailing with the underlying arrangement as both approach a glimmering, reflective pool.

means to me is out september 13th via double double whammy. listen to “sweetheart” below.

kevin krauter – “pretty boy”

– featured image courtesy of michael newsted –

not much time has passed since kevin krauter released his excellent full-length, toss up, but the indiana songwriter is already putting the finishing touches on a follow-up effort.

in the meantime, krauter is gearing up for a brief tour of the mid-atlantic and midwest with soccer mommy next month, venturing out with a new single in tow. “pretty boy” is a one-off, the result of explorations in musicianship and shifts in personal perspective.

still retaining krauter’s unmistakable aesthetic, “pretty boy” is a commendable stop-gap in between larger bodies of work. listen in below.

maria usbeck – “amor anciano”

– featured image courtesy of holland brown –

in the three years since her excellent debut full-length amparo, maria usbeck experienced and ruminated on the prospect of aging, weaving those observations into a complex, more challenging sophomore effort, the aptly-titled envejeciendo.

the album’s lead single, “amor anciano,” bridges the gap between its predecessor’s sunnier affect and the preoccupation and introspection that heavily populates envejeciendo. delivered in spanish and retaining usbeck’s signature sheen, “amor anciano” grapples with long-lost love, the subtle, aching nostalgia becoming explicit as field recordings bubble to the surface.

envejeciendo arrives august 16th via cascine. listen to “amor anciano” below.

oyster kids – “breathe”

– featured image courtesy of blake zimmerman –

2019 finds the los angeles outfit oyster kids poised to release both an extended play and a full-length album, the fruits of andew eapen’s silence over the past couple of years.

the quartet returned earlier this year with “losing my mind,” and recently followed up that effort with “breathe,” an effervescent, cathartic release dripping with sunshine. its busier percussion and tighter vocal harmonies subtly augment the core oyster kids sound, a tandem that provides a discreet sense of urgency.

listen to “breathe” below.

rf shannon – “wild rose pass”

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

shane renfro and company are less than a year removed from the excellent trickster blues, but rf shannon has already set their sights on their third full-length, rain on dust, due out in august via the austin-based label keeled scales.

“wild rose pass,” the first taste of rain on dust, is a muted affair, its slow pulse and underlying tremolo more so felt than heard, the titular refrain delivered with a gentle sigh. vaguely psychedelic with wisps of americana swirled throughout, rf shannon’s blend of mellow folk music is on full display with “wild rose pass,” a snapshot of an album preoccupied with the vistas of the american southwest.

listen in on “wild rose pass” below.

grebes – “one trick pony”

– featured image courtesy of malcolm donaldson –

when he’s not putting in time as a member of natalie prass’s backing band, jacob ungerleider records warm, enveloping pop songs under the moniker grebes. after releasing the swirling, downtempo “wyd” earlier this year, grebes returned last week with a follow-up single, “one trick pony,” ahead of a full-length release.

brushing up against the two-minute mark, “one trick pony” grounds itself in aqueous synths, stuttering percussion, and ungerleider’s tender lead vocal, percolating to the surface before suddenly dissipating. as the album’s lead track, it’s the perfect introduction to grebes.

house creature, the debut effort from grebes, arrives june 28th via broken circles. listen to “one trick pony” below.

yumi zouma – “bruise”

– featured image courtesy of henry hargreaves –

after releasing last year’s glimmering EP III and fulfilling their contract with cascine, yumi zouma decided to try something they’d yet to do: release a standalone single.

that single, “bruise,” feels a bit more direct than much of the band’s catalogue, but still very much within their wheelhouse; its origins are in the departure of yumi alum sam perry in 2017 and timbaland’s mid-2000s production cues, a percussion-heavy cut that finds yumi zouma in the foreground on the dance floor.

read more about the band’s new trajectory over at i-d and listen to “bruises” below.