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Indie Rock

Coupler "The City Is a Lie We Tell Ourselves"

Coupler has released a new EP called "The City is a Lie We Tell Ourselves". This is a direct follow-up to the December 2020 EP, "The Forgotten Openness of the Closed World". Coupler is primarily the work of Ryan Norris but he is joined by Rollum Haas, Michael Hilger, and more for this project.

According to Norris, "The City Is a Lie We Tell Ourselves is an interrogation of the concept of place, specifically in these times. What does it mean to call any particular pin on the map “home” at this moment, when we are connected more by wires and electricity than any common civic purpose? Every place has become a non-place, each apartment simultaneously part hotel room, part office, part cafe. The city bares its veins only on trips for essentials or walks through ice."


Red Sun Radio buy a round for the house

Red Sun Radio are good at writing drinking songs and thank goodness for that—ranging from boisterous sing alongs that’ll have you hoisting you mug in the air, to music seemingly made for staring pensively into your whisky tumbler and eventually laying your head down on the bar.

For a bunch of professional drinkers these guys are pretty prolific, having released new singles in January and February and debuting a new song on yesterday’s “Save The Scene” fundraising cyber-concert broadcast (see above).

On the first of the two singles, “Isotopes,” the Red Sun Radioers weave a tale of good chemistry gone bad that unspools under a warm blanket of fuzzed out organ, weeping guitar, and a rousing coda. 

And on last month’s “Dry Martini” they serve up a gently hungover ballad that follows up its opening riposte (“chasing skirts all night gets tiring / but baby you’re inspiring me to move”) with some gin-soaked metaphysical sweet nothings whispered into the addressee’s ear and damn if I’m not buying it.

And then finally just yesterday RSR debuted a new one called “Sound of Sleep” (see up top) which is a deceptively titled mid-tempo rocker that would be great to hear in person one day in the basement of the Bronx pizzeria where the band got their start playing on a stage made of plywood and cans of tomato paste. 

P.S. If you’re not the designated driver tonight, by all means don’t stop there because it’s also worth checking out Red Sun Radio’s 2019 full-length debut For All The Wrong Reasons whether over a bottle of good bourbon or a sixer of cheap domestic beer.

P.P.S. Today is Bandcamp Friday so you know what to do...

(Jason Lee)




Tele Novella’s “Merlynn Belle” is truly delightful

Tele Novella’s inviting and inventive new album “Merlynn Belle'' is out now on Kill Rock Stars. The band, made up of Natalie Ribbons and Jason Chronis, crafts sunny and alluring songs that whisk the listener away to a simpler time. Buoyant melodies careen down a myriad of instrumentation to give the heartfelt lyrics space to explore. 

While only clocking in at 32 minutes, “Merlynn Belle” manifests an inter-generational journey. It smoothly glides through compositional styles from the Renaissance to Americana to Sixties Folk to contemporary Indie Pop. The timeless nature of the record is partially due to the use of an 8-track cassette recorder to capture the intricate arrangements—it’s as if Fiona Apple were recorded in 1955. Incorporating the use of atypical instruments, such as the autoharp and the harmonium, also gives off an other-worldly quality one might find on a Richard Dawson album. 

This LP feels like a distinctive step forward from their 2016 debut, “House of Souls.” Ribbons, the singer/songwriter of the pair, moves from a purposeful croon to almost full yodel, telling stories of heartbreak, self-actualization and witches. The duo say they found “the music they wanted to be making all along but didn't know until it happened accidentally”, which is reflected in the natural feel of this record. 

Each of the four singles have a complementary music video that encapsulates the album’s aesthetic perfectly: modern tales through an old-fashioned lens. “Merlynn Belle” floats above vague subgenres, such as Baroque Pop or Freak Folk, into a cloud of familiar escapism. Texans sure need a wholesome distraction from the last couple of weeks, and Tele Novella have provided exactly that! 


- Hayden Steckel


Floatie "Shiny"

Floatie has released a second single, "Shiny", from their forthcoming debut album, Voyage Out, which is set to be released via Exploding In Sound on March 26th.

This is the work of Sam Bern, Luc Schutz, Joe Olson, and Will Wisniewski, and you can preorder their debut album here.


Worm "Where Have You Been"

Worm have released their debut EP which is called "Where Have You Been". This is the solo project of Tom Riordan, formerly of Secret Science, who is bringing a warmer, almost tropical sound to the tail end of this cold Chicago winter.

On this EP, Riordan is finding himself at home with a keyboard and a drum machine and a desire to put something warm and positive in the world.


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