Monday, March 4, 2024

Editor’s Picks 101: Sydney Sprague, The Aces, Bear’s Den, Bleach Lab, Pacifica, & Eyedress!

Atwood Journal is happy to share our Editor’s Picks column, written and curated by Editor-in-Chief Mitch Mosk. Each week, Mitch will share a set of songs, albums, and artists who’ve caught his ears, eyes, and coronary heart. There’s a lot unimaginable music on the market simply ready to be heard, and all it takes from us is an open thoughts and a willingness to pay attention. By means of our Editor’s Picks, we hope to shine a lightweight on our personal music discoveries and showcase a various array of latest and up to date releases.
This week’s Editor’s Picks options Sydney Sprague, The Aces, Bear’s Den, Bleach Lab, Pacifica, & Eyedres!

Atwood Magazine Editor's Picks 2020 Mic Mitch

 comply with EDITOR’S PICKS on Spotify

“smiley face”

by Sydney Sprague

More typically than not, I’ll keep up late to listen to a favourite artist’s new music the second it’s out. I even have an inventory of artists whom I “verify in” on on occasion, to ensure I haven’t missed one thing or {that a} latest launch hasn’t gone underneath the radar. For a number of yeras now, Sydney Sprague has been on the high of that listing.

The indie rock singer/songwriter from Phoenix, Arizona grew to become an immediate favourite the second I heard 2021’s album perhaps i’ll see you on the finish of the world, a debut that continues to be as turbulent and explosive as it’s sweetly seductive. Sprague’s music is “a surprising outpouring of intimate emotion and indie rock appeal,” I wrote on the time. That was the start of Sprague’s ascent as a recent, feverish, and unavoidable voice within the indie rock style. “smiley face” begins the following chapter: Sprague’s first single of the yr is a spirited seduction that involves life with hovering sonics and uncooked, unfiltered ardour.

smiley face - Sydney Sprague
smiley face – Sydney Sprague

I’m superb, you’re superb, it’s superb
And I waste my time pondering
Might have, ought to have good/unhealthy
I must get my head proper
However should you suppose what I believe
In two drinks, I’d be in your facet
However there’s no path
No getting back from that
A brand new low, I can’t sink
And I smile in my sleep
It’s the one time I get what I want…
I like that for me

“I wrote ‘smiley face’ after I awakened laughing from a dream I had,” Sprague tells Atwood Journal. “I couldn’t keep in mind what it was about however often my desires are vivid, horrific nightmares so it actually stood out to me as bizarre that one thing humorous sufficient to make me snigger out loud would have occurred.”

“I wrestle so much with anxiousness and melancholy, so the idea of the music began growing as like, how annoying it’s that the one time I really feel blissful is after I’m asleep. That concept kind of morphed and blended into the thought of getting a ~spicy~ dream about somebody you shouldn’t be dreaming about. I had simply been on tour with The Entrance Bottoms and their exhibits are so hype, I actually needed to jot down one thing with the type of vitality that made me really feel like I may bounce round to it. I often begin songs on acoustic guitar however ‘smiley face’ began with a drum loop which actually modified my complete vibe, I felt like I used to be writing extra for enjoyable than to purge a sense. It’s undoubtedly probably the most enjoyable music to play dwell for that motive, it feels very free.”

I proudly waited ’til the stroke of midnight to listen to “smiley face,” and I used to be not upset. Sprague’s return comes with a way of freedom and liberation, euphoria and reverie. Even when that happiness comes with its personal bittersweet facet, Sprague is absorbing sunshine within the second, and that comes by means of within the music, the lyrics, and in her personal gorgeous vocal efficiency. For sure, “smiley face” is the beginning of one thing very particular.

I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy

by The Aces

The Aces are one of many indie rock and pop world’s brightest voices, with two (and now, three) critically acclaimed studio albums to their identify and a ardour that’s as unfiltered as it’s unmatched. I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy, their model new third album, is an ode to their particular shared connection, as a nicely as a strong reflection on previous and current psychological well being struggles, queerness (three of The Aces’ 4 members establish as queer), and rising up of their conservative, spiritual hometown of Provo, Utah – one thing they’ve come to put on with satisfaction, and take into account to be their “superpower.”

It’s a file that delves deep and holds nothing again as The Aces discover who they as soon as had been, who they’re now, and who they’ve been for each other through the years. Cinematic in scope and intimate by nature, I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy is The Aces’ magnum opus (to this point): A triumphant, liberating, and cathartic album that finds them unapologetically proudly owning their truths whereas making a number of the catchiest, and probably the most significant, music of their profession.

I’ve Loved You For So Long - The Aces
I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy – The Aces
I’ve beloved you for thus lengthy
Oh, I’d forgotten the way it feels
Emotions come again robust
You’re taking me again, babe,
to the place it began

Carrying your hair up in your
New York residence, I swear

I’ve beloved you for thus lengthy
I’d do it once more
– “I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy,” The Aces

Launched June 2, 2023 through Crimson Bull Data, I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy arrives three lengthy years after The Aces’ celebrated sophomore album Beneath My Affect, and follows a sequence of singles which have seen the indie pop four-piece opening up on file like by no means earlier than. “Few tracks hit more durable or carry extra pure, uncooked ardour than ‘Ladies Make Me Wanna Die,” Atwood Journal wrote of the file’s first single (launched almost a yr in the past to the day), happening to name it a “churning and charged queer heartbreak anthem simply in time for Delight Month.” The primary half of 2023 noticed the discharge of the file’s title monitor, the buoyant, groovy “Solo,” and the achingly uncooked “At all times Get This Method,” whose mixture of brutal honesty and unapologetic intimacy with hovering sonics and gorgeous vitality made it not solely an immediate hit, but additionally a revealing take a look at a few of our innermost feelings that every one too typically go unsaid.

Comprised of sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez (lead vocals/guitar and drums, respectively), Katie Henderson (lead guitar/vocals), and McKenna Petty (bass), The Aces are already a singular voice within the music world, with over 220 million profession streams, a relentless tour schedule, and an enviable listing of efficiency slots at lots of the world’s greatest music festivals, together with Lollapalooza, Firefly, Bonnaroo, and OUTFEST.

2020’s sophomore album Beneath My Affect and its electrical breakout single “Daydream” noticed them “shine amongst a well-balanced panorama of ache and positivity, rock edges and pop-funk prospers” (per Atwood‘s Baylee Much less). On I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy, The Aces additional broaden their musical identification whereas delivering probably the most weak, visceral, and heartfelt songs of their profession, with non-single highlights together with the churning anthem “Suburban Blues” (“No one is aware of that I’m dying inside, no one is aware of that I’m hating my life“), the uncompromisingly heavy “Particular person” (“How come on the age of 25 nothing makes me really feel alive? Like surrendering my peace of thoughts“), and the disillusioned, gut-wrenching “Depressing” (“I lastly bought what I need, however the subsequent half’s kinda comical: I’m nonetheless fucking depressing.”)

Nervousness; melancholy; malaise; unrest; insecurity; concern. The Aces pour their hearts and souls out on these eleven songs, every of which tells one other story of making an attempt to get by, survive, and thrive in an imperfect and at occasions oppressive world. There’s a way of survival to I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy, in addition to a way of give up and acceptance.

However above all else, there’s a real sense of affection and connection. A liberating and triumphant return from one among indie pop’s brightest acts, I’ve Liked You For So Lengthy is out now through Crimson Bull Data.


by Bear’s Den

For my one hundredth Editor’s Picks, I listed 9 of my favourite artists in music – of us I genuinely respect, and like, on a human degree. Bear’s Den ought to have been on that listing, as a result of Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones are two of the kindest, most empathic, considerate, and pushed folks I’ve ever had the possibility to attach with over the previous decade. The primary time I heard “Above the Clouds of Pompeii,” I cried – as have many listeners – and ever since then, I’ve been one of many diehard cubs – that’s a enjoyable identify for Bear’s Den followers, proper? I simply made it up!

From the pure sonic depth and warmth of 2016’s acclaimed sophomore LP Crimson Earth & Pouring Rain, to the unfiltered vulnerability that permeated each inch of 2022’s fifth album Blue Hours, Bear’s Den have repeatedly plunged into their very own depths to create folk-adjacent music that’s as catchy and inventive as it’s totally cathartic. The band’s forthcoming EP isn’t any exception: Out June twenty third through Communion Data, First Loves is a shifting musical exploration of falling in love and the onset of intimacy. Its first single, “Evelyn,” is totally breathtaking: A refreshingly upbeat music of unrequited love that helps our spirits soar, whilst our hearts sink low.

Evelyn - Bear's Den
Evelyn – Bear’s Den
Evelyn, Evelyn
They’re all asking the place we’ve been
And that i don’t know what to say
To maintain all of them away
A part of me needs what they’re saying was true
Needs that I may ever be with you
Evelyn, Evelyn
I received’t inform them something
However anyone noticed us
And their minds are wandering
I may dwell fortunately within the tales they inform
Pleased with you and no one else

“‘Evelyn!’ It’s a brand new sound for us as a band actually,” Andrew Davie tells Atwood Journal. “It began life as a fairly intimate acoustic guitar and a vocal earlier than we determined to essentially go for it as a four-piece band in a room – everybody working their asses off to make it work. Shifting the music on to the piano within the course of was actually enjoyable and with Kev’s driving bass traces, Christof’s counter melodies, Jools’ excessive depth drum efficiency, there’s an actual cool vitality to the recording of the music.”

You wouldn’t suppose a line like, “Evelyn our relationship was strictly platonic,” would have such a cathartic launch behind it – that it could be so rousing, so emotional, and so climactic; candidly, most artists don’t trouble using an prolonged vocabulary, so I can’t even recall the final time I heard “platonic” in a music. However when Bear’s Den hit their refrain, a wealth of emotion pours out in each path directly.

Our relationship was strictly platonic
If platonic means I used to be head over heels in love with you
And part of you was oblivious
One other a part of you knew and kinda preferred it.

Uplifting and achingly all on the identical time, “Evelyn” marks the start of an thrilling new chapter in Bear’s Den’s ever-evolving journey. The band not too long ago adopted up that first single with “Summer season & Smoke,” a Tennessee Williams-inspired music that explores the idea of tragic love.

“The EP revolves round concepts of the primary occasions falling in love,” Davie explains of the general upcoming file. “I’ve at all times been drawn to songs the place two characters are experiencing intense emotions however not essentially in the direction of one another, On this music it’s unrequited for one character and an entire new type of love for the opposite.”

In traditional Bear’s Den kind, fortunately ever after is extra of a pipe dream than it’s a actuality; their two latest songs actually make a powerful argument for love’s transience and ephemerality. And but, they nonetheless put it on a pedestal – recognizing that, if we’re fortunate sufficient to seek out it and maintain on tight, it adjustments the whole lot for the higher.

And that hope – that lingering hope that Evelyn may at some point come round, and that the narrator’s dream of affection could at some point come to fruition, is irresistible, intoxicating, and totally enthralling.

Evelyn, Evelyn
I’ll go together with you then
I don’t need you alone
In the event that they’re on the market picketing
It’s on the way in which again to my Dad’s home
I can’t consider a number of the shit that comes out their mouths
Evelyn, Evelyn
You had been so quiet after which
You mentioned “I don’t remorse a single factor
Everybody argues about when life begins
No one talks about when the love begins”
Our relationship was strictly platonic
If platonic means I used to be head over heels in love with you
And part of you was oblivious
One other a part of you knew and kinda preferred it.

“All Night time”

by Bleach Lab

Bleach Lab’s music has at all times had a dreamlike high quality to it, and “All Night time” is very enchanting. Launched Might 18, the third single off the London-based band’s forthcoming debut album Misplaced In A Rush of Vacancy (out September twenty second through Nettwerk Music Group) is a dream manifest in sound: Ethereal indie rock and shoegaze components come collectively in an immersive reverie as Bleach Lab do what they’ve lengthy carried out finest: Marry weak lyricism with visceral and cathartic sound.

Lost In A Rush of Emptiness - Bleach Lab
Misplaced In A Rush of Vacancy – Bleach Lab
Circling ’spherical
I wanna take you down
Wanna be yours tonight, babe
One final time
Inform me the whole lot can be superb
I’II be yours, you recognize it feels proper
Wanna know simply what it seems like
Let me maintain you on a chilly evening
You name me loopy
Why’d you wanna do this, child?
I’ve been ready all evening for you

Answerable for one among Atwood Journal‘s 2022 Songs of the 12 months (“Clearly,” taken off their third EP If You Solely Really feel It As soon as), Bleach Lab are a fast-rising pressure out of London’s music scene, with a heavy, lush shoegaze-y sound and soul-stirring lyrics filled with depth, unfiltered emotion, and substance. Because of the stunningly expressive work of vocalist Jenna Kyle, drummer Shawn Courtney, bassist Josh Longman, and guitarist Frank Wates, Bleach Lab have discovered their area of interest in a glistening meeting of candy, seductive, and singular sound. Assume Mazzy Star meets Daughter, The Smiths, and The 1975.

Wanna really feel like gold mud in your fingers
Do I make you’re feeling alright?
Do you wanna keep the evening?
Wanna present you what it seems like
Let me maintain you on a chilly evening

“All Night time” is in lots of approach, quintessential Bleach Lab at their finest: A moody slow-burner that steadily rises to a charged and churning climax heavy on emotion and thick in sound. It’s the type of music that hangs heavy within the air, lingering ’til the final instrument has light away.

“‘All Night time’ is about obsession and need,” frontperson Jenna Kyle tells Atwood Journal. “It tells the story of somebody deeply in love with somebody who doesn’t share the identical emotions in response. It’s a little bit of a darkish story that may be interpreted in a number of alternative ways… for me it’s the story of somebody who loses their thoughts over love.”

“I used to be (and nonetheless am) actually into true crime on the time I wrote these lyrics,” she provides. “I’m drawn to thriller and suspense. I actually needed to jot down lyrics that in the first place few listens might be seen merely as romantic, somebody deeply in love… however on the second or third pay attention the listener picks up on the darker themes.”

Eerie and exhilarating, “All Night time” aches in one of the simplest ways potential. It’s a powerful return from one among my private favourite bands, and one more reason to pay particularly shut consideration to Bleach Lab within the lead as much as Misplaced in a Rush of Vacancy!

You’re within the deepest a part of thoughts
Inside a field they’ll by no means discover
Bury you deep beneath the bottom
You’ll by no means be discovered
You could possibly inform all your folks
That I broke you aside, I may do it once more
And that’s wherе it ends
You name me loopy
Why’d you wanna do this, child?
I’vе been ready all evening for you

Unapologetic and unrelenting, Pacifica’s second single of the yr guarantees to make ‘Latin Indie Sleeze’ my new favourite style. Launched Might 18 through TAG Music, “Anita” is a uncooked and heated fever dream that packs a heavy punch. Sweltering feelings and searing sounds coalesce in a sonically and emotionally charged anthem filled with ardour, vitality, and angle.

Anita - Pacifica
Anita – Pacifica
Hey what’s your identify she mentioned
You’re simply my sort she mentioned
Hey the way you doin, it’s very nice to satisfy you
It is best to take my quantity a-a-a i am going by anita
She mentioned I dwell close by
Wouldn’t u know
Gimme a trip
I bought one thing on my thoughts
You play keytar for an indie band
The present is tonite
You’re losing all ur time

Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pacifica are a wide ranging pressure to be reckoned with. The band of Ines Adam and Martina Nintzel channel the sleekness of The Strokes and the fervor of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pacifica’s songs steadiness uncooked grit with cool finesse – and the result’s as irresistible as it’s exhilarating.

The band come to a fever pitch in a rabid, rapturous refrain:

Doncha perceive
I don’t wanna maintain ur hand,
Or take heed to ur band
I simply wanna hear u say it:
I want anita ah
i want I want anita
I want anita ah
i want I want anita

“Anita represents each lady that has ever needed to sit by means of a random dude making an attempt to select her up along with his mediocre guitar abilities,” Pacifica inform Atwood Journal. “In life you’re both Anita or Alan, the simpee or the simper. The cycle is unbreakable and sooner or later, whether or not you need it or not, you’ll need Anita.”

They put it in even easier phrases right here: “‘Anita’ is the kind of woman you simply can’t recover from. You’ll love her, you’ll hate her, however most of all: you’ll need her.”

Half punk, half indie, half slacker, and all sleaze, Pacifica are an intoxicating new favourite band filled with energy, ardour, and most of all, potential. With only one take heed to “Anita,” you get the sense that this might be the group to push rock again to the highest of the charts.

I her’chu been
Knockin on my door
Weeping alone
To some Weezer in your cellphone
(so lame)
I allow you to in
You’re making an attempt approach too arduous
Don’t fuck round
Cease enjoying my guitaaaar
Doncha perceive
I don’t wanna maintain ur hand,
Or take heed to ur band
I simply wanna hear u say it:
I want anita ah, i want I want anita
I want anita ah, i want I want anita

“Escape From the Killer 1994”

by Eyedress

Sporting lyrics like, “Driving so quick, hope I don’t crash, I used to be so unhappy, take all of it again,” and “I’d somewhat die by your facet, carrying all white,” “Escape From the Killer” was at all times destined to be an awesome music. Achingly weak poetry paired with an intimate efficiency all however guarantees to stir the soul – and but, singer/songwriter and producer Eyedress took his music to a brand new degree by doing one thing I’ve genuinely by no means seen every other artist do: He launched two completely completely different variations of the identical music. The “1994” model is heavy, with a powerful shoegaze affect coming to life within the manufacturing’s churning percussion, radiant electrical guitar riffs, and distorted synth work. Conversely, the “2008” model seems like an MGMT demo monitor, with acoustic guitars and 808s working in tandem to craft a extra soothing alt-pop texture.

Escape From The Killer - Eyedress
Escape From The Killer – Eyedress
driving so quick, hope i don’t crash
i used to be so unhappy, take all of it again

i might somewhat die by your facet
carrying all white
you keep on my thoughts
each evening ‘til the afterlife

you met me when i used to be a sinner
my previous life felt like a thriller
nearly drowned, i’m not a very good swimmer
you helped me escape from the killer

Each songs are nice in their very own proper – and distinctive at what they do finest – however naturally, I gravitated towards “1994” for its weight, its depth, and its grit. Eyedress’ voice is a haunting beacon of fragile human emotion, and a spark of heat towards the cool thick wall of overdriven guitars that swell round him.

One can’t assist really feel shivers because the artist sings of being saved from himself (“the killer”) due to his topic. Typically you meet somebody, and instantly, they make life price dwelling: They make you actively need to be alive every day.

i used to be loopy
when i met you
then you definately modified me
on a full moon
you’ve been in my head
ever since we had a twin mattress
overlook what i mentioned
you recognize that i really like you to demise
left the door open
however no, you by no means left
you by no means left

“‘Escape From The Killer’ is about saving myself and getting out of my hometown and saving myself from all of the issues that killed my spirit,” Eyedress tells Atwood Journal. “It’s about slowing down whenever you’re going too quick and looking for a transparent perspective to ensure that me to be at peace with myself.”

“Escape From The Killer 1994” hits arduous and leaves a long-lasting, highly effective mark. All I can hope for now could be a complete album made within the “1994” fashion. Right here’s to those that save us from ourselves, and right here’s to escaping our hometowns.

you met me when i used to be a sinner
my previous life felt like a thriller
nearly drowned, i’m not a very good swimmer
you helped me escape from the killer

— — — —

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