Welcome to the April 2022 edition of the Rosy Overdrive playlist, which presents to you more than two hours’ worth of good, mostly new (but with some exceptions) music. Glad you could make it!
Joyride!, Golden Boots, MJ Lenderman, and Sadurn get multiple songs on the playlist this time around (Oceanator and Allison Crutchfield also make multiple appearances in various forms here).
Here is where you can listen to the playlist on various streaming services: Spotify, Tidal, BNDCMPR (every song on this playlist is available on Bandcamp, which I don’t think has happened before). Be sure to check out previous playlist posts if you’ve enjoyed this one.
“St. Mary’s”, Joyride!
From Miracle Question (2022)
I don’t know much about the band Joyride!. They’re from San Francisco and have been around for a decade or so, but I only heard of them after they released their fourth album, Miracle Question, last month. But they’re quickly becoming one of my favorite new discoveries of 2022. Miracle Question is a classic 2010s lo-fi power-pop-punk album at heart, even as shiny as it sounds. I’ve been on a Swearin’/Crutchfields kick lately, and it sounds like a full-on power pop version of that kind of music. Miracle Question gets it done in 27 minutes, and album opener “St. Mary’s” needs only a little over two of those minutes to lodge itself firmly in the head of anyone who listens.
“Expatriate”, Allison Crutchfield
From Tourist in This Town (2017, Merge)
I do appreciate Allison Crutchfield. P.S. Eliot means a lot to me, of course, but I also appreciate Swearin’ and Tourist in This Town, her (as of now) sole full-length record under her own name. The album came out a little over five years ago, in the midst of Swearin’s hiatus—I’m not sure if we’ll get another Swearin’ record again, but another Allison Crutchfield solo album would be no mere consolation prize. I don’t know if “Expatriate” is about the circumstances that led to Swearin’ taking an extended break or about another fractured relationship, but it does feel key to Tourist in This Town (the lyrics contain the album’s title, after all, in one of its several gut-punches). It’s distinctly Crutchfield, even as its piano pop rock background doesn’t really overlap with the punk-pop that put her on the map other than the two’s shared scrappiness.
“10 Things to Know Before Visiting Transylvania”, Golden Boots
From Liquid Ranch (2022, Pass Without Trace)
Liquid Ranch does sound a bit frayed around the edges, like it’s been touched by nuclear fallout originating in the desert somewhere outside Golden Boots’ home of Tucson, Arizona. At its core, however, it’s a record of hooky alt-country singles, and the curious “10 Things to Know Before Visiting Transylvania” is perhaps its most successful pop moment. Steel guitar dances around an instrumental that hops between traditionalism and psychedelia, and the golden-voiced, cheerfully profane chorus only emphasizes the duality. Read more about Liquid Ranch here.
“Snowing (Alien vs. Bandana Man)”, Telethon (featuring Oceanator)
From Swim Out Past the Breakers (2022, Take This to Heart)
I know that you readers view Rosy Overdrive as this objective oracle that regularly spits out only the most correct music opinions, but the truth is I’m just one person and I doubt myself sometimes. When I named Telethon’s Swim Out Past the Breakers my favorite album of 2021, I felt strongly that it was at the time, but I had no idea how I’d feel about it months or years later. Well—it’s April 2022, and I still fucking love this album and I’ve only grown more certain that I made the right call. Every time I listen to it there’s a new highlight—lately it’s been “Snowing (Alien vs. Bandana Man)”, an extremely sugary Alien-inspired fever dream of a song that has more than enough going on in it for an entire record—and Swim Out Past the Breakers is 16 songs and 48 minutes of stuff like this. Read more about Swim Out Past the Breakers here.
“You Are Every Girl to Me”, MJ Lenderman
From Boat Songs (2022, Dear Life)
Hidden away near the end of Boat Songs is a perfect song from MJ Lenderman. Music-wise, it’s a nice piece of sleepy fuzz-country, even as Lenderman sounds wide awake while offering up lines like “Jackass is funny like the world is round,” and “The dinners are great, if only for being homemade,” snippets from a sharper universe. I don’t know what the title line means, but to me personally it sounds like a more traditional phrase of affection translated incorrectly from English and back again, which only makes the location at which it’s uttered (an airport) make more sense. Either way, it sounds great. Read more about Boat Songs here.
“I Should Have Never Generated You”, My Idea
From CRY MFER (2022, Hardly Art)
The debut full-length record from My Idea, the duo of Lily Konigsberg (Palberta, a solo career) and Nate Amos (Water from Your Eyes, This Is Lorelei) is predictably great, predictably full of intriguing and rewarding pop songs, and somewhat surprisingly dark underneath its surface. “I Should Have Never Generated You” shows up towards the end of CRY MFER, a place where a lot of the album’s most accessible songs ended up, oddly enough. The song’s title is an all-timer, and while I don’t know exactly what it means to Konigsberg and Amos, I can guess approximately (“I’m on the road, you’re on a trip / And heaven knows it makes me sick,” is how Konigsberg begins the song, and things don’t look up from there).
“Good Son/Bad Seed”, Mister Goblin
From Bunny (2022, Exploding in Sound)
“Good Son/Bad Seed” is a spirited version of the sound that Sam Goblin has been mining since his days as the lead singer of Two Inch Astronaut, the side of him that emphasizes the “originally from the Maryland/D.C. area” and “produced by J. Robbins” aspect of his sound. At this point, however, Goblin’s take on the sound is so recognizable that I’d rather just compare it to other points in his music career. It’s not as full-out an assault as Bunny’s opening track, “Military Discount”, but the acquisition of a full-time band for the first time under the Mister Goblin moniker helps the artist get back in touch with Can You Please Not Help-era Two Inch Astronaut, particularly reminding me of that album’s title track. Read more about Bunny here.
“Ugly Little Victory”, Friendship
A few notes on this one. First of all, congratulations to Philadelphia’s Friendship on signing to Merge Records, and big ups to Merge for bringing Friendship to a wider audience. Shock Out of Season remains one of the best albums of the 2010s (maybe I’ll have something to say on it for its fifth birthday later this year?), and Dan Wriggins’ Mr. Chill EP last year proved that he’s still on the top of his game as a songwriter. The Merge announcement also revealed that the band is down to a four-piece, but the four remaining—Wriggins, Michael Cormier-O’Leary, Peter Gill of 2nd Grade, and Jon Samuels—all bring a lot to the table. As for the song itself—who knew that when I saw Friendship live in 2019, I was not only previewing songs from their then-upcoming record Dreamin’, but also Mr. Chill and the next (unnamed, un-dated, but confirmed for later this year) Friendship record? “Ugly Little Victory” has a surprisingly driving drumbeat but is otherwise vintage Friendship, and I can’t wait to hear how the rest of the record sounds.
“She’ll Change”, Molly Tuttle & The Golden Highway
From Crooked Tree (2022, Nonesuch)
Oh, here’s some modern bluegrass for you all. Molly Tuttle is an acclaimed and seemingly busy banjoist (she took on The National, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Arthur Russell on a recent covers album, so she’s indie-approved or whatever), but her latest solo record is the first thing that’s caught my attention. “She’ll Change” kicks off Crooked Tree with barreling-out-of-the-gate energy; her new band the Golden Highway sounds quite invigorated, and Tuttle mines a lot of vocal and lyrical gold by creating a profile of a woman who’s just, like, really cool and stuff.
“Beach Days (Alive Again)”, Oceanator
From Nothing’s Ever Fine (2022, Polyvinyl)
When Elise Okusami tells you to grab a towel and get in the car, you do it. You do! Okusami’s follow-up as Oceanator to 2020’s Things I Never Said (one of my favorite albums of that year) delivers another collection of accessible but deep (in multiple ways) songs, even as it forges ahead a bit in terms of advancing Okusami’s sound. As it’s on an album called Nothing’s Ever Fine, it’s not exactly shocking that “Beach Days (Alive Again)” isn’t quite the sunshine-y good times anthem one might expect from the title. Don’t get me wrong, it’s upbeat and catchy, but it’s shot through with a dire sense of urgency—Okusami needs to get to the beach in order to feel alive again, perhaps.
“Get Me Out”, Jacky Boy
From Mush (2022, Darling)
The latest record from Bloomington, Indiana’s Jacky Boy is an inspired blend of various styles of turn-of-the-century alt-rock with no shortage of radio-ready (or, what would’ve been radio ready a couple of decades ago) hooks. The short, sweet “Get Me Out” finds Jacky Boy picking up the pace a bit more than the rest of Mush, shifting up into pop-punk mode. Lead singer Steve Marino’s vocals come off slightly urgent, but still sound as welcoming and melodic as the other highlights from the record. Read more about Mush here.
From Fall into the Sun (2018, Merge)
A couple of Allison Crutchfield-related things (a P.S. Eliot song coming up on shuffle, the fifth anniversary of her solo album Tourist in This Town) converged to get me back into Swearin’, but it’s one of Kyle Gilbride’s songs that makes an appearance on this month’s playlist. I read somewhere that he is (or was) a big Silkworm fan, and I’m so biased in favor of Silkworm that it caused me to look at his songs in a new light. “Dogpile” is probably more Doug Martsch/Jason Lytle than Tim Midyett/Andrew Cohen, but it’s still an incredible song, and that prominent plodding bassline deserves plenty of commendation on its own.
“Special Power”, Sadurn
From Radiator (2022, Run for Cover)
There are plenty of highlights on Radiator, but “Special Power”, coming at the record’s midway point, is a triumph even among others. It’s one of the greatest examples of Sadurn the band at their full power, not because it’s the “loudest” song on Radiator, but because of how the music rises and falls to fit Genevieve DeGroot’s stark songwriting. DeGroot sounds incredibly weary throughout “Special Power” (whether they’re halfheartedly postponing dealing with a leaky tire or breaking down in the shower), but the band punctuate the song’s climax (“If you think that means that I’m over you, you’re dreaming”, declares DeGroot in the final line) in a breathtaking manner. Read more about Radiator here.
“Astral Plane”, Brush
From Cabeza (2022)
Brush is a new-ish band from New York formed by former members of Adult Dude and Katie Ellen, and they’ve just put together the first full-length record under their name. Cabeza is a record inspired by the world-weary side of heartland punk and 90s alt-rock; highlight “Astral Plane” finds the band deep in the dressing of the latter, committing wholly to post-grunge quiet-loud dynamics with dreamy verses shot through with a “Brain Stew”/Blue Album-esque stomping chorus. Read more about Cabeza here.
“Pickets”, Annie Blackman
From All of It (2022, Father/Daughter)
Father/Daughter Records has been slowly rolling out songs from Annie Blackman’s All of It for pretty much a year now, and they saved the best for (almost) last with “Pickets”. The song’s shimmering, mid-tempo folk rock backdrop works well with Blackman’s strengths as a writer. “Pickets”, to me, is a song about letting one’s mind wander while in transit, and landing on rather elaborate interpersonal imagined scenarios, for better or worse. “If you say sorry, I’ll ask what you mean, how casual and cool of me,” Blackman sings in the chorus (before admitting “Just the way I practiced”). Perhaps “’God, it sounds romantic, but the logic’s fucking flawed” is the actually relevant lyric, though.
“The Gloam”, Vundabar
From Devil for the Fire (2022, Gawk)
Hey, Vundabar are back! I never think of the Boston group as one of my favorite bands or anything, but they deserve commendation for their recent string of solid post-punk-revival records delivered like clockwork every other year. The follow-up to 2020’s Either Light (which made my year-end list) finds Brandon Hagen, Zack Abramo, and Drew McDonald probing some surprisingly dark and atmospheric territory, but there’s plenty of classic Vundabar nervy pop music on Devil for the Fire, too. “The Gloam” starts off a little rickety before both Hagen’s vocals and the backing music begin to confidently hammer the refrain into one’s skull.
“Dopamine Drain”, Soft Screams
From Diet Daydream (2022, Corrupted TV)
“Dopamine Drain”, the latest single from New York’s Soft Screams, is anything but a drain to me. It perks the listener up from the moment the infectious hook kicks off the two-minute track. Soft Screams is the solo project of Connor Mac of Galactic Static, and if you recall their 2021 album Friendly Universe, mixing darker lyrics with upbeat pop is nothing new for them, and maybe that’s where the dopamine drain comes in. “I don’t have to defend my pain,” cheerfully proclaims Mac over a zippy power pop chord progression. I’ll have more to say about Diet Daydream soon.
“Shuck & Jive”, Proper.
From The Great American Novel (2022, Father/Daughter/Big Scary Monsters)
If you’re one of those people who are suckers for grand-scale records that are, ah, “in communication with” the worlds of emo and punk rock, then you’ll probably want to wade into Proper.’s The Great American Novel. Single and early album highlight “Shuck & Jive” finds lead singer Erik Garlington in full orator mode, raging against the dark side (is there any other?) of the music industry as the rest of the band (bassist Natasha Johnson, drummer Elijah Watson) whips up a storm to match him. “Is it a noose if it’s made from sparkling twine?” rhetorically asks Garlington as he weighs the implications of signing over his own art to a suit. As one can probably guess, “Shuck & Jive” is not the story of an unqualified triumph (“Just hand me the rope / How could I say no?”).
“Golden Surf II”, Pere Ubu
From Carnival of Souls (2014, Fire)
2014’s Carnival of Souls is one of the four under-discussed Pere Ubu records spotlighted in Fire Recordings’ Nuke the Whales 2006-2014 boxset, which features remixed versions of those albums courtesy of Ubu frontman David Thomas. “Golden Surf II” has always stood as one of the immediate highlights from this era of Pere Ubu, and the revamped Carnival of Souls (thankfully) does nothing to change this. It’s still an exciting full-throttle, full-band rocker of an opening track that sets up an album that’s unpredictable even by Ubu standards. Read more about Nuke the Whales 2006-2014 here.
“Angel”, La Bonte
From Grist for the Mill (2022, Anxiety Blanket)
The latest record from Los Angeles’ La Bonte (fronted by its namesake, Garrett La Bonte) is a five-song EP of insular, glacial-paced alt-country-influenced slowcore that evokes fellow California bands like American Music Club and Red House Painters as well as the quieter side of Songs: Ohia. Grist for the Mill’s opener “Angel” is about as “immediate” as this genre of music can be, finding its sweeping beauty-evoking sweet spot early on and launching directly into space for six minutes. Read more about Grist for the Mill here.
“Rain, Rain”, Anton Barbeau
From Power Pop!!! (2022, Big Stir)
Last month’s playlist highlighted a couple of selections from the recently reissued What It If Works?, Anton Barbeau’s 2006 collaboration with Game Theory/Loud Family frontman Scott Miller. However, What If It Works? wasn’t the only punctuation-punctuated Barbeau album to come out on March 25th, 2022—that date also saw the release of Power Pop!!!, a brand new Barbeau solo record. It’s an eclectic mix of everything from psychedelia to synthpop to rockabilly to, yes, the genre of its title. “Rain, Rain” was (rightly) chosen as a single—it’s a chugging synth-built tune that Barbeau delivers with more traditional power pop energy, brightening the back stretch of the record.
From Miracle Question (2022)
I didn’t even talk about the lyrics to “St. Mary’s” when I hit on that song earlier, but both it and “Birthday” have a lot going on underneath their hooky pop rock sheens. Both the chorus and the instrumental bookends to “Birthday” are catchy as hell, and the rest of the song is a quite captivating stream-of-consciousness delivery from vocalist Jenna Marx. Her lyrics drift away from and back to relevance to the birthday in question, and the train of thought’s destination (“I didn’t ask for much—doesn’t everybody want what I want?”) sounds quite profound in context.
“One of Those People”, Eve’s Twin Lover
From Stop Sending People to Kill Me (2022)
Chicago’s Eve’s Twin Lover is the project of one Tim Flood, and the group’s latest record, Stop Sending People to Kill Me, is a casual but thoughtful pop rock record that has its share of earworms. My personal choice for best moment on Stop Sending People to Kill Me (great title by the way) would have to be “One of Those People”, a bouncy, mid-tempo song about divorce and relationship struggles. The song is a duet (With whom? I’m not sure, I don’t have that info, but I’d love to credit them) apparently about Flood’s inability to sustain a relationship: that’s what “one of those people” means. The finished product is incredibly breezy and oddly triumphant sounding, nevertheless.
“Al”, Bad Heaven Ltd.
From In Our House Now (2022)
Pennsylvania’s John Galm has spent time in several bands over the past decade (most notably cult emo group Snowing), but his Bad Heaven Ltd. solo project and its warm and inviting blend of melodic 90s lo-fi indie rock, dream pop, and shoegaze caught my attention last month. In Our House Now is highly recommended for fans of bands like Hovvdy, Sparklehorse, and Grandaddy, and opening track “Al” is a shining example of its charms. It’s a strong yet subdued start, in which Galm’s tender vocals glide over synths and programmed drums. Read more about In Our House Now here.
“Churn It Anew”, String Machine
From Hallelujah Hell Yeah (2022, Know Hope)
String Machine is a seven-piece indie rock band from Pittsburgh that hews towards the more emotional and widescreen side of the genre. I don’t always go for these kinds of bands, but as big as Hallelujah Hell Yeah is, the group keep things grounded with good, discrete songwriting and the stabilizing vocals of frontman David Beck. Beck can work his voice up into a holler when the mood calls for it, like some of the peaks in album highlight “Churn It Anew”, and he harmonizes well with other vocalist Laurel Wain, but there’s just enough going on in the song, and nothing gets oversold.
“Wishing Well”, Jeanines
From Don’t Wait for a Sign (2022, Slumberland)
The second full-length record from Brooklyn’s Jeanines packs thirteen impeccable indie guitar pop tunes in a package that runs only a little over twenty minutes. Don’t Wait for a Sign naturally contains several highlight candidates, but there is a strong argument that the duo of Alicia Jeanine and Jed Smith saved the best for last with “Wishing Well”. The record’s final song jauntily toe-taps both its and Don’t Wait for a Sign’s way out the door, and it functions very well as a “well, let’s just listen to this whole thing again, it’s pretty short after all” trigger. Read more about Don’t Wait for a Sign here.
“Too Much Feeling (Not Enough Screaming)”, Yes Kid
From Lighten Up (2022)
The latest release from Los Angeles’ Yes Kid is quite brief (three songs, under eight minutes), but Lighten Up packs plenty of personality into its limited time with the listener. The EP’s final two songs find singer-songwriter Yael Kaufman trying on a few different moods, but opening track “Too Much Feeling (Not Enough Screaming)” is the pop single. Lighten Up was produced by Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties, which is a good reference point for “Too Much Feeling”’s dramatic poppy indie-punk (the Smol Data album from last year would also be one). The track delivers a bouncy catharsis—“I can’t stop feeling everything,” frets Kaufman, before the song’s refrain attempts to correct the imbalance alluded to in its title.
“Under Control”, MJ Lenderman
From Boat Songs (2022, Dear Life)
One of the hallmarks of MJ Lenderman’s songwriting thus far has been hyper-specific images that somehow serve as a stand-in for something deeper—Jack Nicholson courtside at a Lakers game, a grill rusting in the rain, Dan Marino at the Harris Teeter. “Under Control” is, in this way, something of an outlier on Boat Songs. It’s two and a half minutes of Lenderman offering up something as straightforward and universal-sounding as possible (“I had it under control / And then it snowballed, and rolled and rolled and rolled”). And yet, it sounds like vintage Lenderman—on Boat Songs, he sounds equally at ease whether he’s postulating on Michael Jordan lore or simply shrugging and saying “Ain’t that a bitch”. Read more about Boat Songs here.
“Long Live the New Flesh”, Personal Space
From Still Life (2022, Good Eye)
Personal Space’s indie soft rock opus A Lifetime of Leisure was one of my favorite albums of 2021, so I’m more than happy that I get to talk about them again so soon. There was a five-year gap between the two Personal Space full-lengths (Leisure and 2016’s Ecstatic Burbs), but we don’t have to wait nearly as long this time around, with the four-song Still Life EP due out in June. Half of it has already been released as a single—the hypnotic “Enon’s Trip” is also good, but I’m particularly hyped about “Long Live the New Flesh”, a very musically interesting tune that balances both 90s post-rock-y vibraphone accents and more “normal rock band”-sounding power chords in its mix. I’ll have more to say about Still Life next month.
“Woodwork”, Football, Etc.
From Vision (2022)
Reliable Houston emo trio Football, Etc. quietly dropped their first new music in five years last month, and the four-song Vision EP is as solid as anything I’ve heard from the group so far. The EP (recorded by J. Robbins of Jawbox) is remarkably consistent, but I think I’ll go with the gliding, bass-driven “Woodwork” to highlight here. Linday Minton’s vocals come through the music loud and clear, starting with rather plain sing-speaking but stretching and soaring to fit the building music, which executes a big finish flawlessly.
“I Saw the Country”, Ezra Cohen
From The Sweet Million (2022, Dead Broke/Relief Map)
The debut full-length solo record from Ezra Cohen (also of the New Hampshire band Notches) is a low-key but well-executed collection of Americana and indie folk-indebted tunes. The Sweet Million scores a big hit early on in its runtime with “I Saw the Country”, a fully-realized country rock tune built around Cohen’s acoustic strumming and a rolling band sound (although I think Cohen plays most of the instruments on the record) behind him.
“If You Will”, Russel the Leaf
From You Blocked the Light for Me (2022, Records from Russ)
Sparkling Beach Boys-inspired pop songwriting aside, Russel the Leaf’s Evan Marré doesn’t come off to me as a pure sunshine-and-good-times merchant; the best songs on his last two albums (“Oh No” from My Street and “Classic Like King Kong” from Then You’re Gunna Wanna) combined great hooks with, at best, bittersweet lyrics. Still, as its title suggests, You Blocked the Light for Me is, as a whole, a downer record even by Marré’s standards. Opener “If You Will” is one of the album’s more upbeat moments, but Marré’s sweetly-sung words mope along with the cheerful arrangements (“Know what? I’m done / And I wouldn’t even call this fun,” he says, assessing the mess in which another person has left him).
“Could It Be You”, Cisco Swank & Luke Titus
From Some Things Take Time (2022, Sooper)
Chicago’s Sooper Records is no stranger to multi-genre experimental and collaborative releases, and the latest record from Cisco Swank & Luke Titus feels right at home in their stable. Some Things Take Time is built around the vocals and instrumentation of Brooklyn’s Swank, plus the kinetic drumming of Chicago’s Titus. R&B and jazz both figure heavily into album highlight “Could It Be You”, where Titus’ insistent snare juts up against a more laid back groove contained in Swank’s contributions.
“Electrolyte Sunrise”, Silo’s Choice
From Priorities USA (2022, Obscure Pharaoh)
Jon Massey’s latest album as Silo’s Choice is a record that has a lot to say and no shortage of ways and methods of delivering its ideas. I saw Priorities USA compared to Emperor X (which of course got my attention) and that’s not wrong, but songs like “Electrolyte Sunrise” remind me a little more of people like John Vanderslice and other practitioners of the 2000s, tinker-heavy, expansive-in-search-of-striking-a-nerve version of indie rock.
“Cutting Up Sound”, Guy Capecelatro III
From Heading North Again (2022, Dromedary)
Heading North Again is a companion piece of sorts to North for the Winter, a 2012 record by New Hampshire singer-songwriter Guy Capecelatro III. The nineteen songs of Heading North Again originated from the former record’s sessions, and have been tinkered with by Capecelatro and his collaborators and released for Winter’s tenth anniversary. “Cutting Up Sound” is an intriguing 90-second mini-song that stands out in a sea of them, a simple chord progression and vocal from Capecelatro that has just the right amount of harmony and percussion accents.
From The Unraveling of Puptheband (2022, Rise/BMG)
I don’t know if PUP will ever again put together a record that knocks me out front-to-back like 2016’s The Dream Is Over did, but The Unraveling of Puptheband already feels like an improvement over the somewhat-disappointing Morbid Stuff, and even if it doesn’t make the year-end list for me, the Toronto group are still good for a killer track now and then. Take “Waiting”, for example, a memory-searer of a song in which Stefan Babcock does his best post-hardcore Craig Finn impression in the verses and then everything comes together for a monster power pop chorus hook.
“Brad Haunts a Party”, Nina Nastasia
From On Leaving (2006, Fat Cat/Temporary Residence)
Nina Nastasia recently announced the upcoming release of her first record in over a decade (lead single “Just Stay in Bed” is solid, as well), which was preceded by her signing to Temporary Residence Ltd. and the subsequent transferring of a few of her out-of-print records to her new label. 2006’s On Leaving is now available on streaming services and Bandcamp for the first time, and it’s full of deceptively simple, compelling tracks like “Brad Haunts a Party”. Nastasia walks the song through bluntly strummed guitar and piano chords, alongside slowly cascading percussion (something she’d explore more fully on her 2007 collaboration with drummer Jim White, You Follow Me). All in under two minutes, another Nastasia hallmark.
“Odd Essay”, Golden Boots
From Liquid Ranch (2022, Pass Without Trace)
“Odd Essay” comes near the end of the strange desert trip that is Liquid Ranch. It’s a twangy pop song, in a way, but it also feels touched by the radioactive core that defines the odd turns in the midsection of Liquid Ranch. A strange robotic voice introduces the song, before Golden Boots start a travelogue chant of a tune that lives up to the wordy hypnosis implied by its title. Read more about Liquid Ranch here.
From Radiator (2022, Run for Cover)
Walking the tightrope of bright, melodic pop songwriting and the naked emotion of folk music is as difficult as it is rewarding when done right, and it isn’t done better than “Icepick”, the last song on Sadurn’s Radiator to feature vocals. The song’s unflinching relationship analysis is quite compelling—both lines about meeting family come to mind, as well as the part from which the song takes its title—to the point where it might be difficult to pull back just a little bit and catch just how much lead singer Genevieve DeGroot’s delivery adds to the lines. Read more about Radiator here.