Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: download

Thin Lips – Carrot Milk (EP Review, Stream)

Thin Lips have built a career out of challenging expectations and Carrot Milk continues that arc.  Comprised of three tracks, Carrot Milk showcases the group’s burgeoning confidence in unexpected ways. From the opening minute of “Butterfield Road” it’s clear that Thin Lips are exercising a new level of restraint, which ultimately elevates the moments of catharsis. Everything on Carrot Milk is earned, including its own existence.

As a whole, it’s the sound of a band that’s taken control of their voice and realized that voice can be projected in different ways. Impressively, Carrot Milk winds up feeling more essential than experimental. Thin Lips is taking a brave step forward and unlocking more than a few enticing possibilities for their future in the process. One of 2019’s most heartening moments for a band that deserves all the success they can achieve.

Listen to Carrot Milk below and grab a name-your-price download here.

Left & Right – Low Expectations (Stream)

leftandright

Infinity Cat’s quietly been building themselves been building themselves a roster worth the envy of most other labels. While bands like Diarrhea Planet and JEFF The Brotherhood ensure their name is kept in circulation, it’s the smaller artists like Left & Right that keep the label vital. It’s not a mistake that Superchunk and Archers of Loaf are both referenced in Left & Right’s bio, nor is it a mistake that “Low Expectations” has been circulating around some of the higher-profile taste-making music sites; it’s a sharp song, finely tuned and full of 90’s lo-fi outsider pop hallmarks.

What sets “Low Expectations” apart from an increasingly crowded quasi-revivalist field is the delivery. Left & Right have never been short on passion and it’s still peaking through their work with Five Year Plan, the third entry in Infinity Cat’s Cassette Series (following efforts from both Music Band and Guerilla Toss). There’s a certain sense of history that’s paired with a modernism that helps keep their work grounded and distances it from the risk of feeling dated. Left & Right do anything but live up to the song’s title- the anticipation for the September 9 release of Five Year Plan is through the roof.

Listen to “Low Expectations” below and get a free download of the song by pre-ordering Five Year Plan from Infinity Cat here.

Playlounge – Waves and Waves and Waves (Stream)

Let’s get this out of the way at the top: Playlounge are a London-based guitar/drums/vocals duo. They play scrappy scuzzed-out pop music that recalls a lot of bands that operate within the confines of that format. There are traces of Japandroids, No Age, and PS I Love You (among others) to be found all over their music. What differentiates them from the pack is the sheer velocity they conjure up. Where Japandroids are almost consumed by a desire to sound huge, it comes off as a byproduct here rather than a focal point. PS I Love You are willfully off-kilter and Playlounge don’t really seem to will anything; they just fucking go for it. No Age have their arthouse tendencies as well- chiefly, their obsession with damaged lo-fi. Playlounge just hint at an interest in those kinds of things, while actually sounding damaged- not in terms of recording quality, but their actual physical state of being. It makes for a strangely cathartic listening experience. “Waves and Waves and Waves”, yet another preview of their upcoming LP Pilot, showcases all of these qualities and more. It’s available for both streaming and download below. Take advantage of it.