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NSB Podcast: Ep.1 

Tyler and Kyle inaugurate the first Nothing Sounds Better podcast with talk of Record Store Day, that new Wye Oak album, and a lot of ranting about the perils of attending Bonnaroo. 


- Tyler Hanan & Kyle MInton

"Hollow" - Alex G

Who is Alex G?

I first fell into the land of lofi indie pop quite accidentally. I befriended Malcom Lacey of Arrange, who has always displayed a far greater knowledge of music than I have ever had. Through him - his blog, his recommendations, his conversations with other people that I creepily took note of - I first found Warren Hildebrand’s Foxes in Fiction and Sam Ray’s Ricky Eat Acid. The floodgates opened. I’ve been scrambling to find all these wonderful artists I’d never known, awash in a flood of a sounds I’d never heard.

It took too long to find Alex G. It was a name I  saw tossed around reverentially, akin to how film friends speak of the enigmatic Shane Carruth. Just as it took me until recently to find Carruth (with Upstream Color), it wasn’t until the split with R.L. Kelly for Birdtapes that I fell in love. There was something different about it, a peculiar particularity to it. Alex G’s songs were special, fantastical. I was still woefully ignorant as to who Alex G was, but the music had finally caught me in its sway. 

Now I’m caught up with the bandwagon and have the opportunity to get excited at the same time as everyone else. I’m late. I’m slow. I’m just glad to be here. 

Today, Orchid Tapes announced Alex G’s twelfth release and first full-length vinyl release: DSU, due June 17. Accompanying the announcement, the Fader had gifts. It had a fantastic new song, “Hollow,” and an article about this scene’s favorite son. The title? “Who is Alex G?" So easy. So apt. 

Read it, grab the soon-to-be-sold-out preorder for DSU here, and keep an eye on Orchid Tapes for updates. Cassettes? Probably. Second pressing? Maybe! Enjoy, friends. It’s a wonderful day. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Water Fountain" - tUnE-yArDs

That wackadoo video tUnE-yArDs promised yesterday is here. Much as a tUnE-yArDs video should be, “Water Fountain” is big, bright, and absolutely bonkers, it’s zaniness inspired by Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Nate Brenner, the other half of tUnE-yArDs, plays the dancing chef, and we even get the end of Franklin Ruehl’s science lesson. 

Read director Joel Kefali’s explanation for the origin of the video over on Pitchfork. Nikki Nack is still out May 6.

Science in action! Yes! YES! YES!

- Tyler Hanan

"I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore" - The Menzingers

The excellence of this song is already established. It’s a fist-pumping anthem both the dissatisfied youth and the not-so-youthful can immediately identify with without feeling like self-pitying mopes.

Coinciding with today’s release of The Impossible Past follow-up Rented World, The Menzingers unveiled this clever music video directed by Whitey McConnaughy. Our ambigutagonist has had enough of the lonely serial killer life and wants to turn over a new leaf.

The kicker - he’s kinda kicking ass at it. He’s really sticking with that whole “new leaf” thing. He’s staying positive, keeping at it, and putting that machete to a societally-beneficent use. I only hope he sanitized it. Sure he’s a little creepy, but it’s in that lovable, pre-00’s classic romance way.

After you’ve had some fun with the video, check out Rented World via your favorite legal music medium. The band will be on tour soon, and half the people who will be in those crowds already know every word to every song. 

And spoilers, but finally he knows what it’s like to have the rug pulled out from under you when you’re home free.

- Tyler Hanan

"Water Fountain" video preview - tUnE-yArDs

tUnE-yArDs has previewed tomorrow’s video for “Water Fountain,” but it doesn’t become what you expect until 45 seconds into the 52-second clip. We get a science lesson before the bright colors kick in.

Franklin Ruehl is, according to the impeachable Wikipedia, “an American ufologist and cryptozoologist” who “holds a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from the UCLA” and had a public access cable TV show in the 80’s called Mysteries from Beyond the Other Dominion.

I have no idea what he has to do with “Water Fountain.” Nikki Nack is out May 6. Science!

- Tyler Hanan

"Wait for a Minute" - tUnE-yArDs

tUnE-yArDs have snuck out a second song off their upcoming album Nikki Nack. Following the playfulness and “WOO-HA!”ing of “Water Fountain,” “Wait for a Minute” is a low-key, Malay-produced change of pace that reminds me of the music I was told came out of Brooklyn when I was a kid. Empty subway groove.

Nikki Nack is out May 6 in the US and May 5 in the UK on 4AD, with various preorder options available here.

- Tyler Hanan

"Suns Out Guns Out" - Concord America

Birthed around a shady pizza place and an “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” stage dive, Concord America is as dirt-stained, scuzzy, and out of fucks to give as those glamorous origins would suggest.

The Atlanta trio spat out first full-length Shag Nasty last year, and now the three follow it with the EP Suns Out Guns Out. The title track is a mess of writhing limbs and abused guitar strings, furious and wild just because it can be. It’s a fiery two minute entry into the storied history of bands telling us to get with the shit-kicking because it’s all fucked anyways, man, and it’s fun as hell.

Suns Out Guns Out is out May 27 on Post-Echo. Check out the tracklist below.

- Tyler Hanan

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"Static Kings" - Fennesz

The most recent Fennesz full-length was 2008’s Black Sea, but 2001’s Endless Summer is the release new album Bécs will hark back to. Thirteen years apart, the newer of the Editions Mego releases will be the conceptual follow-up to the bright pop machinations of the older.

This can be heard in “Static Kings,” an almost six-minute clip that shimmers with waves of brilliantly lit sound and static. Gorgeous and pleasant, it certainly sounds like endless summer.

Bécs is out April 28 on Editions Mego. Check out first single “The Liar” and the album’s tracklist below. Read more about the album here, and pre-order it here.

- Tyler Hanan

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"Country Kills" - Popstrangers

Every thought that came to mind when streaming “Country Kill” the first few times were hideously backhanded. Lots of “This is a nice little song!” thoughts.

That’s all bullshit. Listen, besides possessing a fantastic band name, Popstrangers have crafted a fuzzy head-bobber here with a hell of a hook that sweeps in on some “wait for it, waaiit foor iit” verses like the softest of sledgehammers.

I’ve also, by the way I’ve addressed this song, outed myself as someone who never got around to listening to Antipodes. That will change now, though, and I’ll most definitely be digging into Fortuna. With the success of other recent throwback, chill-rock fuzzballs and the effectiveness of this hook, I wouldn’t be surprised if Popstrangers started popping up in more places.

I had to use all my strength not to make a “strangers no more” pun. Fortuna is out May 27 on Carpark Records, a label that actually has a few of those fuzzballs referred to earlier.

- Tyler Hanan

"I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore" - The Menzingers

The continued intermingling of various crowds and the influx of formerly foreign material into new places has been a fascinating thing to watch. The so-called “emo revolution” has been talked to death, but it’s not just emo. Indie(ish) pop is now today’s pop. Specific brands of emo and pop punk have gone from small, cultish (and very similar, even if they wouldn’t like to admit it) genres to being emblazoned on your Pitchforks, your Stereogums, the phones of your coolest kids at school. I have nothing new to say about it - others have said many things, and have said them better - and the whole thing isn’t actually all that suprising. The rise and fall of genres, the borrowing and co-mingling, has been around forever, even before America took to blues-aping rock ‘n roll.

Soapbox stowed, now that I’ve finally put general thoughts to… program?… we have a new, Pitchfork-premiered single from The Menzingers. It has already been a surprising two years since the impeccable On The Impossible Past came out and seized a regular spot in every kid’s listening rotation, and “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore” is a very comfortable continuation of what the band was doing there. Much like Against Me!, The Menzingers excel at anthemic, fist-pumping cuts with infectious, sing-along choruses. They’re the aggravated youth, but in a way that is widely relatable rather than miserably self-pitying, which is often not the case with the rising tide of the emo-pop-punk melting pot.

The new album is The Rented World. It’s out April 22 on Epitaph, with pre-orders available now. The Menzingers will also be on tour for the entirety of June, with some dates spilling out into May and July.

- Tyler Hanan