There’s a bit of DIY flavour to this week's roundup. Frankie Cosmos, Soccer Mommy and Car Seat Headrest are all breakthroughs from the Bandcamp generation now playing with the indie label heavies. Meanwhile, Brisbane’s Thigh Master are questioning whether it’s ever going to happen at all, but we hope it does. Rounding things out are four of the latest tracks from Pond, The Breeders, Turnstile and Superchunk.
FRANKIE COSMOS - JESSE (SUB POP)
With a heady succession of homespun recordings and label releases New York’s Greta Kline seems well on her way to becoming an indie heavyweight. She snuck around Australia last year on a low-key tour which it turns out has anticipated signing with Sub Pop to release third LP Vessel. An exotic swirl of fantasy and angst, leading single ‘Jesse’ trades moments of intimacy with fevered surrealism.
POND – FIRE IN THE WATER (EMI)
One word: ‘Flashdance’.
TURNSTILE – MOON (ROADRUNNER)
This churning mass of guitar noise comes courtesy of hardcore Baltimore outfit Turnstile. Replete with backing vocals from Sheer Mag’s Tina Halladay and a furious cutting edge, 'Moon' accompanies a silent film era inspired clip set with a fittingly spacey aesthetic. No, not that one, it’s totally its own thing.
SOCCER MOMMY – YOUR DOG (FAT POSSUM RECORDS)
Operating as Soccer Mommy, Sophie Allison spins visceral and emotionally pulling music. She’s one of those songwriters who never fails to bring you into her story. Allison re-recorded and retouched a substantial swathe of her back catalogue for 2017’s Collection and now she’s gearing up for original ‘debut’ Clean. Centred around lyrical vulnerability and jangly guitar lines, ‘Your Dog’ sees Sophie navigating her dark emotional traumas while seething with defiance and suffocation.
THIGH MASTER – EXODUS (BRUIT DIRECT DISCS)
Thigh Master’s ‘Exodus’ speaks to the experience of almost every musician. Here the Brisbane outfit struggles with the realisation that all that hardship and struggle could be for nothing. The group pours about as much pathos into a three-minute rocker as it feels like the form can take.
SUPERCHUNK - ERASURE (MERGE RECORDS)
Emerging in the wake of grunge, Superchunk rose to prominence as one of the biggest indie acts of the ‘90s. Despite their critical acclaim and rabid fandom, they never quite made it all the way to the top. Listening to ‘Erasure’ you get the feeling it wasn’t because of the music. Dig those guitar lines.
CAR SEAT HEADREST – BEACH LIFE-IN-DEATH (MATADOR)
If you’re thinking you may have heard this song before it’s because you have. The exact same in fact. ‘Beach Life-In-Death’ first appeared on Car Seat Headrest’s cult LP Twin Fantasy back in 2011. But then why then is it cropping up again here? Well, despite Will Toledo’s emotional investment – the album chronicles his emotional desolation following the breakdown of a relationship - Car Seat’s mastermind was never completely satisfied with the final product. It follows that rather than bury the record, he’s recut Twin Fantasy as a full-blown studio effort.
THE BREEDERS – ALL NERVE (4AD)
Heralding a new album of the same name, ‘All Nerve’ rings out with the same desperate vibration as Title Tk’s ‘Off You’. It reaffirms Kim Deal’s sporadic studio genius while pulling together some of the hallmark Breeders elements. It arrives littered with sugary Kelly Deal harmonies, adrenaline riffs and wall-of-sound production. At the centre of it all Kim’s vocals sit raw and immediate.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald.