Need a soundtrack to accompany your holiday cookout? Here's some of Nashville's finest and most under-sung new homegrown indie rock, punk rock, hip-hop, pop and folk. Visit this Nashville Cream post to hear the mix.
Stone Fox sound gal Alicia Bognanno and her power trio Bully prove that the dream of the '90s is still alive with this riff-riddled, angular slab of poppy indie rock that recalls Veruca Salt and early Liz Phair. From Bully's forthcoming EP (out later this summer), "Brainfreeze" is the punk girl you had a crush on in high school — your heart skips a beat when she tells you to get the hell out of her way.
Deer Tick, "The Rock"
When Nashville-residing wild child John McCauley isn't goofing around with side projects like Middle Brother or Diamond Rugs, he's making true-blue, country-tinted rock 'n' roll with his fellow Rhode Island natives Deer Tick. "The Rock" — taken from Negativity, out Sept. 24 — is an anguished 6/8 ballad bolstered with organs and nice little horn bursts courtesy of Grupo Fantasma.
Oblivians, "I'll Be Gone"
Yes, Oblivians are — quite notably — a Memphis band. But they recorded Desperation — their first effort in 16 years, released in June via In the Red — at Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, so we're going to claim it. Gloriously imprecise garage-rock fare courtesy of latter-day Southern punk godfather Greg Cartwright and his cronies, "I'll Be Gone" is a fast-burning, sneering dose of fuzz.
Ducko McFli feat. Chancellor Warhol, "Palm Trees"
Here's a laid-back hip-hop cut from Ducko McFli's new mixtape SykDuck, featuring an assist from fellow local MC Chancellor Warhol. Peppered with a mantra about palm trees and a calm breeze, it's a chilled-out summertime rap track if ever there was one, and the rest of the tape is worth a listen for Nashvillian hip-hop wonks and novices alike.
Diarrhea Planet, "Kids"
Just when Music City got used to Diarrhea Planet's name, the rest of the country started to notice. The scat-punk bad boys have a newfound blog-darling status, and this preview off their forthcoming I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams (out Aug. 20 via Infinity Cat) has already fetched praise all over the Internet. "Kids" is anthemic, earnest, pop-centric surf punk, like Weezer covering the Beach Boys.
Kink Ador, "Sunshine"
A shiny, suitably titled dose of seasonal feel-goodery. If this all-smiles piece of pop from alt-rockers Kink Ador doesn't land a placement — perhaps in an Emma Stone romantic comedy or an iPod ad — then I'll eat my hat. "Sunshine" will be featured on Kink Ador's Free World, available later this year.
Brendan Benson, "New Words of Wisdom"
Power-pop songster Brendan Benson — who, even with over a decade-and-a-half's worth of solo albums under his belt, is likely best known for his tenure with The Raconteurs — is releasing a new track every month between now and November, culminating with a new LP on Black Friday. "New Words of Wisdom" is a dour, waltzing folk tune rich with striking organs — even if it isn't the most summery number in this batch, it's a good damn song.
Amanda Shires, "Devastate"
Fiddle-toting songstress Amanda Shires may be a Texas girl at heart, but she and her noteworthy husband, Jason Isbell, currently call Nashville home. Taken from her Down Fell the Doves (out Aug. 6 via Lightning Rod Records), "Devastate" could certainly be loosely labeled "country" — but Shires' fiddle runs and smooth pop-rock vocals will probably appeal to folks who aren't typically drawn to the cowboy-hat scene.
Ben Spinks Supermelt, "D"
Here's a punishing one from unapologetic, blown-out blues-punk power trio Ben Spinks Supermelt. Do you like The Black Keys but wish their blues-rock stomp-alongs were just a little bit less accessible to the popped-collar set? Here's your answer, friends, and it comes in the shape of a howling, unaccommodating, ass-blasting dose of volume.
Resort and Spa, "Living in the Future"
Featuring Kyle Andrews and former members of Heypenny, among others, this new self-described disco-pop outfit provides some sugarcoated, worry-free dance pop with "Living in the Future." "Just forget about the mess and dance away the unexplainable," sings frontwoman Jess Rice in a bubblegum croon over a track that sounds like Daft Punk crossed with Empire of the Sun. It ain't rocket science — it's pop music.
Rayland Baxter, "Bad Things"
From Rayland Baxter's forthcoming ashkeLon EP (out Aug. 20 via ATO Records, and yes, the random-capitalization styling is all his) comes a thumping, blues-rooted tune of lovelorn malady — the devil got up in Baxter's brain, and we "ain't never met a man as wrong" as he is. He's the son of noted sideman Bucky Baxter, but Rayland has a strong voice and a good ear for melody in his own right.
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