The Features, "This Disorder"
Exciting news for fans of longtime Middle Tennessean rock 'n' roll champs The Features: They just premiered a track by the name of "This Disorder" via Rolling Stone. Drummer Rollum Haas tells RS that the song kinda-sorta may have been inspired by the ubiquity of smartphones, and the creatures that such technology turns us into. As noted on The Features' site, the single will officially be available Feb. 26, but you can already download it via that Rolling Stone link. "This Disorder" is an unsurprisingly substantial blast of power pop, with a four-on-the-floor beat, a rubbery bass line, some spare but angular bursts of guitar, and some characteristically sundry and sweet key tones. It's pretty damn good, so give it a listen.
Phantom Farmer, "2 Jung 2 Dye," "Silver and Gold" and "It Is Written"
Joel "J. Dahl" McAnulty (De Novo Dahl, By Lightning!, more) has been up to a lot lately. He recorded part of Oh Dang Lo Mein's forthcoming record (which is great), relocated to a big ol' house out near Sparta and debuted a new website for his solo project, Phantom Farmer. Over on that new site, you can stream three new Phantom Farmer songs ("2 Jung 2 Dye," "Silver and Gold" and "It Is Written"), which will presumably be featured on P.F.'s forthcoming Golden Days EP, out April 19. All three songs feature the sort of good, melodious, instrumentally rich, sing-along indie folk McAnulty is prone to making. Scoot on over to the Farmer site and have a listen.
Nudity feat. Alanna Royale, "Lite U Up"
It's been a while since we've heard from local electro-pop outfit Nudity, but here's some good news: They have a new tune called "Lite U Up" that they say is "part of a larger [amdiscs] label compilation of things to come in 2013." When I hear slick, digital-ass electro-pop that I personally find quite enjoyable, I'm prone to comparing it to groups like Empire of the Sun and Miike Snow and locals Jensen Sportag (all good), but I'm going to do my best not to do that here. I will say that the track, which features local singer Alanna Royale on BGVs, doesn't not sound a tiny bit like Postal Service. Stream it above or purchase it for any price you like via Nudity's Bandcamp page. It's tagged with "tropical goth," which reminds me of this couple I met in Joshua Tree one time who said they were in a "beach-goth" band. That couple didn't seem to have any sense of humor about it, but since Nudity is named Nudity, I bet they have a sense of humor.
What Up English, "Come Down Slow"
Remember local youngster dance-punk outfit What Up English? I once said they make "busy, frenetic, upbeat and fun rock 'n' roll music that's firmly rooted in the 'roll' region of the rock 'n' roll spectrum." Well, they're back with a disco-beat indie-dance-pop groover by the name of "Come Down Slow," and it reminds me of dancy Aughts outfits like Moving Units and The Rapture. Stream it above, or download it for any price you like at WUE's Bandcamp page.
Gunther Doug, demos
Garage-punky kiddos Gunther Doug are pretty new to me, but I dig what I've heard so far. They recently posted three demos, and though they're (by definition, duh) not super-excellent in terms of production, they're fun, well-executed rock 'n' roll numbers. While, generally speaking, G.D.'s raucous, loud and sloppy delivery (especially on "Chicken Bone") reminds me a touch of latter-day psych dudes like Ty Segall, while the instrumentation is a bit more like that of '80s and '90s indie and college rockers. Also, the vocals have a sort of David Byrne-esque whimsicality to them — that's of course high praise. Have a listen above, or download all three tracks for any price you want at Gunther Doug's Bandcamp page.