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Midnight Sister get to "Painting the Roses"

That sketchy looking dude on the corner asking if you like Hunky Dory era Bowie or Black Box Recorder or St Etienne is most likely selling bootlegs of the new CD by Midnight Sister that just came out this Friday and he’s got his target marketing game on point. Too bad tho’ he didn’t get the memo about the whole streaming thing, but it works out nicely for you cuz you just saved a few bones and can listen to Painting the Roses (Jagjaguwar) through various types of devices at your convenience.

And get this Midnight Sister isn’t even British. Instead they’re Angelinos but it makes sense when you find out that the duo of Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian are, respectively, a music video/short film director and a film scorer in their other lives. So all those finely honed and orchestrated arrangements and glam antics and dark disco dramatics arise organically from their residing in the Town of Tinsel.

Plus their film backgrounds pay off when it comes to making music videos natch as dispayed in the trippy videos on display here. (Jason Lee)

   

Soundhoose charges-up emotions in new single "Psycho"

Soundhoose holds nothing back in its new single “Psycho,” which marches to powered-up fuzzed-out guitars and kickdrum thumps like gut punches. The vocals are rough and rugged, spiking right at the choruses for an anthemic feel that is fitting for the claustrophobic world we currently live in. If getting lost in emotions, frustrations, or the joy of self-realization is the desired end, “Psycho” serves as the right conduit; stream the new single below for a bolt of energy into the weekend. - René Cobar

   

Splits "Vice Versa"

Heartcore quartet Splits recently released their sophomore EP, "Vice Versa". This is the first new music from the group since their 2019 debut EP, "They Let Us Go".

This is the work of Taylor Ericson (vocals), Claire Zhang (guitars), Matthew Bactat (bass), and Ethan Urborg (drums).

   

Mock Nine "LavaLamp.mp4"

Mock Nine has released their first single of the new year, a Psych Rock tinged journey called "LavaLamp.mp4". This is the group's fourth single since the released of their 2020 full-length debut, Leaving Solitude.

This is the work of Tommy Langford, Mac Campbell, Stas Gunkel, and Ben Kremer.

   

Sunflares EP

One good thing about playing in a one-man shoegaze band is that you always know whose shoes you’re gazing at. And for a style of music that’s the aural equivalent of cocooning, this sense of isolation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On Sunflares EP, which you guessed it, is the coming-out EP by Sunflares, a project said to be inspired by the isolation of quarantine (wait, better make that the “staying in EP”) the alone time appears to have paid dividends.

And the same goes for listening to the EP for those of us under our fifth or sixth lockdown. When lines like “Are you out there?” and “I wanna know your secrets” emerge from the layers of fuzz and flange they sound eerily familiar as they’re questions I’ve been asking myself after sitting at home for the whole night, drinking an entire case of Bud Light that was planned to last for the rest of the week or longer, but at least existential crises keep things interesting. Shoegazer, know thyself.

Sunflares’ opening track “Numb” kicks things off with some nice Lush-like swirly guitars, but any trace of Sweetness and Light is quickly interrupted when the song shifts into Superblast mode with distortion turned up to 13, but with a cool little Cure-like melody over the top and some satisfying tom-tom fills, before settling into the first verse with this enterprise’s Kevin Shields fully engaged and phaser pedals set to stun, all ready to swoop in and take out the Ringo Deathstarr. And here’s a couple music videos for those two very subtle Lush references I made because I’m always looking for a good excuse to post Lush videos.

In other words, Mr. Sunflare hits the major signposts you’d hope to hear on a 2021 shoegaze album (or shoegaze EP let’s not be pedantic here) with satisfying walls of sound and layers of effects-laden guitar smeared across this EP like strawberries and cream. But at the same time there’s some enticing twists and things are mixed up nicely overall, between and within the four tracks on offer, with shifting tempos and textures and heavy-devy parts and dreamy ambient parts. And finally here’s a video for the even more artfully subtle Cure reference contained in this paragraph. (Jason Lee)