We get a lot of new music here at Ranting About Music! and here’s the very best of bands you’ve never heard of with releases out now or soon. These guys and gals deserve to be on your radar.
The Hydrothermal Vents – Neptune’s Grave
“Neptune’s Grave” comes from Montreal post-punk duo The Hydrothermal Vents‘ upcoming debut album Secrets of the Deep! The duo has an easy chemistry; interlocking guitar and bass riffs feed into each other naturally, as do John Tielli and Tessa Kautman’s back and forth boy-girl vocals. THV site a major Pixies influence (although I also hear some late-80s Sonic Youth in the spoken word/discordant parts of “Neptune’s Grave”), made especially visible in the song’s outro, which reminds me of “Hey” in the best way. Secrets of the Deep! is out on July 5th, and I’m looking forward to it already.
Jalen McMillan – All Over You
I never thought that Titanic of all things would be the perfect visual for a song, but it fits Jalen McMillan’s “All Over You” to a tee. The shimmering EDM-does-soul production and adoring melody sound like they came out of a dream, and McMillan’s rapping and singing work perfectly in tandem in a post-Drake world. McMillan’s debut EP Genesis (entirely self-written/produced) comes out July 1st.
Ballad – P.A.N.L. (Party All Night Long)
Ballad, or MrLoveBallad as he’s known on social media, is releasing a single every week leading up to his EP Suite 89. The singles have been consistently enjoyable so far, but “P.A.N.L.” is my favorite of the bunch. Built on a catchy, stuttering synth and vocals inspired by modern R&B greats like Usher and Ne-Yo, the song has plenty of radio potential. Keep and eye out for the full EP, and check out some of his previous single releases.
R.A. – Dragging the Anchor
[click to listen]
Massachusetts hardcore up and comers R.A. (short for Rude Awakening) spent their first years touring North America in an effort to build a name for themselves. The hard work seems to have paid off; the band’s first LP is coming out on famed hardcore label Bridge 9 on July 1st, and the bone rattling aggression of “Dragging the Anchor” is a great primer. R.A. isn’t out to reinvent the hardcore wheel with their lumbering riffs, relentless drum blasts, and snarling vocals, but damn, if spinning the thing a few times isn’t a blast. Collateral Damage is available for streaming at NewNoise.
The Perms – The Parent Thing
I wrote about The Perms a couple years ago, and the band’s already goofy sense of humor has only gotten better over time, as evidenced by the Breaking Bad-goes-domestic video for “The Parent Thing”. It’s a fun video cooked up for a fun song; “The Parent Thing” a slice of power-pop with the right amount of stop-starts and “whoa-oh-oh”s that bands like Weezer and Barenaked Ladies have been trying to write for years.
Polaris Rose – Ocean Ending
On “Ocean Ending”, Polaris Rose specialize in the stomp ‘n strum flavor of melodic indie rock/folk that’s come into vogue over the last few years, but the song finds its character in the details. The subtle, glimmering electronics and gentle dynamics give the production an oceanic atmosphere, and the surprisingly muscular guitar riffs add edge to what could pass as simple beach music. Then again, that hidden depth and power makes “Ocean Ending” perfect beach music.
Anathema – Distant Satellites
Don’t worry, you’ll hardly notice it’s 8 minutes. Prog rock is a hard genre to master, making the synthesis of prog and electronica of Distant Satellites‘ title track even more impressive. UK critic darlings Anathema have never shied away from ambition, but the ornately arranged, stately grace of “Distant Satellites” has to be heard to be believed. Over eight minutes, the song rises, falls, rebuilds, and crescendos with the kind of thrill that epitomizes everything prog should be. Distant Satellites is out now, with rave reviews.
Smoke Idols – Come Clean
When it comes to inspiration, there’s a difference between being influenced by something, and straight-up being something. In that regard, Smoke Idols self-titled debut album isn’t so much inspired by Britpop as much as it is Britpop, care of a 2014 Spanish band. The album takes early-period Oasis snarl and dunks it in mid-period Oasis psychedelia; if you play opener “Come Clean” loud enough, you can almost hear it will itself into “Rock n’ Roll Star”. And I’m completely fine with that. Smoke Idols is free on the group’s bandcamp.