Bear Ghost — "Let Us Vote"
It was a complete surprise when Bear Ghost dropped a new single this week, so quick on the heels of releasing one of the best local albums of the year. It was even more of a surprise that Mario Yniguez, Dalin Gonzalez, and Matt Storto of Harrison Fjord joined them for guest vocals. Topping the list of surprises is that "Let Us Vote" is an upfront political song that doesn't pull any punches. Not surprisingly, the new song sounds like it would have fit perfectly on Bear Ghost's Blasterpiece, musically speaking. It may be less than two minutes long, but it packs a hell of a punch, with a healthy dose of wry commentary on the current political atmosphere. This song takes place in the mind of the political villain, and it's an interesting vantage to choose for a song. If you weren't paying attention, this would just be another rousing, danceable indie rock song, but if you want to get inside the song, just check out the lyrics on their Bandcamp page. It explains the tune, and one read of the lyrics will illuminate the impetus behind the song as our villain thinks, "I will leave you ruined. ... I'm inevitable / I'll shove it through your news and lie lie lie." In short, pay attention, not just to this song, but generally speaking as well. Depending on the outcome of this year's election, Bear Ghost's next album could well be full of rallying cries and political anthems. They could even get a concept album out of that.
Dogbreth — "Cups And Wrappers"
Dogbreth have announced recently that they will be releasing their third full-length album, Second Home, on August 5 on Asian Man Records (AJJ, Diners). This will be their first release since 2013's stunning Sentimental Health. With that announcement came the pre-release single "Cups And Wrappers," and it's about the warmest indie pop song that you could possibly hope for from Dogbreth. It's not surprising that this song has only been out for a couple weeks, and has already caught the attention of national press such as Stereogum and SPIN. While I was already excited for their next record (along with labelmates Diners), this song certainly whets the appetite for the forthcoming album. This song has such an easygoing demeanor that it just flows over your soul. If they don't shoot a video for this with a '90s MTV vibe, they are missing an opportunity. Maybe a kitschy opportunity, but a good one nevertheless. Not too many things make me look forward to August no matter where I live, because the weather seems to be equally stupid everywhere, but this is making me want to fast forward to hear the rest of the album.
Jane N' The Jungle — "Shake Me Out"
I have been eagerly anticipating the release of new material from Jane N' The Jungle all year, and a brand new video for "Shake Me Out" is the first taste of what's to come. It took me way too long to catch up to this band, but once I finally did, it was difficult to let go. They make memorable, catchy indie rock that runs a stylistic gamut from near Americana to nearly hard rock, and they do it well. I've seen them so many times live now that I know a dozen of their songs, and while "Shake Me Out" isn't their greatest tune, it is the perfect choice for the first single for the record. And that's not criticism of the song. It's praise for the band. This is the perfect dose to get people hooked, get them to a show, and realize that this is the tip of the musical iceberg with this group. Not only is the song addictive, but the video is beautifully directed by Rachael Smith (Ray² Photography) showing the band rocking out and getting their groove on in a warehouse. Check it out below.
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Holy Fawn — "Reykur"
I'm pretty convinced that Ryan Osterman is not of this plane of existence. No matter what band he is fronting, the image is that of a poetic elf writing odes to nature from Middle Earth. Osterman composes songs that sound like how the cover of a Dungeons and Dragons book looks. "Reykur" is the new single from Holy Fawn and it comes relatively quick on the heels of December's debut Realms EP. Like the recordings found on their EP, this song only hints at what it will become when performed live on stage. I can't recommend seeing them live enough, because the live reflections of their recorded work is an entirely different and completely engaging experience. We are talking about the single though, and it begins aggressively, with a wall of guitars right up front. The aggression is tempered by angelic vocals that lead into an ambient shoegaze piece that must be listened to on headphones for maximum enjoyment. It's a swirling, dizzying affair that drowns you in sound while the imagery surrounds you in smoke and ash.
Genre — "Speak Now"
I have been champing at the bit for the entire time I've been writing Right Hear, Right Now to have a song by Genre to feature. At last, Genre has released a new single, and it completely redefines their sound. While both The Weepy Omelette and Scrape Your Voices on the Stars were fine records, they each had their own sound and they were in fact a slightly different band on each one. While Zac Markey and Corey Gomez have always been the anchors in Genre, they now have Trevor Denton (Sun Ghost) on board, and they have never sounded better. "Speak Now" is the perfect pick for a single from their first full-length album Legendary Rock Act. The entire album is an astounding success, and "Speak Now" is only one of many highlights and quite a few eligible singles from the album. Still, this song is a standout track and the obvious single because it's simply perfect pop punk, no more, no less — all the vitriol and none of the calories. It's as perfect a song for skateboarding as it is for slam dancing or just rocking the fuck out. That said, you won't believe how good the rest of the album is from beginning to end. Genre will release Legendary Rock Act on cassette on Saturday, June 4, at Bud's Glass Joint in Phoenix. They will be joined by Bogan Via, Hollowpoint Vigils, and Kevin Doll.