Mitchell Hillman listens to more local music than just about anyone in the Valley. He presents his picks for best new songs in his column, Right Hear, Right Now.
Sundressed — "Limelight" with Charles Barth
The moments leading up to the release of Sundressed's new full-length album are killing me with anticipation. "Limelight," featuring Charles Barth of Saddles, is the latest single from the album, and it's another killer track from your favorite weasel punks. Each song Sundressed has released over the last few years has gotten incrementally better. The songwriting has entered an entirely new phase for the band, and it's hardly the band it was years ago. The addition of Charles Barth here is genius and a perfect match for Trevor Hedges. It's damned difficult to not play it on repeat and marvel at the vocals, the composition, and the whole damn thing from beginning to end. The new album will be released on Animal Style Records later this spring; until then, you can spin this and "Auto Pilot" over and over again.
Never Let This Go — "Break You"
Never Let This Go is just about to release their new record, Sleepless Nights, and "Break You" is the preview single/video for the release. It's a great pop-punk song from this brilliant young crew. It's got a great guitar hook, melancholy vocals, impressive rhythmic propulsion, and after a couple of listens, you're snagged in its net and singing it to yourself. It's emo to be sure, but it never once enervates the listener. The video is expertly shot by Jacob Reynolds, who seems to be the man behind the camera for a lot of up-and-coming bands in this town. If nothing else, it makes you eagerly anticipate the release of Sleepless Nights this Friday at the Rebel Lounge, where they will be joined by Something like December, Sunday At Noon, and Summaries.
Photo by Julian7
The Woodworks — "Anthem of a Complex Creature"
One would never expect an acoustic EP from a band that rocks as hard as the Woodworks, but on February 10, they will do just that with Au Naturel. "Anthem of a Complex Creature" is the first taste of this exciting turn in direction. Here we find the Woodworks joined by fiddlerKevin Wiscombe (Dirty Sunset), taking on something of a gypsy folk mantle with a dizzying, danceable, seductive number. This song is not only an exercise in the range of the band musically, but this is a downright showcase for Solo Lounsbury's amazing vocals. She gives a performance of her prowess that has only been hinted at in their previous recordings. I have a feeling this stripped-down release will be every bit as powerful as their most unrelenting rocker.
Painted Bones — "Live This Lie"
Painted Bones have returned with a new single, and there are rumors afloat that a full-length album by the band is in the works. It also appears the lineup has changed slightly since the release of their debut EP last year. "Live This Lie" is what's slinging on the radio, and it's heavier than hell, with a breakneck speed that never relents. Somehow, over the musical raging, the vocals are completely clear and slightly vicious. To be fair, this isn't a lyrical masterpiece; it's a list of platitudes and familiar phrases strung together to be slightly cohesive with a touch of either melodrama or irony. That's fine, because the chorus is catchy as hell, and the meaning could be ironic or not, but it's vague enough that you can have it mean anything you want, I suppose. I just dig that it rocks hard.
Breakup Shoes — "Another Good Morning"
I think I've seen Breakup Shoes on the bills of a couple of shows I missed, and they seem to keep good company. The group dropped the three-song Tuba EP the second day of this year. Breakup Shoes is Nick Zawisa, John Macleod, Derrick Lafforthun, Tim Tuanaki, and Matthew Witsoe, and I assume they either play instruments or sing or both. "Another Good Morning" is the centerpiece of this EP, and my favorite track. There is something about the lush guitars and the languid vocals in addition to delicate instrumentation throughout; the whole thing is beautiful and relaxed. This is music infused with a Saturday afternoon vibe when you've got nothing to do.