August 21, 2011

Today's Hotness: Crooked Fingers, LightGuides, Peg Simone

Crooked Fingers is a good band.
>> The opening number from Crooked Fingers' hotly anticipated seventh full-length Breaks In The Armor showed up on Soundcloud a few days back, which has made us all the more excited to have the record in our hot little hands. The opening verses of "Typhoon" crest and ebb while working a Southwestern motif; midway through the song things get increasingly dynamic, with some controlled, dense guitar crescendos and the introduction of a female vocal harmony. And while the distorted guitar continues through the rest of the song, it is spangled with what sounds like punchy arpeggiation on a vinyl-stringed acoustic guitar. And then suddenly there's a keyboard denoument. In a word, "Typhoon" is terrific -- check it out at the embed below. Merge releases Breaks In The Armor Oct. 11; one can pre-order the collection right here. Haven't seen the affecting album trailer yet? Have a look. Crooked Fingers, of course, is the primary vehicle of sometimes solo artist and former fronter of Archers of Loaf (and one-time member of Small 23, etc., etc., etc.) Eric Bachmann. A reunited Archers Of Loaf has been laying waste to theaters and nightclubs across North America for several months, and if you haven't been voraciously digesting YouTube videos of same, well, you clearly have a more active social life than we do. The quartet has four live dates in September, including a two-night stand at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco (ATTN: MATT GRAVES). Full dates here.

Crooked Fingers - Typhoon by MergeRecords

>> Scottish emo superlatives LightGuides crafts soaring guitar anthems, and we like soaring guitar anthems, so this is great, right? The trio -- anchored by the brothers Cowan on vocals/guitar and drums respectivly and abetted by second guitarist Martin Murray -- are days away from releasing the mini-album Samba Samba Samba, which features seven hook-filled rockers filled with amped-up sentiments and guitar work that alternates between slithering and smashing, between accented and flat-out huge. We're particularly partial to the bombastic thumper "Starboard Superhero," which opens with a chunky riff under a chirping lead, wastes little time getting to an undeniable and shouty chorus, and then stumbles into a wonderfully choppy bridge. It's ace; check the Soundcloud embed below. Samba Samba Samba will be released by the incredibly reliable Alcopop! Records Aug. 29 in the UK, on the typical CD and digital releases as well as a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt bundle, because that is how Alcopop! rolls. Pre-order that jawnsawn right here. LightGuides are in the midst of a 12-date UK tour with labelmates Jumping Ships supporting, and have apparently already recorded some or all of a follow-up EP (no word on when we'll be hearing that). Rock.

Starboard Superhero by alcopop

>> The appearance of Oktoberfest-styled or pumpkinized beer is a sure sign that the short, dark and spooky days are coming, and to complement those beers and days it's nice to have some seasonal music. Our top-of-mind recommendations for autumn listening typically begin with The Replacements' All Shook Down, although these days we may just as soon reach for Greg Lyon's wonderul 2010 solo outing Nowhere Near Poughkeepsie. But New York City-based music lifer Peg Simone, who we're told has been playing in bands for 25 years, has a smartly understated strummer with impressionist vocals that we think marvelously suits the fall. "Wait For Night" is one of a planned series of songs Ms. Simone is releasing in the lead-up to her sixth, as-yet-untitled record, which is slated to grace new release bins in 2012. The tune reminds us a bit of Barbara Manning's more free-styled compositions, like "Aramoana." Simone's most recent collection Secrets Of The Storm was issued by Radium/Table Of The Elements last year.

Peg Simone - Wait For Night by PlanetaryOnlinePR

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