September 17, 2011

Today's Hotness: It Hugs Back, Snakes Say Hisss, Edelweiss

It Hugs Back
>> Kent, England-based indie rock phenoms It Hugs Back have returned to action and are poised to issue a sophomore set. The title and release date have not yet been disclosed, but in an email to the dreamy quartet's mailing list It Hugs Back announced a two-week tour and said its live set would not only include material from the planned sophomore release, but also a couple songs currently slated for a third, we-presume-yet-to-be-recorded full-length. Formed in 2006, It Hugs Back has previously issued the debut full-length Inside Your Guitar -- featuring the undeniable pop tune "Work Day" -- as well as a compilation of earlier EPs titled The Record Room. The band was also kind enough to submit for questioning for our late, lamented Show Us Yours feature, which we hope to resuscitate some day. We also hope to have details about It Hugs Back's sophomore set as soon as they are available. Stream "Now + Again" from Inside Your Guitar below.

now + again by it hugs back

>> The name Snakes Say Hisss was something of a footnote to us when 20-year-old Sam Skarstad generated some acclaim upon the release of a solo set in 2007. Folks may not remember, but Mr. Skarstad released that year a fairly compelling full-length called Serkus, which got noticed by Clicky Clicky here and Said The Gramophone here, among others. And so it was Skarstad's name that raised our antennae when we got an email about Snakes Say Hisss last week, as the Philly-born-but-now-predictably-Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo only got passing mention in our own review and quickly faded from our mind. As the pair's instrumentation and rhythm tracks are primarily if not entirely synth-based, SSS's tunes are not generally in what we'd consider Clicky Clicky's wheelhouse. But the arranging, dynamics and melodic sense of the duo -- which also includes Jamie Ayers -- make the single "Right Behind You" and its flip-side "Comes And Goes" easy on the ears. Stream the A-side via the Soundcloud embed below, and "Comes And Goes" at RCRDLBL right here. The single was released in a limited edition of 300, and half of those are already gone, according to the Famous Class label web site. Snakes Say Hisss previously released the full-length (packaged with 'zine) I'll Be Lovin' You in 2007.

Snakes Say Hisss - Right Behind You by yvynyl

>> We hate to latch on to the incredibly young age of the Stroudsberg, PA-based quartet Edelweiss (because, really, the fact that they are from Stroudsberg is almost as unlikely), because that is usually the sort of thing we'd argue does not matter. But the band's new EP Pre-Columbians is remarkably accomplished, so the fact its members' average age -- average -- is 16 is kind of mind-blowing. Perhaps moreso because Edelweiss traffics in '80s-tinged, UK-styled guitar pop, a sound and era that it is mathematically impossible for guitarist Niko Porlier, drummer Coby Porlier, bassist Tommy Vitale and guitarist Tony Young to have experienced firsthand. So we hate to latch on to it, but there, we did it. These guys are young, and their music is great (albeit not overly original). Pre-Columbians presents songs that sound as if they draw from greats such as Bloc Party and The House Of Love. The song "(No)" is its most potent calling card, an uptempo toe-tapper appointed with cascading and noodly guitar leads and shouty backing vocals that sounds capable of starting a sensation for the quartet. Hit the stream below to hear for yourself. Pre-Columbians was self-released Sept. 13 and you can buy it from Edelweiss at its Bandcamp page right here. The upstart act has a handful of gigs lined up into the fall, check them out below.

09.23 -- Starlight Ballroom -- Philadelphia, PA
09.27 -- Arlene's Grocery -- New York, NY
10.18 -- The Studio at Webster Hall -- New York, NY
10.22 -- Lit Lounge -- New York, NY
10.28 -- Planet Trog Entertainment Complex -- Whitehall, PA

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