July 15, 2012

Today's Hotness: White Laces, Soccer Mom, Airiel, Kestrels

White Laces' Moves, detail

>> White Laces are set to re-emerge next month, when Speakertree Records -- best known for releasing the LP version of Cloud Nothings' Turning On -- will issue the Richmond, VA-based space-pop quartet's hotly anticipated full-length debut Moves Aug. 21. The first single from the long-player is the track "Crawl/Collapse," a video for which is forthcoming and an embed of which you can stream below. The song serves as a tidy mission statement for where White Laces is in 2012, pushing and pulling at the parameters of well-crafted guitar-pop numbers until they start to lose their shape and shimmer like a noble gas under extreme pressure. And so we hear "Crawl/Collapse" almost immediately begin to rise off a rigid foundation of choppy guitar chords, getting lighter and lighter and stretching further and further until it is released into an ascending shaft of light for the song's final two-thirds. There is as yet no pre-order information for Moves, but watch the Speakertree Records blog here for signs of movement. White Laces have kept very busy over the past year writing and putting out a startling number of releases. For those of you keeping score at home, there was a split single with Philadelphia's Arches on Worthless Junk; a split 10" with fellow Richmond scenemates Snowy Owls on Harding Street Assembly Labs; and a cassette release of a live set put out by Bad Grrrrl. It's kind of exhausting, right? Dudes should sleep more. But that said, we are extremely eager to get our mitts on Moves when it comes out next month.

>> Let's gaze into our crystal ball at what's happening a month from tomorrow. No, not that... not that... uhhhhhmmmm.... right, this: Boston noise-pop heroes Soccer Mom are on a titanic bill at PA's Lounge in Somerville, MA on Thursday, Aug. 16. Shoegaze vets Airiel are on the bill, making what we imagine is a fairly rare local appearance, and C86- and emo-inspired Canadians Kestrels perform as well. A fourth act is being arranged, but this evening already qualifies as remarkable. Airiel is touring in support of the reissue of its Kid Games EP which will be released by Shelflife July 31; the original pressing was released in May and, apparently, sold like hotcakes made by someone without the foresight to have made more hotcakes in the first place. Kid Games contains four tracks, including the shimmering dreamer "Flashlight Tag," which is embedded below, and which is wholly beautiful. It helps that fronter Jeremy Wrenn sounds a fair bit like Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant. But that's just one dimension of the Chicago-based quartet, whose music boasts brilliant energy and sublime melodies. You'll find "Flashlight Tag" encased in vibrant reverb, appointed by tasteful synths, dense guitars jangling under six inches of echo into infinity. It's a brilliant song, and you would be well advised to buy the entire EP right now, right here. But wait! There's more! Kestrels will also be supporting a new release, the full length A Ghost History, which was issued by Sonic Unyon June 5th. You already know this because you read Chromewaves like a good little indie rock girl or boy, right? Just in case, click this link and read Frank Chromewaves' assessment of the full-length. Hint: if it is as good as the promo track "Dumb Angel," which is embedded below and which sounds like it hails straight from Slumberland Records' first heyday, then the entire record is tremendous. Soccer Mom, for its part, has begun recording new material, but there have been no publicly stated release plans as of yet. The Boston foursome issued its crushing 10" EP You Are Not Going To Heaven last October.

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