Alt Pop

The sweet, slacker pop of Isador Kaufman

Isador Kaufman’s debut EP, Scattered Efforts, is a “collection of songs about happy and sad.” It’s his first solo album after his former band, Watergate Sandals, disbanded in 2017. “I was in a bit of a creative rut for a while there,” Kaufman says, and is grateful to have re-found the creative energies to make Scattered Efforts. Some tracks have a bit of a Mac Demarco thing while others have a sometimes spacey, sometimes beachy psych rock feel. The simple description of “Pop” does not do this work justice. It’s an honest and raw collection, written, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Kaufman himself. He recorded and mixed on Pro Tools then mastered songs on an old Foster 4 track cassette player he bought off Craigslist. As a first effort at production, we’re impressed. We’re also impressed that he decided to donate 100% of the proceeds from EP sales to Planned Parenthood. Stay tuned for tour dates and his second album, which is in the works as we speak. Like we say, stay tuned. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

   

New Track: "Eden Vision" - Pleasure Systems

“Eden Vision,” the new single from Pleasure Systems, invites from an ascending, ethereal point of entry. The rhythm gradually awakens, ushering the narrator out of bed. Coming to grips with one’s reality in a forthright manner, there’s a nostalgia for the past as one experiences the aftermath of grief. The weight of those moments often is self-contained as the exterior world breezes by.

   

Nikki's Wives release music video for latest single "Lemonade"

Nikki’s Wives released their uplifting alt-rock song “Lemonade” this past February, and now it has a music video to accompany it. The hilariously yellow-themed video stars the band and - as you one might expect - lots of lemons. The comedic interactions between the band members add an exciting layer to the already anthemic choruses and hard pounding drums driving the song forward. The band recently spent time recording at the Hollywood Hills home featured in the video and promise to release more music soon from these sessions. The band’s 2018 debut EP Motor Court can be streamed now on all major platforms and, if their upcoming music is anything like it, the odds are good that they will continue their rise. - Rene Cobar

   

New Track: "Cinderella" - Instupendo

Aidan Peterson, a.k.a. Instupendo, recently shared a new single “Cinderella,” featured on the forthcoming EP Boys by Girls (due out on June 5). Establishing an elegant atmosphere of contemplation, the first person narrative swims in a placid, confessional composition. However, while the song appears to come from the point of view of a hesitant admirer, protective instincts are also voiced/revealed. Hovering between a daydreaming ideal and the hope that it translates into a reality, one waits to see how the story plays out.

   

Bill Waters celebrates EP release at Trans-Pecos on 04.30

Bill Waters may not spend much time on social media promoting his music, but that may be because his songs speak for themselves. Waters' 2017 dreamy retro-pop EP Humid is laced with a heavy dose of laid-back guitar tunes, splendid drum fills, and mellow verses that seamlessly transition into reverb-drenched choruses. His second entry, Honey Hi appears to follow the same formula, and yet expands the palette of baroque pop that characterized the early Last Shadow Puppets super-group, adding a touch of the chillwave of bands like Washed Out. While you won’t find much info on the new album, Bill Waters does have an album release show at Trans-Pecos in Brooklyn on April 30th. Check out his song “It's True” from Honey Hi below. - Rene Cobar