Shoegazer

Queue bring dreamy indie rock to Mercury Lounge 01.03

Earlier this year, Queue released “Float Away,” a single that accurately sums up the band both in sound and name. The melody seems to glimmer through a mist with reverberant guitar echoing alongside airy vocal harmonies. “Float Away” was the first track the band released after finding a united home in New York, members previously spread out across Philadelphia and D.C. It’s safe to expect a fair bit more from Queue in 2019 with the group currently spending time recording at Brooklyn’s Degraw Studios. But you can catch the band early in the year opening for CUTTS at Mercury Lounge on January 3. – Cameron Carr

   

The lovely electric pop of Madeline Kenney’s “Perfect Shapes”

After last year’s debut “Night Night at First Landing,” we were curious what direction Madeline Kenney’s newest album would take. Mercy me, we were not disappointed. "Perfect Shapes" is a multi-genre, multi-layered album with touches of synth infusions partnered with melodic bass lines and touches of shoegazy guitar melodies all grounded by that strong, twang-touched voice. A beautiful key to the success of Kenney’s latest is her ability to keep us moving with her throughout each song’s journey. Empowering snappy songs transition into melodic dreamy driftings that are in a land far away from rock n roll--kudos to the spaceship that flies into “Your Art”--but let’s be clear: this electric pop album is centered around solid musicianship, fantastic compositions and lyrics we can relate to. Brava, lady. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor 

   

"Best of Nashville" winners Sad Baxter play Drkmttr Collective on 01.13

It's the holidays, which means the release calendar has wound down and any shows you might want to see have something to do with either Christmas cheer or the bombastic observation of another passing year. That doesn't mean you shouldn't start filling your calendar with shows to see in 2019, though. Sludge pop masters Deezy and Alex of Sad Baxter will play Drkmttr Collective on January 13th, bringing their grunge-tinged sound to the all-ages DIY venue. Their latest EP So Happy showed up on Bandcamp's Best Albums of 2018 list, along releases by The Beths, Car Seat Headrest, Camp Cope, and Let's Eat Grandma. Plus, Nashville Scene handed Sad Baxter the Best Band of 2018 Award. Regardless of their winnings, Sad Baxter will play you their heavy tracks with the usual angst live at Drkmttr Collective on January 13th, so head down there and ring in -- belatedly -- a new year with them. Take a listen to So Happy below. - Will Sisskind

   

Perhapsy's blissful “Kingdom” after a dark journey

Since last year’s lovely-brilliant EP “The,” we’ve been awaiting the next move from Oakland’s own Perhapsy, solo project of artist Derek Barber (Curls, Bells Atlas). The new album, “Kingdom Starlight Bliss,” weaves an energy both soothing and invigorating. A shoegazing lover’s dream, songs are textured with the intricate guitar work that earned Barber his mad respect. Resonating melodies reach an almost intergalactic quality (check out The Curse!). His sweet vocals express emotions that are at times darker than most of his previous work: sad stories sprinkled with tough emotions and epiphanies; references to dooming relationships and dark times ahead. But as Barber puts it, “Kingdom” is an album full of endings, changes, and the eventual sparkle at the end of the tunnel. Give it a listen and check out those sweet images, too (did we mention he's also a cartoonist?)....Enjoy! - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

   

Balms’ new single “Candle” is a grungy rocker’s dream

Balms’ anticipated album Mirror hits the streets in February 2019 and the intriguing taste they’ve given us so far is their newest single, “Candle.” Self-proclaimed bummer pop, this chugging indie rock jam might make us a little more anxious if it weren’t for the cooing, sweet vocals shining through the darkness. It’s like Grizzly Bear took a dip in the grunge bath and we want to jump in. Every part of this song—the composition, the lyrics, the feelings—is a multilayered mélange that’s hard to shake. “I want your soul,” he says, a charming, echoing call. Songs like this are why categories like dream rock exist. -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor