Friday, March 29, 2019

New (ish) Stuff from Lots of Friends: Sharkmuffin, Lyons, Yawn Mower, Lowlight, Dentist

Yawn Mower released a new EP of 90s covers last week.

Catching Up

Lots of travel and just a lack of motivation have led to a big backup in the old CoolDad "stuff I want to tell you about" file. I'm gonna try and kick out a couple of album reviews this weekend; but, in the meantime, here are some shorter form items that deserve your attention.

Sharkmuffin, "Fate"

Sharkmuffin will release EP, Gamma Gardening, via Exploding In Sound Records on April 4th. Last week, the band gave us single "Fate." It's a loping, dreamier version of Sharkmuffin's usual noisy, left-of-center sound.

There's a release show for Gamma Gardening on April 5th at Brooklyn's ALPHAVILLE. that also features Haybaby, Catty, and Gustaf.

Lyons, "Islands"

Asbury park post-punk, dream pop five-piece, Lyons, have been on a bit of a hiatus as a couple of their members took some maternity leave. The band are gearing up for a return; and, a couple of weeks ago, they released a video for single "Islands." The clip, directed by Stu-Stu Studios and Eric Hackler, captures the moody vibe of the song through the use of black and white, slow motion, and images of the natural beauty of Lyons's home locale. The song features the chiming guitars and haunting vocals that I've missed so much over the last few months and has me pining for the band's return.

Yawn Mower, Why Work Harder Than You Have To

Last weekend at The Saint, Yawn Mower (and friends) celebrated the release of the band's latest EP for Mint 400 Records. Songwriting, according to Biff and Chick, is hard. With that in mind, the duo released another EP of covers called Why Work Harder Than You Have To. This one is 90s-themed, featuring songs by They Might Be Giants ("Dr. Worm"), Beck ("Fume"), The Promise Ring ("The Jersey Shore"), The Presidents of the United States of America ("Lump"), and Tom Petty ("You Don't Know How It Feels").

And, while the band would tell you they chose to do another covers EP out of laziness, the attention to detail on all of the songs reveals a level of effort you might not expect given the EP's title. Expanding on the band's live, two-piece format, the songs here feature trumpet, melodica, and bass.

As a longtime They Might Be Giants fan, "Dr. Worm" is a standout track for me. "Fume," at least to me, is a Beck deep cut -- a song from the Loser EP -- from that most Yawn Mower-esque Beck era. All of the songs, though, fit well with the overall quirky and not-too-serious Yawn Mower vibe.

Why Work Harder Than You Have To is available now.

Lowlight, "Give It a Minute"

Way back at the beginning of March, Lowlight released, "Give It a Minute," the second single from their upcoming Telegraph Hill Records release, Endless Bummer. The song has a rumbling, Western vibe to it; and I joked with lead-singer Renee Maskin when I first heard it, "If 'Burkhalter' was your The Big Lebowski, this is your The Ballad of Buster Scruggs." And, while I was kidding, I think that does get at the cinematic feel Lowlight bring to all of their songs. Even without an accompanying video, "Give It a Minute" spools out like a road movie before your eyes.

"Give It a Minute" is available now via all the streaming platforms.

Lowlight will be playing at FM in Jersey City on April 5th with Babraham Lincoln, Fairmont, and Gillian. They'll also be playing a couple of times at Metuchen's Franklin Music Fest along with a bunch of our friends. That runs from April 12th through 14th.

Dentist, "Alone in the Garden"

While we were all together galavanting around Austin for South By Southwest, Dentist premiered their video for Night Swimming track, "Alone in the Garden." The band, once again, worked with director Dana Yurcisin and producer Biff Swenson ("The Latter"). The team take the "performance clip" format and turn it on its head with a wild and frantic video that mirrors the tense and stressed out vibe of both the song and Night Swimming as a whole. Unsurprisingly, the clip has a similar aesthetic to the video for "The Latter," combining some trippy animation with the live action.

Dentist play Asbury Park Yacht Club on April 6th with Slow Caves. They'll also be at Franklin Music Fest on April 13th.

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