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Gift Wrap (a rib of B Boys) unveils cerebral LP and single "Losing Count"

We have a deep fascination with cerebral pop, and B Boys bassist/vocalist Brendon Avalos just gave us a yummy sonic treat of that kind with his brand new project Gift Wrap. Debut single and LP title track 'Losing Count' (video streaming below) sounds like a tribute to some of the most subversive avant-pop acts of the '80s, with its references to Devo's robotic riffs and vocals, Brian Eno's brainy lyrics and Wall of Voodoo's synth-driven drones, which open up in the chorus after several verses dominated by brief sonic elements in staccato. Check out also the other single on the record, "Either Way."





Forth Wanderers celebrate Sub Pop debut at Market Hotel 05.05

Forth Wanderers has long been a band with well-earned cred in DIY circles. The Montclair, New Jersey group’s to the point songwriting and classic indie rock arrangements aren’t a hard sell, but the band’s debut LP with Sub Pop Records finetunes the sound with great success. The self-titled release poises the group for bigger things. It’s self-aware, never indulgent, and full of earnest energy. On May 5, a week after the album’s release, Forth Wanderers will headline Market Hotel with a stellar lineup featuring Ó (fka Eskimeaux) and Trace Mountains. – Cameron Carr





The Deli Philly’s May Record of the Month: Psychic Cruise – Honey Radar

Honey Radar’s lo-fi poetics are mesmerizing, gritty, and blunt. Raspy drums, straightforward riffs, and Jason Henn’s steady diction make the melody of each track feel urgent, a characteristic that effortlessly stitch cuts like “Pinwheel” and “Pan Music” into the memory of listeners. Much like 2016’s Black Cartoon, Honey Badar’s recent 7-inch Psychic Cruise feels like a subtle psych homage to indie icons like Guided by Voices, infused with the contemplative reverie of The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Opening with “Untitled Fox,” the EP’s first anthem is delectably retro without being blindsided by sheer nostalgia. Tambourine, guitar, and the swagger of Henn’s vocals foster a sense of latent awareness, intertwined with nonchalance. Brief yet notable, the track sets the tone for Psychic Cruise’s progression, ushering its audience deeper into the labyrinth of the songwriter’s kaleidoscopic yet audibly muted visions.

“Knocked Out” brings to mind Yellow Fever’s “Psychedelic” or a cleaner sharper foil to Spacin’s “Ego-go.” Its persistent chords and rhythm become the prelude to Henn’s subdued yet alluring croons. “Psychic Cruise,” the 7-inch’s titular anthem, is cinematic in a washed-out, dreamy way that brings to mind the garage-y thrill of Bleached’s “No Friend of Mind” or earworms like L.A. Witch’s “Get Lost.” The amalgamation of Henn’s voice and the hiss of snare result in a short yet vivid portrait of wanderlust as metaphor.

With equal concision, Honey Radar’s “Medium Mary Todd” unfolds without hesitation, allowing the swell of buzzing guitar to cast a spell of sorts, making the recording feel like a vision or a rock ‘n’ roll fever dream. The track channels the atmospheric mood of Far-Out Fangtooth and the frenetic energy of Jay Reatard’s softest interior. The perfect primer to Psychic Cruise’s final track, “Medium Mary Todd” keeps the tempo and mood of the 7-inch’s end palpably visceral. As “Moon Director” begins, fuzzy riffs and cymbals cultivate a layer of swirling sounds that force the audience to listen closer as a nearly instrumental end collides with clips of conversation and would-be transmissions. In its final moments “Moon Director” feels more like a commentary on communication than an homage to mankind’s achievements, perhaps suggesting that progress often times coincides with chaos.

Easy to consume in one sitting, yet difficult to dismiss, Psychic Cruise is a salve for the listless. These songs will reel you in. – Dianca London





Oakland's Sun Kin releases tribute to grandmother, "Honey, I'm Whole"

Sun Kin is the project of Oakland-based Kabir Kumar, a baroque indie pop project with psychedelic sensabilities. Kumar’s most recent release is the single “Honey, I’m Whole” (streaming below), which is a tribute to his grandmother. The tender lyricism of the song is contrasted with the upbeat arrangements, delivering a heavy dose of nostalgia that is much more sweet than it is bitter. In Kumar’s own words, “This song is about wishing that someone you’ve loved forever could meet someone you just fell in love with.” - Lilly Milman





New Track: "Folding Like Honey" - Johnny Utah

The first glimpse into the next album from Jacob Sullenger, a.k.a. Johnny Utah, has emerged. “Folding Like Honey” is dipped in a deep, funk groove. Those sticky keys, with the hushed, soulful vocals, and the swirl of sirens in the background and chimes in the fore create a smooth, confessional love song. A tale of mixed signals and affection is unveiled.

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