CORRECTION: A couple of weeks ago, I told you about a new, young artist named Ryan Ward. In the course of this, I mentioned his band released an EP, One Summer, last year. Well, that was incorrect. It was Ward himself who released the EP, and it was back in 2020. I regret the error and wish a speedy recovery to all affected. Find Ward on Spotify.
KEEP DEATH ALIVE: Lots of activity has been happening lately in the Tears For The Dying camp. Although the goth/deathrock-oriented Tears has existed as a project and creative outlet for leader Adria Stembridge for a very long time, the band’s profile—and fanbase—has risen exponentially over the past few years. The group now features a fresh lineup composed of Stembridge (vocals/guitar), Joshua Broughton (guitar), Michael Garrett (bass), Pilot (keyboards) and Mick Payne (drums/backing vocals). This week the group will wrap shows in Athens and Nashville with Seattle’s Nox Novacula and Asheville, NC’s Secret Shame. In other news, the band is currently working on its upcoming LP, Eyes Wide Open in the Dark, with producer Tom Ashton (Clan of Xymox, March Violets) but no release date is yet set. In non-band news, Stembridge and Gregory Sanders (Pylon Reenactment Society) host a bi-weekly, all-ages goth—along with post-punk, punk and industrial—karaoke night named Dark Entries. It happens at Buvez from 7–10 p.m., and its next instance is Friday, Apr. 22. For more information and to catch up on anything you may have missed, please see tearsforthedying.bandcamp.com, facebook.com/TearsForTheDying and facebook.com/darkentriesathens.
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN SOUND: Elf Power has announced its new album, Artificial Countrysides, as well as its new relationship with longtime North Carolina label Yep Rock Records. A press release notes that this is the group’s 14th album, but I’m betting at least a few ardent fans will dispute this number. At any rate, over the past couple of months the band released two singles from the album (“The Gas Inside The Tank” and “Undigested Parts”). The album is slated for release July 15, with the band beginning a run of tour dates a couple of days before, but you can pre-order it now over at ffm.to/artificialcountrysides. To check out the singles, head to Spotify or the streaming service of your choice, and to keep up, check out elfpower.com and facebook.com/elfpower.
EARWORM SUPERSTAR: Over the years there have been a handful of artists that exist in Athens but, assuming a particular artist’s trajectory continues upward, seem to only be passing through our scene. The latest case in point is Sarah Mootz. Her unabashedly pop orientation is highly contemporary and enjoys large production qualities that are many steps away from her initial recordings a few years ago. Her latest single, the second this year so far, is “Something” and features twin vocals between Mootz and Elijah Johnston. Normally, I’m really hard-pressed to enjoy this type of mid-throat singing—not exactly vocal fry, but close—that can sound both exhausted and urgent, but I’ve been enjoying Mootz’s music lately. She has a full-length release planned for later this year. To listen in, find her on Spotify, and for other up-to-date items, please see facebook.com/sarahmootz and sarahmootz.com.
RETURN BY SEA: Golden Harmonium, the musical project of New York transplant Austin Emerson, released its seven-years-in-the-making album Nostos last month. Everything here (guitars, drums, bass, keyboard, synth, programming, vocals, trumpet and percussion), as well as all recording and producing, was handled by Emerson. I’m not sure why it took seven years, though. Maybe he was caught in traffic. Anyway, these eight tracks form a relatively more cohesive collection of songs than 2020’s Subjects of The Cave. Among these tracks, most of which can loosely be categorized in the experimental-electronic-pop category, I’m most partial to the slowly unfolding “Twisted Lines” which—somewhat miraculously—features a solid reggae beat without any hint of a reggae melody. It’s not as jarring as that sounds, though, and is actually quite good. While this collection, as mentioned, flows a bit smoother, Emerson still has multiple musical tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not shy about rolling those sleeves up. Find this over at goldenharmonium.bandcamp.com.
THAT’S SIRS TO YOU AND ME: Longtime Athens musicians Tommy Jordan and William Tonks, who play and perform as Mr.JordanMr.Tonks, have a new album named Troubles. The full lineup of players on this release are the aforementioned on guitar, dobro, banjo and vocals, along with Mark Cooper Smith, Ben Jordan, John Neff and Eddie Gliken. The pair play a very nice style that can be generally attributed to a blend of old-time and bluegrass, but with some surprise selections one might not expect. To wit: their perfectly serviceable and somewhat pensive instrumental cover of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and a completely lovely version of The Squalls’ “Na Na Na Na.” Find this and enjoy over at mrjordanmrtonks.bandcamp.com.
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