Photo Credit: Mike White
EXTRA NUTS: Y’all wanna hear some bona fide, not-final mixes of new material from Hot Fudge? Well, then, check out In Progress—Not Final Mixes, the band’s new four-song thing. It’s been four years since the group’s debut album, and there’s been some musical transition along the way. Its heavy ’70s-ish psych-rock/album-rock muscles are flexing hard on this new stuff. Hell, the first track, “Heavier Than Ever,” is so Red Octopus-era Jefferson Starship you won’t believe it. “The Code” is a fairly straightforward (as much as possible) deep-groove-rock jam, too, but the pace picks up and heads right into melodic power-pop territory with “Tidal Wave Forms.” The final track, “Shameless,” is a parking-lot party soundtrack just waiting for the party to begin. There’s a slight Hüsker Dü-ish vocal melody going on that I can’t exactly place, but my ears know it. Anyway, for supposedly unfinished work, this is pretty snappy and sweet and doesn’t disappoint at all. Dig it at hotfudgeathens.bandcamp.com.
HEAVY SIGH: This first of this year’s Summer Singles series is out on Moeke Records. The track comes courtesy of Kissing Booth, the collaboration between Four Eyes’ Erin Lovett and Futo’s Patrick Brick. Yet again, Kissing Booth delivers a tune so gently beautiful and tenderly sweet it sent me into immediate pause, and I had to catch my breath. It’s named “Princess Diana,” and it packs a heavy emotional punch in under two-and-a-half minutes. In other news, Moeke’s Jesse Mangum says this year’s series is going to feature exclusively “female-fronted bands and solo acts… because why not?” Catch this new tune over at moekerecords.bandcamp.com, and dig into Kissing Booth at kissingboothlovesyou.bandcamp.com.
NATTY LIGHT: There’s a new three-piece band in town named Natalie Cladd that is composed of three dudes and a “fourth imaginary member named ‘Natalie.’” Man, I don’t know. That’s really corny. At any rate, they’ve got one song out named “Inappropriate,” and it’s kind of a pub-rock tune that is catchy enough and has fairly good bones. I don’t really understand the lyrics, which seem intentionally too clever by half, but there are some decent rhymes in them nonetheless. Follow along at facebook.com/NatalieCladdBand.
FAST FASHION: A really neat show is happening Saturday, July 7 at the Caledonia Lounge. I say “neat” because that seems more genteel than saying “cool,” which is what I really mean. Anyway, on this night you can catch Superbody, with its intelligent yet completely danceable wave-pop, Lambda Celsius and her minimal synth mastery, B|_ank and DJ Ruby. Chances are good to very good it’ll be a warm-weather sweat fest, so do your best to bring it on. Check out things in advance via facebook.com/SUPERBODYPOP, facebook.com/lambdacelsius and facebook.com/capitalB.verticalbar.underscore.a.n.k.
ROLL THE WINDOWS DOWN: Hank Sullivant (MGMT, Kuroma, The Whigs) just released his first official solo album, Burn in the USA. It comes courtesy of Athens label Laser Brains, and it’s a solid record with some hidden surprises. Throughout its nine tracks, there’s a determined jangle-pop orientation, but this often functions merely as a musical base. The smoothed-out psychedelia of “Lemonade City” is the first major high point of the album and is quickly followed by the title track, which scoots along in a less heady way but remains lithe and light all the way through. Not a bad summertime record at all, which means if you want to hear it in context, you should go ahead and listen. For more information, see facebook.com/laserbrainsrecords.
CORRECTION: I erroneously told y’all the wrong deadline for applications to the Classic City Fringe Festival. The correct deadline is Aug. 31. This year’s CCFF happens Oct. 18–21. See classiccityfringefestival.com and facebook.com/classiccityfringefestival for more information.