David Leaks releases new Single

“Nobody’s listening / Don’t know the world you’re in / You want someone to understand” croons David Leask in the first couple of lines of his new single “When You Think No One Loves You,” a sense of defenselessness trailing his every word. Leask has never been one to hold anything back from his audience in the music that he records, but he’s getting especially vulnerable with us in this latest release originally found on 2018’s Six in 6/8 EP. “When You Think No One Loves You” is a poetic ballad that calls upon its creator to remind us of what he can accomplish in the studio when the energy is flowing in the right direction, and it’s a great listen for anyone who likes modest pop melodies driven by a strong lead singer.

URL: https://davidleask.com/home

Lyrics aside, this instrumental arrangement is really poignant and bittersweet. The piano is mixed to appear streamlined, but there’s a lot of texture in its harmony for us to behold when listening at a slightly higher volume than most would. The instrumentation lends an emotional agency to the verses that probably wouldn’t have been present had a full band replaced the basic setup that Leask decided to go with in this song, and while it’s far from being an elaborate piece of classical music, it’s got a much more inventive design than a lot of the mainstream nonsense topping the charts lately have.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/15LH4ogJyfEaUsmWzODyZ4?si=xWUrMOv_Sl6pxjyS5Fhptw

“When You Think No One Loves You” is definitely not the most detailed composition that David Leask has recorded in his lifetime, but it’s a lovely autumnal ballad to be enjoyed by his dearest of fans this November just the same. Canadian singer/songwriters are having a landmark year right now, but among the more consistent and remarkable in skill is Leask, who shows us once again that he’s all about melodicism over muscularity in this most recent single. I’m interested in seeing how this does with American audiences, because if it’s able to capture some of that elusive publicity south of the border that it has domestically, David Leask could start an entirely new and exciting chapter in his long and storied career.

Kim Muncie

Parker Longbough LP Green and Gold/Drink the Hemlock

Guttural in one track, smothered in a synth’s playful harmony in another, the guitar parts that adorn the material we hear on the new Parker Longbough LP Green and Gold/Drink the Hemlock are at times reminiscent of early White Stripes records, 80s Seattle sludge and even the noise-laden riffs of Sonic Youth all at once, and yet they rarely translate as being overly experimental in songs like “Avalanche Beacon,” “Bad Attitude” and “We Go Golfing.” They define the narrative in Green and Gold/Drink the Hemlock far more than any other component does, but at the same time, they’re hardly the only sonic element in this album worth writing home about.

Parker Longbough’s vocal is never the centerpiece in this record; ironically, it’s only in the most vibrant of the string-driven tunes (“Sleep Comfortably,” “The Statement is the Answer” and “Rising Black”) that we experience its harmonic depth to any serious extent. Harmonies, riffs and rhythm are the primary way he chooses to communicate with listeners in Green and Gold/Drink the Hemlock, and although it’s an untraditional look by most mainstream standards, it’s a blueprint that his longtime fans have come to know, love and expect. Only time will tell for sure, but I really can see scores of new listeners may feeling swept with this new content for this precise reason.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/plongbough/

“Two Months Out,” “Breakdown the Acronyms,” “Avalanche Beacon” and “Governor’s (Butter) Cup” express so much to us through their textures that their lyrics often feel enormously enigmatic, but this doesn’t prevent us from enjoying the multifaceted construction of the songs at all. On the contrary, it’s as though the instrumentation is telling us one story alongside another being passionately sung by Parker Longbough, and despite the intricacies of the compositions, none of these tracks sound or feel overambitious at all. The music is gripping and even a little theatrical (especially towards the conclusion of “Burbank Safari”), but never woefully avant-garde in style.

Though some of these songs might be a little too much for the mainstream to handle, they’re by and large some of the more muscular numbers that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this December. “The Statement is the Answer” sports a slimy lead guitar pumped up by an old fashioned punk beat, and while it’s a heavy-handed hybrid, it’s far more melodic than many of the similarly stylized singles I’ve heard in the last couple of months have been. Harmonies are laced with destructive distortion and apocalyptic noise in Green and Gold/Drink the Hemlock, but for some discriminating audiophiles, the resulting cocktail will prove too intoxicating a treat to resist.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Green-Gold-Drink-Hemlock-Explicit/dp/B07Y5TS6C4

There’s really no need for debate – Green and Gold/Drink the Hemlock is Parker Longbough’s best and most well-rounded album to see widespread release thus far, and even if it serves as the antithesis of pop’s bittersweet lyrical ironies and soft-swinging electronic beats, it dishes out a shot of adrenaline in a season that was really hurting for some fresh energy. If you’ve never heard his work prior to now, I’d recommend picking up this latest LP sooner than later, as it’s definitely a great way of getting to know Longbough’s one of a kind style of postmodern indie rock.

Kim Muncie

The Beaumonts – This Is Austin

Drugs, sex, Jesus and a telecaster’s twang. That’s pretty much the Beaumont formula and hell, if it isn’t enough to make your whole goddamn day.  

On their first live record, This Is Austin, recorded appropriately enough at Austin’s The White Horse, the five Lubbock cowboys turn in a monstrously hilarious best of compilation in front of a live audience. Whether it’s singing about Toby Keith (“Toby Keith is the Ugliest Woman I’ve Ever Seen”), making it big as a new Country bro (“Change My Name”) or just getting right with the Lord (“If You Don’t Love the Lord”), The Beaumonts manage to play the best country/Americana music going today. It also happens to be the filthiest, but whatcha gonna do?

In the middle of the set, frontman Troy Wayne Delco poses a handful of questions to the audience: “Who likes drinkin’? Who likes dancin’? Who likes gettin’ high?” Well it turns out The Beaumonts like getting high too, to quote Delco. And this record manages to be the perfect record to listen to while doing all three.

Irresponsible? Sure. Offensive? Possible. Blasphemous? Likely. But is it worth it? Hell, yeah! Long live The Beaumonts.

The Beaumonts – This Is Austin/12 tracks/Saustex Records/2019 / ReverbNation /

Jae Mansa ft. Young Marco “Gryndin”

Gryndin may just be our favorite Jae Mansa song out, as it is able to call back to the early days of Kanye and Styles P. Impressing Young Marco into throwing down some bars for this track is a genius-level decision, as the two distinct approaches taken by the performers makes Gryndin into an unmitigated banger. With smart use of samples and hints of mid-oughts acts (The Game, early Rick Ross), this single will speak to masses of rap fans. Throughout Gryndin’s run time, there’s a thread of honesty and legitimacy that’s hard to deny. Jae Mansa has another hit on his hands.

We’ve previously covered Jae Mansa’s Blessings and Yung Kings.

Jae Mansa ft. Young Marco “Gryndin” Domain /

pineappleCITI “Recognize”

On Recognize, pineappleCITI is able to create an easy-going rap track that builds upon the framework of Young M.A. and A Boogie. With a backing beat that is more dreamy, accentuating rather than boldly countering PC’s bars, Recognize comes forth as utterly distinct from other rap tracks currently populating playlists. Delicate and replete with an infectious vocal hook, Recognize gradually increases in speed as one hurtles to the end of the cut. pineappleCITI has splashed onto the scene. We’re expecting more from her side of things in the beginning half of 2020.

pineappleCITI “Recognize” / Domain /

PM “Touch It” and Get It”

Touch It succeeds because of a haunting, Hypnotise Minds meets Migos sort of production. Intricate wordplay is spat at a bullet’s pace as PM beats fans over their head with the most ornate maul.

Get It is a hard-hitting track that has PM spit lyrics that are cocksure and confident. Matched well with a booming bass and trap-inspired backing beat, Get It is the sort of track that will immediately slot itself on rap rotation and playlists.

PM has cut two tracks that will become part of the common vernacular the last month of 2019 with legs enough to make it through the 1st quarter of 2020.

PM “Touch It” and Get It” / Linktree /

Dan Ashley “What Really Matters”

Dan Ashley is a celebrity in his own right, but What Really Matters is an effort that will catapult him alongside such rock luminaries like Michael Stanley and Elvis Costello. The same charisma that bubbled through his news broadcasts comes through in droves during his latest single. Easy listening rock with musical chops to add more than a bit of oomph, What Really Matters is able to revive the style of late Eagles, Huey Lewis and the News, and Jackson Browne. The vocal breakdown that listeners will run up upon at the 2:45 mark is the perfect sort of reviving section to keep fans firmly involved with the music until Ashley’s final note.

Dan Ashley “What Really Matters” / Facebook /

The Phoenix Rose “Planet”

On Planet, The Phoenix Rose create a wholly unique effort that links together the taut pop-rock of later Genesis, a bit of 311-styled modern rock, and the orchestral pomp of Dream Theater. Throw in some huge jazz-infused bass and a bit of reggae wobble and one will have some semblance of what The Phoenix Rose is trying to do here. The band picks up speed at around the 3:25 mark, wowing fans with an impressively rendered backing instrumentation (e.g. sizzling guitar work, ropy bass lines). The extended run time of Planet goes by in an instant; one will have to play this composition multiple times to fully understand the range of approaches and sounds that are presented here.

The Phoenix Rose “Planet” / Domain /

Jane N’ The Jungle “Beach On Fire”

Jane N’ The Jungle create a technically amazing effort that blends together progressive rock instrumentation with emotive, impassioned vocals. With a set of influences as wide-ranging as Metallica, Jethro Tull, and Santana, Jane N’ The Jungle are continually evolving and refining their musical output. Few songs are able to be enjoyed in such a wide-reaching fashion. One can just take Beach On Fire on its surface or they can dig deep into the intricate dynamics existing between the vox / guitars, guitars/drums, and the overall act’s output together. Simply one of the headiest, most fulfilling songs that we have heard so far this year.

We’ve covered Jane N’ The Jungle a few times, including Little Blue, One TimeKilled Someone, and Faded Stars .

Jane N The Jungle “Beach On Fire”  Facebook / Domain /

The Great Dictators “By The Throat”

By The Throat is a powerful, introspective effort that refreshes the sound of Nick Cage, Chris Isaak, and Where The Streets Have No Name-era U2. Instrumental and vocal sides struggle for dominance here. The bit of electronic fuzz that the guitar / drum dynamic includes bring The Great Dictators a bit closer to NIN. Alluring and darkly emotional, By The Throat’s shuffling tempo will make fans out of anyone listening in. The pianos that enter into the equation continue to spin the song in bold new directions. While the song is over within three minutes, the space that it occupies in fans’ brains is much larger.

The Great Dictators “By The Throat” / Domain /