This week, we feature future-punk from The Paranoyds, grunge revival from Momma, chill bedroom pop from Oscar Lang and Wallice, dream-pop from Peach Fuzz, prog rock meets R&B from Lava La Rue and experimental synth pop from Ben Shemie of SUUNS.
The Paranoyds, “Lizzie” – The futuristic punk you didn’t know you’d been waiting for has arrived. On this song about a crush on a woman full of contradictions, L.A. quartet The Paranoyds marries its classic DIY aesthetic to a Devo-esque electronic beat with lyrics like: “Cosmically I don’t believe in sights that remain unseen/ Unfounded memories from 1950/ Panhandling fantasies of a higher being/ Why can’t she just believe in me?” Jack White knew this band had something special after it played at SXSW, and he subsequently signed The Paranoyds to his label, Third Man Records. New album TALK TALK TALK is out in September. In the meantime, they’ll be out on the road supporting White.
Momma, “Motorbike” – It’s time for a grunge revival! Brooklyn’s Momma, led by the duo of Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten, are bringing back that classic ’90s sound on “Motorbike,” an escapist romantic fantasy. “For one night/ Baby we could disappear/ You told me if I’m down to ride/ Your motorbike will take us away from here,” they sing, with definite Veruca Salt vibes. Fresh off a stint supporting Wet Leg, Momma hits the road to open for Snail Mail next. Their new album, Household Name, was just released on Friday.
Oscar Lang and Wallice, “I’ve Never Been to LA” – TikTok bedroom pop gets very fun and sunny on this song. It’s a hymn to L.A. that’s part critical snark and part reverent aspiration. “All your friends out there they talk ’bout the scene/ Where they put you on a diet and start eatin’ clean,” they sing. Lang, a British indie rocker, and Wallice, an L.A. indie popper, sound perfect with their filtered AM-radio-style vocals blending together on this collaboration.
Peach Fuzz, “Hey Dood” – Somewhat of an indie supergroup made up of Samia, Raffaella, Sara L’Abriola (Hank) and Victoria Zaro (Ryann), Peach Fuzz has formed to release an EP, Can Mary Dood the Moon? The first single, “Hey Dood,” is beautiful, dreamy pop about getting up the nerve to talk to a guy at a party. Harmonized vocals dominate this synth-heavy song with funny, casual lyrics like, “Hey dude, I’m thinking that maybe you might know my cousin/ My bad, I knew you didn’t, but I had to say something.”
Lava La Rue, “Don’t Come Back” – A multi-hyphenate musician, singer and artist, Lava La Rue is getting noticed across the pond in her native U.K. “Don’t Come Back,” produced by longtime collaborators Courage and Saya Grey, is synth-bass-centric R&B, but it also has some surprising prog rock keyboard bits. It’s about a relationship that’s run its course and is no longer healthy. “I crossed you off my wish list/ It’s turned to serious business/ And I don’t think I’m having any fun no more,” she sings. Her upcoming EP, Hi-Fidelity, is out on July 29.
Ben Shemie, “The Return” – Ben Shemie, frontman of SUUNS, steps out on his own with a solo LP, Desiderata, that will be out July 15. Shemie’s vocals are heavily reverbed and AutoTuned, layered over arpeggiating synths and a drum machine. “The Return” is almost hypnotizing, with its repeating Townshend-esque synths. While Shemie’s solo work does not appear to be a huge departure from the style of SUUNS, if “The Return” is any indication, Desiderata will be more sci-fi and mysterious.
Rachel’s Pick: My pick this week is “Lizzie,” by The Paranoyds, because I just love their style and their energy. Ramones-style punk combined with Devo art-rock? Yes please!