David Jackel – “Time Keeps Slipping Away” (2015)

david jackel time keeps slipping away
David Jackel
“Time Keeps Slipping Away”

David Jackel’s first proper single is a heady mix of ’80s new wave and neo-psychodelia. The Daily Pravda frontman serves up a harmony-happy, reverb-drenched number layered in jangling guitars, stringy synths and swirling effects. It’s a sound you can get lost in. He says there’s more coming. I’m waiting…

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Ringtail – “Mask Of Bees” (2015)

Ringtail Mask Of Bees
“Mask Of Bees”

Frenetic drumming, staccato guitar rhythms and a rippin’ guitar solo make for a spirited first single from Ringtail. There are shades of Mission of Burma on this post-punk nugget. The band balances the biting bits with and reigned-in verses and tastefully chosen effects. “Mask Of Bees” is a promising debut.

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Friends of Fred – “Ode to the Somerville Turkey (Fred’s Song)” (2011)

Ode to the Somerville Turkey
Friends of Fred
“Ode to the Somerville Turkey (Fred’s Song)”

This is a song from Friends of Fred. It’s about a turkey. His name is Fred. He lives in Somerville. He supports the arts. He sounds like a good bird. His theme song is catchy. Don’t listen to it if you don’t want to have it playing on an endless loop in your head all day tomorrow.

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Walter Sickert And The Army of Broken Toys – “Where’s Your Ghost” (2015)

wheres your ghost
Walter Sickert And The Army of Broken Toys
“Where’s Your Ghost”

Walter Sickert And The Army of Broken Toys are masters of the haunting and ethereal. “Where’s Your Ghost” is the first single off the band’s upcoming 3rd album, Come Black Magic. The steamcrunk Pixies delicately balance the harmonic and discordant on this slow-burner. All the plodding tension built by accordion and viola swells eventually spills over into a saturated wall of beautiful distortion. Glorious.

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Goddamn Draculas – “Bethany” (2015)

Goddamn Draculas Bethany
Goddamn Draculas

Do I have a new favorite Goddamn Draculas song? I think I do. “Say Goodbye” has held that spot since first harmonizing its way into my heart, but it’s time for “Bethany” to reign. This is signature DRAX through and through. Thunderous groove. Killer keys. Huge guitars. Huger harmonies. Hugest hook. Goddamn Draculas take their classic hard rock influences and bleed out something that sounds fresh and new. Oh, and the guitar solo is perfect. “Angels Die” provides this single’s flip. It’s heavy and decidedly darker, making it a nice counterpoint to the anthemic A-side.

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Orchids – Mystic (2015)

Orchids - Mystic

I don’t claim to be an dream pop expert. In fact, I may be the least qualified person to write about the electronically intimate debut EP from Orchids. Fair enough. Before I go, I’ll leave you with this observation. After listening to Mystic, “Coming Down” was stuck in my head for hours, which is impressive considering the chorus to “Underground” is so darn catchy. I thought for sure that would be the one lodged in my noggin.

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The Wrong Shapes – “Stuck” (2015)

wrong shapes stuck
The Wrong Shapes

The Wrong Shapes’ November single loops and dives in mid-tempo, mid-fi melancholy. “Stuck” continues the band’s predilection for layering stripped-down loops and beats into quirky musical memories. It’s a sound perfectly suited to daydreaming.

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Sinnet – “Houdini Hands” (2015)

sinnet houdini hands
“Houdini Hands”

Sinnet are masters of creating cool ambiance with their slightly off-kilter pop songs. Judicious amounts of organ and reverb add to the drama on their latest single. “Houdini Hands” was released just before Halloween, complete with a campy slasher-themed video. The eerie number feels right at home for the season, rattling bones right down to its cacophonous finish.

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Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! – Boss Metal Zone (2015)

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion boss metal zone
Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!
Boss Metal Zone

I know we’re well into November, but the city’s finest punk exotica surf rock outfit delivered this Halloween treat that should not go unmentioned. Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! put together the Boss Metal Zone from their time at Rubber Tracks Boston. The four quick-hitters included here are chock full o’ the scorching instrumental goodness you’ve come to expect from the masked musical marauders. Listen if you dare.*

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* Leftover Halloween tagline. Sorry.

Eternals – “Out Of Context” (2015)

eternals out of context
“Out Of Context”

Eternals’ slow burn Rumble sets won me over in a big way back in April. Now they’ve released a new single that would sound right at home on Beck’s Sea Change and I’m hooked by this band all over again. “Out Of Context” is just plain wonderful. Perfectly layered, this autumnal single unfolds at its own pace. There’s no big buildup or payoff, just a moment in musical time. Stay as long as you want.

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