Happy near-summer folks! We here at CT Scramble have been keeping plenty busy in the spring months as we have been working to provide you with accessible updates to cool local CT indie music. Below are some of the many recent releases that have caught our ear recently:
1. PEARL SUGAR – Alright EP
Why it’s dope: A pleasant collection of minimal, mellow, and melancholic synth pop. On songs like it’s title track and “Lock You Up”, Bugnacki wears a fragile heart on his sleeve, breathily channeling these solemn reflections into something soothing and meditative. The sparseness of the arrangements allow the songs room to breath and give the occasional harmonic embellishments more emotional impact.
2. JELANI SEI – “Rep. Maxine Waters”
Why it’s dope: Jelani Sei’s first single since last years LVNDR TWN EP is an intricate performance that finds all of it’s bandmates firing on all cylinders, it’s passion making it simultaneously a social justice themed indie rock anthem and slow dance.
3. OURSELVES ALONE – Elusive Firsts
Why it’s dope: Building upon the complex textural and rhythmic dynamics of their debut, Elusive Firsts is a highly accessible foray into the many deviations of math rock. Tracks like opener “Arms to the Trees” and early single “Stiff Jazz” contain multitudes of nuance and even a sliver of pop sensibility that pushes the band into more memorable territory than their many formidable peers.
4. XANGO / SUAVE – “Hooks And Stones”
Why it’s dope: Xango / Suave’s new single features exquisite string arrangements, digitized vocal effects, and emotional English-Spanish lyricism.
5. KEVIN HUMAN – Pulsar Planets
Why it’s dope: An exercise in studio and songwriting experimentation, Pulsar Planets is a promising and occasionally thrilling start for the young duo. Throughout its 40 minute runtime, the band dabbles in a diverse array of experimental pop that can be hard to pin down or play spot the influence.
6. GLAMBAT – “Cole Gate”
Why it’s dope: Glambat’s new single is an emotionally affected piece of bedroom grunge, with a tinge of dreamy shoegaze and the lyrical weight of toxic relationships and small music scenes.
7. LOW CEILINGS – Least Favored Painting
Why it’s dope: Low Ceilings new album is a weary urban beat mysticism that permeates its mood, weighing down what could be easily sunny pop songs with something more literary, wistful, and vibey.
8. PHAT ASTRONAUT – The Fifth Dimension
Why it’s dope: Combining elements of funk, pop, hip-hop, and soul, the seven-piece band offers a portal to revel in their lit cosmos. Vocalist Chad Browne-Springer soars, showcasing his seemingly limitless range and arranging acuity.
9. CHOUSAND – Chousand
Why it’s dope: Chousand’s new record is pure, live in the moment garage band hedonism, the pop punk embodiment of hanging out with your friends and the high following some mixing of Red Bulls, whatever beers that were handy, and Smash Bros.
10. RC CARTER – Aesthetics of Abdication EP
Why it’s dope: On the EP, R.C. Carter, ALIEN BC ET GODDESS OF ANALOGIES, flaunts a her freak flag, weaving lines that reflect a subtle clash of alien creature comfort against societal conformity. Despite the fully formed out of the box confidence, there is a dense anxiety that pulses through its textured instrumentals.
11. OLD SELF – Word Art Gallery
Why it’s dope: An aging millennial rap man finds himself at corner of nostalgia sickness and questionable materialism. OLD SELF is subjected through a kaleidoscopic medley of junk culture yesteryear that confuses the line between meaning and meaningless.
12. AUDIO JANE – “Slow Summer Days”
Why it’s dope: Channeling sounds of everyone from Mazzy Star to Nirvana, Hartford’s Audio Jane provides a laid back soundtrack to warmer months. And, as the name might suggest, “Slow Summer Days” is a great choice to drop into your playlist. -Kevin Vellturo (Hartford Courant)
13. MILD MONK – Orbit EP
Why it’s dope: While remaining true to the pensive vibes previewed on earlier single “Bittersweet Pie”, the Orbit EP is appropriately titled, shifting the aesthetic palette and tone of the music from beachy to full on floating in space.
14. WESS MEETS WEST – A Light Within The Fracture
Why it’s dope: Filled with intricate electronics and heavy hitting guitar distortion, Wess Meets West channel a blend of emotional catharsis with the elemental world, drawing the connection between the smallest atoms of our souls with the mystique of the cosmos.
15. PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS – Long Way Home
Why it’s dope: Long Way Home, a rollicking collection of upbeat pub crawlers that shows both sides of the band: gritty folk rock music that teeters between brash garage-rock showmanship and more acoustic, traditional Americana offerings.
16. SAMUEL SANDOVAL – Breakfast At The Coliseum
Why it’s dope: Sandoval’s unique brand of strange folk music features a smooth vocal, cryptic lyricism, playful electronics, and unconventional song structures.
17. ALL RIOT – Boycott All Riot Vol. 1
Why it’s dope: CT Scramble editor Dan Osto and drummer Mitch Guerin have changed styles from previous releases, moving from guitar driven indie rock to electronic experimental pop.
18. CAM PULASKI – I Have Athletes In My Closet
Why it’s dope: I Have Athletes In My Closet, a catchy slice of queer, post-adolescent guitar tunes with a rebellious spirit and pop sensibility.
19. ANGELICA PADUA – Two of Them EP
Why it’s dope: A two song collection of guitar driven downers, “Broke My Own” and “Empty” are sparse and isolated in their arrangements and emotion, relying purely on Padua’s vocal catharsis and light drum accents when each chorus kicks in.
19. EVERY BRANCH – Hillcrest Drive EP
Why it’s dope: The Hillcrest Drive EP is brooding, melodic and features some of Every Branch’s most focused songwriting yet. Weldon delivers an impassioned vocal performance and memorable one-liners alongside heavy crashing cymbals, gritty rhythm guitar and spacey riffage.
20. TALL TALE – So Long: The Prelude EP
Why it’s dope: So Long: The Prelude very much follows in the steps of Tall Tale’s predecessor band, infusing singer/guitarist Alex Murowsky’s verbose folk-punk storytelling with danceable rhythms and gritty distortion.
21. GOODNIGHT BLUE MOON – Dawning Dream
Why it’s dope: Goodnight Blue Moon’s latest offering of contemporary Americana, steeped with sincerity and reverence to traditional roots. A rich array of string instruments and cleverly arranged vocals find the group’s third studio album to be their most meticulous yet.
22. ADDY EDWARD – Picture of Youth
Why it’s dope: Picture of Youth is a highly listenable collection of glitchy electronic pop music that is orchestrated with organic and digital styled loops, tasteful arrangements, and textural builds. Perhaps benefitting from the longer gestation period of these songs, they are jam packed with ideas. Songs often morph and shift between multiple melodies and are diverse enough from one another to remain engaging and memorable.
23. HEELE – “The Paper Sky”
Why it’s dope: A densely packed, prog-inflected rock song, “The Paper Sky” is driven by pulsating drums, dream-like vocals, and a strange juxtaposition of dissonant and melodic movements. Despite already sounding stadium sized and anthemic at the start of the track, it still finds ways to unfold and become even larger sounding, expanding with textural pianos and strange non-lyrical chanting.