Mister Goblin is the solo project of Two Inch Astronaut's Sam Goblin, and he'll follow his 2019 debut album Is Path Warm? with his sophomore LP Four People In An Elevator And One Of Them Is The Devil on February 19 via Exploding In Sound (pre-order). Like Is Path Warm?, the new album has guest vocals from Sadie Dupuis (of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13), specifically on the song "Six Flags America," which also features cello by Sam's Two Inch Astronaut bandmate Matt Gatwood and which premieres in this post.
"Broadly speaking, 'Six Flags America' is a song about disappointment," Sam tells us. "More specifically, it’s about the sting of being cheated out of a visit to the awesome Six Flags location in Largo, MD. Sadie and Matt really tied this one together with their contributions, and I’m very proud I was able to include the word 'barf' in a delicate acoustic ballad."
Like Sam said, it's an acoustic ballad, much softer than Two Inch Astronaut's '90s Dischord-style rock (think somewhere between Elliott Smith and The Good Life), and him and Sadie sound great duetting and harmonizing together. Hear it for yourself below.
Last fall, Wendy Eisenberg released their new solo album Auto on Ba Da Bing, which we compared to the mathy art rock of Deerhoof, Battles, and Maps & Atlases, and which Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis named one of her favorite albums of 2020, writing:
"Another unusually gifted guitarist who plays in so many different kinds of projects and makes them all sound uniquely wonderful. I don’t have the galaxy brain jazz vocabulary to express exactly what Wendy’s doing on their instrument but watching them play is a revelatory display of shifting techniques that makes me question my belief in time. So, probably obvious that on Auto I love the guitars. But I also love Wendy’s plain spoken vocal delivery, the textural noise floors, the drums that feel like whispers, the strangeness and honesty."
One of Wendy's other projects that Sadie speaks of is Editrix, who are releasing their debut album Tell Me I'm Bad on February 5 via Exploding In Sound (pre-order). Editrix share a knack for fidgety rhythms and off-kilter melodies with Wendy's solo career, but they're a little harder and rougher around the edges, in sort of a '90s Dischord way. You can get a feel for their sound on recent single "Chelsea," as well as on the new title track, which premieres in this post.
"Tell Me I'm Bad' is about expressing interest in someone, even flirting with someone, and wanting so badly to hear what they think about you that you might not even believe it when you hear it," Wendy tells us. It comes with a video featuring quarantine-era, mask-wearing performance footage and grainy art film clips, and you can check that out below.
Nashville hardcore band Thirdface (whose drummer Shibby Poole is also in the Relapse-signed metal band Yautja) emerged with the 2018 EP/demo A Demonstration of Righteous Aggression, and they're now set to release their debut full-length Do It With A Smile on March 5 via Exploding In Sound (pre-order). It includes re-recordings of "Local" and "No Relief" from the demo, and of recent singles "Legendary Suffering" and "Grasping At The Root," as well as the new "Villains!", which premieres in this post.
"When writing 'Villains!' I was watching a lot of Fist of the North Star, which gives the song its title," vocalist Kathryn Edwards tells us. "I wanted to write a song about tearing some evil down from its pedestal like Ken from FOTNS would do. But decided to speak on reality which has a lot more inescapable horrors and villains. This one is about the irons of wage slavery." That concept is matched by the intensity in Kathryn's powerhouse screams and the aggression of the song, which works in bits of gloomy post-hardcore, whiplash-inducting punk, metallic riffage, and more. It's a ripper, as you can hear for yourself below.
I’m not really sure who we have to thank for the 2020 butt rock revival (Phoebe? Lucy?), but it looks like 2021 will see the natural development of a resuscitated genre with the experimentation of Editrix, the latest signees to Exploding in Sound Records. The self-proclaimed “avant butt-rock” ensemble have readied their first collection of songs due out February 5 called Tell Me I’m Bad, and the first single mashes the grungy throughline of their new label home with the machismo of radio-ready rock.
Lyrically, though, “Chelsea” is worlds apart from the look-at-this-photograph simplicity of such bands. “‘Chelsea’ is an exploration of the idea of ‘voting with your wallet,’ and how it’s fundamentally erroneous/impossible,” the group shares. “We’ve all heard the phrase ‘no ethical consumption under capitalism,’ and it’s kind of about that—the subject of the song, who is not a real person (‘Chelsea’ just is a name that sounds good to sing), is kind of like the liberals that are acting kind of in good faith while they block more ethical, harder-line leftist projects that could actually improve the world.”
Relevant! Hear the track below, and pre-order the record on EIS’s site.
Melkbelly frontwoman Miranda Winters is releasing a new 7-inch single called All Purpose tomorrow, her first new music written since the birth of her daughter. She’s already shared the B-side, “Little Baby Dead Bird,” and today she’s sharing the more uplifting A-side, “Double Mirror Light.”
“A moment of bliss and wonder, that shocks you with its magnitude may only happen once in your life,” Winters says in a statement. “Plain and simple ‘Double Mirror Light’ is about when my baby was first dropped onto my chest. This was a moment so stunning that it initially blinded me.”
The warmth of “Double Mirror Light” definitely reflects that ineffable rush of feeling. Lala Lala’s Lillie West is on backing vocals, and Joe Starita, who also played on “Little Baby Dead Bird,” contributes strings. Listen to the song below.