New Music Monday – 9/4/17

This week we present work from:

  • Car Seat Headrest (we like the new track so much we’re recommending it twice …)
  • OCS
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Smoke
  • Tyler Edwards


Car Seat Headrest
“War Is Coming (If You Want It)”

Will Toledo and company’s latest single has all the traits we’ve come to expect, including but not limited to the arresting but emotionally ambivalent lyrics (“Last night I dreamed that you’d murdered some kids / Gone up towards the border where the freaks live / I couldn’t tolerate it, yet somehow I did”), beautiful tempo changes, and unexpected flourishes (mainly synth). A previous version of this track was on sale for one day on Bandcamp to benefit the Transgender Law Center. No word yet on a date or name for the followup album to Teens of Denial, one of the best records of 2016. – bill

Car Seat Headrest is a favorite around hissing lawns, and Teens of Denial, the latest album, is one of my favorite works in the last decade or so. Will Toledo was fairly prolific before his newfound relative fame, and I was hoping that he wouldn’t slow down much after signing with the major indie label Matador and ascending to the medium size font on festival flyers. This song makes it seem like he and I will be on good terms for a long time. Great power pop in the vein of The Cars, Weezer, and Big Star filtered through a modern lo-fi sensibility.

OCS, formerly Oh Sees, formerly Thee Oh Sees, formerly OCS
San Francisco, CA
“Memory of a Cut Off Head” from album of the same title, due November 17 on Castle Face Records.

John Dwyer changes the name of his ridiculously prolific project almost as often as he changes the sound. Just 3 days after releasing the highly recommended double drummer, guitar shredding, psych rock album Orc, Dwyer changes the name back to OCS and the switches the sound to mellow acoustic folk. Whatever, until he starts playing bland contemporary country or insufferable acid jazz or something I’m along for the ride.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Montreal, Canada
“Undoing a Luciferian Towers” from Luciferian Towers out September 22.

Given the band name and the album title, you’d expect some pretty pretentious music. What you get though….well, actually it kinda does seem pretty pretentious, but, stick with me here, it’s really cool instrumental rock that ebbs and flows, builds and (sometimes) releases, and basically sounds like nothing else out there. I really like it as background music and it works really well live if you’re in the right frame of mind. No times on the track listing for the album, but at 8ish minutes I’d bet that this isn’t even close to the longest song on the record.

Atlanta, Georgia
‘Shadow Box’

There’s absolutely nothing ‘new’ about this track, or band, except that you may not have heard them before. As we’ve just passed the anniversary of ‘Colemania’, which was an Atlanta all-star performance celebration of my best friend Coleman Lewis’ life, and fundraiser for his son’s future education, I thought it an apropos salute. One of these days I’ll get around to writing about my late 80s & 90s experiences, but quite frankly I’m still a bit too close to the fire to put pen to paper. In the meantime listen to this track, investigate Smoke’s discography, and check out former members Brian Halloran & Bill Taft’s current project ‘W8ting4UFOs’. Sing along, sing along to one of Atlanta’s finest faded glories….
Jon Waits


Tyler Edwards
Seattle, Washington
‘Girl in the Southeast’

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing & working with a lot of talented musicians over the years, but occasionally someone comes along that just has ‘it’, whatever that is. Hailing from Florence, S.C. this cat took his sound to Seattle a few years back, and ever since has been wowing west-coasters with harmony, melody, and a certain Southernism that always has authentic flavor. Check out this video that came out in July, and try to tell me that I’m not speaking the truth.
Jon Waits