Dishital Weekly: Buster Crabtree, Fellow Robot, Lahnah, Tears of Joy, Weatherday

Dishital Weekly is Counterzine’s weekly roundup of 5 digital only releases we think are worthy of your attention. The only rules are that we like it and there’s no readily available physical version at the timing of writing. When it was released, genre, platform: none of these matter. If it’s new to us and it’s new to you, it’s new.

 

1. Buster Crabtree – Zoo Pop

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Toronto continues to prove itself as one of the most consistent sources of quality power pop in the world with Buster Crabtree’s Zoo Pop. Crabtree delivers eight delightfully quirky and idiosyncratic lo-fi smash hits that fall somewhere between T. Rex and Mike Krol. Special mention to “Oh No What Did I Do (Mannequins Are Jumping Rope to the Zoo)” for having an amazing title and also being the catchiest thing ever written, as well as “Take All (Rotten Egg Inside an Ice Cream Cone)” for also having the best title and working that acoustic guitar/loud bass interplay at S-tier level. We are forever grooving.

 

2. Fellow Robot – “Bernie T-Shirt”

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We usually don’t feature stand-alone singles on Dishital Weekly, but we’re making an exception for SoCal indie rock band Fellow Robot’s latest track “Bernie T-Shirt”. Why? Well, we don’t see it appearing on an album or EP anytime soon, but mostly because it rocks, candidate-specific political songs are usually rough and this isn’t, and while we know in our heads that the lyric is really “the candidates are killing me”, our hearts willfully mishear it as “the candy dicks are killing me”, and really, what are most politicians if not a bunch of candy dicks?

If you couldn’t gather, Fellow Robot are pro-Bernie Sanders 2020 and bring a lot of energy to the table to prove it. If the snarling, growling vocals and take-downs of the others don’t convince you, we don’t know what to tell you. Maybe “uh huh”?

 

3. Lahnah – Family Songs

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Previously known as Father Spatter, Brattleboro, Vermont’s Lahnah released their album Family Songs this February, a weary collection of indie/country rock songs revolving around small town life and, yes, family. That genre tag sells the album a bit short though: across its nine songs, you’ll hear elements of psychedelia, post-rock, and slowcore flavoring its exhausted auditory bouquet. Listening to it feels akin to an out-of-body experience, with its thematic content grounded in reality but still ever so slightly off seeming (as reality often is) and its sound less trippy and more potently inebriating. It makes us feel like we’re taking a dissociative stroll around a just kinda seedy town at night while buzzed, not hammered. Fans of Smog, Silver Jews, and Tindersticks should appreciate this one.

 

4. Tears of Joy – Unhinged

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More excellent power pop this edition courtesy of Pittsburgh’s Tear of Joy’s perhaps mis-titled Unhinged, a super solid set of four tunes that seamlessly blend breezy, deft melodies with deep, punchy mixes and performances that make sure they blow through your body and make you sway about rather than just floating past. Favorite is a pick ’em, but we’ll go “Elton John Records” for the big Cleaners From Venus vibes. We also really, really love the drums on this baby, fantastic power and momentum.

 

5. Weatherday – Come In

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While the traditional blogosphere hasn’t really jumped on this one just yet, Weatherday’s Come In has seen something of an underground blow-up, particularly on RateYourMusic, where it’s currently sitting at a very respectable 3.63 with nearly 200 user ratings: basically unheard of with records like this. What do we mean by records like this? Bedroom pop with literally no push, just put up on Bandcamp to spread organically among the people. Weatherday is Sweden’s Sputnik, and Come In is a deeply personal queer lo-fi indie rock epic that has already drawn favorable comparison to Car Seat Headrest’s Twin Fantasy and the work of Brave Little Abacus. It’s easy to see why, with the 14-minute centerpiece “My Sputnik Sweetheart” in particular really seeming like the record’s “Beach Life-in-Death”.

A really raw, naked, beautiful album that deserves all the attention it’s getting and more.

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