Posted on November 19th, 2021

[as seen on Beat]

Breakthrough Melbourne post-punk four-piece band Pinch Points have released the video for their latest single ‘Reasons to be Anxious’ today before the band play at Melbourne Music Week.

‘Reasons to be Anxious’ is being released as a 7” single, with B-side track ‘Boy’ today. With the band launching the single at Melbourne Music Week’s MMW Club at Max Watts on December 5 (tickets on sale).

The single, their first from their highly anticipated upcoming album Process, is an all-too-relatable laundry list of the flight-or-flight triggers that frazzle our nervous systems.


Posted on November 18th, 2021

[as seen on The FADER]

Steve Hartlett is going to Disney World. The singer-songwriter best known as the driving force behind Ovlov, Hartlett will not celebrate the release of the fuzz rock band’s third album Buds in a beer-stained basement with dedicated fans. Instead, he’ll be hanging out with Goofy, Elsa, and other beloved trademarks. We spoke over two days — once before he landed in Florida, once after — and on the second afternoon I could hear a decompression in his voice, as if he could taste the $20 hot dog in his near future.

It’s an unexpected itinerary, but Hartlett and Ovlov are nothing if not defiant. Ovlov has outlasted sonic trends to become one of indie rock’s most fervently adored groups with devotees far beyond the musicians entrenched in the Connecticut scene they sprung out of. The group formed in 2009, and their debut album Am, released in 2013, began their ascent to cult rock stardom. Hartlett tells me they were just trying to make an album that sounded like Blonder Tongue Audio Baton by Swirlies, but Ovlov’s post-shoegaze sound is warmer, its big blown-out guitars feeling like a warm embrace from a close friend even when Hartlett sings about gut-wrenching heartbreak and loss.

Despite the growing hype, Ovlov wasn’t easy to maintain. The band would play its last show before the pandemic in July 2019 in support of their second album Tru, with a planned extended hiatus to follow. However, lockdown and a series of personal struggles gave Hartlett new insight into what makes Ovlov special. “It forced me to think about, what am I doing with my life?” he says of the pandemic. “What is it I'm working towards and why? Even the years leading up to quarantine this was in the back of my mind, but [I was] never really forced to actually think about it.”

To create Buds, Hartlett brought in his brothers Jon and Theo on bass and drums, guitarist Morgan Luzzi, and the band’s longtime producer Michael John Thomas III. The new music is more consciously pop-oriented, less snaky than Tru and more polished than Am. This is a positive development: as a singer-songwriter, Hartlett has a knack for catchiness, and it’s edifying to hear him finally dive in. This new direction is something Hartlett has been eager to try for a long time, and so he dedicated himself to the writing and recording process like never before. “If we were going to [make another album],” Hartlett says, “we were going to go into it in many different ways from the previous two as far as our efforts in recording, our efforts in songwriting, the actual takes we get, just everything we wanted to try just a little bit harder.”

Read the full interview HERE.


Posted on November 5th, 2021

[as seen on Consequence of Sound]

UK noise rock act Thank have announced their debut full-length album, Thoughtless Cruelty. The band also shared the lead single “Good Boy” ahead of the LP’s February 4th release date.

Not for the faint of heart, Thank unleash a three-minute torrent of abstract expression. Unhinged dance beats clash with the equally unhinged vocals of Freddy Vinehill-Cliffe, whose delivery bears similarities to Daughters’ Alexis Marshall. The band manages to create an art-rock cacophony that’s as anxious as it is captivating.

Perhaps it was Thank’s method of writing — partly forced upon them by the circumstances of the pandemic — that led to the genuinely beguiling sound heard on “Good Boy.” Due to lockdowns, the band members hadn’t practiced before recording the album, building the song arrangements in the studio rather than in the live setting.

“It was a very different way of working for us,” comments Vinehill-Cliffe via a press release. “Most of the songs did not have an arrangement figured out, we added layers to serve each track without worrying about how it would translate in a live setting. I guess that’s the norm for a lot of bands, but it was a very novel experience for us.”

Thoughtless Cruelty is being released in the US by Exploding in Sound Records, who compared the group to acts like Xiu Xiu, The Body, and These New Puritans — good points of reference for those who are new to Thank’s music.

The Leeds-based band is also heading on a brief UK tour in support of the new album. The trek kicks off on February 9th in Leeds and wraps up February 26th in Manchester.


Posted on October 27th, 2021

[as seen on Treble Zine]

On Friday, Philadelphia’s Nyxy Nyx release a new split album with Bad History Month, Death Takes a Holiday, via Exploding in Sound. The band has already shared one track from the album, the hazy, anthemic psych-grunge track “No Worries.” Today, Nyxy Nyx has another new song to share from the album, titled “Just That Way.” It’s a dreamy and druggy gem of a song, dense and richly textured, but with a sense of weightlessness in its use of open space and shimmering guitar tones. But there’s a melancholy about it as well, written after the untimely passing of a friend.

Nyxy Nyx’s Brian Reichert says in a statement, “Mike and i were in the trenches of alcoholism and hardcore drug addiction for a long time & he just didn’t fuckin make it out. Don’t really know what else to say about this one. A dear dear friend. Brilliant, talented, sweet, hilarious, troubled friend.”

Hear Nyxy Nyx’s “Just That Way” below.


Posted on October 20th, 2021

[as seen on Stereogum]

Steve Hartlett is very disappointed to hear that I broke my foot at his gig. I am speaking with the Ovlov frontman after a cancelled visit to his New Haven home and half a week of phone tag, discussing the band’s first show back — and also mine — at The Broadway in Brooklyn in early August. He laughs upon being reminded that at one point that night he played guitar with a dustbin: “I’m so anxious leading up to and while we’re playing that it’s a bit of a blur.” But he takes on a more concerned tone upon hearing about my injury. “People were going a little too crazy,” Hartlett says with a sigh. “I was very concerned that someone would get hurt and apparently I was right.”

On the other hand, a raging crowd at an Ovlov show is to be expected because people tend to get pretty excited about this band. Hartlett has devoted his entire life to music. He has a solo project called Stove, he plays in longtime collaborator Jordyn Blakely’s band Smile Machine from time to time, he releases some music under just his full name (most recently September’s Waste Of Water), and there are probably other vessels through which engages in music making or playing. But Ovlov — whose lineup is currently Hartlett on vocals and guitar, his brothers Theo on drums and Jon on bass, and Morgan Luzzi on guitar — is his longest-running, best-loved project.

Despite a couple of breakups here and there, Ovlov have been around for a little over a decade and have amassed a cult following through both DIY shows and the Spotify algorithm. Their hit “Where’s My Dini?” off their 2013 debut full-length Am is the starting point for most; either that, or anything from their last record, 2018’s TRU. It doesn’t matter much where a listener starts with Ovlov — their music, for the most part, has retained a distinctive fast, fuzzy sound in line with indie and alternative staples like Dinosaur Jr., Built To Spill, and early Foo Fighters. It has been consistently great, too, which has won them deep respect among their peers in New England indie rock.

“Steve has a sense of melody that almost feels classical, like a song you can’t believe didn’t exist before he wrote it,” writes Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13, who was based out of Massachusetts when Ovlov were getting their start in nearby Connecticut. It’s an insightful read on Hartlett, who tells me he thinks of himself like a classical composer. Dupuis has been playing alongside Ovlov since the beginning, and she’s sung vocals on some of their songs. “He knows how to find the notes and inflections that will make the line or the chord special and powerful,” Dupuis continues. “It doesn’t hurt that he’s one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen. Ovlov have been the biggest band in the world to me since around 2009 and I’m glad everyone else is catching up.”

Read the entire feature HERE.