Posted on January 17th, 2017

[as seen on Impose Magazine]

Philly-based trio Tall Friend is preparing to re-release their debut EP Tawl Friend – originally self-released last February – with Exploding in Sound Records in advance of their debut full-length, due later this year. We’ve got the exclusive premiere of the final song on the five track collection, titled “Guts”.

A song that could easily find its home in emotional indie films (think Juno), the emotional, raspy lyrics take you on a first person account of the events associated with – and results of being – vulnerable. Speak/singing of parental separation, opening up about personal issues with friends, and unconditional support through lyrics like “you will always be nothing but magic to me.”

So turn it on. And turn it up. Because we could probably all use a message like this right now. Tawl Friend is out January 27th via Exploding in Sound Records. It is available for preorder now.


Posted on January 11th, 2017

[as seen on NPR Music]

Spend some time in Boston's indie rock circles, and the name Pile is bound to come up in awestruck tones. The acerbic, noisy rock band's four previous albums and ceaseless DIY tours have earned it local hero status among the leagues of die-hard fans who shout along to frontman Rick Maguire's every word. And Pile is well-known as an idol for its peers, too – just ask defunct Boston cult favorites Krill, who named an EP in the band's honor.

Pile's lyrics often tell of anxiety and anguish, but you don't have to listen too closely to the words to get a sense of Maguire's inner turmoil. Equally capable of a murmur and a yelp (and usually covering both within the space of a song), Maguire commands a frenetic, crackling delivery like frayed wires. The band balances the acrobatic and the annihilating as it shifts between gnarled melodies and heavy thrashing. While Pile's music often dwells in extremes, even its heaviest moments rarely feel outwardly aggressive. Maguire is inviting listeners inside his head, and it's loud in there.

"Texas," the lead single from Pile's upcoming album A Hairshirt Of Purpose, is a two-minute roller coaster that puts your heart in your throat and leaves it there. Hairshirt contains moments of subdued beauty throughout, but "Texas" offers little proof. From the song's very first moments, Maguire howls like a kid who isn't ready for such velocity or hairpin turns, but the band relentlessly lurches forward. Guitars squeal, interlock and fracture; the percussion commands a climax, but decides only to punctuate it once it arrives. Then the song screeches to a halt. Like the best of Pile's music, it leaves the listener's head spinning, demanding a few more listens.

A Hairshirt Of Purpose comes out March 31 via Exploding In Sound.


Posted on January 3rd, 2017

[as seen on The AV Club]

Last year, Tall Friend self-released its debut EP, Tawl Friend, a collection of slack-pop songs that showed Charlie Pfaff’s knack for simple, affecting melodies. On January 27, Exploding In Sound Records will re-release Tawl Friend both digitally and on cassette, while also releasing Tall Friend‘s debut album, Safely Nobody’s, this spring. Today The A.V. Club is premiering “Cockroach,” a song from Tawl Friend that’s been unavailable on streaming services for a little bit. It’s a song that shows Pfaff’s ability to craft a song that sounds effortless yet still makes every moment count, making every new part feel essential and exciting.

Pre-orders for Tawl Friend are available now through Exploding In Sound.


Posted on December 6th, 2016

[as seen on The AV Club]

Since the release of Baked’s debut album in 2014, a lot has changed for the band. For one, its lineup has expanded, including members of Stove and Bueno, and its leader, R.J. Gordon, is a newly minted member of New York’s premier concept-rockers, Titus Andronicus. But all this has only worked to Baked’s benefit, and on February 24, Exploding In Sound Records will release Farnham, the band’s second album of blown-out classic rock. Today, The A.V. Club is streaming “Midnight Junkie,” which plays like a stoner-metal band taking on a classic Neil Young cut. Of the song, Gordon had this to say:

"I wrote “Midnight Junkie” back in 2010 for our band at the time, Jefferson High. It was originally recorded as a re-amped mandolin and vocal track. It felt good to give a proper full band arrangement to the song years later under the guise of Reich’s relaxed yet decisive producing and the band just really digging into what to all of us was a “new song.”

The song is a tribute to a close friend and band mate from my late teens, early twenties. He had gotten to a point in his life where he needed to separate himself from everything and everyone he knew just to get back to a point of personal homeostasis. I think at the time we both longed for the ‘good ol days’ and feeling naturally at peace with the way things are."

Farnham is out February 24 on Exploding In Sound and is available for pre-order now.


Posted on December 5th, 2016

[as seen on Stereogum]

Stove are working on their upcoming sophomore LP but took a breather from debut follow-up pressures to release Is The Meat That Fell Out, their second EP in the interim since debut Is Stupider. Recorded in bassist Alex Molini’s bedroom, this lethargic and bubbly seven-song set follows September’s Is A Toad In The Rain.

The slightly ridiculous album cover is somewhat deceiving in its humor — although it is pretty disheartening to drop a precious technicolored taco. “The Meat,” potentially referring to the unfortunate passing of the album cover’s splattered tortilla, is a glossy track topped off by Steve Hartlett coolly whining, “Fake a smile and lie to you/ It’s been a while since I had to/ See my friends move on and live.” It’s one of several captivating moments on a bedroom pop record filled with plenty of fuzz and a gentle pop sensibility. Stream the full EP below.

Stove tour dates (all shows with Sun Young):

12/08 Boston, MA @ Deep Thoughts w/ Primal Feelings & Mothers Day
12/09 Worcester, MA @ The Firehouse w/ Uh-huh & Kiss Concert
12/10 Western MA
12/11 New Paltz, NY @ House Show w/ Stringer, Vanity Jones, Slurms Mckenzie
12/12 New Brunswick, NJ @ In the West w/ Wetwired & Knights Templar
12/13 Washington, DC @ The Lily Trotter Tea Lounge w/ Two Inch Astronaut & Go Cozy
12/14 Baltimore, MD
12/15 Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits w/ Clique & Ursula
12/16 Brooklyn, NY @ Alphaville w/ Horse Jumper of Love & Poster

The two consecutive EPs will be available for purchase on a special cassette titled Greatest Hits via Exploding In Sound Records on 12/9. Pre-order here and keep an eye out for Stove’s new album next year.