Back in April, noisy art-rockers Melkbelly put out their acclaimed sophomore album PITH. Today, the band’s guitarist and vocalist Miranda Winters has returned, this time with a solo offering of her own called “Little Baby Dead Bird”.
With the exception of a one-off track on last year’s Post-Trash compilation, this is the first new material Winters has released under her own name since her 2018 debut Xobeci, What Grows Here?. Her style, unlike the knotty and thrashing output of former Artist of the Month Melkbelly, is decidedly sparser and more mellow, though no less colorful.
The backbone of “Little Baby Dead Bird” consists of a cautious bassline and Winters’ bashful chirp, but those quietly intense elements are buttressed by supple string strokes by fellow Chicago musician Joe Starita. Winters also enlisted Nic Gohl from the Windy City band Deeper to join her on backing vocals, and his vocals provide some extra texture and a bleary layering effect within the mix. Take a listen below.
“Little Baby Dead Bird” serves as the B-side to a forthcoming single titled “Double Mirror Light”, and both are notably the first tracks Winters wrote since giving birth to a daughter last year. The two reference the life-changing experience of becoming a parent, but “Little Baby Dead Bird” also takes a darker look into the concept of mortality.
“This song is about life and death,” Winters commented on the track in a statement. “Anticipating both and not understanding either. It was written as a plea to two different people who, at the time, existed on either side of our realm. The before life side and the after life side.”
The two singles will be collected on a 7-inch that’s due out October 2nd via Exploding In Sound Records. Pre-orders are available now.
On their debut album, New York’s Dig Nitty drift between daydreamy indie-pop and fuzzy blasts of guitar like the sun emerging from clouds. They fit right in on the roster of Exploding In Sound, a label that remains on the underground rock pulse with excellent genre-bending releases in the last few years from groups like Water From Your Eyes, Ovlov, and Pile (whose bassist Alex Molini also shares a recording credit here).
As Dig Nitty’s story goes, many of the songs from Reverse of Mastery were written while singer/guitarist Erin McGrath worked in solitude as a national park ranger, clearing her mind while watching birds and allowing melodies to appear. She met singer/drummer Reggie Bender when both of them worked in the much more hectic setting of Brooklyn’s former DIY venue Shea Stadium. Their two voices intertwine on album opener “Small Curd,” unfurling like a nursery rhyme or schoolyard skipping rope chant sung in the round. With a softness that recalls the late, great Grass Widow or Moe Tucker’s lead vocals with the VU, the song surfs to a close on a crashing wave of riffs that reveal an ocean of emotion.
Five years after calling it quits, the members of Boston rock outfit Krill decided to reconvene — but this time under a different name. Enter Knot, a group that pairs original Krill members Jonah Furman, Aaron Ratoff, and Ian Becker with additional guitarist Joe DeManuelle-Hall. Together, the freshly formed band is kicking off its new chapter with a self-titled debut album due for release on August 28th.
While much of the personnel remains the same, the focus of these musicians has changed rather substantially. As Furman put it, “These songs are vaguely about deciding whether or not to have kids, whereas Krill songs were vaguely about deciding what to do with your life.”
Indeed, Knot’s members have aged a bit and #adulting is more the norm than a novel lifestyle. Fans heard this sharpened worldview on early singles like “The World” and “Foam”. Today’s offering, “Horse Trotting, The Feet Not Touching the Ground”, follows suit. On it, Furman talks about growing older and wiser — at least enough to not “be fooled by such childish things” like a fake figurine horse. Ahh, but isn’t ignorance bliss?
Musically, Knot have also expanded on Krill’s sound. In addition to the usual lo-fi and whimsical indie rock we’ve come to love (think Pavement and Built to Spill), the four-piece fold in new layers of stuttering and shifty math-rock.
Stream “Horse Trotting” below, followed by the band’s Origins of the track.
Dig Nitty’s debut album was supposed to be out in the world already, with the original summer date already having come and gone in this strange new calendar we’re currently navigating. Its release will now be cheered into the world on September 18th, and today the band are preempting the arrival with the sharing of another new song from it, in the form of the gritty n’ pretty ‘Palm Springs‘ which we’re very happy to share here today.
Where the album’s first cut ~ Lomita ~ offered something eminently upbeat and breezy, the new track offers something altogether more puzzling, the gentle wobble of guitar, the skittish percussion, casting an eery glow over Erin McGrath’s subtle voice. though it only lasts for a fleeting two-and-a-half minutes, ‘Palm Springs’ grows into the kind world you long to know more about, that quietly pleads to be stepped into and explored in more detail. that we don’t get that chance only adds to the allurement of what is a fascinating leap forward from the Brooklyn quartet.
Dig Nitty’s debut album, Reverse of Mastery, was recorded together with Pile’s Alex Molini, and arrives via the sturdy arms of the Exploding in Sound label. You can pre-order the new album here and check out the brilliant ‘Palm Springs‘ below right now.
Earlier this month, the members of the dearly beloved and dearly departed band Krill announced they were reforming, with an additional guitarist, as Knot. Their self-titled debut is going to be out at the end of August, and they’ve already shared a promising first glimpse called “Foam,” which ranked amongst our favorite songs that week. Today, they’re back with another one.
Knot’s latest is called “The World.” Here’s what Jonah Furman had to say about it:
“The World” is supposed to be about the experience of wanting to change the world — or maybe the experience of insisting on wanting to change the world. I guess in some basic way it’s just about anti-escapism — what it means to accept the world, your life, the political situation, as real, as something one cannot retreat from, and as something one should try to not want to retreat from, but to push through, look in the face, and demand some kind of transformation. In my head there was the phrase “another world is possible,” which is heard in movements and protests, and seems to be consciously or unconsciously associated with the idea that we can build something parallel or separate from the corrupted and horrific institutions and instantiations of actually-existing society. I want on some level to reject that; not that change can’t happen, but I want to insist that it happens through, not around, the sick and failed parts of human political experience.