Hop Along – Prior Things

Philadelphia’s Hop Along will release their third studio album Bark Your Head Off, Dog on April 6 via Saddle Creek. Pre-order it here.

The formidable 9-song collection is the band’s strongest and most cohesive album to date. Crafted by Frances Quinlan (songwriter, lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist), Tyler Long (bass), Joe Reinhart (guitar), and Mark Quinlan (drums), the album imagines what it’s like to cast off long held perceptions, often without being certain about the new ones that will replace them. Quinlan has been meditating a lot on power. In this particular moment in history, this thought begs a greater question: what do we do with power and the men who so freely brandish it? “I’m angry that I believed in this false idea for so long, that a man would come along and show me what I was worth.”

Self-produced and recorded at The Headroom in Philadelphia by Reinhart and Kyle Pulley, Bark Your Head Off, Dog features the familiar sounds that have always made the band allergic to genre: grunge, folk, punk, and power pop all appear, with inspiration from ELO to Elvis Costello to ‘70s girl group vocal arrangements. This time around, they’ve added strings, more intricate rhythms, lush harmonies (featuring Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian), along with a momentary visit with a vocoder. In more than one place, Mark Quinlan drums like he’s at a disco with Built to Spill. Bark Your Head Off, Dog is, without question, Hop Along’s most dynamic and textured record yet.

Girls Names – 25

Girls Names release their new album Stains on Silence on June 15 via Tough Love Records. Pre-order here.

Following 2015’s exceptional Arms Around a Vision, and the parting of drummer Gib Cassidy just over a year later, the Belfast band suddenly found themselves facing down a looming void. “There was a finished – and then aborted – mix of the album, which was shelved for six months,” reveals Girls Names frontman Cathal Cully. “We then took a break from all music and went back to full-time work. We chilled out from the stress of rushing the record and not being happy with it, as well as being skint with no impending touring on the cards and constantly having to worry about rent.”

The stumbling blocks that proved a strain became the album’s defining breakthrough. Recorded in various locations including Belfast’s Start Together Studio with Ben McAuley, Cully’s home and the band’s practice space, spontaneous creation, cut-up techniques and self-editing took centre-stage for the first time. “We started tearing the material apart and rebuilding, re-editing and re-recording different parts in my home in early Autumn last year,” says Cully. “When we got them to a place we were happier with we went back into Start Together Studio with Ben McAuley to finalise the mixes to what they are now.”

Where AAAV proved a brazen statement of intent, Stains on Silence bounds forth as its feature-length comedown. What could have seen the band buckle became an opportunity for approaching things tabula rasa. During its two-year transmutation, Cully, bassist Claire Miskimmin and guitarist Philip Quinn had a single aim for their fourth album: to make an old-fashioned record clocking in around 30 to 35 minutes in length that made the listener reach straight for repeat. From the Bang Bang bar-summoning swoon of opener ‘25’ and the submerged disco doom of ‘Haus Proud’ to the rapt, dub-leaning ‘Fragments of a Portrait’, Girls Names have excelled in their goal by forging an LP of synchronous nuance and defiance.

Oneohtrix Point Never – MYRIAD

Oneohtrix Point Never drops the first preview of MYRIAD, his most ambitious project to date, taking place at Park Avenue Armory, New York City between 22-24 May.

MYRIAD is Lopatin’s first live ensemble performance, and it features new music. A press release describes MYRIAD as “a multi-level, daring, immersive performance built specifically for one of New York’s greatest performing arts spaces.”

Oneohtrix Point Never’s last album was 2015’s incredible Garden Of Delete. He composed the score to the film Good Time in 2017.

Daniel Avery – Projector

Ahead of the April 6 release of his new studio album, Song For Alpha, Daniel Avery has shared the dazzling new video for Projector. Avery’s latest visual offering was created by London-based design house Flat-e, the same collective behind the previously released video for Slow Fade.

Explaining the creation of the Projector visual, Flat-e explains their methodology as the “layering animations of crystalline structures, then manipulating them digitally until they appear almost fluid.”

Song For Alpha, set for release on April 6 via Phantasy/Mute in USA and Canada and Phantasy worldwide, is Avery’s exploration of the space in which home listening and club music intersect. Reflecting on the inspiration behind Song For Alpha, Avery states, “I’ve become increasingly interested in those moments in a club when the outside world becomes little more than an inconsequential thought at the back of your skull. Eyes closed as opposed to hands in the air. The more time you spend with this idea the deeper you fall.”

Daniel Avery’s new album Song For Alpha is out April 6 on Phantasy. Pre-order it here.