Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf”

Ever since the sudden breakup of Canadian noise rock band Women, and the untimely passing of member Chris Reimer, there’s been a lo-fi-shaped hole in my heart few bands have been able to fill. Many have tried, but no group has successfully balanced catchy and subversive in the way Women has.

Enter Viet Cong: This new band not only features a similar aesthetic, but ex-Women members Matt Flegel as well and Michael Wallace. Scott Munro of Chad VanGaalen‘s band also works his way into the mix–if you didn’t know, Chad produced both of Women’s two full-lengths. And let’s not leave out bandmate Daniel Christiansen and.

Viet Cong started to test out the waters last year with a cassette that ended up on Mexican Summer, and now the band is gearing up to release a self-titled debut via Jagjaguwar in January 2015. Considering the quality of this lead single, I’m psyched.

The howling, haunting melodies on this track are fantastic! The galloping beat is a nice touch, and the vocals remind me of an early Wolf Parade record. It’s lo-fi, catchy, noisy, and there’s a touch of goth rock somewhere in there as well. January can’t come soon enough!

shangozeropoint – Nothing Is Original

You probably don’t know West Coast rapper shangozeropoint. That’s fine. Let me introduce you to him right here.

He’s got a new tape out titled Nothing Is Original, and he doesn’t really do anything that goes against that message either. He’s more of a laid-back bedroom rapper with a decent flow, some self-aware bars, and some interesting beat choices as well. While I don’t see this tape lighting anyone’s world on fire, the project’s got a fun, smooth, colorful, and pleasant vibe that I enjoy.

CIVIL CIVIC V R. STEVIE MOORE – “When You Gonna Find Me A Wife?”

Woah! This is coming out of left-field right here: Lo-fi legend R. Stevie Moore is collaborating with instrumental rockers Civil Civic on a new track titled “When You Gonna Find Me A Wife?

Considering Civil Civic has a new album release right around the corner, I’m pretty excited for whatever these guys have up their sleeves next.

Ariel Pink – “Put Your Number In My Phone”

Lo-fi pop fans unite: There’s a new Ariel Pink album on the way. HOORAY!

Yes, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Ariel Pink is gearing up for another album release this November via 4AD. The title of this forthcoming album is pom pom, and this debut single from it has been paired with the oddity of a music video embedded above.

“Put Your Number In My Phone,” is a catchy, blissful, and poetic love song where the protagonist desires a love interest’s phone number in his mobile device. Vocally, Pink is his typically shy self, and there’s even a cheesy phone recording that isn’t to unlike the one here.

Being this is a love song, it’s only fitting that the music video is loaded with awkward romantic rejections, which are experienced by Pink and his wheelchair-bound friend as they cruise the mall looking for fun and love. Need I also mention that Pink looks like a late 90s mall goth who just picked up a copy of Kid Rock’s Devil Without A Cause? Yes, yes, I need say that.

Look for pom pom on November 17th.

Michael Cera – True That

Michael Cera drops an album that’s a musical hobbyist’s affair.

Half Japanese – “In Its Pull”

So much hype surrounding Half Japanese’s upcoming record Overjoyed – it’s their first full-length thing in 13 freaking years! It’s not so hard to see why all the excitement: the band’s DIY sound was groundbreaking throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s and was influential to countless notable alt/indie rock artists, including Kurt Cobain and Daniel Johnston.

Now it’s 2014, and with lo-fi music so readily accessible with the web, I can’t really imagine this new single “In Its Pull” being mind-blowing for most listeners. That being said, Jad Fair still knows how to write the hell out of a song, so this is a pretty killer track all the same. It sounds in-the-moment like the group’s best work and I dig the raw production Deerhoof’s John Dieterich brings to the table. Thankfully, it looks as though Overjoyed will be a plenty enjoyable comeback that will be just offbeat enough. We know too well that sometimes even that is too much to ask for…

Overjoyed is due out September 2 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

Dub Thompson – “No Time”

Up-and-coming lo-fi rock outfit Dub Thompson drops yet another song from their forthcoming album on Dead Oceans, 9 Songs. Truth be told, “No Time” has been floating around for a little while, I believe, but I’ve been warming up to the song a bit. The damaged aesthetic of the recording just gives the eerie, viral refrain a lot of impact, and I think the quirky organ melodies at the start of the track add a lot of the song as well.

9 songs is coming out next week.

ikea-graveyard – stray

Alofa Gould is a 19-year-old Vista, CA-based singer-songwriter who has recorded under the moniker Your Bruise, and now under ikea-graveyard. This month, she put out a split EP with touringmates Bulldog Eyes and Yukon, as well as this collection of demos she recorded on her porch, called stray. The tracks are breezy and feature only Gould’s lovely voice and acoustic guitar, but while simple, they manage to be quite evocative. She caps off the tape with a nice Joyce Manor cover, too. Happy listening!

Black Pus – “Blood Will Run”

Black Pus, a.k.a. Brian Chippendale, is dropping a new, vinyl-only split LP with Oozing Wound, which is aptly titled Split LP. From what I understand, “Blood Will Run” is the first song to be dropped from it, and it’s absolutely nuts. It’s not quite as noisy or rhythmically dense as one would expect from a Black Pus.

Actually, it’s the lyrics that manage to lead the way on this one. Chippendale shouts these direct, yet, abstract lines about pulling out his gun in response to other people needing to “turn down” their music and opinions. There’s even some goofily harmonized singing just before there’s noisy freakout of ascending and descending melodies that spiral out of control against Chippendale’s steady drumming, too. Definitely one of the more distinct and odd tracks I’ve heard from this project in a while. Hopefully, the rest of this split runs just as bold.

Look for Split LP via Thrill Jockey on June 17th.

Never Young – “Main Stacks”

Never Young whips out a sad, heart-stopping chord progression on “Main Stacks,” which is one of the many tracks featured on their new, cassette, Master Copy. If you’re looking for well-crafted guitars mixed with noise, and fed through some lo-fi recording tricks, then look for this thing on Father/Daughter Records.