By ALEX LYALL

 

In this edition of the Haul we take a look at some of the indie stars, who are right now making music that is lively and emotionally challenging. Vic Mensa is (finally) releasing his debut and Yukon Era is opening for Japandroids. Good things ahead!

 

Smerz – Oh My My

Norwegian duo Smerz are here with a very woozy electronic-pop piece. And once you get past the weird, a whole lot of beauty becomes blinding.

Oh My My is a track that reveals more with each listen. Sitting under the synth and rough drum beat are stories from the dying days of a relationship and the pain that it brings. And boy, is it painful. These pained vocals can attest to that. That is of course, until the duo reveal that the relationship might actually be dying due to “basic B problems.”

It’s an uneasy song, and the video doesn’t do it any favours – but once you get to know it, it’s easy to see the substance and the potential.

 

TORRES – Three Futures

At the end of September TORRES will be releasing her third album, Three Futures. Three Futures (the song) is the first to be released from the album, and it’s a murky, guitar-driven gem. While the music video is perplexing, the song is not. It retains a tangible flow and gives platform to TORRES’ wonderful voice.

 

The Weather Station – Thirty

On Thirty, Tamara Linderman offers everything that is great about country and more.

You find here what you find on your typical country song: raising children on little money. But that’s nowhere near a bad thing. Linderman sings passionately about the difficulties it brings, yet the volume of her voice indicates endless optimism for a better future. The more sure she sounds, the louder the drums bang.

The lyrics are fantastic and they are in good company with the instrumentation that simmers and adds layers.

The Weather Station is an artist to watch, but one that should have been famous ages ago.

 

Yukon Era to open for Japandroids

Japandroids (who, unfortunately, are actually Canadian) are finally arriving this month to play shows in Auckland and Wellington.

Opening for them are Kiwi boys Yukon Era. Their jangled yet frenzied sound will provide a nice warm-up for the more anthemic Japandroids. Expect great things from this show. 

 

Vic Mensa Finally Delivers

The great test for Chicagoan Vic Mensa is about to commence when he releases his long-awaited debut album next week. Mensa has been a welcome presence in music in the last few years. He’s fused a punk-rock fury in his vocal delivery which has contrasted with the social activism espoused heavily in his private life.

Mensa has said of the album, called The Autobiography, that it’s his “blood, sweat and tears.” We’ll see how that pays off for him next week.

 

Is it Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan?

Answer: It’s actually neither. This wax figure is supposed to be Beyoncé. Yikes!

 

Miss last week’s Haul? Not a problem, just follow this link to catch up.

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