DIY/Lo-Fi

PREMIERE: Tim Barr looks outward (and inward) on "Sign of the Good Times"

It’s hard not to feel lonely when listening to Sign of the Good Times, the latest full-length by New York-based songwriter Tim Barr. Even as the backing instrumentation swells to fill the room with his somber blend of indie and folk, Barr’s iconic vocal performance is hushed and reclusive, a product of both his process (the record was self-produced on tape in the artist’s apartment) and of his philosophy in writing the record, which serves as an exercise in “accepting and appreciating the totality of human experience as it is.” It’s this approach that makes Good Times an evenhanded resonant record, with Barr willing to dwell on differing memories — snapshots of playing baseball and kissing in the rain (“I Become Everything”) are presented in tandem with recollections of lost love (“Wolves”). The end result is a deeply human release, a mixed bag of feelings and emotions, presented by an isolated narrator looking outwards, trying to make sense of it all the best that he can; listen to it below when you’re trying to do the same. —Connor Beckett McInerney

   

Dog Park sniffs success with debut record "Scotty"

Unorthodox as can be, the music of Maine collective Dog Park is a ride into the sublime unknown. The group’s debut full-length record Scotty is a playground of short but meaty sonic treats that range from gruff garage rock to full-blown noise rock: tracks like “Red Cabbage” are tastefully rhythmic with their lo-fi coating while songs like “Walter” are gooey in pace with lead basslines to savor. The record’s lead single “Zebra” slithers along with its industrial-psychedelic influences, contorting into a noise rock brevity that you cannot help play again. The group jams it out in the album’s final track “Horsey,” and the euphoria that surely sparked this record is exposed with gusto. Since not a single track makes it past the two-minute mark, this album is a bag of treats for the feral (or adorable) dog in you. Sit! And stream the record below. - Rene Cobar

   

02.01: Ginger Root plays mini-series premiere party at Junior High

The funk-forward DIY crew Ginger Root are gearing up for a little tour in March, but on Saturday, February 1st, they'll perform some music as part of the premiere of Hole Man at Junior High. If you're unfamiliar with Ginger Root's sound -- which blends funk and indie elements along the lines of Toro Y Moi, Vulfpeck, and Jay Som -- you'll want to discover it at this show, as you can pay nothing to get in. This free show will also get you into the premiere of the new mini-series Hole Man, additional performances by RENDER BOY and Jesse Herb, and art and zines for sale from creators Tessa Lowe and Seannie Bryan. If anything, this event's a great chance to support Junior High, a non-profit space dedicated to highlighting marginalized voices with radical empathy and anti-oppression activism. Get yourself familiar with Ginger Root's music by watching the video for "B4", posted below. - Will Sisskind

   

Shadow Year’s “Godspeed” is grounded under pressure, plays Trans Pecos 1.23

Godspeed, the latest offering by NYC indie quartet Shadow Year, is an ode to the fast-changing nature of city living, a collection of vignettes expressed through synth and guitar-centric indie, backed by instrumentation that encapsulates an energy chaotic and wistful. Whether the band is recounting seeing your crush while waiting for the J Train on opener “For The Weekend,” or longing for the unattainable on the release’s title track, the EP is bound together by the quotidian, universal struggles of living in New York, underscored by a swelling, occasionally discordant playing. A healthy dose of contemporary punk, slacker, and post-rock, Godspeed’s sound is expressive and raw, yet never unhinged, a collection of tunes for anyone who’s keeping it together under pressure (which is, to say, most of us). Listen below, and see Shadow Year at Trans Pecos tonight, January 23rd. —Connor Beckett McInerney

   

WIG "Swell"

WIG released their second EP, “Swell”, on the first day of 2020. The tape will be release by Let’s Pretend, but the EP is currently available digitally.

WID is the the DIY trio of Chris Gottlieb (guitar/vocals), Lucas Sikorski (bass guitar), and Clayton Demuth (drums).

If you can find Situations (or DM the band) you can catch WIG on January 21st with Old Joy and Chatanooga’s Riversedge.