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ICYMI vol.5: The Growlers, Puzzle, and Adam Hattaway and the Haunters

ICYMI is a new series featuring new and notable releases you (and we) may have missed


All Dat Love – Adam Hattaway and the Haunters

Adam Hattaway and the Haunters sound like the love child between Elliot Smith, Mike Krol, and Kyle Craft. Equally as soulful as it is scuzzy, All Dat Love is a successful experiment in melding genres. Laid-back vocals and an almost folky twang collide with fuzzed out guitar solos we don’t deserve. I’ve had new favorite tracks each listen through, but some standouts are “Interstate”, “All Dat Love”, and “White Night Out”.

Moving to the Farm – Distractor

Hybrid synth-pop, post-punk outfit, Distractor, is full-on absurd and I’m here for it. “Moving to the Farm” makes my version of hell sound like a pretty decent time in a stick it to the man/fuck society kind of way. They also has a pretty unreal video to accompany it. It’s a chanting, yelling, dancing kind of song and I’m sure it’s a hell of trip to see live. If “Moving to the Farm” takes place in the country, “Zero Zero Zero” sounds like it exists in an underground dance club that gives you fluorescent drinks is test tubes and everyone is wearing mesh and glitter. It takes a turn for the darker and weirder and is more synth and bass heavy, but balances that with literally singing about poop and Pikachu. There’s even a pseudo-rap breakdown (if we want to call it that) at the end.

“Fate” – Boy Harsher

The music video for “Hate” from Boy Harsher feels like grown-up, vampiric, Stranger Things. 80s electro-synths play soundtrack to an eerie, bloody, green-tinged tale of our inability to run from our own demons and our innately flawed human nature.

 

“Who Loves the Scum” – The Growlers

How The Growlers feel in “Who Loves the Scum” is a mirror to have I feel about the music industry. If we’re considering good music “the Scum” that is and commercial music like the train-wreck that is the 1975 album that for some reason allows them to live it up in the sun while many more talented (and humble and socially aware…) artists are struggling to get by. It’s about being so close you can almost taste it, but always falling short. You think your chance is coming? It’s not. To sum it up, “we’re not the lucky ones”, but at least they sound like they are. In Beach Goth fashion, the song mixes a surfy, tropical vibe (especially highlighted in the breakdown) with typical garage rock elements. And despite the aforementioned themes, it feels surprisingly upbeat.

 

“Disappear” – Puzzle

Maybe it’s because I’m out of the city for the holidays, but “Disappear” feels like riding passenger seat down an empty highway after a long night out, watching the lights blur by. It’s dreamy, crackly, and dissonant as Fletcher Shears’ speak-sings sentiments like, “I’ve tried but I don’t give a fuck about pretending like I just don’t care.” It recalls a dark suburbia or sorts — dog shows, burials in rich people’s backyards, and the appearance of being clean while actually being dirty underneath. It ends with asking if we’re okay living in the same place all our lives, doing the same thing, existing in painful monotony confined by social norms. Because by doing so, we’ll all disappear.



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