It’s finally starting to warm up here in New York, so we’re feeling pretty sunny in the Paste Music offices and loving some of the new spring music coming across our desks. This week, we were digging the new album by melodic Korean rockers Say Sue Me (pictured above), as well as fresh songs from Post Animal, Snow Patrol and Omni. We also hosted some legends in our studio and dug into to features on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Goat Girl, and the best rock bands at Coachella. Catch up with our favorite music and words of the past seven days.
Say Sue Me: Where We Were Together
The best pure indie-pop record of 2018 (so far) is not from Brooklyn or Glasgow or Melbourne or Olympia but Busan, South Korea. The album, Where We Were Together from the band Say Sue Me, is a perfectly paced fusion of jangling guitars, bouncing bass and sighed melancholy. “I’m full of things I hate,” sings frontwoman Sumi Choi, “but I like you. ”— Ben Salmon
Pat Reedy & the Longtime Goners: That’s All There Is
Formerly a street busker in New Orleans, Pat Reedy passes up pop-country in favor of a harder-edged sound built around pedal steel guitar, Telecaster twang and a skillful balance between wry humor and plain-spoken sentiment. He mixes the latter two into a generous pour of hard-won wisdom as he sings about, well, life: There’s various shades of love, loneliness, a little luck and, on “Funny Thing About a Hammer,” a pretty solid plan to ignore what’s on the news and go fishing instead. “You Don’t Have to Tell Me Again,” is jauntier than you’d think thanks to a taut bass line and bright swells of steel guitar. Maybe it’s a break-up song, maybe it’s just an exasperated spat—Reedy doesn’t make it explicit, which is why it works so well. —Eric R. Danton
Josh Rouse: Love in the Modern Age
Josh Rouse cites The Smiths, The Cure and The Blue Nile as influences, and you can hear little bits of each throughout Love in the Modern Age—in the airless echo of opening track “Salton Sea,” the glassy keyboards of “Ordinary People, Ordinary Lives” and the variegated synths of “Tropic Moon.” Most of Rouse’s ‘80s excursions are both tasteful and appropriate for his voice and style. —Ben Salmon
Snow Patrol: ‘Life on Earth’
The Scottish alt-rock veterans on Thursday released the latest single from their forthcoming album Wildness, due out on May 25 via Polydor/Republic Records. This hauntingly beautiful single follows Wildness’ debut track, “Don’t Give In,” released last month, a few days after the album’s announcement. The “Life on Earth” music video was premiered on Thursday by British Astronaut Tim Peake, shot at the European Space Agency in Holland. —Abdiel Vallejo-Lopez
Post Animal: ‘Tire Eyes’
After the release of last month’s “Gelatin Mode” and the stellar lead single “Ralphie,” Post Animal continue to hone their signature psych-rock sound with their latest single, “Tire Eyes.” The self-produced track flourishes with psychedelic guitar riffs, hard percussion and light pop melodies that recall the days of The Who and Led Zeppelin. This complex production is classic rock to its core, even in the layered vocals of the group. But its bassist Dalton Allison who takes center stage with his unwavering falsetto. —Adreon Patterson
Omni: ‘Sunset Preacher’
Atlanta post-punk trio Omni are back with a sharp new song, “Sunset Preacher,” off their new 7-inch. Sunset Preacher b/w Confessional, which follows 2017’s Multi-Task LP, is out April 20 via Chunklet. Max Freedman called Multi-Task a collection of “hectic but contained collages of young, restless, lonely, and broke twenty-somethings overextending their way through life.” “Sunset Preacher” continues in that vein, finding the band ripping up their signature nimble sound and starting again. Its rhythmic breakdown is sleek yet aggressive, with bright guitar shrieks and pulsing beats. Hear the track in all its quick, agile glory below. —Loren DiBlasi
The soul survivor showcased songs from her latest release, Things Have Changed, an album of Bob Dylan songs so beautifully and uniquely covered that they are almost unrecognizable from the originals tracks. Watch LaVette put her inimitable spin on Dylan’s “Ain’t Talkin’,” and read our recent interview with her here.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter is marking 30 years of touring and recording with the release of Sometimes Just the Sky, a collection of songs that essentially becomes a chapter-by-chapter recounting of her unique career as a Grammy-winning country singer who was always much more than that. Watch her perform “Heroes and Heroines,” from 1987’s Hometown Girl.
Justin Furstenfeld of Texas alt-rock band Blue October visited Paste to offer an intimate performance of two songs from the group’s forthcoming album, I Hope You’re Happy, sandwiching an older Blue October track, “Into the Ocean,” between the two. The incredible performance showed the stark differences and developments in both the band’s lyrical focus and Furstenfeld’s personal philosophy.
Juliana Hatfield Talks About Punking Olivia Newton-John
In song, as in romance, one never forgets a first love. No matter how cheesy or childish it may seem later, the memory of that initial encounter with music’s emotional power never goes away. For Juliana Hatfield, it was Olivia Newton-John. Far from hiding her first musical love, Hatfield is celebrating it on the new album Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, which comes out Friday on American Laundromat Records. “For my whole career, without consciously realizing it, I’ve been trying to integrate Olivia and X, the sweet pop and the messy punk,” she says. “I’ve always had those two sides to me, not only in what I play but also in what I listen to. I veer back and forth like a pendulum.” —Geoffrey Himes
The Three Worst Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Snubs
Everyone has a favorite Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snub. Mostly it’s a subjective distinction—although only mostly. Whatever your opinion of Kiss, for example, any band that sells 75 million records and inspires an entire decade of music to follow probably shouldn’t have to wait 15 years past its eligibility year to be inducted. But therein lies the inherent problem with any Hall of Fame that honors artistic achievement. Unless you’re simply counting up the stats—and who even really understands how we’re doing that anymore—there can never truly be a consensus on who merits enshrinement. But these three foundational bands need to be included in any shrine to the art of rock ‘n’ roll. —Michael Salfino
Goat Girl Take the Power Position on Their Dark Debut
Gender, power, and authority are all major themes on Goat Girl, a vivid and intense 19-track LP that drifts from twangy pop (“The Man,” “Cracker Drool”), to dark, stormy post-punk (“Throw Me a Bone,” “Viper Fish”) to offbeat, melodic interludes (“Moonlit Monkey,” “Dance of Dirty Leftovers”). The songs are sharp and biting one moment, pretty and delicate the next. Woven together seamlessly, they string together a shadowy tale of growing up in South London amid a turbulent cultural and political climate. “At the beginning [of the band] we had a lot of teenage angst.” —Loren DiBlasi
The 10 Best Rock Bands at Coachella
Unlike previous Coachella bills, which often spotlighted top-shelf bands like Radiohead and made a habit of hosting major rock reunions, like The Stone Roses, LCD Soundsystem and Guns N’ Roses, the headliners this year—The Weeknd, Beyonce and Eminem—all hail from the R&B/hip-hop world. So do many of the second-line acts, like Migos, SZA, Vince Staples, Cardi B and Post Malone. Even some of the bigger rock acts, like HAIM, Portugal. The Man and St. Vincent, aren’t exactly rock. But the good news is, you can still see rock bands at Coachella, which kicks of the first of its two weekends on Friday in Indio, Calif. You just have to show up a bit early. Here are 10 of the best. —Loren DiBlasi