Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Picks of the Week 11/10/2023


It’s our Bandcamp Picks of the Week, featuring a scrappy punk split from Lothario and New Buck Biloxi, and the soft ’90s punk flair of TIFFY’s SO SERIOUS! 

Tiffy So Serious


Genre: Fuzz Pop, Bedroom Pop

Favorite Tracks: “I’m Not Equipped For This,” “Funnel Vision,” “can’t stand it (don’t wanna talk)”

Sunny indie pop with a punky flair? You can’t go wrong. The Breeders’ flavor of ‘90s alternative rock with surf pop instrumentals is the epitome of that, but Tiffany Sammy as TIFFY has captured their energy on her debut album, SO SERIOUS. For its brief runtime, Sammy’s guitars ring with the same cadence as those alt-rockers, and she employs an impassioned vocal delivery making her choruses irresistible. What makes her stand out though, aside from the music, is her songwriting ability—she scrutinizes social angst and inadequacy in these ironically lively tunes.

The opener “I’m Not Equipped For This” establishes the album’s sound palette: power pop chord progressions, explosive guitar lines, and booming percussion that elevates Sammy’s heartfelt harmonies. “Don’t Take It Personally” and “Vying” move at a comfortable swaying pace, whereas “Lost In The Shuffle” introduces a bouncy groove with reverb-drenched, jangly guitars. If any song on the album is worthy of being labeled a bop, it’s certainly this one. SO SERIOUS is a delightful sonic adventure due to Sammy’s crispy, clean guitar work. Diverse sounds are also deployed to make her songs stand out. “Social Sliding” opens with swirling beeps that recall the electronic-laden power pop of ‘90s Welsh band Super Furry Animals. “can’t stand it (don’t wanna talk)” has a twinkly beep throughout the track, akin to any upbeat tune from Sweet Trip’s tender 2009 album, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHY. Down to the conclusive distortion of Sammy’s song, it wouldn’t be out of place on the dream pop duo’s album.

“can’t stand it (don’t wanna talk)” is a favorite because of that association, but it stands on its own for its lush sound. The same can be said for “Funnel Vision,” perhaps the album’s most interesting cut. Soft synthesizers blanket the track with its steady groove. Sammy’s voice seamlessly transitions in and out of acoustic sparsity, only to cascade into colorful guitar catharses—it’s where her musicianship shines the brightest. Also, as hinted earlier, her lyrics add an emotive angle to her pop songs. “Wait for the chance / Nothing’s truly built to last,” she sings on “Funnel Vision,” whereas she exclaims “I want your attention so bad” and “I’m not speaking to anyone / Not just you, but everyone right now” on “Vying” and “Don’t Take It Personally,” respectively. Sammy’s blasé and at times fervent delivery of lines about an infallible social battery injects her songs with an underlying poignancy. Thus, SO SERIOUS happens to be exactly that—under a pleasant guise, the chillax indie pop by TIFFY conveys the weirdness of socializing, making for a bittersweet summer soundtrack. Give it a listen on Bandcamp. [Domenico Lepore]


Lothario / New Buck Biloxi – LOTHARIO / NEW BUCK BILOXI SPLIT

Genre: Punk

Favorite Tracks: “Doggy,” “I Hate The Queen”

The split EP is a mythical artifact in the lore of punk rock. And yet not every split is created equally, and there’s a real grace and magic to the ones that properly nail the formula. That’s certainly the case for this four-track effort from Melbourne’s own Annaliese Redlich (aka Lothario) and New Orleans rocker Robert Craig (aka New Buck Biloxi). Like any proper split, both bands get ample time to shine. Lothario’s “Doggy” is one heck of a way to start any record—Redlich dirties post-punk in a way that you hope and fear she’ll reach through the speakers and tie you up. And just when that reaches a fever pitch, “Missing Person” brings it down for some extra sleazy garage rock.

Meanwhile, New Buck Biloxi’s offerings are infinitely more lo-fi and scuzzy. “Frozen Shut” sounds like it’s playing from a busted boombox four blocks away—and you’d be wise to work hard to fully hear this unassuming jam. “I Hate The Queen” certainly maintains the wonderfully dilapidated quality, but it has oodles more force and bile to exude. So, yeah, these four tracks couldn’t theoretically be more different. Mostly, they don’t work together in a traditional sense, and they’re a perfect fit in more important ways. Lothario is all about the big gestures and movements, pulling us in with raw power. On the back-end, as it were, NBB shows that restraint and subtlety have just as much power. And so what we actually get are tracks that engage and interact in novel and subtle ways, showing us some shared interest in how music can stir hearts and minds while leaving us to sort through our subsequent reactions. They play like hella great party tunes as much as this device for exploring punk as this endless catharsis machine. Did Lothario and NBB likely intend that with this effort? Probably not—this split’s celebrating Lothario’s recent U.S. tour. Still, I could always make the argument that this notion’s what I picked up from the music, and that’s my prerogative. But since I’m not that bratty, what I can say is that my reaction maybe proves something fundamental about these two acts.

There exists this shared commitment to the past and certain punk pillars even as they inject new layers of grit and ferocity. And so this split captures what’s great about these projects—the frenetic pace and overwhelming oomph of it all—because both bands clearly balance their endless devotion with this subtle “disdain” for ever repeating a thing. Which is to say, it’s all a very punk rock-ian (ew) way of celebrating and dissecting the culture. This is a construct that remixes and disseminates in real-time as to shock and engage its listeners. But here’s why you oughta care: the end result is seven-ish minutes of blistering punk fury and undeniably cool garage dipping and weaving together in a glorious, destructive arc. If you don’t feel the magic, maybe you’re already dead? Listen to it now over on Bandcamp. [Chris Coplan]

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