Bandcamp Friday is back! After a brief hiatus—the last BF was back in May—the folks at the world's most beloved online record store announced they will, once again, waive their fee for the first Friday of every month for the remainder of the year.
Bandcamp says the promotion has raised $78 million dollars so far—“helping [artists] cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and much more”—with “nearly 800,000” fans participating. What a coincidence that there just so happens to be a whole heap of new local music to buy today so you can add to those numbers!
Here’s what I would get if I were you, a supportive and probably very attractive music fan looking to help a hardworking local artist pay rent and/or buy a burrito:
Julia Shapiro, "Death (XIII) (Jenn Champion Remix)" (Suicide Squeeze)
Julia Shapiro's latest solo album, Zorked, is bleak but comforting, a collection of ethereal sometimes-lo-fi-pop-sometimes-shoegaze-inspired songs that you don't so much listen to as allow them to haunt the veins of your brain for 35 minutes or so. It's perfect October music.
On Monday, Shapiro released Jenn Champion's remix of Zorked's opener, "Death (XIII)." The song is still moody, still emotionally chilly—Champion, a former member of Carissa's Wierd, knows her way around a sad song—but it gets a lift from Champion's new love of synthesizers and dance music. It's a fitting dramatic new wave boost for these fading days of summer.
Shapiro will play the Clock-Out Lounge with No. 2 and Floored Faces September 10.
Botch, "One Twenty Two" (Sargent House)
BOOOOOOOOTCH. BOOOOOOOTCH!!!!! BOTCH IS BACK.
No. They aren't, actually. Bassist (and former Stranger contributor) Brian Cook made it very clear on Twitter that this new Botch song—the band's first release in 20 years—is nothing more than just that, a new song. A single new song.
Still, I fucking love it. It's seething and explosive. David Knudson's guitar is wiry and erratic—it always has been the most head-spinning aspect of Botch's sound—while Dave Verellen stays the course and leads the charge with his booming, cathartic vocals. "FUCKING SAY IT AGAIN!" Goddamn.
Chong the Nomad and Maiah Manser, "Wrote a Lil Song" (Hardly Art)
Thanks to Chong the Nomad the world now knows what it would sound like if Björk ever worked with The Dismemberment Plan. Though she may have reigned in some of her mesmerizing weirdness for this new single, a collaboration with Maiah Manser, "Wrote a Lil Song" is still a fun and playful "neener-neener" bop about no longer giving a shit. Manser says she wrote the lyrics after a disagreement with her little sister.
"I really wanted to bring the lyrics back to that childlike/sibling rivalry most of us have experienced, and how sometimes that continues no matter how old you are," she wrote in a statement. It's not as blunt as, say, Lily Allen's "Fuck You," but there's definitely some inspiring devil-may-care dismissive energy.
La Luz, The Instrumentals (Hardly Art)
La Luz is great. You know this, I know this. The surf band has been great since they released their debut EP Damp Face 10 years ago. What's surprising is how strong the band's songs are even when their dazzling doo-wop harmonies are erased.
As evidence, I present The Instrumentals, a vocal-less version of last year's self-titled album that will still transport you to your warm, sunny beach of choice. It's an especially nice accompaniment to writing, studying, reading, eating nachos—basically doing anything that requires intense focus. No words, just vibes. Divine.
Miss La Luz's stunning croons? Grab Endless Afternoon, the two-song single the band released in June.
Built to Spill, When the Wind Forgets Your Name (Sub Pop)
Built to Spill's eighth full-length, When the Wind Forgets Your Name, isn't out until September 9, but if you buy it today you get instant downloads of the four singles that have already been released, and the full album will be available to you the second it's out next week.
When the Wind is the band's first record for Sub Pop, a fact I had to triple-check because I just didn't believe it, and if the first batch of songs is any indication, Doug Martsch's winding guitar journeys remain intact, but they've been injected with some trippy psychedelia thanks to Martsch's friendship and collaboration with Brazilian punk rockers Le Almeida and João Casaes of the band Oruã.
I haven't decided if I like it or love it. I also haven't decided if the Beatles-circa-1970 wizardry in "Fool's Gold" is real or just a mirage caused by having recently watched the first half of The Beatles: Get Back. Listen and let me know, will you? (Also, please appreciate the album art by Alex Graham.)
Puppy Feet, We Could Do Nothing (self-released... I think?)
Love snarky pop-punk? And bands that sound like Pup? Puppy Feet is the band for you! (I, too, like those things, but I also recognize the phrase "pop-punk" is one of the most divisive phrases in modern music, so.)
We Could Do Nothing, released last month, is a quick listen, a five-song guitar-driven panic attack about uncertain futures, uncertain relationships, and getting high and watching anime.
Various Artists, Live at KEXP Volume 10 (self-released)
Not every artist on the latest Live at KEXP comp comes from the Pacific Northwest, but I'm gonna count it anyway. For its 50th anniversary, the radio station has compiled yet another collection of some of the best performances to grace their in-studio stage over the years. Brittany Howard playing "Stay High," Run the Jewels playing "Legend Has It," Modest Mouse playing a weepy five-minute version of "Dramamine." Plus, KEXP is donating 100% of the money earned from sales to the artists.