>> Things you can count on in this life: crushing winters; October surprises (It’s Ebola! Close the borders!!1!); and new singles by A SEVERE JOY. Three years in, you might think of the beguiling pop project by former Spouse frontman José Ayerve as a calculated effort to increase the vocabulary of one man’s desires. One full-length album, eight singles, and numerous body-minded performances in the guise of his masked alter-ego later, that language seems pretty robust. In this latest release, No. 8 Single, “Lifelike Future You” skips along a typical ASJ formula: an innocently-enough opening verse gathering charge, weight, and ballast until, by the time the chorus hits—with Jose crooning on about “illegible lines, super tight signs, treble-like rain”—the song takes flight. And the B-side, the sub-three-minute “Over the Rails,” shines even brighter, Ayerve’s coyness do-si-do-ing with his courage (“Over the rails / Hot on our tails / I know I’m not the prettiest one but I don’t always fail / I haven’t felt a feeling this strong since before I could tell”). Mask or no, this guy’s got nothing to hide. Hear the whole catalog at aseverejoy.bandcamp.com.
>> We’re excited to write in depth about new ones from SNAEX and COMPANY, two folkish projects each involving the work of Christopher Teret, but for the time being we’re still swimming in the very deep pools they’ve carved out. The first record is a duo with Chriss Sutherland, ex- of Cerberus Shoal and Fire on Fire, titled The 10,000 Things, and early returns suggest it’s an album that might be able to reward some young punk who might be going through some shit this winter. The folk duo’s lyrics have always been priority, but this time around the tone of the music mirrors their urgency, as programmed rhythms and wandering timbres help the songs find their rightful purchase in hard-to-reach spaces of the heart. Regarding Company, the on-again/off-again, New York-based band that aim to transmute ‘90s indie-punk energy into modern country-folk songs, their new one Over the Mountain sounds more concerned with documenting the mundanities—pleasurable or otherwise—of day-to-day adult life, while Snaex keeps the poker a little closer to the coals. Nonetheless the result is calming and psychically restorative, like a fine north wind captaining a vessel to a point not too too far off. Recommended. Hear the first at snaex.bandcamp.com and the second at abandcalledcompany.bandcamp.com, and see Snaex Saturday, Nov 8 at Pistol Pete's Upholstery Shop, at 219 Anderson St.
>> At the time of this writing, it’s been less than 24 hours since SPOSE stopped for barbecue in St. Louis, emerging half an hour later to find an estimated $30,000 worth of his gear stolen. And already, nearly $7,500 has been raised for the Maine rapper in a GoFundMe campaign launched by his fans. Quoth he on the campaign site: “(T)hey essentially took my job, all the work I had done for the past two years building up to 2015. GONE. There’s no amount of likes or comments that’ll bring anything back…” Listen to him or don’t, but understand that Ryan Peters is without doubt one of the hardest working musicians in Maine. Join in his revulsion for all things St. Louis at gofundme.com/sposearmystrong, where there’s a lot more info.