No Sleep Records- “A Comp For Mom”

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No Sleep Records will release a compilation tomorrow called “A Comp For Mom,” to celebrate the life of label founder Chris Hansen’s mother, who recently passed away. The compilation’s 16 tracks are a mix of original songs and covers. Some highlights for me include an unreleased song by The Swellers, a new acoustic song by Major League, a full band version of The Wonder Years’ “Living Room Song,” a solo track by Balance and Composure lead singer Jon Simmons, and an excellent cover of The National’s “Available” by Touché Amoré that showcases lead singer Jeremy Bolm’s “clean” (non-screamy) vocals for the first time ever.

You can stream the entire compilation at Brooklyn Vegan, but I would encourage you to purchase the compilation if you like what you hear, as the proceeds will all go toward medical bills and other expenses incurred after Hansen’s mother’s passing and also to a memorial fund that he has set up in her honor. The tracks are listed below:

A Comp for Mom – tracklist

1. Allison Weiss – In My Life (originally by the Beatles)
2. Daisyhead – Work (originally by Jimmy Eat World)
3. Grey Gordon – Safe (originally by Dag Nasty)
4. Into It. Over It. – For Agnes
5. Jon Simmons – Veins
6. Koji – Matches (live version)
7. La Dispute – First Reactions After Falling Through The Ice
8. Major League – Montreal (acoustic version)
9. Moose Blood – Orlando (2014 version)
10. Now, Now – Neighbors
11. Run Forever – Warmer Weather
12. Sainthood Reps – Occurrent (acoustic version)
13. State Faults – Chin Up (originally by Copeland)
14. The Swellers – Possibilities (unreleased b-side)
15. The Wonder Years – Living Room Song (full band version)
16. Touché Amore – Available (The National cover)

Say Anything- “Losing My Touch”

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Say Anything frontman Max Bemis has always impressed me with his uncanny ability to craft songs that are simultaneously tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating, introspective, offbeat, and catchy. On this new track from his upcoming album “Hebrews” (out June 10), Bemis definitely puts an emphasis on the self-deprecating. In the opening verse he suggests that maybe he has “lost [his] touch at crafting Say Anything songs,” so a new generation of musicians can just go “take [his] place on stage.” He then gives them a little set of instructions for how to do so: “Just string together lines of smug self-loathing bile/And bear the chip your shoulder holds away.” Few artists take such a raw look at themselves in the way that Bemis does here, and that’s one of the many things that keeps drawing me back to his music.

The song’s stripped down, piano-based instrumentation is especially effective in conveying Bemis’ bleak yet bitingly humorous introspection. Christie DuPree’s harmonies add a yearning and a sweetness to the song’s bitterness, and Touche Amore frontman Jeremy Bolm’s raw, gritty screaming on the final verse leaves listeners with a powerful lasting imprint of Bemis’ internal struggles and insecurities.

Stream “Losing My Touch” via Alt Press.