For those still ruing the dissolution of Maryland post-hardcore trio Two Inch Astronaut, fret not—frontman Sam Woodring officially launched his solo career as Mister Goblin last year with the acoustic-heavy Final Boy EP, and is now following up the project with his first full-length, Is Path Warm? With electric guitar dominating the album’s eight tracks, IPW? feels like a slight pivot to angst-drained Midwest emo, sounding more in the vein of Topshelf Records than the post-hardcore tradition of Exploding in Sound.
Before its Friday release, Woodring is offering up an early stream of the LP, complete with commentary on each track, talking through references to creepy dog worship, cool gym teachers with cooler names, and everyone’s favorite Halloween, not to mention the joys of working with Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis and producer J. Robbins. Listen through and read along HERE.
Is Path Warm? is out November 22 via Exploding in Sound.
Sam Woodring, formerly of Two Inch Astronaut, is releasing his debut full-length as Mister Goblin, Is Path Warm?, at the end of the month. We’ve heard one track from it so far, the Sadie Dupuis-featuring “Calendar Dogs,” and today he’s back with another one, “Fix Your Face.”
It’s a downbeat wallow that contains some ace horror references. “Still I always get struck on the same old things and then history repeats like Friday The 13th/ Every sequel the same and I die at the end/ Except for a few,” Woodring sings, and then: “…I lose the whole plot like in Halloween III/ When they took Mike away and we just didn’t know how lonely it’d be.” (Season Of The Witch is fun, though.) Turns out the diminishing returns of slasher sequels make an apt analogy for the diminishing returns of life.
Today, Two Inch Astronaut frontman Sam Woodring’s new solo project, Mister Golbin, turns the page on “Calendar Dogs” featuring Sadie Dupuis.
Maryland’s Two Inch Astronaut went on indefinite hiatus last year, giving its members a chance to explore solo endeavors. For his part, former frontman Sam Woodring turned his focus to working under the moniker Mister Goblin. After releasing his Final Boy EP back in December, he’s now announced his debut full-length from the project, Is Path Warm?.
Due out November 22nd from Exploding in Sound Records, the eight-track effort was inspired by Woodring’s work in the mental health field. “This record is about the system and how we understand others’ struggles, and how we intervene,” he explained in a press release.
As a first listen, Mister Goblin has shared the lead single “Calendar Dogs” featuring Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis. A ripping slice of alternative that owes a debt to ’90s-era Dischord Records releases, the song tumbles through poppy guitar licks and a relentless report of drums. “Your calendar dogs they look so good that it makes me sick,” sing Woodring and Dupuis unison, taking dog-worshiping owners to task. “Want to crawl under your porch and just die there like Sounder did.” Hear the track below.
Pre-orders for Is Path Warm? are available now. Mister Goblin will tour in support of the release alongside Pet Fox.
Water From Your Eyes‘ music is the midway point between dancefloor post-punk, insular krautrock, and sing-songy synth-pop. The Brooklyn duo likes to jerk the wheel between three or four different styles and tempos on their records, and every detour they take on their latest, Somebody Else’s Song, leads somewhere cool. Arriving less than two years since their great 2018 record, All a Dance, this new one, which we’re premiering below, doubles down on each of their varied interests. “Break” is a near-10 minute krautrock song with a rumbling drum beat and chugging away behind Rachel Brown’s serene, drawn-out vocal intonations. “No Better Now,” the song that immediately follows, is a straight-up pop cut that starkly switches the mood from mechanical to lifelike.
However, although the album is so sonically frenzied, there’s a ton of intention behind the tracklist, the arrangements, and lyrics. We had Nate Amos and Rachel Brown break down each song below. Stream the record while you read about each track (read the track-by-track feature here):
Over three years, Water From Your Eyes have built a cult following around their slick, trance-inducing new wave sound. Nate Amos’ razor sharp guitars lock in with the metronomic, krautrock pulse of programmed drums, creating a cascading rhythmic maze that vocalist Rachel Brown navigates with a soft, dreamy voice. With their songs often stretching just beyond the five minute mark – even further in their live sets, where the extended jams sweep up packed crowds into a hypnotic delirium – the duo are masters at conducting ghostly dance parties that provide the exact kind of tear-jerking catharsis suggested by their name.
An accomplished filmmaker themselves – particularly through their extensive videos for solo project thanks for coming – Rachel Brown hands over the reigns to Abigail Austin for their latest music video. Transformed into spooky, bug-eyed puppets, the band drifts through New York City in the video for “Adeleine,” rocking out and hallucinating fantastic colors in a combination of stop-motion and digitally-drawn animation. Save for a few delightfully detuned guitar licks, the song launches forward with a propulsive calm that does well to mask the lyrical themes of emotional disorientation. “Lyrically the song deals with wondering if you missed your shot at something,” Brown explains, “if you deserve or will get another chance, and the presence/importance of another person in your life and the process of dealing with transitioning relationships – the difficulty of “pull(ing) the lever” and knowing that “nobody else could make me leave me behind.”‘
In both sound and vision, Water From Your Eyes continue their whirlwind rise as one of the most exciting experimental pop acts around, never losing sight of the value of physically cutting loose as they power through the mental doom and gloom. Check out the video for Adeleine below and pre-order their upcoming album, Somebody Else’s Song from Exploding In Sound Records. Mark your calendars and lace up your dancing shoes – October 25th can’t come soon enough.