‘Hidden Driver’, the opening track of LVL UP’s third album and Sub Pop debut Return to Love, never stops moving. What starts with unassuming guitars and vocals adds new lines, depths, and intensity, until its unrestrained, triumphant finish. “God is peeking, softly speaking,” repeats the chorus, working through the relationship between spirituality and creative inspiration, and introducing a band that is always pushing further.

The sound of their new record is marked by reverb, harmony and tape distortion, with a keen balance of pop and experimentation. Formed in 2011, LVL UP — guitarists Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, bassist Nick Corbo, and drummer Greg Rutkin — is a true collaboration, a band that takes the stylistically distinct ideas of four members and brings them together into something new. Caridi, Benton, and Corbo write and sing equally, bringing their work to the group to be fully realized, resulting in an album built on different perspectives but a common drive.

“We have very different inspirations across the board,” says Benton, noting his own admiration for the writer and documentarian Astra Taylor, Corbo’s interest in the mystical and the occult, and Caridi’s attention to personal storytelling. The music itself grows from a shared melodic and experimental sensibility, as well as a nod to iconic influences like Neutral Milk Hotel and Mount Eerie. But each songwriter has a different vision every step of the way, and there isn’t always alignment–it shouldn’t make sense, but in the end it does.

LVL UP Links: Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Watch the video for ‘The Closing Door’ below:

Plus support from COLOUR ME WEDNESDAY

Feminist DIY punk/indie pop band based in West London fronted by the Doveton sisters along with Carmela Pietrangelo. Their long-awaited debut album I Thought It Was Morning was released on Discount Horse records over summer 2013 and in summer 2014 they released a 10 song split record with Spoonboy (Washington, DC) on Lauren Records and toured the East Coast of America promoting the album. Including performances at New York’s Popfest and Plan-it-x Fest.

Their latest release Anyone and Everyone was released on their own label Dovetown records (UK), KROD (France) and exclusively on tape at Wiener Records (US).

Colour Me Wednesday Links: SoundcloudFacebook | Twitter

Watch the video for ‘Shut’ below:

Plus support from GRAIN DEATH

Grain Death aren’t a metal band, although some people expect them to be given the name; they’re actually a four piece noise rock band from Coventry and have been playing together and recording in hallways and bedrooms since the year of our lord 2015. They sound a little bit like a worse Pavement, or a slightly better Oasis. Their newest single ‘Springfield’ was called “lovingly lopsided” by Brum Notes. They are famed for the bloodletting common at their gigs, the culmination of which involved a headbutt and a bloody nose.

Grain Death Links: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Watch the video for ‘Springfield’ below:

Plus support from SPOORT

Spoort are a new 4-piece band based in Birmingham. Born out of a teenage math-rock project, Spoort channels strong influences of garage rock, hip-hop and jazz.

Spoort Links: Soundcloud | Facebook

Listen to ‘Fish It Out’ below: