1. Chris Maxwell - "Arkansas Summer"
front-man and Little Rock expat Chris Maxwell has a new album coming out March 4, "Arkansas Summer," and Paste
premiered the great title track this week. Pre-order the record at Pledge Music
2. Liquid Skulls - "Swaying"
The new record from Little Rock native Liquid Skulls
is out as of Feb. 1, and is as terrifying and mysterious as you might expect, filled with crystalline synths, vintage-sounding drum machines and cold, dry waves of noise. Vocals are a secondary instrument here — he's not trying to communicate anything specific, just vague but evocative environments, like the buzzing room tones in a David Lynch film. Here's one of the album's more lighthearted tracks; you could almost dance to it.
3. Pepperboy & Squadda B - "Tears In My Eyes"
Little Rock's Pepperboy
apparently has an album-length collaboration with Oakland's Squadda B (of Main Attrakionz) coming soon, "Kome Ryde With Us" — two songs from which are out now
. They're heartbreaking and great, particularly if you're already susceptible to gauzy, effervescent rap about nostalgia and mourning.
4. Bombay Harambee - "Interval"
Here's "Interval," the first single from Bombay Harambee
's forthcoming "Goldmine," due out from Max Recordings on Feb. 19. (Pre-order here
or get it early at Arkansas Record & CD Exchange
.) Desperate, claustrophobic post-punk that flirts with cliches and bureaucratic jargon only to subvert them. It's hopeless and pretty impressive.
5. Nick Ward - "Theory"
A new single from Little Rock's Nick Ward
— recommended for fans of rehabilitated conscious hip-hop in the mode of The Roots or "Section.80," etc.