Stream: New singles from Mini Trees, the Rare Occasions, Livingmore, Ian Sweet and Dusty Durston

Mini Trees (Photo by Seannie Bryan)

Out inbox overfloweth, so here are assorted selections from it: New singles from Mini Trees, the Rare Occasions, Livingmore, Ian Sweet and Dusty Durston

MINI TREES, “Push and Pull”

Songwriter Lexi Vega has released her first new Mini Trees single since her 2021 debut album, “Always in Motion.” “Push and Pull” sees her working again with producer Jon Joseph, and the song features all-around talent Zac Rae on keys. The song’s unusual chord progression, set against Vega’s angelic vocals and twinkling keys, certainly fits its title. Mini Trees opens for Ritt Momney on Friday night at the El Rey.

THE RARE OCCASIONS, “Black Balloons”

Breakout power-pop trio the Rare Occasions have piled up two albums, five EPs and a ton of followers after one of their old songs, “Notion,” became a viral hit in 2021. Brian McLaughlin, Luke Imbush and Jeremy Cohen are back with “Black Balloons,” their first release since last year’s “Attaboy” EP, which boasted a hit of its own in “Seasick.” On the new track, the Rare Occasions sing about a fictional small village and the mysterious appearance of balloons among its grieving townspeople. We’ll see how that plays out when the trio releases the video.


The follow-up to “Places,” “At Ease” is the second single from (and the lead track) on L.A. duo Livingmore’s forthcoming album, “The Garden.” Produced by Jeff Schroeder (Smashing Pumpkins), it’s an even dreamier slice of dream-pop than the previous single, with Alex Moore’s vocals floating (à la Mazzy Star) over Spencer Livingston’s gentle strumming and synths from him and Ryan McCambridge. “‘At Ease’ is the calm after the storm, and in a spiritual sense, it’s the feeling that the universe has watched your journey and is sighing with you in relief that you’re in a better place,” the duo says of the new track. “Life is very up and down, so you may hear some angst of grieving for what you’ve lost, but also gaining happiness in the present moment. With that said, the world right now is definitely not at ease, but we believe music can heal, and we both hope this song coming out now can feel meditative and comforting.” See Livingmore on Feb. 2 at the Echo.

IAN SWEET, “Smoking Again”

“I often put myself in situations that I know won’t be beneficial to me, just to get a rise out of myself,” Jilian Medford says of her new Ian Sweet single, “Smoking Again.” “Almost like setting up obstacles just to see if I could overcome them.” The song is the follow-up to “Your Spit” and the latest single off “Sucker” (out Nov. 3), Ian Sweet’s fourth album. Not to say that we aren’t intimately familiar with the cyclical behavior and its various triggers that this song discusses, but … yeah, “Smoking Again.” Ian Sweet plays on Nov. 17 at Zebulon.

DUSTY DURSTON, “Smoking Through a Summer Cold”

Smoking, Part II: Produced by Danny Noguieras (of No Win), “Smoking Through a Summer Cold” is a biting, cathartic rocker, and we’re not just blowing smoke. The fourth single L.A. rocker Dusty Durston has released this year since issuing his “Manchester Music” EP, it’s about self-sabotage, of course. Manifested in classic rock-style torment.