My recent punk obsession Tweens mixes their usual snot with some tears on the rough and charming "Don't Wait Up." The guitars, still dirty as hell, echo and sputter, while the vocals exude just the right amount of loneliness to draw you in for a sucker punch.
May 17 2013
On "Battle Funk," New York psychedelic warriors NYMPH return to provide a set of freak explosions, mountainous crescendos, Afrobeat extensions and pointillist guitar dots. It's crazy but it all feels intensely spiritual as the track glides around in a tangled cluster in sync with the noise-weapon vocals of Eri Shoji. Some mind expansion necessary, but the payoff is worth it.
May 16 2013
Five years later, the disco is still icy. Italians Do It Better (and production mastermind Johnny Jewel) are finally releasing After Dark 2 on May 17 and this Mirage record, "Let's Kiss," leads the way with glacial funk about falling in love on the run. "Go like a record lady" through a chilly vocoder is an old trick, but there's no need to obscure a frozen feeling.
On "Step Right Up (Pour Yourself Some Wine)," Alex Bleeker – aka the anchor of Real Estat – joins his Freaks to pay tribute to Neil Young and strum-laden relaxation. It's a simple, resonant song tinged with melancholy yet also directly reflective of its relaxing, bleary-eyed title.
May 15 2013
On "Always," Friendzone continues pushing their flighty button-mashing to new heights. It's like a sample funhouse filled with kaleidoscopes, a clattering beat underneath and eventual key-horn melody to make the proceedings appropriately operatic.
Even at its barest moments, Julianna Barwick's music is just utterly beautiful. With little more than layered voices and ambient instrumentation, it's emotionally immense yet also escapist in a unique, gut-wrenching way. Her new LP, Nepenthe, is out August 20 on Dead Oceans, and your first taste is the mountainous aural xanax of "Forever." Listen and preview the album with the teaser above.
May 14 2013
Whether emotionally or physically, Pure X's Crawling Up The Stairs is a record about being crippled. Their debut Pleasure, all fog, mystery and summery escapism, was like a nice spritzer compared to this new one's multi-bottle emotional severity.
Using the studio as more of an instrument, the Austin group shows great range throughout Crawling. "I Come From Nowhere" is a frozen-heart torch song. "Things In My Head" is about that fantasy relationship that eventually crushes you under its inherent intellectual stupidity. "Never Alone" is a bleary-eyed ode to having a friend in loneliness that brings to mind masters-of-sadcraft like Red House Painters.
It's a big step forward – the kind that I wish more bands would make on a second or third album. With such a readymade, enjoyable formula already set, Pure X could have just knocked another one out and collected some new summer babes. They took a risk, though, opening their wounds and letting the blood seep into a unique psychedelic puddle.
I got the band (Nate Grace, Jesse Jenkins and Austin Youngblood) to go On the RCRD and tell us more.
Life changing record for you was…
JJ- rain and tears by aphrodites child (mp3)
NG- TVZ live at the old quarter (cd)
Matty Tommy- Lefty Frizzell self titled (Lp)
AY- Willie nelson- yesterdays wine (LP)
What people, outside of music, have influenced you over the last year?
NG- Carl Jung
What did you learn about yourself and/or the world at large the last time you made a record?
AY- how badass I am
What gift would you most like to possess?
NG- being able to change water to wine
What quality do you admire most in a song?
What's your take on the music business in 2013?
JJ- posers vs composers
Best instrument ever invented was....
Ay- pedal steel
JJ- oberheim 4voice
Do people surf in France? I really don't care, but these La Femme kids seem to have the sound down, pinching a little Broadcast and the propulsive nu-kraut of early Stereolab into an organ-laced stunner. Also, the video has a lady with an eye-patch and leather jacket doing some crazy shit. It's cool.
May 13 2013
On "Darker," the always-embattled Gucci Mane touts his new mentor-protege relationship with Chicago's Chief Keef. It's a delirious cauldron of bravado, nervous energy, garbed intergalactic wordplay and grimy street darkness. Fight music!
On "Sandy," Jackson Scott continues the wide-eyed bedroom Pink Floyd obsession that has propelled his initial blitz. There's a sweet, stoned, nocturnal ethos on display here – one that lets you soak in the pleasant escape of hummable psychedelic-pop from an era that's overly mined but still has its relaxing, romantic rewards.