Hundred Waters have doubled-back on "Visitor," a track from their self-titled debut, and produced a new version that goes for unfettered chamber beauty. Recorded in a single-day session at Stadium Red in Harlem, this version boasts a drop-dead arrangement that includes trumpet, flute, alto sax and trombone. It serves as a b-side for a new 7-inch on Small Plates/OWSLA and makes for an intriguing preview before the band hits the road with Freelance Whales in January.
On "Song For Zula," Phosphorescent returns with what feels like a massive chamber-pop statement. Matthew Houck seems able to find unforeseen rawness in the hidden nooks of his voice each time around and "Song For Zula" feels like some sort of new peak with interwoven, flighty violins, mournful pedal steel and cryptic lyricism that implies danger is most certainly ahead. A new album, Muchacho, is on the way in March 2013 on Dead Oceans.
Yo La Tengo have been creatively dominant and fulfilling for decades now – a run unmatched by all but a few other indie rock bands (aka Sonic Youth). They take their time, too. So when you see a new album, Fade, is on the way January 15 and it was recorded in Chicago with always-great producer John McIntire of Tortoise, it's appropriate to perk up a bit. "Before We Run" is one their slow-burning, swelling songs with the hushed vocals for Georgia Hubley and an emotional chamber backing to the band's restrained instrumental arrangement. It's the final track on Fade and should be included in a how-to guide teaching groups proper album conclusion.
Put an elegant woman on an expansive beach and throw some wind in her direction, and what do you get? The video for Eddi Front's elegiac "Gigantic" – a torch song based on reedy, reverberated vocals and a powerful piano part that's so dark it sounds like it was recorded in the middle of a black forest. Her debut EP is out now on Best Fit.
"Clair De Lune" is heavy. Sure, early-on a beat drops and implies that everything might explode into all-out dance glory, but Flight Facilities and Christine Hoberg go the opposite route, keeping things subtle and fluttery. This one is all about the heart strings and uses orchestral swells, star-like piano plinks and a glacial vocal buzz to severe emotional results. Hear more on November 13.
With Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors leader Dave Longstreth steered his comprehensive chops towards something simpler, folkier and, yes, more beautiful. "While You're Here" is the orchestral extension of this style – a heart-wrenching dedication to Gerard Smith of TV On The Radio after he passed away from cancer in 2011. You can find it on the About To Die EP, which drops November 15 via Domino.
On "Springhouse," Los Angeles band Incan Abraham works the same sort of emotive labyrinth structure as groups like Grizzly Bear to immensely pleasurable results. The song uses snaky guitars, spacious organic drums, an incessant electronic pulse and naturalistic vocal takes while showing a deep understanding of dynamic power. It's out now digitally and will get a 10-inch EP version on November 27 via JAXART Records.
Montana outfit D A W N S is a musical collaboration between songwriter David Boone and string-arranger Audrey Riley which released its self-titled debut in June. Now, the group, which worked with producer Danton Supple on their previous release, will unveil a new 7-inch on October 9. “So Help Me God” is the centerpiece – a rollicking folk-rock number with orchestral undertones.
(Photo: Richmond Lam)
Montreal rockers The Luyas start-off "Fifty Fifty" with a disconcerting sound pastiche that gives way to light, synth-addled pop which fits comfortably alongside mid-'90s Stereolab. Filled with tension and drama, the track eventually unleashes strong guitar leads, chamber swells and a jumpy percussion push before settling into a pile of sonic rubble. Their third album, Animator, is out October 16 via Dead Oceans/Paper Bag.
(Photo: Benjamin Gallardo)
Los Angeles electronic-psych duo GANGI cranks away at peaceful loops to reach a slow, cinematic hook on "Railways Nos. 1-27." If the intro seems a little chillwave-ish, the rest soars with elegant chamber-pop that could easily boost your cred on autumn mixtapes. The group's second LP, gesture is, is out October 2 on The Office Of Analogue And Digital.