A 25-minute trip through insulated fog, vague nostalgia, personal turmoil and static morphing imagery, the Hana Tajima-directed video for Port St. Willow's "Soft Light Rush" is a hazy head-trip companion piece to the ambitious song suite. The track, which closes out the reissue of Holiday by our big brother label Downtown, presents multiple movements that, instead of summing the album up, returns back to its distinct world with a little more experience and perspective. It's like revisiting a room that consists of your entire life up to this point but still getting the chance to run away towards something new in the end.
"See The Light," a debut single by a group of London youngins called LIFE, plays on the age-old juxtaposition between clatter and serenity. Vocalist Mike Sharp emotes over a mixture of piano and big beats, but that's all a ruse for the chorus, which explodes into a distorted mess that shows promising signs of... yes, life.
On Holiday, Port St. Willow used insular emotional devastation to rip through an ambient, natural world into pure post-rock heaven. Sad and beautiful, "Soft Light Rush (ii)" is the first new material released by Nicholas Principe since then, and it truly encapsulates what's stunning about the album with its circular rhythms, tension-breaking horn parts, languid hypnosis and a falsetto strong enough to shatter your chest cavity. Holiday is being reissued by our big brother label Downtown Records on April 2.
1939 Ensemble, a duo consisting of Jose Medeles (The Breeders) and David Coniglio, have a real way with rhythm. Emerging from the hazy netherworld of post-rock ghosts, "Sabotage" finds the group making spy music with drums, vibraphone and little else. It's mysterious, catchy and circular enough to get lost in. Hear more on Howl & Bite – out April 16 via Jealous Butcher Records.
Chilean psych-warriors Föllakzoid show a multi-dimensional cosmic touch to your traditional trance-laden Krautrock jam on "Rio." It's pulsating and locked-in, yet also loose and jazzy enough to blow through the rigid walls of genre while keeping a firm hold on sonic hypnosis. Hear more on January 22 via Sacred Bones.
Lower Dens' Nootropics is certainly one of the more forward-thinking albums that was released in 2012 – both musically and for its icy sense of propulsive dread. And now, as is customary, the record is getting a remix collection (Nootropics Remixed). Here's the Trentemøller take on album-highlight "Brains" – an effort which flips the original's paranoid Krautrock into a pushy, spaced-out sonic helicopter.
Radar Bros. know that long and slow is the way to go, and they've been doing it that way for eight fruitful albums of morphine-paced epics. Their new single, "If We Were Banished," feels like a patient, fuzzy hallucination with piles of bombastic razor guitars and Jim Putnam's vocals providing a soft, trusty guide. Their new album, the appropriately-titled Eight, is out January 29 on Merge.
On "Edie's Dream," Suuns plug the delicate dynamics of the finest post-rock into something soothing, poppy, appealing sterile and, perhaps most importantly, original feeling. The group's second full-length, recorded hometown-style in Montreal, is called Images Du Futur and it comes March 5, 2013 via Secretly Canadian. Highest recommendation!
(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: Evan Tetreault)
Massachusetts post-rock band Caspian will release its third album, Waking Season, on September 25 via Triple Crown Records. The effort, a follow-up to the band’s 2009 album Tertia, was produced by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon) and collects instrumental numbers that feel like less morose cousins of Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “Halls Of The Summer” is an airy number that balances a twinkling melody with darker, gloomier undertones.