Friday, February 28, 2014

Jam of the Day: Evian Christ - "Waterfall"


Yeezus collaborator Evian Christ hits out with his own intense instrumental composition on this harsh, industrial-techno track, which actually adds some interesting atmospheric notes towards the end to keep you on edge.


Videos of the Week


Here are the videos that are shooting me closer to spring:



Gorgeous, Lost In Translation-esque video for this haunting track from Damon Albarn's upcoming solo record.



Goofy, fun video from Major Lazer.



Intense clip from The Faint.



Sultry and sensual collaboration between British chanteuse FKA twigs and LA R&B deconstructionists, inc.



Stunning cinematography highlights this video from synthpop enigma iamamiwhoami.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New: Tove Lo - "Not On Drugs"


More Swedish pop perfection from Tove Lo, from her upcoming debut EP Truth Serum out next week.

Jam of the Day: Real Estate - "Crime"


Sometimes simplicity is the best.

Album Review: St. Vincent - St. Vincent


St. Vincent
St. Vincent
Rating: Grrrr

On the album cover for her self-titled fourth album, Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) assumes the position of queen and/or goddess upon her own throne, ready to listen to her subjects/admirers. It seems fitting as she basically lives in her own musical world, a quirky guitar-slinging vocalist whose intimate, personal ruminations have kept her firmly outside the pop world, but have charmed her cult-like base of fans and music critics. Over her first three records she has retained her same literary lyrical output while moving her music into odder realms, St. Vincent is probably the weirdest pop record you will hear all year, its in your face musical direction and more direct lyrics find Ms. Clark being bolder and more forceful, and while for me it is not her best record (that, for me, is the sublime Strange Mercy), it is her most confident and cohesive record.

Starting off with the buzzy, jerky "Rattlesnake," Clark's brittle guitar snakes around the clanking synths and bassline as the song seems to be both a sigh of relief to be rid of humanity and also a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Her lyrics whipping between lines like "No one around so I take off my clothes/Am I the only one in the only world?" to "Running, running, running, rattle behind me/Running, running, no one will ever find me." On St. Vincent, Clark's tongue fairly drips with acid most of the time, unsympathetic to her characters. On the hypnotic "Prince Johnny," Clark has little time for a lover who seeks the attention of others, sighing "When all your friends and acolytes/Holding court in bathroom stalls/Where you pray to all/To make you a real boy."



During the anti-Internet obsession track "Huey Newton," she decries all the "Fuckless porn sharks/Toothless but got a big bark/Live children blind psychics/Turned online assassins;" which is continued on the horn driven track "Digital Witness," where Clark turns her razor sharp wit to people who spend their lives watching television or in front of the computer screen, never experiencing real life. Clark moans "People turn the TV on it looks just like a window."



Musically, Clark creates a world of paranoia, keeping her rhythms tight but allowing for more schizophrenic use of her screaming guitar lines, and use of harsher synth tones. Where her earlier records kept a very civil, WASPish tone, St. Vincent allows Pandora to open her box and let loose. Whether it be the barely reeled in fury of "Birth In Reverse," the skronky bluster of "Regrets," or the hyper-analog synth funk of "Bring Me Your Loves." But there are moments of transcendent beauty, like the hauntingly gorgeous melody of "Prince Johnny," or the delicate, aching synths of "I Prefer Your Love."

For most of St. Vincent, the record builds logically and exponentially, gathering force and steam, but unfortunately hits a bit of a dead for me at the back end. The final three tracks squander the build up and leave the record at a whimper for me. "Psychopath" limits itself to a wan groove, "Every Tear Disappears" lurches and stutters under a quite lovely vocal track, while closer "Severed Crossed Fingers" meanders with a melody that feels more childish than childlike.

But these slight misgivings don't distract strongly from the rest of the record. St. Vincent is confident and bold, crackling with energy and wit, and further shows what a brilliant songwriter and musician Ms. Clark is, and has become. What's even more amazing is how she has progressed so much over 4 albums, indicating we will be hearing a lot more from her in the future.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

New: Cloud Nothings - "Psychic Trauma"


Another peek into Cloud Nothings next record Here And Nowhere Else, the blistering guitar track "Psychic Trauma."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jam of the Day: FKA twigs & inc. - "FKA x inc."


Intriguing collaboration between twitchy British chanteuse FKA twings and LA R&B deconstructionists inc. I love how the track starts so minimally, yet builds and builds, almost never releasing the unbearable tension.

New: Coldplay - "Midnight"


New track from Coldplay which may, or may not, appear on their upcoming 6th record, due later this year.

New: Hamilton Leithauser - "Alexander (ft. Rostam Batmanglij)"


First video and first look into former(?) Walkmen front man Hamilton Leithauser's solo album Black Hours.

Album Review: Neneh Cherry - Blank Project


Neneh Cherry
Blank Project
Rating: Woof Daddy

Swedish artpop/R&B/hip-hop diva Neneh Cherry never follows trends, preferring instead to blaze her own. On her debut album Raw Like Sushi she combined elements of hip-hop, pop, R&B, rave, electronic music, and anything else she fancied, and distilled it into one of the most stunning debut records of all time. Despite hit singles like "Buffalo Stance," "Manchild," and "Kisses on the Wind," radio didn't quite know how to handle her, and her trajectory sort of flat-lined. Even with the brilliant follow up Homebrew, there seemed to be no place to pigeonhole her. Her third record, the underrated Man, was never even released in the United States. So instead of changing her sound to conform with popular conventions, Cherry just kept doing her own thing, collaborating with artists that she fancied (Gorillaz, Youssou N'Dour, Peter Gabriel, The The, Kleerup) and staying out the limelight. Only 18 years after the release of her last solo record, Neneh Cherry has come back stronger than ever on her fourth solo album, the blistering Blank Project. Recorded and mixed in a 5-day period, the record was produced by Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) and features work with prior collaborators RocketNumberNine.

What is most noticeable right off the top is how Cherry is still doing what she wants to do, without copping to current trends. Blank Project is a lean, minimalist offering, speaking to electronica, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and pop without directly referencing any of them. Starting off with the hypnotically austere "Across the Water," Cherry speak-sings over a quiet drum beat with no other accompaniment, the silences in between creating caverns of loneliness.



Things perk up a little more as the album progresses, however, aside from percussion and simple synth lines and bass buzzes, the focus is mainly on Cherry's voice, which has grown deeper and more mature. Title track "Blank Project" finds Cherry slithering around a pounding drum beat with a undercurrent of deep bass that pulsates and curls around her voice.



On standout track "Naked," Cherry brushes up against a skittering beat, 808 percussion, and simple synth lines. "Spit Three Times" is a slow burning track full of snarl and menace. Most of these tracks could find easy kinship with the best of Massive Attack circa Mezzanine. The tracks know when to explode and know when to hold back, always curled up like a snake ready to attack at a moment's notice. The squeltchy, slinky "Cynical" punches and spars against Cherry's sassy vocal, while Cherry slows things down to a hush on the mantra like "422" which is merely ghostly, atmospheric synths, muted percussion, and chimes.



While the album itself has a very bleak, dark feel to it, there are moments of levity, like on the collaboration with her Swedish compatriot Robyn "Out of the Black," which finds the two singers having a funky, fun lark.



And on closing track "Everything," Cherry mixes up cut and paste snippets of her vocals with her own one take vocal track. Her voice playing up against itself as she scats and sings over the 7+ minutes of art-blasted drone funk. It is a brilliant way to end the record and is Cherry's way of saying, this is me, accept me for who I am, or move on.



Blank Project is uncompromising Neneh Cherry at her best. There is almost no filler here, each track building off of and complementing each other. I only hope that it is not another 18 years before we get more new music from this trail-blazing artist. Blank Project is seminal Neneh Cherry.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Monday, February 24, 2014

New: James Blake - "Roman Patience"


James Blake always takes more risks on his non-album tracks. He debuted this track on BBC Radio 1. It's more in keeping with his early, bass heavy instrumentals.

New: The Horrors - "I See You"


Here is the first look into the upcoming fourth album from The Horrors, Luminous. It starts out as a fairly standard bit of synthy Brit pop before descending into a psychedelic end section.

Jam of the Day: Cathedrals - "Unbound"


San Francisco duo Cathedrals make some pretty swoony music. Drawing from dream pop act Beach House, brittle minimalists The xx, and a little arty synth-pop a la Purity Ring thrown in for good measure, they sure know how to work their way around a mood. "Unbound" is a stunning triumph.

Album Review: Wild Beasts - Present Tense


Wild Beasts
Present Tense
Rating: Woof Daddy

Over the course of three albums, Wild Beasts have honed their sound down to almost the basic of elements. Who would have thought that from the kaleidoscopic swirl of their art-pop debut Limbo, Panto, streamlined guitarcentric follow up Two Dancers, to 2011's almost masterpiece Smother, which jettisoned the nervous, art funk in favor of moody, atmospheric synthesizers, this band would continually push their sound to even more dizzying heights. After the lengthy touring schedule behind Smother, the band retreated and took their time with the follow up. Four years later, Wild Beasts grace us with probably their most haunting and fully realized album yet, the beguiling Present Tense.

The changes in their approach are almost immediate from the pulsating synths and drum machines on evocative first track and first single "Wanderlust." Ostensibly a critique of the British class system, Hayden Thorpe practically spits out lines like "We're decadent beyond our means, we've a zeal/We feel the things they'll never feel" and the closing kiss off "Don't confuse me with someone who gives a fuck/Funny how that little pound buy a lot of luck."



The band has stated in the press that initially Present Tense would be a completely electronic affair, losing Smother and Two Dancers producer Richard Formby and selecting Leo Abrahams, best known for Small Craft on a Milk Sea, a collaboration with Jon Hopkins and Brian Eno, and Alex 'Lexxx' Droomgoole who had worked as a mixer on those records as well. Ultimately, the record does incorporate guitars, however, instead of driving the tracks forward, they tend to act in a more textural or atmospheric sense. A friend commented that the record lacks hooks and killer choruses, and in a sense, he was correct. Wild Beasts has made the decision to follow bands like Talk Talk and Slowdive down their own rabbit hole, staking their claim on their own musical territory, without fear or regret. The songs on Present Tense float in and out of each other, anchored by the phalanx of synthesizers and the dual vocals of Hayden Thorpe's malleable falsetto and Tom Fleming's evocative baritone. Where in the past, the band chose to highlight one or the other on tracks, here, the band wisely chooses to incorporate the yin and yang of their complementary approaches to great effect on most tracks.

On past records, the band's focus was firmly entrenched in the carnal, from the bacchanalian debauchery of Limbo, Panto, to the decadently sleek tableaux of Two Dancers. As they have gotten older, they have dialed back their tales of excess, becoming more direct and forceful. Whether it be the tale of an affair with a married woman on "Nature Boy" ("Your only joy, only bliss/Your lady wife around his hips"), the bleak assessment of a future generation on "Daughters" ("All the pretty children sharpening their blades"), or even the delicate ending of a dog's life on the haunting "A Dog's Life," the band's new found economy of words suits them well, and is further intensified by the more minimalist backing.

But not to make Present Tense sound like a bleak and dour record, there are frequent moments of pure beauty. The gorgeous, swooning synths and delicate guitars on "Mecca" embolden Thorpe's affections towards a lover, “Just surrender your limbs to my every whim/now we’re lovers, we are cartwheeling.”



"Palace" evokes a storied romanticism, with Thorpe cooing such lines as “In detail you are/Even more beautiful than from afar/I could learn you like the blinded would do/Feeling our way through the dark.” While on the stunning "Sweet Spot," Thorpe and Fleming's intertwined vocals perfectly enhance the longing and yearning of the track, "Between the hurt/And the tender song/Between the flash/And the thunder's drop/There is a godless state/Where the real and the dream may consummate."



Present Tense finds Wild Beasts at the height of their game, with the songs all working beautifully as individual gems, but working together to form a gorgeous piece of interconnected art. Staking their own claim on their sound and moving it in directions once thought impossible, Wild Beasts further move into their own territory, almost peerless. Although it is early in the year, Present Tense is definitely positioning itself to be in the top records of the year, and perhaps even the best record of the year.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jam of the Day: Thug Enhancer - "Death After Life I"


Chicago based producer Thug Enhancer (aka Ryan McRyhew) draws from juke and footwork, but adds his own stamp on the genres, adding eerie, placid synths on top of the restless rhythms.

Videos of the Week


Here are the videos that made my week:



Over the top video from Katy Perry.

Stunning video from Forest Swords. Gorgeous, stop motion video from London Grammar. New video from Kelis showing her getting glammed up for some photo shoots.
Evocative black and white clip from The National.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Video: Forest Swords - "The Weight of Gold"


Directed by Benjamin Millepied, Natalie Portman’s husband and Black Swan choreographer, this video for the Forest Swords' song "The Weight of Gold" is a stunning clip featuring dancer Billy Barry among some otherworldly landscapes shot on the banks of the Dead Sea.

Jam of the Day: Chase & Status - "Blk & Blu (ft. Ed Thomas)"


While known more for their club bangers, Chase & Status also know how to scale things back, like on this sleek cut off their record Brand New Machine.

30th Anniversary: The Smiths - The Smiths


Few bands hit the ground running with a nearly flawless, genre defining debut. The Smiths self-titled debut record was a breath of fresh air when it was released on February 20, 1984 and still continues to inspire and beguile.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jam of the Day: Line & Circle - "Mine Is Mine"


Smiths-ian (with a hint of Echo and the Bunnymen) inspired track from LA quintet Line & Circle. It can be heard here on their SoundCloud page.

Album Review: Phantogram - Voices


Phantogram
Voices
Rating: Grrrr

New York duo Phantogram's debut record, 2009's Eyelid Movies, was almost a perfect amalgam of electronica, trip-hop, and synthpop, with hints of hip-hop inflected rhythms. Relentless touring and rabid word of mouth increased their popularity but made them wary of coming out too soon with their sophomore record. While they whet appetites with two well received EPs, including, for me, their best work on Nightlife, and collaborations with Flaming Lips and Big Boi, they still only teased out when the new record would emerge. Finally, after much anticipation, they release their major label debutVoices, produced by John Hill (P!nk, Rihanna, Santigold). While the rough edges of Eyelid Movies are jettisoned in favor of a bigger, more high glossed sound, Voices still retains the edgy charm that works so well for the band.

Voices starts off with a triple punch of hot singles. "Nothing But Trouble" pulses and throbs with dense, buzzy synths, brittle guitars, punchy drum programming, and the inimitable coo of singer Sarah Barthel.



"Black Out Days," which was also included on their recent self-titled EP, is another dark, synth-heavy track that is enlivened by Barthal's delirious "eh eh eh"'s in the chorus.



And the hip-hop inspired beats of new single "Fall In Love" speak to their collaborations with Big Boi on his last record Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.



While Josh Carter is a brilliant guitarist on Phantogram's records, his voice still remains the band's one weakness. Another holdover from their last EP, "Never Going Home," resurfaces here and still flounders with a limp melody and bland vocal turn. However, Carter redeems himself handily on the gorgeous track "I Don't Blame You," his wavering voice perfectly suited for the love gone wrong track. His quivering delivery of the last lines "I should have stayed in bed/I should have took your call" resonates long after the track ends.



Wisely, Carter lets Barthel do most of the heavy lifting vocal-wise on Voices, and she is more than up for the task. Whether she is showing restraint, as on the masterful, slow-burning closing track "My Only Friend,"



charging forward on the rushing swirls of synths and guitars on "Celebrating Nothing,"



or scaling things back to an almost whisper on the mournful "Bill Murray,"



Barthel is always in complete control.

The long wait in between albums was well worth it for Phantogram fans as Voices takes from Eyelid Movies and makes things bigger, glossier, and punchier. While some may bemoan the lack of edgier tracks like Eyelid Movies' tracks like "Bloody Palms" and "Running From The Cops," there is more consistency and purpose here on these tracks. Phantogram still puts out some killer singles, but they all work together on Voices for the greater good.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Video: London Grammar - "Hey Now"


Beautiful stop-motion video for this slow burning track from London Grammar.

New: Wild Beasts - "Sweet Spot"


Another peek into the brilliant upcoming album from Wild Beasts.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jam of the Day: Big Spider's Back - "Pffff"


Glimmering, bouncy dance track from Seattle producer Big Spider's Back. It's taken from the upcoming EP Ssoft.

Album Review: Katy B - Little Red


Katy B
Little Red
Rating: Grrrr

Katy B's debut record On A Mission, while one of the best pop records of 2011, suffered from a lack of cohesion; trying to be too many things for too many people, not quite sure it wanted to be a pop record or underground smash. After a few years working on her follow up, and releasing the brilliant teaser EP Danger, Katy B returns with her second record Little Red. Almost fully jettisoning the dubstep that colored the majority of On A Mission, Katy still is mining the outskirts of UK bass culture, while turning her focus to a more chart-topping trajectory. While no one is going to accuse her of joining the Top 40 bandwagon like her contemporaries from the BRIT School (Adele, Leona Lewis, and Jessie J), Katy B is definitely striking out for more chart gold here, putting together a good mix of pop confections along with more edgier fare.

For me, of course, the edgier tracks are the ones I find myself going back to more often. Danger's standout track "Aaliyah" makes a reappearance here, and the interplay with sultry singer Jessie Ware is still as intoxicating.



Other standout tracks on Little Red include the house thumper "I Like You;"



dance floor pleaser "Everything;" and the somber, atmospheric bass track "Sapphire Blue" which showcases her lovely range.

While Katy still holds on to her underground bona fides, she is also willing to test more traditional pop waters, enlisting such high end producers like Guy Chambers, who has worked with Robbie Williams. One of their collaborations, "Crying For No Reason" starts out like a typical diva ballad, but somehow reigns it all in to fit Katy's distinct personality.



She also hits it out of the park with two late album tracks, "Emotions" and "Still," the former taking her beautiful voice to the highest highs amid swirling strings, synths, and a slowly growing drum and bass beat, while the latter closes the record with one of her most stately performances, her voice in complete control.



Little Red's consistency is its strong suit, with Katy B finding the right tone and mix of her various musical styles. With her toes still in UK bass culture, she spreads her wings out to venture into new territory and comes up with a winning formula. While it may lack the shock of the new that On A Mission was able to provide, this record definitely shows that she is firmly in control of her direction, and will likely be around for a long time.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Monday, February 17, 2014

New: Damon Albarn - "Lonely Press Play"


From Damon Albarn's upcoming solo record Everyday Robots, "Lonely Press Play" is a simple yet gorgeous track.

Jam of the Day: SOHN - "Artifice"


Killer track from SOHN's upcoming record Tremors.

Album Review: CYMBALS - The Age Of Fracture


CYMBALS
The Age Of Fracture
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

British four piece CYMBALS released their debut record Unlearn in 2011, a collection of early Talking Heads-influenced art-pop, leaning more on angular guitars and stuttering rhythms. For their sophomore record, the band has slightly changed up their sound, pushing the guitars to the background and the synthesizers to the forefront, making for a more dance leaning album. The title of the record refers to a book written by Daniel T. Rodgers, who posited that after World War II, society underwent a change of purpose, from one of closely knit society to one of individualism, where categories of social reality have been fractured and destabilized. These 11 tracks speak to that hypothesis, ruminating on alienation in a modern world. Where previously the band gave off its energy in short, powerful bursts, here the band opens things up, letting the music hit more elegant grooves. Drawing influence from early New Order and The Cure, with glimpses of Depeche Mode, The Chameleons, and other 80s new wave and post-pink stalwarts, The Age of Fracture sounds like a record from that time but never sounds dated, given a more modern sheen.

The album starts out with the dreamy "Winter '98," with haunting washes of synths over brittle guitars as the drums kick into a lockstep groove.



Bouncy synths enliven first single "A Natural World," which erupts into a killer chorus.



The rest of the record hits many high points, especially where they draw from the past, but update it from today's perspective. From the lilting and funky leanings of "Empty Space;"



epic 9 minute track "Like An Animal" which carries itself along an insistent groove, with icy synths pushing up against atmospheric guitars;



to the driving, New Order-esque "Erosion."



The only time the record falters is when tracks settle into too much groove with not enough melody or contrast to make the tracks move forward. "You Are," while pleasant, floats along with little purpose or resolve. "The 5%" is jaunty 80s new wave pop, however, its technicolor sheen is more distracting than enveloping. And "The City" is a meandering, guitar-led track that suffers from a monochrome vocal from lead singer Jack Cleverly.

But these tracks, while not standouts, don't detract much from the majority of the record which maintains a consistently bright tone. The Age of Fracture is a solid collection of tracks, showing the band knows how to take from each record and move their sound to new areas without completely forsaking where they started. It is a fresh take on what could have been a rote exercise in 90s music navel-gazing. Instead, it is an often beguiling set of tracks that adapts its influences into something fresh and exciting.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Videos of the Week


Here are the videos that got me through a horrible sinus infection this week, and on to vacation:



Evocative clip for the single from Snowbird, the new project featuring former Cocteau Twins bassist Simon Raymonde.



Moody black and white video from Chastity Belt.



Shots of lonely houses and burning fires are intercut with shots of vocalist Dennis Lyxzén (of Refused) for this more synth leaning project.



Rich imagery highlights this clip from Eternal Summers for their very Cure-ish single.


Extremely bizarre performance art piece for this single from the enigmatic trio The Acid.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jam of the Day: Oceaán - "To Lose"


James Blakeian single from the upcoming self-titled EP from Oceaán.

New: Phantogram - "Bill Murray"


Plaintive ballad from Phantogram's upcoming sophomore record Voices.

30th Anniversary: Aztec Camera - High Land, Hard Rain


It's hard to believe this record is now 30 years old, and even more hard to believe that Roddy Frame was 15 when he wrote these songs and 18 when he recorded them. Listening to this record again after all these years it is still striking how fully formed it is. While he never really scaled the heights of his debut again, Frame will always be remembered for this enduring pop classic.