Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Purity Ring-Obedear

Purity Ring like to take their time with things to get them just right. That's clear from their music, which is hyper produced to perfection with every click, beat, cut up vocal layer, and effect placed perfectly together. It also plays to their live shows, which are minimalistic, but fine tuned to be perfectly entrancing with their effect producing live machine and  the lone analog drum on stage. It even plays out in their output, opting to release songs slowly despite being such a hyped band. 

However, that has changed as Purity Ring's debut LP draws nearer. Titled Shrines, and coming out in July, the band has released the first new taste with "Obedear". "Obedear" is the bands most subdued song yet, trading the pronounced punch of their earlier songs with a quiet sense of mini atmosphere. It's dark and moodier, best represented by the cover art, at once both familiar and warm as well as being different and off in just a right way. Megan James' vocals are even more ethereal here than ever before, if that is even possible. It's the song that everyone wanted to hear Purity Ring release; one that fits perfectly in their too small catalog and solidifying that they are worth every piece of praise that is mounting everyday.

(mp3) Purity Ring-Obedear


Purity Ring's Website
Pre-order Shrines here, from 4AD Records

Monday, April 23, 2012

Video: THEESatisfaction-QueenS

I am so glad THEESatisfaction put out a video for this song. It gives me an excuse to song that I should have been covered ages ago. "QueenS" is a near perfect song, with the same off-kilter R&B and soul that of Montreal have been crafting in their past few albums, but with a smoothness that Kevin Barns could only dream of thanks to the perfect call and response and split vocal techniques of Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons. The video captures the feel of "QueenS" perfectly, the band having a party with friends. It captures the sense of having a fun and a good time,  not in a deeply cliche way, but one that's built on an earnestness in wanting to enjoy oneself with others too.  


THEESatisfaction's Website
Buy awE naturalE here, from Sub Pop
Check out THEESatisfaction's self released mixtapes here, from their bandcamp

Friday, April 20, 2012

Echo Lake-Even the Blind

Echo Lake are not nearly as prolific as I would like them to be, so it's wonderful to not only hear "Even the Blind" (more that song in a second), but also that it is a part of their soon to be debut LP Wild Peace. Woo. And to make the news even better, they go and release "Even the Blind" as well, which might be their very best song yet. I think Echo Lake have finally perfected their sound, the cross between the haze and etherealness of their debut EP and the more polished sound that showed up on their later work. That's not to say that their earlier work was bad, that's not true in the slightest. How "Even the Blind" differs is there seems to be a confidence in the sound, in the way it can evolve. The way the song morphs from the quiet, subdued intro of then shift into the powerful center with the snap of excellent drum work and the forceful yet elegant vocals of lead singer Linda Jarvis. It reminds me partly of Lower Dens' "Brains", if Lower Dens tried to create shoegaze rather than the atmospheric tension filled pop they make now. With "Even the Blind", Echo Lake have secured the spot for my most anticipated album of the summer.

(mp3) Echo Lake-Even the Blind


Echo Lake's Website

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Memories-Softly

Big props to Underwater peoples on another excellent find. I know nothing about The Memories besides the fact that they are from Portland and that "Softly" is an expertly crafted ear worm. Sparse yet pitch perfect janglely indie rock that's subtly deeper via the lyrics then what the surface value gives away (I mean, when was the last time a band use the word 'meandering' in one of their songs?). If this was 30 years older it would have been on a 200 press 7", triggering the deepest lust in vinyl junkies and being the sweet spot of any quality D.I.Y. compilation. Instead, it looks to be the sweet spot for a perfect summer time LP.

(mp3) The Memories-Softly


Pre-order the s/t LP here, from Underwater Peoples

Single Review: Mount Eerie-To the Ground 7"

It's wonderful see Phil Elverum fill his recent quiet spell with such a sudden prolific burst. Not only one, but two new Mount Eerie albums will come out this year to the excite of anyone with good taste in music. On top of that, Mount Eerie just put out a new single for French label Atelier Ciseaux as well. Hurrah!

If everything that was Wind's Poem was catharsis for Mount Eerie, then his new material is him trying to do something that is just the opposite. As if Mount Eerie was using this single as some commentary on "chill" or "relaxed" music. Case in point with "To the Ground". With the bongos and sharp, awkward electronics beeps through out, in anyone else's hands this track could have become something much cheesier than it actually is. Instead Elverum is manages to fill the song with tension and slight dread with his vocals and inorganic drum work, despite the backdrop they are working against. It's actually a masterful track, building and dropping to keep the feel of the song constant and powerful. On the flip side is the well flip side of this commentary, a reworking of "The Mouth of Sky" from Wind's Poems. Though one would never guess that it was the same song listening to it here, as it has shed all of it's black metal heaviness and morphed into something filled with sad violins and an auto tuned Elverum. It's slightly surreal to know that is a Mount Eerie track, but placed with the single, it makes more sense every time you listen to it.

Mount Eerie's material tends to get gobbled up quickly by his fans, and with only 300 copies, this 7" won't last long either. Hopefully it will be rereleased in the future because this a wonderful, quiet addition to Mount Eerie's discography.


Mount Eerie's Website
Buy the To the Ground 7" here, from Atelier Ciseaux

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Yuck's debut from last year was an actually great collection of neo '90s indie rock that managed to not only capture almost every form of '90s indie rock, but also represent it without it being a rehash. Call it '90s nostalgia if you will, but Yuck was still a stellar guitar album even if you strip the past from it. So how do Yuck start their second act? By replicating all the sounds they missed the first time. "Chew" is deep shoegaze love, striking right between Dinosaur Jr and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Singer Daniel Blumberg has even shifted his usually high pitched vocals down an octave to better fit the song. Morphing crashing waves of fuzz and distortion into waves of beauty, "Chew" is noise rock at its best, along with being deeply strange and quirky love song as well. Plus, the feedback fade out at the end is just stunning.


Yuck's Website

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wax Idols-Schadenfreude

After releasing one of the most under appreciated releases of last year, their debut No Future, there was a much too long quiet period from Wax Idols. Thankfully, Heather Fedewa/Fortune and co. have returned, and with "Schadenfreude" (German for masochism), the band step away from their UK '77 sound and into American post-punk influence, fusing the new song with tons of wonderful Wipers influence. The result is the evilest sounding hook filled song you will probably ever hear, darker and angrier than what the band has ever done before, but still just as additively punky that the wax won't be leaving anyone's turntable anytime soon.

(mp3) Wax Idols-Schadenfreude


Wax Idols' Tumblr
Pre-order Schadenfreude 7" here, from Suicide Squeeze Records

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Video: COLOURS-Without a Way

Wow. COLOURS have ever so slowly been building as one of my favorite shoegaze bands, and their new song and video "Without a Way" just firmly cement it. Like with his song "In the Summer", COLOURS has moved his styling more from traditional shoegaze more of a droney, dragging style that really emephesise the emptyness and pain in the songs. This is amplified with "Without a Way, as the sharp guitar riffs just fall on you again and again like ocean waves, while the industrial drum work just makes the song even more forbbiding. Not to mention the found fotage for the video, which just envoke pure pain and loss. It's almost heartbreaking to listen to, and hits you right in your gut. It's as painful as it is strangely beautiful.


COLOURS' Facebook
Get the track here, from Beko 100 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cassette Review: ender belongs to me-Memory EP

With Memory, ender belongs to me's first step into the physical world, a clearer picture of how the same band that produces a song like the upbeat "All Working" can make the slow burning sprawl of "New Light" as well. What Memory reveals, in its short 15 minute form, is that ender belongs to me takes as much from advent music and sound colleges as they do from drugged out dance beats and synth infused indie pop.

The fact that the EP opens with "Kick/Scream" should have been the first hint of the true form of ender belongs to me. On it's own the song is a mixture of sludgey vocals mixed with striking synth lines and drum work to pick up the song just when it needs it. However, in term of the tape itself, it sets the stage of the band using more abstract elements of electronica and beats in their song. "You, Sir" seems like a perfect extension of "Kick/Scream", but instead of following the poppier parts that half of "Kick/Scream" had, "You, Sir" extends the quieter part to it's logical end point, as airy beats and what sounds like a warped version of the intro to "15 Steps" propel the abstract and French (?) vocals forward. "Animate" is the most abstract track on the cassette, a layering of industrial, choppy sounding beats over found vocals  before adding a juxtaposing piano line to control the discord contained within the song.

The tape starts to solidify again with "All Working", which is still one of my favorite ender belongs to me songs. In reality it isn't all that different from the bands more abstract material, a simple beat coupled with piano and added electronics. However, it just comes together so wonderfully here, especially when the female vocals kick in (as childish as they me be), as is the fact that this is a song where the band's lyrical work really shines, something that the band until now seemed to under appreciate. The final track "Teddymuffin" is similar to "Animate" in terms of sometimes sounding more of a sound college before morphing into the song it actually is. But it is a splendid track, gooey in all the right way, a mixture of sparkling piano lines and clickity beats. In turn the track helps to sort of define the band, not only in sound but in their ability to pull subtle hooks and structure from very lucid places.


ender belongs to me's Website
Buy Memory EP here, from Crash Symbols