Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Single Review: Fuzz-"Sleigh Ride b/w You Won't See Me" 7"

How does Ty Segall do it? I know I am more than likely not even close to being the first person to ask this, but how it that Segall is able to create so much music, so constantly, and nearly all of it is top quality rock music of the highest order? I guess it’s fitting that his newest project Fuzz feels more like a true band effort then most of what he’s done in recent time. It feels at time removed from Segall’s usual garage rock blitz, which here is a very good thing.

Their second single in four months, here Fuzz has already begun to start figuring out how to expand and define what their sound is truly is. Not that the pure “Black Sabbath love channeled through a basement band” of their last single was a bad thing in anyway. Here though, the band has realized how to take that style and shape it into their own. A-side “Sleigh Ride” is a great testament to this; the song is still a cross between early metal, sludge, and garage rock, all second long guitar noodling and Segall's John Dwyer like vocals. However, the song's constant tempo shifts give the song an off-balance feel and the sense that it could fall apart & spin-off at any second. "You Won't See Me" has a much more steady and heavy feel to it, from the still drum work that opens the track before Charlie Moonhart's guitar bursts the proverbial dam. And yet the track is not as nearly flat as it appears, starting and stopping on a dime to convey a certain sense of tension before bursting again with the song's final, masterfully crafted old school solo.

In an alternate dimension, Fuzz might have been the root Segalls music might have taken. Both his past scrappiness is present, with the simple lyrics there almost just to fill the space between the noise, and his modern form, with Fuzz's understated complexity ever present in the twist and turns these songs take. Fuzz may be the result of Segall and co. having gotten to such a much more mature place with their music that they must sound a recourse in the form of channeling their old idols. If that is the case then so be it because the result is more great rock music from a man who has been making just that for the past six years.


Buy the "Sleigh Ride b/w You Won't See Me" 7" here, from In the Red Records

Monday, May 27, 2013

Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk-Saturday

Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk have been quietly plugging away and releasing tapes, CD-Rs, and the occasional LP since 2007. Well, maybe quietly isn't the right world considering the band makes such always makes such a glorious ruckus with their songs, this magnificent hybrid of indie, pysch, and post-rock that is as great as it sounds. Over the years though, they haven't necessarily streamlined their sound, something that is a bit tricky considering the multidirection quality of their music, but added a certain degree of focus that wasn't there before to give their songs a new shape. At lest, that's what comes through listening to "Saturday", the first song off their upcoming album Think Tone. The track gets lost in itself, the almost ambient chords creating the warmest drone imaginable before they start blending in with the moaning, wordless vocals that float through the track. Gradually more and more is added to the track, with the drum beat appearing without notice and the vocals and guitar going higher and higher. Soon "Saturday" hits the glorious peak of chugging, shapeless, ambient psych that could fill a room before the song slowly flows down. It's a beautiful song, a tiny little sprawl that quietly erupts and then fades out, all the while containing a steady glow along the way.


Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk's Facebook
Pre-order Think Tone here, from Fire Talk Records

Coming to Town: Black Moth Super Rainbow @ The Mohawk

Despite what the lack of posts on this site will have you infer, I actually have a great appreciation and love for the music that Black Moth Super Rainbow make, and how they managed to push psychedelic music into the new decade, twisting and melding it with electronica and darker imagery then was ever part of the genre in the first place. They just came to Austin in November for Fun Fun Fun Fest, but are already returning to play The Mohawk tomorrow on March 28. They will be bring The Hood Internet and Oscillator Bug in tow with them, as if the night wasn't already a feat of twisted experimentation already. The show is sure to be a great one, so grab tickets to the show while you can.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Andrew Cedermark-At Home

There is a rush to "At Home", an intensity that is not unlike a car speeding down a highway with the windows down returning to somewhere it has left, a scene that has been portrayed time and time again in movies. Which is a pretty surreal thing considering Andrew Cedermark's music has never been rooted in this sound, having almost entirely been built on quiet reflection and cathartic emotional release existing within the same songs. However, as "Canis Major" hinted at, and "At Home" suggests further, Home Life is going to be a record built on trying to understand the past and the nostalgia that comes with it. So it makes sense that Cedermark has chosen to explore those emotions further by trying to mimic the music of his past. In this case, its his reflections on being alone and feeling removed from everything coated in a, yes, Bruce Springsteen like anthemic shell, all driving guitar lines and never ending pounding drums. The song never drops, always in a steady charge forward, no matter how bleak Cedermark's lyrics get, nearly incomprehensible under the excellent din of the song, but still emoting the same anguish that they always have. It seems fitting that Cedermark ends "At Home" with a desperate repetition of "I ain't going home"; even he is aware of the falseness of this nostalgic kick, which is exactly what gives "At Home" its power.


Andrew Cedermark's Facebook
Pre-order Home Life here, from Underwater Peoples Records

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Surf City-It's A Common Life

Surf City's "Crazy Rulers Of The World" was a song that just popped up on my iPod one day, an all too common occurrence due to the rate of tracks I download, seemingly at random while managing this blog. The track, and the album it came from, Kudos, are incredible if you a haven't heard them, pure old-school noise-pop bliss, like a missing early '90s indie rock gem from an alternate dimension, right down to the Steve Keene-like album artwork. That was all the way back in 2010, though. Now, after a near eternal wait of three years, Surf City have returned, a drop quieter but no less vital in anyway. "It's A Common Life" has the same noise-pop glory that their previous records did, all spacy distortion, and the warmest near-shoegaze fuzz you will likely hear all year. However, the band let's those sounds be turned down slightly in the mix, even letting them drop out occasionally. The track actually leads on an almost power-pop core, sharp power chords and well placed "ooos", though it happens to be a deeply shambolic take on the style, ready to fall apart at any moment. Like the way Big Troubles morphed from their debut to their sophomore, Surf City are perfectly pulling off the balancing act of bringing in more sheen to fuzzy indie rock. It's this melding of fuzzy and throwback guitar pop that makes "It's A Common Life" so good; the song is compressed mass of 30 different hooks swirling around for attention, creating the most wonderful of ruckuses in the mean time.


Surf City's Facebook
Pre-order We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This here, from Fire Records

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Candy Claws-Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)

Thank you to We Listen For You for introducing me to this song. Ceres & Calypso In The Deep Time, when it comes out, will be Candy Claws' fourth album. Their fourth, and I have never given them the time of day. I probably wouldn't be kicking myself so hard right now over this if I hadn't heard "Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)" just now, a song that truly blew me away. The song has a deeply warped majesty to it, pulling deeply from the psychedelic sprawl Youth Lagoon crafted on Wondrous Bughouse. "Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)" is a heavy piece of twisted, unraveling '60s pop and modern experimentalism, touches of The Olivia Tremor Control if Syd Barrett had taken over the band and taken them deeper down the rabbit hole. There is a deeply, ever present sense of looming insanity on the song, reenforced by the magnitude of spiraling electronic that are tracked on top each other, denser than a collapsed star. However, Candy Claws manage to keep the song feeling almost ethereal at times, in part from the hazy yet high octave vocals, and in part due to the production being so great that everything that swirls around during "Transitional Bird (Clever Girl) sounds completely natural and organic, like everything was plucked from a nature documentary and compressed into one song. It's one of the most lovely songs I've heard all year, a pure example of how creative psychedelia can exist when channeled creatively.


Candy Claws' Tumblr
Pre-order Ceres & Calypso In The Deep Time here, from twosyllable Records

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cass McCombs-Three Men Sitting On A Hollow Log/If You've Loved Me Before...

Cass McCombs is an artist that took me a long time to come around to. For the life of me a I can't explain why; some fake Ariel Pink connection that I crafted in my mind seems to be the excuse I created, as lame as that sounds even now. No matter, because after hearing McCombs' "Three Men Sitting on a Hallow Log" I am a complete devote. The song sounds exactly like some long forgotten roots song that was unearthed and polished to perfection by McCombs. It thumps along, the steady, mallet heavy pounding of the drums lifted along with McCombs' twangy guitar and vocals. There song is an endless groove over its four minutes, never deviating in its sound or pace, just a slow, smoky track that eventually fades into the night like the good campfire banger it is. The track owes a lot to Michael Hurley, who Cass McCombs splits this upcoming 7". Hurley, for those who don't know, is one of those long forgotten folk legends who has been steadily putting out wonderful records year after year. Mississippi Records has been slowly reissuing his discography, so jump in to his spellbinding world as well with this release.


Speaking of Cass McCombs, he has also put out an incredible contribution to the LMAC charity 7" series for Famous Class Records. "If You’ve Loved Me Before..." is completely removed from the sunny, folky strumming of "Three Men Sitting On A Hollow Log". "If You’ve Loved Me Before…" pulls deeply from from the Mount Eerie school of indie folk music, all sharp, electric guitar strumming and forced, terse lyrical delivery. The electronics that float around the song, and then form the songs outro perfectly capture the dreary, heartbroken sadness that McCombs is emoting through out. "If You've Loved Me Before..." is a truly heartbreaking work, incredible spare and delicate, as if McCombs is ready to burst into tears at any moment. However, he manages to hold it together long enough to create something that is wonderful in the bleakest of ways.


Cass McCombs' Website
Pre-order the Cass McCombs/Michael Hurley 7" here, from Secret Seven Records
Buy the Cass McCombs LMAC 7" here, from Famous Class Records

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Home Alone-Blunts

Teddybears & Weed, Home Alone's completely self-define debut cassette, caught me completely by surprise with its simple bedroom-pop splendor and sound. So it's exciting that such a self-described stoner is already making more music. "Blunts" picks up right where Teddybears & Weed left off, being another nugget of pure, dream-pop bliss. The production has been nicely polished; not so much that the song loses its internal charm, but so that sadness in Tom Polska's vocals are a little more audible, and notched-up beats sound perfectly woozy rather than airy. All of Home Alone's tiny sounds meld a tiny bit more on "Blunts", the swirl of synths, über-reverbed guitar, and cheap beats not as compressed as before. Home Alone may make weed music, but it's wonderful gooey weed music, and "Blunts" shows the emotional spirit that is there.


Home Alone's Tumblr
Pre-order Crumbs EP here, from Bad Pop

Thursday, May 16, 2013


For some reason that Deafheaven track has started opening musical path ways I have been unaware of or ignoring for far too long. Here I have stumbled upon the new album by Surachai and loved every minute of its three track, 34 minute glory. Surachai is the work of Surachai Sutthisasanakul, one guy who has been making experimental black metal for almost three years now. He has just released his new album Embraced, his first working with a full band to help create it, and it is aboslutly killer. The album is intense, but not overwhelming. I don't know if it's mixing or Surachai's own style, but he's not trying to bludgeon the listener with his music, but more present the music in it's own inherit intensity.

Opener "Ancestral" pretends to be a traditional black metal song, all blast beats and blurred guitar lines, along Sutthisasanakul's destroyed throat screech for vocals. Yet it doesn't take long for the experimental tendencies of Surachai to come into play. The song drops immediately suddenly into the this brief, warped, burst of industrial effects that shifts the song to a slightly more uplifting mood for the rest of the song. The ambient coda at the end of the song is one of the weirdest I've heard attached to any type of song, like a field recording of an abandoned factory littered with thousands of robotic bugs all hissing at once. "Sentinel" is more of a "pure" black metal song, but it's more meditative as well, getting all of its intensity out of the way early into the song before spending the rest of the track following the guitars down an expanding spiral of increasingly blackened despair.

Closer "Surrender" is the most experimental album on here, beginning with an eerie amount of static and dark electro-beats, before launching into the song. That tone of the intro manifests in the rest of the song, with "Surrender" having a real sense of evil to it, especially due to Sutthisasanakul dropping his vocals an octave so they sound more piercing and menacing. The song really explodes for the final of the album, it feels as if your running away from a monster that is chasing you throw a midnight forest. I am more then will to admit my inexperience in properly perceiving metal, but Embraced is an smart album, with Surachai knowing just when to incorporate something different to their already great songs that pushes it to something even better.


Surachai's Website
Buy Embraced here, from Surachi's Bandcamp

Holy Ghost!-Dumb Disco Ideas

Dance music is going to be on everyone's mind for the next six months or so thanks to the new Daft Punk album. With that comes the effect that every artist who makes even vaguely similar music to them (read: anything with a keyboard or beep in it) will automatically have to suffer with their presence hanging over them. So before that effect goes into full effect, be blown away by Holy Ghost!'s newest song "Dumb Disco Ideas". Like LCD Soundsystem's "Drunk Girl", it is actually a very smart song disguised as a stupid one. The first half of the song is evocative of the song title, a gorgeous, spaced-out, über-modern disco track, thick bass lines and a steady, never flinching beat well in tack. The song's lyrics are full of desire and the synth line from David Bryne's "Big Business" holds the track steady. Then the track drops for just the right few seconds before slowly building over the song's remaining four minutes. The line "Wait, and put it off, at least for another day" repeated over and over again so that it and "Dumb Disco Ideas" itself become almost anthemic. By Holy Ghost!'s standards, "Dumb Disco Ideas" may be just that, but everyone else, it is an complete, electro-pop heaven in every sense.


Holy Ghosts!'s Website
Pre-order the "Dumb Disco Ideas" 12" here, from DFA Records

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cassingle: Look Vibrant-Plateau

When a band describes themselves as "noise pop" these days, that doesn't always lead to the wonderful expectations it sets itself up to be. Some bands think that hitting a single distortion pedal suddenly get's them in the same class as a Slumberland band or their ilk. However, Look Vibrant call themselves a noise-pop band and mean it in the most glorious way. Drawing from the same sort of hyper-constrated blasts of noise that DSTVV use to craft their music, Look Vibrant don't sound like the organic lo-fi clang of old, but the harsh, blistering assault on the ears of now. "Plateau", off the their debut cassingle of the same name, is four minutes of the most tinfoil like guitar chords enhanced by a demented computer's take on static blasts. Yet all the while, buried under this earsplitting blend of distortion is an actual, catchy piece of indie rock. It sort of reminds of Sleigh Bells, if they had cracked it up to 12, and had tried to make songs rather than cheerleader chants. B-side "Stranger Kind" is a small breather, a slightly loopy track that feels more attune to an Animal Collective song pulled from an hell portal. Plateau is two very twisted, headache inducing nuggets that are just the right amount of beyond saturated noise-pop to be gems in their own right. A decisively modern take on the sound, but one that is still glorious in its own right. 


Download the Plateau cassingle here, from Look Vibrant's Bandcamp

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


How it that Whirr, of all bands, doesn't have a song called "Swoon" already? As possibly cliché as it might be for a shoegaze band to have a song named "Swoon", there are few better titles that could suit a song like this one. "Swoon" is just that, an ever ebbing and flowing cascade of Kristina Esfandiari's pillowy vocals and the vortex of guitars created from all three of Whirr's guitarists attacking their instruments at once over the song's near six minutes. The track nicely parallels Pipe Dreams opening cut "Reverse"; a pick up of noise before falling into a stretch of humming guitar ambiance before exploding into pure, shoegaze bliss. The added length of "Swoon", though, gives Whirr time to expand upon their sound, letting it build and swell to greater heights than they were able to previously. Sergio Miranda's drum work really glues the track together, the only instrument that doesn't blur on "Swoon", but instead confidently pounds and crashes to give the song the final piece to make it the shoegaze epic it is. I am bias in my approach to Whirr (I mean, I thought Pipe Dreams was the third best album of last year), but I don't care. Whirr are one of the best shoegaze bands out there, and "Swoon" only serves to confirm that fact.


Whirr's Tumblr
Pre-order Around EP here, from Graveface Records

Also, Whirr recently got a bunch of their amps and pedals stolen due to a recent robbery. They put some T-Shirts for sale raise money, so if you want/can support them, do it here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lust for Youth-Breaking Silence

I've been sitting on the back burner on Lust for Youth for far too long. First exposed to them along side Vår (back when they were still WAR), Lust for Youth seemed like a less interesting take on that style of murky, lo-fi synth work. However, after repeated listening, and Lust for Youth's gradual shift to a more solidly darker, danceable, and clearer synth style I have grown very fond of Hannes Norrvide's productions. The "Chasing the Light" 12" from earlier this year help cement their new, reduced Cold Cave like sound to great effects.

Now they are taking that sound and pushing it even further with "Breaking Silence". A more then likely foreshadowing for how their new album Perfect View will turn out, "Breaking Silence" is even shinier then "Chasing the Light" was. There is not a scrap of murk left to Lust for Youth's sound; it is now fully entrenched in a European synth-pop sound, full of warbling synths, '80s keyboard lines, and Norrvide's ditached vocals, which in the best ways do feel like they come from the same place Vår's electronic work comes from. More so, while "Breaking Silence" and Lust for Youth have not completely shed their dreary astetic, there is some part of "Breaking Silence" that makes it feel like a sliver of brightness has been placed inside of it. And that speck is all that it takes to make "Breaking Silence" fell all that much more powerful.


Lust For Youth's Facebook
Pre-order Perfect View here, from Sacred Bones Records

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Vår-Into Distance

So far, every exposure one's gotten to Vår has been the gist of some form of electronica; almost always a warped or twisted take the genre, but in some form of that genre none the less. However, "Into Distance" suggests that with their first proper album, No One Dances Quite Like My Brother, Vår are not just preconceived notions or styles. The song features no audible synth or electronic work at all; instead the track is built around rapid snare hits and matched by frantic, rhythmic, acoustic guitar strumming. Guitar riffs and mechanical drum work pop in and out of the song, but Elias Bender Rønnenfelt's vocals, a mix between a sad wail and intense, strained prose, hold the track steady. Then, of all things, trumpets kick in during the song's last third, giving "Into Distance" both a more dire and uplifting tone. Nothing about this song is like anything Vår has done before in any sense, and yet "Into Distance" works so well in every way for the band. At its core, Vår's music is built on complimenting contrast, and "Into Distance" manages that in spades.


Pre-order No One Dances Quite Like My Brother here, from Sacred Bones Records

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Garage Swim Compilation

I usually try to shy as far away as possible from releases like this. Corporate created labels diving into the indie world to extract bands into a release that will give the brand a degree of hipness, complete with another corporate sponsor in it as well. See everything within the Scion Audio/Visual spectrum. However, Garage Swim is far too great a release to be ignored by me in anyway. Put together by the folks at Williams Street, Adult Swim's inhouse label, Garage Swim is fifteen tracks of some of the best garage rockers out there in one tight, digital, and completely free package.

The most outstanding thing about this though, might be the outstanding degree of quality of it though. It's like every artist decided to hold onto one of their best songs just for this release. Thee Oh Sees' "Devil Again" is them at their catchiest, all nervous energy, popping keyboards, and hidden darkness underneath. Mikal Cronin's "Better Man" feels like the the lost gap between his new album and previous one, pure sunshine power-pop and noise guitar roar on top of one another. Mind Spiders are all dark punk glory, JEFF the Brotherhood channel Black Sabbath, and King Tuff's song with Gap Dream sounds absolutely nothing like a King Tuff (it's super slow! It has '80s synths in it!), but it still sounds awesome. The Gories have a new(?!) song on here that feels like a tribute to the older garage styles, and yet works just as well as anything else on here. The release closes with a mini-epic from Weekend, who should be completely out of place on an release like this, but the spacey psychedelia of "Teal Kia" is instead ends Garage Swim on a surprisingly uplifting note. Corporate or not, Garage Swim is 15 very awesome songs, and should be promptly shoved in the face of the next person who says guitar rock is dead.


Download Garage Swim here, from Williams Street Records

Monday, May 6, 2013

Man Tear-Outside Amore

Is the reason I think "Outside Amore" is so great because it feels so removed from modern dance music? It's not a banger, it is not at all bass heavy, there's no grime, no bleakness.  Instead, "Outside Amore" feels bright and shinny, from the squeek that runs through the songs core, to the lovely and soft vocals that semi-crone the song's lyrics. Not to mention the post-disco groove that is both askew but keeps the song afloat during its entire 9 minute run. If it were to be played in a club, it wouldn't be a modern club, all darkness with stark neon light. It feels like it would soundtrack the end of a movie; cheesy & up-lifting enough to go along with the credits, but not cheesy & up-lifting enough to be over bearing. Above all, "Outside Amore" is just a wonderful pop song, the type of  modern electronic dance music that DFA is so good at discovering and putting onto 12"s that will be spun at parties for people to hear for the first time and go crazy for.


Buy the "Outside Amore" 12" here, from DFA Records

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Deafheaven-Dream House

I know nothing about black metal. Absolutely nothing. Hell, if I'm being honest, I really know nothing about metal as a genre at all, outside of thinking that a few Boris and Black Sabbath tracks are really cool. However, despite that lack of knowledge, I do think I am aware of some big things in Deafheaven's new song "Dream House". That black metal is not normally suppose to sound this uplifting and cinematic. That there should not be this sense of empowering, or have a such a sense of victory during the song's second half. And that if you are a "black" metal band, you should not release a song called "Dream House", or title your new album Sunbather and color it sunburnt pink. But Deafheaven did all that, and I am left with one undeniable fact; "Dream House" is absolutely fucking incredible. "Dream House" is nine minutes of utterly overwhelming fury, with the bass and drums blurring into this mass that just shakes one's entire body, and the guitar being the precision tool that stabs the song into the brain. And yet as overpowering as the track is, it never feels brutal in a negative way. It just feels powerful, as if Deafheaven wanted to create the most intense post-rock song ever created. Frontman George Clarke evolve past being just tormented screams to actual three dimmensional howls of anguish, then then later triumph. The song's second half, right after the much needed interlude, might be even more climatic then the previous half as the pace drops, the guitars become unabashedly souring, and Clarke's vocals give way in both relief and euphoria. True black metal or not, I don't care; "Dream House" is a glorious in every way imaginable, and one of the greatest sonic furies I have ever heard.


Deafheaven's Website
Pre-order Sunbather here, from Deathwish Inc.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Baptist Generals-Dog that Bite You/Broken Glass

The last time the Baptist Generals released an album was No Silver/No Gold way back in the distant land of 2003. Back then I was still very much a child and didn't have the faintest idea what indie music was, or that a band like The Baptist Generals could even exist. In fact, the Baptist Generals probably would have remained forever unknown to me if they hadn't finally announced their new album Jackleg Devotional to the Heart. I don't honestly know how Baptist Generals sounded previously, but it seems like they haven't lost a single step, especially while listening to "Dog that Bite You". A blaring, rustic, Neil Young worthy riff rings like a siren through the track, signaling how alive the band is, as everything falls in lockstep behind it. The drums hold steady, and the secondary electric and acoustic guitars provide the tracks momentum while Chris Flemmons' wiry vocals level out weary aches of the heart. All the while little string, horn, and piano notes pop and out of the track at just the right moments that always give songs like this that extra touch that make them ever so more delicious.

What's wonderful about Baptist Generals, at least with the tastes I've gotten, is how they are not content laying on just one sound. "Broken Glass" sounds almost nothing like "Dog that Bite You", instead tapping much deeper into their indie-folk sound. Opening with an extended xylophone riff that gives the song an almost indie-pop feel, the track has a raw, urgent feel, reinforced by all the dynamic shifts the song takes; sad guitar plucking to a full-band rush in for the chorus to the quick fall off and the staggered realization all in one fell swoop. It's something to behold, and above all else shows how effortlessly Baptist Generals are able to pull from a deep, love laden, emotional well and channel that through Neil Youth worthy scorchers.


The Baptist Generals' Website
Pre-order Jackleg Devotional to the Heart here, from Sub Pop

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Live: Youth Lagoon/Majical Cloudz @ The Mohawk 4/24/13

The Youth Lagoon/Majical Cloudz show was a testament to the power of intimacy. The different forms it can take, and how one artist can use it in the grandest sense, while another can channel it in its most reduced form. Youth Lagoon and Majical Cloudz operate on opposite sides of the spectrum with their music, so it was a bit of a surprise how well their sets worked together. Their sounds complemented one another in the oddest ways, the straight faced honesty of Majical Cloudz's electronica serving an adequate contrast to Youth Lagoon's blooming neo-psychedlia. All those difference, though lead to a deeply, deeply spellbinding night.

Majical Cloudz

Looking back on it, Majical Cloudz's set should not have worked as well as it did. Majical Cloudz live is just Matthew Otto recreating the band's atmospheric beats with a small amount of electronics, while Devon Welsh sings into a microphone. There are no flourishes to what either of them were doing; it was a completely minimal set up to match their completely minimal music, in a completely outdoor venue. And yet together they pulled off a completely memorizing set, possibly one that was even greater than Youth Lagoon's. Majical Cloudz have this incredible ability to pluck atmosphere and intensity out of thin air and broadcast it out to everyone in attendance, forcing everyone to hush themselves and pay attention. A hush fell over the crowd as Majical Cloudz performed, so much so that by the time "Childhood's End" just three songs in, there was a near silence through out. Just quiet, powerful electronica that echoed in the chest.

Youth Lagoon

At the very least, Youth Lagoon's set Wednesday night showed how much the band has improved with their live performance. Wondrous Bughouse's opening cut "Through Mind and Back" poured out the speakers before anyone was on stage, while tempered neon lighting started going off, both of which set the tone for the night. Right on cue everyone came on stage, and Trevor Power and Co. blasted into "Mute", capturing every musical shade and bleep on stage that they had crafted on record. This was in large part thanks to the full band configuration, which was able to do so much more in comparison to when I saw Youth Lagoon perform as beat-triggering duo more than a year ago. There was little communication with the crowd, with Youth Lagoon instead crafting a set that was made in every sense for the audience to lose themselves in.

At times it was almost too much, with the heavy, pure instrumental sections of Wondrous Bughouse's songs becoming much more pronounced on stage then on record. However, the monetary punctuations of choice cuts from The Year of Hibernation, reworked perfectly as to not lose their intimacy but still work within the set, gave the show life just when it needed it. There was something truly special when the crowd started not only moving, but singing along to the entirety of "17". The length of the new songs made the set fly by, letting them only perform what felt like 10 songs during their 50 minute set. However, when they stepped back on stage for the encore, they elevated the set. They closed with "July", possibly the most intimate song within their discography, and more than likely the first taste anyone had with Youth Lagoon, and turned it into a reverb smothered anthem, one that rang and chimed and eventually drifted into the night.