Fuzz-rock is a delicate art: too much fuzz and the melody never really shines through, but too little fuzz and the song feels like its missing a key element. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, however, plow the middle ground perfectly. Enough fuzz to give the song some character, but not so much that the melody gets muddled; this is just how I like my fuzz rock.
The Pains of Being Pure Heart’s debut self-titled album has the feel of Citrus-era Absobi Seksu and is similarly perfect for summer time listening. “This Love is Fucking Right!” is supposedly a response to The Field Mice’s song “This Love is Not Wrong”, and while the lyrics invite odd interpretation (“you’re my sister / and this love is fucking right”), the poppy, fuzzy, “sunniness” nonetheless makes “This Love is Fucking Right!” a great Friday morning song.
The last thing anyone needs right now is yet another “Sleepyhead” remix or cover or rework or edit or whatever, but I haven’t even gotten round to listening to the full album yet, never mind squeezing the most out of this song. It’s probably nearing the end of its au courant status for remixes, but this one is among the best I’ve heard. Starsmith and Ellie Goulding have teamed up to produce it, giving it a complete vocal overhaul and changing the mood of the whole song. It’s just lovely.
I may have learned about The Postmarks during my twee binge earlier this Spring, but I’ve been holding off on posting them because I think their vibe is best suited to mid-to-late summer. Musically, the Postmarks make a twee-pop similar to Camera Obscura, though there are notable differences. The Postmarks don’t tend to be as cutesy/clever with their lyrics, and the music has a more general love-lost theme. Overall, this makes The Postmarks better suited to nighttime listening, though this track from their 2007 self-titled album should be about right for morning tuneage.
If you like what you hear, keep an eye out for The Postmarks’ upcoming album, Memoirs at the End of the World, due August 25th on Unfiltered Records.
No, the Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice redhead isn’t trying the singer slash actress thing out for size; this Kate Walsh is a British songstress and she’s simply enchanting. “Your Song” is a love song that is sweet without being too sugary sweet. It’s simple but never boring and her gorgeous voice occasionally teeters on the edge of a warble, making it all that more genuine and relatable.
Without a doubt, anything Lizzy Mercier Descloux touched was richly layered and years ahead of its time. The French singer’s aesthetic was hard to pinpoint and her music incorporated a range of genres, everything from the guttural antagonism of late 70s New York no wave in her early band Rosa Yemen to “world music,” an inexplicable name that aims to classify music that is “foreign.”
Her music – often challenging, consistently enjoyable – was a testament to her bohemian spirit and thirst for cultures outside of her own. She constantly soaked up styles and sounds from around the world to create albums that predicted the current popularization of cultural appropriation filtered through an individual’s eclectic mind.
Also often known for her unique, challenging covers of funk and jazz tunes, Descloux proved that some things are more interesting with a female touch. On this one, a cover of Lalo Schifrin’s “Jim on the Move,” that first appeared on her first brilliant solo record Press Color, Descloux sped up the tempo and incorporated her signature repetitive guitar riffs and curious vocals to fashion a light and lazy summer song.
Black Moth Super Rainbow (hereafter referred to as BMSR because I’m not typing that again) can be a challenging band: their music can be fairly bass heavy and drone-y, the lyrics, when you can understand them, don’t always make sense, and the vocals are always run through a vocoder. All this adds up to something that definitely doesn’t have universal appeal, but can be pretty rewarding if you’re willing to to stick with it.
Thankfully for those who have found BMSR too challenging in the past, their latest album, Eating Us is a bit more accessible. As you can tell from this song (the lead-off track on the album), the music feels more organic, the beats are more straight-forward, and while the vocals are still all pushed through a vocoder, they somehow manage to feel less affected. All that leads to an album that has broader appeal while still being distinctly a BMSR album, which is something a lot of bands never manage to do.
I probably would not have come across this band for a while if my intern hadn’t sent me their self-released debut EP, Taxidermy, which this track is off of.
Englishman is a trio comprised of members from These United States and The Scourge of The Sea and are based out of Lexington, KY. I’m really enjoying their mildly mellow blend of indie and folk. If you like what you hear so far, head over to their Myspace and give “Horseshoes” a listen. That’s probably my second favorite track on the EP.
Paul Carroll submitted Bibio to us a few weeks ago when the artist released his latest record, Ambivalence Avenue. Since we’re generally behind the 8-ball with submissions and emails, I didn’t get around to checking out the album until this week…and what a mistake that was. The album is an excellent mix of electronic and folk music that’s relaxing, summery, and smooth as can be. This is the lead-off and title track from an album that I’ve put on permanent summer repeat. Thanks for the submission, Paul!
I haven’t heard much from the mysterious one-half-Brooklyn-one-half-Austin boy/girl duo who call themselves Neon Indian, but what I have heard I’ve really enjoyed. The band strikes a chord reminiscent of a rough-around-the-edges Cut Copy and somehow manages to make me think of summer camp. An odd association perhaps, but a good one nonetheless. Look for Psychic Chasms, Neon Indian’s first album, in mid-October, and until then, track down whatever you can online (there’s enough out there to keep you occupied).
Hip-hop producer Alchemist enlists a slew of the genre’s best to help with his lastest album, Chemical Warfare, which dropped yesterday. From KRS-One to Eminem, Maxwell to Prodigy, the tracklist reads like a best-of album. It’s full of dark chops and soul samples, the best example of which might be “Therapy.”
I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now. This song constantly gets stuck in my head…I love the jangly guitar hook throughout.
One For The Team is a four-piece band based out of Minneapolis, MN. This track is off their third release Build A Garden, which the band recorded in their apartment and released this past April. The dual vocals shared by Ian Anderson and Grace Fiddler really give the band their own sound, whether they sing in unison or harmonize with each other. I’ll have to agree with NPR completely when they say “It’s an unabashed optimism that manages to be contagious without being overly precious or earnest.”
I first heard about Fanfarlo when NPR highlighted their song “Fire Escape” just before 2008’s SXSW. The English band with a Swedish frontman finally hit the studio this past fall to record their debut album, Reservoir, and I’ve been holding on to this post for a while until it was closer to the release of the album.
True to the cut I heard back in 2008, Fanfarlo makes upbeat pop music that employs a few lesser-used instruments (such as violins, mandolins, and trumpets) which often give their music a grandiose, hopeful quality I find very appealing. This track settles into the middle of the excellent debut record, which I believe was released in May (although finding an official date has been harder than I would have expected), and is available now directly from the band for a measly $6.