Enjoy Your Day with Shorts

shortsI found this tune while I was trolling the Internet, hunting down our virtual friend Curtis from Velcro. Shorts is actually a Brooklyn act, but it’s founded by a former Australian, which is probably where Curtis comes into play, running a similar path in life.  Of course, this is exactly what I wanted to hear today; it has a bright guitar chord that dances around the song’s melody, while casual harmonies come in via multi-part vocals.  You’re going to want to get your hands on this bad boy when it’s release by Aloe Music on March 18th; it’s titled the Berlin 1971 EP, and it’s sure to be a stunner.

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Illls – Hideout from the Feeders

ILLLS-Hideout-From-The-Feeders--e1379501851839Rating: ★★★½☆

Occasionally you gravitate towards an album without much awareness, but something grabs you.  It squeezes you tight, holding you closely for the duration of your listening experience, and beyond (if it’s good).  This is precisely the case with my whole excursion into the world of Illls and their recent release, Hideout from the Feeders.

If I tried to explain this entire LP to you, I’d probably fail miserably, but there’s something incredibly important about the overall feel of the record.  It’s claustrophobic, in an endearing sense; the whole album has this filter on the vocals, as if you’re listening through glass or it’s being blasted from the speakers at the bottom of your swimming pool.  The first track that really hit this point home was “Colleen,” which is the third tune.  It’s present earlier, but the sound of the vocals stood out the most here due to the stark contrast to the pop sensation present in delivery of the vocals.  They hold onto to this smooth quality, working against the grainy darkness of the mood; it’s a striking effect, and one that succeeds time and time again on Hideout from the Feeders. 

Illls follow up that third track with what might just be one of my favorite tunes of the year, “Coma.”  The angular guitars are played through a kaleidoscope of dark post punk heritage, stepping in line with the deep tonal quality of the vocals.  Then you’ll hear a higher vocal break into the dense surroundings of the tune, accented by a wash of keyboards.  I keep coming back to this song again and again, so you’ll do well not to miss out on a few repeated listens throughout your day.  I love how there’s this overwhelming accessibility lurking beneath the surface; you’ll hear it again if you skip ahead to “In Gray.” This song takes on a more sprawling manner, similar to what you’d get if you spun a band like Blank Dogs through a whirlpool of blissful 80s underground pop. Capturing both dark and light, in both texture and mood, isn’t an easy feat, so those in search of such a dynamic will find solace in these types of tunes.

One thing that does tend to hurt Hideout from the Feeders, is that it’s not really able to step away from the structure of the style. While it’s successful on so many levels, the confines of the songs, and album, make it difficult to really stretch into a more dynamic sound…at least on this effort.  But, if I were you I’d put that aside immediately, as the record is pretty rewarding.  It’s clearly got doses of all things current, but I really appreciate how it’s able to stand out from the rest of what’s going on with such a refreshing approach.  You’ll do well not to skip out on Illls.


Another Gem from Illls

illsNot too long ago I was presenting you with a number from Illls that really won me over, but at the moment, I’m clearly lost in the amazing I’m presenting you with today.  I love the way there’s this atmospheric wash that provides you with a dream state while the guitars create this very sterile landscape that seems juxtaposed.  And, the vocals near the 2 minute mark just take me over the moon; I’ll be making every one I know listen to this tune for the rest of the day.  The group’s record, Hideout from the Feeders is out on November 12th via Aloe Music.



New Track from ILLLS

illlsIt seems like the hot bed of American music currently has a friend down in Oxford, Mississippi.  The home of acts like Dead Gaze and Dent May can now also claim the ambitious stylings of Steven Ross and ILLLS.  I was hooked the moment that this tune began, even if it had a nod to recent works by Arcade Fire.  But, make no mistake, there’s something creepy and more sinister lurking beneath, which makes its way as the guitars began to grind out.  Pretty sure that Hideout From the Feeders, the group’s upcoming album, will have some enjoyable tunes when it sees release on November 12th via Aloe Music.

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