Pulsating Pop from VOWS

wvosListening back to this latest tune from Vows, I’m finding this odd mixture where Caribou meets the world of the Flaming Lips.  It’s a strange sensation, sometimes pulsating with electronic magic, yet still holding onto what one would call a sense of oddity.  The oddball  sensation definitely permeates through this track, yet the groove ultimately fulfills your listening needs, giving you a little bit more oomph in your step.  Soon Enough Love, their next release, will be released later this summer via Vermont’s Section Sign Records.

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Show Pics: Caribou @ The Mohawk (11/23)

CaribouYou ever notice how a bunch of tours either kick off or finish up in Austin? In the case of Caribou, they were finishing up a successful run out in support of the latest effort Our Love. The bummer about being the last stop, no vinyl at the merch table. The best part, whoa hooollly shit is the band tight. Let me get this out of the way, this was one of the best live performances of “electronic” music I have ever seen. Dan Snaith and his team of musicians have found a way to make those key elements, the live drum and overlayed organic pieces of the recorded material, present in the live show. Flutes to extra percussion to ringing guitar licks, the material comes to life that then absorbs the crowd into a hypnotic tunnel.

I feel so jealous of the people in Toronto that get that homecoming show.

Click through for a couple more notes including some words on opener Jessy Lanza , bonus coverage of aftershow locals Silk Rodeo and plenty of pics…

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Show Review: Toro Y Moi @ Emo’s (2/2)

Finally caught up on processing pics. This latest round is for Toro Y Moi playing Emo’s East with Dog Bite and Wild Belle opening.

I will summarize the review here, so this is goodbye.

I am pretty sure I first saw Toro Y Moi at SxSW three years ago during a day party inside at The Mohawk, delighted by the hazy electronic goodness. The next time was his opening shot for Caribou at Emo’s outside. That was a stellar show. Next go was outside at The Mohawk as a headliner, a show we were very meh about. This is it for me; the big house at Emo’s, weird vibes from a sold out crowd, cell phones galore (including in the photo pit), bros yelling song names.

Read on for dark pics and a few more thoughts…

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Friday Top 5: 2010 Album Covers

It’s time again to turn the music down and put on your art-critic monocles and top hats. Yes, today is the day we judge 2010 releases strictly on their visual packaging aesthetics as opposed to their auditory aptitude. It’s also a way to highlight the ‘other’ artists who have created the artwork and often don’t get the credit besides a sub-par blurb in the liner notes. 2010 was filed with beautiful artwork and it has been a struggle to dwindle them down to 5, but alas, my favorites are to be found below. Just like last year, I’m looking at the entire package; composition, balance, tone, meaning and originality. Use of text is not necessary as we saw last year, but when it is used, it must compliment the piece as a whole. I don’t claim to be an expert, but when looking back through this year’s album artwork, here are the ones that caught my eye.

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Show Preview: Caribou @ La Zona Rosa (10/14)

Date 10/14/10
Location La Zona Rosa
Doors 8pm
Tickets $18 @ Frontgate

Dan Snaith and his band known as Caribou will be stopping by La Zona Rosa in Austin for a highly anticipated show.  Joining Mr. Snaith on the stage is New York band Arp.  I would recommend starting your weekend right and making it out to this one before them tickets sell out.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/04-Found-Out.mp3]

Download: Caribou – Found Out [MP3]

Caribou @ Emos (5/16)

Date Sunday, May 16th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $15 from TicketWeb

For those of you into collage music, and we know there are many of you out there, you’ve got to be salivating at Sunday night’s show over at Emos.  First, you get to share a night with the very exciting Toro y Moi, which everyone loves more than Sleigh Bells (that’s saying a lot).  Then, to close off your night, you get to let Caribou close out your night with a spectacular blend of electronica and pop melodies.  He’ll probably play a great deal of material off his recent album, Swim. Sure, the show probably fits better as music for your Sunday morning, but why not wind down a glorious weekend of fun by closing the curtains at Emos?  Exactly, we’ll see you there.


Download: Caribou – Found Out [MP3]

Caribou – Swim

Rating: ★★★½☆

Remix artists rejoice! Daniel Snaith is back and he brings with him a fresh palette of sublime beats for you to disassemble. Continuing to add to his extensive discography, his latest Swim was just released via Merge Records, his first full length since Andorra, released in 2007. Snaith, hailing from Ontario, utilizes a full band on the record, and the product sounds like a digital and electro production alone. In fact, it’s stunning what kind of layering Snaith accomplishes using traditional instruments like soprano sax, flute, and trombone.

The opening track “Odessa” is a good intro to the record and holds one of the more catchy bass lines. The tambourine throughout is sometimes distracting on first listen, but quickly fades as your ear dissects different angles. Immediately upon the first listen, one thing is certain. This is party music. Straight ‘get off your ass and dance’ music. Actually, it’s the best kind of party music; the type that sneaks up you. You know the feeling; the party is still young and you want to make it a little livelier. This is a good scenario for Swim. It’s the kind of music that doesn’t dominate the room, but politely sits in the corner, simmering like Boeuf Bougiuignon. When you least expect it, you find yourself tapping your foot or nodding your head. That’s right where Snaith wants you. He plays with moods in the simplest way possible, but it’s nothing flashy. Think Ghostland sans Capes; but with harmonies instead.

The next track “Sun” shows a more melodic side than the opener, but continues the simple electro beats. The rhythm builds to a vast crescendo, and if you don’t move at least some part of your body during which; you should probably check your pulse.  For all I enjoyed on “Sun”, “Kalli” quickly brought me down. It is perhaps the most intrusive track of the album, like a jazz improv going horribly wrong. Maybe I don’t understand the nuances of Caribou, but this was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Luckily, “Found out” gets the groove back with some of the best songwriting on the release.  “Bowls”, the longest track on the album has showcases disharmonious chimes played against harp strumming. It’s an unusual instrumental, but that segues into a stripped down beat that might have you looking around the room thinking you tripped over a cord and unplugged a speaker. It’s not the catchiest song on the album, but here Snaith shows off his ability to layer every sound imaginable into a somewhat literate dance number. For me, I’ll stick to the vocal tracks.

“Leave House” and “Hannibal” get the party vibe back, as Caribou channels his inner Hot Chip on the former. And as always, you can always add more cowbell as heard on the latter. The shortest track “Lalibela”, could be considered transitional, leading into the final track, but in its own right, it is a gem.  Finishing on a very strong note, no doubt my favorite track on the album “Jamelia” is sublime. The subtlety, the beat, the vocals, the instrumentation; it’s like a difficult jigsaw puzzle and you just found the last piece. It builds to a massive extended crescendo before trailing off slowly. For me, it quickly prompted a second listen to the album as a whole. I can’t say that about many release so far this year. Overall, it’s a short release, but it shows what Snaith does well in no uncertain terms. It’s straight forward, but dense, utilizing layering in unique ways.  Next time you have a party, be sure to grab this one.

The Hood Internet V.3

The internet has gone crazy this week with free mix tapes!  I have no doubt that the new Hood Internet Volume 3 Mix Tape will end up being the best one yet. (or at least the best one we’ve told you about this week)  If you aren’t familiar with The Hood Internet, the duo take one indie rock song and blend it with a popular rap/hip-hop song which usually results in dance party gold.  The new volume includes 34 brand new mashups with madness like Ludacris Vs. She & Him, Ghostface Killah Vs. Caribou, and Fleetwood Mac Vs. Daft Punk.  Yikes!  Check it out now and get the party started right!