Having already been a fan of Jose Gonzalez, I’ve really liked the way that the career of his group Junip has unfolded. After releasing their sophomore effort, the group has gotten together with a new EP, Walking Lightly. The EP will feature several remixes, but the main single is just a gorgeous number meandering through space. There’s a slight effect on the the vocals, making them even a touch more solemn than perhaps they’d be otherwise. It works really well with the untraditional percussive element that provides minimal rhythm on this tune. Here you go.
Less than a month ago we hit you with the beautiful, yet darkened, pop of Bushwalking. They’re back again, this time with a more emphatic punch to their art-rock sound. The guitar playing on here really excites me, occasionally going out of tune. I love the way they seemingly work against the vocals, yet all tie in together nicely. It’s still has this gritty edge to it, though this song might be a tad bit more accessible. It doesn’t really matter in the end, as the group are racking up enthusiasm for their new record, including the kids here at ATH. You can pick up their album No Enter on September 6th courtesy the hard-working (and lovely) guys of Chapter Music.
Admittedly, I’m a huge indiepop fan, so Ski Lodge didn’t have to do too much to win me over. But, that being said, I was looking for consistency; I wanted Big Heart to be great through and through. Some records, sadly, fade off in the end. Lucky for me, and for you, Big Heart isn’t such an album; it’s consistent, consistently good.
“Anything to Hurt You” kicks things off right, bubbling and bouncing its way through, providing the perfect exuberance to balance out the soft croon of singer Andrew Marr. There’s bright guitar licks too, plucked furiously, as if Marr can’t quite catch up; it’s an interesting effect, and one that works out successfully here. Immediately following is “Boy,” which seems to have gotten lots of air-time and praise. My ears see this as a warmer indiepop nod, with a sprawling chorus that highlights the softer side of Ski Lodge‘s music. While I adore those mellow moments, I like when the band picks up the pace a bit.
There are several occasions when they do speed things up in just the right place on Big Heart, allowing for a change of pace. The first time comes after the two previously mentioned tracks with “Looking For a Change.” It might just be the way the guitars or played, or maybe it’s the drums, but there’s a new energy, although Marr’s vocals still provide that emotional pull fans will adore. They pull it off again later in the album by way of “Just to Be Like You.” The guitars here have a bit more of an angular approach, leading one to pull out your best Molly Ringwald dance moves before your bathroom mirror. Trust me, I did it.
Throughout, Ski Lodge seems to be scattered, but in a contained way. They’ve provided glowing indiepop, backed by joyful numbers, all leading into the beautiful closing number, “I Can’t Tell.” My first run through, I didn’t think this track fit. But, I’m wrong. It demonstrates the group’s willingness to push the boundaries of a genre that, while amazing, can grow a bit stale through excess exposure. Perhaps in closing the album, they’re giving us a picture of a future; I prefer to think of it as a statement of grandeur. The goal to reach pop perfection is loftier here, and much appreciated by this listener, serving as a moment of finality. Big Heart is over, and there’s no other way you could end this LP; it’s just perfect.
They may not want to admit it, but for all intents and purposes, Parquet Courts are a Texas band! So, as a Texas-based site, we’re going to say nice things; they’re label What’s Your Rupture rules pretty hard too. With the announcement of a new EP, the band is sure to start making waves again, just as they did with Light Up Gold. This new track has the same chugging guitar lines their debut featured, but it includes new touches like a bit more distortion on the guitars and a recorder/flute. It adds another dimension that will surely make the Tally All the Things That You Broke EP another success. It hits the streets on October 8th, and the band will be playing both weekends of Austin City Limits.
One of the great things about SXSW, despite the whining of DIIV, is that you get to make communications across the globe you wouldn’t have made otherwise. Such is how I met our friend Meg, who pointed me to Gang of Youths, who will soon be relocating to the USA. They’ve just released the following single, which is reminiscent of acts like Local Natives, though this group shows a bit more restraint in their songwriting, holding back where others have gone on to explode. I like what the group is doing, and I hope you do as well; keep an eye out for them, as they’ll be making their way to the States very soon to warm your ears.
Just a few weeks back, Dead Gaze released some early recordings that he compiled together; I enjoyed those all for the most part. But, now things are coming quick for Cole Furlow’s project, with another new album, Brain Holiday, slated for release by Fat Cat on October 22nd. This new single definitely shows the pop sensibility shining through, despite a bit of fuzz added atop the vocals. There’s a melody that runs central, emphasized by the vocals throughout, getting me rather excited for more tunes from DG. The band will also be coming to Austin on September 13 with Dent May, but I’ll remind you of that in a few weeks.
The kids in Joanna Gruesome are already having a great year; they should be happy to find a home on such an incredible label like Slumberland Records. That being said, the more I hear from the band, the more likely it seems that it’ll be a banner year for the group. Sure, you can see similarities to label mates Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but they do it with their own sense of reckless abandon and added flare. While the song trots along, you’re not ready for the noisy outro that takes place just beyond the two minute mark. Like every band, they make nods to their heroes, but in doing so, they also make it entirely their own; I applaud them for that. Their album Weird Sister will be out on September 10th.
A short while ago we wrote about Brazilian act Boogarins, and it’s time that we return with another track from the band. It’s really hard to decide where to group these lads, genre-wise, which is perhaps great in its own spectrum. I hear bits of oddity like you’d find on a Flaming Lips LP, but also toucuhes of collage/instrumental artists such as The Go! Team and Ratatat. All these signs, and the pop sensibility of the vocals point to good things from the band when their debut record, As Plantas Que Curam, comes out on October 1st via Other Music Recordings. Let this tune blow your mind.
I’ve been a bit reluctant to really jump back on board with Of Montreal, though I never truly stepped off the train. In a sense, they’ve taken some creative moves that I’ve not always been on bored with, that is until their last two singles. The latest seems to have completely stripped all the electronic elements out of the group’s sound, leaving us with Kevin Barnes’ penchant for traditional hooks. It might not be a return to form, if there ever really was one, but it’s definitely got me more excited than I’ve been to hear the full LP. It’s titled LOUSY WITH SYLVIANBRIAR, and it’ll be released by Polyvinyl on October 8th. Pretty stoked!
Thursday’s are weird. They’re like a weekend tease; it’s not Friday yet, but you also might have just celebrated Hump Day, leaving you in a lull. Lucky for you I’ve got the perfect track to let you just drift lazily through the day. Oceania is the project of Nick Kostylew, and he’s warranted praise from previous releases, though I think this new one will garner more of such accolades. There’s this atmospheric pop theme throughout, yet beneath it lays a throbbing synth beat; it adds this dreamy feeling where you’re not quite awake, yet you’re completely aware of your surroundings. Be on the look out for Eyes of Glass EP, which comes out near the end of the summer.