Earlier in November we found out that there would be a posthumous release from Patrick Doyle’s Basic Plumbing project; he’d previously been part of Veronica Falls, as well as his solo work in Boys Forever. But, the album he’d been working on with friend Helen Skinner is set to come to light on January 24th, and why not share another song he penned. I think you can hear sort of an homage to college rock in this tune, particularly in the way the vocals kind of hang out there in the air, moving in and out of the space left between guitars and drums. Keeping Up Appearances will be out next year, with all the proceeds going to LA LGBT Centre and UKs Calm. You can grab it HERE.
Man…it’s a bummer Veronica Falls is no longer functioning, as it seems like every member has a ridiculously rad side project, be it Boys Forever, Ultimate Painting…and now Roxanne gives us Patience. We’ve heard very little but there’s a this brand new video/hit that definitely nicks from 80s club hits, even in the construction of the accompanying video. That being said, I love her voice here, and would basically listen to anything she does at the moment. And now that I think about it, maybe V Falls is just working on world domination by offering up a bunch of diverse tunes…whatever the reason, listen to Patience and look for The Pressure 7″ from Night School Records on September 30th.
I think there’s a bunch of you out there, or maybe like five, lamenting the wait for new music from Veronica Falls, so while we hang out on that one, let’s rejoice that Patrick is going strong with his new project, Boys Forever. It’s steady bouncing indiepop, including a nice little solo in the middle of the tune that hints at some of Patrick’s other work. This track will be included on a brand new 7″ coming on the brand new label, Amour Foo. Looks like bother are something we should keep our eyes on as the year begins to unfold.
Not going to claim any skills in finding this track, as it was pointed out to me by our friends over at Slumberland Records; Boys Forever is a new project from Patrick of Veronica Falls. One of the songs just went up yesterday, and embarks on the pristine side of pop that one would expect a member of VF to be a part of…and one can also imagine more quality as this is merely a home demo. But, don’t just sleep on the newest track, as the previously released tune is just as tasty, though a slightly approach. You’ll best be served if you don’t sleep on this project. I put both songs below…convenience and such.
Last year Ultimate Painting burst into our consciousness seemingly out of nowhere, though in retrospect, we’d been covering the band for a long time. You see, the band is made up of equal parts Mazes and Veronica Falls, just two dudes who love writing music together. We caught up with Jack to get a few short answers, and hopefully encourage you to see the group during SXSW . Read more
Ultimate Painting, the group comprised of members of Veronica Falls and Mazes is back again with a brand new single; it’s one that shows their relaxed side to pop construction, which is one of the reasons I’ve really been enjoying listening to the group’s debut. It’s the sort of pop music that allows you to chill out, searching your ears for the melodies you know are lurking within; you’ll even find a nice little solo, as seen in the track below. Their self-titled album will be out for the masses on October 28th via Trouble in Mind Records…packing that release day full of good tunes.
Wow. This new Ultimate Painting tune is really something. The band is comprised of equal parts Mazes and Veronica Falls, though I don’t think you’ll find too many similarities to the work of either. Instead, they’ve crafted a brooding song, gentle in its unfolding, holding tight to traditional pop stylings. It seems like the perfect track to play as your night draws to a close; I feel like the emotional pull is best understood with minimal lighting. You’ll be able to grab the group’s self-titled debut album on October 28th from Trouble in Mind Records.
It’s been a great year for releases from Trouble In Mind Records, with my favorite being the Greg Ashley LP, but they’ve also got two new releases you need to keep your eyes on in the near future. The first is from Soft Walls (album art to the left); it’s the project of UK-based Dan Reeves, and it sounds an awful like combining Fujiya and Miyagi with your favorite psychedelic band. The debut of the project is called No Time, and it’s out on July 29th. The other act, Ultimate Painting, is hugely popular, if you’re going of the projects of those involved (members of Mazes and Veronica Falls). Their self-titled debut comes out on October 28th, and I’ve been streaming the new single for the last few days. Take a listen to these two great tracks, and look for the records soon.
Making our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly. We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience. We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed. If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.
50 – Wampire – Curiosity
49 – Dot Dash – Half Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual
46 – Bad Sports – Bras
45 – Part Time – PDA
44 – Dick Diver – Calendar Days
43 – Math and Physics Club – Our Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica Falls – Waiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely Wild – The Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love Language – Ruby Red
38 – Gun Outfit – Hard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
36 – Daughn Gibson – Me Moan
35 – Andre Obin – The Arsonist
34 – Arp – More
33 – Gap Dream – Shine Your Light
32 – The Black Watch – The End of When
31 – Ty Segall – Sleeper
30 – The Stevens – A History of Hygeine
29 – Of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror Travel – Mexico
27 – Local Natives – Hummingbird
26 – Girls Names – The New Life
25 – GRMLN – Empire
24 – Small Black – Limits of Desire
23 – Audacity – Butter Knife
22 – Mikal Cronin – MCII
21 – Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty
20 – Foals – Holy Fire
19 – Radical Face – Family Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out Louds – Optica
15 – Kurt Vile – Waking on a Pretty Daze
14 – Braids – Flourish//Perish
13 – Crystal Antlers – Nothing is Real
12 – Typhoon – White Lighter
11 – Ski Lodge – Big Heart
Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created. In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.
9 – The Growlers – Hung at Heart
I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.” But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track. I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.
Hether Fortune seems to scare people. Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes. That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense. The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors. If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.
While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work. It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record. The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.
What else really needs to be said about The National. They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts. I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party. Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.
When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve. Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.
Someone For You came our way in January. On my record player, it hasn’t left since. This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record. You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.
At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners. You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.
In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers. But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music. This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special. Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.
This album is about Devon Welsh. From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note. The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow. It made us believe in great music again.