Black Marble Shares Feels

As I was sitting down to listen to this song, I was imagining myself dancing around my living room, entertaining the wee 1 year old that crawls about our house; it has an energetic uptick in the sample percussion. But, when Chris Stewart’s vocals come into play, they’re heavy and dark; they almost evaporate that pop sensibility in the best possible sense. It creates this great juxtaposition that definitely lands well on my end, straddling the highs and lows of music, much like we do in life. To me, this feels like the most intimate Black Marble album to date, so it’s not surprise that it is being handled by Sacred Bones Records; they’ll release Bigger Than Life on October 25th.

FEELS Share Post Earth

I don’t know what it is as of late, but I’ve been really into these lengthier, expansive pop songs. Last week, and for the last few months, I was jamming Bones Garage, but today I’m turning my attention towards FEELS. Vocals aren’t even a thought in their latest single until the 45 second mark, then they enter, ever so playfully. There’s something about the tones and the backing vocals that create this vibrant note; that’s perfect, as the music, at times is heavier, almost abrasive in lieu of the vocal performance; I’m a fan of musical juxtaposition. The song plods and turns, bobs and weaves, yet never losing the listener, which bodes well for their full length. Post Earth will be released this Friday via Wichita Recordings.


SOLD Ready Brand New EP

Philadelphia’s SOLD might not be a household name at this point, but here’s to hoping you spend some time getting to know the group now…especially as they have a new EP on the horizon. The band’s musical diversity keeps the below single interesting, starting off with this bounding opening that definitely draws from the band’s indie rock influences. Different vocals in the song’s middle bring the track to life; I think one even has an almost folk-y drawl, which is contrasted by the song’s natural haunting; there might even be some Arcade Fire yelps too! Then the guitars cascade down in an angular fashion, like pelting rains, matched by similarly fashioned vocal lines. Feels Unreal comes out today courtesy of Hits Direct Records.

Deeper Back with Another Single

Chicago’s Deeper are just a few weeks away from dropping their debut album, and I’m anticipating heavy rotation around my household. On their latest single, it definitely has that arty post-punk vibe, akin to Omni. But, what the group uses that puts them slightly in their own realm is they brandish sparkling guitar lines; they’re not as sharp as one would hear in a jagged art punk style, giving a natural melody to the band’s sound. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t get enough of this band. Their self-titled debut will be dropping on May 25th via Fire Talk.


Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I realize, of course, that Animal Collective is one of the most divisive bands in the indie world, admittedly acknowledging that I’m the only on this site that has any interest in the group.  So I set out to listen to Centipede Hz aiming to prove a point, hoping to convince my partners that there’s something worthwhile about this band and their recent album.  Honestly, I struggled, barely making it past the first song on the first few listens.

“Moonjock” is an awful choice for an opener.  It’s possibly one of the worst recorded songs I’ve heard from this band, with little focus in the way of song construction.  At times it’s grating, and at other moments, it’s just plain awful.  But, while I can’t stand this song, I found a little bit of solace in the following track, “Today’s Supernatural.”  It’s not going to catch you with powerful hook-laden beats, such as the group’s done before, but the basic outline of the song does work to a certain extent.  However, the group seems to get lost in the plot with the extensive shouting, and then it sort of falls out flat.

As a fan of the band, I was looking for that statement track on Centipede Hz, sort of like “My Girls.”  While it may not have the lofty pop moments, “Applesauce” is probably the standout track in a record with so few.  The vocal effect here isn’t quite as offensive, and the hidden melody does appease my ears; they’re also as playful and joyous as the group can be at the best of times. If I had to pick another track that fit into a similar place on this album, then I’d probably pick “Pulleys,” although this is the most un-Animal Collective track to my ears.  It’s almost holds onto a dream-pop quality, but the weak percussion holds the track back just a bit, keeping it from being a true star here.

Each time I listen, something new pops up, which typically is a great thing for any music listener, but these aren’t necessarily great things that reveal themselves to me, rather they’re the elements of what seems like a tired formula.  For instance, on “New Town Burnout,” you’re going to find the percussion/drum loop uninspired, and the vocals don’t do much more to aid the cause.  Or, maybe you’ll go to the miserable vocal performance on “Wide Eyed.”  I’m not sure what I dislike about it necessarily, but for a group that’s made their name fitting erratic vocals into careful pop construction, this seems rather lackluster.

All in all, I definitely have a few songs on Centipede Hz that I can enjoy in the near future.  But, that being said, I will definitely stand by the fact that this is the first Animal Collective record that’s probably not ever going to be played again on my record player from start to finish.  There are simply too many songs in this collection that are unlistenable, which I’ll admit makes me sad.  I didn’t expect a repeat performance after Merriweather Post Pavilion, but I definitely had something stronger in my dreams than this.  Perhaps their formulaic (albeit an abstract formula) writing style has run its course. Perhaps the band has run its course.  Only time will tell, but at least we’ll always have records like Feels to fall back on.

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