I met up with Brian, our photographer just after 8 on Tuesday night, a little anxious and a little weary. Low, since the late 90s has been a consistent part of my listening experience, not to mention one that I’ve often had trouble explaining my fandom. But, if anything, I left the venue that night with an expression of gratitude, to the band and the many fans that filled the Parish; it was one of those musical encounters few will understand…but those that do will cherish.
I’ll always be a sucker for quality singer songwriters and Kyle Craft is a new artist on the scene who write some great tunes. Today I’ve got this one called “Lady of the Ark” to share with you peoples out there. Craft will be the first one to tell you who gets compared to Dylan frequently, which should be considered and honor, but I think the lad offers more than just some lazy comparison. The song is heartfelt and you can hear the passion in his voice. I suggest you check it out.
Craft will release Dolls of Highlandon April 29th via Sub Pop.
Twenty years on and Low are still making some of the most important tunes of the indie rock genre. Their evolution since I Could Live in Hope and Long Division up until last year’s drastically overlooked Ones & Sixes illustrates the work the group has done to build their own sound and stretch the limits of expectations. Luckily for all of us, the band will be playing the whole night on their own, so there’s no telling what treats we will be given by the band. Tickets from the Parish are still available HERE, and the doors will open up at 8 PM…so you can expect a long evening of the most glorious music, and still make it home in time for proper rest.
Beach House and Dream Pop have become essentially synonymous these days, and rightly so; Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have been cranking out the dreamiest tunes for a little more than a decade and Depression Cherry marks their fifth full-length release. 2010’s crescendoing and huge Teen Dream solidified their place as Dream Pop masters while 2012’s Bloom showed them exploring choppy percussion’s effect on their hazy and soaring tunes. So what does Depression Cherry have in store for us? In a press release written by the band, they called it “a return to simplicity,” but later mentioned their disdain for uttering those words. While they may not think fondly of this sentiment, it was a prematurely apt descriptor for the album.
Starting off with, “Levitation,” Beach House doubles down on this sentiment right off the bat. The familiar synth sound, fluttering guitar and Legrand’s whispery yet substantive vocals declare: “I go anywhere you want to” while the track warms up, making it feel like the band is reintroducing themselves to us. It’s far from a ‘simple’ song, but it’s mild in that each element seems to share the limelight with the others, soloing when appropriate and then blending back in. Near the end, Legrand urges us to follow her and Scally into the rabbit hole of Depression Cherry, repeating, “There’s a place I want to take you,” before the track slowly dissolves and folds in on itself and into the next song, “Sparks.” From this first song, what’s noticeably different is the smoothness and warmth of the sound here. The guitar is a little buzzier than before, filling the space with yet another hazy texture; Legrand’s vocals are there-and-not-there, fog illuminated by headlights, simultaneously lush and hollow; the drums are even and tempered, the synths ubiquitous. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to close your eyes and just listen to the subtle magic unfolding and its subtlety marks the rest of the album.
As I mentioned before, the last two albums from this band took definitively clear paths, so what may seem unsettling to listeners at first is the lack of this strong inclination as to where we’re going. Sure, there are strong numbers that you’ll immediately latch on to, but it may take a little while for some of the numbers to really hit you. For me, these initial winners were “Space Song,” and “Bluebird.” “Space Song” is third up, and it features sharp and emotionally cutting guitar riffs that just slice and float through the mix, screaming through the hypnotizing haze of synth and vocal. Later, “Bluebird” is a bit more of a groove, still sleek and simmering, but the guitar is tight and close to the rhythm in a darker fashion.
Even though this album doesn’t seem to strike a clear directional path like their last two albums, this seems to be part of the allure for fans of Beach House. Depression Cherry doesn’t aim to be anything other than dream pop and at the end of the album, you can’t fault Beach House for doing more of what they do so well. Upon first listen it may seem underwhelming, but over time it trickles in to your psyche song by song akin to waves lapping against the shore—instead of choosing a direction, it seems this album is bent on getting lost and not wanting to be found, suiting the dreamy genre perfectly. Spend some time with this album and you’ll find yourself in the same position.
Low has been around the game for years now and have put out more than their fair share of hits. With such a history, you’d think the well had run dry, but as evidenced by this jam “What Part Of Me”, the band is still capable of producing gems. This one is a short and sweet lo fi track worthy of being labeled a pop hit. Press play and enjoy.
Low will drop Ones and Sixes via Sub Pop on September 11th.
The Helio Sequence, who have been around for almost two decades now, have a new track to share with you from their new album that’s due out in just a few weeks on May 19th. That new, self titled record looks like it will be an extension of the duo’s intimate pop tunes, as “Upward Mobility” works around the looping guitar riffs and some really understated piano that constantly pounds in the background. This track has got me excited for the new record, so you should listen and get excited too.
It’s been interesting to watch the progression of Daughn Gibson‘s career. He’s gone from a relatively unknown act we stumbled upon about five years ago to a powerful force to be reckoned with in the modern age. His music this time around seemingly matches his intoxicating live performance; I love the noisy bust up that comes around the 2.5 minute mark of the track. The song even closes with a softer approach that spins the tune in a different space as it comes to a close Press release says he’s worked a great deal on his lyrics for his new album Carnation, so I have a feeling you’re going to be in for a real treat when Sub Pop unleashes it on June 2nd.
Honestly, Metz was a hot commodity a few years back, and I feel like their resurgence is perfectly timed. I’m weaning myself off (a little) from the mild folky tunes of Winter doldrums, and looking forward to getting my rock on, so this is fitting. Musically, the band’s as dangerous as they’ve been before, though there’s a bit of a change in the vocals that’s slightly new. To me, this track feels like a post-hardcore blast of rock, which is perfectly fine, but I’m interested to see what the rest of Metz II sounds like; it’s being released by Sub Pop on May 5th…and for the record, I’m buying into the hype.
As we move closer to Fun Fest, I find myself getting more and more pumped for the weekend. The lineup is again superb and we’ll of course be hanging with all you cool customers in the beautiful Austin weather. We’re moving forward with our coverage today with an interview from Sub Pop act Pissed Jeans.
I don’t know if it’s nostalgia, or if the return of Avi Buffalo is really winning me over. Yesterday his latest single popped up, and I just absolutely fell in love…making me what took so long for the songwriter to get it going again. Something in the vocal reminds me of Jason Lytle, and I can hear a bit of that grandiose musical approach in the songwriting that was used by Lytle’s band Grandaddy. If you’re not in love with this song, that’s fair, but we can’t be friend; I’m sorry. Look for At Best Cuckold to be in stores on September 9th, courtesy of Sub Pop.