Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Low Rider occupies a unique space between the drawn-curtained bedrooms of weirdo outsiders and the effortless-cool of Wayfarer-clad city slickers. The bassline is driving here - minimal and unhurried with a distinct post-punk sensibility, sans taut posturing and urgency. Alex Hungtai's brooding croon hangs like 4am dust in a late-night blues bar, visible only through the faint orange glow of a cigarette being smoked from a dark corner.
Leaving the Jarmuschian minimalism behind, the as-yet-untitled track from Dirty Beaches forthcoming album adds some heady samples and a whole lot of haze and incense. There's some vaguely exotic/Oriental vibes going on here, but Hungtai's vocals bring it right back, staring chin-in-hand out yr window that is a train window in yr mind
Dirty Beaches Myspace
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
WHOA how good is Ducktails, I mean really? I listened to this self-titled debut all afternoon while making biscuits (procrastibaking), and it also soundtracked this amazing bike ride to and from work this evening. Much has been written about the weird tropical plastic nature of Ducktails' sounds which is totally right-on, but I'm also drawn to the warm suburban vibes emanating from Matt Monandile's delayed guitar and humid samples. I can't wait for it to be summer so I can listen to this while laying on the trampoline in the sun/playing backyard badminton/mowing the lawns. It's pretty suited to autumn as well though, as evidenced from my bike ride today through suburban parks, seven year old kids having rugby practice, down roads I biked to school for years but looked at differently with these sounds and late afternoon light (c. 4.55pm) where the ground is pretty grey and cold but the sky and treetops are illuminated with super vibrant gold, sienna and green. There's some darker/more sombre vibes in the track 'Dancing With The One You Love' which was the perfect night ride accompaniment down the same route now inhibited with misty ponds and yellow streetlights - it's a candlelit late night burner, Bob Harris singing 'More Than This' but more woozy and desperate and falling apart.
Buy Ducktails from Not Not Fun
Thursday, May 7, 2009
'What We Know' by Seattle's Pill Wonder, is entirely wet, set in a humid rainforest - toucan squawks, frog ribbitzzz, riding on the back of an elephant that's blowing water skywards and saturating yr backpack and camera. The beat is pretty dumb and elephantine, plodding through mud towards the water - accompanying soft vocals and xylophones are innocently weird - like a children's TV show on acid, maybe Dora the Explorer? Halfway through you've gone in too deep though and are under the water - vocals and jungle sounds warped and aquafied, transmitted through luminous jelly bubbles. Soon there's tropical fish and electric eels and fluorescent coral around, but chill out, float to the surface and lie on yr back, listen to the rainforest through ears half outside, half submerged in the multicoloured water swelling around yr head.
'Wasted by the Screen' trades jungle for bedroom, or maybe a lounge/kitchen with stained carpets and unwashed dishes, friends over messing around making noise on toy drum and pots, wailing and rocking out on the recorder you used to learn in standard 2. It's not loop-driven like 'What We Know', favouring loosely played guitar, loose drumming, loose singing - there's definite potential to fall apart at any moment but not before someone's shouted a few things into a delayed mic cos it sounds fucking rad.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Maybe I've been listening to too much noisy and frantic stuff lately but the few tracks I've been able to acquire by this band Beach Fossils (and also stuff by Real Estate and Kurt Vile) are such a pleasure to listen to. No shitgaze hiss and feedback here, just warm inter-playing guitar licks, chilled drum patters and yeah, sure, some weird delays and echoes on the vocals but it just adds to the rich and hazy evocation of these highway wandering demos. Daydream's lyrics are all lovelorn and hopeless - not knowing what to say, words caught/head tangled in yr strings - it comes across more sincere than soppy though, riffs and vocals tinged with autumn melancholy. Vacation is more optimistic, leaving the city for mountains and pine trees and lakes, tapping into that Western mythology of the American frontier with its unknown adventures and hopes. Pretty grand-sounding stuff, but this has more of a 1970s Easy Rider vibe than a dramatic Western adventure, plaid shirts on back, sun flares and no map.