Friday, 29 April 2011

Hooray For Earth (Single / Video)

Hooray For Earth's new album has been pushed back to June 3rd, which is a massive shame, but they're releasing the awesome 'True Loves' from the LP as a single (available now on Itunes) on Dovecote Records. L.A. based Young Replicant have directed the frankly incredible video for it; the youtube version doesn't really do the film justice, watch it in higher quality on vimeo here. The jaw-dropping production values perfectly compliment the epic euphoria of the single.

Hooray For Earth - True Loves

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Youth Lagoon

Youth Lagoon is Trevor Powers, a 22 year old musician from Boise. He recently released two awesome tracks, 'Cannons' and 'July', which you can grab for free over at his bandcamp. Powers makes really deceptively lo-fi feeling music which is all about the gradual buildup; both tracks open with twinkling piano lines before subdued percussion and vocals filter in, further building with guitar and overdubbed vocal harmonies, developing what initially appears as melancholy into music of a more soaring, euphoric nature.

His debut LP, 'The Year of Hibernation' is released digitally on Juno Beach Records on July 5th, with a 10" format release scheduled soon after.

Youth Lagoon - Cannons

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Love Inks (Album Review)

The kind folks over at Work It Media have been lovely enough to send me over an advanced release of the upcoming Love Inks LP 'E.S.P', due May 2nd on Hell Yes! As previously blogged about, Love Inks are a three piece based in Austin, with Sherry LeBlanc handling vocals and the other instrumentation consisting of a really simple formula of a few guitars and a drum machine, with a Moog making an occasional appearance; although this is inevitably a slightly limiting approach, the trio have still managed to put together a 10 track release that rarely grates.

Although the use of the drum machine helps to really firmly emphasise the trio's minimalist approach, you can't help but feel that the odd acoustic snare and kick would be far more effective than the soulless, repetitive thumps and clicks of the programmed equivalents; they do add a certain poppy sheen to the more uptempo, floating jauntiness of 'Wave Goodbye' and 'Black Eye', but render some of the album's more poignant moments a little flat.

Love Inks are at their best when their minimalism is used in a slightly less groove reliant format, when jaunty uptempo beats are exchanged for a more wistful, War Paint-esque navel gazing approach; 'Can't Be Wrong' is probably my favourite track, with a bass line that develops more than any of the others and reverby guitar flourishes. LeBlanc's woeful refrain of 'You can't be wrong... you can't be wrong' through a chorus underlaid with repetitive, muted percussion and simplistic strumming is perhaps the album's most evocative point. 'Skeleton Key' is similarly successful, with droning synth punctuating LeBlanc's wails. 'Down and Out' and 'Too Wild' are also highlights, striking the right balance between wispy, echoing vocals and solid, mechanical drum sounds.

Love Inks - Wave Goodbye

Monday, 25 April 2011

Idiot Glee

Idiot Glee is James Friley from Kentucky. He's had a scattering of singles and EPs, which you can listen to and download on his bandcamp; he also has a full length LP, 'Paddywhack' dropping on Moshi Moshi later this year in June. Self described as 'Post Doo Wop', his music is composed of ghostly harmonies and echoing keyboard melodies; the track recently released from the LP, 'Let's Get Down Together', has an intro that sounds uncannily like the motown classic 'My Girl' before wavering synths filter in. Friley's vocals shimmer with a really ghostly quality, but are grounded by underemphasised groovy melodies and subtle percussion.

Unfortunately the track has yet to hit youtube so I've put up a slightly clunky live version, but the video can be viewed here.

Idiot Glee - Let's Get Down Together


FOE is London based Hannah Clark. She had an awesome track, 'A Handsome Stranger Called Death', last year and has just dropped an EP, 'Hot New Trash', on Mercury. Adam Crisp of Entrepeneurs fame is on production duties; the pair have collaborated on a few of Entrepeneurs' tracks and there's a fair few nuances typical of his musical approach that emerge, noticeably a lot of the percussion during the EP's more raucous points. I prefer the stuff that the duo have produced under Crisp's alias, but there's something really special about Clark's vocals that prevails despite the slightly different context; they sound really sleazy when laid over warped fairground samples and a harpsichord intro, but the cutting lyricism and nonchalant delivery means that the EP feels grimy in a way that's more considered and refined than offputting, if occasionally slightly overwhelming.

FOE - A Handsome Stranger Called Death

FOE - Genie In a Coke Can

Thursday, 21 April 2011


Pageants are a three piece from long beach in California; they make stripped down, surfy jams. I'm a big fan of Rebecca Coleman's warbling vocals, which are thin but in a fragile, tender way rather than being reedy and uninspiring. With the standard slight echo/reverb applied, they're evocative on 'Edible Rust' and soaring on 'Cacti for Clothes' (which you can download from their bandcamp).

Pageants - Cacti for Clothes

Pageants - Edible Rust

Moon Duo (Album review)

Moon Duo are Erik Johnson (from Wooden Shjips) and his partner Sanae Yamada. They've had a few singles, and an EP, 'Killing Time' on Sacred Bones, as well as another longer effort 'Escape, on Woodsist. Their debut LP, 'Mazes' is out on Sacred Bones now. I haven't really heard much of their earlier stuff, but it seems like they typically produce pretty repetitive music, with a simplistic guitar/keyboard combination at the heart of their sound. But there's something really alluring about the foggy, droning wall of noise effect that characterises a lot of Mazes, and its psychadelic nuances, whilst still retaining depth, are led by really poppy hooks. The eponymous track 'Mazes' sees piping synth entwined with the endearing warmth of the fuzz, 'Scars' models the drone around clanking percussion and undulating, wobbling rhythms and 'When You Cut' is accented by bouncy, punchy snares and maracas. 'In The Sun' features distinctly un-sunny organ sounds and 'Goners' ends the LP with seven minutes of noodly, wandering guitars. The album is pretty simplistic in that a lot of the songs are constructed from sparce instrumental ingredients and are repetitive, but throughout it Moon Duo definitely succeed in creating really engaging, trippy soundscapes, which are only improved by the heavy emphasis on melody complimenting drone.

Moon Duo - Mazes

Monday, 18 April 2011

Hunx and His Punx

Hunx and His Punx are a group from California. Formed by the ridiculously gay Hunx (real name Seth Bogart) in 2008, they make brash, punky 60s pop in a similar vein to the late Jay Reatard. The videos for their singles feature whacky outfits, over the top props (the giant pink telephone in 'Teardrops on My Telephone' is a great, bizarre example) and prolific posing from Hunx: the most appealing thing about their music is for sure the complete lack of pretention; it's lo-fi, kitsch and almost entirely concerns teenage heartbreak.

They had a collection of singles called 'Gay Singles' out in 2010 on True Panther Sounds; more recently, they released an album, 'Too Young To Be In Love', on Hardly Art, which is definitely worth checking out. Brittle, minimalistic percussion accompanies simple chord sequences and distorted backing vocals, with all of the band's members taking turns to accompany Hunx's wierd, lisping nasal tones.

Hunx and His Punx - You Don't Like Rock & Roll (Gay Singles)

Hunx and His Punx - Badboy (Too Young To Be In Love)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

tUnE-yArDs (album review)

For her second album, 'w h o k i l l', Merril Garbus has opted for a more refined approach to the recording process than the single handheld digital recorder used for 'BiRd-BrAiNs', with a band utilised during live recording studio sessions. However this doesn't mean her music has lost any of its avante-gard appeal; w h o k i l l is still brilliantly messy, mashing together a vast array of instruments and stylistic approaches, from the folksy ukelele intro of 'Powa' to the crunching beats of 'Gangsta' and the wailing, saxophone fuelled raucousness of 'Riotriot'. The songs frequently develop from more hushed melodies into genuinely mental, jarring noisiness, with her vocals fluttering over the base layer of wierdness, at times both flippant and authorative; there's a really endearing sense of adaptability and development to Garbus' musical approach.

The lead single 'Bizness' is an obvious highlight, sandwiched neatly into the middle of the running order; clicking percussion and fluttering melodies are led by defiant vocals, with the track gradually gathering instrumental layers and momentum. 'Doorstop' sees Garbus' sickly sweet vocals balanced against bombastic, punchy percussion and subtle bass; 'My Country' uses a similar formula but injects synth and saxophone. 'Es-so' has a suprising, oldschool hip hop feel to it's jazzy, off kilter rhythms and 'Killa' ends the album on a sassy, empowered note. The album succeeds because as well as generally being really diverse, each individual song develops so much in its own right; Merril Garbus constantly adapts, warps and transforms her sound and it's that which makes the record so compelling.

The Album's out April 18th on 4AD.

tUnE-yArDs - Es-so

tUnE-yArDs - Bizness

Friday, 15 April 2011

Purity Ring

Purity Ring is a new project of Corin Roddick from Gobble Gobble; the debut single is out April 18th on Transparent Records.'Ungirthed' melds trickling electronics and wobbling sub-bass with playful, sultry, ghostly vocals laid over pitched-down overdubbing; the B side, 'Lofticries' is a more spacious, atmospheric jam, with a slower, more soulful feel.

Purity Ring - Ungirthed

Purity Ring - Lofticries

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Spacemonster is Kenny Hamilton; you can download his EP 'Gills' for a dollar over at his bandcamp. He makes really lo-fi music on cassettes, comprised of the essential lo-fi production trio of guitar, drum machine and inaudible, hazy vocals. It's good though; the hiss and crackle of his production technique (or lack thereof) adds a really emotive quality to his minimalistic, sketchy guitars. His vocals weave around, occasionally overdubbed but always hushed and tentative. Unfortunately the EP is yet to hit youtube but I've put up another track of his, 'All The Things', which is really similar and has a really enthralling video haha.

Spacemonster - All The Things


A lot of bands seem to be releasing limited edition material for Record Store Day this saturday; Cults are releasing a 7" of another track from their debut album ('Cults', out June 7th), 'Abducted'. The song is pretty good; short and sweet, it explodes from a muted intro into racing percussion, shimmery synths and jangly guitars.

Cults - Abducted

Shabazz Palaces

Sub Pop, the label that Shabazz Palaces are on, is releasing a free sampler on Record Store Day this saturday; amongst other tracks it features 'Lost Foundling' by SP, which apparently won't make an appearance on the group's soon to be released LP, 'Black Up'. It's awesome, wallowing around in a fairly disjointed way before consolidating into typically spacey, shadowy melodies and echoing vocals.

Shabazz Palaces - Lost Foundling

Monday, 11 April 2011

Dirty Gold

Dirty Gold is made up of brothers Lincoln and John Ballif, and Grant Nassif, all from San Diego; their debut EP, 'Roar', is out on Auto Tone Records on April 12th. Two tracks have been released off the EP; 'California Sunrise' wobbles along, led by tribal, worldly percussion rhythms, noodly guitars and strained, crooning vocals, and is utterly beautiful; 'Overboard' is a similarly emotive, twinkling, surfy soundscape. The two tracks are really promising, definitely excited about the EP dropping.

Dirty Gold - California Sunrise

Dirty Gold - Overboard

Beat Connection (EP review)

Beat Connection's (previously blogged about here) EP, 'Surf Noir' was out last year as a free download; it's being released physically on the 11th April, through Tender Age (an offshoot of Moshi Moshi). It's a mostly instrumental affair, with washes of surfy guitars and beachy background noises sketched in over trippy synth layers and occasional vocals; the EP is basically a really good example of bedroom produced, lo-fi electro, with a fair few distinguishing tinges of innovation spread throughout. 'Sunburn' features some really jungle-y, rattling snares, and 'Theme From Yours Truly' sees eery synths filter in over jazzy chords and tambourines, eventully developing into really dancey, echoing melodies with synthbass wobbles underpinning. It also has a vocal sample, 'damn', which sounds really similar to the one in Blake's CMYK.

'In The Water' was the track from the EP that gathered the most popularity first time round; it's really summery, with gleeful falsetto layered over plentiful handclaps. The really clear highlight of the EP though is 'Silver Screen'; its hypnotic, dreamy synth layers and punchy snares are in themself pretty awesome, but the vocals from Tom Eddy are what really make it stand out. Sounding more than a little Sting-y, Eddy adds a bit of extra emotive depth to the track.

It's definitely a really sweet EP; although a lot of it isn't exactly revolutionary it is undeniably groovy in that sort of beachy, Neon Indian-y style, and there are a few moments (notably the tracks with vocal elements) where Surf Noir is awesome in a more unique, easily appreciable way.

Beat Connection - Silver Screen

Beat Connection - Theme From Yours Truly

Saturday, 9 April 2011


It's been a while since I posted anything by Manchester's Starslinger (see previous post about him here); he's been pretty busy on the remix front. He's tweaked the cheeky lyricism of Childish Gambino's 'Freaks & Geeks', blending in a few summery melodies and exaggerating the already relatively bassy beats. Equally awesome is his take on H-Town's 'They Like It Slow'; featuring a really wierdly arpeggiating, squeaking synth line, Starslingers 'refix' takes the sultry R&B croonings of the original and translates them to a more beat heavy context.

H-Town - They Like It Slow (Starslinger refix)

Childish Gambino - Freaks & Geeks (Starslinger remix)


Tennis (previously blogged about here) are back with a video for their track 'Take Me Somewhere', directed by Ian Perlman. It's a typically cutesy affair, filmed on a vintage 16mm Bolex and retaining all the summery elements usually present in Tennis tracks.

Tennis - Take Me Somewhere

Friday, 8 April 2011

Clams Casino (mixtape review)

Clams Casino is a New Jersey based producer who's made beats for a whole host of rappers (Lil B being the most notorious example,; he's released a mixtape, 'Instrumental Mixtape', which you can get for free online, consisting of 13 instrumental tracks. His beats still work really well without the context of a rap song; they're atmospheric, melancholic, and evoke tenderness whilst still retaining a pretty gritty feel through the thumping kicks and snares. There are vocal elements too; samples come heavily smothered with effects, whether its the warped, pitched down fuzz of 'The World Needs Change', the chopped loops of 'Im Official' or the ethereal warbling of "Illest Alive'. Other highlights come by way of the bombastic 'Motivation', the droning synths/ doubletime hi-hats of 'Real Shit from a Real Nigga', and the haunting, tribal 'All I Need'.

Clams Casino - Motivation

Clams Casino - All I Need

Monday, 4 April 2011

Love Inks

Love Inks are a really endearingly accesible three piece pop act from Austin; their single 'Black Eye', taken from their upcoming debut 'E.S.P', due May on Hell Yes!, is really short and sweet. It clocks in at just under two minutes, and has an appropriately mellow, dreamy video made by the same guy (Christin Turner) who made the Dum Dum Girls' video I blogged about a while back.

Love Inks - Black Eye

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Austra are a stridently gay trio from Toronto, Canada; their debut album, 'Feel It Break', is out on Domino on the 17th May. They make melancholy tinged electronic music, but with a more uptempo, dancy vibe than anything from the 'witch house' scene (Salem, oOoOoo, White Ring etc). They have a 3 track EP, 'Beat and The Pulse' out on One Big Silence at the moment, which is pretty sweet. The (EP version) title track is a swirling 6 minutes of gloomy arpeggios and echoing vocals; 'Energy' combines syncopated rhythms and simplistic drum patterns, and 'Young and Gay' has a really clubby vibe, pulsing and undulating around Katie Stelmanis' brazen lyricism.

Austra - Beat and The Pulse

Austra - Young and Gay

Saturday, 2 April 2011


Dom are a five piece from Massachussets. They've been about for a little while, with their EP 'Sun Bronzed Greek Gods' out in April of last year; a remastered version is being released this year on Burning Mill. I'm for sure a big fan of how fun their music is; Dom's (the lead singer) keen ear for a memorable hook compliments his ridiculous falsetto pretty nicely. It's generally just the right side of cutesy though, with fuzzed out guitar riffs alongside lo-fi synth sounds and lots of reverb ensuring their music is poppy but in an endearing, garagey way rather than irritatingly babyish. 'Bocicha', an ode to his cat apparently, rattles away with off-kilter energy and 'Jesus' has an awesome, undulating bounce to its rhythms; 'Living In America', a tongue-in-cheek love song to the joys of American nationality, lashes a sparkling, synthy chorus to warped, fuzzy bass and acoustic drums.

Dom - Bocicha

Dom - Jesus

Dom - Living In America

TV Girl/Dirty Gold split single

TV Girl and Dirty Gold have just released a split single; you can download the MP3s for free over at TV Girl's facebook page, as well as their awesome EP. The single features the two bands covering each other, with TVG tackling DG's 'Overboard' and DG remaking TG's 'On Land'. The cover of 'Overboard' sees TVG add their characteristic heavy hip hop beats whilst retaining the original's essentially summery flavours, while DG reduce 'On Land' to a more simplistic, shimmering effort than the bombastic original. The collaboration is definitely interesting, both bands usually have similar content in terms of the whole surfy, beachy vibe but make music with fundamentally different approaches, so it's cool to see how well the re-workings slot in with each other.

TV Girl - Overboard (Dirty Gold cover)