portuguese beat-maker joão pedro costa works under the moniker of LASERS, a project that’s rooted deep in ambience and instrumental hip-hop. the conglomeration of frenetic beats and spaced-out synths calls to mind a collaboration between baths and boards of canada, but LASERS is more than the sum of his influences. his debut ep is a deceptive 11 tracks (seven remixes pad out the back end, including one from blog favorite sun glitters), but the four originals fuse wintry, wistful synths with biting percussion, evoking equally frigid mountaintops and the sun setting over a distant, watery horizon. if shoegaze and electropop had a baby, LASERS should stand as a proud parent. check out “paris” and “porto” below:
try as we might, sometimes great music slips past us. such is the case with evenings, real name nathan broaddus, a virginia resident whose 2010 self-released ep north dorm escaped our attention until now. perhaps it’s because the idea of instrumental chillwave beyond teen daze seems like a waste of time. thankfully, with evenings, this is far from the case. “friend [lover]” is a relaxed, downtempo groover that frolics between distant, lustful memories and quiet, mournful introspection. it’s as much a self-examination as it is a slowdance masterpiece, and its lush synths and vocal samples form a sonic palette that’s as rich and textured as a midsummer night. after the jump, stream the ep, watch the video, and enjoy a free download of “friend [lover].”
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yohuna is the reverb-soaked solo project of wisconsinite johanne swanson. over the course of four songs, swanson conducts an orchestra of beats and sweeping synth washes that sound like they’ve been recorded in a church at the bottom of the ocean. over all of this are the haunting echoes of swanson’s voice, that duck and curtail betwixt the compositions like a dove fleeing sunlight. that may be a lot of alliteration to swallow in one paragraph, but there’s really no other way to describe revery, her debut ep. it’s a work of astonishing beauty. stream below, with a free download of standout “mateo.”
revery is out now on bandcamp.
blog favorite anti-folk seamstress the sneaky mister has had us captivated since she begun her “song of the day” excursions. the adorable and often maddeningly depressing and melancholic tunes that come from the bedroom of pretty balanced/the alphabet frontwoman judith shimer are touching and magnificent, even more so when they’re properly produced. such is the case on her new release weird, part one of an ep series with the sequel coming in spring. the eight songs featured on weird are selections from the “song of the day” sessions, given a lush, but still stripped-down studio treatment. stream the entire thing below.
weird (part 1) is out now via bandcamp.
robin pecknold is the frontman of seattle’s favorite folk-rock collective fleet foxes, and while the foxes aren’t set to drop their sophomore lp until may, robin’s recently released a three-song acoustic ep entitled “three songs” for free via the fleet foxes twitter account. the lead-off, “i’m losing myself,” features a duet between pecknold and grizzly bear leader ed droste. their vocal harmonies weave together to form one of the more beautiful tracks pecknold’s ever done, lush and weathered over tender acoustic picking. stream and download all three tracks after the jump.
last year, the incredibly talented dream pop duo memoryhouse caught our attention with their magnificent ep the years and a slew of singles and demos. their debut record is one of our most anticipated of the year, and today, they announced even more exciting news: their signage to renowned seattle label sub pop. after the jump, hear one of their bandcamp singles “lately” and watch the video for “to the lighthouse,” our 11th best track of 2010.
simon bird first caught our attention with his outstanding track “and the sky just seems” off of his debut ep. bird recently released his follow-up, bLEAK, a dystopian release that, at little over ten minutes, feels less like a collection and more like a single song, carefully divided into parts to ease listening. while nothing about bird’s approach is easy, the payoff of wading through the noise is finale and standout “but most of us won’t,” which swirls synths and beats together before bursting forth a cacophony of distortion. listen below:
bLEAK is available for free download here.