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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luxembourg-based victor ferreira works under the moniker sun glitters, and his tunes shimmer and sway almost as much as his pseudonym. one of his recent releases has been the everything could be fine 8-track mini-album, and as standout track “too much to lose” showcases, ferreira’s strengths are downtempo beats and pulsing synths with a layer of washed out vocals. on paper, that might not sound very original or creative, but sun glitters has what a lot of his fellow chillwavers lack, and that’s spirit. each song crafts a perfectly formed soundscape that enraptures all the senses, transporting the listener to a world where polaroid-nostalgia, nighttime bonfires, and sunlit beachgazing are commonplace.
everything could be fine is out now on bandcamp.
purity ring is the new project from corin roddick of glitch-crazed pop outfit gobble gobble, but any notion that this is a side event should be dismissed immediately. first single “ungirthed” is a tour de force of synth stabs, bass wurbles, and sensational vocals. it’s frenetic and danceable without being distracting, a perfect blend of the seemingly built-in ADHD of today’s youth and classic pop / r&b sensibility. the closest relative may be the short-lived but much-beloved vampire weekend/ra ra riot experiment discovery. after the jump, watch the hypnotic video and download the single, free.
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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.
toronto threesome austra specializes in a very danceable form of gothy disco-pop, helmed by the operatic voice of frontwoman katie stelmanis. the band’s past is typically vague, but in this case the music can speak for itself. haunting, beautiful, and above all, catchy, the band’s lead single “lose it” is a swirling blend of everything you could ever want from electropop: thudding beats, floating synths, and vocals to die for. seriously. this girl has some friggin’ pipes. listen and download below.
feel it break is out may 17 on domino.
it’s taken me a while, but by the time psych-folkers akron/family rolled around their fifth album, i had to pay attention. i’m glad i did. akron/family II: the cosmic birth and journey of shinju TNT is an honest-to-god masterpiece that hits hard in all the right places. while the guys are still best at anthemic experimental rock jams, the album’s got no shortage of quieter moments too, and it’s these that add the final missing element to akron/family’s addicting grooves. album opener “silly bears” has a video below, and it’s a freak-folk stomper that makes you want to roll E, smoke W, or whatever else you do to have fun. drugged-up but not creeped-out, fun-loving but not forceful, “silly bears” is, well, silly – but extremely well-crafted, the harbinger of an album that’s neck-and-neck with starfucker‘s reptilians with best of 2011: so far.
akron/family II: the cosmic birth and journey of shinju TNT is out now on dead oceans.
holy ghost! are a nyc-based duo signed to the venerable dfa label (of lcd soundsystem, juan maclean, and hot chip fame, among others). while holy ghost! has been producing singles and remixes for years, they’ve yet to release their debut. now slated for 2011, their self-titled is getting lots of anticipation in the new-disco scene. from lead single “wait & see,” it’s well-deserved; the under-4-minute ditty has enough power to stick with you for days. simple and catchy, with plain lyrics and a tears-for-fears-meets-joy-division vibe, there’s enough new wave here for you to sink your teeth into. electropop at its very finest. enjoy a free download below.
- holy ghost! – wait & see (mp3)
holy ghost! is out april 2 on dfa.