evenings || “friend [lover]”

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 :: revery

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.

the pains of being pure at heart :: belong

it’s finally here! well, kind of. the pains of being pure at heart have released their sophomore album for free streaming on their website, so you can listen to it as many times as you want! but you have to be on your computer. boooooo! at the very least, this might convince you few holdouts that the pains aren’t a one-trick pony. belong is a delicate and engaging work on par with their self-titled in terms of fully-realized genius. intact are their trademark twee vocals and furiously 80s riffs, this time with some more well-rounded production that smooths out the rough without completely losing the edge. but don’t take my word for it: head on over to their site to hear the entire album, as many times as you want. for a taste, below you can stream the fantastic lead single “heart in your heartbreak.” if you’re like me, christmas just came a little early today.

belong is out 3/29 on slumberland.

marissa nadler || “baby, i will leave you in the morning”

gloomy folk mistress marissa nadler is hot off the heels of her lovely 2009 lp little hells with a kickstarter-funded album, slated for release sometime this spring. first single “baby, i will leave you in the morning” is a fusion of her traditional singer-songwriter style with atmospheric electronics and reverb’d guitar, evoking an almost pink floyd-esque feel. it’s a hazy, dreamy gem from an album we’re anticipating more and more.

marissa nadler – “baby, i will leave you in the morning” (mp3)

memoryhouse signs to sub pop

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.

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the new division :: the rookie ep

the new division is exactly what their name implies – a formidable combination of joy division and new order aesthetics – without all the horrifying ways in which that could go wrong. vocals drenched in reverb beneath layers of melodic synths and mournful guitars, all while a thudding beat keeps things in motion. it’s dreamy and contemplative while still being danceable and engaging, resulting in a spiritual homage that never strays into cover band territory. this is a tribute, yes, but the new division is still markedly their own. their debut ep the rookie is a moody showcase that verges on electropop. standouts like “nocturnal” and “bucharest” prominently feature starry-eyed synths that dance and soar, while “starfield” evokes a more shoegazey aspect. it’s a through-and-through solid release, one of the best debuts in recent memory and definitely an all-star of 2011.

MP3: “Starfield” (via kexp).

the new division – the rookie is available for streaming/purchase at bandcamp.

the pains of being pure at heart || “belong”

there wasn’t a band as divisive in 2009 as the pains of being pure at heart. either you immediately fell in love with their 80s pastiche or took one look at their name and let out a groan. i landed into the former category, hard, and spent the next two years listening to their self-titled debut on repeat while anxiously combing the wire for news on a follow-up. after releasing a pair of stellar 7″s (“say no to love” and “heart in your heartbreak,” respectively), the pains have finally announced their sophomore lp, belong. the title track is a mixture of crunchy yet swirling guitar riffs and the pains’ trademark twee vocals. it’s a heavier-sounding outing than their last; probably a result of producer flood (of smashing pumpkins) and mixer alan moulding (of my bloody valentine). but beneath the waves of distortion are still the unquenchable optimistic, summer vibes of yesteryear.

“Belong” by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

the pains of being pure at heart – belong is out march 15th on slumberland.