the still-mysterious and not even slightly kitschy iamamiwhoami finally released their debut, kin, after over 2 years of cockteasing. the biggest news? it’s pretty damn good. most of the good songs will be old news to fans who’ve been following the project’s much-hyped youtube page, but there are still a few surprises peppered along the nine tracks of kin to keep cynical parties from changing their tune. most notable is “sever,” a slow-grooving blend of the knife and portishead that takes all the pop-infused momentum of the project and utterly demolishes it in favor of jonna lee’s vocals and a plodding analog synth. peep in on the video below.
enigmatic swedish collective iamamiwhoami makes a long-triumphant return with the gorgeous “; john,” a dance-pop masterpiece that may just be their best work yet. does this mean the group will finally release a long-awaited album? the track is certainly less experimental and more accessible than any of their previous output, while still retaining their distinctly knife-esque creepy charm. more updates as they come, in the meantime i’ve got this on repeat, forever. shot into the night on the wings of one of the best tracks of 2011.
(also: holy shit, a post? i know, right?)
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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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.
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.
portland pop quartet parenthetical girls recently dropped untanglements, an album of rarities and alternate versions from their 2008 lp entanglements. their musical sharing binge continues with the release of covers., a collection that’s exactly what it sounds like: the girls bringing their orchestral pop flavor to tunes by other bands, and vice versa. the standout track, “joan of arc (maid of new orleans),” is a phenomenal electronic stomper that climaxes with a nearly tribal percussive breakdown. it’s inspiring, addictive, and, like all the girls’ best work, quixotic. in a fun twist, it’s a track for which i’ve been searching for quite some time – since i caught the girls’ live show (they closed with it). after the jump, listen to the studio version and catch live video i took at the concert, in which band leader/mastermind zac pennington leaves the room when the song begins, only to return moments later and play drumsticks on the venue floor. Read the rest of this entry »
london-based noisetronic outfit seefeel has been relatively silent since their hiatus in 1996. positioned somewhere between shoegaze and ambient electronics, the quartet has returned in 2011 with their first new material in nearly 14 years. a sung lullaby serves as the intro to “faults,” the standout track from their new self-titled lp. soon, steady percussion and a droning bass take hold, forcing the listener to sway as if entranced in a drug-induced haze. the lead almost lends itself to a dubstep formula of distorted wub-wubs, but never devolves to the lowly form of fratpop the genre has become. this is a track to blast through massive speakers – the primal pull of seefeel’s wilderness cannot be measured over headphones.
seefeel is out now on warp.