starfucker/champagne champagne :: split 7″

today brings news of the new split 7″ from portland electropop favorites starfucker and their seattle-based 2011 tour mates, the hip-hop trio champagne champagne. the long-awaited split is available now for preorder on polyvinyl’s site, and features two new jams: a starfucker joint called “dragon queens (skeletron mix)” and a champagne champagne jam “i fell through.” “dragon queens” is the instrumental behind the already-heard (and -loved) mixtape track “dragon monkey,” which was paired with gucci mane’s “running back.” the rework drops the rap but keeps the two-steppin’ beat and filthy, squelching synths, effectively keeping the dancefloor hopping without an mc. champagne champagne utilizes a guttural vocal sample and solemn organs to fill the melody for their beats, granting their head-bobbing raps an almost pastoral quality, until an analog synth riffs like an angel. together, the songs mesh with an unrelenting, wizened enthusiasm that reeks of nostalgia and sentimentality. it’s the perfect, if unlikely pairing. peep both tracks below.

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updated: faded paper figures || “avida dollars”

we’ve made our fandom for the la electropop trio faded paper figures abundantly clear, so when new, unreleased track “avida dollars” dropped with little-to-no-press, you can imagine there was more than a little squealing when we finally found out. “dollars” amps up the already danceable tendencies of their sophomore effort new medium into an almost french electro-style jam that’s nonetheless punctuated by fpf’s trademark hyper-literacy. additionally, the figures’ knack for crafting shout-along choruses is becoming more and more stark. if their whole third album is as good as this four-minute snippet, the wait is going to be long and arduous indeed. listen after the jump.
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faded paper figures ~ behind the scenes

perennial favorites faded paper figures are back in the studio, as evidenced by this behind the scenes video posted via the band’s facebook page earlier today. for those of you unfamiliar, the fantastic L.A./New Haven trio specialize in a blissful blend of melancholy, glitchy indie-electropop that’s more addicting than cancer sticks. their debut dynamo was our favorite album of 2008, and follow-up new medium landed #7 on our favorites of 2010 (the title track was released prematurely, and wrangled a #10 position on our best tracks of 2009). if i’m not fueling the hype wagon enough for you, then i must be doing something wrong. either way you can see for yourself: after the jump, check out their behind the scenes featurette and video for singles “metropolis” and “new medium.”
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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.

parenthetical girls || “joan of arc (maid of new orleans)”

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 »

starfucker || “teen challenge (ft. de la soul)”

blog favorite starfucker has already endeared themselves with their fabulous self-titled lp and follow-up ep jupiter. but on march 8th, their second full length reptilians drops, and it’s quickly become one of our favorite releases of 2011. in a related side project, the portland-based fuckers have been steadily releasing tracks from their upcoming mash-up mixtape. the highlight of these so far is “teen challenge,” an unreleased starfucker track that’s paired with de la soul classic “itsoweezee.” the mellow, grooving beat inspires idle hip gyration and slo-mo dancing, while la soul’s impeccable rapping weaves itself seamlessly into the melody.

follow the fuckers as they continue to release tracks from the tape on soundcloud.
reptilians is out march 8 on polyvinyl.

parenthetical girls :: untanglements

parenthetical girls have been a quiet favorite of mine since i stumbled into one of their live performances. peculiar, awkward, and energetic, the experimental rock foursome has gone through as many different incarnations as albums. they’ve been relatively nonexistent since 2008’s entanglements, but as 2011 rolled around, untanglements, an album of rarities and alternate takes appeared on bandcamp. the album prominently feature pennington’s vocals over piano-driven tunes (though electronics and orchestral flourishes occasionally burst forth). it’s a startlingly good collection, one that proves that the girls are still indie pop’s best kept secret.