The other night, I was stepping off BART when a late-20s-something guy waiting for a train going the opposite direction perked his head up, twisted his neck in my direction, and looked me right in the eyes.
I see this as I’m still three people deep from exiting the train, and I’m curious, but also cautious. Do I encourage this behavior by engaging with his stare, or am I asking for trouble?
Once I reach the platform, I look back at him and take a right out of the train towards the stairs. Before I quickly disappear out of range, the guy yells across the platform at me, “Can I ask you a question?!” I continue to walk towards the exit, but I turn to look at him, and raise my eyebrows out of curiousity.
He takes this as a yes, and projects even louder now that I’m further away. “Has anyone ever broken your heart!?” he shouts. I turn my head back towards him, consider whether I should even participate, then give him a sincere and hearty, “YES!” He’s taken aback by my answer, but he smiles, then looks down into his lap and crumples his face in confusion and pain. He shoots his head back up and shouts back at me, “WHY!?” I took the corner, and up the escalator I went.
Why would someone ever break my heart? Good question. It isn’t easy trying to navigate the “why” of heartbreak. I just know it’s really fucking painful, and I’m not very good at handling it well. Which brings me to Widowspeak.
The dreamy, psych-folk rock, “earth tone pop” duo out of Brooklyn, NY has perfectly captured the wavelengths heartbreak creates with their latest, insanely beautiful jams. The songs can be found on Widowspeak‘s latest album, “All Yours.” It’s due out September 4th, and is titled after one of their most gorgeous, and accessible tracks about heartbreak aftermath. The album is also currently streaming on KCRW.
I highly recommend you soak in the essence of these jams, but with this word of warning: these beautiful tracks may elicit some serious sadness or nostalgia, ignite flames of heartache, and leave you wondering, “WHY!?” Enjoy:
Widowspeak – All Yours
Widowspeak – Dead Love (So Still)
Widowspeak – Girls
I know it’s April fool’s day and all, but I can’t be bothered to actually pull any pranks (I’m terrible at ’em anyway). I do, however, have some very real and amazing news about what else today represents: Album release day; hooray! Three very different, but talented and beloved bands, Timber Timbre, Mac DeMarco and Pure X have all released brand new LPs, Hot Dreams, Salad Days and Angel, on this fit for tricks day. Whether you’ve already been stumped, deluded and/or duped today, I bring you some refreshing musical truth:
Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams via Arts & Crafts
Timber Timbre is a dark, beautiful, semi-spooky, and sometimes described as “swampy” Canadian folk project and trio made up of Taylor Kirk, Simon Trottier and Mika Posen. Their moniker refers to a timber-framed cabin set in the wooded outskirts of Bobcaygeon Ontario where they made an early series of recordings. Hot Dreams is their 5th (yes, 5th!) album.
Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams
Timber Timbre – Curtains?!
Mac DeMarco – Salad Days via Captured Tracks
Oh, Mac DeMarc0. He’s everyone’s favorite goofy, guitar slingin’ Canadian crooner (who’s now currently residing in Brooklyn). Since the release of his wacky LP, Rock and Roll Night Club in 2012 (technically his first album), and the blow up of his second album, Mac DeMarco 2, that soon followed after, the 23-year-old seems to be on a never-ending whirlwind tour of mischievousness. Banging out Metallica covers, smoking endless cigarettes, and playing his catchy, crooner crowd pleasers to thousands over and over again, Mac may look tired, but no one is of his music. He’s come a long way since his days of Rock and Roll Night Club. With the release of Salad Days, which touches on more personal and semi-serious tops, like the inability for his long-time girlfriend, “Kiki” to stay legally in the United States in “Let My Baby Stay,” it seems as if Mac’s all grown up… kind of.
Mac DeMarco – Passing Out Pieces
Mac DeMarc0 – Brother
Pure X – Angel via Fat Possum
Pure X is Austin, Texas’s billowy, psychedelic chillwave quartet (formerly known as Pure Ecstasy). Angel is the group’s 3rd album and according to their LP promo material, Angel was written and recorded over just 5 days in a hundred-year-old dance hall situated in a small town in central Texas. Drummer Austin Youngblood described the album as “a record for the ladies, about the ladies.” Now, who can resist?
Pure X – Starlight
Pure X – Heaven
The days are cold (at least in San Francisco), and the new music flow is kinda slow. But (!) despite these hurry-up-and-wait times where new music production seems to be on a fierce hold, I present to you a fresh track roundup! Let’s get on with it:
Foxygen is on just about everyone’s radar. They’ve been deemed a “band to watch in 2013” by many, and all ears are open. The singer/songwriter LA-based duo consists of Sam France and Jonathan Rado. They’re young, yet create the essence of a Velvet Underground/Bob Dylan/Kinks persona.
Foxygen‘s latest release, “No Destruction” will be found on Their forthcoming album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic, out January 22nd via Jagjaguwar.
Best line of the song: “There’s no need to be an asshole, you’re not in Brooklyn anymore.” Enjoy:
Foxygen – No Destruction
Mike Tucker, the blonde, giant (almost 7 foot-tall) producer also known as Blood Diamonds (and one of Grimes’ many BFFs) has collaborated w/ex-A$AP member, Dominic Lord. The result? Some seriously funky hip-hop. Have a listen to “Barcode” now:
Blood Diamonds – Barcode ft. Dominic Lord
*This track’s apparently been put on ‘Private’ now – Don’t you just love that? Listen to it on SoundCloud then.
Karen Marie Ørsted aka MØ, the Copenhagen-hailing electro-pop princess who’s made serious waves amongst the blogosphere with just a couple of tracks, has graced us with, “Glass,” yet another gem. Some are calling her the ‘Scandinavian Grimes’ though I think the two have sounds, and personalities entirely of their own, both of which are still entirely addicting. Have a listen to MØ‘s third song to date:
MØ – Glass
I can hardly contain my excitement for Doldrums‘ upcoming album, “Lesser Evil” (out 2/25 on Souterrain Transmissions/Europe, and 2/26 on Arbutus Records/North America). Airick Woodhead is the Canadian mastermind behind Doldrums, and he’s stead-fast to producing some of the freshest, most interesting experimental/electro music out there. “Anomaly” is Doldrums‘ latest release from his highly anticipated forthcoming album:
Doldrums – Anomaly
Brothers in Law is a new lo-fi, shoegaze, indie-pop outfit out of none other than Pesaro, Italy. According to The 405, Brothers in Law have recently gone from duo to trio and will soon release their second EP, Gray Days, on 7″ vinyl, limited edition, via We Were Never Being Boring, CF-records and MattaLab. “Holy Weekend” can be found on Gray Days due out February 16th. Stream below:
Brothers in Law – Holy Weekend
I stumbled upon Widowspeak via Captured Tracks, and boy, I’m glad I did. The “western-tinged” indie-pop/rock n’ roll group composed of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas transcends you into a dreamy bliss. Their second LP, “Almanac,” is due out January 22nd, (but you can stream the entire album on SoundCloud right now).
Windowspeak – Thick as Thieves
Flight Facilities is a funky electro pop production based out of Australia. Remember their 2011 jam, “Crave You” featuring Giselle? Regardless, the duo has recently released, “Clair De Lune,” a breathtakingly beautiful track featuring Christine Hoberg, with haunting video to match:
Flight Facilities – Clair De Lune (ft. Christine Hoberg)
“Cloud Body” is the latest addictive, billowy, and appropriately titled, “cloud rap” single from Main Attrakionz‘s recently released LP, Bossalinis & Fooliyones via Young One. The “best duo ever” consisting of Oakland hailing rappers, MondreM.A.N. and Squadda B, have certainly proved with this track that “cloud rap is that shit that you can trust.”
Cloud Body (prod. by Grown Folk) – Main Attrakionz
I keep finding myself obsessively listening to “Backfire,” the latest track by Jonathan Visger aka Absofacto. The solo “experimental pop” project is an offshoot from Visger’s other band, Mason Proper. According to Paste Magazine, Visger teamed up with Mason Proper guitarist, Brian Konicek, to record “Backfire” in a basement – Sounds… typical, but the dreamy indie rock track is anything but:
Absofacto – Backfire
Gritty grunge, dream-pop, noise-rock, garage punk… this is what I think of when I listen to Naomi Punk. And, when I listen to the Olympia/Seattle-based trio’s track, “The Spell,” I wanna trip out, rock out, and score some sweet flannel. “The Spell” is off of Naomi Punk‘s second full-length album, The Feeling, originally released on vinyl. So technically this is a (re)fresh, as Captured Tracks has recently reissued the LP digitally, on CD, and on CLEAR vinyl – Ooh fancy!
Naomi Punk – The Spell
Montreal’s ambient dream-pop “love project,” Blue Hawaii, has just released a two-part single, (I see what you did there), “In Two” and “In Two II.” Back in August, Grimes displayed her absolute admiration for Blue Hawaii’s upcoming LP, Untogether (due in early 2013), via the Twittersphere, calling it the “biggest album of next year, WOWWWWWWWW.”
Blue Hawaii – In Two
Blue Hawaii – In Two II
The “proper full length album,” released just six months after his solo debut, portrays DeMarco’s abilities as a singer/song writer more than ever. The LP is full of catchy, slow rock jams crooning about love, loneliness, cigarettes, and “Freaking Out the Neighborhood.” However, the album also seems to be missing a certain je ne sais quoi.
After a thorough listen, I’m left wanting more of DeMarco’s creepy antics, goofy spoofs and overall eccentric playfulness that makes him so intriguing, appealing and the genius behind his self-proclaimed “jizz jazz” jangles. Only at the end of “Ode to Viceroy” do we get a small glimpse of the sleaze he likes to squeeze in. DeMarco’s strengths as a musician are rightfully highlighted, however, in this highly anticipated album, his personality, (which is as prominent as the gap in his front teeth), seems to have been dimmed. Is this a result of backlash from wild live shows, or the pressure to produce as a ‘serious’ musician? The album holds its own, purely as a display of DeMarco’s raw talent, and his irony is still present, however, the A-typical singer-songwriter’s weirdness and downright oddities are surely missed.
If you want the full Mac DeMarco package, seeing him live will ease this need. This morning, I eagerly jumped to the end of the LP to listen to “Still Together,” as it’s by far one of the most captivating jams DeMarco sings live – it’s also the sweetest of the lot, including a convo between DeMarco and his “kind of woman” that makes you say “awww.” If you have a chance to catch the goofy crooner live, he’s playing a ridiculous number of shows (9 total) in New York this week as part of the CMJ Music Marathon, then he’s off for a Euro tour. Check out tour dates here. If you’re in NYC, thanks to BrooklynVegan, they’ve done all the work for me in laying it all out:
Captured Tracks has a CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 18 with Mac DeMarco, Thieves Like Us, and Dignan Porch. Tickets for that show are still available. Mac DeMarco has other CMJ shows scheduled too, including the Panache showcase at Public Assembly (10/19), the My Social List showcase at the Martin Room in Webster Hall (10/16), the post-CMJ show at Bowery Ballroom (10/21) with Wild Nothing and Merchandise, and the just announced free Hype Machine party at Brooklyn Bowl on October 18 with Hundred Waters (who also play these shows).
It’s been a weird and heavy week full of road trips, suburbia-ville, hospital visits, uncertainty, and a general lack of enjoyable jams via local radio. Hence, there’s no better way to bring this bizarro week to close with a round-up of new mind-melting tunes that’ll thrust you back into reality, or a lack-there-of.
Montreal-based Airick Woodhead is the experimental brainchild behind Doldrums, and he’s producing some of the freshest, “mind-melting” music around. His latest jam, “She is The Wave” is from a 7″ to be released via Arbutus Records in November. The new jam contains that consistently catchy electro/experimental beat full of synth, scratches, noise, disembodied vocals and screams – It’s Very Animal Collective-esque and once again, unbelievably addicting. Seriously hoping this launches the creation of a full length album – We all want it!
Doldrums – She is The Wave (feat. Guy Dallas)
San Francisco-based Mikey Maramag is the “dreamy folktronica” phsychadelic wünderkind behind Blackbird Blackbird. His latest hypnotic release “All” comes from his highly anticipated EP, Boracay Planet, slotted for release October 16th.
Blackbird Blackbird – All
Southern Shores, the synth-pop Nova Scotia-by-way-of-Toronto “summer heroes” has released an EP, New World. The latest album (similarly to the last one) via Cascine is full of dreamy, tropical beats. Stream the entire EP on SounCloud here.
Southern Shores – Sankasa
Luis Vasquez aka The Soft Moon is the beloved darkwave noise experimentalist from San Francisco and he’s releasing his new album (via Captured Tracks), Zeros, on October 30th. “Insides” hails from the anticipated album and is the latest goodie rupturing from the depths of darkness:
The Soft Moon – Insides
The ridiculously talented and charming “Jizz jazz” weirdo, Mac DeMarco has a new album (hurry already!), Mac DeMarco 2, due October 16th. Captured Tracks has been slowly but surely releasing jams from the (do you sense a theme?) highly anticipated album. You’ve already heard, “My Kind of Woman,” so feast your ears on DeMarco’s jam dedicated to his fav brand of cigs:
Mac DeMarco – Ode to Viceroy