Brisbane producer Tincture (Luke Dalton) last week released his debut EP, Tryst, an amazing collection of five tracks that will definitely embed themselves in your music consciousness. Incorporating the sounds of ambient music mixed in with busy percussive elements. emotive hooks, wistful synth washes and manipulated vocals in addition to his own, there's a sense of loss and longing that's present, as if Dalton has laid himself bare and is trying to work out how to rationalise his idealised view of love and relationships. That he's allowed his naivete to surface deliberately gives these songs special meaning. Listen to debut single 'Tryst' featuring the gorgeous vocals of Hazel Brown below and look our for his second track to appear in our Top 30 countdown this week. Tryst is out through Silo Arts & Records. Grab it digitally here. Exceptional.
1. Similar Circles
2. Tryst (feat. Hazel Brown)
4. Need U
5. Heavy Water
Last month saw the release of the debut full length, Anthems For The Micro-Age from retro synth pop futurists Roladex, the project of Texas duo Elyssa Dianne and Tyler Jacobsen. This follows their release with Night People late last year of the EP Cathode Rays (that track appears on here and will be in our Top 30 Wednesday). The album combines laconically frantic arpeggio synth constructions with deadpan vocals and motorik beats all ensconsed in a analog sound framework. If I sound all sciencey and technical like, which I'm not, give the tracks 'Blacklit Disco' and 'Color Channels' below a spin and you'll know why. Better still grab the album on the format that the duo had in mind when recording, yep, you guessed it, vinyl. It's out in limited release through Medical Records here.
1. Anthem For The Micro-Age
2. Cathode Rays
3. Love Surgery
4. Blacklit Disco
5. Empty Streets
6. Color Channels
7. Pink Halloween
8. Single Cell City
9. Scan Lines
10. Nuke It Out
From the album, ''Anthems For The Micro-Age', Medical Records.
Ian Hobbs, the man behind Solitary City has released his first track, 'Assigned To Nature'. The instrumental track floats along with an ethereal ambience interspersed with restless percussion and countless samples of outside recordings. Hobbs states that endless days wandering cities, people watching and getting lost in solitary moments of inspiration was the base from which the work sprung. It's an impressive debut. Listen below and buy for a pound at his bandcamp here.
Assigned To Nature
Solitary City (ENG)
From the digital single, 'Assigned To Nature', Self Released.
Six new debuts this week featuring four tracks we have yet to feature on Indie30. We spoke previously of Swedish electronic trio DNKL with their new track 'Battles' and Detroit post punk/rock act Protomartyr with their kickarse number 'Come & See. They're in at 11 and 16 respectively.
Joining them are Jönköping indie popsters The Mary Onettes with the sublime 'Naive Dream' (22) off their new mini album, Portico. That was out digitally yesterday while the physical release remains a month away.
The Toronto based Robert Alfons fronted project Trust released a new album this week without Austra percussionist Maya Postepski. Titled Joyland, it sports a more dance like edge and that's no exception on 'Are We Arc', which debuts at 23.
Baltimore based indie pop trio Future Islands featuring the vocals of Samuel T. Herring has a new album out, confusing called 'Singles' on new label 4AD and the beautifully balanced first single which was released in January, 'Seasons (Waiting On You)' is in at 26.
Cleveland indie rockers Cloud Nothings have just released the second track, 'Psychic Trauma' from their forthcoming fourth long player Here And Nowhere Else an that hits at 27.
The only real move upwards this week is by Case Conrad and reflects a big week for Swedish music with the entries of DNKL and The Mary Onettes. The contemplative Swedish quintet have broken into our top ten with the hypnotic pop brilliance of the measured 'Copper Thief' (10) off their new album Leikko.
The previously unfeatured songs can be found below while the order and details of all 30 tracks are here.
Listen to the whole Top 30 from the latest additions down streaming in full on our Top 30 player to your top right.
22. Naive Dream
The Mary Onettes (SWE)
From the mini-album, 'Portico', Labrador. Digital out this week. Physical out April 7.
Today sees the release of Atlas, the long awaited sparkling third full length from New Jersey quintet Real Estate. If one was expecting anything much different from their last album, the outstanding Days back in 2011, they're sure to be disappointed but if you're like me and just wanted more of the same dreamy languid suburban pop, then you won't be, far from it. Atlas again showcases the duelling melodies and open chords of Matt Courtney and Matt Mondanile's clean reverb laden guitars while other ever present member Alex Bleeker's muscular but understated bass work underpins the beauty. It's seems the founding trio along with keyboardist Matt Kallman and drummer Jackson Pollis could do this in their sleep such is their tightness but their deceptively simple approach belies their ability to give each track the legs to last. Atlas will only reveal its true secrets with repeated listens. With 'Talking Backwards' going great guns at 2 in our chart at present, the gorgeous yet lyrically anxious second single, 'Crime' (streaming below) matches it and more. Other standouts include the bookends, opener 'Had To Hear' and closer 'Navigator' along with the Mondanile penned instrumental April's Song'. Atlas is out through Domino. Buy here. Real Estate are currently on a North American tour and play Vancouver tonight. Remaining dates below.
1. Had to Hear
2. Past Lives
3. Talking Backwards
4. April's Song
5. The Bend
8. How Might I Live
March 4 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
March 6 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
March 8 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
March 9 - Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
March 11 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
March 19 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
March 20 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
March 21 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
March 22 - Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
March 23 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
March 25 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
March 26 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
March 27 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
March 28 - St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
March 29 - Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
March 31 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
April 1 - Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
April 2 - Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
April 3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
April 5 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
DNKL, the Swedish electronic act who impressed us so much late last year with their debut single 'Hunt' have released another quality track in the form of the the slow burner 'Battles'. Again purveying the sounds of light and dark, the track's synths oscillate away as wistful vocals are combined with an unsettling siren's wail. A melancholic presence yes, but that doesn't mean the track gets bogged down in its own mire. Rather the complexity of life is captured beautifully by twinning the battles between hope and despair. Like the Indie30 Top 20 of 2013 track 'Hunt', 'Battles' has generously been made available as a free download. Grab it below. DNKL do four shows in Germany mid March supporting Hundreds before hitting Roskilde in late June.
Rising Detroit post punk/rock outfit Protomartyr have released the second single, 'Come & See' from their forthcoming album, Under Color Of Official Right. The offbeat dominated track packs quite a punch and deals with the often macabre media attention and the concocted and misplaced rescue plans their declining home city has attracted from outside interests. Unlike the unfortunate situation their city finds itself in, Protomartyr's star is definitely on the rise. Both the new track and the first single, the taut, new wave and punk inspired 'Scum, Rise!" have generously been made available as free downloads. Protomartyr kick off an American tour tonight that includes SXSW and playing support to Cloud Nothings for five shows in April and May. Under Color Of Official Right is out April 8 on Hardly Art.
2. Ain't So Simple
3. Want Remover
4. Trust Me Billy
6. What the Wall Said
7. Tarpeian Rock
8. Bad Advice
9. Son of Dis
10. Scum, Rise!
11. I Stare at Floors
12. Come & See
14. I'll Take That Applause
Sat. Mar. 1 - Oberlin, OH @ Dionysius Dance Club (Oberlin College)
Wed. Mar. 12 - Austin, TX @ North Door (Sub Pop day party) [SXSW]
Wd. Mar. 12 - Austin, TX @ French Legation (Pitchfork Day Party) [SXSW]
Thu. Mar. 13 - Austin, TX @ Beerland (Can't Stop The Bleeding day party) [SXSW]
Fri. Mar. 14 - Austin, TX @ Waterloo Records (Waterloo Records day party) [SXSW]
Fri. Mar. 14 - Austin, TX @ The Liberty (Hardly Art/Suicide Squeeze showcase) [SXSW]
Sat. Mar. 15 - Austin, TX @ Beerland (WFMU day party) [SXSW]
Sat. Mar. 15 - Austin, TX @ The Hideout Theatre (Monofonus showcase) [SXSW]
Tue. Apr. 8 - Detroit, MI @ The Lager House (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) w/ Spray Paint
Wed. Apr. 9 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Howler's Coyote Cafe w/ Spray Paint
Fri. Apr. 11 - Cambridge, MA @ Democracy Center w/ Spray Paint
Sat. Apr. 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio w/ Spray Paint
Sun. Apr. 13 - New York, NY @ Cake Shop w/ Spray Paint
Tue. Apr. 15 - Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Spray Paint
Wed. Apr. 16 - Baltimore, MD @ The Gold Bar w/ Spray Paint
Thu. Apr. 17 - Raleigh, NC @ Slim's Downtown w/ Spray Paint, Whatever Brains
Fri. Apr. 18 - Atlanta, GA @ 529 w/ Spray Paint, Whatever Brains
Sat. Apr. 19 - Tallahassee, FL @ Liberty Bar w/ Whatever Brains
Mon. Apr. 21 - New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar w/ Whatever Brains
Tue. Apr. 22 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottle Tree w/ Whatever Brains
Wed. Apr. 23 - Nashville, TN @ Stone Fox w/ Whatever Brains
Thu. Apr. 24 - Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub w/ Whatever Brains
Fri. Apr. 25 - Cleveland, OH @ Now That's Class w/ Whatever Brains
Sat. Apr. 26 - Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bourbon Street
Tue. Apr. 29 - Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room w/ Cloud Nothings
Wed. Apr. 30 - Iowa City, IA @ Gabe's w/ Cloud Nothings
Thu. May 1 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club w/ Cloud Nothings
Fri. May 2 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon w/ Cloud Nothings
Sat. May 3 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall w/ Cloud Nothings
Come & See
From the forthcoming album, 'Under Color Of Official Right', Hardly Art. Out April 8.
I woke up a couple of weeks ago and decided to spend some time as I was readying myself for work with Mark Kozelek's latest full length as Sun Kil Moon, Benji. I knew of the emotional intensity of the record from reads about it beforehand but nothing could prepare me for what was about to happen next.
As opening track 'Carissa' progressed and I loaded up the espresso machine, the heartbreaking story about the tragic death of Kozelek's second cousin, a salt of the earth 35 year old Ohio mother of two, unfolded before me. I suddenly begun to sob uncontrollably, and I mean uncontrollably. Standing at the kitchen bench crying my eyes out. It wasn't necessarily because I was listening to such a tragic story, that's definitely part of it, but it was more to do with being reminded about how helpless we all are set up against the randomness of what life dishes out and how in a split second, we can be rendered heartbroken by things completely out of our control - the brittle nature of fate. Now Kozelek hadn't seen Carissa for over 20 years and had left her and his native rural Ohio behind like so many before him looking for more creative and intellectual pastures; leaving behind a 15 year old second cousin pregnant and at the crossroads. Despite not having really giving Carissa a second thought since, her life and death suddenly haunted him - that her life might turn out to be just a life, just an existence. Determined, he wanted it to mean something and by penning this he has succeeded.
Kozelek goes on a diary like journey full of musical poignancy to tackle subjects like his complete love and devotion to his mother and his love hate relationship with his father as well as his mild disgust for his racist uncle, who died virtually the same way as his grandaughter Carissa. Outside the family, other experiences abound; his litany of sometimes awkward, sometimes ordinary experiences with ex-lovers in his youth is covered as is America's prediliction with mass murderers, the arrest of a friend of his father's for a mercy killing as well as the tragic eventual death of a childhood friend, perhaps from the effects of an brain aneurism that left him with a disability years back
Benji is such a direct ride where death surfaces with regularity but that's not to say it is a depressing experience, far from it. As Kozelek processes his life in song, the best way to sum up Benji is that... it just is.
Benji is our current album of the week out now through Caldo Verde. I've decided to feature the bookends of the record below, the aforementioned 'Carissa' and the swooning 'Ben's My Friend'. Please spend some time with this record. While you may start sobbing or even, like I did, become a momentarily hopeless emotional mess, through Kozelek's personal and direct take on life and death you will, in turn yourself, feel very much alive.
"I do think a good record will sound good the first time but give up its secrets slowly", says Tom Fleming, bassist and vocal half of English art-pop outfit Wild Beasts. And so it is with their fourth full length, Present Tense, released worldwide this week. The cerebral, yet emotive Cumbrian quartet, who have cultivated a reputation for succinct and incisive cultural and social criticism layered within often delicate and meticulously constructed artistic pop structures, have produced a record that suggests a deliberate distance was what was being sought from their previous three releases. Their ever-consistent airing of subject matter that nobody in the mainstream wants to address, and that is the continuing crushing of the middle and lower classes by corporate monoliths and their obedient and cowering governments, the destructive and violent dominance of learned masculinity, the immature, narrow discussions of sex and treatment of sexuality and the environmental degradation that will crush future generations, looms large on Present Tense. But musically, there is a more contemplative, atmospheric, electronic and space laden approach, twinned with the always extraordinarily good vocals of Fleming and Hayden Thorpe, which seem to now be more aligned and complementary despite the obvious tonal differences.
Wild Beasts have stated they wanted to make a 'small record', that is one that steers well clear of the bombastic, over-produced stain that afflicts much of music in the wider domain. In this, they have triumphed. Present Tense is a masterpiece of understatement, where nothing dominates or overpowers but all the while everything quietly informs and entertains. Two singles have been released thus far. The first, the hard hitting 'Wanderlust' is currently in our Indie30 Top 5 while the second, the is ethereal like 'Sweet Spot'. Listen to that as well as the Factory Floor remix of the first single below and buy the album here. Highly, highly recommended.
2 Nature Boy
4 Sweet Spot
6 Pregnant Pause
7 A Simple Beautiful Truth
8 A Dog's Life
9 Past Perfect
10 New Life
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