Scott Reitherman, the San Francisco artist behind Seattle outfit Throw Me The Statue formed a new alter-ego a couple of years back in the form of Pillar Point and is now set to release that incarnations debut album. Reitherman enlisted long time partner in crime Charlie Smith to produce the nine song voyage of avant garde electronic pop. Despite still pushing the boundaries, its an eminently approachable record, the 37 minutes of which just glide by. With his approach, signing to Polyvinyl in the middle of last year, a label that showcases the 'out there' efforts of Kevin Barnes' Of Montreal among others, seems a perfect fit. Pillar Point represents Reitherman's outlet for more darker downbeat lyrics set up against a dance like pop aethestic.
Two tracks have surfaced from the album, the sleek synth pop of 'Cherry' and the more straight forward, yet circumspect number, 'Eyeballs'. Other standout tracks include last year's balaeric like single 'Dreamin'', the percussion dominated opener 'Diamond Mine', the melodic funk laden 'Touch' and the partly Cyndi Lauper inspired 'Curious Of You'. 'Cherry' and 'Eyeballs' are available to stream below as well as a live performance in the Seattle studios of KEXP Radio. If you like what you hear you can pre-order the album on limited edition yellow vinyl here. It's out on the 25th February. Recommended.
1. Diamond Mine
4. Black Hole
5. Strangers In Paradise
8. Curious Of You
Pillar Point (USA)
From the forthcoming album, 'Pillar Point', Polyvinyl. Out Feb 25.
Since releasing the amazing track 'Relocate' back in 2011, we've been following Lost Angeles based artist KAUF rather closely. He released his debut EP As Much Again in August last year but apart from 'Relocate', which also appears on the EP, we were unable to share anything else for whatever reason. However, the man behind the moniker, Ronald Kaufman has kindly alerted us to the fact that 'The Closest' has now been released by his label and is streaming on Soundcloud. We're so pleased to be able to share this with you. A expertly paced slow builder, 'The Closest' showcases all that this talented man has to offer. Stream it below and look our for KAUF's debut album later this year. He also flicked us his excellent remix of 2012 track 'Bloody Mouth' from Atlanta artist Moons. Enjoy both tracks below.
This week sees the release of the long awaited second long player, Earthbeat from Pesaro new wave cum shoegaze pop quartet Be Forest. Originally beginning in 2011 as a trio and releasing their debut album, Cold, the Italian trio Erica Terenzi (vocals/drums), Nicola Lampredi (guitar) and Contanza Delle Rose (bass/vocals) enlisted electronic wiz Lorenzo Badioli to add such elements to their sound. And the result is a triumph.
Earthbeat, as its name suggests incorporates both modern and earthy sounds in a seamless tapestry that envelopes the nine tracks. It's dense at times, both melodically and beat wise but Be Forest's knack of sonic spatiality and the airy vocals, which float along just underneath the mix at times, make for an atmospheric ride full of space and contemplation. First single 'Captured Heart' now has a video and you can also listen to second single 'Colours' below. Earthbeat is out now on the interestingly named We Were Never Being Boring. Get it on limited edition white vinyl here. The red has sold out.
2. Captured Heart
3. Lost Boy
4. Ghost Dance
6. Totem II
Be Forest (ITA)
From the album, 'Earthbeat', We Were Never Being Boring.
Sporting a rarified ear for where pop should be at, New Zealand, via New York and Paris, outfit Yumi Zouma are set to release their self titled debut EP next week and over the past month have released three smart, yet simple and effortless tracks from it - that's 3/4 of the whole thing. To pull that off simultaneously is indicative of the intuitive talent on offer. Indeed all four tracks are most impressive - no filler at all. Writing via long distance contact can be a difficult affair so its all credit that the trio have put together such a cohesive first venture.
They've been been receiving much blog love in the short life of 2014 and we've been itching to post about them too. Reminds of a laid back Tops. Can't think of a better start to our year. The dreamy ride 'The Brae', the minimal funk inspired 'Salka Gets Her Hopes Up' and the slow burn melt of 'A Long Walk Home For Parted Lovers'. are all available for streaming below. The EP drops via Cascine on February 11. Pre-order the limited edition 10" EP here. We have.
1. A Long Walk Home For Parted Lovers
2. Sålka Gets Her Hopes Up
3. The Brae
Yumi Zouma (NZL)
From the forthcoming EP, 'Yumi Zouma', Cascine. Out Feb 11.
Below is our first installment of our three end of year lists, our favourite ten videos of 2013. It's an eclectic assortment that essentially captures where the world is now, and that is, at the crossroads. The absurdities of modern life - a rapacious inequality of opportunity and spoils, unconcious conformity, rampant accumulation for no real benefit, corporate domination and the destruction of democracy and the environment, discrimination and exclusion of difference, enveloping all encompassing debilitating love in a selfish world, the list goes on. Despite this, the Ryan Baxley and Scott Jacobsen videos manage to lift us by splashing, literally in the former, doses of wry humour into the mix.
1. Shut Up
From the album, 'Silence Yourself', Matador.
Directed by Giorgio Testi
The Giorgio Testi directed live take on 'Shut Up' by the English post punk quartet Savages is one the best of recent times and captures the energies of the band and the necessities of the track's subject matter perfectly. A fitting best video.
2. Full Of Fire
The Knife (SWE)
From the album, 'Shaking Ther Habitual', Rabid Records.
Directed by Marit Ostberg
Marit Ostberg's complex short film utilising The Knife's 'Full Of Fire' is as relentless in its withering critique of the narrowness of mainstream culture as the track itself is in its sonic form.
From the album, 'FIDLAR', Witchita.
Directed by Ryan Baxley
Los Angeles punk rock outfit FIDLAR's Ryan Baxley directed video for 'Cocaine' unleashes the mass frustration caused by being forced to participate in the insecure and poorly paid U.S labour market and literally pisses all over the unfairness and uncertainities that it produces.
Arcade Fire (CAN)
From the album, 'Reflektor', Merge.
Directed by Emily Kai Bock
Emily Kai-Bock, the Canadian director seems to be a perennial fixture in best video lists every year. This poignant dream laden epic for Arcade Fire is yet another example of her ability to beautifully encapsulate an array of subject matters, in this case, loss.
5. First Fires (feat. Grey Reverend)
From the album, 'The North Borders', Ninja Tune.
Directed by Young Replicant
Alex Takacs (Young Replicant) takes Bonobo's track from earlier this year, 'First Fires' and captures the essence of illusions cast as memories when love is lost.
From the album, 'I Hate You', Merge
Directed by Scott Jacobsen
For those of us who are the other side of 40 and that includes the legendary Superchunk, this comedic representation on old guys going to a show amidst the hipsters starring drummer Jon Wurster and comedians Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin makes you want to laugh and cry simultaneously.
James Blake (ENG)
From the album, 'Overgrown', Polydor/Universal Republic.
Directed by Nabil Elderkin
Whenever I watch this beautifully shot Nabil Elderkin effort for James Blake, I always think of those hooded figures as the stealth like figures of musical death, as in the corporate executives at Blake's insidious record label. I always like that they fritter away when the reach him on the shore. One can only hope.
8. Casino Lisboa
Dirty Beaches (USA)
From the album, 'Drifters/Love Is The Devil', Zoo Music.
Directed by Gary Boyle
This swirling, kaleidoscopic Gary Boyle shot video for Alex Hungtai's Dirty Beaches project combines the seedy vibrancy of Bangkok's nightlife with searing live performance of the hypnotic 'Casino Lisboa' in the Thai capital.
9. Thor's Stone
Forest Swords (ENG
From the album, 'Engravings', Tri-Angle
Directed by Dave Ma
There's something very earthy and yet otherworld like in the music of Forest Swords, the project of Liverpool producer Matthew Barnes. Dave Ma expertly represents both in the sinew and bone of his felled muse.
10. When A Fire Starts To Burn
From the album, 'Settle', PMR.
Directed by Bo Mirossini
Gullibility and faith. Perfect accompaniments. Bo Mirossini takes the lyrics sampled in the track by the English house duo to a whole new level.
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