In order to try and get back into the swing of music coverage, here’s a selection of new – and new to me – music that I have found over the past week on Rdio.
Apologies for missing last week, but things got a bit hectic. I won’t be covering the new Beck album, as I have yet to give it a full listen (waiting for the right moment to listen to it on my good set of headphones). Here’s what I’ve been listening to otherwise.
Click the band / album titles for Rdio links.
Moon Coven (formerly Waning Moon) are a Swedish stoner-metal band that I was tipped off to thanks to the good folks at Granite House Records. After hearing the incredible Pyres album that they released on vinyl, I started following them on Instagram and Tumblr. Whoever runs their social assets is a god amongst community managers, because not only did I discover a pretty killer shoegaze album from Alcest that way, I also stumbled upon the hazy-as-hell album Amanita Kingdom – which is riff-fuckin’-diculous.
This record will definitely make classic stoner-rock fans happy; the groove-heavy, psychedelic force is strong with this one. Fuzzed-out vocal melodies abound, and the rock-solid motorik drumming pummels some seriously sneaky hooks into your mind here. Also, am I crazy in thinking the lead-off track “Ruler of Dust” reminds me just a bit of Cursed Arrows? Be still, my heart.
Étienne de Crécy – Super Discount & Super Discount 2
Like a lot of people, somewhere between exiting of High School and entering College I got super into electronic music. Growing up, I pretty much avoided the entire genre (unless you count the fact that They Might Be Giants recorded their early stuff using drum machines and Macintosh computers). But, with the intent of broadening my horizons through extending the roots of my musical knowledge, I got heavily into trip-hop and chillout music. Hey, I lived in a dorm room, after all.
Well, this week I ended up finding my way to Étienne de Crécy‘s output by way of Canadian musician Rosie June – who posted a YouTube clip on her Facebook, thankfully tipping me off to the original Super Discount album. I did a bit of reading, and found out it’s one of the defining albums of the french house genre – which I already enjoyed, but am clearly no expert in. That lead me pretty quickly to the sequel, Super Discount 2, which is equally as incredible.
I’ve seen some mention that the original Super Discount hasn’t dated particularly well in a few reviews – as it does feature the standard, vaguely dub-influenced rhythms, dusty jazz breaks, and drug-influenced vocal samples that often firmly place chillout records in the “you had to be there” category. Fortunately, to my ears this album doesn’t suffer at all on that front – and the sequel (which dropped 8 years later) updates the formula with a much more modern, dance floor-oriented sound. Both records have served me well this week.
Speaking of electronic music: in the past year or so, one of my best friends and I started an Rdio playlist to collaborate on called “Electronic Discoveries”. Soon after, a like-minded co-worked of mine started collaborating on it too, and before we knew it we had a 7+ hour mix of (mostly) instrumental music suitable for any number of moods – though mostly it helps when I need to get some work done and want something eclectic-yet-driving to work to.
Anyway, the aforementioned co-worker added a song by Daniel Avery to the list last week, and I haven’t been able to quit Drone Logic since. I can’t believe I overlooked this in 2013, as it would certainly have made my best of the year list. I guess you could call the album techno or garage in tone, but as the title implies there’s also a lot of long-form structural play going on here too. When the title track pares back the rhythm track, drops the synths, only to build back again to an almost deafening buzz of noisy activity, it calls to mind some of The Chemical Brothers‘ best moments; I’m talking Further levels of quality, arena-sized dance tracks.
This album is serious.
It’s probably a testament to how predictable I can be with my musical tastes that the new Bleeding Rainbow grabbed my ears as quickly as it did. Noisy, scrappy indie-rock with infectious guy/girl vocal hooks and guitars so loud you can almost see the stacks of amps and guitar pedals in front of you? Um, yes please. For 33 minutes, Interrupt rocks the fuck out while wearing its influences clearly – the drive of [pick one seminal 90s reference: Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Pavement, Merge Records] meets the textural aesthetic of [pick one shoegaze/lo-fi band: My Bloody Valentine, Swirlies, Eric’s Trip, etc.] This one should keep your head nodding through the weekend, for sure.
Lastly, TacocaT dropped their album NVM this week, laughing in the face of patriarchal woes by crafting amazingly hooky and subversively feminist songs about getting your period and hitting the beach, construction worker cat-calls, and awful bus service. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny, clever, and so packed full of sunny choruses that it’s sure to last in your rotation straight through to summer; so don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along to the catchiest song ever about Aunt Flo the next time you hit the beach. This one is not to be skipped over.