Posts Tagged ‘Bandcamp’

Sightings: Magical Misakes, “Supermoon Crashed (ft. Mutual Benefit)”

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Erik Luebs of Magical Mistakes may reside in a small village in southwest Japan, but the sounds on his brand new Special Friends EP shimmer as brightly as any bustling metropolis on a Friday night. This track –a collaborative effort with Mutual Benefit’s Jordan Lee — takes your typical electronic sheen and stretches it taught around tight percussive fills. The effect both pumps you up and manages to soothe your brain before the sheen flys away and “Supermoon Crashed” moves into almost-traditional folk territory. Luebs flashy electronic beats give way to thick strings and Lee’s slow, steady crooning. At its core “Supermoon Crashed” combines the best talents of the very different Magical Mistakes and Mutual Benefit projects, and presents a nice collaborative snapshot of these two artists. It makes one wonder why more bedroom recording artists don’t get together for efforts like Special Friends. Forgive the pun, but it seems to be in everyone’s mutual benefit.

Magical Mistakes – “Supermoon Crashed (ft. Mutual Benefit)” (Special Friends EP, Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Check out Special Friends and more from Magical Mistakes over on Bandcamp.

Check out Mutual Benefit on Bandcamp as well.

Sightings: Arches, “Nowhere to Go”

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Philadelphia psych-rockers Arches impress again on their new EP, Enough. Just like Wide Awake– their release from earlier this year – Enough crams melancholy and swirling desperation into steady rhythms and crashing guitar lines. Closing track “Nowhere to Go” puts these traits on full display. A steady, unassuming drumbeat putters along while guitar and bass weave around heavily processed vocals. Underneath all the reverb and echo, “Nowhere to Go” seems to be a song about going back, presumably because there wasn’t any place to go in the first place. In that, it  recalls the last LP’s tales of a would-be drifter– of needing to escape, but being terrified of what to do once you’re free. This one forms  the perfect accompaniment to a late-night winter walk– cigarette in one hand, ipod in the other, and a mess in your head.

Arches, “Nowhere to Go” (Enough, Treetop Sorbet)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Order Enough on cassette from Treetop Sorbet, or stream/download the EP from Bandcamp.

Sightings: Zillions, “Even Though”

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

I must give my sincerest thanks to my blog-bro Yvynyl for sharing Rosali Middleman’s debut track under the moniker Zillions. “Even Though” pounds a driving, infectious rhythm under a glossy and similarly addictive guitar riff with great affect. Middleman’s powerful vocal performance and rhythmic inflections are, however, the track’s biggest draw. Her penchant for R&B-esque vocal deliveries floating over a bed of atmospheric effects and skittery riffs recalls the best moments of the Dirty Projector’s opus, Bitte Orca. But where that group seemingly sought to be off-putting and strange, Rosali uses similar methods to comfort and reel in listeners. I believe that the end result makes listening to “Even Though” the closest that I have come to understanding the term “vibe-ing” in reference to an aural experience. I quite enjoy it.

Zillions, “Even Though” (Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Stream “Even Though” above, or by head over to Bandcamp to download

Sightings: ABADABAD, “Indiana”

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I recently found myself in a conversation that revealed that I am knee deep in the oddest period of my short life. A friend and I began to refer to it as “Phase 2.” The defining characteristic of “Phase 2″ is that even though shit starts to “get real,” you still don’t want to care. All you want is to be around fun people doing fun things, and not give a damn about bills, or rent or loans. Artists like Brookyln’s ABADABAD deftly capture the spirit of this phase. Like their first single “Park Slope (I’m Sorry),” new track “Indiana” paints a serious narrative under upbeat rhythms and swirling, sharp-edged guitar riffs. “Indiana’s” characters imbibe on drugs and bad advice, or sob to their faraway best friends on the telephone. Meanwhile, surprisingly Real Estate-esque guitars and subtle, buoyant bass lines put a positive, downright groovy, spin on a bad situation. This is “Phase 2″ at its purest. Get your problems off your chest and drown them in vibes.

ABADABAD, “Indiana” (Indiana, Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Stream/Download “Indiana” and more at ABADABAD’s Bandcamp page.

Sightings: Leopard Smoke, “Night Ghost”

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Nothing seems as refreshing these days as music that exists solely for the purpose of having a bit of fun. Consider New Paltz, NY’s Leopard Smoke, who seamlessly mix homegrown pop tropes with mad-cap textures and lounge-style vocals. On “Night Ghost” — from their latest, free full-length Night Beaches – the band bursts in with a haphazard, soulful vocal narrative about a terrifying spectre amidst a plodding drum beat and a constantly pounding, ballpark-esque organ melody. The combination may seem awkward on paper, but the track shines delightfully through all of its aural circus’ three rings. Things become really strange during the song’s final act —  where organs break down and spiral through the spinning nucleus of a black hole, shooting through the other side. Leopard Smoke are a bit of a wild ride, but wild rides are always so much fun.

Leopard Smoke: “Night Ghost”

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Check out Night Beaches and Leopard Smoke’s entire discography for free on Bandcamp.

Sightings: Waskerley Way, “Storm Song”

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

When I wrote about Michael Bridgewater — aka Waskerley Way —  back in June, the focus was on his ability to turn a swirling mess of noise into a transfixing piece of music. On his La Magie Rouge cassette, out now on Ultra Friends Records, Bridgewater sharpens his talent for bringing disjointed sounds together. Worldbeat pop gem “Storm Song” borrows bits from the far-flung folk missives of places as far apart and foreign to each other as Senegal and Belgium. Polyrhythmic drum beats and bursting horn riffs are glued together by an interweaving haze of subtle electronics, and by Bridgewater’s surprisingly well-suited vocal track. The end result makes for an upbeat and incredibly fun listen.  If he keeps this up they’ll start referring to his style as the “Waskerley Way.”

Waskerley Way: “Storm Song”

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Download La Magie Rouge for a price of your naming from Bandcamp, and order the cassette from Ultra Friends Records


Sightings: Wellington Downs, “King Blacker Lungs”

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Matthew Sage, of the Patient Sounds label, lays down some wonderfully ramshackle noise-pop under his solo moniker Wellington Downs. His latest release, entitled Bruises Apples, is packed with crackling tracks that sound as if they were recorded in a room with no gravity. “King Blacker Lungs” is a standout that displays what I mean quite well. Sharp-edged guitar and cymbal crashes slice through the mix and let Sage’s long-drawn vocal drones escape into the air and out into space. The rest of the song follows suit and takes listeners on a loud and static-filled celestial journey. Sage’s music spends these space vacations gathering intel and forming into neat, three-and-a-half minute gems that fit snuggly next to likeminded noise artists like Big Troubles or fellow Colorado-ites Woodsman.

Wellington Downs, “King Blacker Lungs” (Bruises Apples, Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Check out the rest of Bruises Apples, as well as more Wellington Downs tracks over on Bandcamp.

Sightings: Vacation, “Deep Like the Ocean”

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I stumbled upon Locust Lane – the new EP from Vacation — while arriving home from work the other day. Exhausted, and desperately in need of a vacation of some sort. While “Deep Like the Ocean” won’t fly you to Costa Rica, it certainly takes your mind on a bit of a trip.

The band channels the folk mystique of “Upstate, NY” and tosses that age-old ethos into a boiling pot of subtle haze, thick reverb, and empty space. “Deep Like The Ocean” embodies this idea when its bubbling synths meld with acoustic guitars strums and carefully played violin lines. The vocals occupy the empty space and echo off invisible walls while telling an age-old story of a person “deep like the ocean” and “frozen to the core.” Don’t be surprised when you find yourself involuntarily swaying your head and mumbling “You’re so deep, you’re so deep, you’re so deep…”

Vacation, “Deep Like the Ocean” (Locust Lane EP)

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Sightings: Clubglove, “Glow Stick”

Friday, July 15th, 2011

The bandcamp page of Brooklyn, NY outfit Clubglove features the group tagging themselves with tongue-in-cheek genre puns like “beachdub” and “laquerwave.” In truth, new track “Glow Stick” fits neatly in these fictional classifications. A subtle backbeat bounces from the tracks opening and introduces listeners to a beach scene lifted straight from a 1950’s surf movie. However it’s all a bit more complicated than that. The beach wonderland is coated over in a hazy laminate made of equal parts electronic flourishes, hazy guitar and backdrop of crooning “ooohs” that sound just a bit too haunting for a simple day at the beach. Eventually the disparate parts of “Glow Stick” give way to an all out jam with the right mixture of crunching feedback and catchy hooks to perfectly fit your aural beat-the-heat prescription.

Clubglove, “Glow Stick” (In It, Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Stream/Download “Glow Stick” for free over at the group’s Bandcamp.

Sightings: Slow Loris, “Madeline”

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Madison, WI’s Wes Doyle–aka Slow Loris–serves up some of the most impressively well crafted bedroom pop from the internet-ether on his new release Routine Glow. Although not terribly far removed sound-wise from last year’s Extra Colors, these songs feel more fully realized and swell with a rare confidence and swagger. Doyle no longer seems interested in dabbling with dizzy, one-off track experiments and instead presents a cohesive long player; equal parts exciting and chill.

Album closer and highlight “Madeline” showcases his full-form vision well. Much like last year’s “We Were Never Alone“, the track saunters through five minutes of introspective, lazy-afternoon walks where you realize everything will be alright. But here Doyle allows a rolling snowball chord progression and simple beat do most of the talking and trades-in slick pentatonics for a fully fledged solo. “Madeline” is a nice, self-actualized bedroom gem, but try not to forget the point. It’s all gonna be OK.

Slow Loris, “Madeline” (Routine Glow, Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Download and stream all of Routine Glow, and pre-order the album on vinyl via Bandcamp.