Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Singles 3: It was a dark and stormy … club

October 23, 2014

It Was a Dark and Stormy … Club

1. “Substance” – Germany Germany. Moving from clubby electro bangers to artsy, flowing dance-rock isn’t a huge jump. But when the results are this infectious, it feels like a revelation and a turned corner in Germany Germany’s career.

2. “Never Easy” – We Are Magnetic. Gotta love a big “Midnight City”-style chorus.

3. “Recycled Words” – Lectures. Twinkly/angular guitar leads backed up by pounding chords, thrashed cymbals, and anguished vocals in a high tenor? No chorus, just one long line of song? This is early ’00s, Deep Elm-style emo, my friends. I am so down with this.

4. “Boxing Day” – Carroll. Carroll’s making their indie-pop darker, dancier, and more electro-heavy. I feel like we should all be dressed in our best clothes for this one.

5. “Colors” – Dream Stretcher. Stuttering beats, hazy synths, and mystical female vocals power this late-night drive home electro jam.

May MP3 batch two

May 23, 2014

Here’s the rest of the MP3s!

1. “Pretty Nice Eyes” – Wizard Woes. Wooshy, smooth, placid, bouncy, hiding-in-a-forest-glen-in-the-sun-between-trees-y chillwave.

2. “Summer” – White Blush. This is what lazy summer evenings in the city sound like.

3. “The Ballad of Mr. Steak” – Kishi Bashi. This is the second absolutely infectious and unique single from Kishi Bashi–you must check it out if you like happiness or goofy dancing.

4. “Pyramids” – Damn Right! The only thing the band tagged was #DesertBump, which could be a new type of chillwave? Anyway, fantastic chill-out track here.

5. “Bad Water” – Carroll. Slacktastic in the very best way, proving that chill doesn’t have to have “wave” attached. Yo, ’90s! Yo, REM!

6. “Worst Case Scenario” – Porcupine. Mathy, angular rock’n’roll full of tension and release. Totally satisfying.

7. “In a House That is Empty” – The Vigilance Committee. A winding, sinuous guitar line leads the listener through this dark, moody, hard-hitting, Radiohead-esque rock tune. Check that bass work.

Dreamy Winters Mix

February 9, 2013

So our Kickstarter is going splendidly, as we’re 84% funded after less than 48 hours of being open. The rapid success thrills and humbles me, as this little project (and by extension, I) have been the recipient of much generosity over the last two days.

But even with golden days about us, there’s still work to be done! Here’s a large mix of solid singles that have floated my way recently.

Dreamy Winters Mix

1. “Make Believe” – Sleepy Tea. The ease with which Sleepy Tea pulls off nuanced confidence made me sit up and take notice. Put your radar on for this band.
2. “Fields” – Tiger Waves. Hazy, gauzy, chilled-out indie-pop reminiscent of The Shins.
3. “Lead Balloon” – Carroll. Calm, quirky tune reminiscent of Grandaddy, recent Death Cab, and even a bit of Tokyo Police Club.
4. “Spinoza” – Generationals. Seriously, what type of world are we in that Generationals isn’t adored?
5. “Glowing” – Dream Curtain. Didn’t we call this chillwave once upon a time? Whatever it’s called, I still love it.
6. “Burn It Down” – Dark Colour. For a second I felt like I was in a LCD Soundsystem track, which is about the highest compliment I can give a dance track.
7. “Mysterieux” – White Blush. If you hadn’t guessed, I’m getting seriously into downtempo, pretty music. Or maybe the world is just catching up with something I always loved.
8. “Locks and Keys” – Glyphs. Beautiful, intriguing Postal Service-esque electro-pop with a perfectly corresponding video. I can’t wait to hear more from this band.
9. “Don’t Stop” – Odesza. Got some trip-hop, Portishead-esque vibes going on in this instrumental.
10. “I Remember the World Begin to Sway” – Antennas to Heaven. Named after a Godspeed You! Black Emperor album, Antennas to Heaven deliver some slow-building, post-rock beauty.
11. “I’ve Got the Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” – I Used to Be a Sparrow. The jubilation of post-rock meets the concrete vocal melodies of indie-rock in a powerful tune. Totally stoked for their new record.
12. “Peace In The Valley” – Cliff Dweller. Old-timey gospel? And beautifully, unabashedly so.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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