Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick Hits: Problems That Fix Themselves / Nate Allen and the Pac-Away Dots / Kayte Grace

January 21, 2015

problemsthatfixthemselves

Problems That Fix ThemselvesWhich Is Worse. This electronic duo creates gently unfolding, melodic ambient/glitch music. They manage to make glitch not sound brittle and lifeless, especially on standout track “8:62.” Elsewhere they make circuitbending sound downright beautiful; this might be the easiest introduction to the technically and musically intimidating practice I’ve ever heard. It’s not ODESZA by any means, but fans of melodic post-dub will find connections they may not have expected.

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Nate Allen and the Pac-Away DotsTake Out the Trash. The wild songwriter behind the folk/punk duo Destroy Nate Allen! took a long, hard look at the ills of society. The subsequent musical and lyrical response was a bit darker and weightier than DNA! purveys, although the songs of Take Out the Trash still fit in the folk/punk category. Allen’s raspy voice is perfectly suited to righteous indignation, and so tunes like “West Side Blues” come together perfectly with impassioned vocals over brazen electric guitars. On the other end of the spectrum, gentler tunes like “Social Equality” aim an introspective lens at social justice with banjo, brushed drums, and acoustic guitar. It may make you laugh a bit less and think a bit more than DNA!, but the songwriting chops are just as strong (and in some places stronger) for the change in topic.

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Kayte GraceChapter 2: Sail There EP. Kayte Grace’s country-folk-pop is a charming, romantic brew that will appeal to fans of Taylor Swift, Twin Forks, and young love. There’s infinite depth to be mined in young love, and Grace does that here, both melodically and lyrically. It’s smooth, sweet, but not too saccharine; if you’re swooning over someone right now, you’ll be all about it.

November MP3s: Hit Those Keys

November 20, 2014

Hit Those Keys

1. “8:62” – Problems That Fix Themselves. Breakbeats! Grit! Weird noises! Thundering rhythms! Melodic elements that tie them all together! Artsy electro doesn’t get much more fun for me than this.

2. “Waited 4 U (ODESZA remix)” – Slow Magic. My two favorite post-dub electro artists collaborating on a remix? My ears are about to explode.

3. “Showin’ Off” – Fascinator. Anything related to trip-hop is on my mind. Drop in intriguing strings, flutes, and ’90s Brit-pop sneer, and you’ve got my full attention.

4. “Steal My Car” – Shy for Shore. Heavily dramatic, Vangelis-style synths dominate this ’80s throwback pop single.

5. “City Lover” – Max and the Electric. Somewhere between early ’00s Strokes, slinky funk and Bloc Party-cool vibes. Get your nice suit out.

6. “What’s In It For Me?” – Astrid’s Tea Party. The driving electro of M83, the airtight arrangements of blondie Blondie, and furious female vocals (a la Stevie Nicks) make this into a club-ready jam.

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

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