Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

I NEED GLORIA!

August 15, 2014

I NEED GLORIA!

1. “Whodunit?” – Gentle Robot. GR’s new album of indie-friendly alt-rock a la Silversun Pickups or Anberlin is a whodunit murder mystery. Gentle Robot deftly balances tenderness and aggression via strong lyrical and musical songwriting. Clever, memorable, and novel.

2. “Say Yes” – Afternoons. If you can resist belting out that chorus at the top of your lungs, this blog cannot help you. I’m serious.

3. “Gloria” – Backwords. Item Two: If you can stop yourself from belting out “I NEED GLOOOOOOORIA,” this is probably not the blog for you. Excellent song development from this crew.

4. “Love the Sea” – The Vigilance Committee. Grows from dreamy beginnings all the way to a rhythmically technical post-hardcore section, with some punk-inspired motion in the middle. I love ambitious songwriters.

5. “Midnight:Sixteen” – Tree Dwellers. TD has some weird post-rock/alt-rock/found-sound thing going on here. It’s the soundtrack to a really ominous “getting ready” sequence in a artsy futuristic dystopian action film.

6. “You Come to Kill Me?” – Happyness. Two minutes of pure slacker rock with impressive attention to lyrical detail. It doesn’t get repetitive, it doesn’t ask for much, it just wants to know if you’re there to kill him. Solid, bro.

7. “Monuments” – Haverford. My current favorite emo band mixes vocal desperation, dreamy guitars, and punk intensity for a swirling, whirling track. This release should get Haverford noticed by emo revivalists and more.

8. “Escape” – Dream Boat. The intensity of the forward motion that pushes through this psychedelic track makes it more than just a woozy psych jam or a four-on-the-floor stomper. Heavy vibes here, but good ones.

9. “Love Again” – JOA. Yearning, churning, moody indie-pop from the artist formerly known as Like Clockwork; much more atmospheric than the brash pop music he was previously producing. It’s got some down-tempo groove to it, too.

10. “Dis-Moi Qui Tu Aimes” – The Lovers Key. More rippin’ Motown surf soul from TLK.

11. “January” – Silva. The breeziness of chillwave meets the celebratory vibes of Brazilian music in a fun, charming, beautiful track.

12. “Lovekill” – Anie. Opens with an asymmetric vocal line reminiscent of tUnE-yArDs before exploding into a pop-rock tune with high male vocals; it shifts back and forth from artsy to poppy throughout the track. Really interesting take here.

13. “Oh the Evil!!!” – Michael Leonard Witham. A Dylanesque yawp, pedal steel, brazen harmonica, and a perky overall mood? Yes. Let’s have some more of that.

14. “Shapeshifting” – Sam Joole. This warm, gentle, pristine arrangement that recalls William Fitzsimmons or early Joshua Radin feels lush and full, even though it’s rather stark. Wonderful track.

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.

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

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