‘Raindrops’ by DJJD (February 27, 2012)
For everything that ‘Raindrops’ is not (intense, dynamic, challenging), what it is (chill) is super chill. It might just be a beat, a beat made for a blunt, but it’s a darn good beat and I’m not one to deny something this smooth. Sounding like it could be the theme song for Portlandia, I’m not joking when I say it’s from Portland.
#DapperCads by Dapper Cads (November 22, 2011)
New York based Dapper Cads release their debut EP highlighting their sharp electronic pop impersonation. Like Miike Snow’s love child with Chromeo, there’s just enough funk to make this electro-pop really shine. Above all, the Dapper Cads EP makes me want to dance, and I’m not one for dancing.
‘Some Folk Song in D’ by Shapes (November 11, 2011)
“If Isaac Brock don’t give a damn, then tell me why should I. Everyone will let you down, and all your heroes lie.” - This is just one of the wonderfully witty lines produced by New York City punk outfit, Shapes. Of all their glam-punk anthems, ‘Some Folk Song in D’ might be their most affective. Where most of their songs start strong, climax and then finish strong, this track starts timidly allowing personal growth and making the finale all the more powerful.
Thighs by Ufo & Van Pelt (January 12, 2011) *
Thighs is so much more than your average garage-surf-rock record. It materializes an extreme desire to break genre uniformity, letting creativity take hold. Songs like ‘Upside Down’ show a drastic stylistic shift while never losing the aesthetic.
Crossing Colors EP by Il abanico (February 17, 2011) *
Originally from Columbia and now residing in LA, Il abanico has an interesting take on experimental pop. Completely free in expression, Ronderos is just as daring with her vocals as the rest of the band is, allowing for a strict cohesion that rarely takes vocal form (think Mars Volta). There’s beautiful repetition (think Alpinisms) there’s spiraling guitar lines (think the Notwist) and above all else, a great sense of satisfaction (think Into the Blue Again). Crossing Colors pleasantly integrates the Columbian influence while remaining completely relatable to the mainstream. It manages to adapt, as if each song is a scene. There are special moments to be found in each track, demonstrating experimental conviction and creative thirst.
Echo Tongues EP by Echo Tongues (April 4, 2011) *
Echo Tongues is sleep-walk music if I’ve ever heard it; similar in feel to that reoccurring dream you have where you’re too disoriented to accomplish anything. ’False Start’ seems to be the best place to capsulize the band. I can’t help how much I love the hook. The track is extremely satisfying in the softest, most delicate way.
‘teatro integral’ by tv zen (January 1, 2011) *
They label themselves post-rock, but I’m not really convinced it is. More in line with much of the foreign dream pop scene, tv zen’s introductory track is calming, cooling and above all soothing. Letting the beat take over, the synths slip to the back providing cushion for the vocal melody, which is haunting on its own.
- Big Boss
||| by megiapa (February 19)
Erie, like that downtempo, old school Morcheeba, ‘Drop the Shade_Into the Sky’ never really climaxes and stays in a state of half invigorated, trip-hop limbo. But, I believe this one’s more about the “energy”, if you know what I mean.
‘Sangerfly’ by Mallory Sanger (November 17, 2011) *
The devilish sounding ‘Sangerfly’ introduces us to the freshest Adam Pruss brainchild. More pop than ever before, Mallory Sanger takes an aggressively spiraled aesthetic and applies it to a traditional composition, with a driving beat to move the whole thing along.
The Body by Facel Vega (December 12, 2011)
So I might be reaching here, but behind the up-front toughness that is this ”hardcore” album, I hear a paranoid frantic undertone. Similar in tone to Caleb from Kings of Leon before they became huge pussies. Overall, the album actually stays consistent and delivers, although this one’s definitely not for everyone.
- Big Boss