Here’s a pleasant little piece of twee pop out of New York from Father/Daughter Records. Leapling are a new quartet of NYC music veterans consisting of Dan Arnes, Yoni David, R.J. Gordon and Joey Postiglione. Based on this single their sound seems to skew towards jazz and pop influenced soft rock, along the lines of indie darlings Belle & Sebastian. Though I am still experiencing something of a hangover from this genre – I am happy to report that “If You’re Patient” has thus far produced only positive side effects. Listen to the tune below and if you dig it you can pick up the limited edition EP from Father/Daughter. Get them while they last though – only 500 copies printed.
Fresh off their barnstorming jaunt in the motherland (err, the UK), local buzz band STNNNG–watch out Howler!–are dropping the first song from their forthcoming LPEmpire Inward. The record will hit the proverbial (and actual) streets in early 2013 on Modern Radio and probably will be given a gold star on NME at the rate they are going. Soak in the shiny new promo shot above while you listen to/watch their new song “Brain Dumb” and get into an argument with your music nerd friends whether it sounds more like Bill Hicks fronting the Jesus Lizard or George Carlin fronting the Fall.
Two bands who seem tied together for me, even though they are not, both released new songs today. Ducktails, the side project for Matt Mondanile of Real Estate, previously swan in the waves of warm pysch guitar rock, but have taken a sharp left turn with the first single from their forthcoming The Flower Lane LP. The track “Letter of Intent” features Ford and Lopatin on the synth and bass and a sultry, pristine vocal take by Jessa Farkas. It no longer sounds like even more stoned Real Estate, but now sounds like Chromatics vying for a spot on the Software label. Speaking of Real Estate, I always thought Beach Fossils sounded like a more energetic version of the band, and the first single “Careless” off their forthcoming sophomore LP Clash the Truth does nothing to dispel that feeling. They keep the sprightly melodies, the reverbed vocals and the slick, jangly guitar work. One group went back to the well for more, one decided to wander off into the electro-forest on the outskirts of town. Both seem to work just fine. Listen below.
On his LP Cornbread, Pearl & G, Greg Grease takes the listener down memory lane, visiting that period in hip hop (circa 1994) where everything seemed possible and songs felt like real, genuine stories. The beats are laid back, almost intentionally so, to highlight the gritty storytelling, and Grease has the skills that take full advantage of the sultry canvass. Listen below to the self reflection of album single “C.R.E.A.M” and look for a full review of Cornbread, Pearl & G, which drops December 11th, in the near future on Reviler.
I first heard of Tjutuna a while back when I got into Woodsman and I was checking out the Firetalk label, which is run by some of the guys from Woodsman. I actually think I got the Tjutjuna LP as some sort of package deal with a Woodsman record, but my memory is a bit hazy. Anyways, Tjutjuna have proven to be a great find, as they have an intense pulse that rushes through their songs, leaving a mile wide wake in their ambient sea. Their songs are spacey, for sure, but also have a deep groove, almost to the level of some of the stuff Wooden Shjips has put out in recent years, but without the classic rock vibe. Their latest burner is “Desert Song” and is every bit as heavy–and heady–as their previous work. It is the A-side to a cassette sing because, well, everyone is craving cassette singles, right? Grab it HERE and stream the track below.
I am on record stating my disdain for Odd Future (but most specifically Tyler, the Creator), but I have found myself coming around lately, first with the elctro-funk R&B of Frank Ocean and now finally hearing the genius that everyone has said all along rests in Earl Sweatshirt. His latest track, “Chum,” is the kind of dark, gritty track that I expected to hear when everyone made the initial ruckus about the crew. Over a sparse, rattling beat, Earl goes all in about his absent father, his childhood journey from straight A’s to stealing bikes, being “too black for the white kids and too white for the black kids” and back again in three jam packed minutes. If this song is any indication, the forthcoming LP from Earl might be the final piece swinging me around to the Odd Future camp, as long as Tyler doesn’t do or say something ignorant in the meantime. No word on if this song is from said forthcoming album, but one would hope.
The Menahan Street Band are an under appreciated, but spectacular, part of the Dap Kings crew. The band, featuring members of Antibalas, The Daptones, The Budos Band and the Charles Bradley band, focus on sultry instrumental grooves that transport the listener to a smokey club, bourbon in hand, from decades past. In a strange twist, instead of being reminded of the vintage soul-funk grooves that this music pays homage to when listening to The Crossing, I couldn’t help but think of what these horn punctuated jams would sound like in the hands of Madlib, Oh No or (the late) J Dilla. Some of the tracks are such deep grooves that they seem ready made for a (good) rapper to go to town on them, but all of the tracks seem tailor made to be cut up into stone cold beats. You can stream the record over at Rolling Stone HERE and the group bring their live show to Minneapolis tonight at the 7th Street Entry. The show will be kicked off with a DJ set by the good dudes at Secret Stash spinning some of their record collection.
I admittedly don’t listen to a lot of classical music. Navigating the wealth of material by the old masters has always seemed like an overwhelming task. And most of the new material I come across is either muzak or avant garde noise. On a whim I checked out English composer Michael Price, however, and I found that his classicalist (at least to my ears) pastoral compositions are to my liking. Particularly new track “A Bridge,” off of his forthcoming EP A Stillness on Erased Tapes. Price (who has taken part in orchestrating/editing a number of high profile soundtracks) claims that with the new EP he was aiming to “create a small Stillness in a noisy, hyper-connected world…”. And that is precisely what “A Bridge” does, via a beautiful arrangement of lush, melancholy strings.