Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Son Lux - Lanterns
Within the grit of honesty is something rather beautiful, even if that something first appears rather chilling. For it’s the way in which the darkness marries the light that makes us see the brilliance of our world, as contrast translates the difference between good and evil while providing us the definition we need to gather meaning from all that we experience. It’s this marriage of light and dark that makes life so fascinating, so endlessly exciting and unpredictable.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Lest you think I had completely given up on Mixtape Muse, something has, once again, brought me back to the fold. And while I'm sure there is a ton of great music I've neglected in my mess of an inbox, I've found myself scanning through Bandcamp as of late. About a week ago, I came across one particular October release that caught my attention. But of course, as it turns out, Sydney, Australia's Panama was one of those many recent submissions I've neglected -- so now I just feel foolish.
This electro pop quartet's latest release, the 3-song Always EP, is a refreshing collection of piano-laden, synth-seasoned, infectious tracks that dig deep thanks to the group's subtle inclusion of disco, new wave, and house. It's the sound of dusk dissolving to night, slipping under the wash of the moonlight. If you dug the title track above, hear the entire EP below.
Friday, October 04, 2013
In 2011, UK instrumental math rock/post rock/post-hardcore trio Brontide released one of the year's best albums with their debut LP, Sans Souci. That album was consistently strong throughout, playing out like one giant riff-fest with each song connecting to the next; it was a behemoth of musical proficiency and dizzying, exciting arrangements. Naturally, quite a few people around the globe, including me, have been anxiously awaiting the band's follow-up album, one that's been teased since the tail end of last year. No official release date has been offered, but new music has started to surface online.
A few months ago, Brontide performed a 3-song set for Glasgow's CutLooseTV, featuring two standout Sans Souci tracks ("Matador" and "Arioso") as well as a new song entitled "Tonitro." If there's one thing to say off the bat about "Tonitro," it has to be that Brontide are on track to deliver a rather impressive sophomore effort -- no "sophomore slump" to be found, I'm sure. "Tonitro" starts with a whisper and ends with a roar, beginning with a gentle guitar riff and erupting near its conclusion under the tension of layered riffs, synth patches, rumbling bass, and frantic drums. And to give credit where credit is due, Brontide is perfectly captured by the CutLooseTV's fantastic camera work, mixing, and editing. Cheers. Catch "Tonitro" below.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Kicking of this fine week, Mixtape Muse has the honor of premiering the video for Upstairs Downstairs' single "Parkas Indoors," off their new, self-titled sophomore album. Animator Ric Carrasquillo's stop-motion work provides a clever, pensive visual treatment for this charmingly melancholic and melodic track that sounds like the sun sneaking glances through the clouds. With nothing more than some tape and imagination, Carrasquillo creates life out of seemingly mundane things to evoke a sense of lost time, regret, and longing for something more. It's a strong complement to the San Francisco quintet's dreamy indie folk pop song. As a pair, they produce something rather thought-provoking, with the implication that sometimes it's the little things that mean the most. Watch the magic below.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Toulouse, France's ProleteR, a self-described "swing-hop producer," has created something quite impressive with his latest release, the Feeding the Lions EP. Jazz, hip hop, soul, and, yes, swing, all melt together to brew something that sounds as if downtempo music became obsessed with decades old jazz and soul records. There's an understated cool and subtle grit sewn throughout the upbeat samples from those older generations, giving Feeding the Lions a classically modern, accomplished character that's undoubtedly debonair but quietly ready to get wild, as well (as the cover art above might suggest). Check out some jams below. It's all I've been listening to at work recently.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The brilliance of Nick Drake's crushing, quiet poeticism was certainly unique and undeniably classic. It was a signature sound, though, that finds its roots in the musical works of his mother, Molly (née Mary Lloyd). Boutique label Squirrel Thing Recordings released Molly Drake a few months back in March of this year, collecting 19 originals recorded in the 1950's at the Drake home by father Rodney. These never-before-heard recordings were beautifully restored by Nick Drake’s engineer John Wood, bringing forth a vivid sound that makes the Drake family's musical legacy feel all the more significant and relevant in today's musical landscape. Songs like "I Remember" and "Poor Mum" (below) demonstrate the source of Nick's vulnerable-yet-commanding voice, as Mrs. Drake sings over a bed of bright, lovely piano playing.
You'll be hard-pressed to find anything that sounds as charming and effortlessly exquisite as Molly Drake this year.
Molly Drake is now available on Squirrel Thing Recordings. Pick it up here.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I’d be lying to you if the title of this song alone didn’t provoke me to hit play. Aside from the quaintly wonderful band name, calling your song “She’s A Fucking Angel (From Fucking Heaven)” pretty much leaves no doubt as to how you feel about a girl -- and, no, surprise this was written right after a phone call drummer Chris Brokaw had with his fiancé. You can dress the lyrics up in as much metaphorical mystery as you want to, but, ultimately, this title is a bull’s-eye of honesty. And how fitting, then, that the actual song itself sounds like the heartfelt, no B.S. indie rock that most discovered in high school or college to hang all their emotions on. As if that didn’t all make things feel full circle, The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries has quite the indie rock pedigree: Elisha Wiesner (Kahoots) on guitar, Bob Weston (Shellac, Volcano Suns, Mission of Burma) on bass guitar, and Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine, The New Year) on drums. Rad.