Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. shallow swell is the first ep from electronic producer/multi-instrumentalist edapollo (Ed Bidgood), of Bristol, England. And it is the perfect thing to put on to unwind in the evening after a long day, or at any other time you need just over fifteen minutes of sounds that are soothing, but definitely not boring. I’ve included the whole thing below, mainly because the songs flow so neatly into each other, like movements of a symphony. Like it? You can buy the EP from Bad Panda Records at bandcamp!
Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Twang Darkly is Michael Futreal (dulcimer, guitar, banjo, gourdtar, harmonica, flute), Joel Boultinghouse (bass, guitar) and Troy Messina (drums) and they are based in Shreveport, Louisiana. You’ll notice there are no “vocals” in there; they are, indeed, a purely instrumental trio. And they are really great. Their sound takes elements from multiple traditions, including mountain music, jazz, and folk, and fuses them all together, with delightful results. All of their songs are excellent; I picked these three to share because I liked the titles. Skinwalker: This one adds some “horror movie” shine to the proceedings, and is both eerie and lovely: Modal Creatures by Twang Darkly Close to the Spark: For when the autumn nights begin to draw in, or any other time a fire must be built: Modal Creatures by Twang Darkly Sea Glass is pretty and smooth, and so is this song: Modal Creatures by Twang Darkly Twang Darkly on Facebook
Bermuda, the third release from Mosey West, of Fort Collins, CO, is named to reflect the spirit of change that has been driving the band for the last year or so. First they changed their line up – the current crew is Adam Brown (guitar, vocals), Mike McGraw (bass, vocals), and newcomers Max Barcelow (drums, vocals) and Nathaniel Marshall (keys and guitar) – and then they changed their sound, pulling up most of their country roots and taking a flying leap into the world of psychedelic indie rock. That might seem like a hard right turn, but the end result is more of a logical evolution than a complete re-invention. The changes have, if anything, given them more depth and warmth then they had before. Now as for the tunes, I only say they’ve pulled up most of their country roots because there are still one or two left, which you can hear in songs like Old Stone: Bermuda by Mosey West But the psychedelia is clear and strong too, such as in Hurricane Eyes where they really jam it out: Bermuda by Mosey West For the rest, head over to their bandcamp page!
True confession: I downloaded Lavender Diamond‘s Daytrotter session because I was intrigued by their name. I didn’t even read the description, just snagged it because it was there and I could and why not? That, as it turned out, was a A++ life decision, because Lavender Diamond is awesome. Halfway through the first song I was breathless and hungry for more. Happily there is more; the Daytrotter songs were excerpted from their most recent record, Incorruptible Heart, which you can listen to in full on Soundcloud. (And then go and buy it from them right away, so you can wrap it around yourself like a warm aural blanket.) The following are three of my favorite tunes: First: All The Stars, because every time I listen to it, I hold very still, so I don’t break the spell cast by Becky Stark’s voice: Second: Teach Me To Waken. The Daytrotter version is by necessity stripped down, and the piano dominates; on the record the drums roll and roar like the beating of a mighty heart: And finally: I Don’t Recall, which is spare, delicate and devastating. I seriously do not understand why this is not the #1 … Continue reading
Qallunaat/Odemin, the latest from WHOOP-Szo (this incarnation: Adam Sturgeon, Kirsten Palm, Gnathan and Starr Campagnaro), is a double album, recorded mostly in the village of Salluit, in the Québécois part of the Canadian Arctic, while Sturgeon and Palm were running a screen-printing program with Inuit youth. The songs are, collectively, an odd but dazzling musical kaleidoscope. Here, you hold it, I’ll spin the wheel for you: Amaruq (feat. Larry T) is the first song on Qallunaat, and is a low-fi pop song. WHOOP-Szo – pt. 1 Qallunaat/pt.2 Odemin by WHOOP-Szo They’ve built their nests, in the chimneys of my heart; those swallows that you’ve lost is both the title and an appropriate summary of this delicate, sweet little song, also from Qallunaat: WHOOP-Szo – pt. 1 Qallunaat/pt.2 Odemin by WHOOP-Szo Kirsten Time is the second song on Odemin and it is an eccentric, dreamy ambient delight limned with the perfect amount of distortion and fuzz. WHOOP-Szo – pt. 1 Qallunaat/pt.2 Odemin by WHOOP-Szo And finally, Mirror North, the last song on Odemin which starts out – not boring, certainly, but – like the soothing routine of necessary tasks done against the background of snowscape – and … Continue reading
The Astronaut, by Wax Fang, is everything you would want from a space opera: lush, sweeping, majestic, a little bit mysterious, and, since it’s about a lone space traveler who gets separated from his vessel, sucked into a black hole, and made into an interstellar god, a little bit tragic, too. After I had listened to it a couple of times, I had some questions for the band: Why a space opera? We wanted to do something big and bold, something experimental and transcendental that was in accord with our tastes in art and music. A metaphysical musical adventure set in the deep reaches of outer space just seemed like a perfect fit for us. At first I thought the three singles [The Blonde Leading the Blonde, Hearts Are Made For Beating, King of The Kingdom of Man] were independent of the space opera, but after repeated listenings to both works, the singles now sound, to me, like they should be part of the space opera. Were they conceived separately, or in conjunction with the opera? Why were they released separately? The singles were all written long before the idea of the Astronaut came to be and, as such, have … Continue reading
Oiseaux-Tempête, formed in Paris in 2012, is Frédéric D. Oberland (guitar, dark energy, keyboards, alto sax, field recordings, voice), Stéphane Pigneul (bass VI, sampler, analog delay, voice), Ben McConnell (drums, percussion) and Stéphane C. (field recordings, videos, photographs). Their first, self-titled release is a multimedia (music and images) project that is a reaction to the recent, ongoing political and economical unrest in Greece. Their songs are not protest songs, but rather a dark ambient soundtrack for a revolution. In some instances, also a live recording of the revolution, as some of the tracks include field recordings made in Greence in 2012 and 2013. The images that form the other half of the project are included with the liner notes, and there is also a short film in the works. Here are three songs – two long, one short – to serve as examples and enticement: Oiseaux-Tempête Official Facebook
Passenger Peru (formerly Pet Ghost Project) is: Justin Stivers (vocals, guitar, bass, synth, drums, drum machines) and Justin Gonzales (vocals, guitar, synth, piano, samples) and their latest self-titled release, due out next week, was recorded in Brooklyn and Alaska. According to their bandcamp their genre is neo-psychedelia mixed with garage rock and noise pop, which I’d say is about right. There’s certain amount of dreamy noodling but it’s dreamy noodling with weight and discernible structure. Here are two songs from the record: Heavy Drugs: Because you can only escape for just so long; sooner or later reality will force itself to your attention. Here is a song you can listen to in the last few golden moments before the hammer comes down. Passenger Peru- Passenger Peru by Fleeting Youth Records Dirt Nap: It is what it says on the tin – a meditation on death – but an oddly soothing one. Passenger Peru- Passenger Peru by Fleeting Youth Records Passenger Peru is available on tape and digitally; the digital version comes with two additional songs, including cover of My Bloody Valentine’s Don’t Ask Why as well as four (!) free Pet Ghost Project records.
The Paraffins are from Glasgow and Subhuman is their second record. It’s also a dramatic change of pace from their previous work. Created during and partially inspired by a long Ayrshire winter, Subhuman is dense, gloomy, and maybe a little bit claustrophobic. Like being snowed in, in an old house that creaks at random times and maybe has a ghost or two rattling crankily in the attic. Hippopotamized is not the first song on the record, but it is the first one I listened to. Continuing the house metaphor: this would be playing when the door to the front parlor banged open of its own accord and you got a good look at some of the things on the walls. Subhuman by The Paraffins Deep Space: for when you have put the kettle on and settled down to read the old journals you found in one of the bedrooms, while the wind whips the snow around outside. Subhuman by The Paraffins Intrigued? You can listen to the rest of it at their bandcamp page.