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It’s funny what happens when a band slows things down. I’ve only known Phantogram in the context of their hits, which are decidedly bangers; songs full of frustration and sex and doubt, tension and release. But when we stretch things out to a single stark piston beat and a half-remembered soul sample, we see the tired vulnerability of a band who has been working very hard. It’s also basically a slowed-down version of lead single “Fall In Love.” It’s funny that they watch Lost in Translation and empathize with Bill Murray’s character and not young Scarlett. They’re just a tiny band with themselves for company, touring the world and bone tired. I like the new direction, which is more Beach House with bounce and less Sleigh Bells with soft edges. I’m not 100% sold on the new record, but I wanted to put this hear to remind me to keep listening.
New record comes out on Valentine’s Day via our old friends at Barsuk Records.
As I grow slowly older and the scene remains ageless I love seeing what disparate influences bubble to the surface. It’s almost always unexpected. For all the scribes opining on the massive influence of your Nirvanas and whatnot, it turns out that kids are actually taking cues from bands like The Rentals instead. Shot through with a jolt of whimsy, this little video from The Welcome is a quick burst of midwestern fun for your Friday morning. It is harmless fun — not debauched rock sleeze or overstuff pomp — just a couple kids breaking free from monotony on a motorcycle and cruising around town. And honestly, at the end of the day, sometimes that’s all you need. Good job, dudes!
We’ve got a backlog of drafts here in our wordpress — for whatever reason I’ll start to write up a track and then just never finish it, or never post it. Sometimes it’s like an mp3 link, or a just a lone image. Every once in a while I got through them and try to remember why I never posted something and I almost never come up with a satisfactory answer. I was going through them this morning and stumbled on this one — one of Dev Hynes’ many side projects, and one of the ones to feature Solange on backing vocals. It’s a bit of a throwaway, this EP, but I like it’s spirit — especially the closing track. It’s an ’80s style thumper full of nervous energy that hints at the urgency of Dev’s full length released late last year. I think this one is from the summer of 2011, which seems like a lifetime ago.
It’s nice to see Mark Smith (from Explosions in the Sky) and Matthew Cooper (from Eluvium) — neither of whom could really be described as “prolific” — making music together. There aren’t any surprises here, though that isn’t necessarily the point. Falling somewhere between the fragile fireworks of Explosions and the meditative textures of Cooper’s work, this first track from Invention is a six-minute soak in a bathtub that doesn’t go cold. There’s an enveloping warmth, the occasional splash, and an overall feeling of distraction-free peace. I’m excited to hear the rest of the record, which will be released in early April by our old friends at Temporary Residence.
So, Natural Child are a bunch of muttonchop hairfarmers from Nashville, and they have absolutely perfected the lived-in sleaze of an early ’70s Stones record. Now, they are obviously not the first to attempt this niche, nor will they be the last. But they play to their strengths, seem happy tapping this vein, and end up with some damn fine songs. The new record comes out at the end of February on the ever-growing Burger Records. Recommended.
Carcrashlander is the nom de music of Cory Gray, a Portland musician with many projects and many interests. You can hear that eclecticism on “All My Light Begins to Dissipate,” a song that sounds like everything from Tom Waits to Calexico.