Mt. Pleasure manage to pack a lot into 23 minutes — their new and possibly only album Purple Galaxy contains 10 tracks of varied genres, all under 3 minutes each. But despite its brevity, the record feels complete, with everything from jangly indie pop to contemplative folk rock to interstitial drones.
When I first heard Yingvarz’ new album Ho Chi Minh City, I had never heard of Signalwave, the genre that presently defines Yingvarz’ musical efforts. Yingvarz, formerly SaigonSO, is from Vietnam where he composes Signalwave in his spare time. In that, he is a big fish in a small pond, being possibly the only Signalwave practitioner in his country.
We are discussing here the new album, Untold Stories by Bloom.exe, a person residing in Toronto but coming from “elsewhere.” His music incorporates pop/rock/punk/noise/spoken word elements but builds it out of a wide variety of inputs from written texts (by the artist), spoken, sung, and shouted as well as sounds, found, created, and manipulated, layers and layers of sound interacting with words and ideas, themes raised and then left behind like scenes out the window of a car. He may or may not be an executable, but his work is so theatrical, emotional, and individual that you can’t find a category to hold it.
It was November, in the first days after the 2004 elections when all seemed lost and revolution the only option, that I first encountered The Playwrights. Perhaps it was meant to be. The Playwrights latest ep, entitled ‘Guy Debord Is Really Dead,’ is dedicated to the founder of the late 60s political phenomenon the Situationists. The Revolution of Everyday Life, referred to in the song, is the bible of that movement. It was the right tune at the right time.
Heather Maloney’s new ep Just Enough Sun roused me out of my torpor on first listen. It wasn’t just that it’s good, which it is, but also that it reaches out and grabs you — with a lyrical twist or a strange saga or some unexpected instrumentation that makes you pay attention. The stand-out track is “Albert 1-5,” a song as unsettling as it is hummable, and destined to see some college / NPR radio play, I feel sure…
On their new CD Courtneys II, The Courtneys play to my weakness for punky girl power pop by people who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. Hailing from the Vancouver area, they share a certain guitar-driven northern mindset with other frustrated rockers from the snow belt — think Replacements and Husker Du — but with the kind of shouty girl vocals you might associate with 90s bands like Blake Babies and Kenickie. Yes, the 90s are back and it’s about time. Courtney Love is only a touchstone here — The Courtneys are no tribute band.
We first happened upon this record, Midwest Side Stories by Chicago Farmer, about a month before the presidential elections. Being Northeasterners, we were a little nervous when we realized that this was basically folk music about “deplorables.” Nowhere on the record will you find the word deplorable, but given that these are songs about mostly […]
Northampton’s Winterpills have been around for over a decade now and in that time, they’ve laid down an impressive body of work, stretching the boundaries of pop with their enigmatic lyrics and the harmonic convergence of their vocals. Their latest release, Love Stories, cements their growing reputation as masters of their craft, again stretching convention […]