Next week is the pledge drive, meaning all of you should tune in to my show from 10pm to midnight PST on Friday, April 12 and pledge your support for independent radio. For my April 5 show, I returned to playing primarily new tunes, opening with the stellar new track by Sweden’s Lars Bygdén, dropping in a pair of tunes by San Francisco post-rock outfit Tartufi, and crossing the pond to Spain for an amazing track by Soledad Vélez.
Here in Skagit Valley, we’re starting to get some sun, and since July and the Seattle to Portland bike ride is coming up, that means it’s time to train. Hence the photo above.
Check out the playlist and listen to some of the tunes below:
“The Hole” by Lars Bygdén off LB
Notes: Bygdén’s haunting melodies in “The Hole” will carry you off through the darkness. This song has the ability to sweep you away with effortless ease. The accompanying video is equally as masterful and creative. I wrote about the song and video last week.
“Glass Eyes” by Tartufi off These Factory Days
Notes: “Glass Eyes” stands out starkly against the other songs on These Factory Days, the new LP by Tartufi. It’s soft, melodic and dreamy. As the album’s midpoint, it is the perfect intermission to the typical ups and downs, swirls and controlled insanity of Tartufi’s brilliant post-rock. Watch them perform “Glass Eyes” acoustic and live below.
“The Hypnotist” by Owls of the Swamp off The Hypnotist (Single)
Notes: Rounding out a trio of pleasant, haunting folk tracks, Owls of the Swamp is perhaps the most accessible of the three. Owls of the Swamp conjures reminiscence of Glen Hansard while injecting a luscious pairing of finger-plucked acoustic guitar and equally melodious piano.
“What’s What I Do” by Last Good Tooth off Not Without Work And Rest
Notes: Last Good Tooth recently signed to Team Love Records and will be releasing Not Without Work And Rest on May 28. “What’s What I Do” is their first single off the new album and it is a playful folk tune with hand claps. The band is on tour now with Brown Bird.
“Black Light in the Forest” by Soledad Vélez off Wild Fishing
Notes: I fell in love with the music of Soledad Vélez the moment I heard this song. I posted a feature yesterday of her new video for “Black Light in the Forest”.
“Strangers” by Psychic Twin off Strangers (Single)
Notes: Psychic Twin is Erin Fein of Headlights. This project finds Fein at her most personal, while stretching her boundaries musically with mysterious electro-pop influenced by 80s new-wave. The name Psychic Twin stems from Fein doubling up her vocals for a ghostly, other-worldly sound.
“Diamond Mind” by Architecture off Diamond Mind (7″ Single)
Notes: I covered Chicago’s Architecture last week.
“Wait For Help” by Belgian Fog off Wait For Help (Single)
Notes: Not much can be found online about Belgian Fog. What I know stems from brief email communication. Belgian Fog is Robert Dale, a Los Angeles native now living in Seattle and working at KEXP. Only this song is out there on the Internets and this is it, but more are rumored to be on the way.
“Dreaming Without You” by Bleached off Ride Your Heart
Notes: After a handful of singles, Bleached finally gave us a full-length album in Ride Your Heart. Featuring fuzzy, upbeat pop songs, “Dreaming Without You” is my current favorite, but I haven’t given the full LP a listen… yet. That will change soon, for sure! The album is out now on Dead Oceans.
“Two Colours” by Legs off Pass The Ringo
Notes: I really enjoyed the video for “Two Colours” by Legs. It’s colorful and bodes well for the jangle-meets-fuzz pop Legs creates. Check out the video and my thoughts on it here. I’ve been aching to get this song on the radio since I first heard it.
“Echo Room” by Bored Nothing off Bored Nothing
Notes: Last week I wrote about Bored Nothing’s self-titled LP. Both Bored Nothing and Legs are highly influenced by early Flying Nun (think legendary New Zealand band The Bats). “Echo Room” is among my favorites from the album.
“Wordless Chorus” by My Morning Jacket off Z
Notes: I hate to admit it, but I haven’t listened to much by My Morning Jacket. I haven’t listened to their first one, I’ve only listened to Z. That doesn’t make me a bad person, does it?
“Furnace of Fortune” by Tartufi off These Factory Days
Notes: I’m having a very hard time choosing a favorite off Tartufi’s latest LP. What I do know is that “Furnace of Fortune” is in the running; at just under 8 minutes, it ties opening track “Underwater” in both length and awesomeness. Check out my coverage of These Factory Days here.
“The Chronicles of Marnia” by Marnie Stern off The Chronicles of Marnia
Notes: Packed with intensity, Marnie Stern’s music seems chaotic and frantic. And while it is indeed frantic, it is anything but chaotic; instead it’s highly and precisely organized, filled with monumental tension and an unparalleled brilliance. The Chronicles of Marnia is her finest work yet.
“Kingfisher Call Me” by The Ruby Suns off Christopher
Notes: I’m obsessed with the synth solo at the end of “Kingfisher Call Me”. I’m obsessed with the triplet that The Ruby Suns employ in the middle of their choruses. I’m obsessed with the vocals and lyrics. This is the pinnacle of what The Ruby Suns have created to date.
“Like It Was” by Mitzi off Truly Alive
Notes: Mitzi was the name of the wiener dog my family had when I was growing up. She was a chubby little dog and, unlike the standard dachshund, was black, brown and silver. I miss that little dog.
“Studies” by Toro Y Moi off Anything In Return
Notes: Chaz Bundick’s latest offering under the name Toro Y Moi is one part funky, totally falsetto and another part modern, dreamy dance-pop. The sound takes a moment to get used to, but just a moment. From there, you’ll be sold and Toro Y Moi will become a mainstay in your playlist. Watch Toro Y Moi perform the song solo on piano below.
“Border Crosser” by Trails And Ways off Trilingual (Singles)
Notes: Trails And Ways was my choice as best new band in 2012 that didn’t have a proper EP or LP to their name. Listening to “Border Crosser” again, I’m reminded just how much promise this band displayed in these three early singles, also including “Nunca” and “Mtn Tune”.
“Straight As An Arrow” by Club 8 off Above The City
Notes: I’m loving the handclaps and foot stomps in Club 8’s new album closer “Straight As An Arrow”. I recently wrote about Above The City; click that link to read my thoughts and hear a song from the album.
“Evil Coast” by The Mary Onettes off Hit The Waves
Notes: The Mary Onettes have always seemed to have a foot in the 80s, and it continues – to an extent – on their latest LP Hit The Waves. “Evil Cost” is their most acclaimed track on the new album.
“Your Life, Your Call” by Junip off Junip
Notes: “Your Life, Your Call” is a heavier, fuller track than I’ve heard previously by Junip, which is the full-band project by Sweden’s Jose Gonzalez. I really enjoy the synth lines Junip ads, the throbbing melody notes and upbeat accompanying percussion.
“Part of Me (Lysandre’s Epilogue)” by Christopher Owens off Lysandre
Notes: Christopher Owens’ Lysandre is definitely a concept album. Written entirely about a girl Owens fell for while on tour with his former band Girls, Lysandre is both highly personal and – signature of Owens – quite emotional. He adds in some very different musical themes throughout the album that set it apart from anything else out there right now, while maintaining a few of the core sensibilities he put in place with Girls. “Part of Me (Lysandre’s Epilogue)” is the final track off the album, and while he continually notes that You were a part of me, but that part of me is gone, the song doesn’t leave the listener depressed on a sad note.