After a little bit of a false start with a demo last year, Lands & Peoples’ Beau Cole is pursuing his Zu Shapes solo project in earnest. For lovers of the smooth, intimate bedroom pop of Cole’s Merigold EP, the new single “Tired Swing” might come as a bit of a surprise. It’s a rather turbulent piece of aggro-pop that eschews the hushed tones of Zu Shapes’ past for the grander roar of raw emotion. Part of the shift in sound is due to Cole teaming up with producer Mickey Freeland (Flock of Dimes, Sharon Van Etten) and another is Cole just leaning into the emotions the song attempts to convey – the sense of mounting frustration in an increasingly complicated relationship.
It’s that nugget of truth that imbues the change of aesthetic with real emotion and a sincere stylistic push. Cole’s always worn his heart on his sleeve but with “Tired Swing” you get a peek at the sweltering storm of a man discontent with the way life is playing out and intent on doing something about it. “Tired Swing” pushes Zu Shapes further away from the Panda Bear comparisons of Merigold and onto something wholly other. There’s an arena-ready rock grandeur without losing any of that intimacy of emotion that’s the most winsome part of Cole’s oeuvre.
“Tired Swing” hints at more from Zu Shapes and hopefully we won’t have to wait another four years for Beau Cole to make good on that promise. More here »
It’s been a few years since Luke Reed released his hazy, lo-fi pop debut single “Rivers of Love”, but the man from Somerville MA has been tinkering and sporadically releasing new material, including this pair of jangly gems released three weeks ago. Perfect for your summer playlists:
Quickly establishing themselves as one of the most dynamic young live bands I have seen, Hudson, NY-based quartet Palm have very little in the way of released material and even less in the way of released material that does their frenetic live show any justice. Even with a full length on the horizon recorded and slated for release sometime in the not-so-distant future, the band can’t seem to keep up with themselves.
Ostrich Vacation, a cassette released on the newly distributing JMC Aggregate, is perhaps the most reliable peek at the foursome in their present form and yet, so ruggedly experimental it’d be easy to diminish the band as some sort of indulgent mess. Palm are anything but. Each part of Palm’s playing is carried out with mathematical precision and yet with a totally human delivery. Complex rhythms and interweaving guitars are the name of the game and Palm are destined to be champions – pairing up their ardent desire to create music that is challenging and different with comparable instrumental mastery and guileless cool. Palm has plenty of ideas to spare and the title track in particular gives every indication of the brilliant alchemy achieved when Palm allow themselves to create without limits. Future releases are guaranteed to demonstrate their ability to refine but Ostrich Vacation proves Palm have a winsome amount of raw material.
You can listen to the cassette in full now and snag the cassette if that’s your bag here »
Chicago producer Gilligan Moss, whose excellent song “Choreograph” we’ve shared before and are sharing again now, is finally, finally dropping a more proper debut. Via AMF Records comes his Ceremonial EP, out August 14th. “Choreograph” was one of our absolute favorite tracks of 2013, so re-live the glory below and hope the additional three tracks can make similar waves.
Preorder the vinyl (and other goodies) here »
After releasing and re-releasing their debut full length Keep It Safe, Portland’s Wild Ones are plowing full steam ahead with new music in the form of their Heatwave EP. Wild Ones have never shied away from their synth-pop tendencies but “Show Me Islands”, the second single from the upcoming Heatwave EP, finds the band attacking them with a much more polished touch, the synths less in your face and instead weaved into the much more egalitarian fabric of the band’s instrumentals. Danielle Sullivan’s vocals remain as always the most effective part of Wild Ones’ songs but the subtly shifting dance-pop crafted by the rest of the band follow close the gap at a close second.
Arching synth touches and swaggering bass lines lay a steady foundation for the onslaught of lush melodies that makes “Show Me Islands” a contender for the Heatwave EP’s standout track. Never quite a weak band, instead “Show Me Islands” shows Wild Ones are capable of tightening up in ways no one could have possibly imagined, galvanized by spending so much of the past two years on the road and no doubt employing that live show energy to the studio sessions that led to their auspicious return. “Show Me Islands” is instantaneously ear-catching, taking what’s worked so well for Wild Ones in the past and refining it in a way fans weren’t aware the band even needed. Wild Ones are new and improved and on “Show Me Islands” they’re putting their best foot forward all the while inspiring all lucky enough to hear it to take to the dancefloor to do the same.
Wild Ones’ forthcoming Heatwave EP is out 8/14 on Topshelf Records. Make sure to catch them on their upcoming North American tour with Pure Bathing Culture.