Los Angeles indie rock foursome Francisco the Man may have been plying their wares for the better part of two years (with the aid of Small Plates Records) but their latest single “Progress” from their upcoming debut full length Loose Ends is likely to rewrite those years of cacophonous pseudo-obscurity. Leaning heavy on the heady rush of an appropriately deployed wall of shoegazey fuzz in their earlier “Tiger”/”Broken Arrow” 7″, Francisco the Man have cleared away the brush someway exposing that solid pop roots have been growing all this time.
“Progress” is a hell of a tune, dialing Francisco the Man’s furtive pop efforts thus far straight up to eleven. While the quartet’s pop was hard won through a deluge of instrumental tumult, “Progress” is a much more winsome use of space and the band’s talents as the track doesn’t quite let itself slip entirely into the realm of sugary sweet pop confection. Francisco the Man hit infectious levels of catchiness but their earlier experiments in songcraft are not forgotten, as subtle but noticeable echoes of their time together shine through both in the production and in the textural interplay.
Francisco the Man might have gone the pop route on “Progress” but they’re dong so on their own terms and the results are better than anything we’ve seen. The right balance of ear-catching fervor with a looming electronic armor to separate itself from the throwaway pop milieu.
Francisco the Man’s debut full length Loose Ends is out September 30th on Small Plates Records. Preorder available now.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the most enthralling thing about “Out of Touch”, the debut single from New York via Boulder Colorado based artist HANAH‘s was the incendiary pyrotechnics of its climactic conclusion but it’s one of those moments that’s earned by the build.
“Out of Touch” begins by featuring HANAH’s silky but soulful vocals front and center with just the right amount of minimal accompaniment to keep the vocals properly in focus. But it’s the way that the harmonies glide together listless that makes the sudden upswing of the last minute all the more explosive. After relying on little more than HANAH’s vocals, her harmonies take on a clamorous edge and surge of electronics rise to meet her. It’s a moment you kind of wish could go on for longer than it does but there lies the appeal – it’s a bit of drive-by impressiveness that establishes in one fell swoop her goals of being more than just some catchy hit-maker.
Well here’s a new music discovery just in time to become your next definite summer jam. Meet Oakland based producer Broke For Free. Tom Cascino makes pleasantly chill, instrumental focused, sun dappled tunes in a similar vein to fellow California artist Monster Rally. That’s not to say that Broke For Free is at all reductive of Monster Rally, rather it’s nice to have a welcome addition to the style of tunefully melodic electronic music.
“Summer Spliffs”, from Cascino’s recently released album Petal is a delightful display of layering prowess and drawing songcraft. A guitar makes itself known almost immediately before jumpstarting the deluge of electronic sounds. It’s a song that expands rather quickly and for the track’s duration, Cascino fiddles around with the addition/reduction of its various parts all without betraying a sense of free flowing effortless ease.
Broke For Free’s latest record Petal is out now and available to stream/download at his Bandcamp.
There is arguably a certain mental image that comes to mind when you think of the one man band – of laborious hours spent mastering loop patterns, hopping from instrument to instrument, of such a precise sort of musicianship required that it almost seems overtly mathematical, of hopes and prayers that that same precision comes off in the live set. And for what it’s worth Atlanta multi-instrumentalist David Courtright’s Suno Deko project embodies that. But fortunately that’s not all.
With a lot of loop based production, the central conceit is that of subversion of expectations; that the one man band doesn’t sound like one man at all. On “Bluets”, the first peek of Suno Deko’s upcoming Thrown Color EP, Courtright takes his time establishing the necessary layers, building much like he would in his live set instead of offering up a preconstructed polished sound. The thrill of it is with each subsequent layer added, you’re still never quite certain the route “Bluets” will take as it goes from pleasant stone-skipped melodies to rocky guitar roars. The end result is firmly in the middle: melodic guitar pop with just the right amount of punch.
Suno Deko’s Thrown Colors EP is out on No Fear of Pop imprint Stratosfear on July 22nd.
It’s a sort of wonderful treat when an artist you like gets to reveal their own musical tastes and said revealed musical taste match up with yours. Such is the case with electro pop duo Sylvan Esso who’ve taken to performing a cover of Porches. “The Cosmos” on their current batch of shows. It’s delightful to say the least as the band leave behind their dancefloor ready jams in favor of a more intimate kind of number. Their take on “The Cosmos” is surprisingly sparse – a blanket of synthy hum while Amelia Randall Meath’s vocals arc and glide (and Nicholas Sanborn adds a bit of flavor with backing vocals). It’s appropriately chill, an enjoyable homage that highlight’s Aaron Maine’s quirky but intelligent songwriting talents while also showcasing Meath’s powerful vocal ability.