Since releasing some of their very first tunes in 2013 like the infectious floor-filler “Make It Good”, Brooklyn via Portland electronic duo MY BODY has certainly had its hands full but never really stopped working on their debut EP. It’s been awhile in the works, with a detour here and there in the form of stand-alone tracks like “My Cat” and the instrumental pseudo-club jam “If I Need You I’ll Call” which was featured on Kitsuné America 3 last summer.
However their debut EP Six Wives is finally out and while it leans a bit more into their R&B influences than they’ve previously explored in their past recorded output, the duo set themselves apart from the pack through a remarkable constant – a fluidity of interesting ideas. Bucking the trend of the doe-eyed ingenue just singing over some other producer’s beats, MY BODY’s Jordan Bagnall, a talented audio engineer, takes a far more active role in both the twosome’s song creation and performance. EP standout “Explode” is written from the female perspective gives glimpses of Bagnall’s latent badassery. She doesn’t sing with an obvious hostility but she makes some pretty fierce threats sung ever so sweetly: “Warning: if you fuck me over, I will find out. And if you try to hide, I will come down harder than you’ve begotten”. It’s a track that’s deliciously multi-faceted: an ecstatic sex jam with an emotionally biting edge. A slow tempo pop gem where the lyrical content has as much weight as the electronic bells and whistles.
MY BODY’s Six Wives EP is out now digitally and available for pre-order on CD/LP out April 30th which comes bundled with two exclusive bonus tracks.
Washington D.C quartet Pree are anything but a normal band. It’s obvious in absolutely every way they present themselves. Their setup may seem like your typical guitar, bass, drum, and keys but what they do with this pairing of instruments is anything but garden variety. “Two Feet Shy”, the first single from their upcoming full length album RIMA functions as a pretty concrete introduction, in fact.
“Two Feet Shy” greets you with a cymbal-born wall of fuzz through which the tune’s first melodies dreamily but sharply cut, before May Tabol’s voice enters itself (more occurs in the first 30 seconds of this track than the entirety of some albums). Tabol’s vocals, with their cabaret-reminiscent pointedness, are easily able to maintain the focus and following them instead of the myriad of instrumental turbulence is its own reward. Tabol’s lyrics are delightfully off-kilter, building off of themselves with pacing that makes their inventiveness all the more obvious. Tabol’s doesn’t draw from the typical singer/songwriter fare, but instead creates an interesting narrative that proceeds with a sort of dream-logic certainty. When she does pause to explain herself, it’s to draw attention to any irregularity in your comprehension. There are winning moments: “you and me and the room make three” Tabol offers, illuminating helpfully the song’s characters.
May Tabol’s no stranger to wellsprings of creativity though–a former member of experimental folk collective Le Loup, she’s teamed up with a talented group of musicians to help color her fanciful lyrical stylings. “Two Feet Shy” is a kaleidoscopic blend of timbres and vibrant melodies. Each part bounces playfully off each other, the guitar brightly shading Tabol’s vocals or proceeding on its own divergent path utilizing a multitude of different tones. There’s an ebb and flow in how the band will gather together or split apart from the main vocal lines that’s interesting to observe in its own right. “Two Feet Shy” is a short track–on the cusp of 4 minutes–but not only is it jam packed with wonderful displays of the quartet’s musicianship but also manages to be remarkably singular. They’re charting a new course in intelligent, engaging indie pop and if RIMA does even half the things that “Two Feet Shy” does, it’ll be a dynamic album for sure.
RIMA, Pree’s follow up to 2011’s Folly is out in February on Paper Garden Records.
One of the plus sides from me taking part in Panda Bear’s most recent PR diversion (a global takeover of sorts where for 72 hours Panda Bear premiered a different track from his most recent album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper on a slew of different radio programs around the world) is that it reconnected me with radio. With the exception of a radio program or two hosted by friends, I haven’t sat down and listened to a radio program. It was an interesting experience hearing what sort of music is popular in different parts of the world, providing an avenue for musical discovery that took me back to my early teens. And in was in that spirit while listening to FBiRadio’s Up For It! that I happened upon Melbourne electronic trio I’lls.
The music of I’lls isn’t exactly what springs immediately to mind when you think of electronic music but there’s no denying there’s a definite change in trends and expectations that allows something along the lines of I’lls’ “Fifty Phiphti” to exist. It’s not immediate; while there’s an ever-present beat from it’s start, the track takes its time establishing pretty much everything about it. There’s a sparse piano line riding along the introduced beat before various effects are spliced in. It’s an organic growth as everything kind of builds unhurriedly towards that one moment when it all just clicks together. In that moment about two minutes out from the song’s languorous intro the head starts bobbing, the toes start tapping and I’lls give every indication for making a surge for dancefloor readiness. But it’s that patient build: the slow-burning musical world-building in a manner not unsimilar to Jon Hopkins that makes it worth the wait.
I’ll be honest: On Logan Hyde‘s debut single “My Only Friend” I was too busy taking note of all his little psychedelic touches to notice what he was doing with his vocals, aside from those moments where he was hanging out in the rafters of his higher register. “Bloated”, the second single from Hyde’s forthcoming debut full length Innocence, was enough to make me immediately notice that.
Unlike “My Only Friend” which arced and craned both in regards to the instrumental melodies and Hyde’s vocals, “Bloated” spends its time on the ground, stretching out horizontally instead. The cosmic flourishes that served as the backbone of “My Only Friend” in this case are kept to a minimum – little flashes of flavor to Hyde’s lilting melodies and shuffling guitar lines. There’s also the notable introduction of the synth as the guitar’s equal instead of merely an ornament. While Hyde still uses it for textures, there’s moments when he strips the effects away and it gets to be deployed as another melodic device; occasionally leading instead of playing back seat to guitar.
If “My Only Friend” served as the proper introduction to Hyde’s solo project, “Bloated” builds on it. Everything on “Bloated”, from how Hyde use of layering to his vocals, is a level up from “My Only Friend” and shows Hyde’s growth as an multi-instrumentalist more or less in real time.
Previously: Logan Hyde: “My Only Friend”
Gosh Pith, the Detroit duo with that inexplicably-weird-to-say name, are doing their really promising R&B-dunked electro-pop thing this Saturday at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right. See you there?