Fresh off of a scintillating SXSW, including an Austin debut performance at this year’s Floating Fest, Sylvan Esso are pressing the buttons on their machine in proper fashion by dropping a new video for lead single “Coffee”. The single is so catchy, they could’ve made a lyric video using Comic Sans and I still would’ve watched it only somewhat begrudgingly. Luckily they didn’t do the unthinkable and stuck to something more familiar roots, shooting a 50s sock hop meets hipster house party in their hometown of Durham, North Carolina. If SXSW was an education institution for higher learning with a study abroad program in Portland, this video showcases the house parties that would undoubtedly occur.
It is oddly fitting that Louisville quintet The Deloreans are a blink and you’ll miss it kind of band. Probably Louisville if not ALL of Kentucky in general’s best kept secret, I virtually had my listening habits completely torn asunder when I happened upon their 2011 sophomore record “American Craze” and my mind absolutely blown when I had the chance to catch them play the very rare out of town during CMJ.
From “American Craze” and beyond, the band have managed to defy the very notion of genre – a fastidious pairing of old and new, The Deloreans are not however a retro rock outfit nor are they kind of band recycling their greatest hits. Their latest 7″ single “As Long As It’s You” make that perfectly clear. The sheer decadence and Bacharach-era pop of “American Craze” is gone but not forgotten, as the band ruminates and expands the record’s more heartfelt moments on “As Long As It’s You”. They just don’t need to rely on an orchestra to deliver that kind of arresting punch this time around. It’s a track that isn’t afraid to be dynamic, to be exploratory – undulating not only with an endearing fervor but with the complexity of musical ideas. The Deloreans may be a pop band but they have no intentions of being boring about it – packing their tunes with an interesting mix of intricate layers, practically bruising levels of intense longing.
The Deloreans’ 7″ featuring “As Long As It’s You” with b-side “As Long As It’s Here” is out April 2nd. You can preorder it now.
If you’ve been keeping score, this whole RY X is-he-or-isn’t-he-also-The-Acid thing has been settled, and it’s a “no shit” yes. That shorn, dispassionate half-plea of a voice can only belong to Ry Cuming, the Aussie whose career is rebounding after some thoroughly terrible major-label singer-songwriter John Mayer shit. On his way: last year saw The Acid drop a fantastic self-titled EP, and now for something completely different:
Dispassionate, like I said, but this is damn near masochistic. There are more than a few parallels to NIN’s 1994 career opus “Closer”, with Ry X’s breathy whisper ripping across skin as considerately as a duct tape band-aid. Industrial grade, minimal and abrasive like a drop of ipecac.
“Creeper” is a new single from The Acid’s just-announced debut LP (artwork above), Liminal, which drops June 2nd. Preorder here and get a download of “Creeper” today »
We previously sharedthe debut track from Orlando’s X priest X, which ties Madeline Priest with Saskatchewan frontman Chandler Strang. New song “Isn’t It So” rounds out a few-months-long effort to record an EP, Samurai which will finally drop April 15th via Swedish label Emotion (Karl X Johan, oOoOO). Listen below:
The fact that they’re friends with fellow experimental pop collective Friend Roulette should’ve tipped me off to the pleasant weirdness of Brooklyn quintet Landlady but oddly enough it took seeing them live at the first of Hometapes’ two SXSW showcases this year, which enabled my first actual listen, for it to become clear just how refreshingly unique Landlady is.
Their latest single “Above My Ground” essentially offers the gist of what makes Landlady function, while their live show expands on all of their charms exponentially. Built around a two-drummer set up and anchored by Adam Schatz’s soulful vocals, the fivesome essentially subvert the very notion of experimentalism by the nature of their being so convincingly sincere. There’s no feeling that Landlady is trying its damnedest to be challenging, quirky, and/or different. In fact, there’s no real feeling of off-putting impenetrability in Landlady’s bold, complexity-inlaid tunes. Landlady’s combination of its multitudinous ideas and collective musicianship is by far its greatest strength and certainly the one that provides their gateway to accessibility. Landlady are that rare band where the notion of genre seems downright laughable. You can’t pigeonhole such a band and there’s really no use in doing so.
“Above My Ground” might be the most straightforward track in the band’s catalog thus far but that by no means makes it any less impressive. It’s a song with more heart than your standard Brooklyn band can seem to muster but also downright seductive in both its subtle building of layers and its ear-catching nature. It’s an omen of things to come that should both frighten and excite you. Whether featured on an upcoming EP or a full length, “Above My Ground” hints at the total all-consuming quality of Landlady’s beguilingly rugged experimentalism. Until then, fortunately, Landlady’s debut full length Keeping to Yourself is available for your perusal. Dig in via their Bandcamp.