If you’re looking for a tune to get you over the hump this week, look no further than Ages and Ages. This Portland act is anthemic, melodic, and quite simply: fun. Once they hook you with alluring lyricism and a crescendo that doesn’t just build and build, but circles round-and-round like a ferris wheel offering different viewpoints, highs, and lows. They’ve got gang vocals that echo in your ears like Polyphonic Spree sans the oddball theatrics. The only thing remotely theatric about Ages and Ages sound is that it sounds like they recorded inside of a tree My Side of the Mountain style or up in a Swiss Family Robinson type treehouse. Dig in:
Way back in August, The Wild Honey Pie hosted an interactive music video shoot/festival called Summer Camp. Remember that? One of the coolest things about it was getting to see a bunch of New York based bands out of their element and the double-edged sword of that was many of them debuted new unreleased material that happened to be absolutely excellent. One of those bands was Brooklyn pop experimentalists Vensaire whose set was composed solely of new tunes that they promised soon would see the light of day. If the event hadn’t been fastidiously documented by the Wild Honey Pie staff for their video series Welcome Campers, it would’ve been a long, troublesome wait for Vensaire’s new tunes to arrive.
Last Friday, Vensaire self-released their debut album Perdix and unsurprisingly all of the tracks they played during their Summer Camp set are on there. “Finding It Found”, “Porteño”, and a curious little song only previously referred to as “6″ whose name is actually WAY more complicated. ”クロアシシャクケイ” is essentially the second single from Perdix and it’s translation escapes me. What I do know however is that many of the things that make Vensaire uniquely wonderful can be found completely within the confines of this track. It’s a veritable prism of technicolor and artful blend of folky dance pop. It makes subtle use of the Eastern elements that have no doubt inspired its name and has far more narrative depth than your standard dance track.
Vensaire’s debut full length Perdix is available on their Bandcamp now until it’s not so make sure to grab it if you enjoy the first taste, it’s well worth it.
Copenhagen’s Marlequin stuns with this new track, “The Fool”, that sees a beautifully shrill falsetto hovering over a deliciously 80′s sounding slow-disco beat. It’s a repeat-worthy jam if I’ve ever heard one:
Wait. Didn’t plucky dream pop goddess Emily Reo just release a full length record? The answer is yes. And yet that means apparently very little as the now Los Angeles based Reo teamed up with those cool peeps over at Portals to film a session featuring an unreleased song “Spell”. It’s like they knew their just wasn’t enough awesome music in the world, even after the release of Reo’s debut full length Olive Juice and sought to rectify that by casting another of one Reo’s experimental pop gems into the digital ether.
One of my favorite things about Emily Reo is how no two song are even remotely the same. While Olive Juice was stitched together more by tonal rather than textural or thematic cohesiveness, “Spell” or at least this version of it populates an entirely different realm. There’s still Reo’s trademark vocal affecting pedal-play but it’s arrestingly sparse, beguiling in its sense of solitude. It’s not until a third of the way through the song that anything vaguely resembling accompaniment establishes itself – appearing like a safety net you were never quite sure was there. And even then – the accompaniment takes the shape of looped harmonies, rather than anything else. It’s an avalanche of beautiful moments stacking on top of each other one by one climaxing with Reo’s emotive howls.
Long story short, “Spell” is downright devastating in its beauty. Despite its complex construction, it comes off with effortless ease and blissful rawness. Don’t be surprised if you find you’ve suddenly got something in your eyes – it comes with the territory.
Streets of Laredo are Brooklyn babies by way of New Zealand. They made their way around the CMJ circuit last month and turned a many heads, including the two ears attached to my own. Energetic live music doesn’t always translate well to recorded renditions (RIP, Gobble Gobble) but that doesn’t seem to the be case for this band of hooligans. They flirt on the border of folk music, seeping their musical tea-bags in the twang of hot water just long enough before ripping it out with triumphant melodies. The only problem is that they rip the tea-bag so hard, it’s left seeping in the twang a bit longer before they spoon it out with enough reverb to leave one’s head spinning.
I’ve got two things for you to do. 1. Listen to the premiere of their second EP Vol. II exclusively below. 2. Take a wild guess as to what I was doing when I was listening to, then, writing this post.