Salt Cathedral

With the release of their second EP (third if you count the Crossing Colors EP released as Il abanico) rapidly approaching, Brooklyn quartet Salt Cathedral certainly aren’t messing around. While already releasing “Tease” earlier this summer and offering up a remix by Kodak to Graph just two short weeks ago, Salt Cathedral are reveling in every facet of their new electronic focused sound while blowing up any previously conceived notions about their approach to it with each subsequent peek at the OOM VELT EP.

“Holy Soul”, the third taste from the EP that’s due out at the end of this month, is at its very basis one of those female vocals over beats songs that seems to be all the rage right now. There’s no denying that. Much of the complex rhythmic structure and interlocking instrument formations are purged in favor of something a little more pure to highlight what fans of theirs may have already known but a simple fact that it doesn’t hurt to reestablish: Juliana Ronderos’ vocals are the essence of Salt Cathedral down to their core. That’s not surprising – it’s the one unaffected constant in their recent genre shakeup and arguably the most compelling. Years of collaborating has only strengthened Nicolas Losada and Ronderos’ creative bonds and solidified their reliance on Ronderos’ vocal prowess.

Despite its sparse accompaniment, “Holy Soul” is a shining example of subtle producing. As the rest of the band stay well out of the way of Ronderos, it remains an interesting displaying of textural fortitude. The layering is slight but intriguing and absolutely crucial to the mood and even gets its moments of spotlight during vocal breaks. The big drum pad beats are there but the most monumental are the tiny fluttering click beats whose climactic rise actually form Ronderos’ initial jumping off point. With “Holy Soul”, Salt Cathedral display their diversity even going so far as to outdo the nuances of their previous ballad “Good Winds”. With such a multifaceted approach to electronica, you can only imagine what the rest of OOM VELT will sound like. Luckily that anticipation won’t have to wait too much longer.

Salt Cathedral’s OOM VELT EP is out August 25th on limited edition cream 12″ vinyl as well as digitally. You can preorder it here. In case you missed it, here’s Gainesville producer Kodak to Graph’s “Tease” remix:

HANAH

Good news is New York based artist HANAH seems to work quick. After premiering her debut single “Out of Touch” last month, she’s already reappeared with a music video to share. The video, which just so happens to be directed by Nicolas Pesce (the same man behind the incredibly epic Yellerkin’s “Solar Laws” video) appears to takes its cue from supernatural thrillers/horror films  in its visuals while also functioning to encapsulate Hannah Taxman’s listless, dream-referencing vocals. Films like The Exorcist and The Ring spring immediately to mind as the video’s sole character gradually loses her bearings/control culminating in an impressive and artfully shot bit of levitation. Taxman’s herself hovers in the periphery – functioning as a sort of narrating specter for much of the video’s plot.

 

Perhaps the most exciting part of the video comes from the amped up energy at the song’s climax as Pesce elevates the surreal images to full on phantasmagoria and and the mounting tension is released through the devolution into all out dream logic. Pesce’s talents for short form storytelling are subverted by his adherence to often bewildering unexplainable nature of supernatural phenomena and therein lies the source of the video’s impact. Pesce takes Taxman’s dissociative lyrics to their very extreme – creating an arresting take on the out of body experience.

Posted By Dante at

FILED: HANAH, Video

Redfoot

After releasing their debut single “Make It Quick” last year, New York experimental rock quartet Redfoot have more or less been biding their time. A show every now and then, a music video for the aforementioned single, but news of any impending releases were never anywhere in sight. All of a sudden, the band up and released their premier EP – a five song collection produced by The Antlers’ Darby Cicci that encapsulates their atmospheric yet still somewhat driving brand of cinematic art rock.

 

“Reversing Falls”, the lead track from the EP, is perhaps the most forward moving of the EP’s tracks aside from “Make It Quick”, it doesn’t rely as much on ambiance and musical place setting as the rest of the EPs tracks and perhaps why it’s the most accessible. “Reversing Falls” contains a wealth of worthwhile musical ideas but deploys them with  a sort of restraint and grace that allows the track  to maintain an air of simplicity. It’s a testament to what the band can do; uncompromising in their regard for space but still very much a talented rock band. It’s a hard balance to achieve but one that ultimately succeeds on “Reversing Falls”.

 

 

Their self-titled EP is out now and available for stream over at Soundcloud.

Posted By Dante at

FILED: Listen

Francisco the Man

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.

HANAH

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.

Posted By Dante at

FILED: HANAH, Listen