Tashaki Miyaki is an LA-based dream-pop trio who seemed to have dropped from a cloudy nowhere as dense as the wondrous atmosphere of their sound itself. The skies cracked open in March of last year with their debut EP and now they open again with the too-chill “Cool Runnings”, a song that feels like a straight-faced, buttoned-up Velvet Underground homage if I’ve ever heard one. You’ll have to try pretty hard not to be moving to this one:
“Cool Runnings” is from an upcoming limited “colored vinyl” 7″ (TBA on what color, but hey, colored vinyl!). Preorder here »
Considering the band’s been releasing tunes since 2010, it’s more than a little surprising that Los Angeles foursome Incan Abraham‘s debut full length is coming out nearly four years after the release of their first EP. Still, patience is definitely a blessing here as instead of rushing to put out tunes, Incan Abraham have been biding their time and figuring out the formula that works for them. While that’s mainly taken the form of tropical-inspired pop jams, their latest single “Concorde” shelves the tribal beats for something a little bit more commonplace.
That’s not to say that Incan Abraham have suddenly become boring but “Concorde” instead reels back those balmy vacation reveries to a much more attainable cruising with the top down vibe. Oddly fitting considering the band’s about to head off on their first ever nationwide tour and less fitting when you take into account that is horrifically cold everywhere outside of L.A. But “Concorde”, with it’s sun-dappled sprawl and technicolor melodies, is sure to bring them and all us cold weather sufferers a much needed hint of summery warmth.
Incan Abraham’s debut full length record Tolerance is out April 8th on White Iris. Pre-orders are available now.
I say with absolutely no hyperbole that Brooklyn experimental rock trio SoftSpot are without a doubt the best (or at the very least, my favorite) music recommendation I’ve gotten in recent years. Introduced to them by one-time showmates Lands & People, SoftSpot’s debut full length Ensō was an artistic thrill ride – unrelenting in its intensity and immaculate in the presentation and execution of its musical ideas. It was an album that relied not on a handful of singles to carry it but on the full balance of its cohesive flow; cyclical both thematic and melodically.
Now two years later, SoftSpot return with “You/Yours”, the first peak at their upcoming sophomore effort MASS, and it’s nice to see there’s no shortage of the trio’s immersive song construction. Despite the track’s downright casual tempo SoftSpot manage to invoke a sense of eerie tension. Part of that is due to the ever shifting melodic lines in the angular guitar riffs – Kinlaw’s acrobatic vocals the only real constant in the metamorphosing deluge. There’s a considerable about of interplay between the threesome – Kinlaw’s vocals soar and crane and rather than provide a steady undercurrent, guitar and drums react to her – providing not only a thrilling tension and release but an aesthetically pleasing regard for space. “You/Yours” is a heady rush of remarkably underplayed tonal shifts – proving that a less seismic shift is the far more impressive one.
SoftSpot’s full length sophomore record MASS is out April 8th.
Considering psych-rock has been around for about half a century now, it takes a truly unique band to offer up something that isn’t just a rehash of its halcyon days – Boston trio Quilt are such a band. Featuring positively resplendent vocal harmonies and keeping the jam band feel to an absolute minimum, Quilt are a band for everyone, not just diehards of the genre.
On “Tie Up the Tides”, a definite standout from the threesome’s sophomore effort Held in Splendor, Anna Rochinski takes the spotlight – voice clear as a bell as she supply navigates around angular guitar riffs and occasionally slips into the sleepy harmonic padding. There’s a decidedly pop slant to Rochinski’s vocals despite the instrumental interplay and the tune’s casual plod. “Tie Up the Tides” manages to slip a lot of Quilt’s charms into a rather short work – an instrumental break a very natural climax to the track’s subtle sprawl and excellent segue of the track’s distinct shifts.
Quilt’s sophomore record Held in Splendor is out now on Mexican Summer.
Alex, we are getting old. It’s hard to believe I first wrote about the music of Alex Schaaf in 2008 when he (and I, for that matter) were still both in school, except he was playing in a (now defunct) band called The Chairs. I still give him grief about the track “Polly” from his days in The Chairs because it was such a banger, often begging him to play it live. I digress but for good reason, why relive the past when Schaaf’s future was so bright after he birthed the moniker Yellow Ostrich?
He left the snowy Wisconsin midwest for the somewhat less snowy Brooklyn northeast, self-releasing until landing his own deal with Barsuk shortly thereafter. Yellow Ostrich are prepping to release a new record titled Cosmos that continues Schaaf’s forward momentum into the future, that is if we’re using lead single “Any Wonder” as a taste of things to come. With memorable vocals, strong songwriting, and a bass hook that contains elements of Colin Greenwood – “Any Wonder” catapults Yellow Ostrich from bedroom rock into a more alternative fueled universe.
Cosmos drops February 25th.