NEW MUSIC FRIDAY back again to fill your newly found daytime hours with the best music available
Nights are not depleted in any way, shape, or form - plenty of music for all times of day, even sleep!
KARIMA WALKER - Waking The Dreaming Body [LP/CD](Keeled Scales/Secretly/AMPED)
On her album, Karima Walker manages to find a place where minimal synth music fits into dreamy Folk music. “Dreaming Body” aims for the corporeal with several of the tone-derived tracks eliciting feelings from your body. However, once you give in to Walker’s keen sense of organization, this “Body” is immaculately sequenced. “Reconstellated” opens the record with a blissful set of sounds and Walker’s voice leads you melodically. The entire album captures Walker’s life among the deserts and mountains. Winds howl (“Interlude”) and the campfire flickers as her St.Vincent-esque voice beckons you further. Even when you are mystified by the still notes and most haunting sounds, “Dreaming” (and Karima Walker) have so much to offer.
THE CITY CHAMPS - Luna ‘68 [LP/CD](Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum/The Orchard)
Memphis’s long history of instrumental music translates through this cool new trio. Like the throwback title, “Luna ‘68” is a retrofuturistic embrace of the Sixties heyday of this music and production. “Lockdown City” ends with a thrilling skyward progression that feels like it may never stop changing keys. Organist Al Gamble and guitarist Joe Restivo have a great rapport commonly trading licks and backing each other just enough to illuminate their tricks and trills (Restivo’s twang on “Lockdown City” and Gamble’s slow-burning solo on “Thinking Of You.”) Their interaction is pumped full of fuel by drummer George Sluppick who keeps the burner on one click below boiling. Some sweet Soul/Funk/Jazz from the city that put it on the map.
DAD SPORTS - I am Just A Boy Leave Me Alone! [CS](Grand Jury/Fat Possum/The Orchard)
Alex, Keith, and Miguel a/k/a Dad Sports have already figured out how to make some catchy, harmonious, synthpop. All six cuts on their debut are single-worthy with their verses having that emotional pull (check out the John Hughes-ian undercurrent on "Name & Place") and their choruses that teenage longing that never grows old. The bright jangle of "Many Faces," the clever slightly rushed chorus of the pumping "NRVS Again" and the romantic guitar-driven "GF Haircut."
The true test is that their Pop does not feel manufactured, "I Am Just A Boy Leave Me Alone" is pure and endlessly enjoyable.
FAKE FRUIT [LP/CD](Rocks In Your Head)
Oakland’s Fake Fruit is quickly coalescing into one of the most interesting new bands. Beneath their Wire-y exterior lies a band that is less calculated about being a group (excellent production here by Mikey Young whose excellent project The Green Child was reviewed here 11.12.20) and more calculated about freeing vocalist Hannah D’
Amato to explore a Courtney Barnett-esque sense of wit (the brilliant “Swing and a Miss” or the single “No Mutuals”) while their own parts bounce and carrom off of each other (“Don’t Put It On Me” where D’Amato boasts of being “the patron saint of time wasted.”) Excellent debut.
THE FALL - Live At St.Helen's Technical College 1981 [LP](Castleface/The Orchard)
The latest live trip down memory lane is a fairly pristine 1981 show from the mighty Fall. The guitars of Riley and Scanlon are interlocked, freeing Paul Hanley's drumming to roam freely. Heavy on the songs and mood of the underrated "Grotesque (Under The Gramme,)" The Fall is seriously coming together into the Eighties force of nature. "Leave The Capitol" is both sneering and danceable as MES takes charge and simply does not relent. "Rowche Rumble" sounds more organized than before. The layering of Steve Hanley's fuzz bass and the tinny guitar/blinky keyboard line makes it tough as nails. While they have not quite synthesized the formula for 1981's standout single "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul," those ideas are bubbling around in this performance. "St. Helen's" has MES in good form as a frontman/host and will send you to the "Slates" EP (a vicious "Prole Art Threat") and listening to "Jawbone and the Air Rifle" from the masterful "Hex Enduction Hour."
LORENZO WOLFF - Down Where The Valleys Are Low: Another Otherworld For Judee Sill [LP/CD](Storysound/Redeye)
As the leader of this project, Wolff definitely puts a different spin on the Folkie songs the underrated Sill ("Jesus Was a Crossmaker.") Wolff steps up the Rock from Soft Rock, yet his reverent revisits the Christianity prevalent in her music. Seven songs with eight different singers, "Valleys" rolls high (the stirring "The Pearl" with critical darling Bartees Strange and the revelatory "The Phoenix") and never presents you with a "typical" musical background. Somewhere Judee is smiling down about this redefinition.
BLOOD WIZARD - Western Spaghetti [LP/CD](Moshi Moshi UK)
Fresh from Nottingham punks Kagoule, Cai Burns' side project is a clever, laid-back strike as early Nineties Alternative Rock. "Western Spaghetti" songs seem to drift by design ("Halo") conjuring up memories of the post-Paisley Underground ramblings of Mazzy Star. Burns can whip out a chorus ("Fruit") or even a galloping, shimmering guitar adventure ("Breaking Even.") Burns' low-key vocals make songs wry and give him plenty of room for sonic experimentalism. Like Kurt Vile, Blood Wizard wants to sound "lazy," but listen for some burgeoning songcraft.
PIERCE WITH ARROW - Shatter [LP/CD](Dais)
This mesmerizing new project from Troy Pierce and Natalia Escobar (a/k/a Poison Arrow) is constructed like Coil making a romantic album. Pierce and Escobar’s sonic palette has a lot of room with this melancholic mythology (“Narcissus” ends the album beautifully.”) However “Shatter” is programmed more organically than expected conjuring up memories of Seventies Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Oxygene.” Still, Pierce and Escobar breathe life into music that is normally served cold.
SLOW CRUSH - Aurora [LP/CD](Quiet Panic/The Orchard)
The last five years have seen an uptick in Shoegazer bands. Most of them follow a pattern of loud/soft/loud and (to give them full credit) try not to spell out the meaning of their songs deferring to a mixture of ultra-low frequencies and the high, high, high ones for ethereal floating. However, when Shoegazer actually first ascended in the Nineties it was best known for the combination of giant beats and long, legato passages of music. Belgian band Slow Crush is a welcome return to those days. Like Swervedriver, their songs have some attack (and the looping/delay effects allow that haze to drift with them.) “Aid and Abet” is built upon a drum wallop and dense E-bow that sounds like a distant wail. Elsewhere, “Glow” and “Drift” open the album with 1-2 punch allowing Slow Crush to settle in. The haunting “Collide” is a low-key standout. This reissue of their 2018 debut is hopefully indicative of a new album on the way.
SLUMB PARTY - Spending Money [LP](Drunken Sailor UK)
There is probably no such thing as “traditional Post-Punk.” If there were, Slumb Party would slide right into that sub-sub-category. With the punchy, rubbery bass, barking vocals, and angular grooves, Slumb Party right into your set of X-Ray Spex and Delta 5. Now add some James Chance-ish saxophone on top and dance until your feet cannot bounce anymore. Slumb Party’s ethic is simple, these are songs to make you move. They can be subdued (“Existence,”) motivational (“Time To Stop,”) cacophonous (“Knife & Heart,”) or political (“Go To Work.”) “Spending Money” has a warped Pop sensibility and echoes the best Post-Punk of its early days (Suburban Lawns.) The best part is that Slumb Party avoids imitation to sound like they fit right in.
MICHEL CLOUP/PASCAL BOUAZIZ/JULIEN RUFIE - A La Ligne [LP](Ici D’Ailleurs FR)
Cloup is a veteran of the awesome Diabologum (reviewed here: 1.14.21) and Experience. With these expert players, “A La Ligne” gives Cloup the space to explore a small trio sound with a variety of instruments. The counterpoint between the electric drum machine and abstract guitar (“Les Neons”) is a welcome visit to the sound of Diabologum. However, Cloup and his group are more content to create a few different moods. “Travailleurs de l’usine” is evocative and builds, while anger fuels the Nineties rumble of “Le Tofu.” There are a lot of moments on “A La Ligne,” where the trio lets the tension grow and contract to give you the feeling of hearing it live. Perhaps the immediacy of both creation and performance is what Cloup is after.
FIRE! - Defeat [LP](Rune Grammafon NOR/The Orchard)
On their first album in 12 years, Fire! bring out some bumping grooves with Free Jazz on top. The drums and bass create a state of hypnosis where the trumpets and horns often act as a “melodic intermediary.” The album opens with “A Random Belt. Rats You Out” where Mats Gustafsson’s saxophone finds new sounds to make between a low honk and bitten-reed high screeches. However, Fire! never quite approach the skronk factor. The blistering “Defeat (Only Further Apart” is a masterclass in percussion and polyrhythms that is so great the Sun Ra'-ish horn parts layered on top only make it better. “Defeat” is an experience as all Free Jazz tends to be, but the spartan recording and the space between the parts make the whole thing worthwhile.
DVNE - Etemen Ænka [LP/CD](Metal Blade/The Orchard)
This Edinburgh Metal quintet brings together elements of Doom, classic Metal, and Prog for a bold new creation. DVNE are master riffers. “Towers” is nine-minutes of blinding guitar parts and subtle chord changes, while “SI-XIV” is a crushing overture to their album complete with both Metal vocal styles. The band is tight with drummer Dudley Tait making commanding changes and freeing up guitarist Daniel Barter to soar. Given their massive sound and sonic resemblance to Mastodon, Ghost, and Tool, DVNE is poised to breakthrough.
Jazz, Metal, Shoegaze, Pop, Rock, Electronic, Goth, Hip-Hop, R&B, Country, Americana and so much more. If there is a genre for it, we will try it. If it is free of genre, we will try it. Just know that we roll through it all hoping to help it land in the excellent place that is your screen.
Dedicated to JPK.
Twice a week, T-BONES places two playlists of New Releases on Spotify.
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