Monday, June 11, 2012

Narrows - Painted (2012)

Formed in 2008 by ex-members of Botch, Bullet Union, Unbroken and These Arms Are Snakes, Narrows is (thankfully) one of those bands that doesn't try to skate by on street cred alone. 2012's Painted is a wonderful next step following 2009's New Distances. Dave Verellen provides the vocals that we Botch fans know and love over music that's reminiscent of what Norma Jean would've sounded like had Josh Scogin not left to form the chariot after the band released Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child*. Dissonance, horror chords and just the right amount of KICK YOUR TEETH IN, this record is not to be overlooked.

* Anyone who tells you that Norma Jean's first record wasn't their best record is LYING.

For fans of: Converge, Norma Jean, Botch, Heiress


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mount Eerie - Wind's Poem (2009)

I'm going to start right off the bat by saying that this record is Phil Elverum's best work since 2001's The Glow Pt. 2. I know. Big words, right? This isn't a "Phil's getting back to his roots" sort of thing, the two records sound nothing alike. He just happened to make one of the best headphones records ever. Trust me on this one, if you play it through speakers, you'll miss little nuances and do a disservice to both yourself and the record. Back in 2009, Phil got REALLY into black metal and decided to make a black metal album of his very own. Don't worry, you're not going to get a Venom record here. It's got slow-moving, gradual synths and droned guitar tones while still retaining the vocals that long time listeners of The Microphones/Mount Eerie cherish so dearly.

Music nerd trivia: "Between Two Mysteries" includes elements of "Twin Peaks Theme" by Angelo Badalementi.

Music nerd trivia (cont.): A section of lyrics from the track "Stone's Ode" were taken from the Burzum song, "Dunkelheit" (Varg Vikernes is still an asshole, though.)

For fans of: The Microphones, Thanksgiving, Xasthur

Monday, April 2, 2012

Geotic - Bless the Self (2011)

This one is a thing of quiet, simple beauty. While on tour, Will Wiesenfeld (Baths) made this most recent record under the Geotic moniker. Heard throughout this ethereal record are pieces of "Wind II," a field recording made at 2:00 AM of the Santa Ana winds outside his California home. This record doesn't ask anything of you, and it never will... But it's there for you. Lie down, get a pair of headphones and drift off into this one, friends.

For fans of: Dntel, Baths, Chris Zabriskie


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Alex Winston - Sister Wife EP (2011)

Welcome back, friends. I know it's been awhile. Rather than make excuses, I'm going to jump right into the next post. After releasing an EP of covers in 2010 (that includes an almost ethereal cover of Mumford & Sons' "The Cave"), American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Winston returned last year with Sister Wife, a collection of six pop songs that each stand on their own quite nicely. No two tracks sound the same, but they all contain her classically trained and delicately haunting voice that sounds as if it were birthed by Tracy Chapman and Meredith Godreau and is also by some weird coincidence, a distant (and much more pleasant to the ear) cousin of Joanna Newsom's. The song form which the record gets its name is pretty much a perfect pop song about polygamy. That's right, you heard me. Girl whose voice has an almost childlike timber to it sings indie pop track about polygamy... And it's good. Like, REALLY good, y'all.

P.S.: I've only just heard the album last night and I've had the title track stuck in my head ever since. Enjoy!

For fans of: Gregory and the Hawk, Hepburn, Joanna Newsom, Meggan Carney