“It’s Not Good For The Man To Be Alone” - Self Defense Family
There was a time when I was up to date on the ever-expanding discography of the proudly prolific Self Defense Family. I even regularly caught up with their attention-grabbing, opinion spouting “ask and you shall receive” tumblr. That said, even if I couldn’t tell you how many releases they’ve been a part of this year (twelve, probably), I’m always happy to see new material from them come to my attention, with their ever-more-apparent Lungfish affection (a joke that is either partially plagiarized or part of the public domain at this point).
They’re constant forward motion and they’re shirking of self-nostalgia is adorably endearing, really, and usually rewarding on a music level. It’s also fun to think about when considering this tracks’ dusty life tucked away on the shelf for the last twelve months, according to Familiy Drugs. This is a fairly excellent track with a home run instrumental bridge, Patrick Kindlon’s voice doesn’t even sound that bad here, though it’s quite muffled.
I look forward to hearing the other two tracks off The Corrections Officer in Me, SDF’sone-sided 12” that’ll be out on Family Drugs this summer [link]. It was originally meant to be a two-sided 7” but, well…
update: size matters. the SDF EP couldn’t fit on a 7”, so it’s now a one-sided 12”. more details later. listen here: music.familydrugs.org— family drugs (@familydrugs)
French skramz fiends Sed Non Satiata return with “San Andrea,” the first reveal from their upcoming new album Mappō. Opened with the expected post-rock slow build shenanigans, all slimmed down, seductive guitar and maddeningly patient cymbal taps, the track gets a big red “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” stamp on it for its achievements in the field of amping up anticipation. Get hooked, and use the band’s Orchid covers to help bide the time until the album’s June 1st release [link].
- Tyler Hanan
“Throw” - Laurel Halo
Yesterday brought Spin’s premiere of Laurel Halo’s new track “Throw,” taken from her May 20th Hyperdub EP Behind the Green Door (it also brought the casual use of “fucking” as an adjective and “stoked” outside of casual bro-to-bro conversation, but that’s an entirely different conversation). Talk of rhythm and techno swirls around the EP’s first inhuman, mechanical single, a thumping piece of cold clacks and bass blasts balanced with even chillier piano.
- Tyler Hanan
“Gone” - Rips
Much like every other blogosphere denizen, I sift through Bandcamp like it’s one of Macklemore’s thrift shops. Like any Goodwill, most of the wares are quickly passed over: threadbare, overused materials; obnoxious, poorly thought out designs that surely seemed like a good idea at the time; pieces that may have been functional once, but are now covered in… something.
It’s worth it, though, when you find that gem - or, if the diamonds are buried a little too deeply in the rough for even the most determined bargain shopper to find, something you’re at least willing to try on.
Thus did I find Rips, bobbing up in the rather unimpressive, murky brown sea of some genre tag or other. The Brooklyn foursome only has one song up right now, “Gone,” which they admit they somewhat stumbled into as a result of stellar chemistry and the simple quest to write a “decent simple pop song.”
In that they succeeded. “Gone” is as lo-fi as it gets jam that’s proves to be surprisingly nimble, with the good sense to keep the tempo up. It’s a quick three-and-a-half minute jaunt of raining cymbals and a lively little dirty indie pop bass/guitars combo.
It doesn’t reinvent anything but it really sticks. I initially thought “Gone” was a nice ratty pair of jeans I could get a few weeks out of, but repeated listens blew off a bit of dust, revealing something a little shinier [link].
- Tyler Hanan
“Drum Song 2” - Birthmark
I let the various Kinsella projects slip from my mind far too often, and the worst case of this is Birthmark. Nate Kinsella’s little pop project has been chugging along for six years now, with the best work being the most recent, last year’s Polyvinyl-released Antibodies.
Birthmark is now back in my rotation with a two song 7” being released by Landland on April 22nd. Those two songs are “Drum Song 2,” a delightfully funky little sidewalk bop that quickly coalesces into a full old-school groove, and backing track “Big Heart.” Preorders are available on Bandcamp, either with or without that gorgeous 12”x16” art print [link].
- Tyler Hanan
“The Seer” - Jenny Hval
As she sings through “The Seer,” Jenny Hval is enchanting. The lines come out like riddles, each one demanding a deeper meaning. Produced by John Parish - who frequently works with PJ Harvey - the two work together in cramming such a spiritual experience into a single song. “My body is the end,” Hval says as the song closes. She becomes singular. Her final statement is a fatalistic but also extremely personal conclusion, burned into memory. You can find “The Seer” on Hval’s upcoming album Innocence is Kinky, slated for release April 19th on Rune Grammofon.
- Kevin Tappin
Interview: Tyler Hanan [4/15/13]
Three-piece Brave Bird hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, resides on Count Your Lucky Stars Records, and released one of the best emo albums of the young year in February. Maybe You, No One Else Worth It (again, I love emo bands and their titles) was a vibrant shot in the arm of the year’s dreariest month and an LP that fits quite nicely into the high-quality, ever-growing discography of Count Your Lucky Stars.
Brimming with energy, generously peppered with those much-loved twinkly guitars, and given voice by multiple members as often as not, the band takes genre standards and simply does an excellent job exploring them (though that sample in the middle of “Healthy,” which I now wish I’d asked about, is a very nice, unexpected element).
We shot a few questions at Brave Bird about the album, the label, the tours, and a few other relatively recent developments. The band, then fresh off the digital release of the music equipment replacement fund You’re Not Quite Ready and the announcement of a tentative west coast tour route, was gracious enough to respond. Answers come courtesy of Chris, the man on guitar.
“Bite” - Emily Yacina
What do we know about singer-songwriter Emily Yacina? She’s located somewhere in Philadelphia, she’s occasionally assisted by the mysterious Alex G, and her sound bears some resemblance to a sweetened Sharon Van Etten. “Bite” is off her 2013 release Bloom, an effortless brush of Yacina’s romantic, acoustic croonings. Yacina’s voice strikes a happy medium between the lush and the downtrodden, making her the perfect singer-songwriter for these unseasonably warm days in the south. Download Bloom for free on Yacina’s Bandcamp page now.
- Kyle Minton
“Satan Made A Mansion” - Coma Cinema
Mat Cothran week continues, it seems. As we were enjoying the new songs from his upcoming Elvis Depressedly album, Spin dropped a new Coma Cinema track that rightly knocked me out. Coming from Posthumous Release, out June 11th on Fork and Spoon, “Satan Made a Mansion” is a full, lush home run. The track is filled out with homey production (it’s like he’s in your living room) and finished off with a surprisingly trenchant little guitar riff. Light, and goes down smooth, yet quite filling; I really can’t finish this half-backed food metaphor (I’m quite stuffed already), but I really can’t recommend this song highly enough.
- Tyler Hanan
“Beverly Wyatt” - The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
“That band with the long name” have premiered a new song, one that’s been waiting in the wings for a while, over on The Needle Drop. Carrying a title that would have me thinking it was Self Defense Family’s contribution to the split, it’s another nice indie-emo blend that hints at the big, united post-rock sound they present live. Lineup changes they may have, but still the band boasts a complete, captivating, climactic sound. Though sadly sold out of the pink press, the split with Tigers Jaw, SDF, and Code Orange Kids is still available through Topshelf Records [link].
For those that would like to find out just what I mean with that live sound, the band will be touring in May with support from Dads and Cerce [link]. The tour will run up to within a few weeks of the June 18th release of their Topshelf Records debut LP, Whenever, If Ever. I love emo bands, with their titles.
- Tyler Hanan