"Prana" - East Forest
Gentle, uplifting, and unerringly gorgeous, the music of East Forest is unobtrusive and rapturous, intimate and expansive.
East Forest is Trevor Oswalt, a man of many arts and a world traveler in love with the serenity of nature. He strives to unite music and the technology we use to craft it with nature and all its most serene elements. He calls the result “musical technology” - “modern scientific sound healing knowledge with the organic field recordings of people and places he encounters along the way.”
I call it lovely, with sounds that seem filtered and distilled until all that remains is a core of tranquility. The vocals, where present, are very Sigur Rós in that they aren’t actual words, and in that they are merely one piece of a transporting whole. There is voice and meaning here, but its spoken through a chorus made up of those vocal intonations, minimal vintage keys, and field recordings (as well as, in “Vyana,” a tasteful harmonica).
The new East Forest release is the EP Prana. It is 47 minutes of cleansing sound that, while divided into five tracks, functions as a whole piece. It’s streaming on Bandcamp with release slated for April.
- Tyler Hanan
Nikki Nack megamix - tUnE-yArDs
tUnE-yArDs released w h o k i l l in 2011, garnering fairly wide acclaim for >Merrill Garbus. With its African influences and ululating mania, the sophomore album was a thing unto itself, something the likes of which many had truly not heard.
Well, tUnE-yArDs have returned. As is to be expected, it was with something unexpected.
The album, the Garbus-helmed project’s third, bears the title Nikki Nack. No odd spellings, capitalization, or grammar affectations - just an odd, alliterative name. It’s due out May 6.
Instead of simply releasing a single off the album, Garbus has released a mash-up of every song on the new album. It’s many tiny tastes instead of one big one, and it makes the tracks even more rhythmic, unglued, dance-inspiring than before.
There’s also that album art - bright pink bugglegum and a loud shirt to match, a baby blue strap over her shoulder and a watch of bright strings and streamers all about her. It is her birthday. It fits.
Garbus has also announced US and European tour dates, beginning with the albums May 5 UK release date.
5/5/2014 - Masonic Lodge @ Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles, CA
5/7/2014 - Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY (21+)
5/12/2014 - Village Underground, London
5/14/2014 - Berghain, Berlin
5/15/2014 - Nochtspeicher, Hamburg
5/16/2014 - Les Nuits-Cirque Royal, Brussels
5/18/2014 - Bitterzoet, Amsterdam
5/19/2014 - Café de La Danse, Paris
5/23/2014 - Les Schwab Ampitheater, Bend, OR w/ National
5/23 - 5/25/2014 - Sasquatch Festival, George, WA
5/31 - 6/1/2014 - Free Press Summerfest, Houston, TX
6/18 - 6/22/2014 - NXNE, Massey Hall, Toronto, ON
6/19 - 6/22/2014 - Firefly Festival, Dover, DE
7/19/2014 - Pitchfork Festival, Chicago, IL
- Tyler Hanan
Review: Tyler Hanan [2/26/14]
The story behind the creation of True Love Kills the Fairy Tale is an odd one. Ryan Graveface, he of Graveface Records and at least three other bands, described finding sisters Phaedra and Elsa in nigh catatonic states as they recited and wrote lyrics. The next day they dropped it off, saying they “didn’t even know what was on it.
Regardless of the story’s veracity, it isn’t needed to create mystery in The Casket Girls' True Love Kills the Fairy Tale. The album weaves an odd, almost unhinged beauty all by itself.
Interview: Tyler Hanan [2/25/14]
Earlier this month, Savannah trio The Casket Girls released the weird-yet-wonderful True Love Kills the Fairy Tale on Graveface Records. Our review of the album is up (hint: note the use of “wonderful”). For today, we’re sharing with you a brief conversation with the band. Though currently on the Graveface Roadshow and still smarting from their van being wrecked in New York, the band found the time to give us some insight into recent endeavors.
"Down From the Rafters" - Hundred Waters
"Down From the Rafters" is the best of Hundred Waters, a subtle panoply of fragile, slightly exotic, and unerringly beautiful sounds. Even the name is apt, as it is the title of music that certainly sounds like it descended from an attic where the walls between worlds is thin. It takes the listeners’ hands and leads them through a place that only Hundred Waters can construct.
I’m thankful for the new way Soundcloud links embed. The full size art here is far closer to replicating the optimal listening experience that is the Hundred Waters website than the old Soundcloud setup. Would that we could actually face that corner and feel the chill that most certainly has seeped into and pervaded that place.
- Tyler Hanan
King Dude (T.J. Cowgill) and Chelsea Wolfe have reteamed for an aptly titled 7”, Sing More Songs Together. The 7” has two songs on it, the Cowgill-penned “Be Free” up above and the Wolfe-written B-side “Bed On Fire.” The collaborative release will be released on March 28 via Cowgill’s own Not Just Religious Music label. This release falls less than one month short of the year anniversary of their first team-up, Sing Songs Together.
It’s easy to see why we are getting another dose of this pairing. Eliding any business benefits, their voices are fabulously complementary. King Dude’s deeper-than-a-well intonations and Wolfe’s sage, smoky verses intertwine like they were meant to grow together, as if the owners of the voices are reincarnations of some long-dead folk duo who have found each other once again.
King Dude also has an album due out the eighth of the next month. Simply titled Fear, even this twosome’s full-lengths (Fear and Wolfe’s Pain Is Beauty) are similar.
- Tyler Hanan
Fragmented World Trailer - Split Single
Split Single, the project of Jason Narducy (Verboten, Bob Mould’s band) has been kicking around for a bit, but the debut album is just now coming out.
The solo project grabs headlines by way of Britt Daniel (Spoon) and Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats) backing him, two names that seem to earn the focus of the big print.
That’s not wholly a bad thing though, even if it is a bit misleading. The songs we’ve heard already, embedded below, are thrilling (if familiar) older indie rock fare, a sound you’d expect of these veterans and their backgrounds.
Fragmented World is due out April 1.
Fragmented World tracklist:
- Waiting for the Sun
- Last Goodbye
- Fragmented World
- Made For Breaking
- Love Is You
- Never Look Back
- My Eyes
- My Heart Is Your Shadow
"Kerosene Girl" - Young Widows
Young Widows have always made grim and deafening rock, harsh and abrasive stuff that pummeled listeners, but the trio hasn’t released a track quite like this one. It’s a truly electrifying track, a transfixing five-minute descent into obsession and madness. Evan Patterson is unhinged here, and pulsing, maddening guitar riddles everything.
It’s beyond bursting at the seams, and it gives a hint that Young Widows’ fourth album could be well beyond their usual consistent quality. It will be interesting to track the tenor of the album - the finest tracks on In and Out of Youth and Lightness were the more measured and patient tracks.
Easy Pain is due out from Temporary Residence Ltd on May 13.
- Tyler Hanan
"Home" - Arrange
Damn. It’s been a while since we’ve heard material from Arrange, the main project of Malcom Lacey, and he’s returned with a doozy.
The first single off his new album Their Bodies In A Fog is recognizably an Arrange track, what with its unerring prettiness, its play with dynamics, and Lacey’s understated vocals. It’s (beautifully) familiar, but then those horns enter during the song’s finale - that is a finale.
From the sound of it, this album will have emotional heft aplenty. This track is only beginning to touch on the themes - though with lines like “If you’ve got the best of you/Then how come you’re haunted,” we’re getting pretty deep in already. We look forward to hearing more from the album, and to talking with Lacey more about it.
Their Bodies In A Fog tracklist:
- A Fog
- Heart // What If This Were It?
- Alumni (with Ricky Eat Acid)
- Dark Rooms
- Say You Will
- Tyler Hanan
"Babel" - We Roll Like Madmen
This week, We Roll Like Madmen released a throbbing electronic album called The Kids Must Die. It’s frenetic throughout, packed with six on-edge constructions that almost physically gets listeners off their asses. Even on the brief lapses between tracks and the more sensual “Samsara” it’s trying to make hearts race and walls quake as it oscillates wildly.
We’re spotlighting “Babel,” which is not one of the big, hip hop feature-brandishing singles. We’re big on minimal use of the human voice these days, apparently. “Babel” is simply a little calmer, a little subtler. There’s more space to savor the movement.
The album is available now, streaming on the Post-Echo Soundcloud and available from Post-Echo in the form of customized bullet drives or digital download. The album tracks are also available as part of the label’s Future Proof series of customizable 10” records.
- Tyler Hanan