"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
2014 is already killing it. I love a lot of music that’s largely lacking vocals. Apologies to louder bands like Against Me! and The Lawrence Arms, who both returned with some nice albums (especially the former). Those were great and all, but they’ve been overridden in this little corner of the internet by an ambiance-busting banger, world-encompassing atmospherics, and some of the coldest, slickest grooves to slither off the space superhighway. I can just let these albums happen to me, let them lead me on a journey through other astral plains of existence, man.
And yes, this monthly feature will usually go up earlier.
Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs
We’d been looking forward to this one every since it was announced. Sam Ray takes another hand at his Ricky Eat Acid moniker, creating a pretty album of nuanced ambiance. There is this one song, though - “In my dreams we’re almost touching.” It’s as enthralling as any song you’ll have heard on a 2014 album, a masterful concoction that will never leave your brain. Three Love Songs is precise, tasteful, and transportive.
"Feral Love" - Chelsea Wolfe
Alright, follow me carefully here. This is a music video for “Feral Love,” but it’s also a teaser to get you to watch another Chelsea Wolfe thing - you know, if you’re into dark topics and weird imagery and stuff. Any dialogue is solely made up of Pain Is Beauty lyrics. I was going to make fun of that, but after looking at the lyrics, it could actually be interesting. I should probably mention that I was a big fan of Pain Is Beauty.
Wolfe has co-written a film, Lone, with veteran music video man Mark Pellington (commercials you’ve probably seen, music videos from bands you’ve definitely heard of, films you likely haven’t even heard of), who also directed the feature.
Lone is a sight and sound exploration into the themes of nature, sexuality, memory, mortality, forgiveness, love, innocence, fragility, violence and beauty.
So said Pellington. We all enjoy some of those things, so tune it.
The release will not only be a stream, but also one of those nifty USB-releases that are that are probably way more practical than the similarly hip cassette releases. The flash drives will probably be shaped like a canine tooth or be the color of blood or something else weird and maybe cool.
This is either going to be really awesome or entirely too silly. I’ll be watching every second, probably. At least Wolfe they’re trying to do something interesting with Wolfe’s stellar songs.
Now seems like an opportune time to remind you of the Game of Thrones trailer. Also the fact that Game of Thrones is coming back soon. Dragons. Daenerys. Dinklage. Feelings.
- Tyler Hanan
"The Tower" - Wye Oak
Baltimore must be having a blast, everyone. Wye Oak recently announced Shriek, the follow-up to 2011’s superb Civilian, and fellow Baltimore band Future Islands announced Singles, their follow-up to their excellent 2011 release On The Water. Also, the bands are playing with one another on a few dates on their respective new tours. That’s a lot of Baltimore synergy to go around.
Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stacks made it very clear that their next record would no longer follow the duo’s soft-loud-soft indie-rock dynamic, something we might’ve seen coming from the band’s Adult Swim contribution a year ago, but “The Tower” isn’t too drastic of a break. The spine of the songwriting is still very much guitar-based, but a litany of glittering synths and stark keyboard work joins Wasner’s warbles. The best part may be that Wye Oak’s new window dressing didn’t damage the most potent bit of the duo’s routine: that slow, emotional crawl through Wasner’s voice as the music tiptoes to a close. Some of Civilian's best songs unraveled at a deliberate pace, and Shriek seems keen on building a brand new sound around a familiar pace.
- Kyle Minton
"American Horror" - Speedy Ortiz
Speedy Ortiz are as buzzy as could be after last year’s debut Major Arcana. The tuneful grit remains on “Everything’s Bigger" and "American Horror." The latter squeals and writhes like angst made into monstrous flesh, fitting for an album Sadie Dupuis is selling as introspective. "American Horror" is cathartically noisy, gleefully grimy, and functionally familiar, a specific combination that retroactively makes the band’s buzz seem a foregone conclusion.
- Tyler Hanan
"Chorus" - Holly Herndon
Holly Herndon received a fair amount of acclaim for 2012’s Movement, a fascinating album that helped vault her to a much wider audience (including us!). It was abstract and somewhat askew. Full of disarming, subversive compositions that were as much food for thought as they were for ears, it was somehow physical, visceral, and viscously tangible.
This continues, somewhat evolved, on new single “Chorus.” It feels like a wormhole or fluid space in a fifth or sixth dimension, bringing to mind comparisons to Oneohtrix Point Never’s R Plus Seven even before seeing that Pitchfork did just that.
Herndon “sampled her daily browsing experience, channeling YouTube, Skype and other audio sources across the web for data that freely forms atop a bumping beat.” (via RVNG). Again, Herndon fascinates with her playing with form.
The video for “Chorus” (a title one could write a mini think piece on) plays around with the subject just as “Movement" did. YouTube, Skype, communication. Our computers, the cluttered desks they stand on, the things we see when we communicate with each other in these ways. It’s arresting as it cycles through these still lifes, even if the meaning each of us derives is different.
- Tyler Hanan
"Entity" - Inventions
We were introduced to the idea that Eluvium and Mark T. Smith collaborating would be more than a one-time thing two weeks ago with the release of the Inventions trailer. We now have confirmation that the album will be as surpassingly, celestially gorgeous as such a union would suggest.
More tracks are sure to come between now and the April 1 release on Temporary Residence Ltd. Until then, impatient listeners will have to suffice with submersing themselves into the still tranquility of this track on repeat. There is no solace to be had in preordering yet, as that still isn’t a thing you can do.
- Tyler Hanan
"Food For the Beast" - Nina Persson
Nina Persson has kept busy, but it’s been a few years since her most well-known projects have done anything. The most recent releases from The Cardigans and A Camp were in 2005 and 2009, respectively, making the news of her first solo album even more notable.
"Food For the Beast" is the second single off Animal Heart, following up the title track (embedded after the jump below). The album is due out on February 11 on The End Records, with preorder packages available.
Persson wrote the albumwith husband and filmmaker Nathan Larson (also an A Camp contributor), as well as Eric D. Johnson of The Fruit Bats.
Animal Heart tracklist:
01. Animal Heart
02. Burning Bridges For Fuel
03. Dreaming Of Houses
04. Clip Your Wings
06. Food For The Beast
08. Forgot To Tell You
09. Catch Me Cryin
10. The Grand Destruction Game
11. Silver Like The Moon
12. This Is Heavy Metal
- Tyler Hanan
"F For You" (feat. Mary J. Blige) - Disclosure
One of the most important singer-songwriters joins one of the most promising electronic outfits to sing a delightfully funky track off the latter’s wildly successful debut. If it sounds too good to be true, allow this video’s glorious rehash of Disclosure’s “F For You” to prove you wrong, complete with the addition of Mary J. Blige.
If you’re interested in contrasting this with the original, head here and take a gander at how empty the throbbing beats sound without Blige’s enthusiasm. It’s a striking transformation. Deepest apologies to all you cool bloggers who are undoubtedly sick of Disclosure coverage. Hopefully Blige’s addition to the song will ease your wounds.
- Kyle Minton
"Satellites" - EMA
Oversized headgear and mustard yellow fingerless gloves - that’s what “Satellites” was about, obviously.
We’ve been given a official video for the electric EMA single “Satellites” from December, which previously only had some disturbing imagery of a flickering television and house plant to accompany the single that rather outsized it.
It’s more imagery than narrative, but the disturbing lo-fi imagery conveys the single’s paranoia and tension with aplomb. Erika M. Anderson appears and seems quite troubled by the world around her, but it’s the intermittent images of a cat toying with, and then devouring, a small bird that leave viewers the most unhinged.
The Future’s Void is set to receive rave reviews (probably) and blow the hinges off your consciousness (definitely) on April 8 via Matador, with City Slang distributing the day before in Europe. The album will even be on cassette. Preorder it here.
2. So Blonde
7. When She Comes
8. 100 Years
10. Dead Celebrity
- Tyler Hanan