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"Spiral" - Todd Terje

The delightful Scandinavian producer Todd Terje continues to excel at producing blissful, pulsating disco that shines as brilliantly as this never-ending Michigan snowfall. This track is of relatively similar length, sashaying along for ten-and-a-half minutes. My toes aren’t even that cold anymore. They may also be numb. 

The other half of this Olsen Records release is “Q,” a track that doesn’t seem quite as grin-inducing but is nevertheless worthy of spending 12 minutes on, probably. Enjoy while I step away to find my slippers, and contemplate the unknown wonder that may inhabit Terje’s upcoming March 2014 full-length. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Advanced Falconry" - Mutual Benefit

Shortly before noon this morning, the New York Times’ T Magazine premiered BANGS’ video for Mutual Benefit’s “Advanced Falconry,” the big single off new (and, I suppose, breakout) album Love’s Crushing Diamond.

It is magnificent

The slow-motion video is also in constant motion, with every cut taking us to an uncomfortable father grimacing, a carefree grandmother flipping her hair, or a child brushing off her face. Faces in constant motion, hands never at ease, the video is the most tranquil success in suspense one is apt to see. 

The family photo shoot’s sudden evolution-by-devolution into something much more honest is a subtly profound and heartwarming event. A child eating dirt has never been more beautiful. BANGS’ video syncs up with the song in every way, both in the technical and conceptual motifs. 

For more gushing, read our glowing review of Love’s Crushing DiamondOtherwise, preorder the album from Other Music in a variety of formats. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Freely" - Linda Perhacs

Good god, the things you can miss when in a finance-induced coma. On March 4, Asthmatic Kitty will be releasing Linda Perhacs’ The Soul of All Natural Things, Perhac’s first album since Parallelograms in 1970.

1970! That’s a 44 year gap between albums. That’s longer than I’m likely to be alive. 

Julia Holter and Nite Jewel contributed to the ten-track, Inside Björk and Milton Nascimento record, a bit of news a certain writer for this website finds exceedingly delightful. This news was all first posted over on Pitchfork, where Jenn Pelly also reported that those two "helped revive Perhacs’ musical activity." 

I don’t want to simply cop all the information - this is why we cite things - but I’d like to at least include this quote from Perhacs.

We get too far out of balance and we must find a way to get back to our polestar. I felt that people needed to be reminded of that. My music isn’t just recreational, it’s not just entertainment. I have a deeper purpose. My soul is giving itself to the people; I want them to be helped, I want them to be lifted.

Tracklist:

  1. 
The Soul of All Natural Things
  2. Children

  3. River of God 

  4. Daybreak  
  5. Intensity  
  6. Freely
  
  7. Prisms of Glass
  
  8. Immunity
  
  9. When Things Are True Again

  10. Song of the Planets

- Tyler Hanan

"Swan Dive" - Waxahatchee

It’s that time of year. No, not turkeys and consumerism, but when several of my email addresses get “end-of-year list reminders” in one last ditch effort by record labels to grab press for their releases. But I’m not telling any of you to consider Waxahatchee, Katie Crutchfield’s brilliant solo project, for any list. Sure, lists are dandy, but I only recently dove into this year’s Cerulean Salt and was so swept away I was shocked NSB had passed over the opportunity to gush. Shame, Tyler. Shame. 

"Swan Dive" isn’t my favorite cut off Cerulean Salt, but it’s a hymn for those of us in our childhood homes this weekend, mourning the past and forgetting to be thankful for the present: “I’m ruled by seasons and sadness that’s inexplicable / and we will find a way to be lonely any chance we get.” Just a sad reminder to kiss your families and make sad mixtapes for those you care about, folks. 

- Kyle Minton

Album of the Week // Mutual Benefit - Love’s Crushing Diamond

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Album of the Week:Tyler Hanan [12/3/13]

Mutual Benefit is a project excelling at carefully and precisely dusting intimate spaces with fragile beauty. It strings these small, open spaces with gossamer threads, shimmering prettily in the light and bringing a spectral beauty to the moment. Disarmingly pretty, it worms gently into the mind.It nestles into one’s brain, echoing bliss and tranquility. 

As I’ve told before, I first fell in love with Mutual Benefit ages ago, when good friend and NSB co-originator Malcom sent me Spider Heaven in 2010 (and I’m I’ve been unable to disassociate the descriptor “gossamer” or the idea of dusty, luminescent webs ever since). Spider Heaven served up a massive paradigm shift on a ghostly platter for me, yanking me into the world of lo-fi pop and home recordings. 

That gobstopped wonder at the work of Jordan Lee hasn’t faded in the intervening years, nor have Lee’s own abilities. Love’s Crushing Diamond is his most rapturous release yet, and it’s one of the best I’ve heard come out of this specific music underground.

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"Everything All The Way Up" - Totally Slow

Introducing anyone to Totally Slow through “Everything All The Way Up” is sort of cheap. That’s not just because it’s the song off the pop-punk trio’s debut Wasted Days, but because it’s a hell of a lot darker than the rest of the record. “Everything All The Way Up” steals a few lines from Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” and funnels it through Scott Hick’s angsty wails. The rest of the record isn’t nearly as cynical, but “Everything” is the only one with a vital lesson pop punk never bothers to teach its audience: “Nothing ever sucks, but you’re gonna fuck it up.”

Stream Wasted Daysthrough Self Award Records

- Kyle Minton

"Tumescence" - Helms Alee

I’m not one for sophmoric comedy, but I couldn’t help but do a little head tilt upon googling “tumescence” (to reaffirm I had the correct meaning) and seeing the second result. Never change, internet. 

"Tumescence," the first track off next February 11’s Sargent House release Sleepwalking Sailors, is not in reference to that, though. I’m pretty sure. Rather, it’s a tense, lumbering beast. Bassist Dana James’ moments would seem to serve as oases in the chaos, but they instead stretch the listener out to be stomped by the rest of the track. It’s delightful.

- Tyler Hanan

"Void" - Superchunk

I was going to prattle on about the new Sky Ferreira video using my usual poor wit and easy pop culture references, but the Vevo and Tumblr’s intolerance of each other shot that down. And you know what? This is more fun anyways. “Night Time, My Time” left me feeling unsettled and more than a little dirty. Let’s hang with the funny folks.

Superchunk contemplate the titular void by taking on the role of “old folks at the indie rock show.” They’re too old for this noise. They’re too old to be at this skuzzy Shea Stadium show. They’re way too old to mosh. Uncool. Can you believe that old dude with the beard? What the fuck?

They’re self-effacing with a sense of humor, though, and they pal around with some cool comedy/tv people. They may feel uncomfortable, they may be out of place, but at least they have Jon Benjamin’s voice. 

Listen to I Hate Music if you’re behind. Top notch, these four. The video is directed by Scott Jacobson.

- Tyler Hanan

"Apart" - Yohuna

420 love songs premiered a fantastic new song last week, a not unusual occurrence over there. Their post expresses an adoration of Yohuna’s work that I very much share. Revery? Gorgeous. Her cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River?” It’ll be on all my Christmas mixes, which I’m sure I’ll get around to making at some point. Then there’s this year’s 4-way split with Emily Reo, MoonLasso, and Brown Bread, which I’ve already gushed about quite a bit. 

Let’s talk about “Apart,” though. It’s… well, it’s gorgeous. This song is gentle, moving, and, as fellow contributor Kyle relayed to me, “unbelievably crisp.” You’ll be hard-pressed to find a song more tranquil and soothing than this.

As I post this, snow began to fall outside this window that makes up most of the wall. It’s gorgeous, and timely, and perfect.

- Tyler Hanan

"Romeo Must Never Know" - KEN mode

A slow-motion video is oddly fitting for the seething doom emanating from “Romeo Must Never Know,” one of the more darkly enthralling track’s off the trios Entrench. It captures the track’s ominous patience, as well as the disarming nature of their live show - an element present even in front of the most placid of crowds. You see Andrew LaCour straight jamming on the bass and Shane Matthewson pummeling the drums.

Most of all, though, you see Jesse Matthewson’s dead, unblinking, soul-searing glare through the veil of his hair. It’s an image seared into my memory, dating back to their Torche tour stop in Grand Rapids. He’s actually a really nice guy. He just looks and sounds onstage like he’s going to rip out your heart and tear into it, all while paralyzing you with that stare.

The clip was directed by Christopher Mills, who, according to Metal Underground, has worked with Modest Mouse and Interpol. Who could’ve guessed.

- Tyler Hanan

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