Glass Boys trailer - Fucked Up
Spring is coming. This afternoon, the interior of my car was nigh-toasty form sitting in the sun, a stark change from the ungodly cold that has greeted me after a few hours of inactivity throughout the past few months.
Even more exciting than my commute being slightly less uncomfortable, signs of life are popping up in the Fucked Up camp. Sure, there have been rumblings here and there - a live performance of “Year of the Dragon” at Le Poisson Rouge, a set at 285 Kent’s final show - but the next few months promise a new Zodiac 12”, a new album , and, it would seem reasonable to think, a new tour.
First, the biggest and latest news: Fucked Up will be releasing a new full-length this summer on Matador called Glass Boys. Given the previous albums’ success - 2008’s The Chemistry of Common Life won the 2009 Polaris Music Prize and 2011’s David Came To Life made the longlist for 2012’s award, with both albums being bathed in critical acclaim - it’s likely this album will be fairly huge. Given the recent trend of Fucked Up’s music - from hardcore roots to, really, some of the biggest and most ambitious popular rock records of their respective years - it’s apt o be pretty great. This trailer is only the briefest glimpse of the tidal wave to come. I wonder how many times Self Defense Family will get asked for their Fucked Up thoughts on tumblr this time.
In older news, Fucked Up will be releasing Year of the Dragon this spring.
As noted by Spin and others last fall, thought this will be the sixth Zodiac record official released, it is actually the eighth in the series. The band is working on releasing the actual sixth and seventh Zodiac releases, Year of the Hare and Year of the Rabbit.
Tankcrimes will be putting out Dragon sometime this spring. The label has released a compilation that includes an album version of “I Wanna Be A Yank.” Stream that and everything else mentioned after the jump.
"Cavity" - Hundred Waters
Two weeks ago, we were riveted by Hundred Waters’ “Down From the Rafters” and its art. Yesterday brought confirmation of the new album we assumed “Down From the Rafters” hinted at, along with the first single and video. The followup to 2012’s debut full-length, currently without title, will be released May 27 on OWSLA.
The first single is “Cavity,” a slice of ethereal and peculiarly fantastical avant-pop. It very much meets the expected parameters of a Hundred Waters track, only even prettier than one could hope for.
Though the song is indeed beautiful, its pairing with the Michael Langan-directed video is what takes listening to “Cavity” to another plane. Its focus on slivers of Nicole Miglis’ face, and on rotating and replicating them, two dimensional slices in a three dimensional space. When the sliver finally opens to reveal Miglis’ face, it is revelatory.
Langan explained to NPR how he created the video:
The director, Michael Langan, says he wanted to “play with the idea of hollowness, attempting to define emptiness by its edges, visually.” The effects in the clip were made not with computer graphics, but by using “a single flashlight, drawn slowly over the landscape and later ‘echoed’ up to 500 times to create patterns that fill the scene with light,” Langan says. “We used a projector mounted on a motorized lazy Susan to achieve the ‘sliver’ shots of Nicole.”
The way the video fits and enhances the otherworldly nature of Hundred Waters’ instantly recognizable style of pop is uncanny. The individual parts are fantastic on their own, but the whole is exemplary.
- Tyler Hanan
Malcom Lacey is an old friend of the site (and an old runner of the site), but any attention we give his music is entirely warranted. Either you know this or already, or you will once you listen to his new album. Today marks the release of his latest effort as Arrange, the eleven-track Their Bodies In A Fog, as a pay-what-you-want release and on cassette via Orchid Tapes.
On Their Bodies In A Fog, Lacey delivers some of the finer examples of what we most enjoy about about his efforts. This album possesses impeccable tact, patience, and structure, with the slightest sounds resonating far beyond their small stature. The big moments are fun to talk about, but restraint and the many small moments are what make an album like this so stunning.
The soft, slow-burning crescendos and big, cathartic finales he excels at are present - the horns at the end of “Home” are almost too timely. “Heart // What If This Were It” is a sterling example of his deftness with more abstract instrumental tracks, and “Movement” is a hell of a pop song. Also nice - those moments when the R&B influence is most clear.
Lacey was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Find them below amidst a few of the sounds from the album, including “Dream” and its recently released video.
"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