Body of Leaves are a 4-piece band out of Salt Lake City. They self-released their debut (I believe) album, Hell Nightmare, back in May. It’s 8 tracks of really well done post-punk-dark-wave goodness delivered through driving/pounding bass and drums, piercing synths and some amazing wall of sound guitar work. It’s really damn good.
I slept on this album WAY too long, but was shown the light last night seeing them open for Sweeping Promises. Don’t repeat my mistake, check out “Follow”, “Disclosure” and “Such a Gift” below. Do it! This is the good stuff.
Hell Nightmare is out now via their Bandcamp page. Enjoy.
Memphis trio Optic Sink bring the heat on their latest release (and first) with Feel It Records, Glass Blocks. It’s a bass-driven album packed with all the synths your heart desires along with crazy-tight digital percussion. Their minimalist approach comes off warm and packs a punch. It’s a refreshing take on post-punk. Check out “Live Illusion” and “A Face In The Crowd” (below) for a taste.
Ramona Lisa is the side project/alter ego of Caroline Polachek. Being influenced by the film soundtracks of horror director Dario Argento, Polachek assumed the darker persona of Ramona Lisa.
Polachek recorded most of the album on a laptop using MIDI instrumentation. She released her debut — Arcadia — as Ramona Lisa in 2014 on Terrible Records. It is being reissued today through Polachek’s Perpetual Novice.
Check out “ Izzit True What They Tell Me” below and while you’re listening you can pick up a copy of it here.
Worthitpurchase are the trio of Nicole Rowe, Omar Akrouche and Eric Van Thyne. Their experimental electro-pop sound (think The Microphones, mingled with the smallest amount of Postal Service) is quite compelling throughout on their sophomore LP, Truthtelling. Give album standouts “Anne Hedonic” and “Deadbeat “ (below) a taste.
Truthtelling is a solid album that deserves your attention.
With their second album, Excess, Automatic has proved that they are adept at both timing and rhythmic composition, as each song builds eagerly and each accompanying instrumental layer is carefully interwoven. While the lyrics reflect the presence of excess in a capitalistic sense, there is no excess present in Automatic’s musical arrangements. Everything is meticulously crafted, and the production on this album is outstanding. Most of the songs on the album begin with electrifying, charged introductions comprised of just bass and drums, with the exception of “Teen Beat,” in which isolated vocals precede any instruments. Each song swiftly transitions into synth-doused verses that, while reminiscent of the 1980’s, feel fresh rather than recycled.
The lyrics in Excess delve into the grotesque nature of corporate culture and, as a whole, provide an overarching critique of capitalism in general. In “Skyscraper,” a personal favorite of mine, the lyrics are “Up here where the sun has a beautiful shine / To light up perverted American minds / The white hand of luxury, so cool and refined / No trace of the miserable people outside.” Automatic effectively riffs about the inefficacy of a system where climbing the ladder distances one from the brutal reality that exists around them- that a win, essentially, is always someone else’s loss. The somewhat impersonal nature of the lyrics reflects the lack of compassion in a culture that values personal success at the expense of others. But the thing about Excess is that one doesn’t need a complete understanding of the lyrics to appreciate the album; it is as danceable as it is clever.
In many ways, this album reminds me of LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver, if LCD Soundsystem was a female-fronted band from Los Angeles. Excess channels Sound of Silver in its lyrical richness, production, quippiness, and dance-punk style that feels New Order-esque. Automatic’s vocal and instrumental approach is more subdued than James Murphy’s in Sound of Silver, but it works well, as it compliments the album’s commentary on the hollow pursuit of consumerism (like in “NRG”, which has the refrain “You don’t have a choice, so your body is a product / Was any of it real, all the things that you wanted?”).
Automatic has opened for IDLES, Parquet Courts, Tame Impala, and, come September, is set to open for Osees, but this album has proved that they have what it takes to climb a ladder that’s all their own, which, hopefully, will take them into the upper-echelons of the alternative scene where they can get the recognition they deserve. Excess is out now via Stones Throw Records and is currently available on vinyl at 3hive Record Lounge. In addition to “Skyscraper,” be sure to give both “NRG” and “Venus Hour” a listen.
Provo UT’s UPHERE! Records are releasing their new label comp filled with previously unreleased nuggets from bands like Backhand, Nicole Canaan, The Plastic Cherries and Homephone to name a few. All the profits go to help refugees in Ukraine, 50% to Save The Children and 50% to The Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. This is a KILLER compilation and it’s for a VERY good cause.
This post would be better had Sam or Sean written it. Their knowledge of electronic music is vast and I only dabble in the genre. However, I am really digging Soichi Terada’s Asakusa Light so here we are.
For those who don’t know (like I didn’t), Soichi Terada is a Japanese electronic music composer who’s been making music since 1989. His latest album Asakusa Light is jam-packed with groove and pulsating beats throughout, it’s a real head-bobber. Please check out “Double Spire” and “Takusambient” (below) and let his music speak for itself as it is way better than the writing in this post.
Asakusa Light is out now via Rush Hour and is available on vinyl and digitally through Terada’s Bandcamp page. Enjoy.
Nathan Womack is one half of the fabulous Paces Lift & Ben Bounce project, as well as the guy behind the Wax Thématique label. He also just released his debut single Past But The Dream. Taken from samples found while crate digging in Bangkok, Thailand and Guangzhou, China, Nathan has constructed two killer tracks full of funk, soul and groove. You can check out both tracks below, I highly suggest that you do.
Past But The Dream is available now on vinyl via Wax Thématique’s website and digitally via their Bandcamp page. Enjoy.
I’m not really sure how to accurately describe Courtesy’s sound, but it’s somewhere in the realm of: wonky, electronic pop with some heavy-ass beats and grooves for days. Their most recent album, Check The Milk has the wonk dialed back just a bit (versus their last album Slow Bruise), but there is still plenty of it with the heaviness and grooves cranked up to 11. CTM is one hell of a record – like seriously good – and I can’t recommend it enough.
Check out the album opener “Shell Sock” (below) for a taste. It’s so good and a great example of what to expect from the rest of the album. I just snagged the LP from them and I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can blast it throughout the house.
Check The Milk is out now via Seasick Records and is available digitally and on wax from their Bandcamp page. You want this record. You need this record. Enjoy.