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.
The other night Trouble In Mind Records announced the signing of L.A. band, Dummy. I hadn’t heard of them, but the news made me immediately jump to their Bandcamp page to check them out. Thirty seconds into “Pool Dizzy” was all it took – I was ordering their latest release, EP2.
EP2 is 6 tracks of engaging, ambient-leaning, kraut-pop. Check out “Pool Dizzy”, “Nuages” and “Prime Mover Unmoved” (below) they are all very hypnotic and worth your time.
You can cop EP2 from Dummy’s Bandcamp page and I highly recommend that you do. I can’t wait for what they do next with TiM. Enjoy.
Eastern Rain, the newest EP from Nathan Womack (who is also one half of 3hive favorite Paces Lift & Ben Bounce), is inspired from Womack’s many years traveling and living in Asia and collecting music while there. Eastern Rain is 4 tracks of music sampled, recorded and produced in Kunming, Yunnan, China. It features hand-pan drummers, local Guqin instrument players as well as additional synths and beats from (another 3hive fave) RUMTUM.
Eastern Rain is a relaxing trip abroad even though it only lasts for 14 minutes. The best part of this trip however, is you can take it over and over again any time you’d like. Eastern Rain is available now via Nathan’s Bandcamp and Wax Thématique. Enjoy.
I am a sucker for a solid groove and Landscaping’s (new solo project of Andrew Petersen) new album, Picturesque, is packed full it. From the Schroeder-like piano and programmed beats and clicks on “Woke Up On The Shore”, to the almost hidden (but way groovy) bass line on “Vacation”, to the full on 80’s vibe of album standout “Full Moon Lovers”, Picturesque is 26 minutes of wall to wall groove.
Give “Full Moon Lovers” (below) a spin, you’ll be glad that you did.
Picturesque is out now and available on CD or digitally via new label UPHERE! Records’ Bandcamp page. Enjoy.