NEW MUSIC FRIDAY - abbreviated (in light of RSD DROP ONE coming) but packed with POWER!
Days before RSD Drop One and while the releases are flooding in - hoping y'all will make plans to join us in person, online, in the ether of dreams.
SWEET TRIP - A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals [CD](Darla)
No matter where you turn on this album, the songs of Sweet Trip envelope you in their distant world of bright guitars, ethereal voices, and out-of-this-world cosmic synths. “A Tiny House” is structured as an album to experience a la “Loveless” or even “Moon Safari.” Its wide range of song styles adjusts to the ever-changing palette in use. While they paint all their tracks like glistening Seventies Pop, there is a hint of Paisley Underground and even Sixties French Pop (“In Sound, We Found Each Other.”) “Chapters” strings together all the ideas into one stream-of-consciousness burst of drum machines and spinning melodies. If it all feels like a dream, it is supposed to be. “A Tiny House” is about to go a long way in establishing this critical darling as the new Indie Rock go-to.
CENTURY EGG - Little Piece of Hair [LP](Forward Music Group)
Nova Scotia’s fever-pitch Power Pop quartet needs only six songs to demonstrate their width and breadth. As a whole, the mixture of personal yet thought-provoking lyrics and the punky drive behind it are definitely the recipe for future standout material. However, the general thrust of the rhythm section and the inventiveness of guitarist Robert Drisdelle really free singer Shane Keyu Song to do as she pleases. Very promising.
UPTOWN BONES - Time To Die [LP](Sister Raygun)
LITTLE KID - Sun Milk [LP](Republic of Music)
This Philadelphia band from 1986 finds a great AmerIndie medium between the screeching drama of Squirrel Bait (“Slowing Something” and the reverb-drenched larynx melter “Flowers Fall”) and the stop/start almost-Cowpunk of Uncle Tupelo. As Uptown Bones grows into more of a Rock band, the production brings out some of their best ideas that you sense were planned and fleshed out in front of a live audience. With the late Eighties/early Nineties were the upward zoom of Alternative music, Uptown Bones stay faithful to their beginnings.
Forward into the 2010’s, Toronto’s Little Kid followed a lot of bands into the slipstream of writing personal, evocative, and gently changing music a la Built To Spill or Modest Mouse (“Ugly Moon.”) The mystery of “Sun Milk” is how this record may sound meek (Kenny Boothby’s quiet singing) but remains mighty. The opener “The Fourth” needs every second to build in its doomy mood before starting the verse. However once Boothby woos you inside “when you least expect it/you might get your throat slit .“ On the other side of the coin, the beautiful wordless melodies in the middle of “Drag Your Cloud,” are enough to make you sample their whole catalog as we eagerly await new music from this trio.
ERIC SLICK - Wiseacre [LP/CD](Slick Records)
Philadelphia’s new prince of Power Pop richly deserves a radio hit. His songs are breezy and bittersweet. “Closer To Heaven” is just that warped chord pattern that matches his weird sense of humor. Then he brings in strings and Natalie Prass for a glamour, staccato-meets-legato female chorus. Elsewhere “When It Comes Down To It” provides the perfect echo of both Eighties Phil Seymour and modern-day Mac DeMarco. If there is an ease here (“Children,”) it is because the midtempo jams are a better fit for his fountain of production ideas. If this was 1979, you would be hearing these songs everywhere. “Wiseacre” is pure pop, well-written, bearing hooks that you be humming all weekend.
SOMNURI - Nefarious Wave [LP/CD](Blues Funeral)
The Brooklyn trio bashes out some seriously HEAVY metal. “Beyond Your Last Breath” encapsulates early Metallica in its chainmail riffing and Black Flag in its string-skipping melodic trickery. Somnuri grinds straight from uptempo thrash into a headbanging chorus and back again without missing a beat. When they slow down for “Desire Lines,” they grasp as Shoegazer textures and sound like Nothing. However, always a Metal band, when Somnuri sees the chance to latch onto a screaming riff even for a few seconds - they give it all they have.
DITTERICH VON EULER-DONNERSPERG - Weisheit aus des Kindes Mund..[LP](A Colourful Storm AUS)
LIV LANDRY, SEAN MCCANN, AND ERIC SCHMID - St. Francis [LP](Recital)
“Weisheit” makes music out of everything non-musical. Hints of distortion buzz above a haunting organ. Vocal samples (in German) drift into and out of the diaphanous mix. The readings from the artist’s children are the only constant. At their most animated (“Das Gruselschiff des kleinen Fritz,”) they provide a frightening counterpoint to the sick synths and off-kilter sounds in the background. “Weisheit” is avant-garde minimalism meeting Industrial-era Throbbing Gristle to create some quiet, unsettling weirdness.
Landry/McCann/Schmid take the von Euler-Donnesperg a few steps further on “St. Francis.” What you cannot verbal understand becomes what you must understand as these sonic experiments regularly meditate on the meaning of prayer. What is uncertain as you wade through the spinning eddies of noise and unknown sound is the certainty and devotion of those who are reading. In its most Reich-ian way, it leaves it up to you to decide. In religious terms, “St.Francis” refuses to be all things to all people - instead of making you figure it out for yourself.
ENJI - Ursgal [LP](Squama GER)
Mongolian singer Enji composes with her voice. It is a pure almost spectral instrument that finds a way to make the mode and intervals native to her homeland sound a little more like Carmen McRae. The full-throated passages of her music are riveting, but Enji really captures your ear when she simply sings softly (the sedate title cut.) This is all really emphasized by her continuing accompaniment from fleet-fingered guitar Brändle and the swell of orchestral instruments. Enji is stretching the boundaries of Jazz, but never letting on that this is music from another world.
We are closing in on the bullseye that is Record Store Day-Drop One! With that, we will write as much as we can about those new releases that you simply cannot miss. However, this is no slowdown - it is a ramp up! Thank you. Share. Comment. Enjoy.
On a final note, T-BONES would like you to know that Record Store Day is coming in two drops - June 12th and July 17th. This list of exclusives, reissues, and just awesome products will be invading our time shared here for the next few weeks. However, it is just another guest at the party. There’s no slowing us down. Tell your friends about us.
Enjoy. Share. And check out the entire RSD list and even WISHLIST us if you like. RSD 21 with TBONES
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