Archive for August, 2012
The few singles I’mma share with will win you over, that’s my solemn promise. Failing that I promise a full refund to the disenchanted few. It really will be the few because James Teague is a rare breed of musician that has managed to produce something both interesting and enjoyable (exceedingly rare this year). His debut record is called Lavender Prayers and across its twelve components you’ll hear the full spectrum of influence and output, provided your spectrum begins with folk and ends with psychedelia.
That sort of reference is going to point you at one man in particular who, if you need a further clue, has a name that rhymes with Mavendra Tanhart. You’ll hear him in both the vocal quavers and the orchestrations but there are moments where Teague takes the psych-folk mentality that Banhart pioneered to it’s logical yet painful gender bending conclusion. Sometimes it’s just too tiptoeingly saccarine to be taken seriously. Whoa there folks, don’t close this window yet, there’s still SO much to be had from the Lavender Prayers. Luckily the vocal over-indulgence isn’t constant across the record with Teague hitting some sweet and free tones in songs like ‘Turn Your Back’
Easily, easily the highlight of the record is Naked Eyes, Deluded Minds which features an unexpectedly ballsy guitar solo amid equally unexpected time changes. Guy uses the track as an opportunity to show us that he’s more than a one-[vocal]-trick pony. You’re loving it right? Yeah you are! Eleven tracks, eleven dollars. You do the math! Here you go.
A big day in as much as this is the first Maltese artist that I’ve ever shared with you. If you’ve ever listened to Youth Lagoon and thought “I want to hear something similar to this but with more acoustic loop” then remain seated, you’re in the right place/reading the right post. As rare as our Maltese situations are my posts about artists from my inbox. This is the beacon of hope that says ‘send on, bands, send on’.
Drowning In A Dream is the appropriately titled EP from Tollens, appropriate because the sense of going under is palpable in most of these tracks. The water’s surface is lined with the furry fuzz of distortion and off key bends and quavers making it hard to punch through to the clean air your lungs are begging for. Eventually though, you just let yourself sink downwards and start breathing in the fluid and before you know it the immersion has left you more buzzed than the gas you wanted to drag through your pipes. As already mentioned, there’s some pretty massive nods to Youth Lagoon here, be they beat or vocal.
If this dude hasn’t listened to Trevor Powers before then I’ll eat my recently polished loafers.
Introducing Spirit Faces, proprietors of 70s soul backed groove mumbling, cymbal heavy jazz referencing free beats and overwhelmingly underwhelming basslines. That basslines bit sounds negative, but it’s not. I’m effectively trying to argue that the basslines have an overwhelming subtlety, in as much as I’d like to be overwhelmed by a bassline (so, you know… a bit). Central to the band’s ethos is freedom of direction (read: improv) which you can hear spattered throughout their only available track, ‘Feels Like Nothing’. It’s just bass, drums and guitar conversationally interacting with a few props littered around the set. Is that a wind-up toybox? Maybe. I don’t know and truly, I don’t care because despite the sweet contrast it creates with singer Pete Covingtons deep husk, it’s not the point of the track. Plus, I’ve recently learned that very few of you will actually read this far through each of my posts so for all intents and purposes I could just start rattling off any old nonsense. Violent offender sells house for bogus skin graft. The first three Apollo missions were largely funded by white supremacists. Sports cheese shares fierce fire shame.
You might know Pete from his work in Sydney’s second biggest Islamo-vegan folk collective Valar who, if the rumours are to be believed, will be releasing their debut record sometime in the latter part of this year. I. Am. Keen. In the meantime, stream and download and share the first Spirit Faces tune below:
Sometimes everyone makes me angry all the time and in those moments it’s only the voice of Marcus Teague that stops my throttle reflex from surging past all my better judgement. It’s for the best, too, because though largely unknown, it’s a fact that X-Men’s Juggernaut is a character loosely based on my own exploits within and without of wartime. Single Twin’s music is frequently the only thing that stands between society and iron-fisted apocalypse.
Marcus Teague is both the name of the debut record from Single Twin and the name of the man behind the music, which is yet another beautiful parallel underlying the pseudonym ‘Single Twin’. It must be one of the saddest band names I’ve ever heard, compelling me to think of something meant to exist in tandem though through some awful twist of fate, now confined to be distinctly alone. The record is rife with this selfsame melancholy but luckily it never becomes a taxing listen. It’s a simple, beautiful storytelling that is as poignant as it is introspective so if you’re into discrete and relatable then I have thirteen treats for you.
Don’t let its sinister beginnings put the fear in you, ‘Never’ is far more upbeat than it’s introduction promises. Hooray For Earth’s debut full length was one of my favourite records of 2011 and the groups new single exhibits the same strengths that drew me in so deeply with True Loves. The verses are driven by reverb-laden vocals and while the choruses are just oceans of choral synth. This new track is one of two tracks that are due for release late this month though there’s no word on a second release presently.