by: Paul McEldowney
Liturgy - Aesthethica – (Thrill Jockey)
Energizing Black Metal from Brooklyn which brings a genre traditionally clouded with and defined by mystery, possible nihilism and dreariness to the level of universally accessible and operatic spectacle. They do so ironically considering that their philosophical motivations to pursue black metal is to explore the 'perfect void' or something. The album features heavy repetitiousness emotionally loaded instrumentation, the arrangements are almost poppy, not gratuitously technical, and as a whole, the album's more sublimative, celebratory, and hopeful rather than antagonizing or abusive as some black metal can be. While self aware or not, Liturgy are exciting in their use of genre as a structural platform and sonic bounce-house rather than a context. What a fun band.
Ty Segall - Goodbye Bread – (Drag City)
Sentimental and modest no frills garage psych pop downers. Much less racousy than Melted, Goodbye Bread shows off Ty's more sensitive side. It goes from super sludgy and trudgy to just plain sweet. Love the dog cover.
Fruit Bats - Tripper – (Sub Pop)
Newest album from indie folk pop giants Fruit Bats. Complete with steel guitars, banjos, synth bells, and a snarly and driving vocal performance that is full of the soul/star power by the band's singer-songwriter Eric Johnson, it's the soundtrack to idealized and anachronistic risk-free train-hopping. It's also pretty romantic and kinda sassy as lovey dovey and sassy folk pop can get so be ready to be swooned.
Brilliant Colors - Again And Again – (Slumberland)
Cute jangly dream-punk trio from SF return with more heart-melting pop gems. While not as rough around the edges as their debut was, Again and Again is way cleaner, poppier, and more delicate. Like a punk band trying to relive their childhood as a way of dealing with growing up.
Fungi Girls - Some Easy Magic – (Hozac)
Super mellow desert surf garage rock from the lone star state; a string of words approaching semantic and syntactic emptiness if constructed as such before the contemporary moment. Sorta has that fun garage-band-next-door vibe; it's all laid back, lo-fi, catchy, smooth, and with plenty of oooohs and aaaaahs to keep your virgin pina colada nice and cool.
Tomorrows Tulips - Eternally Teenage – (Galaxia)
Catchy girl-boy lo-fi dreamy fuzz pop. Like their bedroom dwelling contemporaries, their aesthetic emphasizes a minimalist, everyday, and home-made approach to song-writing and production. A diary of messy pop goldies.
Bodega System - Sacramentalizer – (Grant's Tomb)
Dark and mysterious instrumental psychedelic hip hop grime and with cold wavey moments. The synth tones are warm yet mechanical and foreboding, while the beats are monotonous, introspective, life-less, but it's all energizing and musically refreshing. Great late time alone music.
Eternal Tapestry & Sun Araw - Night Gallery – (Thrill Jockey)
Live collab psych-drone jam jam featuring Portland's Eternal Tapestry and Los Angeles' Sun Araw. Like you're favorite alt health foods restaurant, it's all super raw, spaced-out, apocalyptic, and organic. There's a lot of R&R in both senses of the phrase, and all the 'songs' are pretty long, so grab a comfy chair. The title references a show Rod Serling hosted that was more horror oriented version of his seminal sci-fi series Twilight Zone. If that alone doesn't get you excited, then I have nothing to offer you.