there’s no word yet on a new album from how to dress well, but a lot of people are already hoping the hypothetical record will be in the same vein as “words i don’t remember.” tom krell’s new single is lush and expansive, a six-minute opus that features an exceptionally strong vocal performance with slightly heartbreaking textures floating underneath. check out the simple video below.
i’m exhausted after a three-day wind symphony tour, but there was nothing more relaxing than coming home to pillar point’s brand new music video for “dreamin’.” the video features an extended introduction to the song before a slow-motion dance takes over, perfectly complementing the aesthetic defined by pillar point. true visual art like this is a rarity in the realm of music videos; take the time to check this one out.
when warren hildebrand isn’t releasing slices of bedroom pop bliss on his label, orchid tapes, he’s busy making some of his own. ”rearrange,” a new song under his foxes in fiction moniker, appears on the upcoming compilation boring ecstasy: the bedroom pop of orchid tapes, due out later this month. perhaps a precursor to his impending studio album, “rearrange” finds hildebrand excelling in a rather minimal setting. check it out below, courtesy of orchid tapes’ soundcloud page.
my girlfriend likes to listen to music while she studies, and sometimes i make mixtapes for her and forget to tell her. i don’t think she knows about this one yet, but it’s full of great electro-pop from chvrches, passion pit, and pillar point, as well as mellower cuts from some of her favorites like the antlers and memoryhouse. even though you’re probably not my significant other, odds are that you’ll like this mix too. check it out.
march is going to be a busy month for orchid tapes, with the release of the new home alone record on the horizon and a compilation album due out on march 25th. but there’s certainly time to revel in the intimate intricacies of their bodies in a fog, the fourth album from portland’s malcolm lacey under his moniker arrange. lacey’s songs are right at home with the rest of the microlabel’s catalog, and orchid tapes mainstay ricky eat acid guests on a song to boot. limited numbers of cassettes are available to order here, and you can stream and download the album for free below.
waves of nostalgia permeate throughout our culture. from fashion trends to tumblr blogs to films, there always seems to be a collective clawing at something from the past that is ultimately unattainable. maybe that’s why we emulate it. it’s certainly spilled over into music, with revival movements paying homage to post-punk, shoegaze, and emo – among others – in just the past fifteen years alone. but for every band that follows directly in the footsteps of its members’ childhood heroes, there’s another that evokes nostalgia in a more holistic sense. real estate may be indebted to the surf rock of yesteryear, but it would be hard to convince me that those chiming guitar lines are the sole defining factor of their musical style; rather, they’re tools that have built the sunny, easy-going disposition that real estate rests its laurels on.
that’s not to say that this doesn’t become tiresome, or even problematic. within the context of their own discography and personal growth, atlas is undoubtedly the band’s richest effort to date. the textures are clear and supple, easily able to add or subtract depending on the presence of martin courtney’s voice, and lead guitar lines like the one on “primitive” reaffirm real estate’s capability of writing breezy melodies. the notable difference throughout atlas is the decided mood shift; courtney’s plaintive vocal delivery is finally consistent with its content, starting with the themes of hesitancy and loneliness in album-opener “had to hear.” but, just like 2011′s days, the band’s latest effort plateaus early on, leaving almost nothing left to the imagination. melancholy is firmly established, melancholy stays; mid-tempo guitar melodies are established, mid-tempo guitar melodies stay. atlas is a completely comfortable record, one that i might be able to put on during a particularly hazy day this summer and thoroughly appreciate, but truly great music should not be this circumstantial.
there’s not a doubt in my mind that the members of real estate are all very talented musicians, or that courtney is a convincing lyricist. in fact, album closer “navigator” is a melancholy slice of brilliance, a song that breaks away from the rest of the pack and may point to the band’s true capabilities. but while it’s their consistency of sound that is appealing, it’s the inconsistency of their willingness to deviate from a proven formula that tends to make atlas feel underwhelming at points. it may be tempting to cite the lamentations of mortality on “crime” or the ones of personal insufficiency that permeate “talking backwards” as substantial growth, but i see it more as an old dog actually being able to learn a new trick. ultimately, the nostalgia in real estate’s sound is as present as ever, even if the lyrics have taken a darker turn. for now, they seem a bit too comfortable with their slightly stagnant trajectory.
yuck has proven that the departure of daniel blumberg is inconsequential in terms of their productivity. guitarist max bloom assumed the frontman position and penned most of the songs that appear on the band’s sophomore effort, glow & behold, and they’re already planning a follow-up ep, due out later this year. yuck stopped by kexp’s studios at the end of january to play a short set of offerings from glow & behold, including standout tracks “rebirth” and “middle sea,” although the latter lacks the glorious trumpet fanfare. check out the full session below.