nashville’s field division is prepping the release of their debut ep reverie state, due out october 28th, and the duo have shared another track. “modest mountains” features some help from milo greene’s andrew heringer and is one of the more straight-ahead folk songs that field division has unveiled thus far, but the band again shows a propensity for crafting memorable hooks and melodies, regardless of genre. take a listen below.
amanda harper makes music as running in the fog, and the very nature of her music is indicative of the moniker she has chosen. after offering up glitchy, mood-centric slices like “desire” and “sail” off of last year’s silver ep, the san franciscan has returned with “$ign$,” the first single off of her upcoming full-length for unspeakable records. while clearly well-informed by the constructs of r&b, this new running in the fog cut also showcases a purposeful use of depth, with harper’s vocals placed squarely in the middle of a spacious cavern also occupied by a team of dark, brooding synthesizers. take a listen and grab a download of “$ign$” below.
dylan baldi and cloud nothings continued to blaze the trail from pop to punk with this year’s here and nowhere else, an eight-song collection that proves to be the band’s most visceral effort to date. today, cloud nothings have shared the music video for album-opener “now hear in,” which features collaboration from two members of toro y moi. touring guitarist jordan blackmon handles directorial duties while bassist patrick jeffords is the central character shrouded by a giant mask. shot in black and white and interspersed with vhs-quality found footage, “now hear in” is a dizzying portrayal of some sort of an identity crisis. check out the video below.
september made good on its promise to deliver an unprecedented amount of fantastic new music, an output so prolific that we failed admirably at covering it all. in an attempt to remedy this situation, we’re doing our regular monthly review with the hopes of underscoring some of the more important moments that may have slipped through the cracks. as usual, albums come first.
september 9th: tennis – ritual in repeat
september 16th: she keeps bees – eight houses
september 23rd: foxes in fiction – ontario gothic
september 30th: sea oleena – shallow
after an underwhelming end to the summer, september felt welcome. in addition to tennis’ best album to date, death from above 1979 dropped their long-awaited sophomore album the physical world on the 9th, and slow magic released the dizzying how to run away on the same day. the end of the month also packed a punch; foxes in fiction, perfume genius, and milo all unleashed phenomenal albums at the same time, each making their case for inclusion in year-end best-of lists. milo brought his career arc nearly full-circle on a toothpaste suburb, hearkening back to content that dominated his first mixtape, but the rich, forward-thinking production throughout the album breathed new life into his music. similarly, mike hadreas enhanced his musical direction as perfume genius, trading his simple piano for gritty synths and drums on too bright and crafting an album whose music snarled as much as its lyrics did. sea oleena closed out the month with the absolutely stunning shallow, an arresting collection of seven songs poised to set the tone for the winter months to come.
singles were also abundant this month. adam bainbridge released the second single from kindness’ upcoming album otherness, and liz harris teased a sampling of the new grouper album that’s due out at the end of next month. the indie pop department found both alvvays and the pains of being pure at heart releasing b-sides off of their latest efforts, the latter being a part of the deluxe edition of days of abandon. the most anticipated single of september came from none other than kendrick lamar, whose new track “i” racked up nearly a million plays on the first day it was released. lamar is still mum on the details of his follow-up to 2012’s good kid, m.a.ad. city, but the uptempo, isley brothers-sampling “i” may be a hint that his impending album may not be quite as dark as its predecessor.
one of the highlights of september was field division showing up on our radar. the nashville-via-des moines duo effortlessly blend folk and dream-pop into a concoction that’s yielded stunners like “hollow body weather” and “of lives we’ve never known” in the past two weeks alone. field division is slated to release their debut ep, reverie state, on october 28th, a collection of songs eagerly anticipated here at dimestore saints.
october shows no signs of slowing down, with albums from iceage, field report, kindness, jessie ware, and grouper all slated for release. check back this time next month to get the prognosis on all things music. thanks again for reading.
scott hansen’s ascent to notoriety as tycho has been a bit of an anomaly in the current music industry: instead of throwing himself head-on into relentless touring and promotion, hansen spent years honing his audio/visual project on the back-burner while working computer-oriented day jobs. the patience seems to have paid off, as both of tycho’s latest releases have been met with acclaim. hansen and his bandmates recently stopped by the kexp studios to play three cuts off of tycho’s most recent effort awake, along with the opening track from 2011’s dive. take a look at the set below.
chicago has had a strong history with many of the various offshoots derived from emo and punk, and the former’s large-scale revival over the past year has thrust the city back into the spotlight. this time around, instead of churning out this year’s model of fall out boy or rise against, chicago has offered up kittyhawk, an outfit keen enough not to attach the emo label to their identity. while some of the genre’s features like angular guitar lines and untreated, nasally vocals sneak through, kittyhawk makes a marked departure from the perceived “sad boys” culture that has become synonymous with emo. lighter, pop-infused melodies ultimately prevail, and kate grube stands apart from the endless sea of male vocalists who assume her role in other bands. on “seasonal abjective disorder,” the second single from kittyhawk’s upcoming record hello again, grube drawls with apathy and boredom over a dual-guitar framework that runs the narrow gamut from pop punk to emo and back, all in under three minutes. take a listen below.
as joey bada$$ preps for his debut album, he’s also readying himself for a tour in its support, bringing along vince staples and pro era label mates cj fly, kirk knight, and nyck caution to help him out. appearing concurrently with this announcement was “get paid,” a new track that will ostensibly show up on b4da$$. like most of joey bada$$’s material, “get paid” hearkens back to the golden age of 1990s rap, with producer dj relly rell laying down a classic beat for the song’s cyclic hook to rotate around. check it out below.
death from above 1979 reunited three years ago, caused a riot at sxsw, and released their long-awaited sophomore album the physical world earlier this month. now, it turns out that the canadian duo is also the subject of a forthcoming documentary, life after death from above 1979, featuring interviews with keeler and grainger along with members of the strokes, the yeah yeah yeahs, and other bands. the doc is directed by eva michon and is due out october 7th via vimeo’s on demand service; check out its trailer below.
less than a week after delivering the goods on “hollow body weather,” nashville-via-des moines duo field division is back with “of lives we’ve never known.” the single, taken from their impending debut ep reverie state, is comparatively subdued, with folk and trancelike qualities battling for dominance in its beginning and a slinking, mysterious bass line that gradually envelops the strumming of an acoustic guitar. but field division once again showcase their propensity for crafting admirable chorus structures, this time employing a choral blend of voices and shimmering guitar chords to open up the back half of the song. this is not a band to sleep on. take a listen to “of lives we’ve never known” below, courtesy of field division’s soundcloud page.
kendrick lamar’s 2012 effort good kid, m.a.a.d. city, has obtained near-universal acclaim, marking it as one of the definitive rap albums of the twenty-first century. but like the prodigies before him, lamar is now tasked with providing a suitable follow-up, one that’s on par with his previous works. after laying dormant for two years (save some touring and a few guest verses, of course), lamar returned today with “i,” an isley brothers-indebted song that is sonically consistent with virtually none of good kid; instead, it’s upbeat and positive with a bass line that eschews the murky mysteries of yesteryear. what does remain the same is lamar’s rapid-fire delivery and incredible emphasis on diction, along with his ability to simultaneously craft irresistible hooks. unfortunately, the arrival of “i” comes with one rather large caveat: the revelation that lamar’s new album might not see the light of day this year after all. but ambiguity and suspense tend to work well for some artists, and the ball is fully in lamar’s court right now.