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pastel gabriel brenner

photo courtesy of the artist

gabriel brenner will release his newest extended play, absent, just dust, as pastel next friday.  the collection of songs is a stylistic and thematic departure from last year’s bone-weary, as brenner explicitly examines how the erasure of native experiences intertwines with his own identity.

on “silhouette,” brenner wove a cryptic but identifiable vocal through the fibers of the track; album closer “stammer” augments the gravity of its predecessor by stripping any semblance of identity from its vocal treatment.  haunting melismas emerge from a molasses-thick texture, wordless in their delivery but increasingly powerful as their numbers multiply, allegorical to the disappearance of native perspectives from history and a personal emptiness that accompanies it.

“stammer” is ambient, meditative at first glance; taken in full context, it quickly transforms into the most evocative piece of work brenner has turned in to date.  listen below.

Silver Torches

photo courtesy of chona kasinger

when he’s not touring with perfume genius or david bazan, erik walters perches at the helm of silver torches, a seattle-based outfit that traverses through an indie-rock heartland.  after unfurling their debut album, heatherfield, last year, walters and company will return with a follow-up, let it be a dream, on october 6th.

if heatherfield could be characterized by its crystalline guitar-based architecture, then it’s conceivable that let it be a dream will tack on a facade of synthesizers to this foundation.  lead single “if i reach” threads a brassy synth line through its introduction and choruses, adding a degree of majesty to a lyrical body strewn with ruminations on divisiveness.  walters is melancholic in delivery, his cadences buoyed by acoustic strums that crest into soaring refrains.

if “if i reach” is any indication, let it be a dream will be an indispensable resource come early fall.  listen in below.

 

YZ Aaaron Lee

photo courtesy of aaron lee

yumi zouma are set to release their sophomore full-length, willowbank, on october 6th via cascine.  the surprisingly quick, but warmly welcomed, follow-up to last year’s yoncalla was recently announced in conjunction with a lead single, “december,” and today the quartet has shared another taste of things to come.

“depths (pt. i)” is awash in soft synth pads and clean, melodic guitar echos, a palette front-loaded with bliss designed to obscure its comparatively complex lyrical content, or to at least prompt listeners to spend a bit more time unpacking its nuances.  like the best yumi zouma tracks, “depths” is fleeting, a compact container of countermelodies that meanders back out to sea in just under three minutes.  but what a wondrous three minutes it is to behold.

take a listen below.

Stanley.jpg

photo courtesy of the artist

ryan gebhardt has recently put down roots in the midwest, but he recorded his self-titled venture as stanley in various boston and new york studios.  if its lead single is any indication, the album would be a perfect soundtrack to such a cross-country move.

“brewin’ up” coalesces around a meandering, bucolic guitar motif that brackets breezy vocal snippets, permutating slightly with each new iteration.  the end result is a four-minute soft pop gem, delicate am-radio sparkle that is remarkably assured in its delivery.

stanley arrives september 22nd via the tag-team efforts of forged artifacts and king forward records.  sample its offerings with “brewin’ up,” below.

pastel gabriel brenner

photo courtesy of the artist

after exploring the realms of towering, majestic r&b on last year’s bone weary, gabriel brenner is set to take a more explicitly introspective angle on his upcoming extended play.  throughout absent, just dust, brenner explores his native identity, how familial traumas intertwine with a larger tendency to erase native experiences from the historical narrative.

that concept of erasure seeps into the fibers of “silhouette,” brenner’s latest offering under his pastel moniker.  even after an initial murky sample dissipates, brenner’s lead vocal is still submissive to the surrounding textures, echoing in a haze amidst the swelling synths, distant percussion, and controlled feedback that populate the track.

“silhouette” proves aching in more ways than one; a repeated thesis gives way to a fragmented narrative, its lack of resolution a heartbreaking nod to brenner’s overall examination of loss.  it’s the type of track with a gravity that lingers, especially after repeated listens in solitude.

absent, just dust arrives august 25th.  hear “silhouette,” the extended play’s centerpiece, below.