photo courtesy of christopher bachmann photography

mackenzie simon has been slowly building electronic soundscapes for the past four years as himehime; the seattle-based producer is gearing up to release his stellar new full-length, bath texts, later this month via hush hush records.  after announcing the album and sharing the first part of its title track last week, simon returns today with “contrail,” the album’s opener, which features additional production from seattle’s wmd.

a glitchy, agitated sample stomps through the first minute of “contrail,” but simon sets the track’s defining tone with a gorgeous about-face, pivoting to a serene piano motif that serves as the foundation of the subsequent wide-eyed, ambient expanse.  as the song’s guitar countermelody collides gently into a slow, swelling vocal pad, it becomes apparent that “contrail” is a perfect vessel for afternoon daydreaming.

bath texts arrives august 25th; get lost in “contrail,” which premieres here on the dimestore, 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.


photo courtesy of eleanor petry

the olympia, washington, producer briana marela released her third solo album, call it love, today via jagjaguwar.  along with the album’s arrival, marela has shared the visual accompaniment to a new single, “farthest shore.”

marela paired up with seattle-based director bobby mchugh to make the music video, and the two honed in on their shared experience of night terrors to craft the clip’s aesthetic.  the end result is quite jarring; marela stars opposite physical manifestations of these terrors, the video’s progressively fractured composition mirroring the debilitating effects of being trapped in a seemingly perpetual dream state.

follow the link above to purchase a copy of call it love, and watch the hazy, unsettling clip for “farthest shore” below.

YZ Aaaron Lee

photo courtesy of aaron lee

yumi zouma barely needs an introduction on this site by now; the christchurch-based quartet has been honing their exquisite craft since 2014, at times separately, from all corners of the world, at others, in a collective space.  this meticulous, bountiful songwriting process had, up until today, yielded a pair of extended plays and last year’s full-length debut, yoncalla.  it’s a very pleasant surprise, then, that yumi zouma has announced willowbank, its sophomore album, due out october 6th via cascine.

willowbank marks the first time the band has had time to write and record a large group of songs together in their native new zealand, so perhaps it’s fitting that the album’s first single, “december,” seems like the perfect distillation of summer at the bottom of the planet.

as always, counter-melodic motifs are interwoven with ease, though christie simpson’s lead vocal sits more squarely in the mix than ever before, feeling less a part of the overall texture and more like a distinctly separate entity.  capped off by a stout, brassy coda, yumi zouma’s latest single retains a peaceful majesty that has easily become the outfit’s calling card.

“december” is another gorgeous achievement for a pop group that seemingly has no ceiling.  take a listen below.


kedr livanskiy.jpg

photo courtesy of liza zubkova

moscow-based producer kedr livanskiy released a fluid, remarkable introductory body of work in last year’s january sun; on september 8th, the artist born yana kedrina will offer up her debut full-length, ariadna, via 2mr.  after sharing the album’s title track earlier this summer, livanskiy has teased more of her upcoming work with “love & cigarettes.”

bearing many hallmarks of livanskiy’s aesthetic, “love & cigarettes” briefly flirts with the distant echo of a lead vocal before veering off into a complex, hypnotic rhythmic territory.  the vocals and their brassy synth chaperone are later granted a reprise, turning a five-minute track into a compact sandwich of livanskiy’s dance and pop influences.

take a listen to “love & cigarettes” below.