communions – “eternity”

– featured image courtesy of lasse dearman –

communions have the rare distinction of being an incredibly young band with an utterly singular sound.  the danish quartet absorbed some frosty, post-punk comparisons to their copenhagen counterparts on early singles, but that icy exterior has thawed into some of the most consistently-sunny songwriting meandering through the internet.

next month, communions will release a new 7″ single on their new label, the esteemed fat possum records.  this announcement was coupled with “don’t hold anything back,” the single’s triumphant a-side; today, the band has shared its counterpart, “eternity.”  a comparatively mid-tempo number, “eternity” is again bolstered by martin rehof’s instantly-recognizable, gripping lead vocal, and his command of melody carries over into the track’s guitar work, toggling between sonorous chords, chiming bell tones, and busy lead lines in the song’s latter half.

“eternity” is the caliber of song expected from a band with a few full-lengths under their belt, but communions has yet to release their debut album.  that will come soon enough, though.  for now, take a listen to “eternity” below.

communions – “don’t hold anything back”

– featured image courtesy of lasse dearman –

danish four-piece communions have been gradually shedding their frosty outer shell for the better part of two years, with each subsequent release feeling less indebted to post-punk forebears and more informed by sharp, memorable hooks.  this progression seemed to culminate in the quartet’s excellent eponymous ep last summer, but then “don’t hold anything back” dropped.

wrapped in martin rehof’s buoyant lead vocal and powered by an especially fat snare drum, “don’t hold anything back” feels like communions’ first true foray into the realm of pop, a clear, glorious pivot from the more austere timbres that adorned their earliest work.  guitar arpeggios still appear at the forefront throughout the verses, but their fluid transition to simple, chiming chords just in time to bolster the hook is perhaps the key ingredient in this effortless composition; “don’t hold anything back” is an attractive mid-season contender for song of the summer.

communions recently signed to fat possum records and will release “don’t hold anything back” as the a-side of a 7″ due out september 16th.  check out the single below.

listen to a new song from los angeles police department

ryan pollie emerged as one of the more intriguing acts of 2014, releasing a wistful collection of breezy, home-recorded tunes under the moniker los angeles police department.  pollie evidently piqued the interest of fat possum records, who have tapped the musical l.a.p.d. for a 7″ single – “insecurity” b/w “water and wine” – due out february 24th.  the label let go of the fuzzy a-side earlier this morning, and it’s been on repeat here ever since.  pollie waxes poetic about his complex feelings for a girl over top of a subterranean guitar riff, replete with a cheeky, meta-esque reference to police departments.  take a listen to “insecurity” below.

yuck – glow & behold

when the frontman of a critically-acclaimed indie rock band leaves to pursue a solo career after only one album, it usually spells the end of said band.  this gives the surviving members the opportunity to find a replacement, change their name and style ever so slightly, and go on creating music with possible moderate success.  all of that seems pretty time-consuming and kind of a gamble, though, so i don’t blame the three remaining members of yuck for sticking together under their original moniker and churning out a pleasant sophomore album.

glow & behold marks the departure of daniel blumberg and the emergence of max bloom as the band’s new frontman.  people (pitchfork) may complain that the lack of blumberg’s personality detracts from the importance of the band, but it doesn’t seem to impact the yuck’s music.  if their self-titled debut was an obvious nod to alternative rock heroes of the late 1980s and early 1990s, then glow & behold is, appropriately, an extension of that.  a band searching for a modified identity does so admirably with standout tracks like “middle sea” and the slow-burning “rebirth,” while exploring slightly atmospheric realms on “sunrise in maple shade” and “twilight in maple shade (chinese cymbals),” two complementary instrumentals that bookend the album.

the slightly tiring quotations of the rock bands that everyone seems to pay homage to might get in the way of the long-term impact of yuck’s career, but there’s no denying that the band is capable of writing really catchy and diverse tunes, however derivative they might appear to some.  i’d like to give a special shout out to whomever played trumpet on glow & behold; you seriously made this album that much more interesting and pleasing.

if you’re a diehard yuck fan, i don’t know what you’ll make of their newest effort.  but if you’re inclined to give established musicians the benefit of the doubt, i think you’ll walk away from glow & behold humming at least one song to yourself, and then you’ll come back for more.

6.9/10