bodywash – “eye to eye”

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

the montreal quintet bodywash occupy a hazy realm of polychrome, where smears of shoegaze collide with bubbly synths and vocal tandems that sound like they’re delivered from the bottom of a thirty-foot well.

the band has its roots in the creative partnership between chris steward and rosie long decter, forged in 2014 when the two were students at mcgill university; since recording an EP in 2016, bodywash has swelled to its current size while working on their debut full-length, comforter, due later this year.

on “eye to eye,” the first taste of comforter, tag-team a lead vocal that has a tendency to burrow into the greater texture of the track, an end result that feels like dusk settling in on a humid summer’s day. a guitar line faintly echoes the chorus’s vocal melody, its second iteration a precursor to a transportive instrumental bridge that fleshes out the seamless nature of bodywash’s sonic communications.

bodywash have recently joined the ranks of luminelle recordings, who will release comforter at some point in 2019. for now, take in “eye to eye,” below.

helena deland – “claudion”

– featured image courtesy of maya fuhr –

helena deland’s altogether unaccompanied song series continues to add more volumes; after releasing vol. i & ii this spring, the montreal singer-songwriter is readying two more for the fall, its five synth-pop gems poised to provide adequate warmth just as the weather begins to cool.

the collection’s lead single, “claudion,” is a beautiful ode to companionship, deland’s voice awash in syncopated synth pads as she recalls a near-fateful night averted by a dedicated friend.  a buoyant motif enters alongside the refrain’s arrival, the final stitches on an aural swaddling blanket that gradually envelops everything in its path.

from the series of songs “altogether unaccompanied” vol. iii & iv arrives october 19th via luminelle recordings.  listen to the fourth volume’s stirring “claudion” below.

helena deland – “take it all”

– featured image courtesy of chris almeida – 

helena deland’s from the series of songs “altogether unaccompanied” vol. i & ii contains four songs of spectral, spacious pop music.  we’ve written about the second volume’s “take it all” in these pages before, a standout cut that recently received a music video treatment.

hazy footage intermittently regains its clarity throughout as director mégane voghell follows the exploits of a couple at glacial speeds.  the relationship in tumult deland explores on “take it all” surfaces viscerally in its visual counterpart, which “paints an eerie and overall sad concept of togetherness,” according to deland.  it’s a striking composition, one that allows avenues of interpretation while never straying from a concrete message.  check it out below.

hana vu – “shallow”

– featured image courtesy of alexandra adcock – 

after turning in a pair of excellent chilled-out singles, hana vu shows her true depth with “shallow.”  the third offering from the los angeles songwriter’s upcoming how many times have you driven by is an echoing burst of post-punk, its rigid percussion locking in the delayed guitar signals and vu’s commanding lead vocal.

“shallow” hits its stride as it approaches its chorus, the elements loosening ever so slightly and foreshadowing the track’s anthemic coda.  it’s a welcomed addition to vu’s repertoire, a slight detour that again nods to the strength and vision of her songwriting.

how many times have you driven by is out june 29th via luminelle recordings.  listen to “shallow” below.

hana vu – “cool”

– featured image courtesy of alexandra adcock –

count us among those intrigued by hana vu, the los angeles-based songwriter behind “crying on the subway,” one of this year’s most enduring singles.  after dropping off the aforementioned track and its accompanying music video in january, vu caught the attention of the folks at luminelle recordings; the fat possum offshoot will release her debut extended play later this summer.

“cool,” featuring languid production and an elastic guest verse from fellow angeleno satchy, is a second glimpse into vu’s aural cocoon, her melismatic delivery of the titular word enveloping the sparse soundscape around her.  equal parts murky, aqueous, and warm, the exterior of “cool” is an invitation to bear witness to the solitude vu prefers to explore as she descends deeper into the track’s cavernous depths.

vu’s seven-song collection, how many times have you driven byis due out june 29th.  disappear inside “cool,” below.

helena deland – “take it all”

– featured image courtesy of alex huard – 

montreal’s helena deland can transform a minimal soundscape into an overpowering entity.

her latest single, the nocturnal slow-burning “take it all,” is constructed with nary more than a sparse beat, a static guitar line, and some well-placed synths, allowing deland’s lead vocal to take command, calmly steering her vessel through the rough waters of a tumultuous relationship.  some lines are searing, some endearing, but the sum is an arresting colossus of mood, one that wriggles into ear canals and sets up a long-term residence.

“take it all” is culled from deland’s forthcoming extended play, from the series of songs “altogether unaccompanied” vol. i & ii, out march 2nd via luminelle recordings.  take a listen below.

helena deland – “there are a thousand”

– featured image courtesy of alex huard –

montreal singer-songwriter helena deland garnered a spot on our list of this year’s anticipated releases, and some of that release’s outstanding elements have recently come into focus.  for one, it appears that deland will share a pair of extended plays throughout 2018; the first installment, from the series of songs “altogether unaccompanied” vol. iis due out march 2nd via luminelle recordings.

for another, it appears that our anticipation was completely warranted.  “there are a thousand,” the first single culled from “altogether unaccompanied” vol. i, is a snapshot of deland’s effortless intimacy coupled with an airy, confident lead vocal.  swirling around all of this is a lush arrangement tinged with psychedelia, one that seems perfectly content to drift off into the distance when the moment is right.  listen to “there are a thousand” below.

 

most anticipated albums of 2018

featured image courtesy of minimally minimal –

as 2017 draws to a close, we naturally shift our focus to 2018 and the bevy of albums slated to be released throughout the year.  admittedly, the following list largely focuses on albums due out in the first quarter, with a couple of pipe dreams sprinkled in.  for those still trying to soak up as much of 2017 as possible, check out our favorite releases of the year here.  for those looking to forge ahead, read on.  links to pre-order are embedded if available.

rhyerhye – blood (february 2nd || loma vista)

three strong singles have thus far precluded rhye’s long-awaited sophomore full-length.  after returning this summer with “please,” rhye closed out 2017 with the supple one-two punch of “taste” and “count to five.”  if the samplings and album art are any indication, mike milosh’s work remains as intimate and sensual as ever.

 

Hovvdy Cranberryhovvdy – cranberry (february 9th || double double whammy)

austin duo hovvdy released one of 2016’s most enduring – and endearing – albums in taster.  cranberry, their first since signing to the venerable double double whammy, seems poised to flesh out the warm, lived-in aura that permeates their disarmingly honest work.  case in point: lead single “petal” drips with nostalgia, its assured pace gently giving way to tender falsetto.

 

quiet friendquiet friend – quiet friend (march 9th || elestial sound)

after years of releasing music by himself under the moniker mister lies, nick zanca has shifted into collaborative mode to build quiet friend with steven rogers.  the duo, along with a rotating cast of other contributors, sculpt an audiophile’s dreamscape; lead single “safe” is a whirlwind, but is also just a hint of what quiet friend have in store throughout their self-titled debut.

– other notable releases – 

a grave with no name – passover (january 19th || forged artifacts)

nadine – oh my (january 26th || father/daughter)

triathalon – online (february 16th || broken circles)

s. carey – hundred acres (february 23rd || jagjaguwar)

lucy dacus – historian (march 2nd || matador)

half waif – lavender (tbd || cascine)

helena deland – tba (tbd || luminelle)

ness nite – dream girl (tbd || pow recordings)

pat moon – tba (tbd || track & field)

yours are the only ears – tba (tbd || team love)