silver torches – “keep the car running”

– featured image courtesy of chona kasinger –

erik walters is poised to release his latest album as silver torches, let it be a dream, on october 6th.  after releasing the mid-tempo, melancholic earworm “if i reach” last month, walters and company returned earlier this week with “keep the car running,” a poignant burst that refines a focus on keyboard-driven americana.

the silver torches home base of seattle may not conjure up visions of wide open expanses, but cross the cascades into eastern washington and your tune will quickly change.  “keep the car running,” in all its narrative glory, might as well be wed to that singular desert landscape; between walters’ swaying cadence and a steadfast underlying propulsion, the band’s latest single almost demands to be experienced while meandering through rural america.

take a listen to “keep the car running” below.

silver torches – “if i reach”

– featured image 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.

 

premiere – himehime

– featured image courtesy of christopher bachmann –

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.

premiere – lushloss

– featured image courtesy of brit hansen –

Lushloss is the moniker of seattle-based producer and songwriter olive jun, who will release her debut album, asking/bearing, on july 28th digitally via hush hush records.  it’s a double-record of sorts; the contents of asking allow jun to introspectively sprawl out as a songwriter and vocalist while traversing weightier topics like the intertwining of death, familial relationships, and identity, whereas bearing delves unabashedly into jun’s affinity for balmy instrumental hip-hop.  bearing closes out the project, but its contents actually came first.  the construction of its seven tracks ultimately compelled jun to venture into a more direct, vulnerable aspect of songwriting; asking is the phenomenal end result.

strung throughout asking is a skype conversation jun recorded with her mother, who lives in korea.  the conversation was a prime influence on jun while sculpting the album, and portions of it appear at the end of tracks, codas of sorts that often explore the album’s overarching themes in more explicit details.  such is the case with “sisters,” the third and final single from asking/bearing, which premieres below.

“sisters” feels as intimate as anything else found on asking, jun’s glitchy, pitch-shifted vocals skittering across a warm, sparse soundscape.  the track’s opening moments evoke a gentle plaintiveness and nostalgia intrinsically linked to music boxes; an innocent, consonant motif chimes throughout, occasionally bolstered by a gentle beat that jun guides through the chorus.  as “sisters” reaches its natural apex, jun correspondingly pushes her vocals into the realm of distorted agitation, an aural foreshadowing of the conversation jun and her mother will have soon after.

“‘sisters’ was the first track i started when writing the asking side of the album,” jun says when reached by e-mail.  “i was staying in a hot room in richmond, virginia at this queer diy house called ‘3 moons’ ran by my friends, and i wrote and recorded this there.  it was the summer of 2016 and very hot.”

cassette orders for asking/bearing have already begun shipping from hush hush records.  listen to “sisters” below.

pillar point – “strange brush”

pillar point
photo courtesy of megumi shauna arai

the advent of scott reitherman’s second full-length as pillar point, marble mouth, has been prefaced by two excellent singles that double down on the dark, brooding aesthetic that peppered his self-titled debut.  add “strange brush” to that list.  the album’s third single completes a trifecta established by “part time love” and perpetuated by “dove,” but this time, reitherman leans on a pulsing krautrock groove and a mournful, descending vocal melody to convey his message.  what’s truly special is the organic piano motif that somehow blossoms from the depths of the song’s texture.  dive into “strange brush” below.

 

 

pillar point – “dove”

pillar point
photo courtesy of megumi shauna arai

scott reitherman is slated to release his sophomore full-length as pillar point, marble mouth, on january 22nd via polyvinyl records.  after sharing the album’s brooding lead single,”part time love,” in late october, reitherman has deposited a second offering to digest before the year’s end.  “dove” is every bit as haunting yet cathartic as its predecessor, with dizzying arpeggiated cellos and a resolute drum beat pulsating through an eerie vocal sample of the song’s title.  its lyrics feel cleansing and therapeutic as well, perhaps a preview of thematics reitherman will suss out across the album’s duration.  check out “dove” below.

listen to a new song from pillar point

pillar point
photo courtesy of megumi shauna arai

scott reitherman’s self-titled debut effort as pillar point was one of the more captivating releases of early 2014, capable of sating even the most voracious of synth-pop appetites.  now reitherman is back for round two; pillar point’s sophomore album, marble mouth, drops january 22nd via polyvinyl records.  its pulsating lead single, “part time love,” premiered on stereogum yesterday and showcases an astute, full-blown execution of the darker dance passages reitherman flirted with throughout his debut.  the track is the first of an album’s worth of collaboration with of montreal’s kevin barnes, who produced marble mouth at his studio in athens, georgia.  take a listen to “part time love” below.

pillar point – pillar point

pillarpoint-digitalcoverelectro-pop has become a polarizing genre; with a plethora of artists constantly tapping into the popular aesthetic, it’s just as likely for a project to be unceremoniously passed over as it is to be critically acclaimed.  scott reitherman took this risk when he shelved his indie project, throw me the statue, to focus on writing new music as pillar point.  two years of hard work and a relocation back to seattle paid off; pillar point’s self-titled debut album contains a collection of songs that meticulously explore all the nuances of synth-driven pop music.

a taste of pillar point’s dynamic and emotive capabilities was given last summer, in the form of a 7″ single containing “diamond mine” and “dreamin’.”  the single’s a-side would wind up being the lead-off track on the album, with its vintage synthesizers and distorted bass lines working in tandem towards slight reckless abandon.  “diamond mine” announces the presence of pillar point and showcases one facet of the project, but the album really begins to open up with “cherry.”  the third track follows an energetic one-two punch, bolstered by the excellent “eyeballs,” and is comparatively subdued, even slightly sinister in tone.  it’s here that reitherman’s lyrics finally reflect his music; they’re melancholy, but still contain substantial forward momentum created through narrative.

these two established components of pillar point’s aesthetic function as a metaphorical double-helix from this point forward; songs like “black hole” and “touch” are powered by insistent dance hooks that polarize their yearning and even downright sad lyrics, while slower jams like “strangers in paradise” and the aforementioned “dreamin'” place more of an emphasis on the somber words and their delivery.  pillar point was born out of substantial personal turmoil which is unabashedly presented across this album, but reitherman is savvy enough to masquerade behind less depressing sounds akin to lcd soundsystem and washed out.  with a groove that changes in tempo but never ceases to exist, a danceable backbone is built into the record that makes sure the listener never has the opportunity to become too depressed.

pillar point is a rare gift to the synth-pop world.  by blending his knowledge of pop songwriting with an affinity for darker electronic music like suicide, reitherman has created a product that truly stands out.  if you’re not immediately smitten by the analog synthesizers, the combination of pulsating beats and reitherman’s ethereal voice is sure to win you over.  a nine-song track list seems almost criminal, but there’s more than enough depth and emotion to unpack and digest.  pillar point is out via polyvinyl records on february 25th.  don’t miss out on this one.

8.6/10

listen to a new song from dude york

dude york, a trio of indie poppers from the walla walla/seattle area, are currently sitting on their debut album.  dehumanize is due out on january 28th via help yourself records, but you can listen to the horn-heavy single “hesitate” now, courtesy of their label’s soundcloud page.  check it out below.

listen to a new song from pillar point

pillar point, the mysterious recent addition to the polyvinyl artist list, will release a 7″ sometime this year.  we’ve already heard the a-side – “diamond mine” – and now the seattle synthpopper has shared the flip side with us.  “dreamin'” is much more subdued than its predecessor, retaining a post-chillwave feel, whatever that’s supposed to mean.  check it out below, courtesy of polyvinyl’s soundcloud page.