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.

premiere – jupiter sprites

– featured image courtesy of bella king –

the olympia, washington, quartet jupiter sprites quietly occupies a small parcel of land on the outer strands of the ether, their lilting dream pop imbued with an extra dose of hypnosis. after testing the waters late last year with “save the mystery,” the band returns today with “only good stuff,” a comparatively drowsy cut that offers up another aural facet on their self-titled debut extended play, due early next month.

“the song is sort of an homage to that feeling of gratitude that comes about when you realize how much you appreciate someone,” the band said in a statement via e-mail. adorned with rose-colored glasses and a vernal predisposition, “only good stuff” is a potent distillation to jupiter sprites’ core shoegazing tenets, the perfect introduction to a promising new band.

jupiter sprites arrives february 1st. take a listen to its opening number, “only good stuff,” premiering on the dimestore below.

plastic flowers – “half life”

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

george samaras sits at the helm of plastic flowers, a project that has swayed between a solo production outlet and a full-band experience throughout its transcontinental voyage from greece to london.  armed with a hazy catalogue of material that has existed in some form since 2013, samaras will return with his third full-length, absent forever, on november 10th via the native sound.

a recurring theme threaded through absent forever is samaras’ preference towards recording directly to tape; the ensuing analogue warmth certainly permeates throughout “half life,” the album’s latest preview.  a woozy, angular buzz-saw of a guitar riff chugs resolutely in front of a syncopated drum beat, the resulting mid-tempo foundation providing perfect fodder for samaras’ cavernous lead vocal.  “half life” feels appropriately haunting, tinted with the warble of an aged reel-to-reel.  listen in below.

interview – see you at home

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

The prescient arrival of the future’s here & it’s terrible was hard to ignore.  2016 had already registered as an extraordinarily bleak year, but the ep – the second from dream-pop duo see you at home – came on the cusp of a defeating and volatile summer, one that’s still in full-swing.  see you at home confronts that bleakness head-on titularly and attempts to reconcile with it sonically, crafting intimate sketches that pulse slowly, allowing for ample introspection amidst sparse guitar soundscapes.  we recently caught up with the duo to talk about their nascent project and longstanding friendship.  check out the transcript below.

see you at home is a relatively new project, at least from a consumer’s perspective.  could you detail a bit of history behind the band?  how long have you two been making music together?

we’ve been playing music for quite a long while now; both of us have known each other since we were four years old, and we’ve been making music together since we were fourteen.  we had another band before this, but eventually that broke apart when some of us went to uni and got jobs.  see you at home kind of spawned when my (josh’s) uni timetable gave me a day off in the week and i decided to try and make some lo fi songs in a bathroom.  it was literally just a guitar and an 808 drum for the beat, and we liked the sound of it so we decided to expand on the idea.

your songs are incredibly intimate and feel effortless in their execution, the byproduct of what must be a very fruitful collaboration.  can you speak a bit on your songwriting process, and if you notice any clear benefits to working as a duo?

thank you so much!  the effortlessness is a product of layers and layers of obsessive production on my (josh’s) end, haha, and then the cool, calm-headed musical ear of arthur.  i would spend hours trying to get certain sounds to come through in the mix properly (to the point of insanity) and then arthur comes in to fix any doubts.  that’s definitely the main benefit for me for working in a duo; it’s hard to tell if a song is good or terrible having worked on it for so long, like when you hear a word too much and it doesn’t sound like a real word anymore. 

a lot of the collaboration and musicality comes from us knowing each other for basically our whole lives, i think.  when we jam out our songs we can usually get into a pretty cool flow quite easily because we share a similar mindset musically.  in terms of our songwriting process, i think it’s quite muddled.  we’ll usually stitch together thoughts and lyrics we’ve had at various points in our life that have a similar theme to try and create coherent songs from honest, sometimes scattered emotions.

titularly, the tone of your two eps couldn’t be more different.  was your collective headspace noticeably different while writing the material for the future’s here & it’s terrible than it was for everything is okay?

definitely.  there was a big shift in our collective emotions going through both eps.  i guess for the first ep we had just left uni and the world felt free and open and we were, to an extent, positive.  the second ep, a few months later, was a shift in tone when we realized the stark reality of real life, haha.  that said, a lot of the underlying themes in everything is okay were still quite sorrowful, but i feel like the way we handled those feelings was with a more optimistic outlook than the second ep.

what five songs would constitute the perfect see you at home mixtape?

ooh, that is a tough question.  there are so many songs that we’d love to put on the mixtape, haha.  i’d say that we’d go for the following eclectic mix, some of which we’ve drawn on for inspiration, and others which have resonated with us at various times in the last couple of years.

deptford goth – “feel real”
la dispute – “nine”
bon iver – “holocene”
brand new – “jesus christ”
julien baker – “sprained ankle”

at the rate you’ve been releasing music, a new ep could potentially surface before the year’s end, but that expectation is admittedly presumptuous.  are there any concrete plans for more see you at home material at this time?

at the moment we’re trying to sort out our live set, as we’d love to do some gigs, but we absolutely want to put out as much music as possible.  while there’s no definitive timeline, we are busy trying to make some skeleton tracks and demos.

both everything is okay and the future’s here & it’s terrible are available to stream and purchase from see you at home’s bandcamp page.  both actions are highly recommended; the duo’s compact catalogue serves as a much-needed refuge from life’s unsavory portions.  indulge.

pity sex – white hot moon

white hot moon
out april 29th via run for cover records

the ann arbor, michigan quartet pity sex is a pop band masquerading as a shoegaze outfit.  beneath gloomy exteriors lie adroit guitar melodies and strong vocal hooks, a trait the band first explored on their 2013 debut feast of love and have now set out to perfect on its follow-up, white hot moon.  co-vocalists britty drake and brennan greaves again team up for listless explorations of infidelity and longing, toggling between downtrodden narratives and pointed conversations as fuzzed-out guitars buzz in the background.

the album’s twelve tracks rarely waver in tempo, a veritable locomotive engine that propels its train into the realm of 1990s nostalgia with a focus squarely on lyrical development.  drake takes more of a center stage than on previous efforts, be it commanding her own lead vocal on early stand-out “burden you” or sparring with greaves in traded stanzas on “september,” but her true apex hits on “plum,” a sparse, heartbreaking reflection on the loss of a parent that eventually gets consumed by a wall of guitars.

greaves’ performance across white hot moon isn’t too shabby either; his mumbled musings are more in-tune and focused than before, and ceding a bit more vocal duty to drake this time around allows for the attentive guitar work sprinkled throughout tunes like “orange and red” and “nothing rips through me.”

white hot moon feels very much like a continuation of its predecessor, and that’s perfectly alright.  pity sex excel at honing their craft, and astoundingly resonant pop gems like “pin a star” seem to suggest that downtrodden shoegaze is a comfort zone the band won’t need to rely on for much longer.  whether or not they will choose to completely shed their dichotomous aesthetic remains to be seen, but it’s clear that white hot moon is an incredibly focused effort that basks in a soothing analog warmth.  soak it up.

 

pity sex – “pin a star”

pity sex
photo courtesy of the artist

pity sex are slated to release their sophomore full-length, white hot moon, on april 29th via the esteemed run for cover records.  the ann arbor quartet has long displayed a propensity for crafting a distinct brand of forlorn shoegaze, and its further refinement has not gone unnoticed.  following the stellar “what might soothe you?” and “burden you,” pity sex have offered up “pin a star,” a fuzzy, particularly pop-centric single that infuses britty drake’s coos of undeniable truths with echoed sentiments from co-vocalist brennan greaves.  take a listen to “pin a star” below.

pity sex – “burden you”

pity sex
photo courtesy of the artist

ann arbor quartet pity sex has long been skilled at pairing fuzzed-out walls of sound with dreamy, vulnerable vocal dialogues, and they’ll continue to hone that craft on white hot moon.  the band’s sophomore full-length is due out april 29th via run for cover records; after teasing “what might soothe you?” all the way back in september, pity sex has returned with “burden you,” an intricately-crafted single that effortlessly toggles between the band’s two extremities with greater frequency than ever before.  it’s easily their best yet.  listen to “burden you” below.

listen to a new song from pity sex

pity sex
photo courtesy of the artist

those that have been reading dimestore saints since this site’s earliest days may remember that we were quite enamored with ann arbor quartet pity sex throughout most of 2013.  their debut full-length feast of love coincided with what felt like the apex of the so-called emo revival, though the band’s penchant for gloomy shoegaze taken at punk tempos set them apart from their peers.  pity sex recently wrapped up work on their sophomore effort, white hot moon; it’s due out this coming spring via run for cover records, and today the band shared its lead single.  “what might soothe you?” finds co-vocalists brennan greaves and britty drake furthering the gloomy, hopelessly romantic dialogue drummer and lyricist sean st. charles crafted across feast of love while the underneath accompaniment veers towards the extremes, with clean passages suddenly juxtaposed by fuzzed-out guitar smears.  take a listen to “what might soothe you?” below.

most anticipated albums of fall 2015

braun turntable 2the home stretch of each year always provides a plethora of new albums vying for contention in year-end best-of reviews.  invariably, at least one heavy-hitter holds onto a project until the quarter is almost over before unleashing it and messing with the internet’s ballots by proxy (here’s looking at you, kanye and frank).  the full list for this fall is exhausting; google searches and metacritic are good tools to keep yourself in the know, but we’ve also compiled a handful of albums we’re especially itching to dig into.  read on for more detailed explanations.

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mind out wandering coverastronauts, etc. – mind out wandering
september 18th (hit city u.s.a.)

anthony ferraro has seen his exploratory outlet into the realm of pop music grow from a solo project to a full-band endeavor.  already armed with a quartet of impressive singles, astronauts, etc. should offer up a strong and nuanced debut full-length with mind out wandering.

every open eye coverchvrches – every open eye
september 25th (virgin/glassnote)

chvrches wrote and recorded their sophomore album over the span of six months, a quarter of the amount of time they spent touring in support of their massive debut the bones of what you believe.  still, the glaswegian trio’s penchant for huge melodies and their uncanny ability to weave downtrodden aspects of indie rock into massive stadium-ready anthems (see “leave a trace”) argues that every open eye will likely be a well-deserved victory lap.

new bermuda coverdeafheaven – new bermuda
october 2nd (anti)

remember that deafheaven is a substantially different band than the one that churned out sunbather two years ago.  the sense of urgency derived from a dire economic situation that permeated the band’s critically-acclaimed breakthrough album may be subdued, but this is a creative force bent on melding genre confines into a fluid product.  at the very least, new bermuda will not fall short on intrigue.

are you alone? covermajical cloudz – are you alone?
october 16th (matador)

speaking of critically-acclaimed albums from 2013, the duo responsible for our favorite record that year are returning with a new full-length in october.  are you alone? comes on the heels of an arduous touring regimen for majical cloudz, including a support slot for lorde that necessitated a re-write of most of the new material the band had fleshed out.  “silver car crash” finds devon welsh singing as directly as ever, and his easy command of a higher register suggests a newfound confidence; subsequent singles that emerge this month and next should paint a clearer picture of the album’s direction.

foxing dealer coverfoxing – dealer
october 30th (triple crown)

st. louis quintet foxing emerged from the recent emo resurgence as a clear frontrunner that could endure the waning fad and continue to contribute meaningful material.  their breakthrough the albatross juxtaposed moments of agitation with sustained introspective passages, a formula that will prove beneficial for a young band given ample time to hone their craft.

– other notable releases –

lana del rey – honeymoon (september 18th)
kurt vile – b’lieve i’m going down (september 25th)
milo – so the flies don’t come (september 25th)
youth lagoon – savage hills ballroom (september 25th)
chad valley – entirely new blue (october 2nd)
alex g – beach music (october 9th)
saintseneca – such things (october 9th)
beach house – thank your lucky stars (october 16th)
pure bathing culture – pray for rain (october 23rd)
gems – kill the one you love (october 30th)
the japanese house – clean (november 6th)
goldlink – and after that we didn’t talk (november 13th)
james blake – radio silence (tba)

listen to a new song from cemeteries

cemeteries
photo courtesy of the artist

the final third of “sodus” swells to cinematic heights, becoming emblematic of the influence late-1980s soundtracks have had on kyle reigle’s output as cemeteries.  the recent portland, oregon transplant is slated to release a new album, barrow, july 28th via snowbeast and track and field records; “sodus” is the first single culled from that project, and should function well in its penultimate placement on the album’s track list.  the grand, ethereal gestures that define the song’s latter stages are grown organically from melodic fragments that gradually bleed together in cavernous reverb, but “sodus” is truly held together by reigle’s downtrodden sighs that weave effortlessly through the track’s dense textural thicket.  get lost in the new single from cemeteries below.