last summer, alex frenkel released promised lands, his first effort under his caicos moniker, a vibrant debut that fused electronic soundscapes with frenkel’s signature guitar playing and vocals. it appears he had more left in the tank; a five-song extended play, dream machines, is due out this spring.
on “genesis,” the EP‘s opening number and lead-off single, palm-muted motifs skitter off of compressed electronic backbeats and acoustic guitar chord progressions, an organic foundation warmed by frenkel’s conversational baritone.
his lead vocal sits comfortably in the foreground, gradually enveloped by the accompanying arrangement until the very final moments, when most timbres exit stage left and frenkel remains with a surprisingly tender sentiment to deliver. an initial glimpse into a project that shows the measured progression of an incredibly assured songwriter, “genesis” is a placid cut, particularly well-suited for chilly days that require a bit extra aural warmth.
dream machine is out may 31st via very jazzed. listen to “genesis,” premiering right here on the dimestore, below.
alex frenkel’s work as caicos is doused in vibrant polychrome, its rock-solid pop foundations meandering through fields of bucolic folk, minefields of electronica, and the abstractions of art rock. our first taste of frenkel’s debut project came this spring in the form of “turned again (crux)”; the new york songwriter is now gearing up for the release of promised lands, a seven-song extended play sprawling beyond its twenty-five minute run time.
the aptly-titled opening number, “watercolor (mala),” is packed with saturated hues, a thematic distillation that prefaces many of the tropes that subsequently appear. while the coursing second single, “vega,” feels like the project’s largest sonic outlier, the straight-ahead misdirection is grounded in the assured coolness of frenkel’s lead vocal, stretching into falsetto with ease and laying the framework for sly future callbacks.
promised lands hits its stride with the soft acoustic shuffle of “southeast,” a relaxing exercise in reassurance that parlays its existence into the first panel of a breezy triptych; “the push and pull” revels in motifs that evaporate in wisps of reversed delay while the standout penultimate cut “salvo” trades acoustic guitars for airy synths and bell-tone counter-melodies. frenkel saves the title track for his finale, a measured rumination that pares back to just a finger-picked acoustic guitar and proves to be just as compelling as its predecessors.
with just seven songs, frenkel is able to turn in a fully-realized presentation of what caicos is: a stirring electro-acoustic project that relishes nuance and rock-solid songwriting perfectly timed for the changing seasons. promised landsis due august 10th via very jazzed, but you can listen to it a few days early right here on the dimestore. dig in.
tyler costolo’s earliest offering as two meters was a force to be reckoned with. when we premiered the florida songwriter’s debut track, “left behind,” at the end of april, costolo’s ability to transform profound grief into a cathartic was readily apparent, and he was able to subvert that catharsis – donning the millstone again – on the haunting follow-up, “captive audience.”
last friday, costolo released his self-titled debut extended play via the houston label very jazzed. three additional tracks accompany the aforementioned singles, altogether providing a cohesive introductory statement for his whispered brand of bedroom pop confessionals. “current sequel” is a weary interlude, paying homage to its title by repurposing the harsh, grating textures of “left behind” for its own mourning metaphor, while the distant arpeggios that populate “trapped inside” are perfect conduits for costolo’s spare exploration of loneliness and isolation.
closing out the project is the slightly macabre yet endearing “web,” its idiosyncrasies bottled up in the angular piano motifs perched atop the texture. additional production from label mates get a life and pastel feature throughout two meters, and the latter lends their vocals to the finale, wordless echoes that accentuate the project’s haunting thesis. at just under fifteen minutes, two meters is a compelling debut best – and easily – consumed in one sitting. listen to the extended play, streaming in full below.
tyler costolo’s output as two meters has been spare but incredibly affecting thus far. his debut single, “left behind,” shrouds traumatic loss in a colossal soundscape built on an unassuming foundation of acoustic guitar and vocals, a glimpse of his forthcoming self-titled extended play.
the magnitude of the aforementioned project has been further clarified by “captive audience,” which doubles down on the affectations provided by hushed guitar and vocals while exploring the ramifications of a physical altercation. costolo’s labelmate pastel again makes an appearance, this time singing whispered harmonies as the track soaks in its implications. with its distant, dissonant piano undercurrents coursing through the texture, “captive audience” retains a haunting aura complementary to the catharsis of its predecessor.
two metersis due out june 15th via very jazzed. take a listen to “captive audience” below.
tyler costolo ventured into the realm of home recording at the top of 2017, armed with a guitar, a voice, and a bevy of deeply personal, confessional lyrics. as two meters, the boca raton native has honed sentiments of loss and sorrow into a precise vessel, one that takes the shape of a five-track extended play due later this year.
making a lasting impression is “left behind,” the stunning debut offering from two meters and his extended play’s opening number. faint strumming and a muffled voice are the pillars of a prelude filled to the brim with accounts of overwhelming personal loss, costolo intimately recounting the death of his mother and the immediate aftermath. “left behind” eventually swells into a titanic arrangement supplemented by production from label-mates pastel and get a life, a fuzzed-out cacophony that mirrors the indirect catharsis this song provides.
after establishing his bona fides as a member of the new york-based band gospels and a collaborator of gabriel garzón-montano, alex frenkel has struck out on his own under the moniker caicos. “turned again (crux)” is the first glimpse of frenkel’s debut extended play, promised land, and it establishes a project equally preoccupied with careful, measured narratives as it is with vibrant collages of pastoral electronic pop.
paired with “turned again (crux)” is a surreal, illustrated music video created by rozalina burkova in conjunction with the wild honey pie. in case the track’s allusions to medusa and greek mythology weren’t explicit, the accompanying visuals hammer home those references with slightly absurdist humor, blossoming flowers coordinated with the vernal bloom of the song’s chorus.
promised land is due out august 10th via the folks at very jazzed. get acquainted with caicos below.