Friday, February 15, 2019

New Selections — Spotlights, Alice Phoebe Lou, Daniel Thorne, spoony bard, Noisem, Francie Moon, Wand, Inter Arma

No more silence! Behold! 

Spotlights: "The Age of Decay"
(via Rarely Unable / Ipecac Recordings / YouTube)


Via Rarely Unable:

Spotlights, the Brooklyn-based band whose music finds “that perfect balance between crushing heaviness and dreamier melodies” (WFPK), release Love & Decay on April 26 via Ipecac Recordings. Spotlights' music is iron tone in a velvet glove. They strike with full force, perfectly balancing the weight and sound spectrum of each instrument. And yet it's a weight that's also sublime in its beauty, with dream-like vocals encased in the mix of subharmonics. A rich and unctuous vibration that melts in your ears, nourishes your brain, and engulfs you with their warmth, like the gravity of a small planet.

"The Age of Decay encapsulates everything we do on this record,” explains guitar player/singer Mario Quintero. “Musically, it has some of the heaviest moments as well as the most dynamic and melodic. It shows little bits of what we get into throughout the entire album in one track. Lyrically, it reflects on personal points in my and Sarah’s relationship, how things grew from when we met, moving around the country and chasing this thing together. The juxtaposition about love against this backdrop of a world that can be hard to deal with.” Mario continues “It’s intangible, It’s intense. It’s beautiful. There’s an impending darkness underneath everything and a sense of unease, but it’s also honest and vulnerable. It’s just really important to us. Regardless of why anyone might react, that’s why we do it.”

Mario handled the production work on the eight-track offering, which was recorded in he and bass player/singer Sarah Quintero’s basement. The new album also finds the band officially grow to a trio, with touring drummer Chris Enriquez becoming a full-time member.

Spotlights' story happens void of spectacle, show, or tableau. However, in this day and age, that might be why their story feels so serendipitous and strange, if not utterly surprising. This story also instantly appealed to some rather influential peers who lent an early endorsement. Two musicians—husband-and-wife duo Mario [guitar, synths, vocals] and Sarah Quintero [bass, guitar, vocals]—simply pick up their instruments and mainline dense distortion, spacey soundscapes, and unnervingly serene vocal transmissions directly from the heart. This unpredictable, yet unassuming sound quietly heralded their arrival in 2016 on the D.I.Y. debut LP,
Tidals. Brooklyn Vegan stumbled upon the project and streamed “Walls.” The song eventually entranced musician and producer Aaron Harris (ISIS/Palms) who shared it with his Palms singer and Deftones frontman Chino Moreno. An invite to open the Deftones summer tour followed as the band would go on to share the stage with everyone from Melvins, Quicksand, Hum, and Glassjaw to Pelican and Pallbearer. Ipecac Recordings co-founders Mike Patton and Greg Werckman fell under the band’s spell and signed them. Spotlights’ Ipecac debut, Seismic, arrived in in the Autumn of 2017. During the subsequent tours, Spotlights recorded an Audiotree session. The band also released an EP, Hanging By Faith, in June 2018.
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Alice Phoebe Lou: "Galaxies"
(via One in a Million Media / YouTube)



Via One in a Million Media:

(New York, NY) Having been ensconced in the studio working on her forthcoming album, Paper Castles, Alice Phoebe Lou is pleased to release the new single, "Galaxies."

South African singer-songwriter, Alice has just announced a series of live shows in Europe, as well as North America, having sold out two Cape Town shows in February, which pre-empts her forthcoming album due 8th March. Overseen by Grammy winning producer Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom), "Galaxies" follows previous track, "Skin Crawl," described by The FADER as ‘powerful and stunning,’ and is once again accompanied by visuals that portray Lou’s charm and elegant fragility.

The track, as Alice herself explains,
“Happened on a rainy moody day in Berlin, my friend Harry Charles & I wrote this song while lying on the carpet of my room. Space had become such a theme in my life & music, not in a scientific way but more in a metaphorical sense; drawing parallels between a planet in the expansive universe & the way that one's tiny & seemingly insignificant existence interacts with the world. This song is about being nothing & everything. About being overwhelmed by the weight of existence while simultaneously being in awe & wonder of it all. 'Galaxies' came to life the first time we played in the Planetarium in Berlin; we've played 13 shows there now & every time I see the visuals come to life & the audience being swept away by the combination of the song with the projections of flying through the galaxies, the song makes so much sense”.

The accompanying music video features Alice in a surreal dreamlike landscape coupled with animated design by Hagen Schönfeld. The video is directed by Chloë Lewer and Andrea Ariel, they say, “‘Galaxies’ is the tale of a fallen star, who has ended up living a regular life on earth. There’s no denying that out-of-this-world themes and galactic dreams are intrinsic within Alice and her music. We think of our dear friend as a star, in all forms of the word. So in this video we wanted to portray the high and lows of such journey. The music video was shot with a loving micro crew over two days in between a ‘space’ in Berlin and an ex-military Soviet training ground just out of the city."

The forthcoming Paper Castles tour in the Northern hemisphere includes a series of dates starting this March in North America and Europe.

###

The Paper Castles 2019 Tour

North America

March 3 - Toronto, CAN - The Garrison
March 4 - Montreal, CAN - Bar Le Ritz PDB
March 5 - Boston, MA - Cafe 939
March 7 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java
March 8 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
March 10 - Durham, NC - Motorco Music Hall
March 11 - Atlanta, GA - Vinyl AT Center Stage
March 13 - 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW
March 20 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
March 21 - Los Angeles, CA - The Moroccan Lounge
March 23 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
March 24 - Portland, OR - The Old Church Concert Hall
March 25 - Seattle, WA - Barboz

Europe

April 5 & 6 – Istanbul, TR – Salon IKSV
April 10 - Leipzig, DE - UT Connewitz
April 11 - Dresden, DE - Polimagie Festival
April 13 - Hannover, DE - Faust
April 15 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
April 16 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
April 17 - London, UK - Earth
April 18 - Nottingham, UK - Bodega
April 20 - Utrecht, ND - Tivoli
April 21 - Amsterdam, ND - Zonnehuis
April 23 - Aachen, DE - Kulturbunker
April 24 - Brussels, BE - Botanique
April 26 - Vienna, AT - Flex
April 28 - Prague, CZ - Futrum
April 29 - Erlangen, DE - E-Werk
May 1 - Friberg, DE - Jazzhaus
May 2 - Munich, DE - Ampere
May 3 - Zurich, CH - Bogen F
May 4 - Stuttgart, DE - Im Wizemann
May 6 - Cologne, DE - Kulturkirche
May 7 - Mainz, DE - Kuz
May 8 -Kiel, DE - Pumpe
May 9 - Copenhagen, DK - Vega
May 11 - Berlin, DE - Columbiahalle

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Daniel Thorne"Fear of Floating"
(via Julian T. Schoen / Erased Tapes / YouTube)



Via Julian T. Schoen:

Saxophonist and Immix Ensemble founder Daniel Thorne is prepping his Lines Of Sight LP due out March 15 on Erased Tapes. Today, he shares the second single, "Fear Of Floating", putting the spotlight squarely on his saxophone.

The Australian-born, Liverpool-based composer and saxophonist may find fans in those who enjoy Colin Stetson.

Daniel had this to say, "Thematically, this music was inspired by birds-eye aerial images and the idea of perspective - how something incredibly complex like a river or the surface of the ocean is reduced to a simple line or shape when viewed from the heavens. The line between natural and man-made becomes increasingly blurred.

"I've long been a fan of studio-based composition, but have always found the infinite possibilities on offer daunting and, often, a stumbling block. To get around this I set myself a challenge of limiting myself to the physical instruments in my possession - a few different saxophones and a bass synth, with no more than four tracks to record them."

Lines of Sight follows Thorne's work as artistic director of the acclaimed, collaboration-focussed group Immix Ensemble. Together with experimental electronic artist Vessel, he co-wrote Transition released on Erased Tapes in 2016. More recently, he worked with acclaimed modular synth wizard Luke Abbott, to create a four-part suite, which was premiered live in June 2017. Immix Ensemble have also performed special live commissions with Kelly Lee Owens, Dialect, Jane Weaver and Bill Ryder-Jones, among others.

As the first track under Thorne's own name, "Iroise" was recorded for the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary release 1+1=X, alongside works by Nils Frahm, Penguin Cafe, A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Rival Consoles. He also recently remixed Manu Delago, known as the live percussionist for Björk and Ólafur Arnalds.

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spoony bard"Ego Trippin' Part 99"
(via Us-Them Group / spoony bard music / Bandcamp)



Via Us-Them Group:

"I'm trying to blur the line between rap's grandiosity and De La Soul's parody of it." -- David Nord, Talkhouse

"A dizzying, sometimes disorienting sound that will garner comparisons to Dälek, Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin and others. Ceaseless in its sonic exploration, restless in its vision and tireless in its sense of invention." -- PopMatters

NYC producer and musician spoony bard shares the first single today from his forthcoming sophomore album
Old Friends via The Talkhouse. The track, "Ego Trippin' Part 99" is inspired by De La Soul's classic "Ego Trippin' Pt. 2" but infused with spoony bard's unique collision of influences. Hear the track and the musician's revealing explanation of its origins via Talkhouse.

Like the video game garbled insult of its namesake, spoony bard is the result of a cultural collision as well as an honest and self-deprecating exploration of life. The hybrid of L.A. beat scene, electronic, jazz and avant-garde takes a fresh approach to musical soul-bearing with compelling sonic textures and introspective lyrics. spoony bard combines hints of Flying Lotus, Dalek, DJ Premier, Herbie Hancock, Aphex Twin and more.

spoony bard is the alter-ego of musician David Nord. Originally a jazz composer/guitarist, Nord's equal interest in hip-hop and electronic sounds brought about an evolution in his work, leading him to merge these styles and explore the possibilities of an alternate musical vocabulary.
Old Friends follows Nord's 2017 debut Dweeb, which was featured by Bandcamp Weekly and received considerable press praise. For this album, Nord took a turn backward.

"It's titled Old Friends because on a lot of these songs I had old friends in mind," Nord says. "Old friends also means my old musical friends - guitar playing, some melodies I wrote a long time ago. This album has a lot more live instrumentation on it. There's still plenty of synths, but I did a lot more playing and less sampling."

The album opens with a cascade of notes from electric piano, guitar and what sounds like a droning sitar on "Ego Trippin' Part 99." It sounds almost like a lost Mahavishnu Orchestra track until sampled voices, syncopated percussion and Nord's rhymes take over the proceedings. His style of rapping is so conversational and intimate, it almost sounds like it's a man's unguarded thoughts being telegraphed to the listener. "Levitate Me Later" is a glitch-funk blast, while "Areia" takes a smoothed-out approach with gliding sung vocals and Giorgio Moroder freakout synth soloing. "Extralewd 1" echoes Aphex Twin's best sliced'n'diced grooves. Throughout, it's a delightfully unhinged and explorative album that's impossibly laid back and frenzied at the same time.

Old Friends will be available for download on April 5th via Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

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Noisem: "Filth and Style"
(via Earsplit PR / 20 Buck Spin / Bandcamp)



Via Earsplit PR:

20 Buck Spin has released the searing new "Filth And Stye" single from Baltimore, Maryland's crossover trio NOISEM. The track is an advance warning shot from the band's impending third LP, Cease To Exist, set for release in mid-March.

NOISEM's
Cease To Exist was recorded at Developing Nations by Kevin Bernsten (Integrity, Full Of Hell, Magrudergrind), mastered at Audiosiege by Brad Boatright (Obituary, Integrity, Black Breath), and completed with artwork by Ethan McCarthy/Cool Ghoul Ltd. (Primitive Man).

The shortest track on Cease To Exist, "Filth And Stye" is a pure shredder, the track landing like a bombing run and devastating everything in earshot in under a minute. The band offers of the song,
"Trudging through the endless squalor and ceaseless suffering, masses starved, and bastards crowned. Is this world worth saving? Who will stand firm and who will stand and watch it burn?"

Cease To Exist will see release March 15th on LP, CD, cassette, and digital formats through new label home 20 Buck Spin. Find preorders at the label webshop HERE and Bandcamp where prior single "Eyes Pried Open" is streaming HERE. Watch for additional audio and video samples to be issued in the weeks ahead.

NOISEM will tour the East Coast in direct conjunction with the album's release. The Cease To Exist Tour kicks off in the band's hometown of Baltimore on March 15th the day the LP strikes, followed by shows in Brooklyn, Montclair, Providence, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Richmond, before ending in Raleigh March 21st. NOISEM's cohorts in Washington, DC-based No/Más will provide additional hellfire to the entire tour, with Oxalate, Genocide Pact, Bandit, Painbody, and other top-tier locals will be joining in on the action.

NOISEM Cease To Exist Tour w/ No/Más:
3/15/2019 Sidebar - Baltimore, MD
3/16/2019 Saint Vitus Bar - Brooklyn, NY (matinee) w/ Oxalate, Stinger, High Cost, Concussion [info]
3/16/2019 The Meatlocker - Montclair, NJ
3/17/2019 Al Dios No Conocido - Providence, RI
3/18/2019 Gooski's - Pittsburgh, PA
3/19/2019 The Barbary - Philadelphia, PA w/ Genocide Pact, Bandit, Painbody [info]
3/20/2019 McCormack's Irish Pub - Richmond, VA
3/21/2019 The Wicked Witch - Raleigh, NC w/ Old Painless, Cammo, Culling At Wicked Witch [info]

NOISEM returns from the dead with Cease To Exist; leaner, meaner, with a new label and new life. After heavy momentum with their second LP, Blossoming Decay, and subsequent touring including the 2015 Decibel Magazine tour supporting Carcass, Gorguts, and The Black Dahlia Murder, the band seemingly disappeared. However, 2018 saw them return in new form, ready to resume their place among the most promising young bands in metal. This was met with a late-2018 non-album single, "Sin Rash," released through the Adult Swim singles series.

Keeping with the tradition of the most classic grindcore albums, Cease To Exist is an immediately aggressive attack of confrontational energy, pushing the pace with a withering ten tracks over twenty-two minutes. An eruption of grinding blastbeats, unceasing death-thrash riffs, and an acidic vocal snarl to rival prime Jeff Walker, Cease To Exist quells any notion that NOISEM would ease up with time. If nothing else, the band's third LP is their most seething, vicious, and inwardly dark album yet. Cease To Exist displays a cacophony of grind, death, thrash, punk, and hardcore, seamlessly blended, blistered, and set ablaze. With Cease To Exist, NOISEM makes a full circle statement of intent; a savage declaration in the face of an ever more bleak future. Fans of early Carcass, Repulsion, Napalm Death, Exhumed, Nasum, Terrorizer, Mammoth Grinder, Black Breath should get on board.

https://www.facebook.com/NoisemBaltimore
https://noisem.bandcamp.com
http://www.20buckspin.com
http://www.facebook.com/20buckspin
http://twitter.com/20buckspinlabel
http://listen.20buckspin.com
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Francie Moon: "Present Tense"
(via Michael Mehalick / Keeper Records / Soundcloud) 



Via Michael Mehalick:
Singer-songwriter Francie Moon is exactly what you might think of when you hear “free spirit.” Always traveling in her well worn van, Moon has gigged in every nook and cranny, bar and coffee shop in the continental U.S. With a prolific amount of releases to her credit since adopting the moniker in 2013, Francie Moon (real name Melissa Lucciola) is set to follow-up on her celebrated, American Songwriter-backed self-titled EP released in September 2016.

The track premiered via The Vinyl District where Francie Moon detailed;
"I wrote 'Present Tense' while living in Easton, PA in my friend Josh’s jam room above a nail salon in the heart of the city. There was a huge wall of amps and endless musical toys, lights, art supplies, and freedom. Easton is a weird little city that I love with a lot of jazz, art, and sketchiness. I became very inspired one week by this wild combination and wrote many songs and this was one of them. I believe this song is a message about the journey of finding yourself and also being patient and loving with yourself when you’re getting back on track with who you are. A lot of people get caught up in the past and in the future, but this is about forgetting all that and just letting yourself be yourself, happy and free in the moment. I think when you finally let yourself feel that peace and freedom of being here now, fear and uncertainty usually wash away and sometimes doors even start to open for the future you were really dreaming of anyway. It’s so good and important to feel good and feel ourselves, and I think we can do that by not judging ourselves harshly, packing light when it comes to what we hold on to inside and by paying attention to and following the call of what we really love. Easier said than done sometimes, but at least we’re all figuring life out together, all on the same sea, just different boats."

Francie Moon links:
Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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Wand: "Scarecrow"
(via Drag City / YouTube)



Via Drag City

A little less than two years on from 2017's Plum, Californian scrap polymorphs Wand are prepared to announce their newest, and fifth long playing record, Laughing Matter. By now, Wand is the shifting but unmistakable collaboration between Sofia Arreguin (keys, vocals), Cory Hanson (guitar, vocals), Robert Cody (guitar), Lee Landey (bass) and Evan Burrows (drums). 

Laughing Matter is marked by the confidence and fervor of a band that has lived, feuded, thrived and grown together through years of dedicated jamming, touring and recording, across continents and mind-sets. The music of Laughing Matter is distilled and sculpted from an ash heap of collected improvisations, riven with audio-verite; the methods and instrumentation are traditional handmade rock 'n' roll. Yet the unorthodox arrangements and exuberant songwriting of the first single "Scarecrow", push Wand into new territory aimed toward at the future sound of the band!

Laughing Matter is a record about love in a time of terror; it calls you down from panic room labyrinths, to work the deep tissue of unraveling trauma we all carry so dear. The 15 songs on this record face their energy outward, to take with you through a common world that can't suffer its human abusers much longer. Laughing Matter encourages you to shake hands with your old demons, to lay your pathologies to rest, to hold your spirit close, and let your body do what's next. Listen, watch and take in the new single "Scarecrow" (check out Cory's interview over at Beats1 here as well), Laughing Matter comes on April 19.

WAND ON TOUR
Mar.11 in Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
Mar.13 in Austin, Texas @ SXSW
Mar.14 in Austin, Texas @ SXSW
Mar.15 in Austin, Texas @ SXSW
Mar.16 in Austin, Texas @ SXSW
Mar.16 in Dallas, TX @ NSFW
Mar.18 in Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
Mar.19 in San Deigo, CA @ Soda Bar
Apr.19 in Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
May.2 in San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
May 3 in Arcata, CA @ Richard's Goat
May 6 in Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
May 9 in Portland, OR @ Mississippi
May 25 in London, UK @ Electric Brixton
May 27 in Brussels, BE @ Botanique @ Orangerie
May 30 in Berlin, DE @ Privatclub

WAND Online: 

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Inter Arma: "Citadel"
(via Relapse Records / Soundcloud) 



Via Relapse Records:

Richmond's INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, continue to trace a distinctly ambitious trajectory through modern metal. Today, the band announces their 4th full-length offering Sulphur English, coming April 12th, 2019, and share the first single entitled “Citadel”.

Vocalist Mike Paparo comments:

"The lyrics to "Citadel" were written as a sort of clarion call to myself about overcoming depression and the demons that manifest with it. It, like most of the lyrical content on the record, is deeply personal to me.

For the band as a whole, Sulphur English is an ill-tempered, unrepentant act of defiance towards stagnation and complacency. We create this music on our own terms and we refuse to compromise our collective vision, for better or worse."

Sulphur English is due out April 12th on CD/2xLP/Digital. Physical packages are available for pre-order via Relapse.com HERE. Digital Downloads / Streaming Services are available HERE.

Additionally, INTER ARMA have been announced for Decibel’s Metal & Beer Fest Pre-Fest and celebrate the release of Sulphur English with labelmates Integrity, Full of Hell & Devil Master

INTER ARMA’s impulses tend toward the epic, but never bloat; they meld several styles — doom, sludge, and hard psych — without coming off like dilettantes. This newest full-length, Sulphur English, finds them mining deeper in the proggy organic doom fields that made both Paradise Gallows and Sky Burial so thrilling while expanding further the on the psych-folk strain that made those albums' peaks seem so lofty.

Few metal bands have ever made such effective use of acoustic instruments in truly heavy environments as INTER ARMA do; the acoustic guitar that stitches "Stillness" together is as effective as any overdriven bass; a two-minute gloomy piano-and-feedback piece titled "Observances of the Path" rolls out the carpet for "The Atavist's Meridian," an album highlight that rides a gigantic, roomy drum sound into realms akin to a murkier Paradise Lost, a more aggressive Om, and a dreamier, more stoned Kylesa all playing together at once. Few bands make music as engrossing as INTER ARMA; their lengthy, almost meditative songs rumble patiently forward until you're ready to get thrown off a bridge — and then they throw you, with great force.

- Words by John Darnielle

OFFICIAL LINKS:
Inter Arma on Facebook
Inter Arma on Instagram
Inter Arma on Twitter
Inter Arma on Bandcamp

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Buried In A Good Mixtape: Valentine's Day Redux Redux...

I haven't compiled love or "anti-love" songs in tribute to Valentine's Day for quite some time, so I thought I'd spend the day curating some new tracks to consider. I hope I don't repeat any inclusions from playlists I've posted in the past, but you can find those here:

2/14/12 — Valentine’s Day: “Love” is in the Title...

2/14/13 — Valentine's Day: "Love" is in the title... (again, but not really)


Some of the links are dead, but there are still some tracks to listen to.

Embrace your loved ones today and beyond, everyone.

Betty Davis — “Anti Love Song”


Julian Cope — “Beautiful Love”


The Gun Club — “Sex Beat”


Blonde Redhead — "Valentine"


Tom Waits: "Blue Valentine"


Louis Armstrong: "I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)


Henry Rollins: "A Man and a Woman"


Liz Phair: "Flower (Girlysound demo)"


Muddy Waters — “I Just Want to Make Love to You”


The Mojo Men — “Sit Down, I Think I Love You”


Frank Zappa — “Broken Hearts Are For Assholes”


The Swingin' Medallions — "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)"


My Bloody Valentine — "Cupid Come"


Method Man — "All I Need"


James Chance & The Pill Factory: "That's When Your Heartaches Begin"


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, January 11, 2019

New Selections — BARNETT+COLOCCIA, Dave Harrington Group, The Coathangers, Mörglbl, Dylan Henner, Good Fuck, Black Taffy

The first full week of 2019 is at a close, so please enjoy this first batch of sounds. 

BARNETT+COLOCCIA: "Copperworks"
(via Rarely Unable / SIGE Records / Soundcloud)



Via Rarely Unable:

Barnett + Coloccia is the musical collaboration between Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer, Mára and recently vocals on Jóhann Jóhannsson's Mandy soundtrack) and Alex Barnett (Oakeater, Champagne Mirrors).

Each record begins the same, with a reunion of two good friends catching up on life changes, new ideas on existence, magical occurrences, and difficult experiences. The ideas in the reunions between Faith and Alex plant the conceptual seeds for each song. The music itself takes influence from cinematic soundtracks, 20th century classical and early electronic music.

The project is a true collaboration in the sense that the songs never end up as one person's vision, rather they end up somewhere new, where the whole is a strange extension beyond the sum of the parts.

Recorded over three days by Nicholas Wilbur at Anacortes Unknown. Randall Dunn's production helped to realise each song as a space in time event.

With two previous albums released by the Blackest Ever Black label, B+C continue their singular approach on SIGE with
VLF their third outing into the unknown, which shall see release on 22nd February 2019.

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Dave Harrington Group: "Well"
(via Clandestine Label Services / Yeggs Records / Bandcamp)



Via Clandestine Label Services:

Today multi-instrumentalist and producer Dave Harrington announced his second full-length album with his project Dave Harrington Group titled Pure Imagination, No Country. The album will be released on February 1st 2019 on CD/LP/Digital courtesy of Yeggs Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp.

With the announcement Harrington shared the album opener "Well" (listen on Spotify, Bandcamp), a 2-minute glimpse into the album's spirit of improvisation and composition through psych rock, jazz and electronic music — all at once, in equal measure.

From their 2014 EP and 2016's
Become Alive, Dave Harrington Group have received acclaim from The 405, Drowned In Sound, Noisey, NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and many more. Yet with the help of Will Shore (TMBOY, Francis Harris, Uzupis), Andrew Fox (Visuals), Samer Ghadry, and multi-instrumentalist Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist), Pure Imagination, No Country showcases the most focused distillation of Harrington's collaborative musical framework, which he notes as being inspired by Miles Davis's innovative "electric years."

Harrington will celebrate the release with select shows including a date in Los Angeles, CA at Zebulon and a special five night residency in Brooklyn, NY at Threes, which will feature a rotating lineup of guest players (including Brian Chase, Joe Russo, Kenny Wollesen, Stuart Bogie, Yuka C. Honda, Shahzad Ismaily, Greg Fox, Jeremy Gustin, Spencer Zahn and more).
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The Coathangers"Bimbo"
(via Stereo Sanctity / Suicide Squeeze Records / YouTube)



Via Stereo Sanctity:

Today we’re excited to announce the latest work from Atlanta's three-woman riot, The Coathangers. New album The Devil You Know is due out on March 8th via Suicide Squeeze Records.

For 12 years The Coathangers have been building an infallible reputation for chaotic punk rock and visceral live shows, but this sixth LP is a record that captures their established takes on vitriolic punk, playful house-party anthems, and heart-worn ballads and melds them all, revealing a new level of songwriting and nuance.

Today they share the album’s opening track and accompanying video, "Bimbo", with guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel saying: "'Bimbo' is a bittersweet note on love, self preservation, and letting go. It came together naturally and was one of the easiest songs to be written for the new record. It tells two sides of the story but still feels uplifting and positive. An acceptance of things the way they are."

She continues: "The video was shot on our last European tour by us and our fellow road warrior Mackenzie Sutch. We spend a large part of our lives on the road and it felt right to make the first video off the new record a small documentation of that. Tour is bittersweet as well. It can be dreamy and harsh at the same time. Shot mostly in Spain and Portugal, the video for 'Bimbo' is a lovely memory of a complex emotional and physical journey. The video was edited by our good friend Nacho Montero from Madrid."

“The writing process was done with an open heart,” says Kugel. “Everything that came before had to go away. Whatever hang-up, whatever thing we were holding onto, it had to go away. And we started there, at ground zero.” This may sound like the band was going through some Hüsker Dü-level personal drama, but the reality is less gritty and salacious. The individual members had merely become entrenched in their way of doing things. Kugel excelled at the melodic pop songs. Drummer/vocalist Stephanie Luke belted out the gritty rock tunes. Bassist/vocalist Meredith Franco drove the post-punk and no-wave angles of the band. With each album, you could hear the individual songwriters honing their style. But with ‘The Devil You Know’, it feels like we’re hearing the first Coathangers record written as a true unit. There’s a newfound discipline, depth, and dimension, like each member learned how to imbue their bandmates’ songs with their own personal touch.

Inspired and emboldened by their experience recording previous LP Nosebleed Weekend, the band returned to Valentine Recording Studios in Laurel Canyon with Nic Jodoin, who pushed them into increasingly layered and lush sonic territories. The album title stems from an old adage whispered at a friend’s wedding; we settle when we’re afraid of the unknown. It’s a theme that runs through every song on the album, and even though the band insists they were writing songs about other peoples’ pain, they acknowledge that the old saying applies to their band as well. We get comfortable, we get scared, and we refuse to change. But with The Devil You Know, The Coathangers lost their fear, and that allowed them to shed the baggage of the past. “Why are we living in these cells we built for ourselves?” Kugel asks. “That’s been the great thing about this record. It’s been honest and confrontational… but not in a shitty way.”

Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release The Devil You Know to the world on March 8, 2019 on CD, a limited run of 300 cassettes, digital formats, and an initial pressing of 3,000 LPs with 500 copies on MAYDAY colour vinyl, 500 on LUCKY DEVIL colour vinyl, and 2000 on BITTERSWEET colour vinyl. The vinyl version includes foil on the cover of the LP jacket, a printed inner sleeve, and a download card.

The Devil You Know will be released on March 9th via Suicide Squeeze and is available to pre-order here.

Tour dates:
FRI JAN 25 - Calgary AB, Big Winter Classic
WED FEB 20 - Santa Ana, CA, Marty’s On Newport
THU FEB 21 - Los Angeles, CA, Teragram Ballroom
FRI FEB 22 - Long Beach, CA, Alex’s Bar
SAT FEB 23 - San Francisco, CA, Independent*
SUN FEB 24 - Reno, NV, Holland Project*
TUE FEB 26 - Bend, OR, Volcanic Lounge*
WED FEB 27 - Portland, OR, Mississippi Studios*
THU FEB 28 - Seattle, WA, Neumos*
FRI MAR 1 - Bellingham, WA, Shakedown*
SAT MAR 2 - Vancouver, BC, Imperial
TUE MAR 5 - Spokane, WA, The Bartlett*
WED MAR 6 - Boise, ID, Olympic*
THU MAR 7 - Salt Lake City, UT, Kilby Court*
SAT MAR 9 - San Diego, CA, Casbah*
THU APR 4 - Birmingham, AB, Saturn
FRI APR 5 - Nashville, TN, Exit/In
SAT APR 6 - St. Louis, MO, Old Rock House
SUN APR 7 - Kansas City, MO, recordBar
MON APR 8 - Minneapolis, MN, Turf Club
TUE APR 9 - Chicago, IL, Empty Bottle
THU APR 11 - Detroit, MI, El Club
FRI APR 12 - Cleveland, OH, Grog Shop
SAT APR 13 - Toronto, ON, The Horseshoe
SUN APR 14 - Montreal, QC, Let Ritz
MON APR 15 - Boston, MA, Great Scott
WED APR 17 - Asbury Park, NJ, Asbury Lanes
THU APR 18 - New York, NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg
FRI APR 19 - Washington, DC, DC9
SAT APR 20 - Philadelphia, PA, Underground Arts

*= with SadGirl

http://www.suicidesqueeze.net/
http://thecoathangers.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thecoathangers/
https://www.facebook.com/TheCoathangersATL
https://twitter.com/thecoathangers


__________________________________________________________

Mörglbl"2 Flics Amis Amish"
(via Earsplit PR / The Laser's Edge & Free Electric Sound / YouTube)


Via Earsplit PR:

Laser's Edge imprint Free Electric Sound has posted "2 Flics Amis Amish," the lead single from MÖRGLBL's impending seventh album, The Story Of Scott Rötti. The long-running French progressive instrumental jazz metal fusion trio has just celebrated their 20th anniversary and has big plans for the new year in support of the new album.

Often described as Primus meets Steve Vai or The Beatles meet Pantera, MÖRGLBL's output veers toward the crazy, mixing substantial metal riffs with subtle jazz harmonies, deep pocket grooves, and their trademark goofball humor. Through two decades of performing and touring internationally and reaping well-earned critical acclaim from journalists around the globe on their six full-length albums, MÖRGLBL is an incredibly unique and creative musical force which transcends genre barriers and commands the attention of anybody into forward-thinking music with a lighthearted appeal.

MÖRGLBL's
The Story Of Scott Rötti was recorded at The Beat Factory during the Summer of 2018, mixed by Enzo D'Agostino at Elia Studio, mastered by Mobo at Conkrete Studio, and completed with artwork by Pierre Bernard and Peter Puke.

Stream the opening track and first single from
The Story Of Scott Rötti, "2 Flics Amis Amish,"and preorder the album RIGHT HERE.

The Story Of Scott Rötti will see release on CD and all digital platforms through Free Electric Sound on February 1st. Watch for new audio and video previews from the album to be issued in the coming days, and expect new tour dates to be announced shortly.

Led by guitarist Christophe Godin and bassist Ivan Rougny, MÖRGLBL gained an international following with the release of their first two albums in 1997 and 1998. Years of constant touring required the band take a break. By 2007 MÖRGLBL released
Grötesk which drove their popularity all over the globe - particularly in the US - and was invited to perform at Europe's famous Frank Zappa tribute festival, Zappanale.

MÖRGLBL shifted in late 2007, when drummer Aurélien Ouzoulias joined the band and kicked them into high gear, ultimately resulting in 2009's highly acclaimed
Jazz For The Deaf. 2008 saw MÖRGLBL become the smash surprise of NEARfest X, America's largest progressive rock music festival, where the stunned audience gave a standing ovation and cheered through a double encore. Intensive touring throughout Europe, Russia, China, and the US followed right through 2012's Brutal Romance album. Along the way, they shared the stage with the likes of Liquid Tension Experiment, Panzerballet, Freak Kitchen, Echoline, and Umphrey's McGee.

Three years since the 2015 Free Electric Sound release of
Tea Time For Pünks and having performed more than one hundred shows all around the world, MÖRGLBL celebrated twenty years of rocking the planet with their progressive jazz metal in 2018. A twentieth anniversary live DVD has been recorded and is pending release in 2019. While awaiting the DVD's release, and while continuing to tour in support of Tea Time For Pünks, the band composed and recorded their seventh album, The Story Of Scott Rötti. With eleven new songs, the album showcases the band's most achieved material to date, basing all the ingredients that have made the trio one of the most exciting combos of the genre.

http://morglblmusic.com
https://twitter.com/morglbl
https://www.instagram.com/godin_christophe
https://www.facebook.com/M%C3%B6rglbl-229471253757086
http://www.lasersedgegroup.com
http://www.facebook.com/TheLasersEdge
http://www.twitter.com/thelasersedge
__________________________________________________________

Dylan Henner: "Marie Slept With Her Shoes On (Single Edit)"
(via Phantom LimbSoundcloud)



Via Phantom Limb:

After releasing diverse records in 2018, from Hekla's haunting theremin based debut album Á, to New Optimism's joyous experimental pop of Amazon to LeFrak, Phantom Limb's first release of 2019 will be from the secretive newcomer Dylan Henner - who describes his work as "bliss-out ambient".

Henner's intriguing debut EP A Reason for Living comprises of multiple parts - a nostalgic analogue-synth backbone inspired by Jon Hassell, Popol Vuh and Brian Eno; strange new-age orchestration that touches on the organic midi of Geinoh Yamashirogumi; a love of American minimalism and its polyrhythms; noisey drones in the style of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma or Grouper; field recordings from across various cultures and environments - he's a new artist with high ambition...

A Reason for Living will be released digitally on February 22, listen to 'Marie Slept With Her Shoes On' here and below, a track taken from the EP.

The record was largely formed over Henner's travels in his day-job as a photographer's assistant. Exploring with a handheld analogue synth and a field recorder ("no laptop!") across India, the Middle East, Morocco, the Americas, South East Asia and Australia, much of the album's conceptual framework existed long before the songs themselves, inspired by local music and ambient sound. Henner then took this bank of starting places back home to flesh out completed pieces. "The fundamental theme woven through the record is the universality of life", Henner writes. "Though societies and cultures and conventions and customs vary a great deal across the world, at the inescapable core is the state of humanness. I wanted to dig into that core and see how it feels without the rest attached." 

Musically, the fundamental core of A Reason for Living is rooted in its ruminative spareness. Opener 'I Had to Wash The Shirt I Lost' marries empty space with resonant, shuddering synthesis, and then disappears back into the darkness as if it itself had been a dream. It is followed by 'The Beach Was Covered In Coral', which journeys Reichian percussion through a slowly-evolving multitude of reverb responses, punctuated with zither and major-chord choral hits. Crucially, the record is far from joyless; not as straight-faced as "ambient music" often is. Laughter, happiness and innocence flourish through the field recordings. The chanting vocal-percussion of 'Marie Fell Asleep With Her Shoes On' brims with sweet euphoria.

Unforthcoming on biographical details ("I prefer the music to speak for itself"), Henner contacted Phantom Limb through his friendship with Berlin-based producer Eomac.

Track listing:
1. I Had To Wash The Shirt I Lost
2. The Beach Was Covered In Coral
3. Marie Fell Asleep With Her Shoes On
4. Angels Made A Ring Around Them

The artwork for the EP was created by Henner himself, based on Native American folk art, and highly representative of the dreamy unreality of his music - a ghostly, quasi-spiritual structure floats in empty space while words and details echo around.

A Reason for Living will be available on all digital formats. Pre-order the EP from Bandcamp HERE.

www.hennerdylan.xyz
www.phantom-limb.co.uk


__________________________________________________________

Good Fuck: "Secret Meetings"
(via Force Field PR / Joyful Noise Recordings / YouTube) 




Via Force Field PR:

Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse are Good Fuck. Today the duo announces its first ever tour, supporting El Ten Eleven. The band will also perform songs from some of Kinsella's other projects, including Joan of Arc, as part of their set each night.

The only constant in Joan of Arc’s long career is that it has continued to evolve, sometimes gradually over years, and occasionally suddenly. Joan of Arc will be winding down after this tour as the members all concentrate on other projects. These shows will be a unique one-time experience; Tim Kinsella weaving together some of the band’s earliest material that he hasn’t played in years, along with an introduction to his new duo Good Fuck, whose debut record comes out February 22 on Joyful Noise Records.

Bio:
Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse have consummated their love on disc. The result is Good Fuck, an erotic exploration of experimental literary techniques and adventurous electronic beats.

Seeking an intimate creative environment to develop their musical concepts, Kinsella and Pulse journeyed deep into isolation. “
We packed the car and drove 13 hours to The Millay Colony in upstate New York: an artist’s colony in The Berkshires, miles down a private road, next to 100,000 acres of national forest,” Kinsella shares.

On arrival, the couple devised a unique artistic process to work from, Kinsella describes it as a
“collaborative conscious alignment.” The most unique aspect of this creative method involves the writing of the album’s lyrics. “We agreed on 12 books we thought most relevant and came up with various systems to collapse and collage them into each other in different combinations,” Kinsella says. That list included titles ranging from Don Quixote to The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Drawing from this source material, Kinsella and Pulse employed a sort-of literary mash-up, scrambling content and structure into a thoroughly new product. “We might take the form of an Eskimo genesis myth, but use words from Anaïs Nin,” Kinsella explains.

There’s audible chemistry in Good Fuck’s sound; Kinsella’s extensive history in genre-pushing rock and roll (Joan of Arc, Cap’n Jazz) is strikingly complimented by Pulse’s fresh ear for minimalist electro sounds. Kinsella and Pulse achieved complete artistic symbiosis in composing Good Fuck’s music.
“To a large degree we don't even know who programmed what beat, and who programmed what synth line,” Kinsella reflects.

Kinsella says he and Pulse were “stunned” by the results of their collaboration, but their process wasn’t perfect.
“Of course there were snags, technological and psychological. And of course we threw a good amount away. But what was left was not the result of trying to write songs, but the effortless evidence of what emerged when we got clear in our intentions and then just let it out,” Kinsella recalls.

But listeners won’t notice Kinsella’s perceived imperfections, the album’s eerie synth soundscapes and chanted vocals flow effortlessly from track to track. The music of Good Fuck melds the sensual with the cryptic, the erotic with the esoteric. Good Fuck reminds us that experimental music doesn’t necessarily need to be caustic or harsh, it can exist comfortably in the groove of a seductive electronic beat.

TOUR DATES:

1/11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
1/17 - Dallas, TX - Dada*
1/18 - Austin, TX - Empire*
1/19 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall*
1/20 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa
1/22 - Gainesville, FL - High Dive*
1/23 - Jacksonville, FL - Jackrabbits*
1/24 - Orlando, FL - The Social*
1/25 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar*
1/26 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5*
1/28 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern*
1/29 - Charlotte, NC - The Milestone Club*
1/30 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle*
1/31 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle*
2/1 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern*
2/2 - Washington DC - Union Stage*
2/5 - Lancaster, PA - Lizard Lounge
2/6 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore*
2/7 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
2/8 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall*
2/9 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair*
2/10 - Rochester, NY - The Bug Jar
2/11 - Hamilton, ON - Casbah

* = w/ El Ten Eleven

GOOD FUCK LINKS:
Instagram
Facebook


__________________________________________________________


Black Taffy: "Lantern Flies in Mist"
(via Julian T. Schoen / Leaving Records / YouTube)


Via Julian T. Schoen

Black Taffy - "Lantern Flies In Mist"
(YouTube // Spotify // Apple Music)

Happy 2019 Everybody!!

Kicking things off this year is a brand new LP from Dallas producer Donovan Jones, better known as Black Taffy, who's got his
Elder Mantis LP dropping February 15th on LEAVING Records.

You may remember rumblings from Black Taffy back in 2018, the song "Geraldine," which is also included on this LP, got some Spring shine when it originally dropped.

Mr. Jones is a composer & performer whose current focus lies in pairing ambient music with big bass and percussion.

The first born son of Pentecostal music ministers, Donovan grew up witnessing the power music has to induce trance and encourage spiritual awakening.

Eventually drawing parallels between Christianity, voodoo, and the occult, Mr. Jones left the former to immerse himself in the latter.

Sometimes performing with only Vibraphone and cassette decks, he frequently employs the use of tape loops and other antiquated mediums to create pillowy worlds of wow and flutter.

Elder Mantis is the culmination of Black Taffy's works thus far. At twelve tracks, it is a meditative and soothing listen, synthesizing the heavy warmth of deep bass with the melodic hum of harps and other stringed instruments.

Pre-Order

Black Taffy
(Bandcamp // Instagram)

LEAVING Records
(Site // Soundcloud // Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp)

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

What's (Re)New? — Brainiac's Electro-Shock for President and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture

Touch and Go Records continues its reissue streak, announcing today that there are plans for two new Brainiac reissues: the Electro-Shock for President EP and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture LP. Both are limited edition color variants with bundle options that include a t-shirt. And, there's news of a documentary as well. 





The release info and links below were provided by Touch and Go Records.

To coincide with Eric Mahoney's upcoming 2019 Brainiac documentary, Transmissions After Zero, we are excited to announce these limited edition reissues of Electro-shock for President EP on white vinyl and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture full-length on blue swirl vinyl.

From now until February 11th, you can bundle your pre-order for Electro-shock for President white vinyl or both Electro-shock for President white vinyl and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture blue swirl vinyl with a NEW limited edition Brainiac t-shirt. The limited edition t-shirt will not be available for purchase in the Touch and Go store after February 11th.

Orders will ship to arrive on or before March 8, 2019.
PRE-ORDER HERE

About BRAINIAC: Brainiac began in 1992 as the basement experiments of Dayton, OH natives Tim Taylor (vocals, synth), and Juan Monasterio (bass), who first met playing cello in fifth grade. Upon completing the lineup with Michelle Bodine (guitar) and Tyler Trent (drums), they released two full-lengths and toured vigorously, establishing themselves as the latest peg in Ohio’s diverse musical timeline. In 1994, Michelle left the band and was replaced by John Schmersal. After recording a 7” with Steve Albini for Sup Pop, the band recorded a handful of songs with Kim Deal (of The Pixies), which became their Touch and Go debut single Internationale.

1996 saw the release of their Touch and Go full-length debut, Hissing Prigs in Static Couture. Like their two previous full-lengths, this was also produced by Eli Janney, and saw the band use less Moog and more random electronic gadgets and noisemakers. Jim O’Rourke produced 1997’s Electroshock for President EP, in which Brainiac continued their transition into a more electronic rock band. On May 23, 1997, however, only weeks after the EP’s release and the band’s return from a European tour supporting Beck, Tim lost his life in a car accident in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. He was 28.

About the documentary Transmissions After Zero: In the mid 90's the Dayton, OH music scene became a hot spot generating world wide buzz from the influential indie rock being produced there (The Breeders, Guided by Voices). Arguably the most innovative of them all was the band Brainiac, led by musical genius and insanely charismatic front man Tim Taylor, who was tragically killed in a bizarre auto accident leaving his family and friends to pick up the pieces.

The film explores the band's music, legacy, massive influence on modern musicians and how people survive and cope with the loss of loved ones. Directed by Dayton native and Brooklyn based filmmaker Eric Mahoney (Madly) and edited by musician Ian Jacobs (Monograms), the project (the first from Prod Co Hotshot Robot) will feature interviews from the surviving band members, the Taylor family and a slew of musicians including: Fred Armisen, Steve AlbiniStuart BraithewaiteBuzz OsbourneCedric Bixler-ZavalaDavid YowEli JanneyMelissa Auf Der MaurMatt BerningerGregg ForemanScott McCloud and many more… https://www.facebook.com/brainiacdocumentary/

Sincerely, 
Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, January 04, 2019

Gotta Read The Labels — ears&eyes Records

So, it would be turn out that in addition to Sons of Kemet and Kamasi Washington, there were other jazz-based artists to hear in 2018. This morning, I've been listening to a sampler provided by ears&eyes Records, which offers a selection of the label's 2018 output. Featured are various jazz-based offshoots ranging from beat-oriented (Matterhorn) to chamber-centric (Redwood Tango Ensemble), exploratory (Chad Taylor) to reverent and modernized (Juan Bayon).

The label is run by artist Matthew Golombisky, who is also leading another project called Thirsty Robot Media. TRM's purpose is to promote budding talent outside of the ears&eyes framework in an effort to provide exposure for more artists.

Here's the Volume 6 of the ears&eyes Records sampler:



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Oh, 2018 … Where Have You Gone?

In the interest of full disclosure, this is the second time I'm writing this introduction. For some reason, the entry didn't save, so the few hours I spent writing over the weekend were sadly wasted.

But, oh well…

If I had to sum up 2018, I'd first say "great music." To follow that, my coverage was far from consistent and I listened to nowhere near as much I wanted to. My list of Omissions & Lamentations is fairly high, keeping in mind that High On Fire released an album, (the excellently heavy Electric Messiah), that was not included in my year end list. I was not only a bad fan, but resistant to much of the audible goodness that had been plugged and pushed over the course of the year. My day job had a lot to do with this, as the exhaustion levels that I'd experienced at points were astoundingly pervasive and really cut in to my ability to think clearly or analytically. Or, even just listen patiently. With that said, I'm hoping for better, more active and engaging output in 2019. And while I understand that blogs are no longer a very popular format for social interaction and the dissemination of news or opinion-driven content, I still enjoy writing so Letters From A Tapehead will remain active. In an effort to branch out, however, since videos and podcasts are the way to go these days, I do have a YouTube channel that I'm going to use more this year. My family recently acquired a GoPro, which should help with the image clarity, though it won't do much for my garbled commentary.

Coming back to my Omissions & Lamentations for 2018, I'd like to acknowledge also that I missed Ty Segall's Freedom's Goblin, JPEGMAFIA's Veteran, New Material by Preoccuptions, Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe (though I was not a fan of the "PYNK" single), Noname's Room 25, and Earl Sweatshirt's very recent Some Rap Songs. I also neglected to check out Dead Magic by Anna Von Hausswolff and The Dream My Bones Dream by Eiko Ishibashi, though I did post a single from this album.

I'm sure there are more. If anyone has any additional suggestions of records or artists I should check out, feel free to comment or get in touch.

Here are my favorite albums of 2018:

15). Exit Group — Adverse Habitat (Castle Face Records)




14). Dylan Carlson – Conquistador (Sargent House)




13). Colin StetsonHereditary (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Milan Records)




12). Parquet CourtsWide Awaaaaake! (Rough Trade)

"With regard to message music in 2018, it would be difficult to top the dance-punk and econo-funk of Wide Awaaaaake!, the sixth release from Parquet Courts. Topically relevant and accessible, the band’s eloquent social critique - including the declarative and memorable final line of the track 'Total Football,' which is 'Fuck Tom Brady' - fits well into their evocative interpretation of post-punk’s multi-genre idiom." – transcribed from No Ripcord's 50 BEST ALBUMS OF 2018


11). Death GripsYear of the Snitches (Third Worlds/Harvest)




10). Exploded View — Obey (Sacred Bones Records)

"Stylistically eclectic, or maybe even chaotic, Obey is a sublime release, its melancholic moments offered grace and any ounce of frenzy more subtle than overt. Even at its most distressing, especially for its title track, it’s as if Obey was treated with an ethereal sheen that glazes every component. Nothing sounds buried, just contained, enabling the listener with an opportunity to distill and absorb every sound as it’s meant to be heard without having to contend with jarring effects or alienating discordance. There’s no sign of creative restraint, but attention to the package overall." — 9.28.18


9). KEN modeLoved (Season of Mist)

"While its abrasive nature is undeniably tied to the late 80s/early 90s onslaught of sound pollutant rock cultivated by indie labels like Sub Pop, Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go, KEN mode’s Loved spews enough corrosive vitriol and sturdy arrangements to sound peer-worthy as opposed to plagiarist. Following the more hook-laden, high energy pummeling of the Steve Albini-produced Blessed, Loved owes more to Unsane’s cathartic racket and the absurdist rock of Cows, hitting the near-metallic grind and collapse with 'He Doesn’t Feel Pain Like He Should' along with the melting bass riff and the out-of-nowhere brass in 'The Illusion Of Dignity.'With producer Andrew Schneider tweaking the knobs, his experience producing Unsane certainly applying here, KEN mode elevates their sonic outcry, hitting levels of discomfort with the subtly seasick 'Learning To Be Too Cold,' thrash-bred 'Not Soulmates,' and the manic combination of sounds in 'Fractures In Adults.'" – transcribed from No Ripcord's QUICK TAKES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018)



"Is this sardonic pop? Perhaps, but this is where Guerilla Toss seems content to find space for themselves, taking cues from the annals of post-punk’s most seminal period when funk, dance, rock, dub, and even hip-hop could co-exist and inspire other genres, developing a more dance-friendly brand of eccentric disco and avant electronics." – 9.24.18



7). Oh SeesSmote Reverser (Castle Face Records)





"What I hear are grafted swathes of unpolished notes, old, albeit inventive and roughly designed sounds attached to a modern band who grant them new opportunities to be discordant and meaningful. As post-punk and 1980s indie rock attempted to outrun the blues-plagiarist 60s and the snobbish academia and arena-cultivated, over-the-shoulder cock swinging hubris of the 70s, a band like Lithics is attempting to make a good rock record at a time when we’re led to believe that no one cares. If that’s true, then people are missing out: Mating Surfaces is a lot of fun." – 5.28.18

5). Sleep — The Sciences (Third Man)

"Ending the four-year of silence since the 2014 single 'The Clarity,' Sleep, doom metal’s most blissed out trio, finally bestowed upon us its fourth LP dubbed The Sciences. Appropriately released on April 20th (FOUR-TWENTY, DUDE!), The Sciences follows the band’s gargantuan single-track LP, Dopesmoker, thankfully keeping up with an expected level of decibel purveyance and marijuana-concerned treatises ('Marijuanaut’s Theme,' 'The Botanist'). On the band’s first LP with touring drummer Jason Roeder, Al Cisneros (singer/bassist) and Matt Pike (guitars) retain (and maybe surpass at times) the established might and riff-dominant purity of their sound: beautifully elongated serpentines of bass tone charged by Pike’s masterful fretwork. The long-standing track 'Sonic Titan' (which appeared as a live bonus on the Tee Pee Records issue of Dopesmoker) introduces a three-song block of ten-plus minutes of excellence that includes the muck-riddled crawl of 'Antarcticans Thawed' and the perfectly titled 'Giza Butler.'" — transcribed from Phawker's THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Our Favorite Albums of 2018



"Over the last 10 years, U.S. Girls has evolved from a lo-fidelity solo experiment into more of a collaborative entity, (Megan) Remy’s lasting creative partnerships with Max “Slim Twig” Turnbull and Louis Percival aiding her development. For In A Poem Unlimited, the Canadian-based multi-genre ensemble The Cosmic Range - of which Turnbull is also a member - were added to the roster, structuring disco loops and funk around Remy’s narratives, which our political climate seems to have finally caught up to. As activist hashtags #MeToo and #TimesUp bear weight and stage heavy resistance against a significant and still increasing population of men with power, Remy’s words prop up the cause, not quite providing the movement its anthem(s), but certainly offering its reason(s) why." – 2.21.18


3). ThouMagus (Sacred Bones Records)

"If anything can be said about Magus, the fifth studio LP from Baton Rouge doomslayers Thou, there isn’t a single aspect of this record that isn’t pushed well into the red. Preceded by three EPs released earlier this year, The House Primordial, Inconsolable and Rhea Sylvia, Magus swells with an expectedly melancholic intensity, its doom-n-blues elevated by a captivating and immense array of riff-dominate thoroughfares which are navigated with an effortless fluidity. Though much of Magus is set to a crawl, not much by way of variation in speed or any true percussive irregularity, you can hear ideas being explored, songs like 'Inward' mutating over the course of its 11 minutes, while 'Elimination Rhetoric' basks in the gloriousness of its immensity. Without much by way of respite from volume, though the lovely intro to 'Sovereign Self' produces such a moment, Magus captures well the force of its players throughout its near 90-minute runtime, the culmination of which occurs in the album’s final track, 'Supremacy.'" – transcribed from No Ripcord's QUICK TAKES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018)


2). Tropical Fuck Storm — A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Joyful Noise Recordings)

"As the stinging fragments from a six-string inject a corrosive agent into the song 'Chameleon Paint,' vocalist/guitarist Gareth Liddiard sings, 'Who’s screwing who, what, where, when, how, (wow!) … power gets let off every time.' His words are clever and acidic, expressed with an air of intellectual exhaustion that doesn’t let up. It’s appropriate that the post-truth hellscape is addressed by a band called Tropical Fuck Storm, A Laughing Death in Meatspace the band’s first LP. While no less packed with comment than Lilliard had been fronting the Australian noise punk of The Drones, Tropical Fuck Storm (also driven by ex-Drones bassist Fiona Kitschin, drummer Lauren Hammel and guitarist/keyboardist Erica Dunn) is less Gang Of Four than they are The Pop Group, a similar level of poetic critique and takedowns packaged and delivered with unsettling and risky discord, a veritable junkyard sculpture thoughtfully constructed from punk scraps, crusty psychedelia and a rhythmic articulation of ideas bred from the spoken word." — 11.16.18


1). Daughters You Won't Get What You Want (Ipecac Recordings)

"Deviating from the thrash-math havoc of their previous output, Providence, Rhode Island’s Daughters broke an eight-year absence of recorded material with You Won’t Get What You Want, a high-volume stress ball of pulsating bass rhythm and artfully conceived and unrelenting panic, segments of which could exist in Scott Walker’s eerily composed and terror-iced latter-day oeuvre. With the band’s rejuvenation evident, this departure from signature plays on tension, an underlying metronomic pulse as sounds rupture and wind, crawl or bleed. Keeping in mind the uptick of 'scary rock' that’s been finding audiences these days, not the isolated post-punk of The Soft Moon per se, but the unsettling air of Spectres or shriek-laden fits from groups like Uniform or The Body, You Won’t Get What You Want finds its own way to play sinister, employing undulating bass loops ('Satan In Wait'), all-out tonal onslaught ('The Lord's Song'), or gradual intensity ('Ocean Song'), compositional ideas demonstrated by the aforementioned Walker also finding commonality with Suicide and Swans." – transcribed from No Ripcord's 50 BEST ALBUMS OF 2018


And, here are my follow ups:

16). wimpsGarbage People (Kill Rock Stars

17). FailureIn The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind (Self-Released)

18). Judas PriestFirepower (Columbia)

19). Keiji Haino & SUMACAmerican Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous to Look at Face On (Thrill Jockey)

20). Thom YorkeSuspiria (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (XL Recordings)

21). Czarface & MF DoomCzarface Meets Metalface (Silver Age) 


23). Wei ZhongleThe Operators (Self Sabotage Records)

24). Daniel Carter, Patrick Holmes, Matthew Putman, Hilliard Greene, Federico Ughi — Telepatia Liquida (577 Records)

25). GrouperGrid of Points (kranky)

26). FUKUI Am (Happily There's No Earlids)

27). DrinksHippo Lite (Drag City)

28). Dedekind Cut Tahoe (kranky

29). Martin Bisi BC 35 (Bronson Recordings)

30). Gorillaz The Now Now (Warner Bros./Parlophone)


Singles & EPs:

1). AD.UL.TA Dainty Bit (Self-released)

2). ProtomartyrConsolation EP (Domino)

3). Parlor Walls — EXO (Northern Spy)

4). Clebs I’m Here (JASS)

5). Bush TetrasTake The Fall (Wharf Cat)


Favorite Songs (or, New Selections):

1). Big Bliss: “Constants” (Exit Stencil Recordings


2). Yonatan Gat: “Cue The Machines” (Glitterbeat


3). Carla Bozulich (w/ The Night Porter): “Sha Sha” (Constellation Records)


4). Emma Ruth Rundle: “Darkhorse” (Sargent Horse



5). Eiko Ishibashi: “Iron Veil” (Drag City)


6). Wume: “Shadow” (Northern Spy


7). Windhand: “Grey Garden” (Relapse Records)


8). Here Lies Man: “Taking the Blame” (RidingEasy Records)


9). Rattle: "Signal" (Upset The Rhythm)


10). Djrum: “Waters Rising”



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead
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New Selections — Spotlights, Alice Phoebe Lou, Daniel Thorne, spoony bard, Noisem, Francie Moon, Wand, Inter Arma

No more silence! Behold!  Spotlights : "The Age of Decay" (via Rarely Unable /  Ipecac Recordings  / YouTube) Via Rar...