28 July 2010

Acetate Zero - crestfallen (2004, Arbouse)

“Cresfallen” is third album by this Parisian indie band. If I used to sing their praise, from “Softcore Paradise” to “Ground Altitude”, and about their ep “Somehow about perfection”, this is where I'll become more difficult, more critical regarding their release.

Jane Siberry - the walking (1987, Dukes)

Back to the fourth album by this Canadian songwriter compared to Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson and with a few minor mainstream hits in her long discography.

Her music and production clearly belongs to the 80's kind of production. “The walking” is the album where she tried to achieve something more experimental, forgetting for a part about melodic pop songs in order to focus on long and complex songs. It is considered by many as her best album

26 July 2010

Amman/Josh - places ep (2010, Dynamophone)

If you like July Skies, Hammock, Album Leaf and Harold Budd records, this five tracks ep is the place to be. Ambient, nostalgic, relaxing, ethereal, warm, deliciously beautiful and melancholic, “Places” is easy to cherish and proves to be very pleasant as background music while focussing on other activities.

The Books - lost and safe (2005, Tomlab)

On “Big Science” by Laurie Anderson, released in 1982, there is the song “O Superman” and eight other songs. I've listened a lot to this record in the early nineties, impressed by her aesthetic posture, but now all I can remember clearly of it is the song “O Superman”.

20 July 2010

It Leaves, It Leaves - it leaves, it leaves (2010, PERKuNowA)

Impossible to look at the artwork without thinking about the midwest emocore scene of the late nineties. An obvious homage and influence for this debut album of a belgian songwriter. But instead of being backward-looking, his music is more melodic, indie and modern, with less tense/quiet variations than those influences, while the guitar never hides the lineage.

The Forms - the forms (2007, Threespheres)

I recently reviewed the first album of The Leap Year, mastered by Bob Weston (Shellac) and my main argument against them was that their sound and songwriting was too much influenced by early nineties alternative indie rock American bands. This second album by The Forms suffers from the same problems.

17 July 2010

The Enright House - a maze and amazement (2007, A Low Hum)

The Enright House is the project of Mark Roberts, a young musician from New Zealand, since relocated to Chicago. It is his debut album. Exploring a very contemporary form of indie music, mixing post-rock, indie, and electronica influences (he is probably a fan of such bands like The Postal Service, Sigur Ros or Explosions in the Sky) for a result not so far from the likes of Jeniferever, Khonnor, Mantissa, or London Apartments, with a personal perspective but without bringing something totally new to the game.

Graham Repulski - man pop (2010, Shorter)

Coming from Weehawken, New Jersey, Graham Repulski's debut album falls between the lo-fi of Guided by Voices and the weirdness of Chris Knox. "Man Pop" sounds like planet Earth never reached 1990.

15 July 2010

Taylor Deupree - shoals (2010, 12k)

A shoal is defined as a a large number of fish swimming together or as a a submerged sandbank visible at low water and referring to the picture on the sleeve of this alum it's the second one that wins. Like a sandbank, the four tracks on this album have got indefinite structures, are more evolving objects than conscious and strict compositions.

The Photographic - pictures of a changing world (2008, Galaxia)

The Photographic is an instrumental post-rock duo from Louisville, Kentucky. Guitarist, Jamey See Tai, and drummer, Chad Blevins started to play together in 2003. This is their debut album and besides guitar and drums, synths, loops and some digital processing can be found.

13 July 2010

The Leap Year - with a little push a pattern appears (2007, Hobbledehoy)

A long time ago, in 2000, Braving The Seabed released their only album and as they were from Perth, Australian too, they easily appeared as a little brother of Bluetile Lounge. At this point they were already tempted by a more dynamic / math-rock approach à la Seam / C-Clamp. I directly cherished them as another member of the scarce family of slow-core, among other promising Australian bands sharing similar features (Purplene, Rebel Astronauts, Light's Surprising Constancy, Sea Life Park).

Vio/miré - march 2007 (2007, Leisure Class)

Vio/Miré is the solo project of Brendan Glasson from Providence, Rhode Island. He is a tour member of the Icelandic band Parachutes. Apparently “March 2007” is already his third album after two limited self-releases. His music is a successful mix between ambient and more traditional song-writing with acoustic guitar and cello.

12 July 2010

Bedhead - beheaded (1996, Trance Syndicate)

Outside the alliteration, “Beheaded” is a strange name for an album if you don't belong the the death metal scene. And Bedhead is from another flesh entirely, playing slow tempos with low-key vocas, as a long lost slowcore depressed child of the Velvet Undergound, or more precisely as an hypothetical crossbreed between a slower and quieter Seam and a less dreamy, more intense, Galaxie 500.

Went - how are you (2010, Floorcollapsing)

Until a change of algorithm last year, Dushan Filimonovic, from Belgrade, Serbia, used to top my "neighbours list" on last.fm, sharing favorite artists like Empress, Talons, Low, Duster, S or Hood. Exploring his page I discovered a few years ago that he was playing music in a band called Went. But at this time, Went was playing hardcore noisy music with screamed vocals. Not my cup of tea and the difference between his playlists on last.fm and the music of his band was really strange.

11 July 2010

Balmorhea - river arms (2008, Western Vinyl)

Taking their name from a Texan oasis and state park, Balmorhea is a duo from Austin. Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, the main artisans, are working in collaboration with two cellist, one violinist and a bassist on their second album, “River Arms”.

I like this album like I enjoy early records by Rachels or Aerial M, Roger Eno's solo discography and Bexar Bexar. Sometimes beautiful, “River Arms” is also often somewhat inoffensive. They use the “acoustic” and “classical” labels for their music, also with the word “experimental”' I would instead replace with a better adapted “post-rock” tag.

Owen - abandoned bridges 7" (2010, Polyvinyl)

Unexpected release from Owen and a first 7inch release in his discography. It features one new song and a Wilco cover of “I'm always in love” both recorded in March 2010.

The b-side is deceiving, as pointless as his cover of “Femme Fatale” on “At home with Owen”. It sounds like a live track, he plays with energy as if he was fronting an (absent) audience. It's just a weak folk rendition which fails to concern and grab my attention.

10 July 2010

Conquering Animal Sound / Debutant - split 7" (2010, Gerry Loves)

Split 7inch between two bands from Edinburgh. On one side, using loops, beats, keyboards, the fresh vocals of Anneke and more traditional instruments too, Conquering Animal Sounds is two piece from Edinburg. They remind me of Tenniscoats, Trouble Books or Anois, with some Bjork accents in the vocals. "Giant" and "Wild Things" are two nice interesting songs, well conceived and constructed.

Idaho - the forbidden ep & alas (2008, Talitres)

I don't listen too intensively Idaho records. Because, because, when I start to listen to one of his records, it's difficult to stop. Instead the whole discography of the band is my Itunes library and I enjoy almost everytime one of their songs appears on shuffle mode.

08 July 2010

Belong - october language (2006, Carpark)

The place where Flying Saucer Attack meets Gas, where My Bloody Valentine's textures of distorted guitars are used in a Stars of The Lid kind of way, where Eno's ambient records are mixed with the disintegration trials of William Basinski and the love of atmospheric drones of Rafael Toral's early discography? Belong is a duo from New Orleans and I came to their record through several recommendations made by Dan Burton (Early Day Miners).

Reaching Away - push away the moon (2010, McMurtrey)

Between 2000 and 2005, The Pine came out of nowhere, impossible to classify. How to deal with a typical post-hardcore band, with an untypical vocalist and whose music finally even if obviously based on distorted screaming electric guitar always had in the background the same kind of aura of shoegazer bands like Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine or The Cocteau Twins, yes totally different, whose energy, dynamism, melancholic depth and tension would recall the glory days of Seam, Codeine and Mineral, yet within another form. Four albums and a bunch of split 7inches and compilation tracks, The Pine appeared out of nowhere and disappeared without much evolution five years later, as a brilliant idea with nice drawings on their sleeves and so far their discography aged very well. The circle was done.

07 July 2010

S - i'm not as good at it as you (2010, Own)

Here we are finally, six years after "puking & crying" for this third full length of Jenn Ghetto. Back at her bedroom with her 8-track machine, where everything started with her first album "Sadstyle".

The sound quality, the mastering - thanks to Taylor Deupree - are better, songs have a warmer, more positive tone but as soon you hit the play button her songwriting crosses your skin and flows across your bloodstream.

Travels - the hot summer (2009)

Travels is a duo/couple formed by Mona Elliott (formerly of Victory at Sea) and Anar Badalov (formerly of Metal Hearts), "the hot summer" is their second album and as seen from the tag on the sleeve, a celebration of their shared love too.

The Wind-up Bird / Colophon / 1 Mile North - conduction. convection. radiation (2004, Music Fellowship)

Third realization for the Triptych series of Music Fellowship, these time with three American projects loosely related to the post-rock scene but exploring mainly empty and minimal landscapes through ambient expression.

For 1 Mile North, the three tracks and twenty minutes of music are a kind of comet tail of their two albums. There is nothing new and a good announcement for the extended, indefinite hiatus this release opened.

Acetate Zero - civilize the satanists (2008, Arbouse)

Two years ago, Elsa Diot, one of the five members of this french band released her first solo ep under the Monovalley alias. An impressive short collection of songs much more intimate and emotional than the production of Acetate Zero.

If their was an aura of mystery around Acetate Zero, the “Deception Island” ep came with a few responses and new questions, new promises. On this new album, and with ten years of existence, Acetate Zero quietened their shoegaze and noisy guitar exploration, added more focus on the ethereal atmospheres, using monotony and contemplation as a way to translate autumnal melancholy.

06 July 2010

Tracy Shedd - ep88 (2010, Eskimo Kiss)

Dear Tracy Shedd,

I consider myself as a fan of your songwriting so I don't think I can be impartial. I think I discovered you because you released your first records on Teenbeat and I was enough in indie arty alternative music to cherish this label. To be honest at this time I wasn't really so much into your records, much more into the Unrest, Air Miami, Aden or Tel Aviv, you music was sounding a little bit too typical. But I kept an eye on every release, knowing that someday I could explore it.

Van Der Saar - red circle (2009)

With two full albums under his arms, Allan Lewis convinces me through nostalgia. Sweet memories of full days spent during the nineties listening to indie music. With sadness de rigueur on sleeves. Nothing too typical that would made his songwriting dated, but a loneliness and a lack of sexy features that condemns his songwriting to secrecy.