28 May 2012

High Highs - ep (2011)

Brooklyn based but with an origin in Sydney, Australia, High Highs is a duo formed by the songwriter Jack Milas, and the electro-pop producer Oli Chang, which is now a trio as the drummer Zachary Lipkins recently joined them.

21 May 2012

Swartz et - nighttide (Utter East, 2010)

Years ago, I've been listening to two previous projects of Steve Swartz, Au Revoir Borealis and For Wishes, enjoying certain tracks but without feeling overwhelmed and deeply captivated. Still behing the invisible limit.

His debut album as Swartz et appears rapidly to be something much more vital and deeply personal. It is not intended to seduce as a first motive, just like if stepping down from indie ambitions would finally have led to the real need to write and record music, reching authenticity and grace.

18 May 2012

Ambassador Engine - your birthday means the end of us (2012)

Ambassador Engine ends like it started, with this single track, "Your Birthday Means The End of Us", as an au revoir. A temporary hiatus as he is already recording under the name Grammatica.

This ambient instrumental resumes perfectly what I enjoy about Ambassador Engine.  There is this soft and tired melancholy, these intimate slowcore echoes which are the backbone of the scenario. 

17 May 2012

Seaworthy - bellows and breath (2012, Preservation)

New album by Seaworthy on Preservation. While still exploring the ambient soundscape sphere with solid ties to field recordings and a deep melancholic lucidity,  this time, Cameron Webb left his guitar aside and explored the full use of harmonium as new major element of predilection and signature, even if the acoustic guitar is still a recurring instrument.

11 May 2012

Black Sea Storm - 2009 (2009)

"2009" is the last of a series of three EP recorded by Ali Ozkan before he decided to stop singing in English and moved towards Turkish lyrics.

Even more than on  his previous EP's it sounds like a solo project trying to emulate the dimensions of a band, but without escaping totally the inherent limits.

10 May 2012

Charge Group - charge group (Own, 2012)

What you won't remove from them is the fact they are full of life and energy, full of sunlight and full of big open skies at night, full of the ocean and the desert, full of urban atmospheres and long highways separating them. 

This second album by Charge Group is of a vibrant intensity with both feet deeply anchored on their territory, with lungs full of vivacity.

08 May 2012

Ambassador Engine - halves (2009)

At first it was released as a split album with the equally obscure project M. Pyres and now it is offered as an EP on archive.org.

It is the second release by Aaron Landgraf that I discover. I gind it relatively less striking than his debut album I previously reviewed.

07 May 2012

Stumbleine - all for your smile (2011)

Shoegaze, dubstep, chillwave, I still don't know how to classify Stumbleine.

Discovering this EP backwards, after enjoying the "Rose Tinted" EP is everything but not a deception as it just shows the project of this musician from Bristol with just more emphasis on the guitar role. Besides that, the style is already fully present.

06 May 2012

Epic45 - fragment #3 (Monospone, 2012)

Through the ten last years, my interest for Epic45 grew slowly, and if I was relatively skeptical at first with their records, as I was much more into July Skies, the project of one of their friends, they managed to turn me slowly into a fan. 

If I was seeing them mostly at first as post-rock followers of Hood, they slowly developed their own identity and sensitivity, and along the way, they became essential too.

05 May 2012

Young Readers - family trees (2012)

Young Readers is the solo project of Jordan Herrera, from Enid, Oklahoma. He is writing slow melancholic bedroom indie folk songs, using acoustic guitar and some bass, violin and organ in the background.

It is well done but also very conventional and half of this EP is simply too saccharine for me. I'm surviving and still there for the review because the three other songs are striking this Hotel Alexis / Sparklehorse (their softest side) vibe. 

04 May 2012

Stumbleine - rose tinted (2011)

For sure I should hate of at least dislike Stumbleine, but one track and I'm down.

Ultra-processed vocals over slowed dubstep beats but with a nice melancholic pervading mood which reminds me in a row of Bark Psychosis, Massive Attack, The Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valmentine, Disco Inferno or Slowdive, even if it is totally a different style of music.

03 May 2012

Minus Pilots - hitting up the heavens (2012, Eat Sleep Repeat)

The artwork seems to be borrowed from some sci-fi comic strips from the seventies (Moebius, Jodorowsky, Mézières, etc.). There is also this strange use of vinyl static noises all throughout the album.Two aspects which give an exotic aspect to the album and distract the listener.

02 May 2012

Ambassador Engine - substraction, elation, hydration. (2008, Act So Big Forest))

Sometimes it's not easy to write about the music you're listening to, because words can be insufficient. 

Particularly with instrumental music when the dimension is intently intimate, introspective and delicate. 

Even if the musical style is really different, "Subtraction, Elation, Hydration.", with no traces of shoegazing, Ambassador Engine reminds me of Pasture, even if its is much more acoustic and unprocessed, because both of these artists stand apart from everything I could think of and ache me so deep inside.

01 May 2012

Cub Scouts - "pinocchio" ; "evie" & "do you hear" (2012)

It takes just 20 maybe 30 seconds and you're already sure it's a big fish. It's indie, it's indie pop, it's clever. It could be from Sweden, from a cousin band to Sambassadeur or Days, or a transplant from another era, some young nephew of missing bands such as Brighter, Human Television or The Go-Betweens.