The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Tess Park & The Auras: I believe in everything (2015)

Un descubrimiento para quienes, como quien escribe, adora el sonido de The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Tess Parks acompañada en este caso del combo canadiense The Auras, todos unos creadores de mantras sonoros de esos que hacen que ames el Shoegaze tanto como a ti mismo. Más que recomendables.

Facebook The Auras – Facebook Tess Parks

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29 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Tess Parks, The Auras | Deja un comentario

Tamaryn: Cranekiss (Mexican Summer, 2015)

foto del perfil de Tamaryn

Tamaryn y su Shoegaze de sintetizadores facturaron el año pasado este disco un tanto frío y “de momentos”.

“By the mid-2010s, the revivals of shoegaze and synth pop had been around for quite a while — several times longer than the styles’ original heydays, in fact — and sometimes felt overly familiar. However,Tamaryn enlivens both by combining them on Cranekiss, resulting in some of her most arresting music yet. It’s quite the departure from the distortion-laden bliss of Waves and Tender New Signs, echoing changes such as her move to New York and the addition of Weekend‘s Shaun Durkan to her band. Another key collaborator is producer Jorge Elbrecht (also of Violens and Lansing-Dreiden), whose finesse with samples and keyboards lends a retro-futuristic sound, most audaciously on “Softcore,” where found sounds from porn websites and excerpts from the film Paris, Texas commingle with winding guitars to make shoegaze’s eroticism explicit in more ways than one. Interestingly, Cranekiss‘ less showy juxtapositions of softness and structure are even more striking, with the album’s first three tracks capturing the sensual thrill of the best dream pop and Top 40 singles of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Sweeping and swooning, “Cranekiss” lives up to its name; “Hands All Over Me” blends caressing synths and pointed funk; and “Last” rivals other widescreen pop auteurs like M83 and White Sea. Meanwhile, the album’s more traditionally ethereal second side strengthens Tamaryn‘s kinship with the Cocteau Twins and contemporaries like Pure Bathing Culture, with songs like “Sugarfix” and “Fade Away Slow” reinvigorating vintage dream pop’s glassy lucidity and fondness for gauzy imagery. In all, Cranekiss is a beautiful pop fantasia that findsTamaryn expressing her music’s passion and sensuality in exciting new ways” (All Music)

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28 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Tamaryn | Deja un comentario

La Luz: Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art, 2015)

Para la grabación de su segundo álbum, La Luz echó mano nada menos que de Ty Segall para que se encargara de las tareas de producción, y entre ambos consiguieron un álbum divertido de Surf-Garaje-Pop con una nada disimulada influencia del sonido Twang de sus guitarras. Un disco de esos que se pasa en un suspiro y que serviría para ilustrar cualquier escena de alguna película de Quentin Tarantino.

“What makes Weirdo Shrine interesting is that all this existential dread is wrapped up in classic-sounding surf rock, topped with enough “ooohhhs”, “aaahhhs”, and vocal harmonies to fill your girl group quota for an entire year. Lead singer and guitarist Shana Cleveland tosses out bright, airy guitar riffs, tinged with just the right amount of reverb, as easy as breathing. But the surfer girl guise is a front. If La Luz are a rum punch drink served in a pineapple, be careful lifting the tiny drink umbrella: There’s probably a black widow spider underneath.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the ballad, “I’ll Be True”. Cleveland croons, “No one else treats me like you do/ And I’ll be true to you/ Just as long as you want me to,” while keyboardist Alice Sandahl tries to wrestle the good name of organ solos from the hands ofRay Manzarek. But the lingering effect of the song is not the declaration of loyalty, it’s the minor chord progression that blends with the ladies’ descending voices. It begs the question: If the love in the song is so pure and innocent then why does it come tinged with such eeriness? 
La Luz recorded It’s Alive in the back of their friend’s trailer. For Weirdo Shrine, producer Ty Segall constructed a makeshift studio out of an old surfboard factory. At first, this tactic can come across almost like a cheap gimmick, a soundbite for press releases. But once you realize Segall also chose to keep a persistent hissing overlay on the entire record (it’s hard to ignore once you hear it)—the occasional, lingering odd note or glitch will also tend to appear during the transitions between tracks—his methods become less a cute anecdote, and more a way to keep the group firmly grounded in their DIY roots. The ladies might have perfect pitch, but this is not an album for cleaning up mistakes.
It’s frustrating that the record doesn’t fully convey the energy of La Luz’s live shows, where the band members will crowd surf and request the audience make space for a line dance à la “Soul Train”. But if you choose to focus on La Luz’s doo-wop harmonizing, then you’re only looking at the frilly, pink bow that tops the whole package. The undercurrent of darkness in La Luz’s music is what makes their work so fierce and intelligent. You could blink and miss their sneaky, underhanded way of slipping unease into their cheerful-sounding songs. Which is why you should give them more of your attention. Much like a car accident, it’s always the ones we didn’t see coming that hit the hardest” (Pitchfork)

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25 febrero, 2016 Posted by | La Luz | Deja un comentario

The School: Wasting away and wondering (Elephant, 2015)

Wasting Away and Wondering

The School continúan fieles a su libro de estilo de siempre: Twee Pop, Soul BlancoBubblegum, melodías más que contagiosas y esa sensación de bisoñez que es tan difícil de conseguir cuando ya has cumplido cierta edad y eres capaz de editar canciones como éstas.

“Since their first single, 2008’s “All I Wanna Do,” the School have been a band that indie pop fans can’t help but love, with sticky-sweet, lush, and lovely songs about love and lost love, equal parts girl group and C-86, impeccably played by the band and sung perfectly by leader Liz Hunt. After two albums that won the hearts and minds of all but the coldest and cruelest indie kids, their third, 2015’s Wasting Away and Wondering, is another beauty. Made up of bouncy Northern soul-inflected love songs that are designed to make feet happy, girl group-y love-lost songs made to bend hearts, and late-night ballads sure to break them all the way, Wasting was made by a band at the top of its game. Not a wasted note or a wrong foot forward, with a nonstop parade of potential singles, the album doesn’t top their previous work as much as it adds another layer of goodness to the recipe. Hunt and her crew lay on the horn section a bit heavier this time, with songs like “Til You Belong to Me” and the “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”-quoting title track reaching near Dexys-level excitement. The strings are more prominent too, giving songs like the weepy “Don’t Worry Baby (I Don’t Love You Any More)” an extra ounce of swoon. It’s an assured and powerful sound that gives Hunt‘s vocals a strong foundation, even more than on previous albums. She responds by turning in a performance that’s the equal of anything she’s done yet, and there are a couple times when she even belts it out a little. One of those times is on the album highlight, “Do I Love You?,” where the song, the arrangement, and the performance all come together in a big punch that equals their finest moments of the past (“Let It Slip,” “Stop That Boy”). Another is on one of the album’s few surprises, the almost noisy, guitar-led minor-key ballad “He’s Gonna Break Your Heart One Day,” which comes off like one of the saddest mascara-streaked songs the Shangri-Las ever did, only tougher. It’s a nice addition to their repertoire and something they could explore more on the next album. Not that they need to change anything much, since Wasting Away and Wondering is another classic slice of indie pop. The School could keep releasing albums just like this forever and it would be just fine. Better than that, it would be simply lovely” (All Music)

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23 febrero, 2016 Posted by | The School | Deja un comentario

No Joy: More faithful (Mexican Summer, 2015)

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“On their third full-length, More Faithful, Montreal shoegazers No Joy make it clear that they’re not afraid to shift their sights towards the sky once in awhile. Although their songs still possess the signature qualities of the genre—fuzzy guitars and repetitive, mantra-like refrains—there are hints that the band is trying to expand within it, breaking through the sometimes-monotonous din with moments of light. It’s a hard album to pin down, at moments bright and tender, at times as dark and scuzzy, and the contrast helps mitigate the sameness that sometimes plagued their previous efforts.
Beginning with their second LP Wait to Pleasure and continuing through the 2013 EP Pastel and Pass Out, you could hear the band seeking ways to deepen their sound. More Faithfulwas recorded with Ariel Pink producer Jorge Elbrecht in Brooklyn and Costa Rica, and there’s a little bit of the city and moments of the sea present on nearly every track. “Moon in My Mouth”, a psyched-out, dreamy track with a swaying, beach-punk riff, showcases singer Jazamine White-Gluz’s bright vocals and lulls the listener. It’s punk rock taken poolside, city mice taking a break from the harsh squall. The sound is both massive and soft around its edges, layering elements of surf-rock and psychedelia into the harsh din of Laura Lloyd’s guitars.
Light and dark are constantly at play across the album’s surface, like shadows from moving clouds. Album opener “Remember Nothing” is a dissonant, clanging contrast to the mellow vibes of “Moon”, opening with a fast, hi-hat-reliant drum beat and a muddy riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Sonic Youth record. Then the vocals enter, and leaven the murk with a hint of tenderness. “Burial in Twos” starts out spacious and gorgeous, with a wide-open ringing riff and pinging synth hits, before some gristly electric guitars enter and grind their teeth.
There’s a feeling that nothing on the album is accidental. The squealing, careening “Chalk Snake”, which is so Jesus and Mary Chain-esque it veers into the realm of pastiche, ends by juxtaposing a high-pitched note of guitar squall with a piano line that almost sounds like Joni Mitchell. It’s these subversive little moments that help No Joy avoid the diminishing returns that often plagues shoegazers. And although they’re still obviously committed to noise, still praying at the fuzzy altar of My Bloody Valentine, they’re a band that’s still evolving, and letting a little bit of light in through the cracks has served them well” (Pitchfork)

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22 febrero, 2016 Posted by | No Joy | Deja un comentario

Seapony: A Vision (Hardly Art, 2015)

Dream Capsules

Seapony, esos artesanos de las melodías, que nos han ido dejando sus gotas de sutilidad desde el año 2010, volvieron a dejarnos este año pasado con otro de esos álbumes preñado de gemas delicadas, manufacturadas con cariño y absolutamente arrebatadoras. Como dije en otro momento, Seapony crean “proyectos de ensueños encapsulados en dulces melodías y voces susurrantes”.

“After releasing two fine indie pop albums full of bouncy jangle and sugary sweetness, Seattle’sSeapony went through some changes on their third album, 2015’s A Vision. They left their label (Hardly Art), added a drummer (Aaron Voros), and did some recording in a real studio (Jack Endino‘s Soundhouse). With alterations come fears that the group’s sound may have taken a turn for the worse somehow, but a quick spin of the first track proves that didn’t happen here. The guitars still jangle and chime gently, their very classic indie pop sound remains light and polite, and vocalist Jen Weidl still sings with a warm and straightforward tenderness that’s easy to embrace. The group didn’t try to slick up the arrangements or get a super-glossy pro sound here. If anything, they take a step back from the more arranged and noisy approach of 2012’s Falling in favor of something more relaxed and low-key. Most of the songs are anchored firmly in the midtempo range, with acoustic guitar underpinnings and a general feel of lazy summer days and melancholy nights. The guitars, vocals, and drums never break a sweat, mixing together like a sparkling cocktail that goes down very smoothly. Even when they add a bit of guitar fuzz to the mix, like on the peppy “Saw the Light” or the lightly droning “In Heaven,” it doesn’t break the seal on the mood. A Vision is the kind of record that works as background music to a cuddle session, or as a friendly shoulder to lean on when you’re feeling blue. It’s not going to win any awards for being groundbreaking, or knock anyone’s socks off, but that’s OK. Sometimes it’s enough for an album to be a pleasant diversion, and Seapony have delivered exactly that” (All Music)

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20 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Seapony | Deja un comentario

Detective Agency: Now! (Discos de Kirlian, 2015)

DK28 NOW! cover art

“Seattle indie pop band Detective Agency releases debut full length album due out on Spanish label Discos de Kirlian.
The album, it will combine six new songs with the band’s excellent debut EP “Detectius Privats” and a couple other older compositions into a 13-track full length CD, marking the first time Detective Agency has put out an actual physical release since the beginning of the band about five years ago.
Like Detectius Privats, the band recorded the new songs at BLDGs studio in Seattle with Aaron Schroeder but employed new instruments this time around, like harmonica, strings, and piano.

The atmosphere is moodier,” Nate says. “And the mysteries are denser. It’s our darker, more experimental sophomore album, which will have critics confused, confounded and completely hypnotized.”
Anyone out there remember the Lucksmiths song Detective Agency from their album the Green Bicycle Case? New Seattle band Detective Agency don’t sound anything like that Australian band, but that was the kind of my logic going on in my head when I clicked on a link to listen to them a few months ago. Better points of reference would be Tiger Trap, Ramones, Tuscadero and perhaps the Shop Assistants.

Up until last week they had a few songs floating around the internet. I remember a week back in November of last year when I listened to Daggers about 20 times in a row. It was just a demo. They’ve re-recorded it and made it better. I think I may have listened to the new version 21 times in row” (The Finest Kiss)

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16 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Detective Agency | Deja un comentario

Kidd: Hotchpotch (The Barne Society, 2015)

Un gran descubrimiento. Un mail que me llega a finales del año pasado y que dejo algo olvidado entre el piélago de discos y sencillos que pueblan el final de año. Se trata de la recomendación de un músico escocés llamado Stu Kidd que funciona por libre. Su último trabajo es este Hotchpotch, un pequeño tesoro variopinto atiborrado de pequeñas gemas intemporales, maravillas Pop que se dejan acariciar tanto por las manos de maestros como McCartney o Wilson como por los acordes del Folk-Pop más tierno. 

“As the year draws to a close Stu has released an album that will have us all reconsidering our album of the year charts. Hotchpotch is a collection of thirteen endearing pop gems guaranteed to bring pleasure to many. The album opens with the Brian Wilson esque ‘Alfie’, a perfectly composed song with melodies that will be sure to put an extra spring in your step. ‘Little Lucy’ is certainly my favorite on the album, mainly due to the fact that my daughter is called Lucy and I can certainly relate to the lyric “This whole world is yours for a lifetime without loneliness”. ‘4 Leaf Clover’ will wow you with its melodies of mystery that take you on so many twists and turns.
The album continues with one great song after another some of which include ‘Please Will You Stay’ a beautiful, reflective song written straight from the heart. So many artists try and write songs from the heart but they just end up sounding naff, Stu Kidd is the complete opposite, he is a talented songwriter who the world needs to embrace. ‘Rooftop Cityscape’ is one for the dreamers, this is one of those magical songs that will transport you from all the horrors in this crazy world right now to a place of pure peace and harmony. ‘Waiting For The Springtime’ will instantly lift your mood with its interesting and charming sounds. ‘Leave Me Here I’m Sleeping’ with its hypnotic melodies and spine tingling vocals combining to ensure this is a song you will not forgot any time soon.
I honestly could say great things about every one of the thirteen songs on the album. Hotchpotch an album full of classic timeless pop at its very very best. The only thing to do now is to leave you to enjoy this album, which I say with complete and utter confidence as surely there is no one walking this planet who would not enjoy this album” (A Musical Priority)

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15 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Kidd | Deja un comentario

Joanna Gruesome: Peanut butter (Fortuna POP!, Slumberland; 2015)

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Los galeses Joanna Gruesome continúan haciendo del Punk-Pop su bandera. Melodías contagiosas, guitarrazos a mansalva, ritmos frenéticos y, como siempre, buenas canciones.

“Rival groups will be disappointed to learn that the record is a further experiment in combining hyper melodic pop music with sonic violence. Officials have confirmed that the album contains a record number of hooks, traces of nut and elements of jangle pop, British hardcore punk, atonal music, screaming and drone organs. Yet they have issued warnings of “a marriage of radical politics with peanut butter spread”. One authorized statement reads: “Weighing in at a concise 25 minutes, the album hurtles through its ten songs, each one a succinct, powerful gem.”
Like their debut “Weird Sister,” the new album was recorded by MJ from Hookworms, with the aim of heightening the group’s “pop” and “aggressive” elements to excessive and hitherto unrecorded levels. As songwriter Owen Williams explains: “We tried to make it shorter, more economical and attempted to pack as many hooks and screams in as quickly possible in order to avoid short changing the consumer or wasting her/his/their time. Lyrically it’s more obtuse and surreal but also attempts to mock trad masculine rock themes whenever things do get more lucid. But sometimes musically we embrace them by doing embarrassing guitar solos. I’m not sure how much else I’m at liberty to say but one thing I will disclose is that the record is a response to threats posed by rival groups.”
The record has also seen the group explore new and potentially dangerous lyrical territory. Opener “Last Year” is reportedly about experiencing personal tragedy and the occult in a waterpark and a pizza restaurant. Yet “Jamie (Luvver)” is a straightforward pop song about having a crush on someone named Jamie, queer literature and Welsh public transport. These tracks are followed by the incredibly catchy “Honestly Do Yr Worst,” a song about espionage, rival groups and the radical possibilities of peanut butter spread. Things become surreal on “There Is No Function Stacy”, a song about “someone called Stacy who wrongly believes a party is happening that she’s been invited to. The narrator has to painfully explain to her that there was never a party and she fabricated it all”, while on “Crayon” Williams addresses his approach to lyrics directly. ” Sometimes you can undermine hetero macho rock shit through nonsense words, obtuse statements, action, melody, sound or aesthetic rather than through traditional lyrics .”
Speaking confidentially, one official confirms that “The sixth track, “I Don’t Wanna Relax,” is yet another hook-filled potential single. This is swiftly followed by “Jerome (Liar)”, a fan favorite based on a subversive folk tale.” On “Separate Bedrooms,” the group cover a song by Bristol DIY act Black Terror (now performing as “CUP WINNERS’ CUP”), a group known for their attention to melody. The penultimate track is the “crushing, sparkling” “Psykick Espionage,” a song about telepathy and the occult in rock’n’roll, and “the first time I ate an avocado.” The record is brought to a close by “Hey! I Wanna Be Your Best Friend”, a heartwarming number about radical friendship and Thin Lizzy appreciation. Under media interrogation, guitarist George Nicholls confesses to the themes of the record : “It’s about radical politics, fancying people and espionage. The first record was more about violence and revenge fantasy, whereas this one is more about peanut butter.” (Slumberland)

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14 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Joanna Gruesome | Deja un comentario

Future: Horizons (Requiem por un Twister, 2015)

FUTURE - HORIZONS CD

Cabalgando entre los sonidos más industriales, el Darkwave, el Post-Punk y el viejo sonido Madchester, aparece este Horizons, el debut en largo de esta banda de la que no tengo demasiadas referencias. Los galos Future son una banda con vocación de llenapistas.

With sharp guitar riffs, cold melodies and fractured drums, future is deafening noise pop, proposing an hypnotic atmosphere enhanced by different influences. After abyss EP, future new album, horizons, is coming early 2015 on Requiem pour un Twister.

12 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Future | Deja un comentario

Mark Gardener, Robin Guthrie: Universal Road (2015)

Universal Road

Lo malo de acometer una colaboración como la de GardenerGuthrie es que al final, los que esperábamos algo de los sonidos de las bandas de estos dos talentos, éstos no aparezcan por ningún lado. Universal Road es un buen disco, sí, pero demasiado acomodado, demasiado limpio, cristalino, lleno de buenas intenciones pero que no termina de saciar ni al devoto aficionado Shoegazer ni al clásico enamorado de los sonidos noventeros. Guste o no, es lo que hay. Bueno, a mí me gusta Amnesia (yo soy de esos que buscaban rasgos de Ride en el disco…).

“Two titans of the dream pop world clash when Mark Gardener, vocalist of Ride, and Robin Guthrie, guitarist and producer of Cocteau Twins, meet up on 2015’s Universal Road album. OK, clash is exactly the opposite of what happened when they got together. Guthrie‘s multi-layered musical beds prove to be an almost ideal setting for Gardener‘s gentle wisp of a voice, and the album ends up as a serendipitous meeting of the minds instead. The ten songs are mostly subdued ballads guided byGuthrie‘s echoing guitars and filled in by pillowy synths; only an occasional outlier builds up a head of steam. Gardener proves right at home in the setting, imbuing his introspective lyrics with some wisdom and cushioning his tender lead vocals with soft harmonies. It’s not the kind of album that leaps out at the listener demanding attention or dazzling with hooks and tricks; one has to inhabit the songs and soak in the sounds before it starts to stick. Even the noisier songs that call to mind Ride‘s classic sound (like “Blind” and “Dice”) are so fluffy and soft to the touch that the distortion just kind of gets swept up into the cloud of melancholic reserve. That’s not a bad thing at all and it makes for a peaceful, comforting listening experience. Those looking for something more dramatic or energetic will need to look elsewhere for their kicks, as these two are far more interested in creating a refined, calmly introspective mood. To that end, Universal Road succeeds and shows how powerful a true collaboration like this can be when done the right way” (All Music)

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11 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Mark Gardener, Robin Guthrie | Deja un comentario

Kate Pierson: Guitars and Microphones (Kobalt / Lazy Meadow, 2015)

Seguro que eres súper fan de B-52´s. Seguro que te acuerdas de sus dos exuberantes cantantes. Pues la chica pelirroja editó el año pasado, a sus 66 añazos (más o menos la edad de Karina), el que es su álbum de debut, un trabajo que tenía planeado para hace una década pero que apareció en 2015.
Lo que es cierto es que si tienes interés en rastrear vestigios del pasado en este Guitars and Microphones, mejor repasas la discografía de su banda, porque este disco es algo errático. Algunos momentos de lucidez, pero en su mayor parte, temas que no pasarían la criba de una escucha más o menos crítica (Throw down the roses, Mister Sister, Guitars and microphonesBring your arms…). Kate Pierson se ha rodeado de colaboradores como Sia o Nick Valensi para dar forma a este álbum que, con todo, es un buen entretenimiento.

“If you spend your time with Guitars and Microphones hunting for some sonic signature on Sia’s part, you won’t find it; she’s more of a complementary piece than a heavy-handed force when writing for others, and that holds true for her work with Pierson. She excels at amplifying an artist’s best traits, whether that means highlighting their areas of musical skill or connecting with them to help craft a particularly resonant piece of lyric. That’s what she does with Pierson throughout the record: The two of them understand that her greatest strength is her voice, and they push it to the forefront of every song. Pierson hasn’t lost any of the force or heat that’s characterized her vocal work for 40 years; if anything, she’s acquired the ability to enrich otherwise pedestrian line readings with a resonance that feels born of a life well lived. When she guns for high, loud notes in climactic moments, like on the dreamy “Crush Me With Your Love”, you can feel it burning in the pit of your stomach. That passion only intensifies when Pierson is singing about something that’s obviously important to her, be it her relationship with partner Monica Coleman (“Crush Me With Your Love”, “Wolves”) or questions of independence and feminism (opener “Throw Down the Roses”). The intensity is welcome, because it brightens up arrangements that split the difference between two very familiar brands of recent rock music: the Shins’ luminous, buoyant pop-rock, and the Strokes’ sharper, more tonally distinct work. The familiarity of the sounds is comforting, but fleeting. The only thing you remember after finishing a song is Pierson’s voice.
There’s only one real misstep on Guitars and Microphones, but it’s a big one, revolving around the concept and reception of lead single “Mister Sister”. To hear Pierson tell it, it’s a chugging would-be anthem for anyone who’s ever felt that what’s inside of them isn’t being adequately reflected by what they see in the mirror, something that’s not specific to ideas about gender identity or sexuality or anything especially technical. But in giving a quote tothe Huffington Post, she used the phrase, “I hope it becomes a trans anthem,” a well-meaning but bold statement that seemed especially tone deaf given the song’s campier and more stereotypical elements. (If you’re interested in a more detailed analysis of why a potential Pierson attempt at a “trans anthem” would be inappropriate, this Bustle article is worthwhile.)
It was an unfortunate situation stemming from a miscommunication, and a great example of the misunderstandings and hurt that can flare up between even members of two different wings of the broader LGBT community. Pierson was quick to apologize, and has appeared eager to learn in interviews conducted since. But unintentional offence aside, “Mister Sister” still feels like a relic from a different time; it aims for that aforementioned compassionate, quirky B-52s queerness, but falls short and ends up cheap and cloying. On a purely musical level, it lacks the melodic firepower and passion that colors the best of Guitars and Microphones, with blocky riffs and a Pierson performance that skews a little campy but fails to engage the listener. Most importantly, it’s an outlier on a record that manages to feel impressive, contemporary and vital with most of its other songs” (Pitchfork)

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9 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Kate Pierson | Deja un comentario

Espíritusanto: Algo nos va a pasar (Discos de Kirlian, 2016)

“Hay discos que desprenden magia y te cautivan con tan solo una escucha. Eso me pasó a mí al escuchar el máster de “Algo nos va a pasar”, el primer disco largo, grande (y físico) de los madrileños Espíritusanto.
Grabado durante el verano del año pasado en los estudios Imput por Juan Pedro contiene 11 canciones. Ya hemos podido escuchar 2 de ellas a modo de aperitivo-avance “Polígono industrial” y “La distancia sobrante”, pero es que las 9 restantes no se quedan atrás. Nos encontramos ante su mejor colección de canciones: “Flores de Bach” “Mineralia” “Paul & Camille” “Nadar a crol II” así lo demuestran. Al escucharlas hay que prestar atención a las letras de Andrés Federico, punto fuerte en el su cancionero, rotundos pasajes que parecen golpes de puño en el hígado, un desgarro al corazón con dulzura, reflexión y mala leche a parte iguales, y.. ¡cómo las cantan Andrés y Reyes! Desde el sello tenemos una debilidad especial por los grupos con voces chico-chica que juegan en perfecta armonía, las replicas de Andrés y las contraréplicas de Reyes. Ella, presente desde lo inicios del grupo ha participado en la grabación del disco pero ya no estará en las presentaciones en directo siendo sustituida por Élia Maqueda(voz y teclados en Agnes).
El equipo de trabajo se ha redondeado con la ayuda en el violín de Loreto García y la producción y arreglos adicionales (cacharraje lo llaman ellos) de David Rodríguez (La Bien Querida, La Estrella de David). Algo nos va a pasar se compone de once canciones de corte pop, con más distorsión de fondo que de forma, que modifican el sonido de sus trabajos anteriores con un aire más limpio y arreglos adicionales que no por eso dejan en un segundo plano el sonido de las guitarras que caracteriza al proyecto.
La banda, que ya cuenta con seis años de ensayos y conciertos a sus espaldas, comenzó utilizando bases pregrabadas en sus directos, pero hace ya tiempo que ha incorporado a sus filas la batería de Seán, que hace que el sonido sea más orgánico y enérgico, algo que se refleja en este disco, cuya base se completa con las líneas de bajo de Jorge. En lo que atañe al fondo, las letras directas y narrativas de Andrés establecen un diálogo entre la voz de Reyes y la suya propia que generan una tensión absorbente para el que escucha. Por su parte, las guitarras de Juan y Pablo tiran de la cuerda para emborronar el cuadro, por si estuviera demasiado limpio, asegurándose de que los aires shoegaze siguen ahí, aunque sea al fondo de la foto.
El resultado es un sonido único, personal y cada vez más maduro” (Prensa)

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8 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Espíritusanto | Deja un comentario

Últim Cavall: Últim Cavall (Ep, 2015)

Últim Cavall EP cover art

El trío barcelonés Últim Cavall nos ofrece un Ep de debut cargado de sorpresas, preñado de influencias ochentero-noventeras, haciendo hincapié en las huellas sonoras del Shoegaze , en su vertiente más melódica y ambiental (Creatures, El bosc –¿Por qué no acordarnos del Forest de The Cure?-, Oceans;  o el Post-Punk más asequible (La casa cremant). Interesante comienzo.

 
El bosc
Fue de las primeras composiciones que hicimos. Teníamos claro que queríamos jugar con diferentes reverbs en la guitarras y en las voces y coros para que sonara todo muy etéreo y atmosférico.
Encontramos la personalidad y el carácter ideal para la base rítmica, queríamos que la batería hiciera caminar la canción llevándola a un crescendo sin fin. Al añadir diferentes sintetizadores la canción se fundía cada vez más en ese paisaje onírico, puro y libre que hace referencia la letra de la canción. Como curiosidad, llegamos a dar tantas vueltas al sonido de algunas guitarras mediante diferentes pedales de efectos que al final sonaron parecidos a unos sintetizadores low fi. Ese proceso nos permitió salir un poco del límite sonoro de cada instrumento.

La casa cremant
Es una canción oscura, rabiosa y compuesta con muy pocos elementos. Se creó con guitarra y batería, pero con la guitarra haciendo la función de bajo pesado y contundente, esto dio un aire más post punk y frío a la canción. En el proceso de grabación añadimos muchos más instrumentos, pero al hacer la mezcla nos dimos cuenta que el tema funcionaba mejor con pocos elementos y que en este caso “menos era más”. Nos costó encontrar un sonido para la batería, queríamos y buscábamos una batería con mucha agresividad y urgencia, finalmente encontramos una reverb para la caja que nos acercaba a ese sonido underground de los años 80 que tanto nos gusta. La letra nace de una simple imagen: la de una casa ardiendo en lo alto de una colina, A partir de aquí, el resto del texto se inspira un poco en la canción “House Of The Rising Sun” que popularizaron The Animals.

Criatures
Para nosotros es una canción especial porque tiene una carga emocional muy fuerte y la intentamos interpretar con mucha sensibilidad. Lo que nos gusta más de este tema son las diferentes dinámicas que se consiguen y como la canción consigue hacer expresar nuestras emociones. Puede que sea la canción más épica del EP, una historia de superación y de aceptar los miedos que nos acompañan en nuestra existencia. En este tema grabamos con diferentes reverbs analógicos y sintetizadores. También añadimos guitarras distorsionadas con mucho fuzz en las partes que creíamos que la canción necesitaba más fuerza. Nos lo pasamos muy bien creando diferentes capas de sonido y detalles de segundo plano que se van descubriendo a medida que escuchas más veces el tema.

Oceans
Una canción muy directa e intensa. Nos basamos en una línea de bajo para construir la composición. Queríamos dar mucho protagonismo al groove para que fuera un tema envolvente y algo psicodélico. Utilizamos un sonido diferente para la batería, guitarras y bajo, algo más crudo y seco que le da una personalidad muy marcada. Pasamos las voces por un filtro y dimos mucha más importancia a la expresión que a la ejecución. La letra hace referencia a un mundo sin continentes que ha sido engullido por el agua.

Papers
Coincidimos todos en acabar el EP con esta canción. La compusimos en dos partes diferenciadas. La primera mucho más melódica y pausada, y la segunda con una subida de intensidad y un bucle de energía creciente que llega a cotas altas de intensidad. Creímos conveniente cambiar de tono la segunda parte para fortalecer ese cambio de registro y que sorprendiera al oyente. En la segunda parte de la canción encontramos, según nuestro punto de vista, de los mejores arreglos del EP. Estuvimos experimentando hasta dónde podíamos llegar con el bucle final y finalmente conseguimos expresar lo que buscábamos, mezclando guitarras con sintetizadores y acoples, y con un riff en segundo plano que conseguía ensalzar el viaje hasta el final. (Música Crónica)

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8 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Últim Cavall | Deja un comentario

Simon Love: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (Fortuna Pop!, 2015)

The meaning of Love

Para su debut en largo, Simon Love (viejo amigo de TJB), ha decidido, de alguna forma, romper con su tradicional sonido Bubblegum tan alabado en su etapa anterior con The Loves para decidirse a hacer un álbum más maduro, más elaborado, más empapado de sonidos setenteros. Yo lo interpreto, de alguna manera, como un tributo a Paul McCartney, y no sólo por su cover de Dear Boy, sino por ejemplo, otro homenaje como Elton John, o cortes como The New Adam and Eve, Motherfuckers, My dickSweetheart you should probably go to sleep, Don´t get the gurl no more, donde se respira ese aire nostálgico setentero.
Aún así, para los que nos gustan los temas de Simon Love y su forma de hacer las cosas, tenemos varias oportunidades de encontrarnos con sus mejores momentos: You kiss your mother with that mouth, ***(Is a dirty word), Wowie Zowie o la divertida The meaning of Love. La verdad es que aunque el sonido de Love se aleje algo de sus trabajos anteriores, continúa habiendo un punto en común con todos ellos, y es la acidez y el sentido del humor tan británico del que se impregna todo el disco.
Una buena forma de comenzar una carrera en solitario que espero que le proporcione tan buenos momentos como con su grupo de siempre.

“With his long-running band the Loves, it was always hard to pin the irrepressible Simon Love down. His group’s albums veered from style to style — bubblegum to girl group, punky romps to glammy stomps — all topped off with Love‘s offbeat lyrical bent. Now out on his own, Love‘s debut album It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time travels a similarly crooked path, but with a bit more style and savoir-faire this time out. Bringing in strings from A Little Orchestra and brass provided by the Voluntary Butler Scheme‘s Rob Jones, the album has a lush sound and the songs are built to match. He still swerves all over the place, from a Nilsson-esque cover of Paul McCartney‘s “Dear Boy” to the swinging ’60s groover “Wowie Zowie,” which could have been lifted from an unmade funny Austin Powers movie. He also dishes out some good-time rock & roll on “You Kiss Your Mother with That Mouth?” and classic rock piano balladry on “Motherfuckers,” and lays down some very pretty chamber pop on “Elton John.” It makes for a great-sounding record with something interesting happening at all times, musically and in other ways too, as Love pulls no punches lyrically, whether cursing out love in no uncertain terms on “**** (Is a Dirty Word),” lamenting the damage a certain appendage has done on “My Dick,” or detailing his explicit plans to restart society on “The New Adam & Eve.” It’s quirky for sure, but Love pulls it off by actually being witty, and because of how catchy the songs are. One can forgive a fair amount of lyrical tomfoolery if you can sing along happily, and that’s certainly the case here. He’s been making really fun music for a long time, but on his solo debut Simon Love takes it a little deeper and a little weirder, and in the process has created an intriguing little oddball album that’s well worth checking out if you’re a fan of that kind of thing” (All Music)

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5 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Simon Love | 1 comentario

Nick Hessler: Soft Connections (Captured Tracks, 2015)

OMG Template LP ATOZ_JKT

Las Gafas de Nick Lowe

Una vuelta gloriosa a un pasado repleto de Power-Pop. Una bonita colección de canciones animosas que nos trasladan al final de los años setenta con la magia de las melodías y las guitarras con ese ligero toque de distorsión. Escuchar Hearts, Repeating es todo un ejercicio de estilo convenientemente actualizado y llevado a cabo por este músico anteriormente conocido como Catwalk y que ha vuelto tras enfermedad en 2015 para ofrecernos este brillante álbum de debut. Todo un hallazgo.

“Now ditching the moniker of a hypothetical band, Nic re-emerges in 2015, healthy and reinvigorated, with a more fully-formed and ambitious sound: the sound of Soft Connections, his debut LP years in the making though he’s just 23. While it’s leaps and bounds away from Catwalk in terms of fidelity and depth, the melodic and harmonic quality of Catwalk remains deeply rooted in time-honored songwriting structures. Soft Connections bridges the songwriting influences of the vintage American power-pop of Emmit Rhodes and Alex Chilton with UK giants like The Kinks and XTC. Tracks like “Hearts, Repeating” and “I Feel Again”—two classic singles in the radio sense of the word—show the maturity in craftsmanship Nic’s been honing these past four years.
The making of Soft Connections has been a lengthy process that took place during a crucial period of musical growth and self-exploration. It’s an optimistic and introspective record about being in-and-out of feeling—on the brink of a personal breakthrough, yet still seeking direction, purpose, truth and permanence. Anchored by the Catwalk favorite “(Please) Don’t Break Me,” a song that at one point could very well have launched Nic into indie celebdom four years ago, this debut is now a send off to that period for Nic. Sounding better than ever and ready to soundtrack your road trip or failed crush, Soft Connections will be the first record in what we all hope to be a lengthy string of great albums” (Captured Tracks)

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4 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Nic Hessler | Deja un comentario

Dick Diver: Melbourne, Florida (Chapter / Trouble in Mind, 2015)

Melbourne, Florida, el tercer trabajo de los australianos Dick Diver es un disco variado, que nos ofrece desde el Pop más cercano a la idea (preconcebida o no) que todos tenemos del Pop australiano-neozelandés, hasta el lado más cercano al mainstream del Indie. Un álbum que juega con esa variedad como baza a jugar para de alguna forma escapar de ese estereotipo del que hablaba antes del Kiwi-Pop.

“Dick Diver have always been skeptical, if not cynical, about their culture, and there are signs they’re becoming more scathing. True to life, on Melbourne, Florida relationships are mediated by glass. Departed lovers are mourned in endlessly scrolling old emails and windows become the projection sheets of better-left-forgotten memories. On “Beat Me Up (Talk to a Counsellor)”, Al Montfort confronts the psychopathic condition of young males and on “Competition”, Rupert Edwards’ targets seem mindless and obsessed with warped trappings of fame. This is tempered by the striking “Boomer Class”, which spits bile at the destruction of a family but is ultimately regretful that something so terrible should afflict people in the first place.
In an interview last month, Rupert Edwards said when Dick Diver start getting bad reviews, he can finally buy an Xbox—that certainty in life after the band has given them the faith to look outwards. The buzzsaw synth on “Competition” might’ve seemed unimaginable onCalendar Days, and Al McKay’s “Waste the Alphabet” is more bombastic and loud than the prettiness of previous songs would suggest. Steph Hughes’ crystalline voice has only gotten stronger on the swelling “Leftovers” and piano ballad “View from a Shakey Ladder”. The rich, melody-stuffed jangle that scored them references to the Flying Nun catalogue has shipped off, replaced by chugging verses and the tropes of FM radio rock, the soundtrack to long drives down country roads.
The novelty of domestic signifiers has also been shed. Sucked into the void go Zamel’s ads and TV Weeks and tourist attractions in the shape of sacred desert rocks, replaced by—as far as pop cult ephemera—Tonya Harding and Fleetwood Mac. But Melbourne, Florida, no matter the name, is no pander to the great republic. There are still signposts of nationality, only they’re more subtle. “Europe’s fucked probably,” a blasé Edwards sings, reflecting the cultural and geographical distance from the intercontinental headlines in a sick parody of those who see Europe as a theme park for backpacking. The fixation on everywhere but here, if anything, is even more Australian than the more obvious touchstones on previous records. On Melbourne, Florida, the ghosts of civilisations haunt television screens that not that long ago were propaganda machines beaming the best of faraway cultures distilled into caricature through the lounge rooms of their corner of the Commonwealth. 
Dick Diver sound at peace on Melbourne, Florida, both certain of what they are now and certain that they could be almost anything in the future. Last year, Edwards was afraid that Dick Diver risked a dangerous entrenchment with the connotations the band had accrued, but this album breaks open new possibilities for them. Whether that’s welcomed, or they have to pursue new careers in pro-gaming, Melbourne, Florida is an exciting progression to old fans, and a solid entry point for new audiences” (Pitchfork)

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3 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Dick Diver | Deja un comentario

Suburban Living: Suburban Living (Papercup Music, 2015)

Suburban_Living_LP

Suburban Living nace del proyecto unipersonal de Wesley Bunch. Juegan en la misma liga que Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Veronica Falls y esa hornada de grupos a los que le va el Indie digerido por el filtro ochentero y de las guitarras con reverb y con cierto grado de cristalinidad. 
Hace justamente un año publicaron su álbum homónimo de debut, tras la edición de varios singles y Ep´s. 
Se encuentran justamente preparando nuevo material el cual verá la luz a lo largo de este 2016. 

“Our self titled record came out 1 year ago today. People say “time flys when ur having fun” but wow, that’s too real. It feels like yesterday that I was at home in Virginia in my friend Mark’s studio doing sessions for this everyday. I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but just imagine a small studio littered in Wa Wa hoagie wrappers and two bug eyed dudes staring at a screen listening back to something 1 million times and occasionally playing a guitar or something” (Press)

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2 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Suburban Living | Deja un comentario

La Evolución del Hombre al Pájaro: Albatros (Vídeo-Single, 2015)

‘Breve historia de la luna’ fue el título del primer disco que Víctor Algora editaba a principios de 2015 bajo el alias de La Evolución del Hombre al Pájaro, y el sexto contando sus cinco discos como Algora (el anterior, ‘Verbena’, en 2013). Un trabajo que recupera la esencia más electrónica de Víctor, aquella de su primer disco, y lalleva más allá. Son diez canciones de baile, que van del technopop más clásico de‘Muerte y destrucción en los grandes almacenes (I)’  al techno-dream de ‘Mi primera noche en Londres’, pasando por las concesiones al ambient y el hip-hop de‘Muerte y destrucción en los grandes almacenes (II), los toques punk de ‘La cruz dorada’ , los arpegios ochentenos de ‘Barba de tornado australiano de fuego’ o el retro-futurismo de ‘Dumbo sin orejas’. Todas ellas etiquetas que sirven como excusa para definir lo que en definitiva, son en esencia, otras diez canciones pop deAlgora.
Ahora nos llega el cuarto y último videoclip, concretamente del tema “Albatros”, la canción que cierra ‘Breve historia de la luna’ y con el que concluye esta primera etapa del grupo alter ego de Algora. El video se rodó en verano y las imágenes son de Quiela Nuc. Para Víctor, ‘Albatros’ es la canción más abstracta del disco y también su favorita. La escribió después de una mítica noche de fiesta en Berlín”(Press)

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1 febrero, 2016 Posted by | La Evolución del Hombre al Pájaro | Deja un comentario

131313: Karma / Brigada (2015)

Esencias experimentales y desarrollos instrumentales son los protagonistas de este último lanzamiento del proyecto 131313, titulado Karma / Brigada (2015). Un trabajo encuadrado entre el Emo más experimental y el sonido ambiental Gaditano.

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1 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Trece Trece Trece | Deja un comentario

   

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