I guess I’ve been listening to too much music from the emo/acoustic/lo-fi revival because I completely forgot that acoustic music could be summery. Also, it’s snowing outside so this song melted my cold-hipster-blogger-iced-out heart. Nah, for real though “South Carolina” is a bright jam from Houses and Homes that is pretty hard not to enjoy. It’s catchy, it’s got male and female duets and it’s not trying to be cute and indie. What negative things could I say?
I don’t know if I’d call it a conscious move or that the internet is finally reaching a 21st century ideal of post-genre bliss, but the blogosphere has seemed a lot less focused on new sounds and new-buzz-core-genres as of late. It really doesn’t seem like people are looking for the next new chillwave anymore and it’s honestly pretty nice. Instead, my favorite releases and discoveries recently have been bands and artists who care more about writing good songs that challenging genre conventions. Frankie Cosmos is one of those songwriters. There aren’t any sounds on Pure Suburb that will challenge your current notions of what folk or singer-songwriter music should be. Frankie is comfortable with her voice and her guitar and it’s hard to imagine that she needs much more. Her melodies and lyrics don’t separate her from the pack due to uniqueness but they demonstrate that she is steps above the pack. ”I was told when I was younger that I looked stupid in a dress/and I felt like I could never try without failing,” she confesses on “am i trying im not trying” in one of her most emotionally straightforward and memorable moments. She may not be trying but she isn’t failing either.
Gorgeous Children have been on our radar since releasing their debut mixtape about a year ago. Even though that tape was extremely good, we haven’t heard much from them until now. ICE is the Seattle duo’s second full project and shows further progression into their dark and dismal take on rap. Over the course of the past year both members of the act have improved excessively in their crafts. Gila Monsta’s beats are cleaner than ever, contorting obscure samples into bubblingly bleak soundscapes and Face Vega tears through them with catchy hooks and ferocious verses. The highlight of the tape for me would probably be “Daiyamondo” on which Gila Monsta creates a beat stuck somewhere between grime and Mystic Stylez and Face Vega rips it apart, sounding like he’s almost barreling out of control with aggression by the end of his verses. Stream “Daiyamondo” below and the whole tape after the jump.
Lo-fi and bedroom recordings don’t always have to flirt with the ugly or messy. In fact, disgusting is one of the cleanest and most straightforwardly beautiful releases I’ve heard all year. At first glance it may be easy to dismiss acab rocky as just another garage band with a punny name (Joanna Gruesome, Elvis Depressedly, R L Kelly etc.), but then you might think to yourself and realize that none of those bands suck and acab rocky deserves a listen. When you do listen, as I am suggesting you do, you may realize acab rocky write pop songs and some damn good pop songs too. ”disgusting” swells softly with half-whispered vocals and easy guitar strumming while “i tend to forget” introduces drum machine and electric guitar lines to carry the track through a breezy minute and a half. Like many of my favorite lyricists of the lo-fi/emo revival, Sam Wells is emotionally blunt, straightforward and effective. The EP closes with an alternate version of “disgusting” that shows off that acab rocky aren’t always quiet and are just as emotive when they’re jamming.
It’s basically Thanksgiving which means it’s Christmas season ho-ho-hos, so let’s give these beaties as presents to the world wrapped up neatly in our special Eat Your Beaties packaging. Celebrate the holidaze with a jazzy tune from poptart pete, some emotional emotions from LIL SAD, alien vibes from Bluestaeb, experimental goodness from Hominidæ and Tsaik and Majira and his waterfalls of piano-based prettiness. Unwrap ‘em after the jump.
contron has never been afraid to lay it all out for people. Song titles like “i guess i’ma pretty good person sometimes when i really think that hell might exist (thought i heard you screamin’ i was dancing with my demons they’re the bad things that i like too much)” and “i wish you were still here, i wish you weren’t still (ode to terrence in the key of pouring out ol’ english)” don’t leave much up to the imagination and usually the songs lyrics don’t stray too far from the song title. It’s the kind of heart on the sleeve mentality that I can’t imagine having in the age of social media. Despite his own self loathing, this dude has some serious cajones for admitting the kind of stuff he does and being able to make something beautiful out of it too. He romanticizes the kind of overly ironic and overly depressed hipster lifestyle that has become such an act it’s kind of become real. In his own words, “i’d like to congratulate myself on being so ironic that i forget what real life feels like.” I mean shoot, if that doesn’t sum up being a youth in 2013 I don’t know what does.
Declan Diemer, aka the duuuude behind Cedar Falls, described his new EP as 20 minutes of ambient and dark folk. I don’t think he’s giving himself enough credit here. Sure, Elsa isn’t going to give you any new tracks to add to your “Summer Jamzz” Playlist and you’re probably not going to bump any of this at a party, but Cedar Falls is brimming with the same kinda various influences that make artists like Jacob Braun, Ricky Eat Acid and contron so exciting. Cedar Falls doesn’t stray too far from ambience and folk but he takes those genre touchstones as jumping off points and not limitations. ”Isolated Road” buzzes with garage rock distortion and “Memorybook” moves with orchestral elegance. Opening with the track “The Last Time I Saw Elsa” and ending with “The First Time I Saw Elsa”, Elsa comes across as an extremely personal and honest recording, something that has become harder and harder to do as of late.