mp3: JUBA – Please Oh Please

JUBA exploded onto my radar with their adrenaline rush of rock “Bloodvessels” earlier this year and they’ve followed up on the promise of that introduction with their fantastic full-length Mynah.  ”Please Oh Please”, a favorite of mine from my first listen through, expands upon the psychedelic surf-punk of “Bloodvessels” and validates all the hopes I had for the band.  The track swells with a huge wordless chorus that hovers above the constantly evolving guitar, drum and bass seascape beneath.  Mynah manages to occupy a sweet spot in the jangle-pop landscape somewhere between the ocean-mindedness of DIIV and the psych freak outs of Thee Oh Sees (“Sow Your Wild Oats”) without ever losing a unique sense of identity.  Lisbon is more than just where Panda Bear lives I guess.

-PK

mp3: Tropical Tobacco – Sadie

Although Libson-based Tropical Tobacco aren’t exactly the most prolific band out there, every they release a new track I realize I’m happy that they’re moving at their own blissfully slow pace.  The band still hasn’t pushed their own image much past warm photos of tropical foliage but I’m cool with that too, “Sadie” blooms just as naturally as the flowers that appear in the artwork.  Flowering from reverb-soaked synths and bass, “Sadie” has Tropical Tobacco sounding like a Washed Out who was relocated to the caribbean.  That’s not to say that “Sadie” is an uninspired derivative of chillwave however, as Tropical Tobacco include enough sonic diversity and dynamics to prove they have songwriting chops to show off behind the reverb.

-PK

mp3: Tropical Tobacco – debris/

I’m not sure exactly where Lisbon based group Tropical Tobacco are planning on taking their tropically-tinged psychedelic sound… but “debris/” definitely points towards more things coming in the future.  Chill out music hasn’t been popular since that whole chillwave internet backlash, however, “debris/” has reminded me why we all got caught up in that craze in the first place.  This is the kind of music that is inexplicably tied to some warm, dreamy place somewhere but leaves exactly where that place is up to the listener.

-PK

mp3: Juba – Bloodvessels

“Bloodvessels” sounds like a song that a band would have to work up to, developing their sound and strengths.  The track explodes with a huge guitar led sound not too different from DIIV while still sounding instantly recognizable and unique.  With “Bloodvessels”, Juba have released one of the best debut singles I’ve heard from an indie rock band in a while.  Juba is based out of Lisbon, Portugal, which is a scene I have no idea about so if bands like Tropical Tobacco and Juba keep putting out stellar music it will be a city to watch out for.

-PK

Enjoy it While it’s Fresh: Tropical Tobacco

Tropical Tobacco is a band based out of Lisbon, Portugal that caught my ears with their unique blend of synth-pop and tropical music.  What is easy to tell about the band from the few singles they’ve released so far is that they make aggressively gorgeous music.  While the dream-pop tag has been abused by some bands to hide songwriting behind warm sheets of haze and fuzz, Tropical Tobacco aren’t making forgettable, sleep inducing music.  Guitar tones fall in and out, percussion is fast and dominant and the vocals are clear and in the front.  What is most exciting about the band is how obvious it is that this is only the beginning.  If they keep producing more tropical synth-rock it’s bound to keep getting better.  For now download their Aboriginal EP at their bandcamp and hear more at their soundcloud.

-PK