Recent Music Loves, Fall 2012
Time for a music update. Since I am a tune slut, I’m constantly collecting albums across all mediums and spending way, way, way too much time combing Bandcamp, Amazon’s recommendations, discogs.com related albums, last.fm libraries, and more. Some stuff I’ve recently found:
Coasta, Sunzal EP
There is no path to my record collection faster than a modern interpretation of early-80s post-punk. Fans of Bloc Party, you know what I’m talking about. Coasta bring to bear the best of The Chameleons and The Sound filtered through the fertile petri dish that is Brooklyn’s music scene. Crispy drums, pitch-perfect guitars, pushy bass and razor-sharp songwriting make for a cocktail I’m going to re-order 900 times.
Their EP is on Bandcamp for $4. It’s a steal.
Flashlights, So Close to Midnight EP
Most synth records from the 80s are painfully dated. I mean, listen to Soft Cell or Aha now, and the crummy production and insipid lyrics drag it down like a submarine strapped to a rubber duck.
What you really want is Flashlights. These guys create synth-driven pop that is clean, modern, retro, dark, shiny, smart and addictive all wrapped up in layers of guilty pleasure. If you want to dance around your bedroom but are sick of Depeche Mode’s Speak and Spell, you can get this band’s EP for free (!!!) from Bandcamp.
The xx, Coexist
If the current music scene is frenetic post-modern art, The xx occupy a tiny corner of black-washed canvas that was spared the torrent of criss-cross color covering everything else. Surface comparisons to Portishead’s Dummy are warranted, but it’s more than that; there is a strain of authentic hope that sluices through this downtempo codeine, and moments when a single guitar note bleeds enough light onto the rest of the recording to illuminate variance in emotional wavelength too nuanced for distracted ears or crappy sound systems.
Here is “Angels”, a representative song and a trippy video to boot.
I’m late to the party on this one, but hell. Crush together Daft Punk’s “Rollin and Scratch” tech-house and the squelchy progressive house of Timo Maas before he got pretentious, sprinkle in some vocals ala The Prodigy, and boom you have a 70-minute album built for driving 300 mph through Detroit circa 2024.
Here is “Sofi Needs a Ladder”. If this doesn’t make you want to bang your head against a wall in an act of techno stigmata, nothing can help you. (If you don’t play it loud, it doesn’t count.)
Snow in Mexico, everything
You know that washy synthy place that lies in the bluzzy corners of half-sleep, an M83 album, slow motion video of the Atlantic ocean and the smell of wool sweaters in the middle of a snow storm? That’s where Snow in Mexico reside, their music as strong as it is subdued, as gripping as it is peaceful.
Found via last.fm, but amazingly, their two EPs are available for name-your-price on Bandcamp. If you like the current movement of synth-driven shoegazer pop, this is so far down your alley you should call the police.
Prodigal Summer EP: