BRAND NEW: How To Dress Well – “Ocean Floor For Everything”

How To Dress Well

Last night I witnessed in real-time (thank you Twitter) the online music media scramble to publish articles on How To Dress Well’s latest track – “Ocean Floor For Everything”. It raised questions about the nature of such scrambling, but perhaps those would be best saved for another time and a more apt release. This is a great track, and the fact that it’s reaching more ears is only a good thing.

Tom Krell’s latest experimental lo-fi outing contains but a faint trace of the characteristic, and sometimes overbearing crackle and hiss of his debut album Love Remains, but fret not. The smooth, unearthly textures are still there in spades, whispering around the track and building what proves to be a grand and affecting song.

How To Dress Well’s second album, Total Loss, is due out in September (via Acéphale in North America and Weird World internationally).

Photo by Jesse Lirola.


REVIEW: Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp”

I’ve been unbelievably slow in giving Yeasayer a try, but here I am. I listened to “Ambling Alp” a few days ago and was pleasantly surprised. When I first listened to it, I had one thought running through my head: this is what I imagined Animal Collective should’ve been like.

Yeasayer have merged psychedelic influences with loosely experimental electronics in a catchy way, and it really does pay off. They’ve created something that so many other bands make intimidating and difficult, but instead have made it easy and fun. Not over-populated with dense layers of noise and odd samples, the clearly discernible vocals and catchy hooks really just draw you in.

I urge any of you who have been slow, like myself, or merely put off due to them being buzzed about all over the internet to check Yeasayer out. You might enjoy them more than you think.

Verdict: Positive.

Grab a free download from RCRD LBL here.

REVIEW: Rain Machine – "Give Blood"

TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone released his self-titled debut solo album under the moniker "Rain Machine" in September of 2009. Though much of his sound can be likened to that of TVotR’s musical style, the exact opposite can be said as well, so it’s very interesting, to say the least, to listen to how he works without his usual band members beside him.

Malone’s distinct vocals mark the opening of "Give Blood" around light rhymic tapping. It doesn’t take long for the layers of messy guitars to come in and give the song a feeling of density and busyness. The chorus has something about it that hooks on, the simple repetition of the words "give blood" combined with the stomping drums have an appeal to them.

I’m not going to lie, "Give Blood" doesn’t sound at all like it would be out of place on TVotR’s "Return To Cookie Mountain" or "Dear Science" (despite them both being very different albums). It has that distinct feel to it that is so often present in his band work. This isn’t a bad song, it’s a bit of a grower (again, not unlike TVotR’s work is for me), and I don’t mind it. But it doesn’t sound good enough to eclipse TVotR’s work in this style (though it is good quality), nor does it feel different enough for me to be able to view it in it’s own light. Comparisons are unfortunately inevitable between the two, and they’re difficult to avoid when they have the similarities that they do.

Grab a free download on Spinner here.

Score: 5/10

BRAND NEW: Dirty Projectors – "Ascending Melody" 7"

Eccentric pop melodies are rolled together on the two songs from this free single, "Ascending Melody" and "Emblem Of The World". Dragged around the songs are loose-played guitars, and the twangy, sunny vibe, leaving you unsure entirely what to expect from Dirty Projectors.

The female vocal lines rise and begin "Ascending Melody" before the male counterpart joins in, balancing out the song and interweaving vocal duties in the chorus. There’s an overwhelming exuberance that seems to transcend the music completely. It sounds like they’re having fun at the same time too.

"Emblem Of The World" isn’t quite as interesting or appealing, but provides a nice bit of filler for the single. It’s in the same style as "Ascending Melody", as you would expect, but isn’t quite as up-beat.

Score: 6/10

Grab a free download of the single here.