One year ago, I slid into the soporific embrace of mononucleosis. Aside from the normal fatigue and malaise, I felt as if there was a damp towel muffling all of my senses. All of my time was spare time, and I spent it camped out on the couch playing videogames, sleeping, and listening to music.
Hopefully you never have to experience mono. It sucks. But if you’re curious, then have a listen to these s l o w d r e a m y s o n g s
2. Nosaj Thing – Us
This stuttery lullaby comes to us courtesy of LA’s Nosaj Thing. Fragile synths are supported by little clicks and twists as Mr. Thing carries the listener along, before carefully setting them down.
3. Low – Belarus
Slowcore stalwarts Low create an achingly beautiful track out of hushed vocals, minimal drums, and teasing strings that bring the song to a gentle crescendo.
4. Morphine – The Night
With their bass saxophone, baritone guitar and singer Mark Sandman’s deep vocal stylings, Morphine would’ve made the perfect backing band to my mono-induced naps.
5. Julianna Barwick – Envelop
Listening to Julianna Barwick is like sinking into a sonic Jacuzzi. Listening to Julianna Barwick is like being serenaded by a chorus of angelic whales.
6. Bear in Heaven – Dust Cloud
This hazy song from Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven features guitar nauseatingly modulating guitar, crunchy bass, bells and keening synthesizer.
Timber Timbre is a Canadian folk band that has recently shocked the music world with their latest album, Creep On Creepin’ On. The name refers to a set of early recordings that took place in a timber-framed cabin out in the sylvan bounds of Bobcaygeon, Ontario. The band comprised of Taylor Kirk, who is on lead vocals, Simon Trottier and Mika Posen, found their first success with the release of their self-titled album in 2009, with the song “Magic Arrow” being featured on the American drama series Breaking Bad. Their latest album continues their style of music with more of the dark, gloomy, ragged blues and swampy sound that they are known for.
The Top 30 is a weekly section of the WOBC blog where we highlight the 30 most-played new albums each week. Check out what our DJs are spinning!
1 XIU XIU Always
2 GRIMES Visions
3 BEACH HOUSE “Myth” [Single]
4 DANIEL ROSSEN Silent Hour/Golden Mile
5 M. WARD A Wasteland Companion
6 THEESATISFACTION AwE NaturalE
7 JULIA HOLTER Ekstasis
8 PERFUME GENIUS Put Your Back N 2 It
9 LOWER DENS Brains/Propagation
10 WIDOWSPEAK Widowspeak
11 LOWER DENS Brains/Propagation
12 CHEER ACCIDENT No Ifs, Ands Or Dogs
13 LA SERA Sees The Light
14 TY SEGALL Singles 2007-2010
15 ANDREW BIRD Break It Yourself
16 ST. VINCENT Strange Mercy
17 OBERHOFER Time Capsules II
18 TANLINES Mixed Emotions
19 NITE JEWEL One Second Of Love
20 POOR MOON Illusion [EP]
21 POND Beard, Wives, Denim
22 ESPERANZA SPALDING Radio Music Society
23 LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS Faithful Man
24 FRANKIE ROSE Interstellar
25 SHINS Port Of Morrow
26 MAGNETIC FIELDS Love At The Bottom Of The Sea
27 AVA LUNA Ice Level
28 CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG Stage Whisper
29 CHOIR OF YOUNG BELIEVERS Rhine Gold
30 HEARTLESS BASTARDS Arrow
Record Store Day, April 21st, is right around the corner! Celebrated every third Saturday in April, Record Store Day is an internationally-recognized holiday dedicated to recognizing the work of independent musicians, record labels and record stores. Commemorating the day with limited edition vinyl and CD releases, bands around the world also participate in Record Store Day with special performances, appearances and exhibitions. Here’s a list of some of this year’s Record Store Day’s much-anticipated releases:
A veritable sonic symphony, listening to Transverse Temporal Gyrus will be an experience to say the least. Compiled out of audio recorded during the band’s performance art stint at the Guggenheim Museum in 2010 of the same name, Transverse Temporal Gyrus juxtaposes this live footage with already pre-recorded tracks into a collage of sound. From feeding songs through a computer program that jumbled and combined disparate noises into one, what resulted from Transverse Temporal Gyrus was a unique sound collage broadcast from 36 separate speakers from the top of the Guggenheim ramp. Also coinciding with this Record Store Day release is the launch of website in which users can hear new combinations of Animal Collective songs through a simulation of the software used during the Guggenheim exhibition.
2. Devo, Live in Seattle 1981 – Booji Boy Records
In 1981, an anonymous dedicated “Devo-tee” (ba dum bum chuh) saw the band Devo live in concert in Seattle and recorded the entire show on a cassette tape. Years passed; the cassette went the way of the 8 Track (which is to say it became entirely technologically obsolete), and the music was never heard of again. That is, until a another Devo-obsessive and archivist, Michael Pilmer, found the cassette among a shoebox full of discarded tapes and transferred them to DAT. This recording comprises the whole of Devo’s 2012 Record Store Day release, Live in Seattle 1981. Wonderful, wacky and weird, much like Devo themselves, Live in Seattle 1981 is a great collector’s pick. Some music was made for headphones, others were made for energy domes– – this album, without a doubt, falls into the latter category.
Perennial “Pitchfork vs. StereoBear” favorite St. Vincent can, in my eyes, no do wrong. A goddess of epic portions, a chanteuse if there ever was one, Annie Clark is, to put it simply, a freaking talent machine. Fresh off her release of the magnificent LP Strange Mercy, KROKODIL finds St. Vincent doing what she does best- – juxtaposing the angelic with the forceful, the aggressive with the harmonious, the entire 7″ sounds like a Julie Andrews soundtrack on crack (note: this is awesome, not at all a bad thing). Pressed on clear red vinyl, KROKODIL is sure to be as slick and stylish as Ms. Clark herself.
4. The Flaming Lips, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends – Warner Bros.
I think this is worth buying just on the basis of who’s guesting with The Flaming Lips on the album’s first track, “2012.” Featuring Biz Markie and you heard it, Ke$ha, the song begs the question, What exactly is Wayne Cohen smoking? I honestly have no clue. Well, whatever he’s on, a host of talented A-listers guesting on the album are riding the same high: The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends features also Bon Iver, Erykah Badu, Nick Cave and Yoko Ono, to name a few. This collection of songs could be a bomb or a masterpiece- – it’s certainly going to take more than a few listens to find out.
Part LP, part art exhibition, Domino Records and Ribbon Music’s multi-artist compilation Smugglers Way is a mixed-media feast for the senses. Comprised out of five rainbow-colored records and packaged as a “flexidisc zine,” Smugglers Way features the unreleased ear candy of some of the label’s heavyhitters, such as Cass McCombs, John Maus, Villagers and Dirty Projectors, as well as the visually stunning artworks and playful writings of the labels’ other bands and artists, which include Lower Dens, Laura Marling, Real Estate and Black Dice, to name a few. A treasure-trove of creative goodies, full of illustrations and photography, as well as short stories and poems, Smugglers Way is essentially like your high school literary magazine, only staffed by your favorite musicians, and 1,000 times more awesome (and considerably less emo).
Based in Seattle, THEESatisfaction is Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White. The duo writes, produces, and performs all their material, “funk-psychedelic feminista sci-fi epics with the warmth and depth of Black Jazz and Sunday morning soul, frosted with icy raps that evoke equal parts Elaine Brown, Ursula Rucker and Q-Tip.”*
THEESatisfaction. Where are they coming from? Where are they going to? If we’re straight on our priorities, you’ll be listening to their album while I tell you about some of the answers…
First principle: they’re positive energy. Black energy, black women leaping oceans and continents at a single bound. With positive strength of purpose.
Further, they’re black purity. Hear that in their intonation. Without trickery. They know the gimmicks, scorn to use ‘em. Rather, they’ll face you and relate what’s in their hearts, faithfully and incorruptibly.*
awE naturalE, the group’s debut, is hard to describe and even harder to categorize; it’s been floating between the pop, r&b, and electronic sections of the WOBC new shelf since it arrived a week or so ago. But no mind. This album is funky, cosmic, purposeful, other-worldzly, higher plane, cool. Whatever you do, don’t funk with this groove.
One of WOBC’s recent acquisitions, Nightlife is an eclectic addition that rubs up against the vault on all sides. The Saratoga Springs Duo is Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, two high school friends with their hearts set on platonic bandmateship. Their main inspiration is the optical illusion from which they are named. They were those kids with anachronistic upbringings who grew up listening to Cocteau Twins, J Dilla, and David Bowie. And Nightlife certainly illuminates this time-twisted coming-of-age. Off of Barsuk Records, the EP features Sarah on keyboards, Josh on guitar, vocals from both, and a lot of production-level drum-kitty sirens and wisps. Twenty-seven minutes in heaven, for sure, this release feels like it’s ‘just a tasting’.
Let’s do a little run-through, shall we? ’16 Years’, kicks it off, quite a teenage outcry. Kindof like the ‘It’s my birthday and I’ve been socialized into thinking that I must partake in a performative existential reflection to build a narrative upon which I can grow, even though I’m still at the point where I want to be regarded as older rather than younger’. Sarah is spot on here, definitely like a nice teenage car ride with the moon-roof down radio-flipping. Definitely lots of feelings. Next we have ‘Don’t Move’ the album’s successful single from last October. Sarah’s soliloquy is over, Josh comes in, and they partake in a sort of dialogue. There’s a nice clanking in the back over and over reflecting nicely off the otherwise rather alarming words. “I’m not your drinking problem”, “I’m not your paranoia”, “I know that you’re still alive”, la la la, all the meaning is driven right out of these lyrics, its still head-boppy and the track you want to put on right when you come home.
Next comes “Turning Into Stone”, another all-star, building on more clanks and synthy drop-downs, Josh’s turn. We get some powerful chilling harmonies, “it’s a new day, and I’ve got new ways, of turning into stone.” A little more electro-inspired, track 3 still maintains the sort of somber tone within an upbeat sound. Tracks 4-6 bring a few new bends in the roads; whispers, little scats, onomatopoeia, and a platter of emotional spectra. It maintains that youthful urgency, and a perhaps naïve but relatable look toward the past, but the security of a future. Some nice mix-ups, track 5, the title track, slows it down to for the acoustic guitar-fretting to play a big role and interact with some cloudy background. It’s a nice moment of fulfillment, like the ones at the end of a night when you’re thoroughly exhausted and pleased, just genuflecting on hours of satisfying new adventures. Overall, the album strings together a lot of different twists and perspectives of the events we call life into is a big giant sigh of “These Are Days”.