Browsing Category Tracks

Ben Chatwin – “Inflexion”

Ben Chatwin’s last record, The Sleeper Awakes was a grey-skied masterstroke of noise-flecked neo-classical. His solo works find the deep ravine of sadness and rub cold dirt into the wounds, feeling somehow achingly painful and coolly soothing at the same time. The first bit of his new record for Ba Da Bing is just a quick flicker of the match but it hints at another album of cloistered and creaky compositions. Sounding every bit like the slow creep up the stairs to a dark childhood secret, the track pads in on soft dulcitone feet and that creeping music box feel runs up the listener’s spine with icy expectation. It appears most of the album centers around Chatwin’s use of pianos and, like the dulcitone, piano-like hybrids. This is just a tiny morsel of the album, but few bites have ever left me so hungry for more.



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Cool Ghouls – “Sundial”

Its always good to have Cool Ghouls back in my life, and on the verge of Summer no less. The first peek at their upcoming album, Animal Races is steeped in the same ’60s jangle that has long defined them, bringing up thoughts of a more swooning Byrds or Flaming Groovies during their Cyril Jordan years. Kelley Stoltz continues to be the secret weapon in any band’s back pocket. He imbues the track with a sparkling view of the pop paradigm they’ve been itching at for the past two albums. The track practically pools with cool water harmonies and warm breezes and every note is ready to tug at a the heart with just a subtle twinge of nostalgia for lazy days with nothing to do but watch the waves. No doubt this is just the first thread to pull before the rest of the album unravels in cascades of sunny West Coast pop goodness.



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Acid Mothers Temple & Melting Paraiso U.F.O. – “Nebulous Hyper Meditation”

Why is it I’m somehow both surprised and not surprised that there’s never any clatter about a new AMT on the horizon? The long running (21 years!) Japanese psych lords are reaching a new chapter with the exit of longtime rhythm unit Shimura Koji and Tsuyama Atsushi, and with the addition of some youngblood players, Makoto Kawabata seems to be invigorated on this latest cut. It creeps in on sweeping synths, swirling and illusory as quasars, while Kawabata locks in his guitar to euphoric bliss. It seems that we’re never too far from one Acid Mother’s release or another, but that’s no reason to go taking ozone burners like this for granted. Someday there won’t be any more Acid Mother’s Temple, and on that day I assume there will be a collective funeral from the heads of the world, the band lifted off in a Sky Burial/Viking Funeral type situation that turns supernova overhead. But for now, cherish the gifts that come down the mountain.



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Frankie and The Witch Fingers – “6,000 Horns”

L.A. via Bloomington garage-psych slingers Frankie and The Witch Fingers are back and touting a fuller sound that’s buoyed by sun-streaked harmonies and a driving guitar wail that shows their 60’s allegiances but nods a head to their current garage trappings. The chorus is huge and swaying, the organ is wobblin’ and swellin’, the rhythm section makes it apparent that they have no intention of stopping for breath. It’s practically euphoric in its crest of the hill and by the time it all breaks down for a finish, everyone’s sweaty and ready for more. Lookin’ out for their longplayer, Heavy Roller, landing in July from Permanent.



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Miss Destiny – “Law and Order”

Following up on a single for Hozac last fall, Melbourne punx Miss Destiny are ramping up for a long player on the venerable R.I.P. Society in June. The first taste of the album is a bail jumping, octane burnt slice of rock that’s barrelling towards your ears on the gnarled strength of Harriett Hudson’s gravel and glam vocals. The track barely takes a breath, pounding at the pavement harder than a jackhammer and somehow evoking Shannon Shaw at her most accusatory (think Hunx’s “You Think You’re Tuff”) and The Donna’s at their most acerbic. That actually sounds like a pretty perfect combination to me, so all the more reason to be excited for the rest of this one.



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Le Villejuif Underground – “Since Everything Changes”

Ah man I’m slipping in my old age. France’s SDZ is a constant source of joy that I’d been remiss about checking up with, but this new slice of slackened and slumped pop via Le Villejuif Underground, who understandably know that their Velvet Underground worship is front and center, is a perfect antidote to what’s got ya down. The track is from their upcoming album for the veteran French label and it’s perfectly downbeat and shaggy, with mussed hair, rolling out of bed at three PM and wondering if it is, in fact a weekday. The band is headed by Aussie expat Nathan Roche and takes their name from the village of Villejuif in which they reside. There’s no shortage of bands that can’t get the Lou Reed monkey off their back but when you know how to inhabit those blues in a way that feels like a comfortable pair of shoes you’ve had all your life, then fuck if I’m the one who’s going to tell you that you can’t pull it off.


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Psychic Ills – “Baby”

Had you told me back in 2006 that the dark clatter of Dins would eventually beget a country album that features Hope Sandoval, I’d probably have laughed. Didn’t really seem the fit for Psychic Ills, who were playing basement shows that made the walls sweat with psychedelic ooze. Cut to a decade later and the band has followed their wits through a range of styles and psych country seems a good fit for them. “Baby” has a soft lilt that leans well and warbles ever so slightly in the summer air. Its a song that the band seems to make sound effortless, though its clear this is probably the most polished they’ve ever been. By the time the pedal steel seeps its way into the room, marbled and smooth, the track’s been cemented as a top earner in their catalog. With the first couple of dips into Inner Journey Out hanging around, I can’t wait to let this hit the table and soundtrack pretty much any weekend afternoon.




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Ignatz – “My Children”

Bram Devens has been a fixture around here for sometime, and whenever he ekes out a record under the Ignatz name, I’m always reminded of the simple charms that his records evoke. The first track from Ignatz’ upcoming record The Drain, on Kraak, is full of his signatures; the subtle hiss of tape, somber plucks and that high lonesome howl that Devens brandishes so well. The track is simple, but the weight and sadness that come with it hit pretty hard. This is a cleaner version of him than I’ve heard on his past releases and the direct approach is becoming for sure. This track bodes well for what the rest of The Drain has in store. Cant wait.



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Mind Meld – “Viper”

L.A.’s Mind Meld are digging in the same dirt as fellow West Coasters Ty, Feels and Wand. They’re mixing a thick froth of fuzz, riffs heavy as concrete and a desert heat waver of psychedelic slop. “Viper” is cut right out of the cloth of the Segall catalog, but its just as indebted to the heavy skull crushers of Blue Cheer, Sabbath and Hawkwind at their amp stacked best. The single is out on Permanent Records, who have also just moved themselves into cozy L.A. diggs, expanding on their lock on Chicago’s garage glory. If nothing else, I definitely want to hear more from these exhaust huffers in the future and something tells me there’s bound to be more smoke from this fire.




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Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – “Delivered”

In advance of a new album on Fire Records, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have an EP with first single “Delivered” as its namesake and leading charge. The track’s an ode to home weed delivery and its a prime slice of jangle that crackles with urgency and fire. Its definitely a great omen of things to come if the rest of the EP / album are as furious as this cut. The band have long been a prime Aussie export who know that jangles don’t have to mean wistful, twee or necessarily pretty. They wield the strum like a hacksaw and they do it well. The EP’s out in June and album follows on later in the fall.



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