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Friday, Mar 8, 2013
Painted Palms is the music project of two cousins, Reese Donohue and Chris Prudhomme, who first began to compose songs with each other from separate states by emailing files and chatting by phone.

Their dreamy indie pop tune “All of Us”, off their self-released EP Canopy, was featured in PopMatters’ Summer 2011 New Music Playlist. The songs also caught the ear of Kevin Barnes, who invited them along on a nationwide tour with his band of Montreal. Painted Palms quickly evolved into a five-piece band to take advantage of this opportunity, along with other opening gigs with STRFKR and Braids.


Now their debut album Carousel is ready to drop on 2 April, with two songs available to stream via Polyvinyl. (They are being released as a limited edition 7” vinyl for $6; pre-orders are rewarded by an instant full-album download.) The title track, “Carousel”, swings easily with breathy singing extolling the virtues of beautiful friends over sun drenched synths. “Click” picks up the pace, creating interwoven melodies plus background vocals over a layered percussive vibe.



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Monday, Jan 28, 2013
The jazz world's most peculiar inhabitant has made some of the most profound music that has served to recontruct both the borders of rock and jazz -- and our ideas of how music can evolve and be defined.

Annette Peacock was an anomaly to begin with. From the start of her career, the artist took a conceptualized approach to her music so extreme she was left marginalized on the outskirts of an otherwise thriving musical culture. It wasn’t such a bad place to be as Peacock often took stock from an observational distance, pulling from the necessary influences of popular music that would help to ground her in the public’s conscience and, yet, still allow her to indulge in the more personal explorations of her multi-layered art. One of the very first artists to experiment with the Moog, a groundbreaking piece of technology that helped to give birth to electronic music, the artist created soundscapes that were unheard of. True to her name, Peacock was an odd bird.


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Thursday, Oct 25, 2012
For me, what distinguishes DIIV from their peers on Captured Tracks is that despite having internalized every note of the Cure's Disintegration (either on purpose or by osmosis), the band is anything but backward-looking.

I cannot stop listening to DIIV’s Oshin. At all. The album is on an endless loop at my home. My wife is about to throw out our stereo system. Either that, or she is about to throw me out. If she does the latter, I can only hope that she’ll allow me to take my DIIV record to the local Best Western. Given that she’s tired of listening to it, I’m quite sure she’ll do that.


I heard about DIIV when they made a tiny splash back in June 2012, right when Oshin was released. Despite gobbling up much of the assorted goodness that Captured Tracks, the band’s label, has released, I didn’t immediately purchase the record or listen to it online. Then, in September 2012, I went to see Wild Nothing at Washington, DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel. DIIV and Blonds opened. All three bands were great, but DIIV had me at “Past Lives”. They completed me.


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Monday, Oct 22, 2012

Hidden Orchestra prefer to let the music speak for itself. Suffice to say, they’re an electronic jazz collective based in Edinburgh, and the follow up to their critcally acclaimed Night Moves is even less relaint on vocals. As the double A-side for their new album Archipelago indicates, however, their music is likely to leave discerning listeners speechless too. Also see the great interview Hidden Orchestra in Plain Sight.





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Monday, Aug 27, 2012
Warranting renewed attention following the release of remastered material by this early '90s alt-rock trio last month, the heartbreak and heartache expressed by this acoustic breakup ballad are universal.

After a period of somewhat taking Sugar for granted, the recent remastered editions of its albums have been a forceful reminder of how stunning Bob Mould’s post-Hüsker Dü band is to me. Though he lacked Grant Hart as a songwriting foil, Mould’s laser-hot focus in his Sugar work never makes me want for someone to come in and help pick up the slack. Sugar’s 1992 debut Copper Blue has always been a favorite, and ever since the deluxe edition hit it’s been receiving considerable renewed attention via my iPod.


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