Mt. Wolf, a South London outfit describing themselves as “dream-folk”, carve out tiny spaces for their music to grow. This limited geography is the same trick that Polica did so well last year, the same trick the xx performed a few years back: small spaces followed by big impacts. “Hypolight” is all seed and germ, the smallest of things, propeled forward through three distinct movements. Finger-picked guitars erupt into bracingly mixed acoustic guitar strums, nearly two full minutes before they begin to unfold the drums. Vocalist Kate Sproule is a downright revelation, snapping into her head voice on the song’s licensing-dream chorus, “Put another light out.” The publishing rights of this moment alone should attract major label interest. “Hypolight”, like its predecessor, “Life Size Ghosts” represents the brand of life-affirming pop that signals the small moments before the big one.
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Babe the Blue OX were one of the first Brooklyn indie rock trendsetters, creating their early work in a part of town that was still a long way off from “Hipsterville”. With a beginning in 1990, the Williamsburg-based group of Tim Thomas (guitar, vocals), Rose Thomson (bass, vocals) and Hanna Fox (drums, vocals) packed NYC clubs and created a surprising musical mix that was very nearly impossible to categorize. Of course, the band wanted it that way as they drew from disparate influences such as Captain Beefheart, the Minutemen and Prince—three other artists that are hard to place in a single genre box. Now, Babe the Blue OX has returned with their official sixth full-length LP, Guilty, which released earlier this month. Today, we bring you the premiere of the album’s first track, “Dragging the Joneses (Down to My Level)”, a tune about getting older and dissatisfaction.
Visually, a shimmery, spanxy, technicolor hybrid of Lady Gaga, Willy Wonka, and Vlad the Impaler.
Vocally, a tranquil Jim Morrison-meets-Michael Stipe modulation that sounds as though it’s being whispered from atop a plush—but likely stained—leather sofa in a velvet-roped VIP corner of a thumping discotheque.
Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls (and boy-girls, respectively), Conquistador is in the house.
Portland duo Lilacs & Champagne, whose self-titled debut was one of 2012’s underrated gems, have announced an upcoming sophomore release entitled Danish & Blue, out on April 23 via Brooklyn label Mexican Summer. The trailer for the album, directed by band member Emil Amos, continues in the tradition of psychedelic spy movie paranoia that was dominant on Lilacs & Champagne, though there’s a tantalizing incorporation of piano that already shows a slight shift in sonic from that record. At only two minutes, the trailer is a definite tease, but the excellent control of mood that made the duo’s debut so memorable is still present.