Best known for his cult lo-fi project Casiotone For the Painfully Alone, Owen Ashworth has a new one up and running called Advance Base, and his second album under the new moniker, Nephew in the Wild, comes out today. Featuring guest singer and co-writer Jody Weinmann, standout track “My Love For You is Like a Puppy Underfoot” combines the endearing and the absurd much like how Stephin Merritt did with the Magnetic Fields and the 6ths, bordering on surrealism and smartly crafted pop music at the same time.
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Nathan Stevens: Shigeto’s percussion heavy production has never sounded this atmospheric. Thanks to the stuttering vocal sample and the eerie keyboards floating around in the background, it’s easy to get lost in the haze. But those clear and clanking chimes hold down the song wonderfully, grounding it when the track could so easily dissipate into mist. It also absolutely deserves the seven minute run time as Shigeto adds layer after layer. The effects are subtle, but by the time a shimmering hi-hat comes in over a trap like snare at the half-way mark, it feels like Shigeto sliced two songs together perfectly. It’s an uneasy, but danceable, bliss. [8/10]
Here’s a story: the owner of New York City label Axis Mundi Records found an unreleased album in his rehearsal space by a mysterious band called Mr. Divisadero, who disbanded almost a decade ago. After being impressed by the music and tracking down the members of the band (who were as it turns out from San Francisco) the label is now releasing the album in a few weeks.
A former student at Berklee College of Music, Colorado native Megan Burtt aims to emulate her idols on her new album The Bargain—Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Sarah MacLachlan, Shawn Colvin—and develop her own voice in the process, and as you can hear on the winsome new track “Real Thing”, she’s well on her way. Soulful, confessional, and sublime in a rustic way, the influence of Colvin especially looms over this track, gracefully building to a gentle, ethereal chorus.
Provo, Utah synthpop duo Coral Bones are hoping to follow in the footsteps of such well-known Provo exports as Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, and the Used. Judging by the strength of the songs on their new EP Platonia it’ll happen sooner than later. Bolstered by enough explosive hooks to warrant comparisons to M83, the new record combines sleek electro with a shamelessly rosy-hued pop sensibility. Its effervescence is irresistible as singer Chris Bennion and keyboardist Landon Young do everything they can to get even the most jaded cynic to track a smile. In this writer’s case, at least, they succeeded.
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