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by PopMatters Staff

20 May 2016


Emmanuel Elone: It would be really easy to hate this song. Super Furry Animals lays on the “bing bong” line heavily across all five minutes of “BingBong’s” runtime, and there are moments in the beginning that feel obnoxious and frustrating as a result. However, once you look past the lack of lyrical ideas and the fairly excessive runtime, “BingBong” is actually pretty great. The beat is steady, and has a fantastic bass line at its core, while the simple lyrics float over the rhythm as another instrument of sorts. When “BingBong” is not being occasionally annoying, it’s fun, catchy and energetic, making it a great hit for the summer. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

20 May 2016


Pryor Stroud: Cryptic, moody, and possessed by a nearly Lynchian sense of unease, “New Age Thriller” is a demented avant-pop vignette that watches two lovers slip behind a wall of shadow to perform strange sexual acts. U.S. Girls—the alias for noise-art iconoclast Meghan Remy—drapes the track’s singsong melody in bizarre synth chimes and dark, monolithic electro tones that seem to rise out of the track’s background. “And I won’t provide it for you / Even though you / Even though you’ll force me to”, Remy sings, and you can sense that her lover is across from her behind a shifting curtain of darkness, his palm outstretched, beckoning her to step away from the light for a while. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

19 May 2016


Pryor Stroud: “I Need a Forest Fire” is perhaps best understood—and listened to—as a perfectly balanced collaboration between the two artists it features. Here, you can hear both of them vividly, as if they somehow happened to write and record the exact same song simultaneously and then, discovering that the other stumbled upon an identical slice of ether-drenched indie pop, decided to intermix their efforts into one singular composition. Indeed, “Forest Fire” seamlessly pools Blake’s ghost-soul vocal melodies with Bon Iver’s grayscale, heart-ripped-open songcraft style. The result is, needless to say, solemn, but the solemnity it conveys does not feel overblown or melodramatic or strategically manufactured. It feels, in a word, real, like a heartbreak from your past that you’ve been afraid to revisit. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

19 May 2016


Pryor Stroud: Cleaving electronic diva-pop to the drop-obsessed schizophrenia of contemporary EDM, “Wake Up” is a feverishly high-energy R&B convulsion that depicts Dawn Richard thrashing around in her sheets, pining for her lover, and seizing up from pure, world-consuming lust. The production is oversaturated with colliding sounds: synthesizers that stutter, bounce, and endlessly reverberate, ricocheting 808s, and clipped-up vocal samples that seem to have no purpose other than to take up space. “Don’t wake me up / I’ve been dreaming of you,” Richard sings, and while this plea is just a pop platitude that we’ve heard innumerable times before, it seems believably desperate here: in Richard’s dream stupor, she is with her lover, wrapped up in his arms, his chest to her back, but at any second he could slip out of sight and leave her gasping awake in the midst of a nightmare. [5/10]

by Sarah Zupko

19 May 2016


Photo: Paul Janovitz

Boston singer-songwriter Mark Erelli has a new critically acclaimed album out, For a Song, about which Jonathan Frahm said, “Erelli crafts yet another easy listen, ethereal and sincere in a style between both his composition and delivery that has previously had his work compared to such seminal artists as Paul Simon and Jackson Browne. Not unlike the aforementioned, Erelli flexes his songwriter’s muscle and proves his timelessness again and again, making no exception in For a Song.”

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