Blue Sails - 'Blue Sails' (album stream) (premiere)

Wisconsin brothers leave school, retreat to the woods and emerge with psych-soaked collection of songs filled with surprises.

Wisconsin doesn’t offer up its secrets easily. Sure, there are the urban stretches: Milwaukee, Madison, the well-paved terrain of Green Bay but there are those quiet, wooded areas, too. The tree-lined rural highways of Marinette County, the curving, narrow roads of Walworth, Dane County’s haunting beauty. There are all those blink-and-you-miss-it stops that dot the state end to end. Those are the mysterious spaces the brothers Max and Mitchel Bell found themselves after tuning in, turning on and dropping out of Chicago and Milwaukee.

The duo Blue Sails takes solace in the thick, heavy-stringed sounds of Pink Floyd, the expansive, geography-defying tendencies of Spiritualized and the psychedelic breakfast-gobbling MGMT. In those eerie, pink and blue-bathed Dairy State mornings and purpled-hued afternoons, Blue Sails was born and set loose upon the larger world. That’s all there in the music, from the early, meditative moments of “Beloved” to the deeply soulful ‘70s throwback “For Now”.

The brothers offered a collective statement regarding their debut, saying, “We wanted to make the instruments and sounds disguise themselves as different sources. Guitars sound like synthesizers, voices like violins, books falling to the floor sound like thunderclaps. Nothing is concerned with chasing and perfecting a pre-existing idea. We wanted to shuffle the deck and create something seemingly accidental and yet perfect for the individual song.”

The self-titled debut from Blue Sails is out 20 October and may be ordered here.

The 10 Best Electropop Albums of 2019

From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.


Codeine Club Music: 10 Sizzurp Rappers and Their Lean Lyrics

Southern Houston rappers put a twist on old blues musicians' mix of cough syrup and booze and stirred it up into a more dangerous concoction. Here are 10 rappers who took the brew from their double-cups and dropped the purple drank / sizzurp / Texas tea / "lean" into their lyrics to mixed effect.


Brits in Hot Weather #19

This week we have shadowy trap from Jordan Comolli, grime infused techno from Barney Lister, eclectic indie from Weird Milk, lo-fi indie pop from Tricky Juno, and an absolute belter from Two Tribes.

Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.