Fresh Track + Video: Posse “Hey Suzanne”
Posse is a post pop, indie trio from Seattle that dropped their debut, self-titled effort this week. I stumbled upon the release last night via Bandcamp Hunter, a phenomenal source for musical discovery. On the initial take, Posse offers a blend of familiar chord progressions – clean for a garage outfit, well constructed songwriting and enough energy to provide satisfying kick in the pants. A hefty 90s alternative influence runs throughout. Their sound is how I would envision a Jicks record sans Malkmus might spin. That’s not to say Posse’s self-titled release is, in any way, as refined as Mirror Traffic, but the same emotions are in play. Stream and watch the video for “Hey Suzanne” below. The good news is, while I thoroughly enjoy this track, it’s hardly my favorite from the release. Posse has at least three or four more songs worth repeatedly inserting in your ears. Not a bad batting average for their first time at the plate. Snag the digital download for five bucks from the Bandcamp link below.
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Written by Rob Peoni
Album Review: Chairlift ‘Something’
I am a firm believer that you can tell everything you need to know about a person by what music they listen to. When I meet someone new, I’m not going through your medicine cabinet; I want to see your record collection. I want to see what you listen to when you’re happy, sad, celebrating, and relaxing. I want to hear what you play when you leave work and what song you want to hear on a Saturday night out. A mix tape is not just a collection of songs, it’s really a look into who you are as a person at that moment and time in life. And if you tell me you aren’t that into music, well, we probably won’t have much to talk about.
Chairlift is the type of band I want someone else to know I’m into. Artsy electro pop with a gorgeous female vocal – that’s my style. Something is the first release by Chairlift since 2008’s Does You Inspire You featuring hit “Bruises” which most of America will remember hearing in an Apple commercial. A trio on their first full length, Chairlift is now solely the duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly as original founding member Aaron Pfenning left the group following the end of his relationship with Caroline. And while Caroline’s voice still stands out as piercingly beautiful as on the first record, there is a more polished sound beneath her this time around.
No longer having Aaron’s vocal involved, Caroline’s voice takes on a much larger role in Something. While Aaron’s voice allowed for some back and forth between the two, it also made Chairlift’s sound lack a true identity. “Sidewalk Safari”, the album’s first track, features a wickedly good beat with Caroline assuming the role of a maniacal bloodthirsty woman. With the range in her voice acting like a weapon she leads you on her rampage singing, “I’m going to hunt you down; I’m going to run you down.”
The maturity of the subject matter the band explored from the first LP is evident with Caroline’s willingness to dive into her failed relationship with Aaron on tracks “Wrong Opinion”, “I Belong in Your Arms”, and “Take It Out on Me” where she emotionally sings, “Forget forgiveness, forget all the rules. Just please don’t do it here.” “Amanaemonesia” is a faster, more upbeat electro-driven track, armed with a slick little bass beat and a catchy chorus that is ultimately one of the more fun listens on the album. Admittedly, not all is great as I feel the album falls off a bit towards the last three songs with “Turning” being more ambient sound filler than anything else.
In all, it’s a fantastic album that shows the evolution of two extremely talented individuals. While the wait for this sophomore LP was certainly lengthy, its quality of sound and improvement from the previous album makes it well worth it. Something will be available January 24th, so make sure to get out to your local record store this week to get your copy.
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Written by Greg Dahman
Fresh Track + Video: Fear of Men “Doldrums”
The music video is one of the most underappreciated forms of artistry there is. Forgotten about since MTV went into the shitter 15 years ago when Carson Daly lost Jennifer Love Hewitt and sent his career from TRL to a half hour taped late night show that no one in America watches unless they are too stoned to sleep or too drunk to remember. The music video still exists today, only releases are viral via the Internet, rather than the television. The change in venue has obviously reduced the budget, but certainly not reduced the artist’s chance to express music through imagery in creative ways.
Fear of Men are quartet from London and Brighton who have only been making music together since early 2011. Their best song to date, “Doldrums”, is a relaxed lo-fi pop song with jangly guitars and somber vocals. For all you non-English majors, doldrums is defined as “low spirits; a feeling of boredom or depression; a period of inactivity or state of stagnation” and it’s music video fits this mood. Shot in black and white, it features lead singer Jessica Weiss wandering in a forest dressed in all black surrounded by visions of yesterday in the form of historical civilization statues. Figures covered in white appear towards the end, and Jessica toys with trying see what’s inside, before ultimately abandoning and moving on.
Meet me in the doldrums for a while
I’ll let it take me over
I’ll meet you in the doldrums
I’ve got to let go of everything I own
Fear of Men self-released “Doldrums” on a tape entitled Alice Munro Demos. Keep your eyes open for the band’s debut album, which is scheduled for release on April 9th of this year. If you like what you hear, be sure to visit the group’s Bandcamp page for more of their ever-growing catalog.
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Written by Greg Dahman