Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Month in Releases: June 2013


Hausu, Total (Bridgetown, Hardly Art)
This record is staggering in scope—assimilating the melodic introspection of the late 80’s D.C. post-hardcore scene (e.g. Rites of Spring, Fugazi) with the biting urgency of west-coast emotive hardcore (see Gravity Records) and patches of highly proficient math and indie-rock style arrangements. 

Neighbors, I Love Neighbors (Lost Sound Tapes)
Admittedly, the terms “slacker” and “lo-fi” don’t inspire much hope in me for more than nostalgia-mining, but Neighbors channel freakbeat/mod, garage, and protopunk influences in a way that feels both familiar and fresh. On what is by far their most cohesive work to date the band demonstrates their penchant for producing pop music that's as dancable as it is relatable.

Golden Gardens, Narcissus (Neon Sigh)
Despite Narcissus' brevity it is fairly epic in scope. The four tracks, each strongly differing both sonically and lyrically from one another, make up a concept piece chronicling the cycle of infatuation, from the high of the initial crush to the depths of the aftermath. New fans will fall for the gorgeous dream-pop ambiance, and old fans will find that both members have grown increasingly confident in their abilities.

Sibling Rivalry, Only Child (self-released)
Arising from the ashes of The Family Band, Sibling Rivalry is an alt/indie rock band from Seattle and Redmond, WA. On the first official non-single offering from the band, the 6 piece delivers with a collection of endearing, post-rock flavored tracks that harbor just enough kick to keep your summer days mellow but danceable. 

Hibou, Dunes (self-released)
Former Craft Spells drummer Peter Michel returns with his highly anticipated second EP. On songs like "Sunder" Michel demonstrates that the indie pop acumen he demonstrated on his Glow/Hollow single was just the tip of the iceberg. Dude is only 19; really interested to see where he goes next!

Secret Colors, Days Off (Group Tightener) 
On his latest release, and first for Brooklyn's Group Tightener label, Matt Lawson expands the scope of his Secret Colors moniker to include an approach more akin to traditional dance music. Although we thoroughly appreciated his improvisational catalog, it's obvious from his recently work with the now defunct Stephanie and collaborations with Jeff Johnson of the Numbs that Lawson has much more than that up his sleeve. "Days off" is his biggest step yet into that bold new direction and we dig it.

Widesky, Flotsam (Bridgetown)
Seth Chrisman is a multi-instrumentalist from New Mexico that records ambient drone-scapes under the moniker of Widesky. On Flotsam, Chrisman ruminates on the concepts of oceanic turbulence and debris as they pertain to the physical and emotional world, and the results are staggering. So staggering, in fact, that Bridgetown has already had to run a second pressing of the cassette.

Pitschouse, Pitschouse (self-released)
Without a doubt, the first EP from dream/indie-pop band Pitschouse is one of our favorites to come out of Seattle this year. By melding wistful guitar work with playful piano melodies and a unique sense of warmth, the trio has managed to created a highly distinctive sound that more than stands up to repeat listening. Finger's crossed that the next few months will yield a physical copy of this record. 7/8 update: I am a complete tool; you can buy the physical CS or CD through Jigsaw Records here.

Mutant Video, Missing Fingers (Iron Lung)
Iron Lung describes MUTANT VIDEO as "The penultimate hash-mark in the workbench of John Carpenter meets American punk soundtrack-core" and we couldn't agree more. Though Missing Fingers is somewhat darker than their previous work, largely by virtue of its austerity and growing hardcore undercurrent, these songs find the band as evocative as ever.

Teams, One World 開発 (Fin Records)
I've been a fan of teams since I first heard their collaboration with Personal La Ave, "Freak Licker", on their 2011 debut full-length. However, on their latest for Seattle's Fin Records, they show off a somewhat more bare approach to dance music than in previous releases--ultimately trading their former chill-wave leanings for an approach more indebted to the Chicago house scene. Great for a lazy afternoon.

Warm Static, Static Session 1 (self-released)
This is not an official release per se, it's a loosely structured live session that was recorded by Alex Miller at Warm Static's first Seattle show at the Josephine on June 8th. However, as improvisational musings go this is really phenomenal. For this set, the project, which remains the experimental playground of JetMan Jet Team drummer Quin Dickinson, was expanded to include synthesizers and samples from Alex Nagy (also of JJT). Find a quiet spot and listen. It's just a shame you can't see Randall Skrášek's gorgeous visuals too.

Anacortes Unknown Music Series Vol 3 sampler (assembled by The Business Records)
The Anacoretes Unknown Music Series Vol 3 is taking place this July 19th, 20th, and 21st at The Unknown in Anacortes; however, Anacortes' The Business Records put together a really nice preview mix featuring Karl Blau, The Hive Dwellers, LAKE, Genders and many more. 

Twitch and Gloam: Dark Sounds from the Pacific Northwest (Flat Field Records)
Named CityArt's album of the month, this compilation from the folks at Flat Field Records is gorgeous, dark, and available now for consumption. 

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