Sunday, November 17, 2013
Everything about 'My Heart Has Been Broken By One Unfit To Name' is unsettling. Leakey's voice is deep and dark, possessed by the same demon that hung from the chords of Scott Walker's throat on his 2006 album 'The Drift'. She wets and parts her lips, crawling breathy and choked and tortured across a draped cloth of extended notes and Lovecraftian metaphor. The track creeps and saunters and sidles, the floorboards dry and brittle beneath fingers that stroke and scratch in equal measure. She sings, her tongue rolling across each word, savouring a venomousness lexicon 'fore letting them drip, agonised and malicious upon the ground. It is wholly, and grotesquely troubling.
However, the single's also strangely captivating, so pre-order it from Christine Leakey's Bandcamp.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Hanetration's latest EP opens with 'Moon', the cold light of malign indifference rising over the crimson sludge of yesterday's dawn. The industrial landscape does not falter. Drills hum and hammers fall, clipping away at some primordial quarry-face, faces pressed against the virtually vertical staircase of smooth and staggered stone. A violin interjects, and rain falls. The tape rolls on. A clock starts to tick, faster than you can remember. Crushing treads roar by, falling away from the mocking whistle of metal on metal and the silent glitches of countless wired-in brains. "We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death..."
Download the EP for free from Hanetration's Bandcamp.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Surreal are the images painted here. A boy hanging as a bat might hang, his yellow overcoat shimmering beneath a light, light as a feather yet weightless not. Periods of intermittent darkness dilute murky film, rewound tape fast-forwarded and nervous frames put under. Water. Smoke. And phone-lines racing to deliver fruitless talk to fruitless trees. "Wires in your eyes" caught in shallow lashes, the inside of an eyelid the gloomy palette of an overcast sky. The soundtrack is electronic, beats lonely in their abundance and choral synths a dreamy respite from the dream-like banality of life. 'Wires' is all these things and more, yet all these things and nothing. Our zenith and our nadir.
Oceania's EP 'Eyes of Glass' will drop later this summer, but check out his Soundcloud for now!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
The latest single from Los Angeles trio Haim is one of the few 'pop' songs that has turned my head recently. Classy eighties vibes slip off the dappled guitar lines, shaken free by an airy rhythm and the refreshing rhythmic awareness of the lead singer. The hooky vocal scales and inspired lyricism drip with a summery nonchalance, and it all results in a number that doesn't take life too seriously!
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
I'm a huge fan of Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes, which is perhaps why I was drawn to M. Lockwood Porter's latest release. The instrumentation is the embodiment of Americana, the tired acoustic drawl of a harmonica offset by a tumbling rhythm and the hopefully despondent story of a man who needed to tell it. The lyrical imagery is delightfully whimsical ("the pond was full of rain"), and Porter's occasional outbreaks of frustration resonate with rare believability. Some songs are duds, but the title track is a lesson in real life and resignation. The cover art however, is reason enough to grab a download from the Bandcamp!
Monday, August 5, 2013
This isn't Delphine Dora's latest release. That can be found here, and is far better produced. It's better mixed and better recorded, but I find the spontaneous improvisation on display here far more intriguing. Based on the poetry of Walt Whitman, Dora's piano playing and strained vocals retain a certain child-like imperfection. Ofttimes they bounce and skip along long passages of lawn, and at others they seem to age, sighing and struggling to recite unsettled lines of constructed verse. They echo at points and seem swamped at others, overwhelmed by the Satie-inspired minimalism of her piano. Like a poem the tracks twist and change, exploring avenues of darkness and dappled light. It's a wonderfully thoughtful probing of both Whitman's poetry, and the uncertain fickleness of man.
Download the whole thing from Delphine Dora's Bandcamp.
Angel Olsen sings like no-one else. Her voice quivers with emotion like she's about to cry, and it honesty brings a tear to my eye. Her performance is perfect, from that wry mid-track smile to her beautiful middle-distance stare. The audience at her feet is quiet, the final shuddering notes leaving her lips and floating up into the warm summer air. This moment is strange and full and fleeting.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Robert Frost was stuck. For months upon months he had been trying to write the greatest epic poem of his generation. The words flowed like a flood, no sooner hitting the page than falling off it under his stressed and haughty breath. The lines he accepted seemed the next day crushed, their beauty obscured by clumsy construction. Then one day Frost awoke, and he wrote a twenty-line poem that has since become his most loved. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood', and he took the one less travelled by. For me, Mild Eye's latest EP seems to mirror Frost's journey. Somehow the music's scope is far greater than could be expressed. I imagine Steven Hodson struggling to articulate this transcendence, but in succumbing to such futility, crafting something truly inspired. The ambient landscapes are rife with yearning and grace and the sad acknowledgement of human limitation. It's a wonderful effort by a promising project.
Listen and buy the EP for pennies over at Mild Eye's Bandcamp.