Thursday, September 13, 2012

Captain Murphy - "The Killing Joke"

Captain Murphy could be the rapping alter-ego of Flying Lotus, Tyler, The Creator, or Slick Rick for all we know. It doesn't seem to matter much though, as every track he's dropped has been an instant sensation. Early tracks like "Mighty Morphin Foreskin" and "The Ritual" showed off some great rapping technique and an ear for production ("The Ritual" smartly utilizes the beat for the underrated Jay Electronica track "Dear Moleskine.") The TNGHT-sampling "Shake Weight" showed some trap leanings. On "The Killing Joke," Murphy shows his versatility once again. The beat, supposedly a Flying Lotus contribution, lurches along with some horror movie samples and a creepy female vocal hook. It's a great addition to the Captain Murphy myth and whenever his first full release is out, it will be sure to make waves across the hip-hop world. Listen to the track at Gorilla vs. Bear.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dads - American Radass (this is important)

If anything, New Jersey's Dads seem to believe that the music they record is vital to someone's well being. Their latest release is also their debut full-length, American Radass (this is important). It's not too far removed from the raw emotion of twinkly emo giants like Snowing or the nostalgia and heartache behind classic groups like American Football. At the same time, Dads have managed to make an album that doesn't collapse under the weight of its own influences. American Radass is bound to be a landmark in the history of emo music simply because of what its very title seems to imply. The music here is simple, concise, and extremely important to someone, somewhere. Listen to and buy the thing at the group's Bandcamp and be sure to be on the lookout for tour dates from these guys very soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Purity Ring - "Fineshrine"

Purity Ring is a two-piece hailing from Canada, and they have turned about as many heads as an artist without a single full-length album out can turn. Last year they released breakout singles "Ungirthed" and "Belispeak." They earned themselves a fair share of fans early and garnered favorable comparisons to fellow electronic vocal acts like The Knife and anyone else influenced by moody hip-hop sounds, particularly fellow Canadian Grimes. These comparisons aren't too far off, but Purity Ring's blend of driving percussion, electro, and female vocal melodies call to mind an alternate reality Sleigh Bells that set up synths before they ever picked up guitars.  The band is currently gearing up to release it's first LP, titled Shrines. For the most part, the months leading up to it's drop have been a huge tease. The tease continues with the third single to come from the disc (following "Obedear" and the aforementioned "Ungirthed") titled "Fineshrine." This one may be one of the more hip-hop sounding tunes released by the band to date. It sounds like someone got a hold of a long lost Clams Casino instrumental and laid down vocals on it. It's remarkable and may be the best song released by the group to date. Listen to it at Pitchfork.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Moons - Bloody Mouth

Moons is the creative outlet of a Patrick Canaday, a 22 year old Atlanta native whose first single signals a pretty unique grasp of nighttime pop music. Bloody Mouth is the project's first official release, a 7" single that touches on Canaday's strengths pretty quickly. The title track is a rather spacey piece of music with a lot of instrumental sounds that immediately reveal why Canaday would want to go by "Moons." Even more intriguing is the single's b-side, titled "Waves at Night." It features some great robot/female astronaut harmonizing, and some truly stellar production. It's not as alien and cold as that would imply, however. Even the altered vocals have a distinctly human quality. No Recordings is selling the single on vinyl for a paltry sum, and there's even a great mood video out to go along with the title track. You can watch that here and keep this guy in your thoughts so you don't miss out on his future endeavors.

Slow Machete - Evening Dusk Choir

Slow Machete is the name bestowed upon an ambient musical project chiefly organized by Washington DC musician and humanitarian Joe Schafer. Evening Dusk Choir is the first release under this name, and it consists of field recordings from Schafer's trips to Haiti as part of post-2010 earthquake recovery efforts there. There are also several Haitian musicians featured in various capacities. World music with this sort of premise would usually sound awkwardly insincere and hamfisted, but the music doesn't beat the listener over the head with exotic sounds or ethnic traditions. The music seems more concerned with common creative threads that connect all of mankind rather than tangible differences. Many comparisons have been made to the music of Sigur Rós, and rightfully so. However, this music has a stranger beauty to it, and isn't easily described. You can watch the video for album standout "Fallen Mangoes" here and download the whole thing for free at the project's Bandcamp.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oneohtrix Point Never - "I Only Have Eyes for You"

Oneohtrix Point Never has plenty of competition in terms of covering this 1934 classic, due to Doug Aitken's excellent Song 1 installation in Washington D.C. The likes of No Age, Beck, James Murphy, and more took this one on for the soundtrack to the installation. Geologist (of Animal Collective) and blog favorite Nicolas Jaar showed off their versions live at the installation as well. For what it's worth, OPN seemed to have dissected every inch of the song and put it back together in a way more beautiful than any other version we've heard so far. You can hear the song at Soundcloud and watch the installation with a ton of live performances at Pitchfork.

Fergus & Geronimo - "The Strange One Speaketh / Roman Tick"

This is a weird and fun one from the duo who have brought you similarly odd but awesome music for a while now. They are a Texas band whose music tends to fall somewhere between garage pop and psychedelic punk. If that doesn't interest you, the band's personality might. From lyrics to great songwriting quirks, Fergus & Geronimo has already managed to make an interesting and rewarding first album with last year's Unlearn. FWTSOA is their second full length in as many years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. This track starts with an odd dating profile narration and ends in a Black Lips inspired shouted chorus. Hear the new song at Soundcloud.