Showing posts with label Track Of The Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Track Of The Day. Show all posts

Track Of The Day: Alexander Turnquist - "Wildflower"


I've been listening to Alexander Turnquist's "Wildflower" for a few weeks and I still have no idea how he captures so much beauty in a six minute track. What I can say about the beauty of "Wildflower" is that the track is highly visual; the sprinkling of guitar showers down on the entire track with an abundance of shimmer and style. Turnquist doesn't become complacent in his own genius as wonderful melodies switch on a dime, pushing the tempo forward and back like a true master.  What we have here is a fully realized piece where the artist is in complete control and a demonstration of gentle ease that allows the seemingly relaxed to become transcendental.  

I've never been much into the context of an artist, but the biography and recent events surrounding Turnquist need to be mentioned:

As an accomplished 12-string guitarist/composer, Alexander Turnquist was naturally alarmed when the ulnar nerve in his left hand seized up in 2013, but after a surgical procedure he gratefully started the process of learning to play guitar again. His recovery was cut short when not long after the surgery he was hospitalized with meningitis. Though his recovery is ongoing, and he continues to struggle with a weakened immune system and memory loss, he was inspired to soldier on, rather than being deterred by his physical struggles.
Turnquist's latest full-length Flying Fantasy confirms the idea that out of great hardship can come great art. As he wrote the material for the new album it became clear that his sensitivity had sharpened, his empathy magnified, and his sense of purpose blossomed. The unfortunate circumstances he endured ostensibly forced his metamorphosis from a remarkable guitar player to a truly great composer. Much like the butterflies that adorn the album cover, he seems to have changed form and taken flight.
The album opens with the sparse harmonics of "House of Insomniacs", which are soon joined by lush swells of vibes, cello, and even wordless vocals. On the tracks that follow, Turnquist continues to make use of this dynamic sonic pallet, even adding organ, piano, marimba, steel drums, violin, and french horn to the mix. From "Red Carousel", which was inspired by Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, to the somber lilt of the love song "Wildflower", to the truly arresting title track "Flying Fantasy" which uses only 4 open strummed guitars and loops of damaged tape and wire recorders, every note of Flying Fantasy vibrates with life as Turnquist ushers us though his intoxicatingly colorful worlds of sound.


Alexander Turnquist
Flying Fantasy
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Label: Western Vinyl

Track of the Day: Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper - "Saudade Do Santos-o-Velho"


Steve Gunn released one of my favorite LPs of 2013 in Time Off. Since the first time I heard the needle drop on that record at a friend's house, I've been anxiously awaiting a follow-up. Fortunately, my wait was brief. On June 24, Gunn will release a collaboration with renowned guitarist Mike Cooper entitled Cantos de Lisboa. The LP is the 11th installment of RVNG Intl.'s phenomenal FRKWYS series, which pairs contemporary musicians with progenitors in their genre.

Mike Cooper is a chameleon who has shape-shifted his way through the last half-century. Like his contemporary Loren Connors, Cooper is another artist who has remained relevant through a willingness to float further and further into the fringe. His criminally under-appreciated 2013 LP (by myself included until recently), White Shadows In The South Seas, could serve as a master course in sculpting soundscapes. Cooper enters his twilight years as a musician whose path has sprawled into unpredictable territories since he first appeared as a blues-obsessed, teenage dropout in Reading during the heyday of the 1960s Brit-folk scene.

Like Cooper, Gunn's relative breakthrough as a solo performer occurred in contemporary folk circles, yet his back story is hardly one-dimensional. His roots reside in Philadelphia's hardcore scene, and he even served a brief stint as guitarist in Kurt Vile's Violators. In Gunn and Cooper, we find two artists decades apart painting from similar palettes on the heels of radically different releases. This is the exact formula the FRKWYS series is built upon. 

On the duo's lead-off single "Saudade Do Santos-o-Velho" it sounds as if Cooper hasn't drifted too far from the naturalistic Caribbean influences that served as the backdrop of White Shadows. Here, he sheds the ambient experimentalism to make room for Gunn's pastoral accompaniment and the geographic influences of Lisbon where Cantos de Lisboa was recorded. Though colored with touches of Portugal, the song would find itself readily at home amidst the dusty Americana of Bob Dylan's soundtrack for Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid. This first taste is an instrumental, but info on the label's website mentions Gunn's contributions on vocals elsewhere on the LP.  (Pre-order)


Track Of The Day: The Coasts - "I Just Wanna Be A Star"



I'm proud to say I was an early adopter of the Little Rock two-piece The Coasts. The band began as a long-distance affair between two college buddies, Ike Peters and Eric Mount. Since the band's 2011 self-titled debut, Mount has moved from his native Ohio to join Peters in Arkansas. The Coasts' latest LP Racilia, due to drop May 20 on Old Flame Records, is its most collaborative and balanced effort to date. Lead vocal duties are split evenly. Yet, somehow the band manages to pull this off without losing its identity. The phrasing of Peters' solo, call-and-response lyrics on "I Just Wanna Be A Star"  calls to mind Julian Casablancas' work on The Strokes' "The End Has No End" or "You Only Live Once."

The album's accessibility and strong production begs the question: are The Coasts set for stardom with Racilia? Answer: Who gives a shit? This music rocks. (Bonus: downloads of "I Just Wanna Be a Star" are available for $2 via Bandcamp. All proceeds from sales of the single will go to American Red Cross in support of tornado relief.)


Track of the Day: Bro. Stephen & Jim James - "Almost Was Good Enough"



The highlight of Secretly Canadian's homage to lost musician Jason Molina is Bro. Stephen and Jim James' "Almost Was Good Enough." While Molina's version crested with his shivering lonesome vocals, this track raises your skin with a harmony which never seems to hit its appropriate place. With the refrain "Almost was good enough" played innocently before a smoldering guitar lick vibrates into electric static. It's one of my favorite Molina tracks and impressive to see how Bro. Stephen and James seem to reinvent Molina's loneliness through a pathos-rich rendition of a trademark track.  

Track Of The Day: Fasano - "All The Voices"


Bob Dylan once said of Roy Orbison: "He sounded like he was singing from an Olympian mountaintop and he meant business."  The newest offering from Brooklyn's Fasano conjures up the swinging emotive quality of Orbison, but instead of positioned on the mountain top, one pictures Matty Fasano blurred by a frosted and slightly cracked window; a small glow from his laptop (which he used to record the album) illuminating a suffocating lack of space. It's in this claustrophobic room where Fasano invites the listener to come elbow to elbow with the musician himself and experience sixteen morphing tracks at the workspace of the artist.  Where most albums are: musician on stage / audience in the darkened crowd...The Factory is Fasano at the paino(and guitar)/the listener on the piano bench with him, watching the cuticles of the player go white as the pressure on the keys cause the blood to move aside.  The Factory invites you to not only experience the final artistic document but live in the frustration, execution, and fulfillment of the creative process itself.



Fasano
The Factory
GODMODE Records
Blue Tinted Cassette (ltd 100)

Track of the Day: Holydrug Couple - "Motorcycle Ride/Black Owl Jam Revisited"


Santiago based Holydrug Couple makes music that you're just as apt to find among 70s Latin American psych rock pioneers Aguaturbia as you are on the streets of Sydney or Brooklyn in 2014. Perhaps its the undeterred, balls out and incredibly textured music that Ives Sepúlveda and Manuel Parra make. Noctuary, out last year on Sacred Bones, is one of the great oversights of 2013's year end lists. "Motorcycle Ride/Black Owl Jam Revisited," which we highlight today, is a B-side to a 2012 7" the group put out on Chile's BYMRECORDS which has just arrived stateside. More than that, it's a microcosm of what the group does well -- merging noise and melody with psychedelic vogue and expert musicianship.

Track Of The Day: The Deloreans - "As Long As It's You"


BAND PITCH: The Deloreans

LISTEN IF YOU LIKE: ummmmmmm....the music producing of Joe Meek, 70s guitars, late 50s crooners, The Misfits...you know what....

LISTEN IF YOU LIKE: The Deloreans.

Nobody is making music like The Deloreans.  In a music journalism world where every review/post drops BAND 1 mixed in with BAND 2...The Deloreans are one of the exceptions to the current rule. On their fantastic new single, "As Long As It's You", the band finds themselves crafting a slow driving tune with multiple small flourishes coloring the entire sound-space.  The vocals are confident and overflowing with emotion as drum kicks and a grandiose chorus keep elevating the constantly evolving song.  The song has bridges of synths that remind one of Twin Peaks and swinging verses that glow with bright melodies.  It's a dark comedy of a love song that builds and builds and builds until the 2:50 mark when everything explodes, revealing the unmatched talents of The Deloreans.  A more memorable and exciting moment in music can not be found in 2014.  



FOR MY VINYL FRIENDS.  A MUST OWN.

Track Of The Day: Dylan Shearer - Meadow Mines (fort polio)


The music of Dylan Shearer is a constant reminder that subdued emotion is an underrated form of expression.  It's not that Shearer doesn't attempt to elevate his songs with a punch, rather, he explores the lightness of sound.  Each note is a wisp; an airy movement building upon gentleness to allow the listener to settle in, get comfortable, and crawl inside effortless songwriting.

On "Meadow Mines (fort polio)", Shearer croons at the pace of a slowing train wheel, chugging along, stuttering here and there to make sure you're still paying attention.  We're no longer dealing with our known perception of time, no, Shearer has his own schedule as a songwriter and is fully comfortable with freezing moments and letting the clock turn back before moving forward.  Even in its simplicity, "Meadow Mines (fort polio)", is a complicated song that has pockets of hidden craftsmanship.  It's in these non-flashy moments that Shearer shines as a unique songwriter who takes turns between the artistic tools of ease and complication to form special pieces of relaxed sound.

Track Of The Day: Black Birds of Paradise - "Beware Of The Sun"


The newest offering from Louisville's Black Birds Of Paradise is a twisted road of changing sounds that uses each new track to shoot off in a different direction.  It's a complicated but exciting listen as earthy tones are sprinkled with enough energy to elevate the listening experience from "this is nice" to "this is an amazing 'start to finish' LP".  It's difficult to highlight just one track (go listen to the full album!) but the pensive "Beware Of The Sun" is a great entry point into Black Birds Of Paradise.  

As with most of their tracks, BBOP straddle the emotional line of being uplifting with the slightest hints that trouble lurks behind it all.  This thought is confirmed when the song switches on a dime at the 1:10 mark and introduces a darker melody, as if the band is lost in deep brush and darkness.  The band finds their way out and jumps right back into the original trajectory of the song.  BBOP have put out a bold LP that is a must listen for any music fan who gets excited by a band who is always one step ahead of them.  The album moves from rock to lounge...from Arcade Fire's early work to the hits of LOVE...it's all over the place, yet, perfectly in control every second.



LISTEN TO FULL ALBUM

Track of the Day: Sharon Van Etten - "Taking Chances"


As seen here last week, Sharon Van Etten has a new album, Are We There, out this May via Jagjaguwar. "Taking Chances" is the first single and it's a beauty. While we've gotten used to hearing SVE work her garage magic on Epic and Tramp, this track begins in a new way. A smooth-thumping bass line, which sounds like it was pulled from an R&B track, opens as a few keyboard blips sparkle around before the guitar line comes in. With plenty of woodblock percussion, SVE croons the lyrics. The chorus brings the fuzzy guitar, but like Jolie Holland's latest take, it looks like some of our best singer-songwriters are beginning to mine the soul and R&B mine not unlike Cat Power's The Greatest.  The highlight of the track is the short bridge where SVE lets her voice soar opening up the slick rhythm of the track with melodic verve. The instrumentation here is varied and wonderfully surprising and looks like even though SVE might be taking some chances, she's also hitting it out of the park at the same time.


Be sure to check her out on tour this spring/summer including stops at P4K and Sasquatch:

Thu. May 8 - Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
Fri. May 9 - Hudson, NY @ Helsinki Hudson
Sat. May 10 - Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre
Sun. May 11 - Hamden, CT @ Ballroom at the Outer Space
Sun. May 25 - Brussels, BE @ Botanique Grand Salon (Nuits Botanique)
Wed. May 28 - Paris, FR @ Café de la Danse
Fri. May 30 - Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
Sun. June 1 - Koln, DE @ Studio 672
Mon. June 2 - Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
Tue. June 3 - Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
Thu. June 5 - London, UK @ KOKO

Wed. June 11 - Boston, MA @ Sinclair
Thu. June 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall at Williamsburg (Northside Festival)
Fri. June 13 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Sat. June 14 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Tue. June 17 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Wed. June 18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Thu. June 19 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small's
Fri. June 20 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
Sat. June 21 - Nashville, TN @ Exit In
Tue. June 24 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Wed. June 25 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Sat. June 28 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
Sun. June 29 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Mon. June 30 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Wed. July 2 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
Thu. July 3 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
Sat. July 5 - George, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
Sun. July 6 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
Tue. July 8 - Calgary, AB @ Republik
Wed. July 9 - Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Room
Mon. July 14 - Fargo, ND @ Aquarium
Wed. July 16 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Thu. July 17 - Madison, WI @ University of Wisconsin
Fri. July 18 - Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival

Track of the Day: ScHoolboy Q – “Break the Bank” (Music Video)



ScHoolboy Q’s collaboration with The Alchemist “My Homie” from his sophomore album Habits & Contradictions was probably the best track on that project and their new track “Break The Bank” is undoubtedly the best track on Q’s new album Oxymoron.  The Alchemist has a habit of bringing the best out of the rappers he works with and it’s certainly been no exception with ScHoolboy Q.  Oxymoron as a whole is a flat out scary back to back listen.  An album that harkens back to a time when gangster rap music was really made by gangsters, Oxymoron is a brutally uncompromising listen that continues the tradition of TDE artists making the albums THEY want to make. 

ScHoolboy Q had no intentions of adjusting his vision for Oxymoron to chase label mate Kendrick Lamar’s success and “Break The Bank” best sums up his mentality in creating the TDE record that would follow Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City.  Oxymoron is as purposefully depressing a record as you could expect Q to make with this much on the line, but he’s still determined to ‘break the bank’.  The song is a flat out amazing display of rapping chops on which Q unloads a series of machine gun flows that any MC would have a hard time replicating all while laying down a visual account of the life of crime that led him to a career in music.  “Break The Bank” is punctuated by a sing song refrain that highlights ScHoolboy Q’s wide vocal range. 

He sounds like he’s coming for the crown and confirms it when he slurs “Tell Kendrick move from the throne, I came for it” midway through the song.  All the TDE artists have a strong competitive spirit, even between each other, and this makes it easier for them to separate from the crowd.  The stark video for “Break the Bank” is a great visual representation for the album as a whole, at least more so than the previously released videos for “Collard Greens” and “Man of the Year”, which are feel good outliers on the almost uniformly dark Oxymoron.  The album's available at all major retailers on February 25th, Target features a deluxe edition with a couple of extra songs.

Track of the Day: Each Other - "Certain Happenings"


I recently became acquainted with Montreal three-piece Each Other through a stellar cassette compilation entitled Scrapings. The comp was a collaborative release from Prison Art and French imprint Carpi Records. It features unreleased material from artists on the labels rosters. Each Other's contribution, "Certain Happenings," kicks off the compilation with a shimmering synth line and hazy, burnt out vocals before collapsing on itself and subsequently spreading its legs at the 1:37 mark.

"Certain Happenings" was from a batch of material Each Other recorded while prepping their debut full-length Being Elastic, due to drop on March 4 via Lefse Records and Fat Possum. However, Prison Art handled the band's debut cassette so they offered up this bonus track for the comp. Those interested may name your price for a digital download of Each Other's previous work via Bandcamp. If "Certain Happenings" wasn't strong enough to make the cut on Being Elastic, all signs point toward this release as one to keep your ears on.

Track Of The Day: Tiny Ruins - "Me At The Museum, You In The Wintergardens"


Hollie Fullbrook, the lead singer of Tiny Ruins, fills her words with overflowing meaning that elevates the impact of each breath to an emotional capsheaf line after line.  Perhaps it's in my musical makeup, but I truly believe that folk music has the ability to excite on the same level of a great pop, rock, or dance tracks.  When a song can perform an emotional autopsy on its listener, melody and lyrics passing over the scars and history of connection between consumer and artists, folk presents itself with its ultimate power...the ability to feel connected with someone not present.

I feel such a strong connection to Fullbrook's emotions on "Me At The Museum, You In The Wintergardens" that with every listen comes the peeling back of layers revealing my own feelings.  The song plays within the boundaries of building sensory connection through emotional swings, but quickly transcends to an epic folk realm when Fullbrook hits, "Nobody feels old, at the museum. Nobody feels cold, in the Wintergarden".  This line, accompanied by a nice tempo change, dramatically places warmth between the artist and listener, defining Tiny Ruins as a creator with control over their perspective and desires to deliver meaning.  With sweeping and intelligently subtle orchestration flourishing through the gaps of a softly strummed acoustic guitar, Tiny Ruins lay out a majestic backdrop for Fullbrook to soar, expound, and ultimately connect with the listeners deepest feelings. 

Track Of The Day: Papercuts - "Still Knocking At The Door"


I've always had a soft spot for Papercuts ever since Can't Go Back wouldn't leave my turntable for the good part of 2007.  The band, centered around Jason Quever, has never been one to relish in flashy technique or any elements that would place Papercuts in the ears of mainstream music listeners. Papercuts, over five full length albums, have just been perfectly fine.  

I know my job is to pitch every band/track/discovery as this life changing experience, but sometimes good songs and good bands can become great through consistency.  Papercuts will never thrill with a single moment or song...they have earned the opportunity over fourteen years to be considered as a whole and not just one track or great album. After hearing the newest single, "Still Knocking At The Door", it's clear that Papercuts are still as solid as ever.  As I get older, strong consistency seems so much more attractive than a quick buzz birth and burn out.  




Papercuts

Life Among the Savages
(Easy Sound / Memphis Industries)
Release Date: May 6th, 2014


Tracklist

1. Still Knocking At The Door
2. New Body
3. Life Among The Savages
4. Staring At The Bright Lights
5. Family Portrait
6. Easter Morning
7. Psychic Friends
8. Afterlife Blues
9. Tourist

Track of the Day: Death - "North Street"


Do you know Death?  If you don't, let me be the first to introduce you. Death was formed in the 70s by three brothers, who began as an R&B band until, like your parents warned you about, Alice Cooper transformed them into a rock outfit of satan worshipers. I'm kidding about the satan worshipping, but there's one undeniable truth about Death -- they are probably the greatest American punk band you may have never heard of. In 2009, Drag City rereleased some of the band's tracks form 1974 and they're following it up in April with another rerelease of the group's materials, this time from the 70s and 1980s. That artwork you see up there is from the 7" that features today's track of the day from Death in 1980, "North Street," which will also appear on the comp.

If you heard Death's previous comp, you'll notice right away how the bass charges forward and the lingering psychedelic guitar line. While Death's early 70s work fits more into a punk pattern with lots of big chords, here the rhythm is the most punk thing about it--the bass and guitar seem to be charging at the idea of punk but from two very different angles, the bass from R&B and the guitar from Jefferson Airplane. The chorus is infectious and chant-worthy. All in all, a pretty good introduction. That is, if you don't know Death. And if you do, then I'm happy to reacquaint you.

Listen to the track here via NPR.

Track Of The Day: Tender Mercy - "In Us"


Louisville's Mark Kramer (aka Tender Mercy) crafts softly dramatic experimental folk ballads that analyze the hypnotic ability of sound.  If you're fortunate enough to see a Tender Mercy live show, Kramer's music becomes illuminated by its skill to repeat and relearn.  It's also obvious on tracks like "In Us".  The track introduces an idea that slowly and skillfully loops on itself and seems to grow into a more powerful form as the sounds matures through time.

We often use the word hypnotic to convey a powerful emotional that allows the listener to get lost in the music.  With Tender Mercy and other experimental folk projects, the word hypnotic is used much more literally as flourishes and flash are put aside for the attempt to capture in sound the image of a pocket watch swinging rhythmically before our eyes.  It's hard to accomplish such and when musicians like Kramer do so on tracks like "In Us", the experience is unique and rewarding.  This type of music is challenging, even in its simplicity, so give it a few spins, let go, and sink in.



FULL EP STREAM 
(Bandcamp)

TOUR DATES
2/7-Bloomington,IN
2/8-Chicago,IL
2/17 Louisville,KY @ Crescent Hill Radio 
2/20 Louisville,KY @ The Rudyard Kipling
2/21 St. Louis,MO @ FOAM
2/22 KC/Lawrence,MO
2/23 Columbia,MO @ Cafe Berlin 
2/24 Denton,TX
2/25 Austin,TX
2/26 Houston,TX
2/27 Jackson,MS
2/28 Memphis,TN
3/01 Nashville,TN

Track of the Day: Wye Oak - "The Tower"


Wye Oak talked change last year when discussing their follow up to 2011's Civilian. And, judging from the first single off their new record, Shriek (out April 29 on Merge), they've walked the walk as well. Civilian remains an underrated album whose moody textures make melancholy beautiful over and over again, but Shriek seems anything but. "The Tower" is downright, dare I say it?, jaunty. There's nary a guitar lick to be found and the synths are powerful including an impressive break about a minute and a half with a surprising kick leading up to a surge which breaks back into the original riff. We're always harping about bands taking risks. This is a gorgeous one which breaks a bands mold and promises intriguing music come April.


Track of the Day: Orouni - "In the Service of Beauty" (Music Video)


I hate post-Grammy Monday. Mostly, because everyone seems to be atwitter about the awards the day after. Who won, who lost, what happened, who played. This post-ceremony echo chamber is infinitely more galling to me than the actual, always forgettable awards. And perhaps this year the malaise is setting in that much harder, because blogs are getting in on the act in record numbers. This is a news flash to any new or up-and-coming blogger that is working on their big Grammy column today: DON'T DO IT. Mainstream music is for mainstream outlets. Do the world a favor and find a new band, a new track, a forgotten release today. For the love of God, don't write about how bummed you are that Daft Punk didn't wear Star Wars helmets. If your'e a blogger, you're an indie journalist. Go act like one. And as for you big blogs/indie sites that are devoting a bunch of time to the Grammy's? SHAME ON YOU.

Okay, rant over, and in the spirit of what I just set out, let me introduce you to Orouni, who I would have missed if (Please) Don't Blame Mexico and Mina Tindle weren't raving about this video on their faceyspace pages last week. And there's good reason to. "In the Service of Beauty" sounds and looks just like it is -- a glorious visual and orchestral rendering. There's something schmaltzy in the instrumentation. I use that word in the most respectful way, because like Lambchop's OH (ohio) (or the aforementioned (Please) Don't Blame Mexico), Orouni seems to be digging at the heart of a particular genre, exploding and repacking it in intriguing ways. The band describes the song and their new record, Grand Tour (out Feb 24 on Sauvage Records) as a travelogue with the 12 songs on the album responding to a different destination from China to Chile, Lebanon to Berlin. The record also pays homage to Elephant 6, the seminal Athens-based collective/label, by drawing in key figures from the French indie pop scene to help record the album. Listen and watch the lush "In the Service of Beauty" below:

Track of the Day: Perfect Pussy - "III"


When the internet sends you bands, check them out. In the past few days, Perfect Pussy has been popping up around various news feeds, social media, and other ways the net pumps information into my little corner of the 'net verse. Insert joke about band name and what sites I must be looking at here. The group's "Rising" feature on Pitchfork back in October, details the Syracuse-based group's amalgamation of post-Structuralism, post-feminism, and brutal honesty in it's distortion driven demo tape, available on the group's bandcamp page. Mike Watt once famously said "punk is what you make it," and Perfect Pussy's radical tape shows what's possible for musicians making punk. Unflinchingly intelligent, I have lost all desire for feeling, is a wonderful contradiction. It's title reads like a conceptual art composition while evincing some of the most feeling music I've heard recently. There's blood in these songs and as "III," shows more than its fair share of intriguing musicality and uncompromising rocking. This sort of haute composition and DIY spirit has been missing from indie recently. I'm glad to see that it's back. 

Track of the Day: Strange Fires - "Tidal Wave"


Some days, I swear to God, it's like the older you are the younger you stay. Strange Fires is one of those bands that I could have seen getting together in the late 90s. Built on an unrepentant beat with the chirping of guitars around a droning baritone, "Tidal Wave" epitomizes, for those of you that don't know, lo-fi and why, in the middle of an everything all digital age, lo-fi continues to be relevant. Edmonton's Strange Fires' 4-track sound and DIY gestalt is only heightened by the gorgeous (limited to 50) cassettes that you can purchase of this superb EP. 


More and more these days, I find myself waiting to hear something that sounds handcrafted, that sounds cared for, and to hear that on a track, record, or (in this case) cassette. Strange Fires don't disappoint.