Well, I can’t lie, this is the saddest news letter ever. Three whole new releases in this week. So many things getting pushed back. But it’s looking better for next week, I think there’s gonna be a pretty big update, so maybe this lite one is for the best.
As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. I’ll be at the shop 11-4 week days. Stay safe!
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…..pick of the week…..
Rafael Anton Irisarri: Peripeteia (Dais) LP
Over the years, American composer Rafael Anton Irisarri has become ubiquitous within the spheres of ambient, drone and electronic music. Whether it’s through Irisarri’s celestial long-form albums or his lauded audio engineering credentials for countless artists and labels, Irisarri’s consistent dedication to his craft never wavers from the forefront. While Irisarri’s compositions typically field an array of modern ambient overtones threaded through oceanic symphonies with tape loops, bowed electric guitar and vast washes of overdriven sound, his debut album for Dais Records, Peripeteia, portrays these common themes giving way to metal and classical influences that emphasizes Irisarri’s melancholic tendencies. These unique overtures, coupled with his signature layering of distortion and bleached-out textures, fabricate an audible environment that would seemingly be at odds with, yet gracefully complement each other. In Irisarri’s own words, “My previous works internalize any exterior forces or circumstances, while trying to make sense of the world. Peripeteia reverses that approach, focusing on the personal in order to tell a wider human story.” The emotional depth found throughout Peripeteia is impeccably on display with the track, “Mellified.” A collaboration with Spanish composer Yamila, the choral arrangements bring to mind the sacred music of Arvo Pärt, while her voice combines the Andalusian “Cante jondo” style with medieval modes, almost drowning in layers of octave fuzz distortion and dystopian synths patterns. On “Arduous Clarity,” the bright arpeggiating melody that churns throughout, offers the initial glimmer of optimism in an otherwise decaying tale of personal turmoil. This encouraging glimpse is short lived however, as the song “Refuge/Refuse” seemingly plummets into the mourning depths of somber despair. A chorus of voices steadily crawls from its desolate terrain – a sea of broken spirits, eternally resigned to strain and bellow their final lament. “Fright and Control,” a piece which is equally soul churning, seems to possess a satisfying resolve, as if after years of searching, one’s very salvation has been laid to rest through the acceptance of mortality and the enlightenment in death. Irisarri’s complexity is utilized to a forcible success, slowly pulsing throughout the foreground of his audience, further emphasizing the impending dread of resolve.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Choir Boy: Gathering Swans (Dais) LP
Salt Lake City’s indie pop favorites Choir Boy return after four years with the release of their new cosmic album, Gathering Swans. An emotionally powerful record, full of poignant heartbreak and gently steeped in pop nostalgia, Choir Boy push their distinctive sound further, while tenderly romancing the unsuspected. Proving to be a worthy successor, Gathering Swans builds upon Choir Boy’s infectiousness with unique pop sensibilities and impeccable polish. Lead single, “Complainer,” demonstrates Adam Klopp’s angelic voice effortlessly floating within the heart-wrenchingly somber melodies, that in a tender state, will surely render tears. Lyrically, the song poses a form of wounded optimism, declaring “Oh my life, what a pitiful thing to hear…But it’s not that bad…I’m just a complainer.” Tracks such as “Toxic Eye” undoubtedly present the touching “choral-pop” sound that has come to be a hallmark of Choir Boy. Repetitious, layered vocal hooks that fade into the background, allowing the absence between breaths to be filled with the serene melody that embodies the foundation of Choir Boy’s appeal, demonstrating that the ethereal moments between the bright choruses and memorable hooks are as equally crucial and unforgettable as the lyrical content itself. A slightly more solemn ballad, “Eat The Frog,” skillfully adapts Choir Boy’s taste for nostalgia and translates such desire into a fully mature statement. The propulsive drive behind “Eat The Frog” possesses the emotional equivalent to sitting atop a hillside, just outside of the city, gazing at the sunset on a warm Summer night. Creative, sincere, passionate and glaring with intention, Gathering Swans paints a bright, hopeful, and deeply heartfelt image that will most assuredly attract anyone who accompanies Choir Boy upon their journey.
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Magnetic Fields: Quickies (Nonesuch) 5×7″
The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies vinyl box set is five 7″ EPs comprising twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds, performed by Merritt and band members Sam Davol, Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, and John Woo, along with longtime friends and collaborators Chris Ewen, Daniel Handler, and Pinky Weitzman. Merritt explains his thinking behind the Quickies concept: “I’ve been reading a lot of very short fiction, and I enjoyed writing 101 Two-Letter Words, the poetry book about the shortest words you can use in Scrabble. And I’ve been listening to a lot of French baroque harpsichord music. Harpsichord doesn’t lend itself to languor. So I’ve been thinking about one instrument at a time, playing for about a minute or so and then stopping, and I’ve been thinking of narratives that are only a few lines long.”
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (Capitol) LP
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (Capitol) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Donald Byrd: A New Perspective (Blue Note) LP
Destroyer: Have We Met (Merge) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Bug (Jagjaguwar) LP
Funkadelic: Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Mort Garson: Plantasia (Sacred Bones) LP
Grant Green: Born to Be Blue (Blue Note) LP
Joe Henderson: Page One (Blue Note) LP
Durand Jones & The Indications: American Love Call (Dead Oceans) LP
Durand Jones & The Indications: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
Khruangbing & Leon Bridges: Texas Sun (Dead Oceans) LP
Khruangbin: Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans) LP
Orville Peck: Pony (Royal Mountain) LP
Radiohead: The Bends (XL) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond the Black Rainbow (Jagjaguwar) LP
Moses Sumney: grae (Jagjaguwar) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Mute) LP