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Video: Panda Bear – Mr Noah

Panda Bear’s new single ”Mr Noah” makes a lot of sense. It sounds like an extraction of everything Noah Lennox has been involved with in the last few years; Centipede Hz spaced-out – anxious – electronics, the immediacy of “Doin’ It Right” and by all means, his usual nervy pitch-hopping chants. I’d like to think Panda Bear always was the more talented ‘animal’, which his last two glorious solo albums can substantiate. A new one is on its way titled Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper and is set for an early 2015 release.

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LAST EX – Hotel Blues / Girl Seizure

Last Ex is the instrumental project of Oliver Fairfield and Simon Trottier, perhaps more known as 2/4 of Timber Timbre – the eerie Canadian vintage folk band who turned a lot of heads with their masterful Hot Dreams earlier this year. In 2012, Timber Timbre was prepping a soundtrack for a horror flick Last Ex that eventually got shelved (shame, that is one soundtrack I really would’ve loved to hear. I often imagine Timber Timbre actually scoring a David Lynch film, not just sounding like one). Fairfield and Trottier took over the abandoned project (and apparently its name) and turned it into a full album of staggering rhythms and frightening – but at times also very beautiful – textures.

The latest track to be premiered of the project is titled “Hotel Blues”, a dramatic instrumental that take the ominous ambiance of a Timber Timbre record and revamp it through driving and motoric drum patterns, harrowing guitar slides and fantastic, slightly off-kilter keyboard arpeggios. Make sure to also check out the animated video for “Girl Seizure” below. LAST EX’s self-titled is out now via Constellation Records.

The Antlers – Familiars

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The Antlers released their fifth full-length Familiars (third as a band) in June and a review almost five months later may seem pointless. But looking back at its initial reception, I believe few – if any – albums this year are as undervalued as Familiars. It’s understandable; this isn’t an album that immediately jumps at you, nor is it designed to be. Its release was also ill-timed; summer is not a good time to release a record for a band many associate with complex, unconventionally rendered themes of agony, desire, repulsion, torment and loss.

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Best from the inbox: Week 42-43 2014

On ”best from the inbox” we gather a couple of standout tracks submitted to us via email directly from the artist/band or a small imprint. Please give them a chance to break through the waves by listening, sharing your opinion and if you like what you here, by showing your support here or directly to the artists.  


MISUN – SUPERSTITIONS

After countless tracks and EPs – rainging from beat-heavy electro-pop, 60’s Motown, to crude garage rock – prolific and stylistically diverse LA band Misun will release their debut album on November 11. “Superstitions” is its bounce, erratic – and absolutely sublime – first single.


Ludvig Moon – Swim Dream

Ludvig Moon’s Anders Killerud sent me an e-mail with their first EP featuring the grand, beautifully orchestrated “Swim Dream”. You can find their debut EP on bandcamp or buy it through Riot Factory (Rallye Label in Japan)


Sean O’Neill – I Know You Worry

“I Know You Worry” is the final track off Australian minimalistic/experimental folk musician Sean O’Neill’s Visions EP (out now) Recorded at Hackney’s Urchin Studios with Dan Cox (Thurston Moore, Lianne La Havas), the bio describes Sean as heavily influenced by his time spent living London  as well as delving deep into the works of various minimalist composers including Arvo Part, Brian Eno and Phillip Glass. Improvisation played a key role while recording, with the three tracks also featuring intricate additions from rising avant-garde and jazz musicians.


Mary Caroline – Such A Liar

Mary Caroline wrote me that:

“My debut studio album attempts to capture the edginess and beauty of my northern life, forging my own path in the remote wilds of the Northwest Territories. Over the past few years I’ve been busy touring extensively throughout Canada. I also spent time living in a remote trapper’s cabin on the shores of the Liard River, 600km from the community of Yellowknife. Here I learned about the old trapping lifestyle, sustenance living and arctic gardening.

In order to achieve what I wanted for this album, I removed myself from those familiar surroundings and spent this past summer recording at Hamilton, Ontario’s converted church studio Catherine North.”

Mary Caroline’s debut album Life on Earth is due out January 2015.


Toph Allen – Limits

Toph Allen wrote me the following;

“In the daytime, I’m a scientist — an epidemiologist. I work at a nonprofit in NYC, where I analyze data and build computer models to understand emerging infectious diseases. At night, I’m an electronic producer/songwriter.

I grew up in a musical household and played the violin throughout my childhood. I’ve been tinkering with electronic music since I’ve had my own computer, incrementally building a working knowledge of music production. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, though—I think that’s why it took me a while till I was pleased enough with my music to release something.

My strongest musical influences are probably in the realm of instrumental electronica. In particular: I aspire to Röyksopp’s crisp, punchy production. Jon Hopkins’s too. Artists like Nils Frahm and Max Richter do so much with stark, minimal compositions. I love the way that Boards of Canada uses interesting distortion to build atmosphere, and I love wordless music that takes you on an emotional journey, like Sigur Rós and Explosions in the Sky. But that stuff is just a small, biased selection of the music I love—there’s too much to mention, from pop to folk to EDM, it all shapes what I do.”

The first single, “Limits,” opens with spare synths that conjure a balearic dreamscape—one that vies for space with, and is eventually subsumed by, foreboding, jagged arpeggios of dystopian synthesizer. It forms the emotive core of the Path Dependence EP.

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Kevin Morby – Parade

Earlier this month former Woods bassist and Babies frontman Kevin Morby released his second solo album in a year titled Still Life; a strong collection of songs – a wanderer’s meditation – that strikes me as both warmer and more polished then last year’s Harlem River. “Parade” – above – is Still Life’s pulsating heart, an elegy of sort for the late Lou Reed. But it’s also a portrait of the artist eloquent death wish portrayed in a song of contradictions; “I f I were to die today / Slaughtered in that masquerade / The last thing you’d hear me say / Put my body on display / In the parade”, he sings while greeted with a cushion of warm sax and draped piano play.

Still Life is out now via Woodsist. Get it here.

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Claus Zinger – I Went Down The Road Today

Obscure Sound introduced me to Jerusalem’s Claus Zinger, one of the most stylistically original singer/songwriters I’ve heard lately. While there are many expressive and emotionally demanding songs to be found on his SoundCloud, “I Went Down The Road Today” stands out as an absolutely mind-blowing piece of music. Zinger sounds like his just about ready to fall apart; “why the tears are always falling? Even though there is no reason”, he sings over and over while backed by spine-chilling synth work rendered on-top of irregular, stop-and-go shaped drum patterns. “I Went Down The Road Today” manages to feel comforting and harrowing, in equal amounts. And remains nothing less than fascinating throughout.