Acoustic Resonance

I like reverb. I like it a lot. I have dreams where I’m listening to music underwater, able to watch the acoustics bubbling and cascading towards me, pushing through muscle, sinew and bones painlessly, while I float in ceaseless ecstasy. As I watch myself, as awareness kicks in, I realise that there isn’t any air and awake suddenly and breathlessly. I have no idea how long the dream lasts. The only thing that remains is the melody of the music, a twisted variation on a Badalamenti classic like Falling or Lauren’s Walking.

Music which reminds me of this dream always gives me a kick and a caress. I am startled and sedated by its wonder. Two such songs by two new bands have hit me recently.

From Austin, Texas come Star Parks with their woozy, Spiritualized melancholia. Theoretical Girls is a paean to the might have-beens, to the nearly maybes that we (well, I) have obsessed over in the past. It’s also about letting go because you have to move on. There’s a limit to how much love you have to give and it shouldn’t be lost to the empty promise of memories:

Theoretical Girls is the lead single from their album Don’t Dwell, out on the 29th of April on Paper Trail (also the home of the excellent Beach Moon/Peach Moon).

When I listen to Undertow by Great American Canyon Band I picture a ballroom teeming with dancers locked in entwined pairs of twirling, slow-motion waltz. As the music swells the room fades, the bodies of strangers grow transparent until they’re just the silver outlines of inverted silhouettes , white on black. The light from the chandeliers grow incandescent until I reluctantly look away, knowing that to do so means the entire mirage will disappear:

Only You Remain, GACB’s debut album, will be released on Friday but in the meantime you can listen to last years Crash EP on their website.

Both of these songs, and the excellent tracks from last week’s blog, are featured in this month’s Skewed Quiff:

1.Is It Safe To Say (prod. by AygsB) by Corbin Butler
2.Love For That (feat. Shura) by Mura Masa
3.Doin’ It Again by The Feelies
4.Wishing Well by Weird Inside
5.Abale Ndikuuzeui (Secousse Mix) by Gasper Nali
6.Nowhere Bei Mir by Nicolle Meyer
7.Fly by Dylan Kidd
8.Bad Luck by Leach
9.Thinkin Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover) by Clair Rosengren
10.Four Walls by The Bay Rays
11.Day Stealer by Music Band
12.Theoretical Girls by Star Parks
13.22 Freestyle by Donovan (prod by Manny Davison)
14.Empire Builder by Laura Gibson
15.Out & About by Dieterich & Barnes
16.BUS RIDE (feat. Karriem Riggins & River Tiber) by Kaytranada
17.You Forever by THEAFTRPARTY
18.Awkward Waltz by Acapulco Lips
19.Pool Party by Julia Jackson
20.I Know (.disfnk & ayo. Remix) by Nakala
21.Compelled To Dig by Saddle Of Southern Darkness
22.A Minor Life by Sir Was
23.Undertow by Great American Canyon Band
24.Election by Monte Booker
25.Take It There (Feat. Tricky & 3D) by Massive Attack
26.You Say by Dori Freeman


Ahead of the curve

Happy almost weekend. The new Quiff will be upon us within days. Only the painstaking task of actually doing it remains. Leading the way this month are two tracks that highlight the joy of doing something different.

From 1982 – no, I didn’t hear it way back when I was 4 – is a Nicola Meyer track that sounds so unnervingly modern, so unthinkingly cool, so good that my first thought was that the whole thing was a elaborate ruse, a bear trap for the alt-hipsters of our increasingly stupefying term on planet earth. There’s wayward accordion, there’s precisely laid back vocals, there’s a sudden, precipitous depth delivered by trumpet. This is a triumph:

Clair Rosengren deserves more recognition, that much is clear, and  a small but devoted group of Internet warriors might yet achieve that. Her latest offering, a cover of Frank Ocean’s thinking about you, is just about the most beautiful and unlikely thing you could imagine. There’s been a bit of a glut of sly, folkish covers of pop songs but the best thing about this is that it it doesn’t sound even vaguely like a cover. Still hate the abuse of words in the song title, mind you. A sure sign that I’m getting old:

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