What I’m Listening To…

The following three songs I’ve posted differ vastly from each other. As long as you enjoy one of them, then I have accomplished my mission of showing you a new group/sub-genre that you may not have heard before. Let’s get into it!

This first song is classic shoe-gaze; not classic in that it’s old, more that it has a vintage shoe-gaze sound that enthusiasts of that type of music have come to appreciate. It’s called “Lunar Phobia” off No Joy’s recent album Wait To Pleasure. If you’re not familiar with No Joy and like music that has an ambient feel to it, you need to change that. There’s just a duo of Canadian ladies who write good music and put on a hell of a show. “Lunar Phobia” is a trip, no doubt. I mostly like the song for the vocals (completely lax but they sound amazing) but everything else that compromises it helps to give it that complete chill feel. My only beef with that song is that I wish they’d drop that twangy effect that occurs @0:16 and many times after. I can see how it complements the song but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! This band kicks ass, give them a look.

Watch out for these girls…bonus track here

No-Joy

Now onto one of my favorite bands of ALL TIME…Deerhunter. Their latest album, Monomania, just came out last month. I’ve listened to it a couple of times; they definitely accomplished their goal of creating a gritty, post-punk sound for most of the album, assuming that was what they were going for. Some of it isn’t as listenable as their previous work. This album is meant to be listened to in its entirety and the complete body of work is what should be focused on when critiquing it. Unfortunately, I can’t do that here in this post so I’m just gonna pick the song I like best, “Back to the Middle”. All kidding aside, it’s a great song to ease you into the album. The title track “Monomania” is also a wonderful track but takes a few listens and isn’t as approachable. What makes “Back to the Middle” a winner is the choppy guitar that kicks it off and the subsequent guitar solo that occurs¬† @1:15. Bradford Cox’s lyrics about getting shafted by love are well done also. Although, I typically wouldn’t expect him to sing about heartbreak. Usually he goes for the more thought provoking material. Maybe it’s a gag. The excellent 60’s-esque keyboard that occurs during the bridge is also noteworthy (@0:31).

¬†The next song is “The Mess” by Kid Astray, the first Norwegian band I have highlighted on here. They have a hip new song called “The Mess” which is about some dude giving a chick the slip. I really like the bass that you get to here during the verses (@0:25 & 0:57) . It meshes well with the other instrumentals. The vocals in this song are pretty good but nothing to write home about. All in all, it’s a trendy new song unlike a lot of what is out there right now. I’ve listened to a few other songs by them and they’re pretty poppy but they still stick to their indie roots. Give them a shot and see what you think.

What I’m Listening To…

Parquet Courts-Stoned and Starving

I know little about Parquet Courts. I like what I’ve heard from them so far. They’re a lo-fi outfit with simple lyrics. They don’t try to do too much and let their musical talent do the talking for them. In “Stoned and Starving,” they feature a cool ass guitar riff that is prevalent for most of the song. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of echoing lyrics in a song, but here they make it work pretty well (@1:00). I find the lyrics to be humorous as well…”I was debating Swedish Fish, roasted peanuts, or licorice,” (If it were me, licorice would win in a landslide). That’s one I wish would bands would do more of…be funny. It seems like almost all groups take themselves WAAAAYYY too seriously…

In fact, If you’re not careful, you might even end up like these toolbags…

We’re much bigger than life itself…leading the way in douchebaggery is a necessary sacrifice we’ll gladly make in order to accomplish this.

That’s why it’s refreshing when an act like Parquet courts comes around. You can tell they’re able to kick back and enjoy what they do. See for yourself

Haim-Falling

Haim is relatively new to the indie music scene. They’re a trio of sisters that got their start playing in a band with their parents. Reminds me of the Partridge Family (of whom I would get confused with Swiss Family Robinson, a novel published nearly 200 YEARS before the arrival of the Partridge Family). They have since parted ways with their folks and are off doing their own thing. Honestly, I can’t get into most of what they’ve released so far. They sing so darn fast…I feel like I’m getting an episode of Gilmore Girls compacted into a 3 minute offering courtesy of this band. Their style of vocals is smooth but the songs are almost too glitch-ey and overly complex for me. “Falling” is an exception. A very catchy intro that feathers a vibrant bass drum beat kicks off this great track. Their voices blend very well, lyrics like “So keep calling, Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up” are sung while the backing vocalist proclaims she’s falling, in the meantime. I couldn’t understand most of the lyrics and when I looked them up I saw the website with them listed had a couple of question marks for the parts that are completely discernible. All that aside, “Falling” is one the better tracks I’ve heard in 2013 and I expect good things coming from this group in the future. If it doesn’t work out, then they can fall back on providing thought provoking commentary for countdown shows on Tru TV just like this asshole…

Lot of hate in this post….enjoy Haim

Toro Y Moi-Say That

When alt rock merges with club music, it equals bliss for this listener more times than not. Toro Y Moi has created some unparalleled songs in his time. I can’t really think of any artists I would compare to him. Perhaps a combo of Passion Pit with some elements of Fatboy Slim mixed in (espescially @1:20 with the female vocal mixing). “Say that” features a lot of keyboard/electronics that seem to have a calming effect. His soothing vocals contribute to that ideal as well. The song also contains some good baselines (@2:32) and together with all of the other musical excellence is going on here, it produces a song that’s would be perfect for a late night cruise in your car. There are few lyrics, the frontman sounds like he’s got some girl issues but that everything’s still going good on the whole. I like this sense of enthusiasm and optimism. He takes a situation in which most people would just bitch about; and vents in a fresh, “it’s all good” mentality that makes for a great listening experience.

I decided to include the music video (something I don’t normally do) because it features some spectacular solo dancing in the rainforest.