This is pure nepotism, though also totally justifiable. Cold Colt is a band that my brother Sean and his friend Nic formed a few years ago. They recorded a few songs for an EP that was intended to be a mini song-cycle about a zombie attack. As far as I remember the story, the narrator's girlfriend gets on a plane and leaves the country on a long flight, and the fast-moving outbreak happens in the midst of the flight, so she has no idea what's going on. The narrator makes his way to an airport and gets on a flight to try to find his girlfriend to make sure she's safe. Only 2-3 songs were ever recorded for the project, and Two Heart's Crescendo was one of them. Cold Colt does not really exist anymore, though this song is so catchy and memorable that it makes me wish the band was still around. You cannot go wrong with an opening line that says, "You and I are such a great coincidence." This song stays stuck in my head for days on end. I wanted to post it merely to share its pleasures with other people.
This song is amazing. If you love Junior Boys, you've already heard it. Even if you don't love (or know) Junior Boys, listen to it. It's a cover, yes, but it's an extremely well-executed cover. A transformative cover, as some (not me) might say. This song is a musical pep talk, in some ways. In other ways, it is a seduction as performed by a circa-1986 desktop computer (or mainframe, maybe). What I'm saying is: it's beautiful. Your life will be poorer if you don't listen to and cherish this song. Just friendly advice.
[12" coming soon on Jiaolong, but no links yet]
"Life in Hell" is a jumble-tumble of a song. It's a declamation that feels tossed-off, though it clearly isn't. Woolen Men's songs sound so casual and easy--the type you would hear at a basement punk show in your hometown--but their music is also clearly the result of repetition, work, practice, labor. This is the kind of energy that comes from a deep love of the art, the pursuit, the craft, etc.--less the consuming manic exuberance of youth. Woolen Men's Temporary Monument can sit alongside contemporary talky & nervous albums from Parquet Courts or (maybe) older albums by, say, fIREHOSE. It's all up-and-at-'em music & here's-the-score words.
Late Labor Day mix, but here it is, the end-of-the-summer classic rock jams. This miniature mix doesn't follow the theme from past years, which was 'songs you might hear in the dentist's office.' These are just good, old-fashioned, red-blooded, hot-faced, swollen-footed, itchy-armed, crooked-dick, sore-kneed rock songs, perfect for the last (not really) weekend of summer, when the cook-out fires of hope are extinguished by the beer-can dregs of despair, etc. Enjoy.
TWO TIMES THE MUSIC FOR A LONG WEEKEND. LABOR DAY MIX ON MONDAY, MAYBE
Put yourself in mind of Mazzy Star. That is where Widowspeak dwell: in haze, dreams, misty mornings, fierce yearning, and whispered confessions. The songs on All Yours are geared, per the band, to the theme of moving on. You relinquish your desire for control of life, which is uncontrollable. Resign yourself to the notion that chance and happenstance rule everything, because that's true. You could have been born as a giant tube worm on the bottom of the ocean, and yet you're a human. Enjoy what you can of that experience, including the music of Widowspeak, which is soft and sweet and pleasant, a clear fall morning.
[BUY All Yours]
Refractor is the lead track on Painted Palms' new album, Horizons. This album feels more dramatic than Forever, the band's debut album. There's a sense of fragility too, though it's hard to pinpoint why. Horizons, as I mentioned when I wrote about Disintegrate, invokes the spirit (?) of early 2000s music like the Rapture, especially the later era of that band--Pieces of the People We Love, in fact, seems like a major influence on this album, which is pretty awesome, because almost no one loved that album at the time and everyone was like, "Fuck the Rapture, I love Tapes & Tapes!! They are my new god, end of story." The Rapture just did not get a fair shake after Echoes, let's be honest. All of us should write letters to those dudes and apologize. Painted Palms is performing our expiation for us, and I admire their courage and their music.
Continuous Dick. You would not believe how long I spent looking for this 12" in record stores. I finally broke down and bought it on Discogs four or five years ago. Even at that time, there was little to no evidence that it actually existed. Supesharu (the label that released this) had a website that was gnomic at best and it was not possible to order anything from them. I had the impression that I would have had to journey to the label owners' homes in order to purchase the record. I'm exaggerating a little, of course, but this is how I remember it. But now the whole EP's on Soundcloud and you can listen to it! For those who aren't obsessed with Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo, etc.) side projects like I was, Continuous Dick is a (seemingly) one-off release by Perri and Adam Marshall (who did two remixes). It's weird and it's fucking great. Enjoy this track. Think seriously about ordering the 12".
Stolen Jars’ new album, Kept, is percussively adventurous (pop) music. Maybe not quite like Liars’ Drum’s Not Dead, but think: All Tiny Creatures, Local Natives. Stolen Jars put forward an emphasis on sonically interesting rhythms, because why not? There are not enough new bands who take the time to explore actual sound craft—that seems to fall more within the purview of straight-up experimental (and then, more often than not, electronic music) acts, but this band seems at least somewhat dedicated to trying to carve out their own sound, which is pretty great and admirable. Kept reminds me, come to think of it, of some other catchy and curious experimentalists—Dirty Projectors, though maybe without the same whiff of seriousness that seems to accompany that band’s albums.
This whole split EP between Owen and Into It. Over It. reminds me of very late 90s/early 2000s guitar rock and in the best ways. Like this EP could sit comfortably beside Jets to Brazil albums, or a single from Geoff Farina, or a 2002 Barsuk compilation. It's 4 songs long and it's riveting, though I suppose one's rivetability for this would depend on how much you love the sound of the music from that time period. For me, hearing the hard chords and earnest singing of Into It. Over It.'s Local Language is as much a signifier of those years as things like Discmen, Napster, and music listservs. Local Language is such a forceful but tidy song too--unexpectedly accomplished. The whole EP's a pleasure.
Someone from Radiohead—either Jonny Greenwood or Ed O’Brien—once said that handing over their songs to be remixed was like, “giving your dog to a stranger to take it for a walk, and then the stranger returns with a completely different dog.” That quote applies here, because Mark Fell’s remix of Lakker’s Oktavist is a bent and burnished version of the original. On the album, Oktavist is a slow-moving beauty, languid and delicate. Fell takes the pith of the track—the pulsing bass—and sets it on its own. He makes it harder, faster, narrower. One of the best things about remixes is getting a different perspective on a song—understanding the original choices that the artist made, and then having the opportunity to listen to the way that someone else hears the track, what they were attracted to, what they thought was worthy of notice. Lakker’s recent album, Tundra, is a great record, and this companion remix LP offers some great (and weird) takes on the original tracks.
Recommended if you like. Endurance. Dryness. Static. Secret melodies. Blooms. Songs/not songs. Music with a certain proportion of newness.