♫Makin' a soundtrack for another planet to hear♫" on Episode064 - The Way Through which features brand new sounds from Portugal. The Man, John Vanderslice, Karl Hyde, The Mantles, Dark Horses, Chico Mann, Oblivians, Imaginary Cities, Hockey, Splashh, Alison Rae, Har Mar Superstar and Robb Benson & The Shelk...
♬Liner Notes♬: Welcome to a beautiful summer solstice and supermoon weekend! If you can, take these tunes for a midnight stroll and you'll hear the latest and greatest from Portugal. The Man, John Vanderslice, Karl Hyde, Har Mar Superstar and much more... Now let's Pump Up Tha Volume!
Portugal. The Man
"Creep in a T-Shirt"
Note: Consequence Of Sound starts us off by saying, "Portugal. The Man didn’t intend — at least not at first — to be the MVPs of indie rock. They run a full-time operation of touring, record at least one record a year, and seem to be at every music festival imaginable. The husky Alaskan band started as the side project... The project was soon dismembered after Portugal. The Man’s languid world of kaleidoscopic songwriting began garnering them enough recognition to the point of relocating to Portland from Wasilla." Their second record for Atlantic was produced by the one and only Danger Mouse!
"How the West Was Won"
Tiny Telephone, 2013
Note: Song source KEXP says this track "is an instant classic from Vanderslice. From the getgo, we have a spastic stereo fuzz guitar and drum riff that bounces in a new direction with every listen. The disorienting underlying tone is counteracted perfectly by a warm, bright guitar and bell melody line. The resulting anxious melancholy is par for the course Vanderslice." It's also worth noting that Tiny Telephone is John's recording studio and label.
"Shoulda Been a Painter"
Hip-O / UMe, 2013
Note: Karl Hyde? Karl Hyde. Why does that name sound famil... Oh! It's debut solo music from half of Underworld! Drowned In Sound says, "As a lifelong Underworld fan I had doubts about a solo album from vocalist Karl Hyde. The group’s last LP, Barking, was a mess, marred by guest collaborations and a shift away from electronica towards mainstream pop, with Hyde’s trademark snapshot vocals squeezed flat in the process. The prospect of his solo debut Edgeland felt like a retaliatory vanity project - a tour around his favourite spots on the fringes of the capital - and one that could further taint the benchmark set by Underworld over the last three decades. Well, panic over... The songs on Edgeland brim with life, closer to the cool Eighties beats of Hyde’s first band Freur but with the echo of Underworld still in their bones."
'Long Enough To Leave'
Note: Paste says, "Long Enough to Leave, the quartet’s second studio album, is also coyly devoid of the trappings of the psych revival, too, adroitly eschewing macabre, cosmic melodies for smart pop hooks and peppy guitar numbers."
Last Gang, 2013
Note: AllMusic says, "Following the success of their hypnotic singles "Radio" and "Alone," Dark Horses took a somewhat unexpected direction with their debut album Black Music. The band enlisted Death in Vegas' Richard Fearless as producer, and he emphasizes their eclectic, psychedelic side rather than their skills as a sinisterly catchy rock band... the percolating "Alone"...suggests a less blues-indebted version of the Kills"
"Vivito (El Colibri)"
Note: Song source KCRW says, "A member of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Chico Mann draws on a variety of genres. Even more importantly, he thinks of his music as good for your mind, as well as your behind." Meanwhile, PopMatters says, "Chico Mann (aka Marcos Garcia) is an artist who is difficult to pigeonhole into a single musical genre. The New York City-born multi-instrumentalist has worked with indie darlings TV On The Radio, revered Philly rap band the Roots, and Dam Funk in addition to being a solo artist. The genre-bender eclectically mixes elements of pop, funk, electronic, merengue, and Afro-beat throughout his fifth album Magical Thinking, released via Soundway. The era that most influences Mann throughout the album is the 1980s, where cues overtly reference the synth-heavy music of that time."
"Run For Cover"
In The Red, 2013
Note: NOW says, "It’s nice to get a brand new Oblivians record in the mail. In the 90s, the Memphis three-piece of Greg Cartwright, Jack Yarber and Eric Friedl was seminal in fusing the rootsy, rootin’-tootin’ energy of Southern soul with punk’s stripped-down don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. They’re older and have chased their interests in different directions since they released their last full-length in 97, but it’s nice to hear them playing together again."
"Bells Of Cologne"
'Fall Of Romance'
Note: We heard from Imaginary Cities' last record way back on Episode011. New Canadian Music says, "Imaginary Cities’ songwriters Rusty Matyas and Marti Sarbit have a palpable connection on new single, “Bells of Cologne”. It’s the first available tune from the May 28 Fall of Romance-the duo's follow-up to the Polaris nominated Temporary Resident. "Bells... " has a snazzy performance video, shot at The Ballroom in Winnipeg to accompany the single release."
Note: Ampkicker says, "One thing painfully obvious to any avowed music aficionado is that trends are anomalies... the apparent resurrection of 80′s Synth-Pop is something I definitely couldn’t have predicted... riding atop it is the exceptionally inventive New Wave (pun not intended) duo Hockey... One could compare them to Foster The People or The Postal Service in many respects, but Hockey’s compositions are far less kinetic than either. The duo benefits from a beautiful blend of mellow down-tempos and Wyeth’s smooth, mellifluous delivery to craft their unconventionally catchy tunes."
Note: "Based in London but led by an Australian and a Kiwi, Splashh’s scuzzy guitar pop incorporates the more melodic elements of some of SST’s ’80s roster and the current lo-fi surf rock movement into one buzzing, fuzzed-out package... “Headspins” is a hazy, Madchester-tinged slice of florescent lo-fi."
"Hide and Seek"
'I Wrote You A Letter' EP
Note: The Minneapolis Post says, "The Twin Cities music scene is propped up by an army of young songwriters with old souls ... One of the most arresting is Alison Rae, a Shoreview native whose voice and songs come at you with all the power and hype of a falling snowflake ... her talent has instantly hushed the room."
Har Mar Superstar
'Bye Bye 17'
Note: When we heard "Lady, You Shot Me" a couple months ago on Episode056, I was floored by the sincere funk/soul throwback sound. Now with the second track off the new album, I know I have to get this on vinyl soon! The Quietus says, "If you're wondering if Har Mar Superstar can really sell this kind of sound, then you haven't been listening to enough Har Mar Superstar. Backed with a funky drummer and a loud brass section, it appears that Har Mar finally found a way to air out his voice and show off his talent. The opener 'Lady, You Shot Me' (allegedly Sam Cooke's last words) makes it clear - it evolves from a sad soul-crooner to a overconfident strut, and is easily the most nuanced thing we've ever heard from him so far. But it keeps coming - 'Prisoner' is a full-on tribute to the harpsichord funk of Stevie Wonder, and it's just as incredible."
Robb Benson and the Shelk
"The Way Through"
'Cursive Falls From The Sky'
Note: Closing again with a Pacific Northwest artist, song source KEXP says, "Cursive Falls From The Sky marks the fifth solo record by the prolific Robb Benson. The album is also the 17th release by the Seattle songwriter, who began his career in town in 1997 on PopLlama Records with his band The Nevada Bachelors... “The Way Through” is a positive, up-lifting track from the Seattle native, touching on the difficulty of knowing anything, yet the need to keep moving forward."
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