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[stream] Leon Bridges // Coming Home

leon bridges

My, how the months just slip away from us.

I had intentions – the best of them – for writing more consistently in this space, and then I had to go and get a new job and take a few classes, and my best laid plans just went completely awry.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not still hanging around the music blog spaces, occupying the darker corners, observing.

I know about the impending sale of Hipster Runoff, bb. I know we’re no longer being indexed by Hype Machine. I signed up for the Keep In Touch series.

I know about Leon Bridges.

There’s that part of High Fidelity where Barry accosts a customer about The Jesus & Mary Chain picking up where Echo & The Bunnymen left off. This scene is echoing in my head when I listen to Leon Bridges, only with respect to Sam Cooke.

I’d have to imagine that it takes fifty or so years for a voice like Cooke’s to come along. And while labeling Bridges as Cooke’s long awaited heir apparent is likely premature, the promise contained in the two demo songs on his Soundcloud page is enough to warrant it.

Connect with Leon Bridges // Facebook | Twitter | web

Fiancé // Ivy

fiance ep cover

There’s always a twang of regret that accompanies logging in to our oft-neglected inbox. How much good stuff am I missing simply because of our backlog of messages? I make a point to visit more often, then I get busy with leading the rest of my life, and that promise inevitably falls by the wayside. It’s been worse of late since I haven’t even been writing, so my efforts to catch up will prove even more futile.

Yesterday’s renewed interest in finding something new to latch onto, however, led me to this Delaware outfit within minutes of searching, which led to me pre-ordering their new EP on vinyl before I’d finished the first song.

(A brief lesson in grammar: Fiancée is a female who is engaged. Fiancé, as this band calls itself, is a male who is engaged.)

“Ivy” is the penultimate track on the band’s debut EP, effectively titled EP1, and it encapsulates the band’s aura perfectly – a jangled, absorbing take on shoe/dream-pop/gaze that strips down the reverb to the minimum requirement necessary in order to keep that descriptor. By doing so, the songs become much more breathless than their contemporaries in the genre, and it gives the whole affair an almost ghostly sheen.

EP1 will be available on October 7th, just in time for any autumnal get-togethers you may be planning, or for putting all your decorative gourds on display, motherfuckers. Pre-orders are being taken now through SQE Music.

Connect with Fiancé // Facebook | Twitter | web

[stream] David Bazan // Sparkling Water

bazan monthly volume 2

This song from David Bazan represents an apt bookend to yesterday’s post about the new CRUISR song; the fourth song of his current project – in which he releases two songs on the first of the month, starting in July and running through November – “Sparkling Water” is fully immersed in the sort of seasonal depression that the coming colder weather represents.

It’s a story spun from the perspective of a new marriage, and is completely devoid of the celebratory nature that accompanies that kind of life event, which is apropos when it’s considered along with the vast majority of Bazan’s output. The song itself never rises above a dull ache; the narrator detailing the relationship in the most level manner possible, which makes it that much more heartbreaking.

On a personal level, the four songs that Bazan has unveiled to this point in the project are the most compelling he’s released in a long time. Bazan is at his best when he seems as though he’s personally experienced in the song’s content, though I don’t wish that he actually experienced all of the things he’s put into song.

The monthly series, with the next pair of songs due this coming Monday, can still be purchased digitally and as individual 7″ singles, but you’re out of luck if you want them all as a 7” vinyl package.

[stream] CRUISR // All Over

cruisr all over cover

The inevitable change of seasons is creeping into the forefront, with the calendar ready to turn to September, classes starting for teachers and students alike, and fantasy football drafts taking place nationwide. The days are getting noticeably shorter, and the mornings are covered in a blanket of cold and dew as I log running mileage through my neighborhood.

Those facts, however, are immaterial with the recent release of CRUISR’s new song, the title track to their upcoming EP, All Over. The Philadelphia-based outfit has expanded and contracted in the time since their self-titled, debut EP was released back in 2012. They’ve gone from being the solo project of Andy States to a full-fledged band, and with their recent signing to Vagrant Records, they’ve dropped the ‘e’ from their name as well, in deference to another artist utilizing the same moniker.

What hasn’t changed from then to now, however, is the band’s ability to craft sunshine-y pop, as evidenced by “All Over” – a song so infectious that it lingers in your head well past the song’s three minute running time. As Summer 2014 draws to a close, “All Over” is the perfect accompaniment to those remaining gasps of breath unfettered by obligation.

All Over will be available in its entirety on September 23, but if you want to own the song for yourself right now, you can pre-order the EP and get it instantly.

Connect with CRUISR // Facebook | Twitter | web

[listen] Foxes in Fiction // Shadow’s Song

Foxes in Fiction’s “Memory Pools” – off 2010’s Swung From the Branches - returned to my orbit a few months back when I happened to re-listen to an old mix I’d once spent a great deal of time laboring over. Immediately entranced with the calming beauty of the song once again, much like I had been the first time around a few years back, I was unable to recall exactly why I had lost track of the song. Also unable to figure out why I hadn’t gone about my usual routine of scouring for what else the band had to their name, my prompt downloading of a bevy of releases gratis via Orchid Tapes (of which there are plenty) should henceforth correct all issues of neglect.

Since that time I’ve made further efforts to engage with the band by glomming on to various social network accounts. As such, I’ve learned that Foxes in Fiction is the name by which Warren Hildebrand creates his own music, and Orchid Tapes is the manner in which he releases music in both physical and digital manifestations for a number acts in addition to his own. From what I’ve gathered, Hildebrand and his label are both recipients beyond worthy of adulation. Based on his internet presence, it seems vitally clear that Hildebrand could easily mark both super cool and extremely nice on a personality test.

My reintroduction to the band was rather timely, considering a new album, Ontario Gothic, is due to be released in September, and a new song surfaced as a result. “Shadow’s Song” is again arresting in it’s stately beauty, with breathy vocals, and astute violin and cello work. The label is run out of Brooklyn, but Hildebrand is paying homage to his roots just north of the border with the title of his coming record. In my short time following along with the band, Hildebrand has mentioned how much a labor of love the release has been, and the results here are obviously worth the effort.