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Category Archives: Music

[stream] Vacationer // The Wild Life

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] Vacationer // The Wild Life

vacationer relief cover [stream] Vacationer // The Wild Life

It’s been three years, nearly to the day, since I first heard Vacationer’s fantastic “Trip.” Their debut album, Gone, released in 2012, was one of my personal favorites of that year – all smoothed over like sea glass and perfect for backyards and sunshine.

Now, I’m not sure that a band that bills itself as the “Eastern Seaboard’s Foremost Relaxation Specialists” is going to stray significantly from the niche they have clearly carved out for themselves. And with this new track, “The Wild Life,” the band is still perched barefooted on that new-tropical branch. But what had once sounded like a respite from whatever else was happening in the music world now sounds like a warmed-over revisiting of the path they’ve already led us down, imploring the listener to opt for abandoning plans instead of tending to whatever responsibilities they might have.

Is it catchy? It is decidedly so. Is it groundbreaking? Outlook not so good. That’s not to say the rest of the album is going to be the same, but with this as the lead single, my hopes aren’t particularly high.

Relief, Vacationer’s sophomore effort, will see the light of day on June 24th through Downtown Records.

Connect with Vacationer // Facebook | Twitterweb

[stream] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart // Eurydice

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart // Eurydice

the pains of being pure at heart eurydice cover [stream] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart // Eurydice

I suppose its somewhat fitting that I am lured back to blogging by a song titled “Eurydice.” If your grasp on Greek mythology is rusty, here’s a short take:

Eurydice was the wife of Orpheus, who died after being bitten by a viper. Distraught, Orpheus traveled to the Underworld and played music so beautiful that Hades agreed to let her return with him, on the condition that he walk in front of her and not turn back to look at her until they reached the upper world. Of course Orpheus, being impatient and untrusting of Hades (who could blame him), turned back to see Eurydice prior to her crossing the threshold from the Underworld to the upper, and she was taken back.

Now, I’m not saying that this “Eurydice,” the second single from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s upcoming third album, is enough to make Hades change his mind about a dead significant other, but it’s enough to warm the cockles of this jaded blogger’s heart. And that’s plenty good enough for me.

Days of Abandon is due out on May 13th through Slumberland Records, just in time for all your summertime road trips.

Connect with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart // Facebook | Twitter | web

[listen/download] Slow Animal // The Other Side

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [listen/download] Slow Animal // The Other Side

Slow Animal band [listen/download] Slow Animal // The Other Side

The first notes of “The Other Side” lull you into the belief that, perhaps, a few extra years in age have softened the edges of Slow Animal’s familiar lo-fi punk sound. It doesn’t take long to shatter that thought. There is an added layer of maturation on a new track entitled “The Other Side,” but the rough, ramshackle effervescence of youth has not been lost. Familiar constructs are retained: melodic guitars held to a steady upbeat pace, with muddled diatribes affirming the efficacy of illicit substances and enduring pleasure; but all that doesn’t mean they’re stagnant.

Listen, I adore this band, and their set at our last ill-fated birthday show was the highlight of the evening for me. Just about anything they’ve created has been more pleasing to my ears than a luxurious q-tip insertion, and a much healthier decision to boot. They indicate this is the first single off an upcoming EP of the same name, and that a full length should be in the offing as well. One can only hope.

Slow Animal // Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

[listen] Jimi Goodwin // Oh! Whiskey

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [listen] Jimi Goodwin // Oh! Whiskey

Though he was likely the driving force of the overall sound of Manchester’s Doves, if it hadn’t been evident prior, it’s obvious now with new track “Oh! Whiskey” that Jimi Goodwin was principally responsible for the band’s folk-centered jaunts. That aspect was never my favorite, but with such a varied base of styles it provided a well earned change of pace throughout the band’s catalogue – a catalogue which any long time reader of tympanogram should be aware I am a great admirer. Despite having been released nearly 14(!) years ago, “The Cedar Room” remains in the conversation (perhaps its totality depending on the day) of my personal favorite songs of all time.

It’s been quite some time since there’s been new music from the on-hiatus Doves, so it was with great pleasure that I learned of Goodwin’s debut solo album, Odludek. “Oh! Whiskey” exercises those folk muscles at the onset, with an extended harmonica solo, familiar rolling guitars, and Goodwin’s rough around the edges vocals centered on heartache and drinking. I’ve yet to listen to the remainder of the record, but Goodwin has described it as a “mad mixtape” and “eclectic as fuck,” meaning it’s surely as deftly varied as I expect.

While I hold out hope that Doves will reunite and give us another effort on the level of “The Cedar Room” or “There Goes the Fear,” I’ll be happy to take in the rest of Odludek for the time being.

[stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

tame impala live versions cover [stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

Record Store Day, that annual celebration of all things limited, local, and vinyl, is exactly one month from today. The floodgate of releases has opened, with the extensive list of things to drool over and subsequently save for taking shape. I personally haven’t done much list scouring, but the two I have seen that I really want are the Sunny Day Real Estate split 7” (because who doesn’t want new SDRE?) and the live EP from Tame Impala.

Creatively called Live Versions, the EP features eight tracks culled from the Aussie band’s live show – specifically a 2013 show in Chicago, handpicked by the lead singer to showcase versions that were substantially different from what fans already have on the studio albums. This track, “Be Above It”, is the second to last on the EP, and first on the band’s sophomore album, and while the first few minutes feel familiar, the band turns its Sixties stoner-psych to 11 in the second half.

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 19, and if you happen to be in the record stores around Rochester and prevent me from getting my copy of Live Versions, you’re in for a world of pain, my friends.