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Category Archives: Vinyl

Holy Wave // Lady Madonna’s Operation

holy wave the evil has landed part 2 ep cover

Slightly before the conclusion of 2015, Austin’s Holy Wave released a seven song EP titled The Evil Has Landed, Pt. II. Because of its release in the music release wasteland that December has become (see: every Best of 20XX list released throughout the month), the EP likely missed a lot of appreciative ears. This is your opportunity to correct that oversight, friends.

The EP isn’t actually seven new songs, though. As EP’s are wont to do, there’s a rehashing of “Son of Sound” from the band’s excellent, 2014 sophomore effort Relax, aptly named “Son of Sound 2.” But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth your time. “Son of Sound 2” is, to my ears, a fine retelling, as is “Lady Madonna’s Operation” – a surfy pop number imbued with a healthy dose of psychedelic.

If you’re the type that likes your music in physical format, you can (and should) pick up a 10″ version of The Evil Has Landed, Pt. II from the fine Levitation label, along with the aforementioned Relax. The band is off to Europe around the beginning of March; no shows on North American soil have yet been announced for 2016.

Holy Wave :: Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

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

tame impala live versions cover

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.

[stream] Saol Álainn // Nostroke

nostroke cover

It’s been about 18 months since the launch of No Recordings, who, in their short time in existence, have become one of our favorite little labels, churning out a steady stream of limited singles, releasing one every four months or so.

Their fifth release became available for purchase on November 12, so we’re a little bit behind on highlighting it, but it’s so good that if you missed it like we did, you should carve some time out to listen multiple times. From Saol Álainn, the single’s A-side is called “Nostroke”, and it’s a minimal masterpiece of skittish electronic flourishes and Álainn’s feathery lilt.

If you haven’t purchased anything from No Recordings, be prepared for the same minimal feel to the physical record as well. Each record and sleeve is handstamped individually, contributing to the overall aura of both the release itself and the label. In an industry that is so often consumed with the acquisition of as much music as possible for the least amount of cash, it’s refreshing to be able to support those who still take the time to craft their releases.

(Also, take some time to explore Saol Álainn’s website, where you can find an equally riveting demo version of “Nostroke” on piano.)

Connect with Saol Álainn // Twitter | Website