If you think this year's been slow and dull for music releases then try again with this mix. This is the first compilation of tracks I've created for this blog in a long time. Most of the titles here were released in 2014, except for that kickin' Paradis jam which, as far as I'm concerned, could go on forever.
Been looking forward to this full-length debut from Aussie shoegazers Roku Music. After a few listens this album suffers a bit from the absence of strong vocal melodies. I know a lot of the original shoegaze bands used to bury their vocals in the mix but those acts benefitted from having an original and groundbreaking sound to compensate for a lack of quality singing (MBV, Slowdive, RIDE), unfortunately you just can't expect anyone to sit through that these days. If you're going to re-heat shoegaze you gotta come out stronger. "Reflector" and "Come Untrue" are the obvious standouts here; relentless, charging noise-pop that stretches in both directions for what seems like forever. That's the key, and Roku Music demonstrate how easy it is to speed up the tempo and get aggressive.
Here's the brand new video for Roku Music's "Reflector", taken from the Aussie quartet's debut album Collider. That record drops March 3 via Sonic Masala. Pre-order in all formats here.
"Mexican Aftershow Party" is like the track/direction I want Spoon to go in -- only I don't think this track works without Drew's delivery and timing -- or maybe I'm connected to this so easily because it reminds me of Bear in Heaven. Either way we all win.
Fans of New Order, Motorama, and even The Radio Dept. will find this frozen baritone-over-breezy pop gem from I Do Not Love easy to fall in love with, and it's free. "For Frida" is available now through the excellent digital label Beko DSL and includes the B-side "Only".
Flyying Colours will have their latest 12" EP released through the great Shelflife (3/10) and Club AC30 (3/10) labels. This is limited vinyl kids; 250 copies on each imprint with both labels pressing separate colored wax.
This was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the track name "Reflector", but when the hook is as sweet and buoyant as this I moved on pretty quickly. Also, there's a definite Peng-era Stereolab vibe floating within the song so I'm sold.
Roku Music's forthcoming debut album, Collider, is "due in March" through Sonic Masala Recordings.
Sky Ferreira joins Ariel Pink in a driving and seductive cover of his previous-released EP title track, "My Molly", which originally came out as a five-song seven-inch single through the Tiny Creatures label in 2006. As simple as it sounds, it still holds up pretty well and kind of reminds me of Missing Persons. Grant Singer directs.