Hot on the heels of the recently released singles and rarities compilation â€žAdvance Base Battery life” comes Vs. Children, the fifth album proper by Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. Vs. Children continues the trajectory of 2006's “Etiquette”, which showed singer/songwriter Owen Ashworth straying from the strictly electronic instrumentation of his earlier recordings.
The "Town Topic" EP is the soundtrack to video artist and photographer Laurel Nakadate's debut feature film, "Stay The Same Never Change." Laurel commissioned CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE'S Owen Ashworth to proved all of the music for "Stay The Same Never Change", right down to the character's ring tones. The "Town Topic" EP consists of thirteen short instrumental pieces, book-ended by tow vocal tracks that were recorded specifically for the film. This EP also collects tracks from two limited, vinyl-only EPs (the "Town Topic" 7", released by OIB Records in Brighton, England, and STSNC Instrumentals 7", released by People In A Position To Know Recordings, Inc. in Olympia, WA), plus one bonus track, the previously unreleased "Lesley Gore on the Tami Show (instrumental)."
From Kraftwerk to Leonard Cohen, The Smiths to Suicide, and Pet Shop Boys to Smog, Chicago’s one-man musical army Owen Ashworth â€“ a.k.a Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - has been bracketed with all manner of illustrious names in the course of his eleven year career. But in collecting the 7-inch split-singles and compilation tracks he released from 2004-7 (all but two of them on CD for the first time), Advance Base Battery Life provides compelling evidence of the singular nature of this industrious film-school dropout’s talent.
“I didn’t make a record. I couldn’t be bothered to make a record. It would have been too difficult. It was easier not to make a record,” writes David Shrigley about his LP-sized book of song lyrics. The original Worried Noodles songbook reveals a never-ending curiosity; the lyrics are simple poetry, ironic yet somehow honest, and insistently inciting. The book merged the three spheres in Shrigley’s work â€“ art, book, and music â€“ yet it was silent.
That first edition, also released by Tomlab, sold out within just 6 months of its publication two years ago. The book found a slew of new admirers of David Shrigley’s work in pop music circles, wherein the idea of adapting these songs to music was recognized as something that needed to happen.
In collaboration with David Shrigley, Tomlab gathered a diverse selection of musicians and bands from the unknown to the legendary to receive a copy of the book. Many were already familiar with David Shrigley’s work, and some are among his most devoted fans. Those who did not know of his work instantly fell in love with his quirky drawings and words. All of the artists wished to join this collaboration and delivered their stellar songcraft! During the process of the collaboration, Shrigley found perhaps the best words to describe the strong enthusiasm present in the project: “Now we have opened the can of worms we have to deal with the consequences.” The can now counts 39 worms â€“ all exclusives!
The "V" single, and the two songs contained therein, will be a sort of satellite of The Dead Science's next album, Villainaire, a record dealing with a very specific period of time in singer Sam Mickens' life and, more generally, in the embrace of personal nihilism and the potential psychic luxury of amorality. The A-Side, "Make Mine Marvel (Remix)" will be, in the style of R. Kelly's remix work, a completely new song, with completely new melodic and lyrical content, built on components of the original "make Mine Marvel" which will appear on Villainaire. The B-Side, "White Mane," was a song initially intended and recorded for the album, but which will be exclusively here instead. "White Mane" is, in fragmentary and impressionistic fashion, about the American film actor Robert Blake, both in his own recent life and in terms of his relationship to certain past roles.
Diamond Rings is a creative outlet for Toronto based artist and musician John O. His first single “All Yr Songs” was released on limited edition vinyl via his own boutique label and design house Hype Lighter in August 2009.
Diamond Rings' follow up single Wait & See marks his first release with German record label Tomlab and features gated snares, distorted guitar, and a catchy chorus featuring backing vocals from Toronto based indie-pop star Gentleman Reg. The B Side is an unlikely cover of Sebadoh's "On Fire" that trades the mid-nineties acoustic aesthetic of the original for nightclub-ready MIDI beats and shimmering analog synth flourishes.
In many ways a pop group's success hinges on their ability to write memorable songs. Dog Day's Night Group not only delivers in this sense, but also shows how simple tunes can convey meaning, beauty, and honesty. From the playful intro "Lydia", named after keyboardist Crystal Thili and drummer KC Spidle's fanatical cat, to the sorrowful "Bright Light", a song about fate and last chances, the album moves through a broad range of content and mood. In the tradition of great pop bands, Dog Day keeps it simple on Night Group. They are not a band who distracts by over-indulging or showing off. The beats pound straight through, the keyboard plays one well chosen note at a time, the guitars and bass follow suit. But unlike the countless bands toting incompetence as a selling point, Dog Day demonstrates mastery by playing tight and aggressive, taunting us at times with their understated abilities on tracks like “Vow”, which plays with timing, starts, stops, and meanders. This album consistently makes the point that minimalism can be a compositional choice, not a foregone conclusion.
After last year’s extatic album “Night Life”, SF’s Erase Errata return with two new and exclusive recordings for this series. With “Clear Spot” they pay tribute with a genius cover version of one of their heroes, Captain Beefheart. The flipside brings you “Pass the Crimson”, a dynamic and cutting new song that follows EEÂ«s tradition - EllieÂ«s sliding bass, BiancaÂ«s tricky drums and vocalist JennyÂ«s staccato singing.
Capturing the spirit of the pop music that flooded the hit parade in the early 60's is a tall order, and the songs on Maintenant decidedly develop a world and language of its own. With a reverent eye on the past and a deep respect for the airtight songsmithery of artists like Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Shadow Morton (among countless others), the songs aren't content to be throwback-y pastiches or polka-dotted retro workouts but rather stand as attempts at working within a specific and incredibly rich tradition of pop music production.
Coming a generation after their spiritual forebearers like The Notwist and Radiohead, Hearts Hearts do not so much repeat or pay homage to these artists, but instead build upon them and ask how much has changed in the decade since there and then. Both in terms of the increasingly ritualized and structured world in which most of the West finds itself, and our growing preoccupation and need to escape - and how this shapes the lyrical focus of Young, but also in the evolution of pop music since - the rise and influence of contemporary R&B, electronic dance music, and more recently minimalist classical. What sets Hearts Hearts apart today is their unadulterated sincerity and vision in the intent and sound - it pulls no punches and the quartet has poured its heart (no pun intended) into ten beautiful, fully realized songs. Young is the sound of a band evolving, but also one that has found something to say.
Hearts Hearts explore emotional and moral ambiguities on Goods / Gods, taking aim at the ineffectiveness of the dichotomies and borderlines that define modern society in the process, preferring to "think in options" as HÃ¤mmerle puts it. The group sees the diagonal line of the slash symbol as representing an openness and flexibility in meaning; in similarity as much as difference. Produced by mastermind Peter Paul Aufreiter, the new album conjures a mix of anguish and ecstasy, whether it’s the funky falsetto of 'Sugar / Money', or digital monster ballad 'Do you often think about /'. Taking inspiration from the leftfield pop productions of Bon Iver, Jamie XX, and Son Lux, they skew addictive hooks into drippy song chambers, littering them with lucid samples and cybernetic production licks, conjoining contrasting elements with prisms of electronics and lush acoustic instrumentation.Lead single 'Phantom / Island' and instant motorik pop classic 'Goods / Gods' are most addictive and high-energy tracks yet from the quartet, blending groovier verses with increasingly majestic choruses. This is ultra-intelligent pop from a band that have found their true voice. Somewhere between happiness and sadness, energy and lethargy, electronica and rock - that's where you’ll find Hearts Hearts.
Heimer is an up-and-coming electronic musician, producer and visual artist based in Berlin, Germany. With his hip-hop, dance and pop influences, he bridges the gap between genres like grime, dubstep, footwork, skweee, acid-jazz and soul.
His debut album Teilzeit Swag is an adventurous musical journey, that is as visceral as it is meditational, as intricately composed as it is eclectic, all while telling a story about part-time living, the joy of skiing and a shady hill named "Beverly".
Meticulously dug out samples are layered with funky synths, gruff rock guitars, bold melodies, and dry electronics before they melt into a unique kaleidoscope of musical styles. From "Icy Grips's" bouncy introduction, to "Amiga-3D-SÃ¤ure's" hippie-esque 70's vibe, to "White Out Part. II's" dark grime theme, onto "Smacks United's" mellow jazzy outro - Teilzeit Swag has a common thread that runs through recurring parts of deep flows, strong melodies and unexpected breaks.
“Which band can claim to take over the dancefloor with a twist of R'n'B, Radiopop and Electronica? Who has the secret recipe for a sound that equally stimulates teenagers and people in their 30ies? Who sounds as sexy as Justin Timberlake and The Soft Pink Truth combined? And who was the cover star of the San Francisco Guardian in May 2005 with the headline "dance, punk, dance"? Hey Willpower is one of the hottest acts in the R'n'B Underground emerging from the US.”