In Dripping Springs, a city in a Texas suburb of Austin with less than 2,000 inhabitants, is the husband-wife duo of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski — making music under the moniker Cross Record. Their latest effort is a striking 9-song LP called “Wabi-Sabi”, featuring Cross’ breathy, smokey Hope Sandoval-type vocals; hard, stark guitar and drumming. There’s a lot of experimentation going on here too, with echo-chamber electronic effects, whistling noises like a soft sonic wind, nimble guitar picking, building nuanced moods that find themselves at beautiful extremes — from backwoods loneliness to creative clamor. You can order the album at GrapefruitRecordClub. Follow the couple at facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.
It’s not surprising to hear Mick Jenkins getting back into the water (albeit reluctantly) with his new video “Drowning” (feat. BADBADNOTGOOD). Jenkins’ 2014 album “The Water[s]” was awash in liquid imagery. “Drowning” is a song about feeling suffocated by “the real life” and fighting to stay afloat: “When the river holds you down, you supposed to drown right?” The rapper posted a video for his soulful song, which will be featured on his new album, The Healing Component, out September 23 via Free Nation label. The video was directed by Nathan R. Smith. Note: “The Water[s]” made the TBB list for best 14 albums of the year. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Computer Magic (aka Danz) has a new single out, “Dimensions”, which will be featured on her upcoming five-song EP release, Obscure but Visible, out October 7th on Channel 9 Records or at the artist’s website. Computer Magic has always had a beautiful obsession with space, dreams and thoughts of other worlds — so it seems apropos that the song’s lyrics would begin looking up into the sky: “Life it goes and comes and stays / Stare into the sun for days.” Star-gazing isn’t a quirk of Computer Magic’s music, it is the music. It’s really a kind of subconscious metaphor for her art, always pushing boundaries, always reaching for what’s possible. Bringing life to earthly things by alien means. Her art bleeds out into life and vice versa, whether she’s wearing a spacesuit around New York in a video or resurrecting a Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band-like ensemble on her latest cover. Creating new worlds is what the best music does. Computer Magic just keeps getting better with each trickling single and EP release — and “Dimensions” adds just that to the artist’s repertoire. “Dimensions” is a glimmering digression, letting the mind float over the world, contemplating its seemingly hidden majesty in blades of grass, measuring its fractals in a gorgeous cascade of keyboard and cushion-y melodic vocals. Note: Lyrics are unofficial. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Admittedly, Ulrika Spacek’s “Everything: All The Time” reminds me a lot of Radiohead, with the pulsating rhythm, erratic breaks, the warped/echoed sounds and even the vocals of the lead singer. But that’s not a bad thing — and it’s only for one song. In fact, I love this track. It’s not mimicry. There’s a roughness to the guitar edges and a steady melodic sense that’s uniquely their own. The band’s sound is much different on earlier tracks, like the pretty “Ultra Vivid”, off The Album Paranoia. The single is taken from the new Ulrika Spacek 7-inch, that has a release date of September 23rd. The copies are limited, so you’ll want to rush to grab one at Tough Love. Plus, the b-side has a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Lady Godiva’s Operation”. Follow the band at facebook. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Artist and violinist Hannah Epperson posted a new video for “Story (Amelia)”, a song off her upcoming Sept. 16 release UPSWEEP. Some of you may be familiar with her periodic solo work, heard one of her European concerts or listened to her pairings with friend and fellow musician Emily Brown. The song begins with pretty Bjork-like electronic flourishes, echoes of beats, before flowering into a dance rhythm and Epperson’s purring crystalline voice, “I can’t make up my mind … my mind … my mind.” The video follows a surreal connection between four women: a mother knitting and looking out her window, a young girl playing in the yard, Epperson herself and the younger girl’s encounter with a half-naked lady caught halfway between a kind of scary angelic morphing (“When the walls caved in and the light shown through / There were spaces in between the things you thought you knew / The snake that shed its skin …”) and interpretative dance. Visually it’s full of soft, subtle blues, autumnal muted yellows and amber, amid sweeping nature. Note: You can follow Hannah at facebook or twitter. The video was directed by both Hannah and Jake Saner. Lyrics are unofficial. — David D. Robbins Jr.
As has become usual with singer-songwriter Cass McCombs, he’s streaming another slow-smoked gorgeous track. This one is called “Medusa’s Outhouse”, which will be featured on his August 26th Anti- Records release Mangy Love. This latest song is kind of hazy reverie, with falsetto vocals and soulful backing guitar that feels like Neil Young, especially when he sings the lyric “the rest is up to dreams”. Follow him on facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.