Posts tagged ‘chill’
CHILL: Small Black’s “Photojournalist” is the first teaser from their upcoming album, “New Chain” set to be released through Jagjaguwar Records. It’s purposefully hazy, muddied and sweetly spacey. The soung begins with dreamy synth and sounds like drops of water in a pond set to digital electronica. Their intimate and moody lyrics, “set to rise up again like a ghost”, are stretched across a slow sexy groove, not unlike the xx. The band have been touring with a Their Bated Breath favorite, Washed Out. — David D. Robbins Jr.
VIDEO BELOW: Small Black “Bad Lover” (Self-titled EP)
SOMNAMBULISTS OF THE WORLD, UNITE AND TAKE OVER: When Titania sleeps, this is what she surely hears. Memoryhouse is the Ontario-based duo of Denis Nouvion (singer) and Evan Abeele (instrumentals). The band makes atmospheric chill for the extremely laid back. Their new EP, ” The Years”, consists of four tracks, “Sleep Patterns”, two songs given names of Virginia Woolf novels, “The Waves” and “To the Lighthouse” — and “Lately (Deuxieme).” The latter plays like a drowsy School of Seven Bells behind these cryptic and languidly sung lyrics: “Lately, I’m not sleeping / I’m not breathing / Without machines / Lately, my heart’s been breaking (x2) / Through the seams.” Nouvion’s heavily echoed vocals play prettily, almost a half-step behind the muffled cascading of synth and white noise that sounds in part like television static, light oceans waves or a distorted soft rain. The band recorded a second version of “Lately” dubbed “Troiseieme” — which begs the question: Where is the “Premier” version? It’s nice to hear a band that isn’t in a hurry and isn’t trying to hide deficiencies amid a bluster. Below are the two versions of “Lately” — compare the two, and see which you prefer. — David D. Robbins Jr. (Still photo taken from video for “Lately (Deuxieme)”.)
RADIATING HIS ESSENCE: Just when you thought you’d wear out your Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, Letting Up Despite Great Faults and Gaslamp Killer discs — just across the horizon comes Baths, aka Chatsworth, California’s Will Wiesenfeld. Baths is working on an upcoming album, “Cerulean”, at one of the best record labels, Anticon. (The musical home of Odd Nosdam, Thee More Shallows, WHY? and Sole.) Bath officially leaked a single, “Maximalist”, last week — but has had a video of himself playing the track live in his bedroom (see below) on YouTube since December of last year. His newest leak, “Hall” (via the Forkcast), shows just how comfortable Wiesenfeld is with layering hazy synth-jams over fuzzy loops and high falsetto. He coos over the top of a reverse back track and clanking noises while altering his vocal pitch to get different ranges and effects, sometimes sounding like tribal chants. It’s a gorgeously warm piece of music, with transitions all falling just right. Listen to some of Baths’ other tracks at his MySpace page. — Words by David D. Robbins Jr.
VIDEO BELOW: Baths “Maximalist” (Live in his bedroom)
THE SWAY OF THE SEA: Adam & Alma’s new EP “Back to the Sea” begins like a siren’s song, beckoning with two-part acapella harmony and these lyrics: “Take my hand / It’s just thinking of you / Take my heart / It feels for you.” The languid opening transitions into a dark and sexy piece of electronica that really takes off with intermittent percussion and sythn. This young duo from Stockholm, Sweden, consists of Ellen Arkbro and Johan Graden. The second track, “Smile For Me, Sun” (below) is a sensual, chill dance track that seduces with pretty lyrics and phrasing: “I take off my clothes, / Letting you touch me … / I can trust again / Trying to forget that I … / I’ve shown you my skin.” The five tracks on this record have a lot of range. The Bjork-like number “Naked”, combines experimental sounds, distorted vocals and Swedish electro with an ominous Massive Attack-styled bass. The final track, “Bon”, uses some jazz and classical influence — with cello and what sounds like a toy piano. Really a pretty album. You can download it for free from 23 Seconds Netlabel site.
HEAD-BOBBING WITH BONOBO: Bonobo is the stage name of musician and DJ Simon Green, who will be releasing his fourth studio album, “Black Sands”, on March 29th, 2010 through Ninja Tune. Green’s new record likely will have BBC Radio One DJ Gilles Peterson drooling all over his vinyl. Bonobo blends ambient house and chill with an acid-jazz tradition. Tracks like “El Toro” are spirited with strings, heavy African percussion, horns, and maracas like some long-lost Brand New Heavies unearthing — or rebirth of the Solsonics for the club set. “We Could Forever” skips and bops with electronic dance beats, cut-up samples, bird whistles and flute used as slickly as Dr. Dre did on The Chronic’s “Lil’ Ghetto Boy”. Like a number of dance-hybrid creators — including Erlend Oye, Zero 7 and Thievery Corporation — Bonobo makes stellar use of female vocals. “Black Sands” features the sexy, soulful, and simmering R&B vocal stylings of UK songstress Andreya Triana on three tracks, “Eyesdown”, “The Keeper” — and the smoothest song on the album, “Stay the Same”. The track opens with a light acoustic guitar, a hard beat and these pretty, chill lyrics:
“A night train. / Midnight. / Bags gathered ’round my feet. / Possession. / Some lesson, to carry with me. / Heavy. / Soothing. / Like a gentle symphony. / I rest my head right back upon my seat. / It’s hot and cold though — the best thing for me. / This train is, moving. / But my heart is stationary.”
— Words and art by David D. Robbins Jr.
(Illustration makes use of press photos off Bonobo MySpace page)
SONG BELOW: Bonobo “Stay the Same”