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We decided to do some spring cleaning with our website and may have gone a little overboard. With this fresh new start, the goal was to make the site simpler and easier to navigate (and hey, a bit easier on the eyes). There are several issues that still need to be fixed — with the Listen Live button being top priority — but we couldn’t wait any longer to show off the makeover!

Expect a lot more things now that we have our new site going: more content on the music blog, more video and media, a mobile-friendly version, and more interaction with you guys, our listeners and readers. We hope you enjoy our new look, and a sincere thank you in advance for being patient as we work out the kinks!

Edit: The Listen Live button is now working. Tune in!

Fuzz
Fuzz
In the Red

Although the new self-titled release from Fuzz features Ty Segall on drums on vocals, his role on this album is far different than other releases. Instead of playing lead guitar, he’s playing drums and his vocals are buried far deeper in the mix than his other full band record (2012’s stellar Slaughterhouse). In fact, there are very few vocals on this record at all, with the songs themselves feeling far more improvisational and loose compared to many of Ty’s other records, with each track sounding like a demonic jam session. While Slaughterhouse covers much the same thematic material, Fuzz at times sounds far more menacing and more like an actual band just jamming around and having a blast rather than playing the tightest, most composed song possible. This leads to a lot of interesting, intense fuzz-rock songs and a solid start to a new project. – Andy Tabeling

Into It. Over It.
Intersections
Triple Crown Records

This is Into It. Over It.’s second full-length record and the first one this reviewer has heard. Simply put, Intersections shows a man (by the name of Evan Weiss) who has fully mastered his instrument – the guitar. At many times I was reminded of Television’s Marquee Moon – I’d hear three guitar lines that I thought would never come together sonically, and be astounded as Weiss spun an equally intricate vocal melody over that, creating some of the most complex-sounding music I’ve ever heard. This record falls more on the indie rock side of things, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Underneath the (occasionally) screaming electric guitars is an acoustic guitar quietly laying the basis for the whole track. It certainly feels like a very personal album. – Dan C.

Edited by: Nathan Kerce

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOg_fgc4wF0[/youtube]

Now, usually, I don’t do this but uh, let’s go ahead and break ‘em off with a little preview of the live version. And let’s be honest, this pretty much had to be the song of the day with the picture of a hospitalized, bed-ridden Madeline Hassett (lead singer of TONDA) making its rounds on Facebook (89 likes and counting) and being touted by the band’s Facebook page as an official album cover leak. And what if I told you this was a recording from that very hospital room, and will be released later in 2014 under the name Emergency Jams (I would be lying).

In an Athens scene where the principal songwriter usually helms vocal duties, for better or worse, you notice when vocal talent becomes emotionally relevant. Vocals in “Untitled” that initially provide something humid and muggy to pair with a bass line striking in the way it hangs its head in resignation. Progressing into a shouting match of vocal chord tearing thrash and shattered cymbals, that passes through and leaves the ground cracked and barren. So soulful and pained sounding are Hassett’s vocals it’s hard to not to picture a savage outpouring of physicality – tearing away the rubber covering of a mic cord with nails ground deep.

Check out the aforementioned track below and head on over to the band’s Bandcamp and Facebook pages if you’re lusting for more.
-Will Guerin

Chris Baio (no relation to Scott Baio*) of Vampire Weekend-fame has been making thumping electronic music under his last name for a good while now. He has a new EP coming out called Mira and has just released a single of the same name. It’s a pulsing house track with a patient groove and creative sample use that gives the song its title. If there ever comes a time when Vampy Weeks no longer needs a bass player for some reason, Baio should be just fine all alone. Listen to “Mira” here and check out the Mira EP when it releases on 10/28 via Future Classic.

By: Nathan Kerce

*I assume, I didn’t do any research into this claim at all.

532a41c7It’s so unfair to draw comparisons between the music of sisters Allison and Katie Crutchfield like we’re all involved in some grand, public sibling rivalry. The most recent single from Allison’s band Swearin’ does recall the same sort of fuzzy 90′s indie rock Katie channeled in her second Waxahatchee LP though, I just hate to say that. This is a hooky, emotional track that you should listen to now. Check it out here and look for Surfin Strange out 11/5 via Salinas.

By: JJ Posway

CHVRCHES
The Bones of What You Believe
Glassnote

CHVRCHES (pronounced “churches”) have finally released their hotly anticipated album The Bones of What Your Believe after months of hype and a few quality singles and EPs. One of the most popular singles from this album “The Mother We Share” opens the record and effectively displays what CHVRCHES’ sound is all about: big synths and drums, combined with Lauren Mayberry’s dazzling voice. The songs on The Bones of What You Believe are usually simple pop songs with an extra pinch of heartbreak but their scope, quality production, instrumentation and song craft put them into a level all on their own. Like their recent tour-mates Depeche Mode, CHVRCHES have recorded a collection of songs that are smart, catchy and sound ready to fill arenas all around the world. This strong debut is just the start. – Andy Tabeling

Oneohtrix Point Never
R Plus Seven
Warp

This is Brooklyn drone/experimental artist Daniel Lopatin’s fifth album under the Oneohtrix Point Never moniker. It’s easy to see some denouncing this for sounding like radio static interspersed with a jumble of disjointed sounds while others see it as sheer genius. As challenging as it is commanding, R Plus Seven seems to suck all life from the room; whether it be with harshly minimal tracks like “Inside World” or the daring fractured glitch panic of “Zebra.” There is an array of sounds- from soundscapey haze to dizzying synths to “someone dabbling with the choral setting on keyboards in Guitar Center while they wait for their dad to finish shopping.” But this collision of elements sounds carefully orchestrated, an insanity that was obviously mulled over. It is an album that doesn’t care what you think of it, but its stark, noisy intensity pretty much guarantees that you will listen to it. Dazzlingly avant-garde, it evokes a perplexed and morbidly intrigued reaction. It’s not an overtly dark album but there is something sinister weaving its way through. – Brett Bennett

Bill Callahan
Dream River
Drag City

The singer-songwriter, more than any other genre of music, has the power to establish an immediate emotional connection with the audience. So, the most masterful of musical storytellers will not only elicit a certain feeling, but will make you experience emotions on the furthest edges of the spectrum and make them feel entirely familiar. Bill Callahan achieves this with a straightforward narrative delivery comparable to the likes of Paul Williams or Leonard Cohen. Every song is slow and deliberate, with every word holding weight and every note reinforcing it. Bill has come a long way from the lo-fi days of Smog, and he’s only grown in both musical expertise and worldliness. He experiments with various forms of instrumentation on Dream River: to western string sections (“The Sing”) to North African percussion and woodwinds (“Javelin Unlanding”, “Summer Painter”). Despite the wide range of styles, though, the album’s tone is entirely cohesive due to Bill Callahan’s unflinching baritone, which speaks volumes with the subtlest difference of line delivery. Dream River invites you to stare wistfully out a window, raindrops slowly creeping down the pane; the world outside is so big, and there’s so much to see, yet you’re content with staying where you are – listening to the stories of others, and living a life vicarious. – Lawson Chambers

Edited by: Nathan Kerce

Sun Kil Moon (aka Mark Kozelek) is really talented at making songs that rip your heart out and stomp on it with the power of a five ton weight. This song doesn’t do that (unless you’re really sensitive I guess). This is a stream-of-consciousness epic that’s overall theme addresses how murder coverage on the evening news can effect the psyche of a child all the way into adulthood. However, given it’s long rambling style, it strays pretty far from the topic and the killer that gives the song its namesake eventually reaching as far away as Kozelek’s prostate issues and his thoughts on the recent death of James Gandolfini. It’s absolutely stunning, one of the best songs of the year. Listen to “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes” below and check out the new Sun Kil Moon album Benji when it releases next February via Caldo Verde.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgaquGird4w[/youtube]

By: Nathan Kerce

8679-virgins

Drone master Tim Hecker released a foggy video today featuring a track off his upcoming LP, Virgins. As Hecker’s press releases have stated, he has dropped most of his signature fuzziness in exchange for a cleaner, crisper sound on his seventh album. “Black Refraction” perfectly demonstrates this stylistic change, sounding less like a continuation of Ravedeath, 1972 and more like an unreleased track from Deaf Center’s Pale Ravine. Centered around a woozy, looped piano line, the song builds slowly and subtly until it stutters to a jarring halt. Check it out below. Virgins is out October 14th via Kranky/Paper Bag.

By: JJ Posway

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEmgEAp8hSI[/youtube]

Goldfrapp
Tales of Us
 Mute
Those used to Goldfrapp’s dancey disco-synth pop will be surprised by their sixth album, Tales of Us. For a band that, in their 14 year career, has been jumping from trip-hop to glam synth to downtempo, perhaps changes in pace aren’t all that surprising. This London electronic duo has put together a wistful collection of songs with Alison Goldfrapp’s soulful voice shining through like it belongs on a french pop album. In fact, the track “Stranger” may as well be on a lounge-y, heavy-lidded French film soundtrack. They’ve got an Air-channeling trip-hop vibe going on, the track “Awar” comes close to sounding like the Cocteau Twins, complete with dazed dream-poppy guitar lines. “Thea” is probably the synthiest track, though it’s too filled with yearning to make anyone want to dance. There’s nothing akin to the sexy electroclashy “Strict Machine” days here. You don’t play this on the dance floor, you play this in the smoky clubs of neo-noir films. – Brett Bennett

The Reptilian
Low Health
Count Your Lucky Stars Records
This Michigan band brings us a treat of an album that’s likely to resonate with many a college student. Instrumentally, this album largely falls under math rock, with the characteristically airy guitars strumming along with the drums to atypical rhythms. The vocals however are more intense, with heavy-shouted lyrics. It’s very melodic and really hypnotizes you into rocking along to the tune. The first track, “Pan (Sucks),” and the fourth track, “Sam Haircut,” start easy and grow into an energetic punk sound. Track six, “Kief Puck,” is a rollicking track with an atmospheric, ethereal touch and the ninth track, “Cooler by the Lake,” is pleasantly fast-paced and edgy. Low Health is brimming with nostalgia and the solidarity between friends. It’s visible in the collage of friends that makes up the album cover and it’s audible in the simultaneously exultant and frustrated tone of the music. At the same time, these songs reject and long for the feeling of a hometown, which is the kind of contradiction that tends to define this period of life in our early twenties. This album should be a joy for anyone in this transitory time, or who is just in the mood for a fun punk record. – Rafael Varela

John Wizards
John Wizards
Planet Mu
Cape Town-based John Wizards’ eponymous debut album opens with something reminiscent of a carnival melody for a reason, this album is a sonic funhouse. The influences here cover a remarkable swath of the global musical landscape. Sounds and styles from all over Africa are used but reggae, hip-hop and synth-pop tracks still dot the album’s landscape. There are tracks in both English and the Rwandan language of Kinyarwanda as John Withers and Emmanuel Nzaramba trade vocals back-and-forth. It’s a shame John Wizards wasn’t released earlier in the summer, the eclectic musical style and short length of the tracks really make it a fun and entertaining album. – Felix Jovel

 

Edited by: Nathan Kerce

It’s hard to imagine Clams Casino being the best choice to soundtrack a violent rampage but hey, when it works, it really works. Grand Theft Auto V released last week and has already become the fastest selling videogame of all time. Neon Indian, Twin Shadow, Hudson Mohawke, A$AP Rocky and tons of other people contributed original songs to be played over the in-game radio that were compiled into a soundtrack that was released this week. One notable exclusion was brand new Clams Casino track “Crystals” (that was included as a selection on the Flying Lotus-curated station Flylo FM). It appropriately goes a little bit harder than most of Clams moody, cloud beat tracks and has a sinister vibe that compliments the bad deeds of the game’s protagonists. Listen and download “Crystals” here or just go play the game, it’s amazing.

By: Nathan Kerce