4AD

TDoL Best of 2012: 10-1

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 | musiX | No Comments

1. Tilts – Tilts (Robotic Empire)

2. Swans – The Seer (Young God)

3. Lisabö – Animalia Lotsatuen Putzua (Bidehuts)

4. King Tuff – King Tuff (Sub Pop)

5. Ozarks – Ozarks (Wil-Ru Records)

6. Sic Alps – Sic Alps (Drag City)

7. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes (4AD)

8. The Men – Open Your Heart (Sacred Bones)

9. Thee Oh Sees – Putrifiers II (In The Red)

10. Gaytheist – Stealth Beats (Good to Die Records)

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Deerhunter becomes hunted

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | musiX | No Comments

Bradford Cox has always unabashedly worn two hats—that of musician and that of music fan. It’s ridiculously goddamn endearing. And it’s, perhaps, the thing that makes his band Deerhunter‘s music so genuine, and so good.

There are three things about the band’s new record Halcyon Digest (out now on 4AD) that speak to me: a) Bradford Cox’s pop sensibilities; b) Cox’s ability to blend those pop sensibilities so seamlessly with trippy, ambient noise; and c.1) the word “halcyon” is in the title.

Without ever setting out to be another neo-psychedelic rock band, Cox has written some of the best garage pop out there. “Revival” shows his love for the Supremes and the Troggs. “Helicopter,” on the other hand, cops more from his Atlas Sound project, blending the old with the new, the arty with the simple. Simply put—Halcyon Digest falls right in line with my all of my musical values … which leads me to c.2) this record is damn-near perfection. Above all else, it’s damn pretty.

“Revival”Deerhunter

“Helicopter”Deerhunter

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Let Ariel Pink haunt your house

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 | musiX | No Comments

It appears as though Ariel Pink is finding his way into a few more homes this year (you want the guy on the right inside your home, don’t you?)—the good thing is nothing’s really changed since his early daze … save for a new label and an actual recording budget.

Perhaps one of the most compelling listens this year, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti sounds like the childhood of anyone over the age of 35. Not in an ironic way. I’m relatively sure Pink (born Ariel Rosenberg) is doing what comes naturally (I can usually tell when a band is trying too hard, although that photo isn’t helping my claim). Before Today is a flawless, lo-fi nod to that magical era from 1977 to 1983 that sails sunny yacht rock right into the eye of the coke-blizzard of Studio 54. And I’m hooked.

Apparently this is a step up production-wise for Pink, who is now backed by his band Haunted Graffiti. It’s still gritty. I kept waiting for freaky funk number “Beverly Kills” to explode, but was glad that it never got past sounding like a lost Tavares track from the early-’80s. Before Today is full of surprises … in fact, Ariel Pink might be in the room with you as we speak.

“Beverly Kills”Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

“Round and Round”Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

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The Eagles have landed

Monday, October 20th, 2008 | musiX | No Comments

The anticipation for Department of Eagles‘ new album has been simmering since early 2007 when Stereogum and Gorilla vs Bear were doting over the demo version of “No One Does It Like You.” In Ear Park was finally released earlier this month, right after the group’s (according to some) so-so performance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

The Brooklyn two-piece is comprised of Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen, who met at New York University in 2000. They recorded songs in their dorm room and released their debut The Cold Nose in 2003. Rossen, of course, went on to join Grizzly Bear in 2004, and over the last four years the two pieced ideas together for what would become In Ear Park—11 songs steeped in nostalgic tales (the album is dedicated to Rossen’s late father) with lush production. Simmering, now steeped … that concludes my use of cooking references.

Anyway, there are plenty of reasons to dote over this song. Listen to it. Then listen again. Again. Peel back each layer. If this isn’t enough, Daytrotter released today its session with Department of Eagles, including “Balmy Night” from In Ear Park, and the unpolished, unreleased “What Is Your Deal.” Deeelish.

“No One Does It Like You”Department of Eagles

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