Weekend Listening: New Jams
Pretty much every week I come to this space and get to rhapsodize about music I love. Typically, I spend the week delving deep into an album, running through tracks over and over, playing it for friends, asking about their memories and lives and what this or that track calls up for them. That thoughtfulness and attention (I hope to Christ anyway) is apparent in the columns each week, but what is missing is the sporadic and random way we all get to new music. For all the time I’m spending thinking about the album of the week, I’m also listening to old favorites, things from my friends, live shows, and new stuff I run across in podcasts or record stores. This week I want to bring some new loves to you that I’m just getting into, not fully married to just yet, but engaged with, if you will.
Although a well-known band, a classic in that post-punk electronic way, this three-piece just came to my attention when their third album, Pussy’s Dead, released earlier this year. With shoegaze, fuzz, and electronic elements entwined with crisp and creative beats and vocals from all three, the various tracks I’ve heard have that dreamy yet driving quality that I can’t resist. In addition to the evocative sound they produce, their musical chops are impressive. With members serving in Failure and Ednaswap, and one of the most badass fucking female drummers I’ve ever run across in Carla Azar, I’m becoming entranced. This cut, “Spots,” is from their second album Transit Transit, the one which pulled me into their sound and is informing all my night time drives lately.
Holy fuck do I love Richmond’s music scene. So much good music is being played in this city right now, and one of my favorite releases this year comes from a beloved band, Clair Morgan. Even though I listened to this album 48 hundred times in order to write a review for our local, RVAmag.com, I am still putting this on, still hearing new licks and dips in the tracks. Imagine indie pop with a more garage-y guitar and you’ll be on the right track.
Let’s Eat Grandma
If I didn’t already love this grammar-derived band name, I would after hearing their witchy, ethereal sound. Two days ago I heard this track and stood at my stove so long, entranced by the raindrop piano backing near-shrieks of the duo that my onions burned. They invoke the creepiness and mysticism of childhood without the veneer of purity that gets thrown over that time period, not just as a result of their ages but more the combination of those vocals and that misty fog drone. And goddammit if they are teenagers. Can you imagine what we’re going to get from them if they’re THIS FUCKING GOOD so fucking young? Ugh. Can’t deal.
Like probably many people my age, my premier experience with this band was through the song “Happy Together.” This song is kind of a piece of shit. I mean, it’s got a cool military beat, a backing vocal chorus for the…ugh…chorus, but it’s shitty. Like it’s only for the two of them. And isn’t there a Coke commercial with this song (there is)? Whatever, throw that out the window and listen to “Buzzsaw.” This track fucking kills it, shows promise in that psych rock drone. I’m going through their catalog again, looking for gems like this, and rethinking a band I’d written off when I was 7 years old. I debated, honestly, putting this band on this list, but with bands that lived and died before we were born, it’s good to get away from the Greatest Hits and Top 40 to see what the fuck they were actually doing.