No matter the circumstances, no matter the person and their methods, everybody needs time to heal. We find solace in company and in solitude, we reconsider our direction, we put our headphones on and release ourselves momentarily of burdens and commitments. Tim Showalter’s chosen technique is self-assessment through his music; except with the intent to aid the healing process for as many people as he possibly can. And rather than delicately tend to his wounds with cotton swabs and kisses, on HEAL he took a more heavy-handed approach. “I ripped out my subconscious, looked through it, and saw the worst parts. And that’s how I got better.”
Gently falling somewhere between the hazy eye-rubbing of Beach House and the long-hair baroque-pop vibes of Love/The Bryds, Jason Quever’s sixth LP Life Among the Savages is an understated exercise of perfectionism and an admirable labour a of love.
You could sit down with Profanity’s lyric sheet and a highlighter pen, to draw out and call attention to all of the stately quips and profound observations under Caleb Cordes’ employ, but you’d just end up with a page that is completely yellow and sodden with ink.
Hailing from the Toronto underground, Dean Tzenos and his newly-acquired bandmates are renowned for their involving, energetic live shows and a sound that dances between the jagged edges of arrogant noise-rock and the oft-hidden melodic flashes of industrial. If it sounds unusual, it’s because it is; Hard Boiled Soft Boiled is a sonic experiment as much as anything, with a narrative as vivid in timing as it is in theme.
Like Shawn Michaels swaggering to the ring with a wink and a smile, Odonis Odonis’ latest full length Hard Boiled Soft Boiled is a blitzkrieg of highly-charged arrogance; a constant tug-of-war between the industrial stomping of machines and the haze of fuzzy melody that constantly dares you to give a fuck.
It’s surely canon by now that if you make electropop and you hail from Sweden, such as OESS, you’re pretty much halfway there. The bad news is that there’s an obvious and inherent problem: you have a larger need to stand out so as to elicit listeners, to garner an emotional response and a reason for them to choose you over other background-forming compatriots.
We took the chance to catch up with Jacklyn Blumas to discuss the bands’ processes, influences and manifesto.
When I eventually suffer the misfortune of having to host my first dinner party later this year, it won’t be old favourites Can’t Buy a Thrill or Liquid Skin that I’ll turn to for the accompanying background music, it’ll be something like Lost in the Dream.
MASS is a compendium of lullabies for lucid dreamers. Much like the gangly contortionist Amazing Amy Harlib who adorns the cover, it boasts a remarkable malleability. There’s something almost ritualistic about the way these eight tracks are constructed, each a reassembly of the same pieces into different, transformed wholes.
‘I found the notes you left behind; little hints and helpless cries, desperate wishing to be over’ croons Christian Holden on ‘Your Deep Rest’, delivered with the kind of strained melody that only occurs when you’re using every drop of your mental strength to paper over the cracks of the never-ending chasm that lies beneath.