Mini-Beats – July 2011 – Edition 46

WarpaintThe Fool (2010, Rough Trade) ♥♥♥
:seems like YEARS ago that bloggers were hard pimpin’ these ladies as ‘the next big thing’…well I’m a little late to the show so this opinion will count for next to nothing now that we’ve not heard a peep from them since they came rolling through here with Zola Jesus and The XX; oh, the music? it’s a muted variety of gothic, dream-pop not unlike those XX cats: (buy vinyl)
Le DaysDead People On Tape (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
:sparse and fragile folk from Sweden’s Daniel Hedin (with help from friends); at 78 minutes it runs a bit long but his striking emotional outpouring should keep even the most ADD-afflicted listener on the edge of their seat in anticipation of what will come next:
JesuAscension (2011, Caldo Verde) ♥♥♥½
:this is admittedly my first true experience with anything Justin has ever done so I have no frame of reference to compare this to; with that in mind, I found Ascension more in line with the slow low-end churn of 90’s alt-indie kings Hum than Slint/EITS (amateur Pitchfork reviewer…); tracks 2,3,4 make a killer trio but the album has a tendency to repeat itself and drag on a bit: (buy vinyl)
Snake OilSnake Oil (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥
:groove-based instrumental passages featuring members of Weigh Down & Titles that occasionally sound like Black Moth Super Rainbow/Tobacco outtakes: (buy vinyl)
Victory & AssociatesThese Things Are Facts (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
:rowdy but melodic indie rock from San Fran featuring the former singer of Replicator (blast from the past there…); this is a West Coast sound filtered through matter-of-fact, Midwestern mannerisms (dig that alliteration) not unlike The Hold Steady: (buy vinyl)
Closely Watched TrainsClosely Watched Trains (2009, Twin Lakes) ♥♥♥½
:CWT present a hodgepodge of back-porch Americana and quasi-hippie-folk-rock from the burgeoning New Haven, CT scene; this is earnest music at its most refined:
Dignan PorchDeluded (2011, Captured Tracks) ♥♥♥
:another entrant into the long (currently) line of melodic, mid-fi garage pop bands from the UK RIYL Real Estate, Beach Fossils: (buy vinyl)
Jill AndrewsThe Mirror (2011, Liam) ♥♥♥½
:Jill has backed up her beautiful, unmistakable voice with an exceptional batch of songs…I was concerned all of her best work was behind her as a member of the (still-missed) Everybodyfields but that’s not the case; might be easy listening for some but this occupies a niche that I sometimes need to call upon; RIYL Lissie:
Sam BayI Have A Fever (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
:Sam may or not be recognizable to BTID readers under his former stage name Sam Skarstad due to his inclusion on one of my all-time fave monthly mixes (December 2005); this is crafty, ‘orchestral’ psyche-folk with gentle guitar plucks, electronic flourishes and trippy lyrical passages; don’t pass up Sam’s new Philly/Brooklyn based project Snakes Say Hisss…pretty impressive for a lad of only 20!:
AustraFeel It Break (2011, Domino/Paper Bag) ♥♥♥♥
:Katie Stelmanis has finally found a bit of recognition with her Polaris Prize nominated Feel; her voice is a perfect fit for these euphoric, goth-pop dance numbers; RIYL Zola Jesus, Crystal Castles: (buy vinyl)
Eddie VedderUkelele Songs (2011, Island) ♥♥♥
:it would appear Vedder is one of the few (if not the only) music pioneers of the 90’s grunge era to artisticly thrive in the post-flannel years; he gets help from Chan Marshall (Cat Power) and Glen Hansard (Frames) but this is mainly his gig with vocals, uke and minor accompaniment plus a few covers:
The Go! TeamRolling Blackouts (2011, Memphis Industries) ♥♥½
:a playful but scatterbrained trip through indie-pop psychedelia and melodic weirdness from this UK collective…couple of knockout tracks but a lot of (instrumental) filler; rumor has it their first two LP’s are more substantial: (buy vinyl)
The LongwallsCareers In Science (2011, Static Motor) ♥♥♥♥
:having been one of Boston’s best kept secrets for years, The Longwalls have crafted a start-to-finish power-pop gem with equal amounts jangle and twang that hopefully extends their audience beyond Beantown; also features BTID favorite Kurt von Stetten on drums:
Here We Go MagicJanuary EP (2011, Secretly Canadian) ♥♥♥
:I felt the same way about this stopgap/leftovers EP as I did the recent LP (Pigeons)…there’s fine moments here (the bubbly post-punkish sound of ‘Backwards Time’) but not a whole lot to keep this on the iPod permanently:
The ACB’sStona Rosa (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
:it might be a bit lazy to say a lot of these tracks sound inspired by (or derivative of) Weezer or Fountains Of Wayne but hot-damn catchy tracks like ‘Italian Girls’ rip a page right out of Rivers Cuomo’s diary; RIYL Weezer, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, modern indie power-pop circles:
SkeletonsPeople (2011, Shinkoyo) ♥♥♥½
:noodly and angular avant-rock sprinkled with elements of jazz, folk, weirdness and profanity; add vocalist’s Matt Mehlan’s inviting, matter-of-fact style (Chris Leo of The Van Pelt?) and this becomes strange brew, but an invigorating affair; peeps whose tastes regularly from 4/4 time signatures and verse-chorus-verse formulas will find a lot to love here; RIYL Battles:

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