This one is less of “here’s new neat stuff” and more of a “here’s what’s been in my ears this week” not that there’s anything wrong with that.
MSTRKRFT – Operator (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
Those magnificent bastards. Half of Death From Above 1979 combined with half of a Toronto synthpop duo making punishing, noisy club bangers. It’s pretty brutal and heavy but still more disco than punk. Fans of early Justice and harder Daft Punk will be very intrigued.
Riders in the Sky – Cowboy Songs (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
Sometimes, you just need cowboy songs. Perfectly produced, completely sincere (without a hint of irony) cowboy songs just speak to me, for some reason. I think it’s a combination of a childhood in Texas and growing up with A Prairie Home Companion, but there are days where I just want fiddles, finger-strummed guitars, and velvety voices singing about the range and homes that or may not be on it.
I am Robot and Proud – Light and Waves (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
One of the styles of music that I love without reservation that I have not yet seen morph into pop music or be gutted for its commercial value is…whatever it is that I am Robot and Proud makes. It’s not quite microhouse or minimal techno because it’s so laid back, but it’s sleepy and bleepy at the same time. Anyway, with this album, there’s hardly a computer to be found as all of the sounds come from real actual instruments but the songwriting and arrangements are straight out of a Powerbook G4-era machine. Super chill and excellent all around.
Teen Girl Scientist Monthly – Hyper Trophy (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
Remember, in 2006, all that yelpy indie rock that exploded out of Brooklyn like everyone had just heard the Talking Heads for the first time and they were SO EXCITED about it? I guess it’s been long enough that people are nostalgic for that sound. Really. Yeah, I’m shocked too. But if all of those bands were as good as TGSM (easily in the running for best band name in a while) then I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. It’s indie rock in that earnest, sweater-wearing “we made a zine about our favorite band” kind of way that it’s really easy to make fun of unless you just decide to rock out along with everyone else.
The Planet The – Physical Angel (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
It’s funny seeing how bands describe themselves on their Bandcamp page. The Planet The calls themselves a “progressive, punk, no wave band” but I feel like they are definitely neglecting to mention the math rock and metal elements in their music. Also the parts where someone with a vocoder just dominates the track (check out High School Hands, probably my favorite track) definitely deserve a mention. So maybe I’d call it “psychedelic math rock with robot vocalist” or something.
Qrion – EP (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
I can’t get enough of Qrion‘s tracks. The music is in a constant state of evolution, transforming and going from quiet ambient soundscape to total head-nodding jam in moments. A perennial fave.