It’ll All Be Over – The Supreme Jubilees (Reissue Review)

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The Supreme Jubilees released It’ll All Be Over their only album in 1981. Straddling gospel and disco, it soars in the funky heavenly rafters of church. The opening track “Do You Believe” goes down smooth and sultry like the chocolate pudding of your dreams. That laid-back drum beat, accentuated organ, and liquid funk guitar mesh themselves together into a silky blend that snuggles the senses. Dim the lights, cast the rose petals, and allow these warming tones to get it steamy. Yes, the lyrics plea for the salvation of a friend’s and your souls in Jesus Christ’s resurrection and that […]

“My Baby Don’t Understand Me (Live)” – Natalie Prass

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Back in January of this year, Natalie Prass unleashed her fully-orchestrated, genre-touring, wham-bam of a debut album. Matthew E. White of Spacebomb Records co-produced her self-titled stunner and by the sound of it, heavily influenced the instrumentation that propelled Prass’ record into the sweet sonic cosmos (he’s credited with horn arrangements while strings belong to Trey Pollard). The orchestration sounds delightfully similar to that which supports White’s own records; in fact, the players may be the same since Spacebomb belongs to White. The band plays in lockstep precision–a feature kept consistent on Natalie Prass’ second release of the year, an […]

Try to Be Hopeful – The Spook School

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Try To Be Hopeful rallies anthemic pop punk against heteronormativity and binaristic gender constructions. It’s queer bubblegum sonic bliss for people who still believe in punk as one of the most concisely radical art forms out there. “Burn Masculinity” proclaims The Spook School’s intent from the album’s front lines. First, singer Nye Todd gets real in a verse self-reflecting on his complicity and role in oppression as a white, transgender man: “I’ve got to accept that I’ve inherited a history / of persecution and abuse / And I’ve got to accept that I’m inheriting a privilege / that I should […]

A Night With Ratboys

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Exactly a month ago, a friend and I trekked northward from Des Moines up to Ames, Iowa. It was Fall Break 2k15 and we had decided a couple weeks previously to check out a house show. A bunch of stellar bands were on the ticket, but we were both especially excited to witness the Topshelf Records post-country newcomers Ratboys. A couple days prior to the show, I sent out an email to the band hoping to lock down a quick interview. I was thoroughly pleased to receive  a very enthusiastic follow up.  I met up with guitarist/vocalist Julia Steiner and guitarist […]

“T.I.W.Y.G.” – Savages

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After having just caught my breath from their epic, 37 minute noise rock collaboration with Japanese noise group Bo Ningen, Savages have begun releasing music again. The confrontational, highly political post punk four piece released the second single from their upcoming album Adore Life earlier this week. “T.I.W.Y.G” is a blistering, 3:00 minutes of Savages pushing the limits of their sound.   The song opens with unintelligible guitar feedback that quickly is supplanted by a full, driving bassline. Lead singer and Savages figurehead Jehnny Beth echoes the rhythmic syncopation of the bass with the song’s threatening mantra – “This is […]

“Lust” – Willis Earl Beal

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“I want to emphasise that fame and fortune, that’s not where it’s at. It can give you a lot of things; it’s given me a way to express myself, but at the same time what I’m doing now – riding my bike, making music alone – that’s the way I started out. That’s what I know.” Taken from his interview with the Guardian, Willis Earl Beal’s reflection on his current state confesses a sort of resigned contentment. Returning to his musical roots means freedom, but also in his case, a place of poverty and displacement. Beal grew up in Chicago before […]

Empyrean Isles – Herbie Hancock (Reissue Review)

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  It’s 1964. Your hips are aching and creaking after responding to the call of “Twist and Shout” for a solid year now. It’s time for a break. So you browse the record shop and–hey there, what’s this? Miles Davis’ hip new pianist dropped an album? Herbie Hancock, yeah, that’s that cat who said ‘fuck the man’ and left Grinnell college for the ragged New York City artist’s life. Ah, I can dig it. The needle drops into the groove and so do you. Chin down, head swaying, your shoulders shimmy along to the hard-bop rhythm of “One Finger Snap.” […]

Fading Frontier – Deerhunter

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My friend’s top-floor apartment here in West Philadelphia is loaded with the best music setup I’ve seen in quite a while. The soundtrack to this rainy afternoon on the couch is Deerhunter’s new album. Deerhunter released their seventh studio album, Fading Frontier, on October 16, 2015. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, the band features Bradford Cox on guitars, vocals and keyboards, Moses Archuleta on drums, Lockett Pundt (guitar, vocals) Josh McKay (bass). In regards to Fading Frontier‘s influences, Cox has made an extensive interactive map that ranges from the poetry of Pablo Neruda to the Pacific Coast Highway. I found […]

Best Blues – Small Black

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When Small Black’s first LP New Chain first appeared in 2010, the synthpop quartet was immediately designated by bloggers as chillwave and situated into the bounds of that music trend, an unfairly reductive critique. While it is most definitely true that Small Black’s initial material was riding on the chilled out atmosphere of 2009/2010 synth driven indie music, chalking them off as merely another chill vibe band was truly a grievous mistake. While their contemporaries Washed Out and Neon Indian were tapping into 80’s nostalgia and Toro y Moi exploring experimentally tinged etherealness, Small Black was approaching straightforward pop rock […]

“Something Soon” – Car Seat Headrest

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On the track “Something Soon,” Will Toledo part-speaks, -shouts, and -sings, “I want to break something important / I want to kick my head in the shins.” It’s the perfect whiny and melodramatic utterance needed to kick off a total lo-fi pop rock banger.   “Something Soon” is one of the pre-released singles from his upcoming debut release on Matador Records, Teens of Style. However, the debut description is a bit misleading because both “Something Soon” and all the other songs on the album are not new. Teens of Style compiles remastered and rerecorded tracks already self-released by Toledo on […]