This month's mix is the biggest one yet. I tried to narrow it down, but there is just so much good stuff coming out lately. Not a bad problem to have. It starts off with a new track from Here We Go Magic, the group that contains Luke Temple. His 2013 album, Good Mood Fool, stays in my LP crate most of the time.
They made a pretty cool video for Falling, the first single from the new album, Be Small. I think my favorite part is the guy running and playing a guitar solo at the same time. This album is great and a bit of a departure from their last. It seems like the electronics from Good Mood Fool may have influenced this one. Also, this new album was home recorded, as opposed to 2012's A Different Ship, produced by Radiohead's Nigel Godrich. It's pretty frickin' good.
Next up is Clover, from Pure Bathing Culture's new album, Pray for Rain. It totally met my expectations after hearing the first single -- a wonderful evolution from their 2013 album, Moon Tides, which is also worth a listen.
The next track is from DIIV, a rock band from Brooklyn, which appears to mostly be one Z. Cole Smith. A good friend of mine claims this is the jam of the year, and he may be right. The woozy, yet speedy jangle of Dopamine sounds like a lost Ride track or something from a band like The Ropers on Slumberland 20 years ago. Delicious.
Cass McCombs released a rocking new single called Evangeline that I am really digging. I was pretty surprised as the last two times I've seen him play it was with the Cass McCombs Skiffle Players at Huichica. That is a group of groovy and talented Southern CA band dudes like Farmer Dave from Beachwood Sparks. It was awesome, but it sounded much closer to the cosmic-ness of the Flying Burrito Brothers or the Grateful Dead than than this up tempo rocker. Dude can write a song.
The album I've listened to the most this month is Tetrachromat by Daniel T. from Cosmic Kids. Try out the first 3 songs and see if you aren't hooked, they are all jamz. It is released by Los Angeles label, Young Adults, self proclaimed purveyors of future body musics: grow house, sultry sleaze, deep lurk, sunsoaked slowburn and deviant disco. This is right up my alley -- the kind of tracks I like to make and play in the Lost & Found beer garden on Sunday afternoons at GRDN Gold. I would even call it West Coast disco or afternoon disco as Poolside is fond of calling their music. This seems to be a trend over the last few years with groups like Sorcerer, The Beat Broker, Windsurf, Hatchback, and Yalls turning out slow burning pseudo disco tunes for warm summer days and nights. I'm hooked. There is even a great cover of "Boy" by 80s synth pop group, Book of Love. Sweet. The video for Planetesimal is also great, I love this song.
Maybe it is just my taste lately, but as I'm listening through this mix, I notice there are a lot of female sung electro pop songs. It just makes me feel good when it is done right and not too poppy or too electro. I already mentioned Pure Bathing Culture, but there is also a great new tune from Young Galaxy, who have even further embraced electronic sounds on their new album, Falsework. Plus we have Moonbabies, Superhumanoids, TOPS, Class Actress, Sjowgren, and Sarah P.
Speaking of synth pop, I also had to throw in a new track from New Order, one of high school/college favorites. Music Complete is their strongest album in years, with the lead off track, Restless, sounding like it could have been on my favorite album of theirs, Technique, from 1989.
I received Part 3 of IS TROPICAL's 10" album series this month from Axis Mundi Records. The vinyl is late apparently, this happens a lot these days with the "resurgence", but they sent the CD version and a free CD by another of their acts, Psymon Spine, along with a nice handwritten note explaining the situation. I found out about IS TROPICAL a while back from a friend's Spotify feed and "subscribed" to their album. What? Yes, they are releasing their album, Black Anything, as a series of five 10 inch records over the course of the next year or so. If you buy the bundle, they ship you each record as it is released with artwork that is a tribute to the continent it was recorded in. When all 5 clear vinyl records are stacked on top of each other, the unique etchings of the continents on each record will create the globe, unifying the concept as a whole. Pretty cool, eh? This label and their bands all seem a bit strange and mysterious, and I love it all so far.
Lastly, there is a new album out on Soundway Records, one of my favorite labels that is known for their amazing compilations of old music from far off places as well as releasing new innovative artists from around the world like Fantasma, Fumaca Preta and Ibibio Sound Machine.
Dexter Story is a Los Angeles producer and multi-instrumentalist who, after a chance gig as a drummer with Ethio Cali playing Ethiopian jazz, decided to write songs fusing these new influences with his already extensive musical education. On his debut Soundways release, Wondem, the results are groovy and fascinating. NPR did a nice review that sums it up fairly well.
Alright folks, that's it for me today. Until next week, be good to each other.