Escaper makes me feel like I’m riding inside one of those clouds you could jump Mario into in Super Mario Brothers 3, if you were good enough at kicking turtle shells to knock out the Goomba piloting the thing. Then, you could just sail above the rest of the level, collecting secret coins floating in the air and watch as the brightly-colored landscapes filled with strange dinosaur-hybrid monsters passed by just below the cloud like an 8-bit take on psychedelic art. Man, they sure don’t make ‘em like they used to.
Stream all of Grapefruit’s Escaper below and look for the album from AMDISCS.
“Rock Bottom” / “Octopus”
A few months ago, word of a new The Streets-quoting King Krule single, “Rock Bottom,” spread across the interweb like regal trumpets ringing out the arrival of his royal majesty. Since then, the single has been released via London’s Rinse and given a music video representation filled with the good kind of born-to-lose teenage angst.
Watch the video and check out the stream of the dreamy island B-side, “Octopus,” below. And if you really, really like it, you can even pay money for the single (it’s not on Mediafire; I already checked), and help put the young Mr. Krule through college.
“The Gentle Sounds” [excerpt]
Whatever/whoever the fuck Comfort Link is, it’s my favorite thing I’ve heard this year. Mysterious mechanical drones that evolve eons over the course of two short sides on a tape from Baltimore’s super-intriguing label, sPLeeNCoFFin. This excerpt should be enough to give you one of these, but for the full effect, you’d be better off hearing the whole thing on the cassette.
• sPLeeNCoFFiN: http://www.spleencoffin.com
“Lines” (feat. A$AP Rocky & Phantogram)
Here’s another track off Big Boi’s upcoming LP, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors: “Lines,” a collaboration with A$AP Rocky and Phantogram. Carried by a gritty electro-funk riff, the dynamic track features exactly the kind of clever verses you’ve come to expect from the two MCs (topics covered include: success, PETA, Jesus, and being a total badass), set adrift in trippy synths. Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel lends her characteristic smooth melodies to the mix as well. But what makes the track so good is the, ahem, “line” of tension running through it; the shifts in both tempo and delivery pop up when you least expect them. It makes for an intense and rewarding listening experience.
Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors is out December 11.
“All This Wanting”
Slim Twig is a very close friend of U.S. Girls; he even runs Calico Corp with U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy. And it’s through his own label and Toronto’s Pleasence Records that he’s released A Hound at the Hem, a fascinating whirligig of an album that includes collaborations with fellow Torontonian Owen Pallett. The melodies are straightforward and Gainsbourg-esque but suddenly and thrillingly give way to creepier stuff — foreboding brass blasts or counter-melodic piano — which is fitting for an album that pays tribute to Nabokov’s Lolita and Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson.
The video below is for “All This Wanting,” the first single from Hem. It was shot in Montreal by Emily Pelstring (who has also made videos for U.S. Girls, AIDS Wolf, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan) and her puppeteering friends using a vintage camera to, as Pelstring put it, “give it an ’80s Sesame Street-gone-wrong vibe.” And it shows: the video begins cheesily enough, with goofy lighting and silly looking puppets. But as the song progresses, the sunniest of pop songs turns very, very dark. It’s a playful take on pop, one of the strongest from the Toronto psych scene.
A Hound at the Hem is available now through Calico Corp/Pleasence.
“122 Hours of Fear”
“122 Hours of Fear” is a song originally by The Screamers, a phantom LA punk band of the late 70’s who never recorded or released a record. Now, the Detroit duo ADULT. is covering the track to herald their return back to recorded music. Their cover should maybe be called “113 Minutes of Fear,” however, as they’ve spent the past several years engineering Three Grace(s), their three-film horror cinema experience, which runs at that length and was screened with ADULT.’s live soundtrack accompaniment.
This cover employs a bit more control than the original, as delivered by frontman Tomata du Plenty. The clarity makes it disarming in its own way, while also giving it a sense of B-movie melodrama by allowing us to hear the paranoia in the lyrics, and later the seemingly arbitrary yet highly sinister “122” repeated again and again until the song goes off it’s tracks.
ADULT.’s Shari Vari / 122 Hours of Fear 7” is available now from Ghostly International.