Madalyn Merkey

Well it looks like somebody got a vocoder — and I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout Kanye West. It’s Madalyn Merkey from Chicago, and she’s using it to emit some pretty bedazzling sounds. By simply rambling off improvisational cycles of vocal rhythm into her her fuzzed-out vocoder, Merkey constructs music which feels refreshingly aimless and free yet thoughtful and beautiful.

Available now through New Images Ltd., Merkey’s LP is called Scent. Smell it now.

• Madalyn Merkey:
• New Images Ltd.:

Mount Eerie

“To The Ground”

Last month, we posted a new Mount Eerie track called “House Shape,” a song off Mount Eerie’s upcoming full-length, Clear Moon. Lives were changed. Today, we’re posting another new Mount Eerie track, but it’s not off Clear Moon. The song is called “To The Ground,” and it comes from a new 7-inch featuring Nicholas Krgovich (No Kids), due April 10 on Atelier Ciseaux. (The limited-to-300 release also features a track called “The Mouth of Sky [M.I.D.I. strings],” but you’ll have to purchase the 7-inch if you want to hear that one.) Listen to “To The Ground” here:

Meanwhile, Clear Moon is out May 22 on P.W. Elverum & Sun. Prepare yourself.

• P.W. Elverum & Sun:
• Nicholas Krgovich:
• Atelier Ciseaux:

[Photo: Atelier Ciseaux]


Outputs 3 [album stream]

With such emblematic titles as “986,” “996,” and, how could one forget, “984,” you’d be forgiven for assuming that Koen’s latest release for beat curators Soulection was merely a series of unused beats cobbled together into a release package resembling an album. You would, however, be entirely wrong. As the man says himself: “For this project, I decided to take a different route and make all the tracks from scratch, with a different approach. Inspired by my good friends Duke Hugh and Nangdo, I chose a more up-tempo sound, with a lot of 808 drums.” So we’ve got some jungle, some footwork, and plenty of cropped vocals from rappers. Think of it as a much faster version of this geezer.

• Koen:
• Soulection:

Dirty Projectors

“Gun Has No Trigger”

New Dirty Projectors album coming soon. Details coming soon, too. For now, just listen:

• Dirty Projectors:
• Domino:

Ariel Pink / R. Stevie Moore

Klu Klux Glam [album]

Don’t think. It’s entirely a taste thing. For example, right now in your mouth, what’s that on ya palate? Look in the mirror to see your reaction, maybe. It’s the flavor of Ariel Pink and R. Stevie Moore wrapping around your tongue, throat, ears, brain, spinal cord, tail, toes, etc. I was talking to someone the other day about how a method in storytelling/art now is trying to be serious about not being serious. Examples: Lil B, Transmuteo, Ween, Ferraro. So, Klu Klux Glam is, like, leading the parade right now. Listen to the tongue-in-cheek biting track titles and lyrics, or check that cover photo; this is after you’ve read the album title over and over again. And they did this shit the “old fashioned way” by posting it on bandcamp for a little while before releasing it on CD-R, tape, and now a double LP! So, fuck off you fan or die hard with Klu Klux Glam. #tasteit

Klu Klux Glam:…
• R. Stevie Moore:
• Stroll On Records:

Xiu Xiu / Dirty Beaches

“Always” / “Tu Ne Dis Rien”

As we reported late last month, Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches are releasing a split 7-inch single on April 21 for Record Store Day (fetish alert!). Xiu Xiu’s side features a cover of Erasure’s “Always” (also the title of Xiu Xiu’s latest), while Dirty Beaches covers “Tu Ne Dis Rien” by Françoise Hardy. Check out both tracks below via Polyvinyl. (And hey, while I have you, can I just parenthetically reiterate just how awesome Dirty Beaches’ Badlands is??)

Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches will be going on a joint tour soon. Check out the dates here.

• Xiu Xiu:
• Dirty Beaches:
• Polyvinyl:


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.