“Ballad of the Golden Hour”
Widowspeak’s 2011 self-titled debut was one of the best guitar pop albums of recent memory: a never-ending barrage of woozy pop hooks wrapped in ragged guitar and Molly Hamilton’s silky-smooth soprano. Now, the Brooklyn band is preparing to release its sophomore effort, Almanac, January 22 on Captured Tracks. “Ballad of the Golden Hour” is the first track to be released off that album, and while it retains the band’s characteristic beachy/folky sound, the cut also hints at a more anthemic direction for the band. “Ballad” starts off with a mix of surf and steel guitar (is that the musical equivalent of surf and turf?), but the real joy comes around the halfway mark, when the band snaps out of its daydream and amps up the guitarplay. Think the muddled harmonies of Baltimore contemporaries Beach House, spiked with a bit of Kurt Vile.
“KeKe The Adopted Tabby Cat MAKES HISTORY! FIRST ANIMAL IN HIP HOP! FEAT LIL B !!!”
Lil B has not only been the “voice” of hip-hop for 2012, but he has been the voice of himself as the best artist of 2012. No explanation is necessary on how he transcends self-deprivation through flaw/less character and satirical nonsense. If you haven’t been following, shame on you. But to catch Lil B at THIS moment: KeKe. So enough about Lil B surviving the apocalypse and resurrecting everyone on Earth. Who’s this KeKe?
Prior to KeKe, the cat’s birth name is Tabby. Tabby was born of the clouds and fell to the muck of Earth, finding a home underneath some apartment stairs on the outskirts of California’s Bay Area. While living on the streets for seven years, Tabby made a lot of dreams come true by being a hero to many: licking fire from burn victims, catching dropped babies, practicing human/animal facial reconstruction, [the list continues]. On September 27 this year, BasedGod heard how Tabby saved millions from fatal doom during the quake and adopted the cat as KeKe. Tabby allowed the name and decided to cut Lil B a break between the human and animal worlds by featuring him on the track “KeKe The Adopted Tabby Cat MAKES HISTORY! FIRST ANIMAL IN HIP HOP! FEAT LIL B !!!” #felineswagjuiceismilkkidpleaseareyoustillreadingthishashtagwow
• Lil B: https://twitter.com/LILBTHEBASEDGOD
When I saw Free Weed play “Rainier Beer” from their Lillerne Tapes release Free a few weeks ago in Portland, main man Erik Gage and his on-stage dance support, Unkle Funkle, pantomimed (because the bar didn’t have it) shaking, opening, and spraying tall boys of Rainier all over each other. It was like a scene from some early-90s teenage movie celebrating beer, drugs, and summer break. In fact, Free in its entirety is just pop-punk and fun enough to soundtrack an entire film from the irresponsible-teenagers-making-bad-decisions genre.
Listen to it below, buy the album from Lillerne Tapes, and prepare yourself for some serious bro-ing down.
Before I get to the track review let me just share a little story: on Election Day, I ran into the Game outside of a TGI Friday’s restaurant near Madison Square Garden. I had assumed the mob was because the TGI Friday’s had been designated as a polling place, but then I saw him standing there, taking pictures with fans and just in general being a very nice dude – so I’m gonna just go and declare him the king of that TGI Friday’s.
Anyway, “Black Jesus” is a Sap-produced track that didn’t make Jesus Piece, the California rapper’s upcoming album (it’s set to drop December 11). It’s a very chill track, with a repetitive hook, some zen instrumentals, and a convenient list of luxury items available in the color black. Check it out.
Various Artists: Moon Glyph
Opal Vol. 1 & 2
Like the middle part of a Venn diagram, where the otherwise diverse subjects represented by each circle overlap, Moon Glyph has been using “psychedelic” to piece together a number of different artists for their genre-spanning label for nearly four years. Recently, Moon Glyph released a two-volume compilation of previously unreleased tracks from most of their contributing psychedelic-[insert genre here] artists, spanning 26 tracks and over two hours of music.
You can watch the The Mamas & The Papas-sounding video for Halsan Bazar’s compilation contribution, “Everybody Dies,” below and download the entire mix for free over at the Moon Glyph website.
• Moon Glyph: http://moonglyph.com
Oh man, remember when you couldn’t fucking wait for Microsoft Train Simulator 2?! Yeah, me neither, but I bet it would have been sick! Train Simulator 2 is one example of what the computer industry calls vaporware — software, hardware, and games that were announced and anticipated, but were never actually released to the public. In 2012, we music nerds have a similar word, vaporwave, but it means something different entirely. This digital, sample-driven, cheese-laden, cyber-pop seems to come out of nowhere, with zero hype whatsoever. Maybe I’m just not paying close enough attention, but to me, this music seems to be made by completely anonymous individuals on some Sim island at the surreal midpoint between Los Angeles and Tokyo, who record 2-3 albums a day, and release them on the internet for free every other month or so. Whoever/wherever/wheneverthefuck this shit is coming from, I’m not sick of vaporwave yet. And now that we’re getting deep into fall, the waves are getting smaller and the vapor billows in thick like the autumn mist at dawn.
Infinity Frequencies is one of these mysterious producers, who has released several full-length records in the past few months and has just posted a new one called Sunset Limited. With some familiar samples, creamy sax solos, and extra cheese, Sunset Limited makes for the perfect record to cruise through the drizzle with the heater blasting and the windows down.