You know that hollow space between falling asleep and trying to imagine the sounds you hear at night? Like, how yesterday you heard an entire conversation outside, but there was nobody there, so really what you heard was an audible hallucination emitting from an air purifier in the living room. Then a *creek* and your sig-nif is standing directly behind you and is like, “Who’s out there?” And you reveal it’s nobody, showing your potentially going crazy, so falling completely asleep becomes something of a challenge and a race against time and your alarm to make that paycheck on time in the morning. Linden Pomeroy does all this in the most peaceful way possible by following the always lit Illuminated Paths to Resurface.
Structurally, Resurface is both a practice in strumming and finding out how far effects on a strum can stretch around pensive angelic vocals. Cut back to that unforgiving manic night; remember, you’re a maniac? What Linden Pomeroy provides listeners is a very PG-rated, toned-down version of audible hallucination by-way of the sandman. It’s almost as if Resurface means “To Help Relax” in old Germanic tongue. And much like the front-cover, Linden Pomeroy seeps into life like a haze that’s worth waiting out than shaking off. Resurface is practice in satiating your inanity. Illuminated Paths knows ‘caught they popped it on professionally at-home high bias reels for your calming pleasure, including two cassette only bonus tracks.
Roll with Linden Pomeroy’s Resurface below and find yourself on the tape slang at Illuminated Paths ASAP:
“Not A Party”
I became concerned upon initial listenings that The Bower, the new record by Austerlitz, NY group Pigeons, might cause a flare-up of the dread “NRBQ Syndrome” (a.k.a. “GBVitis”), a horrible disease contracted exclusively by rock critics. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, the piling of superlatives upon a band NOT because of any unusual things theyare doing, but instead because the critic is hearing them as a reverent amalgam of all their favorite music released prior (Wire is always among that favorite music, 100% guaranteed). It’s a tragic illness.
Pigeons has everything necessary to cause such a flare-up (deft and noodly prog/psych guitars, post-punk rawness, an almost Roches-like vocal inflection), but the way they combine their myriad elements is entirely too idiosyncratic to qualify as slavish devotion to any of their myriad precedents. In other words: if they get heralded heavily, it’s not ONLY because most critics are dorks, but because the music actually rules.
Case in point: the track “Not a Party,” which could be reasonably compared to everything from later Incredible String Band to Vince Guraldi to fellow ex-Seattleites Mega Bog, but it oozes and tumbles with such a baffling grace that you might as well just let it be Pigeons. Stop relating it to your record collection, start relating it to your summer road trip plans. The Bower is being relesed by the recently unstoppable MIE Music label this month and you can PRE ORDER HERE.
“SSINGGGG SSCHLLLINGG SSHPPPINGG [sample]”
Minimalist icon Charlemagne Palestine has constructed mind-rending drone odysseys from the sounds of wine glasses, gongs, pianos, harmoniums, organs, his own voice — pretty much a “you name an acoustic instrument capable of sustain, he’s droned on it” kind of thing. Regardless of the instrument he pushes to its breaking point in any given performance, he can bend our perception of time. He can put us to sleep, or he can generate tones too haunting to turn away from. He elicits a physical response. I mean: he can control our bodies.
What happens Palestine leans back in his throne of stuffed animals with a computer in his lap? How does this mind handle the process of digital collage construction? With infinite layering and juxtaposing tactics at his fingertips, he does what he always does. He intractably zones us out. Press play on the 20 minute sample of SSINGGGG SSCHLLLINGG SSHPPPINGG (available now from Idiosyncratics) and sink into a bottomless chasm of organ overtones lined with chirping field recordings, buried vocalizations, and bursts of sampled percussion. The composite of all of these stacked sound sources amounts to a mammoth and quivering mass of tone, flecked with innumerable details that zig-zig between consonance and claustrophobia-inducing atonality.
“Don’t Leave Home Without My Love”
Gearing up the calmer side of outsider rock-and-roll, STATE CHAMPION reigns king of breaking down modern pop trope. By choosing different instruments and stalling vocals, “Don’t Leave Home Without My Love” deteriorates expectation in what’s to come next in the flow of their song. It’s interesting as a summer jammer because STATE CHAMPION is not making it as challenging as it is chill. In addition, the lyrical content’s irony and monotone singing pairs well with the lackadaisical frailty with their pop. Is it the hazy-basement recording sesh or actual emotional stability? Either way, I’m getting a Presidents of the United States of America and Ween vibe from “Don’t Leave Home Without My Love,” and that’s some reappropriation I can fuck with. Maybe a bit of Heatmiser too.
Mostly that “Don’t Leave Home Without My Love” guitar lick got me heated. Like, I swear I never will leave home without it, STATE CHAMPION. And my fiancee will LOVE this violin when she hears it; violins in music like this sorta ring kitschy to me, but don’t mind it either way. Also, the fact that the title is demanding, or a PG-rated threat, makes me chuckle a bit. So grip a glass of spray paint by the bedside, put “Don’t Leave Home Without My Love” on repeat, take that seventh cigarette drag, and pick up STATE CHAMPION’s newest LP Fantasy Error through Sophomore Lounge Records via PRE ORDER PRE ORDER today!
“Best Believe (Hot Mix)”
While many shades of house and techno have experienced a revival of sorts these past few years, vocal house has sadly not been one of them. The standard house track takes a vocal sample and slices and dices to the desired effect, but with Portland’s Gemini Lion, there is one person singing (J. Green) and one person making the music (Avalon Kalin). Kalin’s production, which should be familiar to 100% Silk fans from his work in Polonaise, is crisp and lean, with hints of acid here, and many deep, rafter rattling bass lines there. J. Green is a natural in his role as MC, sing-speaking his way through the “Adoration” EP’s four tracks.
The closer, “Best Believe (Hot Mix),” is a sick rave anthem that has that 3 A.M. dance party vibe, when things get a little too hazy, but you keep on going because why the hell not?!? “Best Believe” and the rest of Gemini Lion’s slim output works well as a headphone listen (which most of you reading are likely doing), but the natural habitat for jams like these are at some warehouse party, late at night, with glow sticks in hand, and a pilly on every tongue :)