Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero Band
“Puerto De Santa Maria”
Wow, does anyone even talk/write about New Weird America anymore? Peeps were way down on that shit when it was poppin’ off. “2010 is the decade of micro-genres.” Maybe it was just another launch for pleasant-sounding music (i.e., hypnagogic, chillwave). Taking flight would mean you have to bear arms a bit. Like Animal Collective out of Here Comes the Indian, Jana Hunter from Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom to Lower Dens, or Joanna Newsome and a triple disc. Musicians have to get stickier if they want to be remembered or produce in the New Weird American scene now.
So, where’d Josephine Foster bring her pleasantly haunted voice box? To The Victor Herrero Band, bringing an appropriately adopted sound through Spanish folk songs in their second collaborative album, Perlas, out now on Fire Records. So grab a baby face, kiss it a bunch, and click play. I’m pretty sure in translation “Puerto De Santa Maria” means baby tangled in beard hair, cause that’s what Foster is lulling up here. Like a satin audio reel from the 50s bowing across nylon guitar strings for maximum stress relief.
“The Tears of a Clown” [Smokey Robinson cover]
P. Diddy may hate the Smokey Robinson classic “The Tears of a Clown” — as he explains in “Coming Home,” he feels like he’s always being addressed whenever it comes on, something that’s obviously quite unsettling — but that doesn’t stop the track from being covered by an ever-growing number of artists. This version comes to us courtesy of Pond, an Australian garage-psych band featuring several Tame Impala alums (not to be confused with the 90s alt-rock band from Portland of the same name). It’s a punchier take on the familiar track, riddled with swaths of swampy guitar buried in reverb. Nick Albrook’s crackly falsetto is backed up by the modest backing harmonies we’ve come to expect from Tame Impala and now this stellar side project. It’s certainly one of the muckier covers to be recorded, but you can’t always please the purists.
Hotel of Lost Light [album stream]
Keith told me to scope Crash Symbols. He got me talking about it and forced his musical knowledge down my mental cavity, eventually pulling an opinion out of me about this release. My concluding opinion? Some Ember’s Hotel of Lost Light is a good effort, but there could be way more than this. Like, them vocals totally could have given a bit of a breakdown. And they ain’t playing the slow-slow card either; they’re on the line of choosing either/or. Oh, but they don’t. Not saying it lands flat or nothing; it’s just in constant fluctuation. Maybe it’s a stressful release. If that’s what they were going for, I’m into it. I mean, I like that whole suspense stuff, just not all the time. If you’re into it all the time, though, buy Hotel of Lost Light off Crash Symbols. Good New York highway driving music.
“Almost Never Got Out”
Damnit. I spend all this money on these really nice headphones, and Wanda Group just up and releases “Almost Never Got Out,” seamlessly slipping back into the murky beat-fuck production he used to scare listeners with when he still called himself Dem Hunger. It feels like a big slap in the face, leaving a mark that reads “NO HEADPHONES WILL CONTAIN ME!” like some smirking noise floor coat of arms. It pisses me off.
Stream “Almost Never Got Out” (part of a split single with “U U I (Super 32)” by another of his aliases, The Hers) below or download here. Then kill some time on his eerie Tumblr page and try to find all of the other pseudonyms he releases music under (Hint: there are six total).
• Wanda Group: http://alienpaint.tumblr.com
“Season Of Risk” / “Be Light”
Ripping their way through the Mythical Beast and off the grid in Coyote, NM, Corinne Sweeney and Jeremiah Cowlin keep the pseudo-exotic sounds of Not Not Fun in heat with their newest 7-inch “Season Of Risk,” trouping under then name Ether Island. Providing an earnest and genuine atmosphere, “Season Of Risk” and its flip-side “Be Light” fluctuate between the ransacked and the fleshed out: “Season Of Risk” being that hesitant moment when you question our modern American individualism involving storytelling, technology talk, food, fashion, easy-to-do, etc., and “Be Light” being more free-spirited in smash-grabbing any kind of individual thought and restricting it with 21st-century philosophy. Oh, wait, 21st-century American philosophy revolves around vampires and the apocalypse? Perfect! Slap Ether Island on ya player and bugg-out!
“Season Of Risk”:
Keep a look out for “Season Of Risk” and way-way more goodies on Not Not Fun.