Audacity: Butter Knife
Audacity?s latest full-length Butter Knife is still, at its core, a garage rock record. The economic instrumentation, grit-tinged guitar jangle, pogo-prompting tempos, and sing-along choruses can all be traced back to the seminal Nuggets collections. But ultimately, Butter Knife doesn?t sound so much like an homage to The Sonics as it sounds like a young band striving to make the most ebullient and jubilant noise possible. Album opener ?Couldn?t Hold A Candle? is a perfect introduction to Audacity?s battle plan?a balanced blend of pop sensibility and ribald power. ?Hole In The Sky? showcases the band?s gift for the on-the-dime changes, sophisticated melodies, and clever instrumental interplay. ?Red Wine? demonstrates a Robert Pollard-like knack for turning an unexpected chord combination into a remarkably punchy chorus. And album closer ?Autumn? harkens back to the balladry of power pop kings Big Star. All of which is to say, Audacity are tighter and more clever than your average suburban band, and consequently they?re one of the strongest acts in the Southern Californian garage rock scene.
Botany: Lava Diviner (True Story)
When our human experiences defy articulation, music and film can sometimes be the only languages we have to communicate with. In 1975, Peter Weir directed Picnic at Hanging Rock, a haunting film in which a group of schoolgirls disappear while exploring a volcanic rock in the Australian outback. Through the film, Weir explores landscapes of intense memory, and the mysterious forces that bend, mold, and erode the core of our psyches. Similarly, Lava Diviner (Truestory), the debut full-length from Texas native, Spencer Stephenson, gives voice to those ancient transformative forces within ourselves, amplified to the point of distortion by the dry Texas heat.
Though texturally inspired by early new age records like Iasos? Inter-Dimensional Music, and sample-based collage ventures like Colleen?s Everyone Alive Wants Answers, Lava Diviner (Truestory) is reinforced with a robust percussive backbone. Still, Stephenson never resorts to shallow MPC trickery or contrived mixtape clumsiness. Instead, his proto-new age textures float elegantly atop a primal boom-bap pulse to paint a detailed, rhythmic mural that has the scope of a ?70s prog rock epic. ?On Lava Diviner, I wanted to conjure that same headspace that artists like Roger Dean, and even Zdzislaw Beksinski project in their iconic paintings,? says Stephenson. ?I tried to evoke those grand, colorful, surreal landscapes that are mind-bending yet oddly comforting - sci-fi and epic and holy, all at the same time.?
Brad Laner: Nearest Suns
You can't get away from the sun. Brad Laner returns with his third solo album, created in the winds swirling around the reuniting of his cult noise-pop band and American shoegaze pioneers, Medicine. Like Neighbor Singing and Natural Selections before it, Nearest Suns was composed, played, and recorded entirely in Laner's Granada Hills, California home by Laner himself. It's an old new universe in twelve songs, shattering what it means to be called a singer-songwriter, messing around with the noticion of getting older, and soundtracking the infinite distortion and infinite harmony of falling in and out of love.
Bump & the Soul Stompers: 'I Can Remember' b/w 'Standing On The Outside'
At the core of Kansas City?s vibrant classic-era soul scene was no record label or studio, but America?s Best Attractions, run by booking agent Allen Bell. America?s Best, and the exceedingly above-board Bell, kept countless local acts roadweary and comfortably paid. Bump & the Soul Stompers, ledby Jerald ?Bump? Scott, was among several Bell-related acts that bounced through enviable careers without ever having to enter a recording studio. Even so, ?Bump? Scott did lead his band into one of the region?s best-known facilities: Damon Studios (deeded to Victor Damon, inventor of thespring reverb, and not to be confused with big band great Vic Damone). Bump and company?s first single, had ever been released, ?I Can Remember? momentarily recalls The Delfonics? ?Do You Remember? before flipping its melody the other way around. On the B-side, ?Standing On The Outside? makes further appeals to the lowrider set, brakepedaling the tempo a notch or two.
Calvin Harris: 'Love's Recipe' b/w 'Wives Get Lonely Too'
Previously unreleased, this 1972 pair of Calvin Harris? masterfully crafted Earl Wiley-produced sweet soul demos might?ve stayed totally unknown, if it weren?t for Ed Cody?s devious forethought. An engineer at Chicago?s Stereosonic facility, Cody duped himself a submaster reference copy of thecomplete session. In ?73, Wiley heard ?Love Won?t Pay The Bills? on 45?credited to a group called Elevation?and instantly recognized the Cody-engineered track as his own. Nearly 40 years later, through Numero Group research into Stereosonic, Cody, and Wiley, a cache of Cody masters presented themselves for new evaluation. The alternately buoyant and sobering odes to domesticity reproduced here finally grant honey-voicedHarris and the talented Wiley their long-deserved due.
Cian Nugent & The Cosmos: Born With The Caul
Cian Nugent is a guitar player from Dublin, Ireland whose music combines personal passions, such as suburban/coastal blues, traditional music, 1960s & ?70s singer-songwriters, psychedelic rock,critically jazz ambitions and 20th century composition. Born With The Caul is his first full length with 4 piece-band The Cosmos and follows his acclaimed 2011 solo effort Doubles. Like that album, Caul is comprised of a few expansive, developed pieces (three, to be exact). Led by Nugent?s guitar playing ? always inviting, subdued and unpredictable ? the band takes these songs into darker, richer territories opening a whole new galaxy for this young guitar player to explore.
David Lynch: Bad The John Boy
On the heels of David Lynch's hugely successful sophomore full length, The Big Dream, comes a very limited edition 12", Bad The John Boy. While technically this track qualifies as a non-album or bonus track, this song was made around the same time as the track, We Rolled Together. Producer Dean Hurley elaborates, "In the bridge of that song, David was trying to do this thing where he was shuffling around lyric-based sentences: "Street the up, going girl little crazy..." Bad The John Boy has this shared idea...instead of 'John the Bad Boy,' it's Bad The John Boy..."good to up no" (up to no good. This track is more left of center than the songs on the full length, with vocals being processed straight into the spirit realm, sounding deeply non-human.
Complimenting this sci-fi dirge, on the B-side is a Venetian Snares remix of the album's title track. Despite the fact that Canadian electronic musician Aaron Funk has been known for reinventing breakcore, in this remix he breathes completely new life into this song, turning it into something far from your typical dance remix.
David Van Tieghem x Ten: Fits & Starts
For the tenth installment in RVNG?s FRWKYS series, an inanimate bulletin board becomes an instrument and the core of the collaboration. NYC composer and percussionist David Van Tieghem reassembles his own live performances as reimagined by a vanguard of ten musicians over two sides of audio collaging at its most expressive and experimental.
Diane Coffee: My Friend Fish
Joseph Campbell describes a shaman as "person, male or female, who?has an overwhelming psychological experience that turns him totally inward. It's a kind of schizophrenic crack-up. The whole unconscious opens up, and the shaman falls into it." We'll never know the whole truth about what happened when (Foxyen drummer and former Disney child actor) Shaun Fleming moved from the West Coast suburbs to New York, but whatever it was fractured his psyche, opened it up, and gave birth to Diane Coffee.
In 2013, after joining the band Foxygen, Shaun Fleming left the green and golden fields of his hometown of Agoura Hills, CA to become the third roommate in a 700 square-foot, pre-war, closet-free Manhattan apartment. He was welcomed to The Big Apple by a nasty flu virus that drained the last bit of California sunshine out of the skinny, Macaulay Culken-looking 26-year-old's body. As he recovered, cabin fever supplanted the flu, and his relentless creative drive took over. Low on funds and bored out of his gourd, he spent the next two weeks alone in his bedroom writing and recording what would become the debut Diane Coffee LP My Friend Fish.