Featured Download: What's Up - Harper Content Imagination is out now on Obey Your Brain.
Math rock meets Nintendo-all-grown-up meets a legitimate songwriter for once - "yeah, that's What's Up!" Okay, I've been waiting to use pun ever since Content Imagination rocked my face off for the first time, but joking aside, "Harper" is indicative of what results from fly-by-night musical genres locking arms with a songwriter who knows his way around complex arrangements. Nurtured under the wing of The Advantage and Marnie Stern, Robby Moncrieff mixes jackhammer single-note repetition with whiplash time signatures to deliver the sort of stutter-step whimsy which is reminiscent - but not at all derivative - of his bandmates in projects past. "Harper's" a killer preview, but if you're into stuff like Marnie Stern, Hella or Battles, be sure to cop the album for the full effect.
Featured Download: Rio en Medio - Fall Up
Manimal Vinyl will release Frontier on July 14th.
Before I mention "plucky guitar work" and "breathy female vocals," hear this: if you're the type of person to normally turn your head at these sorts of things in music, I don't want you to do that just yet. Rio en Medio's "Fall Up" is divine, but that muted tribal / folksy aesthetic is interspersed with an odd repeated sample which is at once foreign, exotic and zenlike. It's enough to provide counterweight to what would otherwise be more "traditional" songwriting, and the result is sort of a conversation between the present and the unknown. Okay, all that said: plucky guitar work. Breathy female vocals. Sexy, no?
Featured Download: School of Seven Bells - Face To Face On High Places (Jesu Remix) My Cabal is out now on Ghostly.
For how incredible that School of Seven Bells album was, front to back, I was surprised at how under-remixed they were - it's almost like a barometer of how buzzworthy a band is these days, and S.S.B. got way less that what they deserved. Jesu gives me a reason to come back again and again - his remix is better than most. And though I'm tempted to say their voices would make anything work, Jesu's really good a handle on the instrumentals: rattling percussion, almost breakably delicate bells, all of it floating on an ocean of reverb. This one keeps the atmospheric, overflowing spirit of the original and takes it in a new direction, with incredibly satisfying results.
Featured Review: Passion Pit - Manners
The story of Boston's Passion Pit is a familiar one: boy (Michael Angelakos) creates a low-ambition musical project (a gift for his girlfriend), it ends up wowing his friends and peers, boy is encouraged to share it with others, boy attracts a label (Frenchkiss), boy puts out EP (Chunk of Change) on said label, boy's EP gets the blogosphere buzzing, boy puts together a band and delivers debut LP (Manners) to an eager public.
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