July was a month of musical bliss, so I must admit to approaching August with a degree of reluctance. Still, lots of great releases ahead amid the life crises and commitment to mediocrity showcased by the likes of Deftones' Chino Moreno, who realized he had to update his approach to menacing sounds with the symbol trend-humping ††† (Crosses), then there are Kings of Leon, who cancelled their U.S. tour on account of the hootch, and guilt over incting national boredom and indifference, while Foster the People continue to propogate “Pumped Up Kicks” in mob throngs with Torches. Plenty of good things did happen this week with the promises of bigger things to come, so without further ado here is the week in pop in no particular order
Ashley Thomas and Courtney Gray of the Splinters have created an outlet for their misandry through Suzi Quatro-approved Marshall stacks in their new band Pamela. Their album titled Pamela is Hungover promises the whole barrel of both hedonistic garage scuzz and a rage I both respect and fear. Whoa Whoa Records is reported to be bringing the album August 15 while a limited amount of hand-numbered green cassette tapes are available accompanied with a digital download of the EP. “Liedown” is the first release off the album, raging like Liz Phair at the Lilith Fair but with with a contemporary backdrop of San Francisco; garage rock city for both the angry, odd and the beautiful.
So for the Adult Swin couch potato crowd who have since forsaken record stores per John Maus's request, their new singles program must be a god send, with weekly tracks dropping with more strange intrigue than Hanna-Barbera character-cutup-retreads; this week has JJ featuring NE-YO with “We Can't Stop”, available courtesy Kia Soul's continued sponsorship interests in your taste and iPod selections.
Mayer Hawthorne just gave Chromeo the cover tribute nod with his smooth rendition of “When the Night Falls.” Hawthorne may have even one-upped the original but with much respect as all artists involved are currently touring together.
The Mayer has also been stirring a buzz with his found footage video collage for “A Long Time” chopped up from a dance show coming to you courtesy of Channel 68 from Highland Park, Detroit sometime in the late 80s. If the groove fails to grab you for any reason, be sure to watch for the Colonial Merchandise Mart commercial at the end.
Bestial Mouths are about to release their scorched-earth, gloom and doom debut, Hissing Veil August 10, courtesy of DAIS Records. With minor keys being the new major, singer Lynette Cerezo makes Zola Jesus sound less intimidating by vocal comparison. Halloween might be still a few months away, but August 10 might bring more fright than a night of lame houseparties and awkward costuming and bland conversation. That been said, I am thoroughly impressed.
Despite Waka Flocka Flame battling a weed charge in Georgia, his collaboration with Gucci Mane as the Ferrari Boyz is rolling deep and strong. As of press time we learned that Gucci is offering a listen to the 15-track album on Gucci Mane's Facebook page before the album hits the stores August 9 courtesy of 1017 Brick Squad/Warner Bros. Records. Although this collaboration has been long over due, we are pleased to see both artists making space to spend some quality time kicking it and rolling around in Ferraris. Lay down your financial woe and recession era fears and let the Ferrari Boyz upgrade your life with some flashy automobile enthusiast materialism. Some artists hold the line, Gucci and Waka prefer to hold the lane. Check out the following promo video:
Two Suns is singer/songwriter Jake Davidson who has taken his gentle tunes out of the coffeehouse-folk abyss and into the CMJ approved pop arena with his acoustic guitar working within a synthetic but sparse framework. “Five Months Gone By” is a listen from his EP Self-Addressed dropping on his bandcamp August 23. Enjoy.
Miguel has put out a video for his ode to time economized love-making this week that will pair nicely with your late night clandestine Red Shoe Diaries-watching when the roommates are all passed out. While all the boasting we hear from Sting about his tantric all-nighters sound lavish and all, Miguel knows only too well that these are busy times where a man is thankful for 10 minutes, let alone 10 hours.
High Places continue their progressive electro groove explorations with their latest leak “Year Off” from the upcoming Original Colors album, due October 11 on Thrill Jockey Records. Moving from the cathartic moods of last year's High Places vs Mankind, the latest single “Year Off” displays singer Mary Pearson indulging in part recitation, part singing of poetry amid murky beats and fun samples that echo the clamor of early 90s warehouse parties.
NYC's Forest Fire generated some buzz this week with the news of their FatCat signing and the release of “Future Shadows.” Big ups to the delays and phasers in both lyrical timing and the obvious effects that warp things throughout the track. Their album Staring at the X won't be be here until October 18 but should more developments leak through the press lines you will be the first to know.
The slow drip release method of Neon Indian's Era Extraña continues. This week Alan Paloma dropped “Polish Girl” as the latest installment of his pan-Euro musical survey set to swirling synthesizers. Get ready for the promotional billboards because Era Extraña is unleashed October 7.
Be sure to thank the dudes at Spin for this one when you become one of the first few thousand listeners to hear the new Dom EP Family of Love, thanks to the rapid relay of promotional embed technologies. While the listening pannel decried a lazy effort or sophomore-EP-slump, the track “Happy Birthday Party” is some shameless pop that fails to recapture the sleak hit making magic that is “Living in America” but is a continuation in their production line of good time music. With idiot genius lyrics like, “Time to get gnarly…happy birthday, party, party!” We can hear and see bros crushing PBR cans on the dome pieces while donning cheap plastic rimmed, neon colored shades as if it were still permissable. The audacity.
If that stuck-in-bed, sad bastard brand of electro is more your line of style, then Lonely Dear will be a much heralded revelation. The Swede behind the project is Emil Svanangen, who's Hall Music is his fifth record of unbound sentimental earnestness, and his debut on Polyvinyl. Tracks like “What Have I Become” available here on SoundCloud flirt between piano minimalisms and a grandeur that Svanangen calls the “perfect position just in between joy and darkness.” Watch and listen to “Young Hearts” here and look for Hall Music October 4.