Week in Pop: Thundercat, Janka Nabay, Blouse

Sjimon Gompers

Scrapin' up the pop with the loving leader. Via.

With the fall season moving in, it's inevitabley time for the biggest buzzters to cash in after idle behavior during the summer. Take the upcoming She & Him Christmas album or Zooey Deschanel's prime time comedy on Fox, or the Odd Future crew's live action series “Loiter Squad” on Adult Swim, all while T-Pain and Wiz Khalifa give Lily Allen some crossover marketability with “5 O'Clock”, starring all the canned-auto-tuned vocals you can handle. While the television network deals, licensing and demographic pandering are lucrative if not crucial for any artist climbing the ladder; here are this week's hungry artists who want to do more than meet Dave Grohl, in no particular order.

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Fareed Sajan and Conner O'Neill of Headless Horseman made a remix of Chairlift's “Bruises” which they entitled “Handstands” and put on their bandcamp this week. It cleverly segways into The Chordettes' classic “Mr. Sandman” before transitioning into a sound collage of trains, horse hooves, voices, trains, etc. Look For HH's album HDLSS late November or early December. More details soon.

Phesto Dee of Hiero fame has given us a first preview of his forthcoming Background Check with the single and video “Every Detail.” While we have enjoyed his performances of tracks from '93 til Infinity with the Hieroglyphics/Souls of Mischief crew, everyone from Oakland to the rest of the world agrees this solo release is way overdue. More details of this release to come as soon as we get them.

Before stumbling over Blouse's “Videotapes” the other day, I had associated the band name with a Brass Eye Pulp satire. Charlie Hilton and Patrick Adams have taken their talents out of the art school and into a warehouse in Portland, Oregon with help from Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Jacob Portrait. The result is a lovely bit of dream pop that sounds like it was recorded on Ampex reels left out of their case in the sun. Their self-titled LP is due November 1 on Captured Tracks.

After being pretty stoked by the release of Vigilante last 2009, we were pretty stoked to hear from Esinchill's people that he recently put out a video for “Daddy Was a Sailor Man.” Digital Underground represent!

Thundercat's The Golden Age of Apocalypse is being offered for a test run courtesy of of their label Brainfeeder. Golden Age is the kind of album you play for friends that swear that “people don't make albums like these any more.” Jazzy? Yes. Thundercats references and/or samples? Yes. Mellow vibes? You better believe. Look for Golden Age now wherever albums are sold.

There is an ongoing joke that to be in a San Francisco band one must subsribe to the shoegaze creedo, steez, sound and Kevin Shields-esque obsessive scuzz perfection. While the Permanent Collection certainly do not deter this current pervasive stereotype, frontman Jason Hendardy utilizes the effects from the aforementioned scenism to creates soundscapes of his own design on his new 12″ EP Delerium, out now on Loglady Records.

We introduced you to Class Actress a few months back and now her single “Weekend” is making the blog hype rounds with expedient haste. With this latest single from Brooklyn's Elizabeth Harper, glittering production by Mark Richardson and Scott Rosenthal blurs the line between the indie ethic while indulging a dance-forward aesthetic. Class Actress's LP Rapprocher comes out October 18 on Carpark.

Kyle Rapps got Talib Kweli to star with him in the track “Universe Traveler” with Producer Nate G, who does a reworking of Air's “Playground Love (vibraphone version)” amped up with an East Coast beat. The two spill some rhymes while the video depicts an audition in effect beneath the Westside Highway in NYC. Hunt down Kyle's mixtape On Air, a release that samples heavily from the aformentioned French duo.
The Skull Defekts announced a new 12″ that includes the vocal talents of Daniel Higgs and Zomes (a.k.a. Asa Osborne from Lungfish). We hear from our sources that Side A has three new tracks, while Side B plays them in reverse from the inner-most groove toward the outter edge of the record. Look for 2013-3012 November 8 via Thrill Jockey. Enjoy a preview of skull trodding song snippets here.

Janka Nabay is the second to partake in the Prince Rama karaoke performance of songs from their upcoming Trust Now Paw Tracks release. Nabay keeps things nice and weird, managing to one up Woods' G. Lucas Crane's performance of “Incarnation.”

Melbourne's Twerps have done the unthinkable and recorded their recent single “Dreamin” in an actual studio. Rest assured, it holds the charm that evokes those super rare Flying Nun discs at your local record shop that you will never be able to afford. Look for their self-titled October 18 on Underwater Peoples.

In pop debuts this week we heard from Jesse Brickel with his Young Yeller pop project on bandcamp. Taking a dance-pop approach to his multi-talented classically trained sensibilities, Brickel keeps the beat super posi and sentimental, refreshed and at times sounding enthused with the “woo woos” on “We Got the Time (But We Won't Survive).”

Lightouts have also recently released a video for “See Clear” that makes ample use of green screen video effects. It begins simple enough, the boys just finding their step, before a parade of the most notable video effects are applied in succession. If you need more, here's an entertaining behind the scenes.

Youth Lagoon released a beautiful video for “Montana” directed by Tyler T Williams that explores the generational parrallels between a military enlisted father and his son told through reflections, overlaps of time and time shifts that amount to a story as moving as Trevor Power's music. Look for The Year of Hibernation Sepember 27 on Fat Possum.

And if you are digging the new Explosions in the Sky record Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, then you need to watch the video for “Be Comfortable Creature.” In under 10 minutes time, you follow a red, beady-eyed creature in his quest for comfort while we the viewers learn that there was a dude beneath that Elmo fur all along.

Also in the vein of youthful nostalgia, Melbourne's Wintercoats is James Wallace, who makes gorgeous music scores that remind me of the many sounds and guises of running water. The video is almost an Australian ministry of tourism advertisement or a gentle propaganda place to enourage raising a family amid the lush outback wilderness to the gorgeous and streams and rapids and colorful oragami boats that illuminate and entertain the landscape. Look for Wallace's EP Sketches this September 27 on Cascine Records on both vinyl and digital.

The epic Mott the Hoople are emerging out of Bowie's shadow with a documentary all their own out November 15. Guaranteed lots of banter and babble from the former front dude Ian Hunter.

Fresh off of his Feast or Famine EP release is the Bay's DaVinci, who rolled out of San Francisco's Fillmore district to bring you the video for his lead single “D.R.E.A.M.” With a chorus that plays on the “C.R.E.A.M” acronym, DaVinci brings you a track and a video that depicts the struggles of the street, the loss of loved ones and the complications of growing up in the ghetto in his words. “The details and personal confliction within hustling is something people tend ignore, I was as specific to my own experiences as possible; it puts you in my mind – in my environment – so the listener can start to understand the hidden meanings in the lyrics.”

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