Week in Pop: Parentz, True Womanhood, Shimmering Stars

Sjimon Gompers

Parentz present Big

Meet the Parentz, and more.

Oh what things the week brings. During this one we boogied down to the futuristic model vibes of Neon Indian's “Polish Girl” video, watched the word counts on puff pieces about Girls, while unable to avoid the omnipresence hype from the blogs to the water coolers over Twin Shadow's”Changes”. With more happening than we can cover or have fun with, let us tally up a handful of the week's pop highlights in no particular order.

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Parentz brought the surprise hit of the week with the title track from their upcoming casette Big. Formerly of MakeMe and a handful of other Bay Area bands and projects, frontman Jeremy Sullivan is taking the solo route as a self-proclaimed “future pop auteur” while getting signed by Chill Mega Chill. Here is what the handlers from Sullivan's people told me about the project, mission statement and all.

Parentz uses intentionally cheesy new agey sounds to make at-once light accessible referential pop, and darker, ambient, distorted, cinematic tunes with r&b influenced vocals. Sci-fi r&b and chilled out future pop.”

With a mix of self-betterment lyrics, posi- xylophone synths and some well programmed beats, you have the new feel good hit of the fall. Download, enjoy, tell your friends and finish that autumn mix tape you keep forgetting about. Order a cassette here.

Parentz, “Big”

James Ferraro has been busy recording the scores to reflect 21st century existence. He bounces between the classic layering of synthetic horns and strings with looping box beats in “Text Bubbles” while “Eco-Tots” keeps it sustainable with a barage of random samples. These tracks were released on Ferraro's Condo Pets this week in preparation for the release of Far Side Virutal November 14 on Hippos in Tanks.

Ayshay's Warn-U EP is on the way this September 26 on Tri Angle Records. Fatima Al Qadiri adorns her mid-day prayer chants with horns, bells, drums and bass beats galore. The title track might create a conflict between wanting to seek out a meditation guru or plan an Eastern themed dance party in the backyard/patio.

Should you need more of those eerie vocal chant loops, check out the Nguzunguzu remix of “Warn-U” here.

Already a fan of True Womanhood's track “Sympathy,”I was delighted to hear from drummer/electronic-assemblage-mastermind Noam Elsner that Clinic remixed, rearragned and re-envisioned the single. Be prepared to enter sound suites that range from the xylophones, some impromptu scuzz over the vocals and a grand finale that might melt facial features.

Yuck is the new artist in residency at Incase Room 205. What better way for them to kick things than with a buzzy 10 minute solo? A minute and a half would have done just fine but it is a shredder's delight indeed.

Kansas MC XV released a video for “Wichita.” The track is produced by Just Blaze, off his mixtape Zero Heroes, while the video was directed by Elan Alexenberg. Happy to see XV give “Wichita” some love, a reminder that hip-hop fom the coasts can't hog all the fun.

Shimmering Stars are three dudes who would be the last ones you would suspect of having the love they posess for American rock history. On “Nervous Breakdown”, they're right around when doo wop was being traded in for youthful songs of lamentation and woe. So if you are one of those that gripes about the prevalence of laptops, iPads and other nebulous devices of convenience threatening the fabric of your Palaeolithic taste, then Shimmering Stars are what you have been waiting all summer long for.

Shimmering Stars, “Nervous Breakdown”

Look for their album Violent Hearts now via Hardly Art.

Tammar have been the talk of the town all week on account of their new single “Yung Jun” from the upcoming, much anticipated album Visits. The kraut-y loops keep you locked into visions of your favorite moments from Neu! and Kluster. Look for Visits September 20 on Suicide Squeeze Records.

If down home mountain jams are your idea of a good time, check out Jovonates' “Mountain Pass.” Their album Things Are Different Here comes out on Woodsist subsidy, Hello Sunshine on October 11.

Sometimes I feel I have to be ADHD to enjoy spoken word adventures like I used to but this oddity “Flattering Circles of Hell” from the To Live and Shave in LA collective turned my head a few days back. A strange brew of characters and contemporaries that features Ben Wolcott on oscillator and treatments, Rat Bastard on violin, Tom Smith on lead vocals, Misty Martinez providing the alluring vocal lead on “Flattering Circles of Hell” as well as backing vocals and saxophone, Andrew W.K. doing some backup vocals with Nondor Nevai and Cherie Lily, Mark Morgan, Chris Grier and Don Fleming on guitar, Dimthingshine on percussion and voices, Mark Shellhaas and Kelly Jamison on percussion, Graham Moore manning the synth modules, Gaybomb controlling the magnetic card readers and finally Patrick Spurlock on electronic treatments.

Teen Daze remixed Tycho's “Hours” with punchy beats, dance floor ready but with enough weird stuff to keep you and your friends interested. Tycho is graphic artist Scott Hansen (aka ISO50) who has made a foray on the audio canvas with Ghostly International releasing his debut November 15.

Put your hipstamatic tinted shades on as you too can enjoy a day in LA with Bleached in their video for “Think of You.” You will feel like you have a road map to the buzz band stars as you find yourself asking, 'wait a minute, was that Tim Koh? Whoa, were those the dudes from No Age?' For a moment it makes Southern California seem like what Seattle was to Spin back in those grungy early 90s if only Mika Miko were from Seattle. The lesson learned is that even in times of trying album sales, LA is a buzz circuit wellspring from which relevance abounds, and you can too.

Co La dropped “Egyptian Peaches” this week to much applause. We should all be so lucky to live in a time when musicians and tunesmiths have turned to creating head music designed to appeal to the disorganized orders of the unconscious. Get your hypnogogic fix here, look for Co La's Daydream Repeater November 15 on NNA Tapes.

And a little something more from the chill out sector, here's a preview of Plaid's upcoming Scintilli album with the lush “Missing.” The true Warp Records purest might say the only thing missing is a few more drum machines, but the delightful piano and string assemblages will silence your inner curmudgeon. Scintilli drops September 27 on Warp Records.

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