Week in Pop: Prince Rama, Ted Leo, DOM

Sjimon Gompers

If the Wellington Power Corporation had not already irked my ire by damn near surging all my office appliances with their confounded SmartMeter installations, I would have been royally ticked at our sacred cows for challenging the credibility we all hold dearly for them in our collective hearts. This week we had Lou Reed composing some 10 songs for Metallica to arrange, Paul McCartney re-releasing McCartney I & II to cash-in on his aging baby-boomer fans (in case they forgot about him), Big Sean enlisting Kanye and Roscoe Dash to help pour mad “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay” all the way to the bank, and I'm not going to even go into the new Nas track “Nasty”. Looking on the bright side, this time of weekly renewal is a chance for us to review the highlights from this week's pop culturual developments in no particular order.

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Ted Leo premiered a new song called “The Little Smug Supper Club” via Incase's Room 205. Goes to show that you can be punk while retaining the chops of a seasoned, song-writing troubadour. Hats off to Jason Farrell and set designer Tamarra Younis for creating a proper working class decor for Mr. Leo, with Younis plastering the walls in newsprint for the occasion .

If you prefer to hear a new Ted Leo track before you see it, here's the SoundCloud.

VHS Exorcising sisters Prince Rama proclaimed this week that they will be releasing their new album, Trust Now October 4 on Paw Tracks. Given our love for Shadow Temple and most psyched out things from Taraka and Nimai Larson, their upcoming fall release appears to be created with no small new-age-y expense spared. The gals recorded Trust Now in a church (with AnCo and Arcade Fire's Scott Colburn on production duties) while shadow spirits were casted out to the land of weeping and gnashing of teeth, no doubt. When more information and material becomes available, we will see to it that you will be the first to know.

Trust Now Tracklist:
01 Golden Silence
02 Incarnation
03 Portaling
04 Rest In Peace
05 Summer of Love
06 Trust

While we have yet to receive word for an official debut drop date, Londoners Veronica Falls have signed to Slumberland in the US and Bella Union in the UK for their upcoming as-of-yet-to-be-named-album release. While we wait for concrete date specifics, official leaks “Beachy Head” and “Found Love in a Graveyard” have all the ba-ba-bas and 60s affected enchantment to make the wait worthwhile.


In more Slumberland news, Big Troubles have signed onto the label with the following fanfare. First is the single “Sad Girls” with the B-side “Phantom”, due August 30, as the band prepares to release their follow up to last year's Worry entitled Romantic Comedy. While the A-side remains elusive, you can enjoy the rockin' B-side that owes a great debt to Swervedriver before them with big guitars, confidence aplenty and lazy vocals. August can't come soon enough.

Oh Sweden, what dark wave-y goodness do you have for us now? The latest comes from Deer Tracks, who have premiered their latest tune from the yet to be released, The Archer Trilogy Pt. 2 with “Dark Passenger.” Recorded in Elin Lindfors' grandmother's cabin somewhere near Gävle, they have made electro compositions that will most likely sync up to anything eerie Lars Von Trier has made or said in the past decade. The Archer Trilogy Pt. 2 will be available July 5 on the Control Group label. Download “Deer Passenger” here or listen to the following stream.

In the build-up toward their upcoming album this September, The Rapture dropped a new track entitled “How Deep is Your Love” through a DFA White Out Session. Sure it could probably pack a dance floor, sure it could bring two wayfaring club-hearted wanderers together, but it lacks that smooth finesse of the Bee Gees' baby-making jam of the same name.

Also check out Stones Throw's latest addition, Jonti, from Australia. His video “Firework Spraying Moon” plays with altered perception visuals depicting wonders set to natural splendors that match the whirls and spins of his approach to breaks, samples and whirling vocal vapor trails. This single is taken from Jonti's debut album, Twirligig, which will be coming our way October 11. We will keep you updated on the latest developments.

Frank Ocean is still making the rounds, guest spot cameos, and videos that continue with the video for “Novacane” that came out this week. The video will get you in the mood for lavish penthouse decadence, or serve as a reminder to go see your dentist.

As DOM prepares the Family of Love second EP cycle, they have also dropped the video for their big candy buzz basher “Living in America.” The most fascinating thing is hearing the regurgitation of lo-fidelity minded American bedroom pop being re-envisioned as something both obsessive and sexy.

Now that summer is back, we need a band to remind us of this beautiful season but to implicitly state their allegiance and/or affinity in title or song. Well thank goodness we have Summer Camp to take us back to those awkward weeks and months at resorts surrounded by redwoods, counselors and chaperones, if but in name alone. “Nobody Knows You” finds the London duo of Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey flirting with a dark wave moodiness that sounds a bit contrasted with our current rash of sunny weather.

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