Week in Pop: Micah E. Wood, Palace Doctor, WAJU

Sjimon Gompers

The rise of international pop futurist—WAJU; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Week in Pop

Wild Wing recently unleashed their new album Doomed II Repeat via the prestigious independent imprint Mock Records. The action takes form & flight with “Sound the Alarm”, pulverizing all matter to worlds of aural oblivion on “Decimation”, the time passage markers of “Turning Grey”, to carving out a cozy little habitat on “More Room For Us”. Chronological concerns go to war on the electrified “Matter of Time”, before stumbling head first into the abyss of the unknown on the echoing “The Hole”, to the strikes & gutters that strut with a boot scooting sort of boogie of a barfly on “Struck Out” that is the sound of making the most of being down on your luck.

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Check out Mr. Lif’s collaboration with Balkan brass group based out of San Francisco, Brass Menazeri as heard on the horn inflected style-spinner “Crypt of Lost Styles” ft. eO. Found off the upcoming album Resilient available November 3, Lif along with Eric Oberthaler fuses fashions that blast forward from disparate places that convene together in shared spaces to make our small world feel more like a more succinct village collective.

Wolf Alice presented a look at the classic looking Stephen Agnew video for “Beautifully Unconventional” featured off the new album Visions of a Life available September 29. Classic big band performance fare is embarked upon as if the golden era of the 1950s never left where Wolf Alice’s modernist sound is given a timeless visual counterpart.

Kristeen Young presents the Brian McClelland (for Blip Blap video) video for “Catland” off the album Live at the Witch’s Tit featuring co-production from Tony Visconti available September 29. Enter into the oddball world of cat-masked denizens played by Dalila Queiroz White, Jaida McAllister & Samiyah Womack where far-out feline/human rituals are mixed up with a whole lotta weird to compliment Young’s own radical & riveting sound.

Take in the understated ambient atmospheres found on Shelter Point’s “Slow Air” that applies the focus on emulating spaces of air through manipulating sound waves. The sensations of a summer sunset’s sojourn are brought in a bouquet of beats & synths met with effects that gurgle like the sounds heard of whirling mechanisms & the like from an air duct.

Behold the b/w self-made fashionable video “Half Hour” featured off Yumi Zouma’s second Cascine album, Willowbank that conveys the continued gorgeous trademark pop from the New Zealand group. A track that hones in on the passage of time past/present/future; the Yumis remain dedicated to weaving the most wondrous & elusive sounds that epitomize the group’s aloof aesthetic.

Peep the wilderness wandering video from Sam Dust for Xenoula’s “Caramello” taken off the artist’s self-titled available November 24 through Domino imprint Weird World. The cosmic single is coupled with visuals that expand Xenoula’s inklings of intuition across bodies of land & water where the artist is seen sorting out sentiments & insights in the great & seemingly infinite frontier.

Strange Ranger, fka Sioux Falls, shares the restrained beauty of “Sophie” off the upcoming album Daymoon available October 6 from Tiny Engines. From the gentle drum machine you are lead into the intimate bedroom pop interior that is full of earnest & emotive feeling that will wash over your entire being.

Ancient Ocean, oka J.R. Bohannon, presented a floating ride through the the atmospheric natural sanctuaries of “Rift Valleys” off of Titan’s Island available September 22 via Beyond Beyond is Beyond. The ambient feeling of being flooded with all kinds of epiphanies sets into motion from the time you press the play button as synths signal sensations of emulated states of euphoric ecstatcy.

Touring with The Wrecks & The Technicolors later in November; we offer a listen to Mainland’s Outcast EP that offers up insights & pop narratives from the margins of the greater Los Angeles area. The title track sets the tone with heightened hopes to the chrono-crises conundrums meditated upon in “A Bit Out of Time”, recalling friendships past on “Fading Friends”, sending it all out with the over-inflated confidence strutting closer “Not As Cool As Me” that brings the smack-down & leaves you with a goofy grin on your face.

Bay Area’s own Dina Maccabee (seen recently touring with Julia Holter & heard playing viola on “In the Same Room”) presents a listen to the viola strung sentiments & imaginative audio outings heard on The World is in the Work where every string & vocal utterance sets you on some new inspired path. The title track begins Dina’s song cycle, inviting you with the earnest dares of “Go Ahead”, the folderol recall of “Garbage”, to the constellation arrangements of “Even When The Stars Align”. Impulses & impetus take charge on the slopes of strings heard on “Push Me”, delivering the give & take of “Give or Take Me”, to the heroic hopes of “Someone Fearless”, closing with the pensive pulses of “The UUR” that showcases the infinite arrays of creative possibilities that instrumental minimalism can afford.

Arrica Rose & the …’s recently released their album Low as the Moon via pOprOck records & presented the video for “Whole Lotta Lows” self-made by the artist with Jen Bail & starring Isla Grace. Grace rocks out & acts out all the dramatic ups & downs, highs & lows & lip syncs Arrica’s delivery that offers a sense of levity for those feeling in the lowliest of low places & spaces & states.

Fresh from the courtship. camp is the new single “Tell Me Tell Me” with their current west coast tour in effect now with Saint Mesa. The new courtship. single transforms the tropical to the hyper charged emotion of ultra-charged percussion turbines that make the entire track feel like something akin to the effects of standing at the base of an elevated waterfall.

Chris Karman, aka Historian, presents the Quartetto Fantastico arranged “I Need a Future” featured off the forthcoming album Expanse that engages in the threshold of what may or may not offer up the gifts of a new tomorrow. Through an arrangement of wildly side winding strings & brass among other modernist oddities; Historian trips through those pedantic pages with a more pertinent & post-classical cadre of conundrums that offer up more litanies of questions than answers.

Fall into the far-out album Far In courtesy of the Bay Area’s Walktell, oka Jake Wachtel. A vision questing artist who draws inspiration from global vibrations & styles, get caught up with the psychedelic eyed opener “Mistakenly Taken”, the meditations of “Golden Belly”, that carry forth on the deep down “Digging”, further searches on the cosmic planes of ever-changes on “Shifting Spheres”, experimenting with a plethora of all-inclusive feels throughout the album from “All Along”, the breath catching “Let Me Rest” that flutters off with the organic lullaby of “Draw Me In”. An album that is best suited for the musically adventurous & those looking for something of an epiphany or glimmer of something beautiful here in our beloved collectively weary world.

Behold the video for The Desert’s “Playing Dead” that features leader Gina Leonard & the band performing in a massive bus garage via headlamp illumination. Dusty tales from rough roads are sang with heart in manners of earnest as the entire track increasingly tackles existential notions with a surprise visual finale.

Indulge in FRAME’s new single “Actions At A DIstance” featured off the long-awaited album State of Mind available October 27 through Concierge Records. Caitlin Frame & Brooklyn company continue to craft a sophisticated sense of styles that marry vocal pop with the understand & expansive sound scapes that break down separations between the self & others in manners of sonic empathy that defy adjectives on their own.

Cardiknox busted out the classic throwback new romantic dad-dance pop with “Bad Boys” that takes the new school tracks back to the old school classrooms. Through rhythmic chords, well chosen synths & big pop beat production; Cardinox makes the autumn transition sound like a natural progression from the sun streaked season.

With the finale album Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store available today, we present the visuals for CHUCK’s “Happy Birthday” courtesy of Chris Boniello. VHS analog styles celebrate the passage of time with a bitter-sweet sense of nostalgia that reflects on time’s passing with a warm yet melancholy welcome of what the future might hold in store.

Also check out the deluxe single for CHUCK’s “Happy Birthday” that includes both the a-side along with a 2009 living room b-side co-written with Andrew Piccone called “America” that then opens up with a remix from Benjamin Shaw that offers up some added baroque strings to “Happy Birthday” that sets the song sailing outward yonder along the expanses of the Atlantic, like something of a Viking style funeral.

Peep the eccentric Grayson Bear video for Dim Wit’s “Suburbanal”. The banalities of suburbia are blended with sone Americana primitive visuals that looks like something spawned by a PNW DIY craft fair phenomenon.

Off the upcoming album Wind Sculptures, experience Johanna Glaza’s new single “Coming Home” where piano notes twinkle like snow fall. A song to set the scene of autumn’s entrance into winter, Glaza’s delivery & arrangements make every natural item & essence around the artist feel super connective in the most sublime of manners.

Enter the eternity fields of “Stuttering Mind” courtesy of London’s own Honey Lung. The flickers of the mind’s eye sparkles, flutters & fades in ways where memories collide with the present in a blur of feelings that swell like the waves of the tide.

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