Friday, December 14, 2018

Spesh - Famous World

Yes, this album art is one of our favorites of the year (allegedly snapped in NYC's Washington Square Park in the '80s), but Famous World is not here because of the album art.  It is here because we love the music.  The artist is Spesh, a Seattle foursome founded by vocalist Michael McKinney and guitarist Sergio Mirazo from the ashes of Boyfriends, and rounded out with Morgan Dixon (drums) and Brian Yeager (bass).  The ten songs on the album reflect a number of influences, most of them British and most of them from the '80s and '90s.  But that is not meant as criticism, as these guys deliver the big beats, jangling guitars and synthy melodies that made Manchester the epicenter of the rock world for a number of years.  The sound is tight, the production is clear, and the songs evoke some of our favorite musical memories.  This album is on daily play around headquarters.

Famous World is out now in vinyl and digital formats via Killroom Records, a Seattle label formed by Troy Nelson (of KEXP) and Ben Jenkins.  And a shout out to Ben for the production/engineering work on the album.







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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Saint Sister - Shape of Silence

We are catching up on some albums that we liked very much this year but didn't find the time to write about earlier.  One of such albums is Shape of Silence by Irish duo Saint Sister.  Working the intersection of folk, indie pop, and electronica, Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre combine deft songwriting with gorgeous voices.  The sound is atmospheric and dreamy, yet intimate and embracing.  The Shape of Silence isn't holiday-themed music, but we can't think of a better time to fill everyone's ears with these pristine pop gems than when family and friends are together.








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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Benin City - Last Night


Late night -- a place in time, an event, a state of mind.  Last Night, by trio Benin City, is a surging, sparkling ode to London nightlife comprised of beats, spoken work, hip hop, electronica, and dance floor delights.  And it is one of our favorite discoveries this year.  Cue it up and push back the furniture.  This album is so good you may skip going out this evening.

Benin City are Joshua Idehen, Tom Leaper, and Shanaz Dorsett.  Last Night was released earlier this year via Moshi Moshi Music.








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Monday, December 10, 2018

Ellis - The Fuzz EP

It only took a few bars of "What A Mess" to prompt us to seek more music by Ellis, the performing moniker for Hamilton, Ontario's Linnea Siggelkow.  We are happy to report that we were not disappointed.  In our opinion, her debut EP The Fuzz marks her as one of the premier dream pop artists recording today.  Sometimes words aren't adequate, so we won't pretend.  Dive in below.







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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Brace! Brace! - Brace! Brace!

Brace yourselves, because Brace! Brace! may challenge your assumptions about French pop music.  This Parisian four-piece bills themselves as shoegaze and dreampop, but our ears prompt us to consider them more punk pop/noise pop/experimental.  But regardless of the genre boxes you are tempted to check, their new self-titled album is a terrific listen.  Rhythmic, with a great sense of space and an appealing tendency to build tension over the course of a song, the music is reminds us of a more sonically adventurous Beat Happening, absent Calvin Johnson's baritone.  Get out of your groove and give Brace! Brace! a chance -- it may make your day.

We are advised that the members of the band are Thibault Picot, Cyril Angleys, Antoine Barbier, and Simon Lapillonne.  Brace! Brace! is out now as a digital release via Howlin' Banana Records.










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