Week in Pop: Au Palais, Castle, Loveskills, Salvia Plath, Winter

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Architectural audio, NC's new emcee, NYC dance re-skilled, altered states, Summer's coldest/coolest.

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Sjimon Gompers | July 12, 2013

Exhaling rhymes of experience with Castle. (courtesy of Castle & Mello Music Group, photo of Au Palais courtesy of David and Elise Commathe)

Exhaling rhymes of experience with Castle. (courtesy of Castle & Mello Music Group, photo of Au Palais courtesy of David and Elise Commathe)

This Week in Pop edition soaked up the aesthetics of Summer like a porous sponge. Before performing “Picasso Baby” for 6 hours at an NYC art gallery, Jay-Z told Power 105.1 that he still has beef with Robert De Niro, Chipotle burrito chains are holding off on playing any Radiohead according to their corporate playlist programmer Christopher Golub, Animal Collective canceled their remaining July dates due to illness, and those Daft Punk “Get Lucky” rubbers seen on Diplo's Instagram will not be sold in stores. But your protection here is assured, as we give you more than a glance at some of the highlights from the week in no particular order.

Au Palais built a golden, diamond and crystal encrusted “Throne” out of a song from the soul and synthesizer. Toronto sibling duo David and Elise Commathe work in the high end architectural wing trades of serious synth pop design. Elise takes notions of the ornate and sacred and works alongside David to house them within a bright palace where the keyboard shines with gradual amplified wattage. Every note works like bejeweled synth block of castle construction where from within the arranged walls lies the ground golden dust of thrones from monarchies past gathered in this intimate sanctuary as Elise sings; “All these thrones, I took for you”. Strolling through the courtyards of their palatial audio estates, we talked with David and Elise about everything from Louis XIV fascinations to the elemental roles of nature in their music and more.

In naming yourselves Au Palais, was it built around the idea of crafting synth pop adorned palaces with your sound?

Elise: At the time of naming it was more based upon intentional pretentiousness mixed with an idea of Louis XIV era ostentation. Looking back now i think there is a richness and layered quality to the music that actually fits more with the name now. Perhaps we unwittingly set the bar for architectural sound, synth pop adorned palaces, when we named ourselves?

David: That's not too far off the mark. We wanted a name that was regal, ornate, maybe even a little pretentious. Elise was very into Louis XIV then, and all that Roi-Soleil imagery, and so it made sense. It also suited the music, which we wanted to sound like it had been constructed and planned and deliberately appointed, like, I suppose, a palace.

Keeping the royal motif in tact, was “Throne” made as a center piece amid a much larger palace?

E: Thrones definitely plays a role in a larger body of music. I think of it more as a strong foundation vs the central focus of the other new music we have created.

D: I have to admit, I had never made the 'Thrones' and 'Palais' connection until this very moment, and now I feel a little embarrassed about it. The track did come from a much larger block of songs that will ultimately comprise the album; 'Thrones' falls on the more ornate and somber end of the spectrum and the ending isn't exactly subtle, so I guess it could be considered the center piece, oh God, the 'throne room', of the palace, but honestly, there are a bunch of other tracks that could fit that description as well. Hopefully, you'll be hearing them soon.

How and when did the two of you begin collaborating on music?

E: David and I collaborating is still a relatively new process. We had the idea in mind back when David was living in Japan and i had a premonition when i went to see him. Au Palais didnt really come into fruition until years later when David came to London to just lay down a few tracks. Pathos, on the Tender Mercy EP, was recorded in my old bedroom in Islington and we both had a moment of “maybe there is actually something here” and that really led to the creation of Au Palais, which at that time was a bit challenging as we were living on two different continents.

D: It went back to a few years ago when I was living in Japan and making very unremarkable minimal techno for myself. Elise asked me to write some songs for her to sing to – bearing in mind, I hadn't heard her actually sing before, outside of a verrrry drunken karaoke night when she came to visit. But I wasn't doing anything else and decided to give it a shot, and right away, as if by fate, the aesthetic came together in a really satisfying way.
We recorded vocals in her flat in London, and it turns out that Elise actually has an amazing voice when there's no cut-rate Japanese whiskey involved. Everything after that just came together like it was meant to be.

How do you all assign which duties of songwriting, sequencing, synthesizing and the like?

E: I don't think we exactly assign duties. It comes from our various strengths. David usually comes to me with a music sketch and if we feel there is potential he will carve that into a full fledged piece of music while I work out the vocals lines. David does the bulk of music work and all the production. I then usually act as a bit of a severe editor or creative director, focusing on song length and just working with David to sculpt the final piece. The final version is a joint collaboration of mine and David's edits and thoughts.

D: I do the bulk of the programming and production, though we both record instruments. I'd say lyric writing is a 50/50 split at this point – a lot of the lyrics for the new songs were literally written by the two of us sitting down in a room together and hashing it out in real time. Occasionally one or the other of us will come in with a real clunker of a line, and we smooth that out together.

What usually happens is I'll come up with an idea or a song and bring it in to Elise who acts like a creative director – songs are shortened (like, *always* shortened), elements brought to the fore, everything tightened up. If it were up to me, every Au Palais song would be 20 minutes long and dissolve into either noisy feedback loops or experimental techno. Elise acts like the pop counterpoint of the band.

Amid the sonic bliss there is also a strong element of “water” and “river” images. Concepts of the oceanic and bodies of water mean many things to many groups these days, what meanings does the water element have for Au Palais?

E: I literally spent 3 hours swimming in the ocean today and can say that water is an inexplicably important motif that reoccurs in our music. Maybe it's because our family lineage stretching back were sailors? I think that there is a fascination with water and its powers that we haven't explored in our day to day life but that emerges in our lyrics.

D: That was totally deliberate! If there was a theme for the last EP, it was 'night', and this time around it's definitely 'water'. I love the water and would spend my life in it, if that were possible. I was born the wrong species.

But what does water mean for us? Imagine being in a lake at twilight, floating on your back, and slowly submerging your head – there's a moment, just as the water rises over your ears, where the terrestrial noise cuts out and the underwater noise begins; and at first, you might mistake it for silence because it happens so quickly. But then, a deep hum, like a drone, emerges out of it and it's the sound of the lake and the things at the bottom of it in the dark, and that's the noise of the unseen things in the water.

What does 2013/2014 hold for Au Palais?

E: I am strongly visualizing that 2013/2014 involves the release of all our new songs in album form.

D: More music, more shows, more everything. It's been difficult, but we have an amazing team we work with now, and something in the momentum of the band has shifted.

Flashing on our radars is North Carolina's rising emcee Castle who left us with a resin laden dose of real while reducing the ritz on his new cut, “Krillz”. With the full-length GasMask coming out July 23 from Mello Music Group, folks have been gabbing about Castle's lyrical flow that pits pleas of evolution through clever spat lyrical presentations of degraded paradigms in a cause and effect in real time speed. “We played hide-and-seek in the 90s, homie slate was clean and lookin' shiny, now presently grimy”. The NC emcee cuts straight to the heart of schemes that get met with the crushed dreams from life's substituions of substance and an absence of guidance where the focus zooms out to society and then back to family situations. “Scheming to stretch his money longer, thought back when television replaced his father, Popeye taught 'em spinach will make 'em stronger”. We got a chance to talk to Castle about his NC influences an inside look at his lyrical composition and thoughts on today's dopest producers.

I like the correlatives between words in your rhyme schemes like “college and opportunity” “diplomatic immunity” or on the chorus the way “krillz”, “pills”, and “bills” all share this inclusive co-dependencies. Are these developed from drafting them out or just free-styling off the cuff?

The former. I wish I could say the words come really easily, but I tend to take my time when I write with some hope that the listener will get what I was trying to do.

How does GasFace reflect your come up from your North Carolina upbringing?

Dope rap music, in a nutshell. My parents and my uncles listened to a gang of it, and they also discussed it a lot. Being 'dope' was of ultimate importance. If an artist could make them “Gasface” (shout to MC Serch) you won them over. I took on that.

What's up with the North Carolina scene these days?

There are a lot of great artists here, particularly in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte. Guys like Gav Beats, Ms.Instrumental, J. Gunn, etc.

Who are some of your favorite producers at the minute?

Chromadadata, Alchemist, Mndsgn, Devon Who, Jonwayne, Drastique Arsenal, and Dibia$e.

Brooklyn's Richard Spitzer has been bringing a barage of beats with Loveskills that caught our attention with Multiplicity. This week Richard dropped his “Cover Me (Live Mix)” where he decks out his original with even wider eyes and deeper pronounced dance pianos. Transforming the 80s indebted sound experimentalism of “Cover Me”, the horn and lazer heralding of a house track feels intended to be dropped at the first sign of nightfall on a daily habit basis. Loveskills' new remix EP Reskilled will be available July 16 for free download from No Shame, but you can sit in on an exclusive discussion about the mad skills of Mr. Spitzer now.

Tell us about your evolutions from Nite Club, Vinyl Life, Little Star Dweller, to how Loveskills occurred.

I've learned tons about production and acquired a love for vintage and historical dance music with Vinyl Life. In Nite Club I adapted my studio abilities with tastes for songwriting, melody and sentimentality. Little Star Dweller was a return to my IDM, Junglist, New Age roots. Loveskills is the soulful continuum and a celebration of this musical life still blossoming in beautiful Brooklyn New York.

How does your EP debut Multiplicity reflect your own diverse approach to musical styles?

All the songs come from a similar place. I'm always trying to re express the feeling in different ways with every song. Searching for new ideas is kinda like gold mining in your head.

How does the Reskilled remix EP branch out that eclecticism further?

I figured since the music for Multiplicity is so studio electronic the classiest way to remix it would be with live performances of live instruments. That's how the 'Cover (Live Mix)” came about.

Having studied with the likes of Dan Deacon, Regina Spektor, Philip Glass etc; was there ever any formidable note sharing-trading?

Dan used to crash at my apartment and would offer me his tiny Casio synths like the CZ-101 to record with. We also once played in punk-polka band backing another classmate Langhorn Slim with tuba, drums and accordion. I think the car broke down afterwords and we wound up playing on the streets of Greenwich Connecticut if I recall…

How did the opportunity to remix Pictureplane come about?

I chopped and screwed his track then did my own thing. After I posted it on the internet [Travis Egedy] contacted me and said he liked it. Next thing I knew it was released.

What does the future hold for Loveskills and crew?

As long as I'm alive I'll never give up making music. Thankful for the love and support from my label No Shame as I've been able to push the limits with Loveskills even farther both in the studio and live. So for now, chasing the flame of beauty is my occupation of choice.

Baltimore's Michael Collins, aka Salvia Plath, pka Run DMT, released his new album The Bardo Story this week on Weird World. The stoned bass thump of title track “Bardo States” is given a visual treatment that goes from mushroom picking in the forest after a good rain, to vending machine fits of rage, hair combing sessions, morning swims, moments at home and just plain enjoying the great outdoors. Get inspired and don't retire with Michael as you tune in and drop out through the minimalist noise hissing from a project collision of poetic iconography and the divine-altered states of the 'divinorum. And like the etymologies of the term “bardo”, Collins' odd audio warbling bring about the states of the intermediate, the transitional, the liminal and the meditative act of existing, creating and performing within these purgatorial-territorial lands.

Catching our ears this week was Winter with their daydream inducing song, “The View”. From Brazil to Boston for school, Samira Winter aligned musical forces with Nolan Eley (of Infinity Girl and audio engineering grad from Berklee College of Music), Kyle Oppenheimer (also of Infinity Girl and colleague of Eley) and Ana Karina DaCosta (28 Degrees Taurus, Slowdim and Bobb Trimble) to create a unified sound of unrelenting serenity. Bottling seasons like fireflies in a jar, they share the warmth of every holiday you wish you had, but vicariously lived through via Instagram feeds and blog GIF rolls of the beautiful and successful. Winter makes music with a belief that these qualities do not have to be exclusive to that 1% Illuminati and sharpens their gaze to concoct the definitive sound of indie Boston for '13/2014. The strange-conscious vapor trails that remain floating in the air after “The View” has ended will have you placing the song on repeat listens in order to bring back that warm aura of enchantment. Having given us their indie dream rock musings with “Bedroom Philosophies” from their EP Daydreaming, we look forward to the next release solstice from Winter. Samira talked with us about the band's current workings and music in progress.

How has Boston influenced and affected Winter's sound?

We are a Boston based band who at heavily influence by shoegaze/dream pop and indie rock. Bands such as Best Coast, Real Estate and My Bloody Valentine. Winter started as a collaboration between me, Samira Winter, and Nolan Eley. Over the course of a few months last year I sent songs to Eley and he produced them into what is now our first EP, Daydreaming.

Tell us about the beautiful blending of perspectives, sonic and respective talents that went in to making the lush song, “The View”.

This month we released our first new song after the EP. “The View” was written by Eley on the verses and I on the chorus and bridge, as we reminisced about biking in the summer with your friends and platonic crushes.

What can you tell us about the follow up to the Daydreaming EP?

We are planning on releasing a new EP at the end of the summer.

Get glamorous with Louise Burns in the glittering Catherine Lutes video for “Emeralds Shatter”. Allegedly made as a homage to David Bowie, Burns breaks the crystal jars with sound and vision that messes with the neuron sensors responsible for memories and replaces the moment where the glam and punk stars settled into the new wave with a new face and a new-retro sound. Louise's new album The Midnight Mass is available now from Light Organ Records.

Philadelphia's Bleeding Rainbow let you listen to their new Kanine Records LP Yeah Right as they prepare to take on the North American states in a tour from August 28 to September 21 with dates and details posted here. If you have yet to experience Robert Garcia, Sarah Everton and Al Creedon's pop art noise fantasia, all it takes is a listen to lead off track “Go Ahead” that dares you to take on the Big Muff-big time experience.

Toronto based Bird, dropped his album debut, La Notte on Lost Metropolis Records and featured the following limited stream.

Get a quick truncated listen to Lustmord's The Word As Power here.

Dallas duo A.Dd+ dropped the video for “Where You Been?” that features production from DJ Burn One and video direction from Jeff Adair for Dream Work Conquer Films. Ahead of their upcoming #DiveHiFlyLo tape dropping later this year, listen up as Slim Gravy and Paris Pershun rep the D, remind you where they're from and that they've been around their blocks for a while now and it's high time you recognized.

Don Cavalli released his title track, “Temperamental” off the forthcoming album of the same name slated for release August 13 from Everloving. Follow along with Don's blues, funk and rock as he explains why he is baby is so uptight. Follow the following logics: “She takes one in the morning, just to be in the mood, one for lunch as a food substitute, one to be quiet to be mind not wide, and one not to have any baby ties, she takes one pill at the party to be in the mood, one for as a food substitute, she takes a whole other tablet not to be sad, and one pill at night to sleep tight in her bed”.

Experts of inner-sound-zones Fortune Howl dropped their new electric zapper, “Interzone Export” ahead of their album Earthbound's release July 30 on Relief in Abstract. Listen as a arrangement of organic elements get decorated in the garb of the slightest electronic treatments for an all around transcendent experience.

Say what up and scream-sing along to none other than Kathleen Hanna as she returns with her Julie Ruin solo project du force (and with plenty of due artful-pop-dodging force as well). Her new album Run Fast drops September 3 on Dischord's TJR Records and you can peep the Erin Greenwell directed video for “Oh Come On” now.

Catching me completely off guard this week, Olivia Lee's project There's Talk got me talking, and thinking in new reflective ways in response to “The Salt”. As described in lyric and achieved through delivery and sparse electric arrangement is Lee's ability to shake the mightiest beings to an inner core of protection and safety. Recorded from Nic De La Riva's garage studio to Tiny Telephone with Ian Pellicci; There's Talk's EP Tiny Strands will be available August 6 on Bandcamp with a release show August 30 at SF's Bottom of the Hill.

Get bossy, get flossy with Blanco & The Jacka – Duck Hunt (Ft. Nipsey Hussle, YG & Messy Marv). Gonna be bumping this one probably all Summer long.

Pendentif brought vintage b/w images of b-movies that features skaters, singing bears, alien overlords, explosions and more for their pendant-charm-pop of, “1er Juillet”. Bourdeaux France's darlings' debut album Mafia Douce comes out September 24.

More from Pendentif with the extra rhythms and extra perspectives from the Memory Tapes remix of “Embrasse Moi”. If the Bourdeax beauts had not already embraced your ears with the original, then check out this revision.

Ahead of their Neon Gold Pop Up Shop show at LA's The Echo July 25, Dead Times gave us a slice of inner peace and newer meditations with the new track “Inner Gold”. LA by Arizona's Calvin Markus and Travis Bunn had showcased their electro-fied soul on previous offerings like “Centuries” and “Feel“, and get further into those inner zones with “Inner Gold”. Catch a West Coast sea breeze with Calvin's soulful sharing of, “I promise that you're enough, and I know why, it's inside, I promise that you can trust me, I won't lie, no I won't hide, 'cause you've got that inner gold”. From here the sound kicks into what could be called the new abstract-LA-beat-groove. The song is available from iTunes, and you can read Dead Times' headlining Week in Pop feature here.

Meet Tree (aka Santa Cruz resident Oliver Tree Nickell), who delivered his title cut “Demons” (feat. Beat Culture & Lena Kuhn) ahead of the EP of the same name's release August 13 from his new home at Apollo Records. Oliver's work makes music for both gothed out mausoleum's to cinematic urban environments where the production rises up from the concrete like steaming utility vents in the ground.

Tropic of Cancer has decreed that their album debut Restless Idylls will be released September 23 from Blackest Ever Black with their new single “More Alone” dropping on 7″ in August. Listen as the world of Camella Lobo moves through the gloomy mood tropic haunts and into further territories of the paranormal.

Larry Gus dropped by his new track “The Night Patrols (A Man Asleep)” from his forthcoming Years Not Living LP dropping August 19 from DFA. Let Larry rock you with a helping of timeless soul futurism streaming to stir you from within.

Start seeing dual religious crosses and other signs and relics within nature with Delorean's new track “Spirit” off the forthcoming Apar LP. As the spirit floats through you through the synth tunnel programming, check out their upcoming October 7 to November 13 North American tour dates here. Apar will be available September 10 from True Panther.

Rabbi Darkside's album Prospect Avenue is on the streets now and the good rabbi dropped the Tafadzwa M. Chiriga video for “See Something Say Something” that features sax-heavy production from Mista Mayday. Spilling a little something for our suspicious times, get schooled on semiotic judgements made about preconceived conclusions as Darkside reminds us that we are all on the same train with some of that old school NYC flavor.

Dustin M Krapes is HABITS who throw down the fuzzy-amp action figure-melter “Toymakr”. Getting raw with Stab City's Bobby Vega and Kyle Souza on drums and bass, Dustin gets down with real analogue grit and described the track in the following statement.

“I didn't begin with any particular subject for the song, I just started playing on words and the ideas kind of took shape. In analyzing, it now that it is complete, I suppose I'm addressing my naivety and a constant desire to achieve more enlightened perceptions. It's a confrontation with my ego. We're hassling each other. There's some shit talking going on between us. It's about creating yourself and being the director of your reality. It's packed to the gills with good stuff like pride, guilt, paranoia, lust and cynicism. Or maybe it's just a fun song that has absolutely no meaning whatsoever.”

Ahead of their performing on The Eric Andre Show next week in LA and at Comic Con, YACHT & Eric Andre are proud to present the following tape, ▌│█║▌║▌║ DR. MDMA, M.D. ║▌║▌║█│▌Catch them July 16 at the Fonda Theatre in LA with The Eric Andre Show in a DJ set, July 20 at San Diego's House of Blues as part of ComicCon in The Eric Andre Show, with a live performance.

With songs dropping every Monday to the lead up of their debut LP for No Shame, Walking Shapes droped their cut “Champagne” this week. Popping bubbly corks and asking “where will you go” with memorable lines like “sea sick floating lonely heart” and tales of floozies who schtup all your friends.

Crashing the “Seattle Party”, get a listen to Chastity Belt where they ask “are we having fun?” while surveying the party guests and wondering if they too are having a ball. The Walla Walla by Seattle group is made up of frontwoman Julia Shapiro, guitarist Lydia Lund, bassist Annie Truscot and drummer Gretchen Grimm who make a musical lens to enjoy the new Northwest scene waves through. With the a sound of friends who have playing together for some time, their restraint and sentimental verses invite over their best friends to the best house party in all of Washington state. Their album No Regerts comes out August 13 from Help Yourself.

Full | REBEL | Jacket dropped their self made visuals for “27th” where G and Q lay out the high stakes duress and tension of coming up short on twenty-seventh of the month when rent is due on the first. Flaunting buttoned up styles like mafia dons, they dish out some familiar tales about just barely getting by in the hustle from month to month.

Keeping things “a d r i f t”, Exray's take you deeper into the Exray's XII worlds out side of the genre dimensions into the new territories. Get electric, add a few more quarters to the game machine and listen into what the sound future sound waves may or may not entail.

Terry Malts dropped their new song “I Was Not There” off their forthcoming full-length Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere slated for a September 10 release from Slumberland. Welcome back the SF lads of Phil Benson, Corey Cunningham, and Nathan Sweatt as they deliver an eternal Bay Area brand of pub-rock that goes great with two fingers of Bulleit and a pint of Anchor Steam flagship as a chaser.

Straight out of Leeds comes another hot signing from Weird World with the sonic fury of Hookworms. We got the memo back in the day when they dropped their self-titled cassette EP from Sun Ark (the imprint of Sun Araw), and the listen to “Away / Towards” sounds like one of the great indie pop hopes we had been awaiting for the bulk of 2013 so far. From that opening build up that psychs you out and shakes you up to the slipstream epic trails that run through a 100 story tall monolith in under 9 minutes. It is with great pleasure to tell you that the Hookworms full-length Pearl Mystic will arrive September 3 from the wonderful world of Weird World Record Co.

Produced by Doomtree's Paper Tiger, F. Stokes album Fearless Beauty is out now and rolling hard and you can peep the video for “Shaka Zulu” now. Also check out Stokes' Selector tape.

NYC's What Model Citizens are here to remind us that electroclash never died ya'll, so peep the post-punk electric revivalism of “Coming For Me” here. The Eddie Costas and Steve Nolan video takes you through those keyboard dotted histrionic states and trails from Bizarre Bar, Silent Barn to various other hoods around Brooklyn. Check out more from WMC via their Bandcamp.

Get medieval, indulge in the rites and rituals of Summer and turn back those hands of time with Laughing Eye Weeping Eye with their animated video of pagan-pageantry for “Beway”. The duo of Rebecca Schoenecker and Patrick Holbrook craft a call from the metaphysics of the ancients. Rebecca's animated video for “Beway” highlights the lyrics of old English verses while images of animals spring and leap about the cosmos through the astrological spin of zodiac signs. The album of the same name is available now from the indie imprint, Hairy Spider Legs.

Whispertown brings you a series of Creative Commons cuts to comprise the visuals for title track, “Parallel” off the the album of the same name. The moving images were assembled by singer-songwriter Morgan Nagler's brother, and shows us the a sweeping view of various folks, creatures, seaforms, life forms, art forms, religious forms, and scientific occurrences that tie us together in a moving open keyboard toned letter Morgan wrote to her friend Jenny Lewis. Whispertown's Parallel is available now from Acony Records.

Portland's Quiet Life gave a listen to their wild bunch sort of Americana with “Devil's Kin” off the forthcoming Wild Pack dropping October 29 from Mama Bird Recording Co.

Rejoice oh ye fan of folks fringes of the American primitive, as Robbie Basho's 1978 album Visions of The Country will be given a new re-released life August 20 from Gnome Life Records. Get a listen to the following 30 second samples of Basho's “Blue Crystal Fire” and Rodeo” to begin to hear what every Takoma Records true believer and Fahey follower has been trying to tell you about for years while headphone buds pouring EDM into your ear drums occupied your head space.

Off their brand new Music for Objects EP from Paper Bag Records, get a morning stretch and listen to CFCF (aka Michael Silver) who works the piano-horn connection for new awakenings on “Camera”. Fresh from playing Monterey's Jazz Festival the other week, Silver crafts a jazz that feels inspired by following the sun's movement patterns in the AM timetables of dawn break to noon.

Dads dropped the cow-caterwaul video from Z.P. of OSR Productions for their single “Invisible Blouse”, available for dance and thrash action now via 7″ from Wharf Cat Records.

Part Time's PDA is available now from Mexican Summer, and you can stream it for a limited time following this message as well as enjoy their Friday Night Mix the San Franciscan inde poppers made just for us here.

We got the Veli-Matti Hoikka video for Redder's song “Faster”. The Helsinki duo of Frans Saraste and Vesa Hoikka get their atmospheric organic-electricals caught in a storm of star aligned dots, and expanses of sky. Go faster, and engage with a convergence of the traditional and the digital mechanical methods in one setting. Redder's Border/lines EP will be available August 19.

With little information to go off other than this London artist may have been influenced by this meme for his moniker; Clarence Clarity dropped the weird-skull-electric-fried-soul video for “The Gospel Truth”. The Save †hyself EP will be available in September via iTunes.

Dash Speaks dropped the Started From The Bottom Bootleg fresh with his The Importance of Getting Up EP available now from Mishka / Greedhead. Download it here, and start from the bottom and bring the whole team here now.

Black City Lights gave the evening time painted face motorcycle gang riot and spitting-cool revelry of blessed stoicism in the Alexander Hoyles video for Offering. The duo's full-length debut Another Life will be available August 6 from Stars & Letters.

In more Stars & Letters news, we got We Are Temporary's labors of love, pain, prowess and catharsis EP, Afterthoughts, available now for a pay-what-you-can consumption fee via Bandcamp. Let the the opening title track propel you into those crumbled up-unsent letter crevices that get flung into a burning fire of digital synthesis and emotive incineration. For any rough patch in your world, this might be just what helps you 'get over' whatever it is.

Get more of those 90s based, lovesick power chords coupled with dancing ladies in the Jordana Toback video for Lightouts' track, “The Big Picture” off their recent album Want.

San Francisco's Should We Run dropped “Dimensions In My Crown” that searches out those black holes and new terrestrial spaces in life after star chasing brings about a chance meeting in a hidden new coast. From the gift of masked mysteries, discover the new lush-soundtracked dimension courtesy of Tavon Bolourchi's video shot in SF's Mission and in Pescadero, California.

Andy Cato parts the deadened seas with a flurry of electric organ tides on, “The Coastal Path” (The Amorphous Androgynous remix), ahead of his Remix Single release this coming July 23 from Apollo Records.

Islands will release their new album Ski Mask on September 17 from Manqué Music and offer a listen to their tropical landmass paradise sound forms with “Wave Forms”.

The Moondoggies' third album Adios, I’m A Ghost will be available August 13 from Hardly Art, but you can follow their dusty trail's wagon tracks down the Americana pathways and passage ways into the songwriting territories that wrench you from both the heart and gut like on “Midnight Owl”.

Following up the debut Hearts from 2011, get in “Denial” with I Break Horses, aka Maria Linden and her continuing synth experiments of grandeur. The single will be available with an RxGibbs remix on ultra limited edition white label-white 12″ vinyl on July 13 from UK's Independent Label Market in London's Spitalfields Market.

Get mellow and smooth with Jorge Elbrecht featuring Ariel Pink on the slick b-side, “No Real Friend”, from the Hang On to Life 7″ available now from Mexican Summer.

Get a look at the Johan Kramer video for Jacco Gardner's “Chameleon” that brings old world carnival cascading chamber pop into today's newer realms. Gardner's album debut Cabinet Of Curiosities is available now from Trouble In Mind & Excelsior Recordings. Look for Jacco on the road via the dates posted here.

Come celebrate 14 years of Dirtnap Records in both their current home of Portland and founding home of Seattle this September. Between the two events you can catch the likes of Marked Men, Bad Sports, Mean Jeans, White Wires, Sonic Avenues, Mind Spiders, Low Culture, Guantanamo Baywatch, Youthbitch, Autistic Youth, The Girls, Big Eyes and more September 20 in Portland at Slabtown and September 21 in Seattle at the Highline. Got to Dirtnap for further information.

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