Week in Pop: Clear Soul Forces, CC/NN, Grand Resort, My Red Dress, RedRedRed, Street Gnar

Sjimon Gompers

(cover courtesy of Street Gnar, main photo by Grand Resort, alt photo from Detroit's Clear Soul Forces)

Between a Week in Pop feed of reruns and paranoia inducing mass-media coverage of global surveillance programs, we scour to see if there was anything we may have missed between the buzz shrapnel of apathy and fear unbound. First there was word of the JAY Z and Damon Dash reunion, Kevin Shields allegedly regrets not making more music, Chris Brown may have had a seizure, Jack White's ex Karen Elson goes Snowden-style and leaks e-mails where Jack calls The Black Keys-bro Dan Auerbach an asshole, accusing him of copying the White Stripes style and then that silly Daft PunkColbertViacom absence-appearance dispute debacle ultimately begged the question; are the VMAs still relevant and viable to the so-called industry? So plug these into your own amalgamated algorithms to see what it all might mean, as we go forth with just a few of our favorites who shared their words, music, time, thoughts, and mixtapes with us-in no particular order.

Detroit may be in the midst of it's own bankruptcy crisis, but introducing some serious weight in gold is Clear Soul Forces to revive their city today, with the Richard Taylor directed video for “Ain't Playin”. A quartet combined of the talents of E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and producer/emcee Ilajide; these four young soul rebels travel the Motor City solar system while dropping rhymes like exothermic explosions that you've never quite heard before or might not be ready for. But ready or not, Clear Soul Forces are raising the tempo and the bar for the new Detroit school that keeps their rhymes and thoughts in notebooks away from their computer. Lyrical gymnastics spill from backpacked styles that traverse from a national arsenal of fresh flows, featuring memorable lines like “vernacular dracula”, and Biblical like verse scriptures that state knowledge in stone tablets like, “No weapon shall be formed against the forces I'm educating”. CSF's upcoming Gold PP7's album will be available September 17 from Fat Beats Records, while we had chance to sit down with the crew to gain insights into the creative sides and new Detroit steezes that the media and world have overlooked.

I feel like all four of you guys bring a fresh new take of Detroit life that is upbeat, and hopeful, but at the same time you all “Ain't Playin”. What's the secret to the new Detroit street school of poetics that you all rap and rep?

Ilajide: Man, just make dope shit. Dope music. Good music. I ain't playin, so why should you be?

L.A.Z: I don't think it's really a secret honestly, we just try to make ill lyrical hip hop songs. People have been rapping out in Detroit it's just people are starting to be aware of what's going on in the city

Noveliss: First it's about respect for the craft of rap, for us we've always been about staying true to ourselves and who we are and we'll never compromise that shit for anybody. Naturally, in Detroit, and everywhere else I think there was a period of time where everybody was trying to be somebody else, sort of the dark ages so to speak. Now, it's coming back to originality, and being yourself…the renaissance so to speak, that's where we are now.

e-Fav: I don't think there's a secret to it, I just believe everybody here takes the music seriously on every level our bar for good music is high it's so much talent here…. It's a hunger that the scene will motivate you to have, plus we all slept on so it makes us have a chip on our shoulder.

Ilajide, how do you balance and manage both your work behind the decks and mic?

I: Man it's hard you know? I'm still tryna find that balance between 'em, but then again I feel like that's just all a part of being great you know? The balance. I try to study other producer/emcees but it doesn't necessarily put it into perspective for me because most either have better rhymes than beats, and it's like just rap don't make beats. Then there's the other where the beats are better than the rhymes, so it's like, don't rap and just make beats. Ha, you know what I mean? Anyway, I study Black Milk, Oddisee, Big K.R.I.T and tons of others, but for the most part, I just make the beats and as I'm making them I'll be coming up with cadences, hooks, concepts, bridges or whatever as I'm laying bass lines and other instruments. So by the time I'm finished with the beat I'd usually have something in mind already. Jam session shit.

What wisdom has Royce da 5’9” imparted from your work with him on 2009's Street Hop to now with Gold PP7's?

I: The most wisdom Royce has given is just to keep going. Sounds cliche, and it is……but he said that before we had a million views. And he's still saying it. So it's like……..ha ha, yeah.

L: Ha, pretty much he let it be known from the jump he thought we could rap but at the end of the day he's busy as hell working on his own thing so we learned to stand on our own 2 feet and make our own moves. We didn't do any work on Street Hop though.

N: Royce made the suggestion that we become a group, and if he hadn't truth is we probably wouldn't be one, we might have just all stayed solo and doing our own thing. Royce played the Nick Fury role, we're just the Avengers hahaha.

Who was the first to dub you all Clear Soul Forces? Royce? Or was it just a force amongst yourselves that was mutually recognized?

I: IT WAS MEEEEEEE!!!!

Ha, and with the title of your upcoming Fat Beats album Gold PP7s, just how much GoldenEye do you all play and how much of an influence has it had on your lives, beats, and rhymes?

I: Goldeneye is like one of the best multiplayer games ever. Classic yo. But it really wasn't too much of an influence. It's just the golden gun is a one shot kill. And with the beats I've been makin' I've been dubbin em gold pp7's cause they're one shot kills. Ha ha, I be feelin' like I'm ridin' around wit heat with just my beats on the iPhone, ha ha! But once we started doing the songs on them, it just naturally carried over.

L: I haven't played the old school Goldeneye in a minute! James Bond is a big influence tho, he was always cool calm and collected but he was still a killer I try to be the same way

N: I love video games, finding yourself and influence is all about nostalgia man, staying in-tuned with the things you loved growing up and using them now, whether it's video games, cartoons, comic books, sports, whatever.

I feel like there is some real hope that you interject into your lyrics about the possibility for advancement of the D. What message would you all want to relay to the rest of the country/world outside of Detroit, Michigan that us outsiders don't know about?

I: Detroit, is just another example on how a city or place can be when there is no community. When there is no unity. You know? It can get like that everywhere, but most of the time, I feel like it's us that's the most separated. From ourselves though. [shakes his head]

L: I would want people to always take a lil bit of optimism from our music. We still far from being set but we all still have hope for our futures and hunger for more opportunities I hope people could take a lil bit of that outlook to life from listening to our music

N: Detroit is like the world's secret breeding ground for emcees man, you could step in a random cypher one day, one dude might come in and just be mad dope, and then you might never see dude again. There's so much talent and so many dope cats here. There's a lot of dopeness that people outside of the city will never hear.

e: To the world, if your don't know about Detroit hip hop….you will soon. It's too much talent to deny!

Half of FLASH/LIGHTS, and the man behind CC/NN, and Holy Underground collective member Elliott Baker dropped his own personal edit of “I'm Gonna Do It Right” and “Highway to the Danger Zone”. Just think of it like a Loggins-Michael McDonald & Messina reunion that runs the waves of dad rock into these slowed waters. The yacht hype is taken further, and winds to an adjusted pitch with the introduction of new applied synthesized sea textures. But the road to where that mellow feel good music leads is the post-disco Moroder laced big time; but this time around the stakes have been changed, the undercurrent is again pitch shifted and Baker stands with the new best of the best…the elite, the chilled out Top Gun 2 that never arrived until today. Baker was so generous as to offer us the following bit of commentary on his ambitious take (takeover perhaps?) on a Kenny Loggins redux type of single.

“I often forget to switch my record played from 33 to 45 for my 7″. While most of the time the audio is less than inspiring, to my surprise Kenny Loggins gained a soulful reverberation to his voice when this happened. So I decided to record both the A & B side at 33rpm and make some Kenny Loggins edits. I merely beefed up drums, added synth lines, and a matured sexy Kenny Loggins voice brought it all together.”

Andrés Pichardo is the frontman behind Grand Resort, who just released their Memory Loss EP and follow up to Vanguard Dreams. There is something infinitely experiential about “Endless” that is wrapped up in that plea of “I, don't want, to ever fade away, like you” that keeps the resort sound switched on to eternal-god-mode. Then the EP soars to new great heights on the title, knock out track “Memory Loss” that will be the mixtape-pod mix track inclusion of the Summer. Turning the saloon card tables for a whole deck of aces; “Win or Lose” gives no option to draw before bringing the unwritten future that ricochets between the potential of continuous gains or staggering losses. While you are lost between the ear candy of shining guitars and dazzling keys, the cycle only moves forward from here on out with the mystifying “Life Cycle” that skates on the noisier surfaces before “Every Night” is an international transference of Goodnight Moon sentiment that celebrates those dusk feelings of evening time that gazes into dives of slow simmering valentines.

Amid the week's wild hype around Grand Resort's Memory Loss EP, we were able to track down Andrés for a candid, close-up listen and discussion about the new EP, the sound of memories lost, and the lifelong search for meaning and exploring life's reasons.

How has the movement between the La Romana, Dominican Republic to Boston and NYC impacted and influenced your approach to music?

It's pretty much the main influence in everything I do. Growing up in a third world country, but still longing for the cultural and social freedom of North America and Europe made want to go away. My music sums up the experience of moving around so much and being trapped between two different cultures. I still have strong bonds to my country, but I still haven't found a balance between my past and what I ended up being. I'm sure that growing up in such a different scenario than most of my peers up here gives me a certain lyrical context that no one else has. A lot of people seem to understand my work better after reading a little about my background.

Everyone has been talking about your underground 80s affinities, but what eras personally matter to you, and what comparative languages do you feel approximate your sound?

I have to admit that I do have a soft spot for all the sonic palettes of the 1980's. I guess when I started playing music, I was trying to rip off bands like The Cure or New Order, but nowadays it's just the way I write songs and play guitar. Back then, artists had this retro-futuristic approach to music because of all the new technology; I try to convey that same feeling and approach but with my own touch. I grew in a total different setting than Robert Smith, but I guess I learned how to mask melancholy behind a simple pop song. I'm also very fond of South American bands from the 1980's like Soda Stereo or Sumo. They were trying to emulate British music but with a Latin American identity. Since my musical backbone is based in this time period, it is logical that I look after these sounds. In the end, I'm still writing songs for me to listen and it's natural that I seek out for these types of sounds and song structures.

“Endless” is a great single, how did it become the centerpiece for the EP?

With that song, I wanted it to create this sense of desperation and anxiety. The drums just keep rushing and all this weird stuff is happening at the same time. I guess this song had a good sonic and lyrical balance that represents the EP as a whole.

What significance does the notion of lost memories and “Memory Loss” mean to you and for your music?

My songs are pretty much about reminiscing where I came from and where I ended up. There are a lot of memories and thoughts that get lost in between and I just realized that when writing these songs. Every time I go back home, it hits me hard; all my songs make sense. All these places are exactly the same, but everyone's gone (including me). I'm still trying to understand these concepts of space and time and what's been lost in between; this really messes up my head and makes me feel hopeless; everyone seems fine with the concept of growing up except for me. Big cities can make you feel lonely, and sometimes I just want to throw everything out and go back home. In the end, I just can't. All I have is familiar places with unfamiliar faces. I guess I write music to deal with this.

Like “Life Cycles” and “Every Night” and more, your music is very much in the key of life, so to speak. Is this one of the perhaps, many pseudo-mission statements of Grand Resort?

These groups of songs represent what I was at a certain point of my life. They may become pseudo-missions when I no longer identify with them. I'm still in this prolonged existential crisis. I just don't get all these basic concepts of human existence like time, space, memories, love. What's the point? I'm still figuring it out. I'm only 21 and I feel like I've done everything there is to be done. What else is there out to see? Don't look for answers in my songs, I'm still trying to figure everything out myself.

Lose yourself in the eternal analogue color sprays from Anna Spence's video for Grand Resort's “Endless”.

My Red Dress is not exactly your mother's My Bloody Valentine. From the Bay Area camp of Blue Aurora Audio, talk of a release is in the works from minds of Moonbeams' Ryan Lescure and Sophia Campbell from LSD and the Search for God introduce the MRD sound of serenity eq'd and mixed like the close and personal character of the San Francisco fog that lingers in those unexpected corners where sharp hill inclines meet the ground's bed of hallowed rock. Then the colors and driftwood sequences fall into the order of a “Dream”; that draws the attention toward the West Coast sea-gaze that rides on those winds that blow from the East from the many corners of the world's musical dreamers. The surreal sky swell and earthly storm sends signals and signs in the sciences that dispel the very fabrics of the world's under-pinning supports that create the earth's framework layers that pass deep down to the ever-burning heart of it's core.

Ryan and Sophia joined us this week to talke about their music, influences, and the expansive shoegaze haze that never-ever left San Francisco.

Between Ceremony to 6 2 13, how have you sharpened your focuses?

Ryan: Ceremony is a very exploratory record. I had wanted to try my hand at ambient music for the longest time, which doesn’t really fit in with the straight forward pop sound of my other group, Moonbeams. I started My Red Dress to try and blend ambient, drone, noise, and pop in a similar vein as some of my musical heroes do…artists like Lovesliescrushing, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Flying Saucer Attack, Belong, and Grouper. Ceremony was my first attempt at this. Additionally, it was my first attempt at using a computer to record, using synthesizers, and using drum machines.

All of Ceremony’s exploring led me to eventually create 6 2 13. I think this new record is much more focused. It’s also what I want this project to sound like from now on, for the most part. I couldn’t have made this record first, though. I needed the experience of creating Ceremony to sharpen my production skills and my attention to texture, sound, and nuance. Additionally, I currently have a better sense of what I want this project to be about. For me, this project is primarily about the pleasure I receive from creating music and sharing it with people. I am thrilled that others are listening to these songs, but I’m having a great time making them regardless of how many people have listened to them. I am also thrilled that Sophia is on board with vocals. She is wildly talented and has taken these songs to a completely different level.

I have a few future plans with this project. First, I’d like to put 6 2 13 out on 7” vinyl. Next, I’m planning on recording enough material for an eventual EP and LP. I’m planning on adding live drumming in addition to drum machines in my next songs as well. Finally, I don’t necessarily want to bring about the stress that results from being expected to play live shows, but I do want to play out sporadically. I’ll bring in a bassist and a drummer when I do this in order to avoid the modern phenomenon of the guitarist who plays shows alone with a click track and pre-recorded bass.

“Dream” sounds like it comes from an undiscovered continent all together, how did you craft that linger curtain drape breeze effect on this track?

R: That particular effect was obtained by adding delay swells, reverse reverb, and an unholy amount of compression to a few relatively clean guitar tracks. To add a bit more grit, I would often then feed these processed tracks through choice guitar pedals into my four-track recorder, push the levels into the red, and feed it back into my computer.

How much Cocteau Twins were being listened to during “Secrets”? And more importantly, how did you create this gnostic, hoodie processional kind of vibe?

R: You're spot on with that one. I love the Cocteau Twins. I was also listening to a great deal of Belong and the Cure when I was recording 6 2 13. I think Secrets reminded Sophia of Dead Can Dance. Several minor details in 'Secrets' conspire to give it a dark, processional kind of vibe. There is a certain tension in some of Sophia’s harmonies, which I absolutely love. I think the guitars are very clean and icy, which contrasts it well with 'Dream'. 'Dream has a fair amount of grit to it and feels much busier than Secrets does. Additionally, Secrets was a very different sounding song before I slowed down the snare crack and added that cavernous echo. It’s amazing how a minor detail like that can completely change a song’s feeling.

Sophia: I've worshiped the Cocteau Twins ever since I was a wee nipper. I'm really happy that their influence is apparent in the singing. When I heard Ryan's music it really evoked all the older 4AD music that I love so much.

What experiences can you relay from behind the making of the album? What's the obsession with the date 6 2 13, release date I'm imagining? Part of a greater mystery? Reading too much into it, maybe?

S: My experience so far collaborating with Ryan has been delightful and effortless. We've literally been communicating online since he asked me to sing. It’s definitely inspiring when things just click without having to be concerned about the logistics of studio practice, shows, and touring, though hopefully that will transpire eventually with the release of an LP. The live aspect is definitely a more challenging and sometimes rewarding part of a creative collaboration. It bodes well to have a promising new start.

R: This process has been ideal. I started recording the two songs on 6 2 13 about eight months ago, spending several months polishing minor details. I didn’t sing on Ceremony and I knew that I did not want to sing on these tracks either. In a fit of frustration over the fact that the music for these songs was basically finished and just sitting on my hard drive without vocals, I decided to contact Sophia and ask her if she would be interested in singing on these tracks. I was thrilled when she agreed to do so.

We’ve been sending tracks back and forth over email. I think her voice sounds perfect on these songs and I hope to keep making music with her. She’s incredibly talented. I’d like to keep some of the mystery intact about the album title, if possible. However, I will say that the date is my homage to a good friend, though kind of a convoluted one.

What's the state of shoegaze sounds in San Francisco, right now?

S: I don't really know, as I haven't been following that scene too closely lately. I like what I'm hearing on Soundcloud and beyond. It's great that there is a shoegaze resurgence, but I don't think it ever really went away in SF.

R: I think it’s great. San Francisco is really conducive to shoegaze aesthetics for several different reasons. I’m really into Whirr, Slowness, LSD and the Search for God, Chasms, and Airs right now. I think that Whirr is one of the best contemporary American shoegaze groups. I’m also really digging Cruel Summer, the Mantles, and Light Fantastic right now. I would not necessarily label those bands as 'shoegaze,' but I think that some of its influence is apparent in their music.

(photo courtesy of Melissa Joy Bernier)

Sometimes the description tags fail. Sure, there is you go-to 'post-whatever' button that you push like a B.F. Skinner box-joy-buzzer, but no matter what I tell you, I will never be able to contain the infrared square pushing-industrious aura of Michael Wood's RedRedRed. When the Pattern Completion EP from Function Operate dropped on our scanners, the daily mechanical routine became interrupted by the factory-assembly line attitudes of a blistering electronic sounds of drone-worker rebellion. From the beginning of “Contact/Dream”, Michael brings a teeth rattling electric hum like a ground wire caught in a generator's hub of energy manufacturing ambiance of evil. But nothing ends quite so easy there, or ever could as that generator springs to life, spurning the mechanical drums to drill like buzzards dropping a plethora of unidentifiable sourced bass patterns that are rooted as deep into the Bay's earth as they could have been smuggled from behind the Iron Curtain of East Berlin's enigmatic days of being part of the Eastern Bloc.

Michael Wood discusses the continuing progress of the chapters of RedRedRed that carry on the electronic projects brought forward to tomorrow from his previous project of Primary Colors, and the examination of the “relationship between the creative subconscious and the functional tangible reality…”.

How did RedRedRed begin for you?

I started performing as RedRedRed during the Fall of '12. This project is a continuation of ideas and concepts that originated from my former work in Primary Colors. In lieu of live industrial percussion, I now utilize blown out drum machines, synthesizers, and tape decks.

The first RRR set was for Oakland Art Murmur. The performance manifested in a temporary art space off of Broadway and 24th. I believe all the power was haphazardly run from next door via extension cables. Acts from the night included; Waxy Tombs, Joshua Kit Clayton, Tooth, Lana Voronina, and a handful of outstanding performance artists. The reaction I received from this show pulled me out from year long hibernation.

On the synth mover “Contact/Dream”, what is the contact, what is the dream, and is this a kind of connection to the dream state of consciousness through digital and electronic transmissions?

'Contract/Dream' examines the causal relationship between the creative subconscious and the functional tangible reality. The song directs it's attention to how one is dictated by objects of the past and unintentionally promotes them to the future.

Tell us about the composed and completed patterns and textures of the Pattern Completion EP.

The Pattern Completion EP is comprised of four tracks that are pieced together tapes from live performances and analog sequences. Each performance aims for simplicity by embellishing a focal bass line and drum track. The songs are connected through layered repeating natural and analog drones. The additional drones and textures initially began as an afterthought. After tracking, I noticed a bleed through of noise on most of the vocals takes. Apparently, my basement studio at Bay Area 51 acted as a resonate chamber for the sounds of the local machinery. Instead of covering up industrial buzz, I decided to exaggerate it with discordant and drifting drones from the Pro One synth. A lot spacial effects were created using a stereo reel to reel delay system that suffered from rusted over motors and bearings. I suppose the inspiration for the work could also be credited to the constant battle against failing gear and water damage.

Thoughts on the Bay's strong indie electro currents?

The current scene is representative of countless years of experimentation and the engrained passion from a number of Bay Area artists. I'm elated that so many of my peers are finally gaining recognition for their hard work. This past weekend I had to honor of playing with Dark Entries label mate Bézier. The night before, shared the Lab with flooring performances from Vice Device and Time Release. I'm excited for the SF electro future…

Street Gnar brings up your mood and spirits with a much approved listen to the head raiser, “Lift Up”. Our switchboards lit up when word began to be passed around our desks about the upcoming Street Gnar 12″ EP debut Shrine, available October 1 from France's imprint par excellence; Atelier Ciseaux. Made in solid white vinyl pressings limited to 300 copies; this future release already is a contender for one of the best extended players of 2013. “Lift Up” takes flight between the feather fall of guitar chords and rising harmonica notes that ascend in a spiritual-like take-off. “Be Good Or Be Gone” sheds shades of high altitude cruise control amid the friendly clouds and skies, “Constantly Crushed” dabbles between those special feeling spots along the loner-lines of infatuation and twitterpation, “Take Aim” is a slice of echoplexed bedroom rock that neither Bo Diddley nor Buddy Holly could have ever imagined. The chords get up and close and poppy on “Don't Tell”, “String” ties the bliss and internal expression all together, while “Locked Out” presents a little gentle jangle underground to stay with you 'til word of a release date for the Street Gnar full-length hits the DIY streets.

After losing ourselves in Street Gnar's Shrines EP, we started exchanging cables between these Kentucky-cool-cats and ended up with a Summer mixtape not to be missed.

What is the uplifting secret to composing a vintage flash to the future track like “Lift Up”?

I think the cover art sums up the feeling of being “groovy” but barely hanging on at the same time.

What influences and maybe sacred qualities do Shrines have in your life and musical inspirations?

This EP is a Shrine to the things I've mentally and physically collected over 2013. We've all lost and gained family members, loved ones, and relationships. I think we put those things on our own personal pedestal. We all have shrines to something.

Best summer jams?

This is the most uplifting song i can think of.

Tim Maia is a current favorite. True devotion is the way!

Todd Teje makes the most interesting edits. There are so many!

We played Micheal Hurley into the ground driving around the western USA on tour this summer.

Robot opera.

90's Iggy highway chiller.

Gnarliest song/album/mixtape of the summer?

Dirty Beaches, Drifters/ Love Is the Devil
Idiot Glee, Life Without Jazz
…everything Trailblazer is doing.

Street Gnar's plan for Fall/2014?

Laying low, saving money, and fixing up my house.

Yves/Son/Ace dropped the warm leatherette “Sundia” that makes the normal sound, well, normal by comparison. The analogue drum machine phaser party has only just begun, as their Dead Life LP is available from the forward, underground pop thinking folks from Clan Destine.

Michael Lawrence drops the stripper's story video for “The Way Out”, from Maruo Remiddi's Italo pop project, Porcelain Raft. The new PR record, Permanent Signal, will be available August 20 from Secretly Canadian. Find that bright beaming exit door out, now.

The wait for Dark Colour's album Prisoner is over, and available now from Naturalized Records. To get the celebration of natural, electronic expression started; check out this picture slide show of frontman Randall Rigdon Jr. enjoying the various sceneries that the great outdoors has to offer while you marinate on the opening song, “In Case You've Forgotten”.

Animal Collective dropped the rope snake charming odyssey from Jack Kubizine for their cut “Monkey Riches” off Centipede Hz. Get enchanted, get rich, and get wonky from the collective of zoological proportions.

The Soft relesed the video for “Prana” this week Follow the Suffolk call of “I need…another” that summons the uncanny valley of uncanny beings, as previously experienced with the synthesization of humankind on the previous track, “Mori”. The single for “Prana” is available now from Ceremony Recordings.

We got the new Au Revoir Simone video for “Somebody Who” from the trio's forthcoming new album, Move In Spectrums available September 24 from Moshi Moshi / Instant. Your returning key-craft champions of Erika-Spring-Forster, Annie Hart, and Heather D'Angelo get the HARRYS direction as they sing and synth out to that somebody, somewhere within a gorgeous palatial estate. Forster's gaze and support from songstress sistren D'Angelo and Hart send new chapters for sad songs, new sentiments that bring forward the new synth territories and textures found on last year's impressive Erika Spring EP.

Warm yourself to Vikesh Kapoor's guitar gleaming folk dreamt blues, “I Dreamt Blues” off Kapoor's The Ballad of Willy Robbins, available October 15 from Mama Bird Recording Co. For those that preferred their Bobby D. pre-plugged in and pre-1965 Newport Folk Festival, than Vikesh brings a sob story song just for you.

We got Ghost Wave's Jacob Perkins (of Ready Steady Shoot) video for their cut, “Country Rider” off the album Ages available August 27 from Flying Nun Records. Take the trip now in stunning black and white that presents perspectives of travel, consumption at the speed and perspectives of life.

This weeks BANKS got attention from her track “Waiting” produced by Vienna by London talent, SOHN. With an EP slated for Fall from Harvest Records, the chanteuse carves a sound between the soft and synth-ier side of patience well worth the wait.

The Moondoggies gave us the following stream of their forthcoming album, Adios I'm a Ghost available August 13 from Hardly Art. The ghost of Americana past blasts forward with the lift off “I'm a Ghost”, the rockin' “Red Eye”, the midnight mellow of “Annie Turn Out the Lights”, the late night special of “Midnight Owl”, the tranquil waters of “Pride”, the organ grind of “A Lot to Give”, the jangle-town of “Stop Signs”, the new beginnings of “Start Me Over”, new opportunities of “One More Chance”, the memory souvenir dawning of “Back to the Beginning”, the questionless “Don't Ask Why”, and succinct “Our Prayer” like finale with the titular, “Adiós I'm a Ghost”.

Before we play for you Raccoon Fighter's “Santa Tereza”, let us raise a toast to our recent notable central park saint 'Santa Taraka Larson' and the Prince Rama queen's recent raccoon sparring experience. Get more head tossing grizzly guitar grit off the Raccoon Fighter's album ZIL will be available October 1 from Papercup Music.

A song from M. Lamar always takes me to places. Be it the quest for identity, a marriage of post-gender issues and grappling with historical confines, the atrocities of the past and perspectives of civil rights and the human cause for acceptance and understanding of the self and others is something experienced between the piano keys and vocal vibrato. On “Trying To Leave My Body” from Speculum Orum: Shackled to the Dead, I found a strange trip to memory lane. Or maybe it was those Bay Area warehouse/practice spaces from years back where I watched and listened as Lamar crafted the beginnings of Speculum. But maybe too it was something even deeper, when M. Lamar was the commanding adonis of the former glam gothed Mutilated Mannequins, those wild all night parties, the cops breaking up the action, hitting up every venue in SF available around 2004, the dramas, the trials, tribulations and triumphs that have all contributed to the forever fascinating character of M. Lamar.

With our Washington friends Chastity Belt's debut album No Regerts, [nope, this is not a typo, swear to'] coming out this August 13 from the indie imprint, Help Yourself Records; let us continue to the friend pact pop further with “Black Sail”. Not sure if I have had the chance to expound upon this yet in our recent coverage of “Seattle Partiy” but “Sail” really gives a chance to show the more forlorn territories of Julia Shapiro's song with such solid instrumental back up from her comrades. Through these strong winds painted, I'll be damned if you don't feel it by the time Julia sings, “black sheep, I'm not one of them”. Chastity Belt has already made both ours, and your year a little better via a little bit of understanding.

Peep the Bay's own, Richie Fareal with his James Cortes b/w video for “Make Em See” that offers some perspective off his recent LXXXV joint, where the keys linger like specters of the West Coast.

You are invited to get super-human with Superhumanoids, as they bring in the storming Tropics remix of “Bad Weather” from their Exhibitionists album from Innovative Leisure.

Dip yourself into the hype stream media mechanique of pop techniques in excess with Natural Animal's title track, “Who You Are” from their EP debut of the same name. This has all seasonal hooks, vintage samples that plays on identity but keeps it dum enough in this whole, “come ride with me to the stars and tell me who you want to be” and you'll get it, get all Mediterranean club night dance-y to it, or maybe just throw your lappy or mobile out the window as you continue your own futile quest for identity; whatever that contrivance means anymore.

Because Suicide Squeeze Records loves you, they drop the new cut, “Hole In The Sky” from none other than Audacity, off the Fullerton group's upcoming album Butter Knife available October 29. Get into that mom's garage rock that brings a few choice smart unexpected change ups, break downs, and more that interrupt like a falling sky and present a new audacious kind of hope.

Keep Shelly in Athens, “Oostende”, the latest listen to KSiA's forthcoming album, At Home available September 17 from Cascine. The streams and rivers that Sarah P. and RPR cross are ones that maybe only Cyndi Lauper could have ever predicated some decades back. The latest developments from their Grecian synth layered palettes take you to the Flemish province of West Flanders, Belgium, where port-side holidays evoke Summers, exotic archways, and gateways to days away from office duties. Be sure to catch KSiA's remix of Selebrities' “Temporary Touch“.

Leave it to good ol' Ryan Hemsworth to provide some samples of lovely cascades of flower garden piano cuts placed over A$AP Rocky's “Thuggin’ Noise (It’s Hemsworth, Bitch Edit)”. Even if your boy Lord-Pretty-Flacko might just be busting out platitude plethora of contemporary trending bits of verbage; Hemmie like his fellow production minded folks and friends of Friendzone appear to be listening to the same cascading note recipes these days.

Find your own musical “Fruend” from Montreal's hair twist synth and vocal glitters from Braids, who bring their new record Flourish // Perish into the world August 19 from Full Time Hobby.

Bay Area duo B. Bravo & Teeko bring the Starship Connection with “We Can Go All Night” with the 7″ vinyl EP and or digital from Bastard Jazz. Go all night with the smoothest night moves and night grooves around.

Sacramento gals Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles are Dog Party, who have been growing up and have slowly become the rising star-sister rockers of the San Jouquin. We brought you “How Are You Doing” not too long back and are overall astounded how they can combine a strong measure of a loud and strong duo that can take on all the big, bad bands that consist of 3, 4, 6 persons, or more. Dog Party's third album Lost Control will be available August 13 from Asian Man Records.

Black Hearted Brother brings back all the vintage ethereal noise chemistries rooted from back in the days and made by some people who know what they're doing. The latest labor of life-love from the ever prolific Neil Halstead [yeah, better act like you know, Slowdive and Mojave 3 fans, alike] Mark Van Hoen of Seefeel, and Holton's Opulent Oog dude Nick Holton brings back the undergrounds that made the 90s, today, and tomorrow what the are, what they were, and what else they can be. The first listen from the these Black Hearted men with “(I Don’t Mean To) Wonder”, is an almost accidental mind wandering into the wondrous wormholes of a forthcoming larger noise machine of dreams with, Stars Are Our Home available October 21 from Slumberland Records.

Say hello, and a get a listen to the latest Relapse signees Nothing who “Dig” in with a blistering heap of heavy lidded crunch ripped from their power-lead-weight-chords off their debut scheduled for early 2014. This is the vehicle for Domenic Palermo to takes his Horror Show hardcore into the expressionistic realms of metallic dandelion rock.

Jon Hopkins sends new breaths of electro-pop air with this redux of “Breathe This Air feat. Purity Ring“. Catch Hopkins bring electric therapy to the world with fellow Ring-pop-purists on the dates listed here, via Domino.

Said The Whale are prepping thier lower cased and misspelled album, titled hawaiii for September 17 from Hidden Pony Records. Now watch this pop punky dudes take the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge and get all kinds of messed up to their polished garage music made for getting messed up to, messing up on your skateboard in time with; or possibly even being used to sell skateboards…no doubt.

Lucius bring a lonely slice of home from their performance of, “Go Home (Live in Brooklyn)”, off their forthcoming debut album, Wildewoman,available from Mom+Pop on October 15.

The Horrors' Tom Furse remixes Elephant Stone's “A Silent Moment” with a head nodding-vibraphonic trance, as the stoned pachyderms traverse the Eastern side of the States on tour dates listed here.

Dazzling audiences and listeners with the album 151a, Kishi Bashi has declared with enthusiam from the top of a mountain top the forthcoming of the Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! new 7″ b/w “Song For The Sold” available September 10 from Joyful Noise Recordings. Today we are happy to share some of the philosophical sound chemicals with you in this listen to the A-side that will have you prancing about the room, down sidewalks, in the streets, in parks, at the Farmer's Market, and wherever else you may go.

Get on time with Jef Barbara from Montreal who relishes in the tardy to class attitude with “I Know I'm Late” off the forthcoming Soft to the Touch, slated for release in October from Club Roll Music, Bertrand Burgulat's imprint Tricatel in France.

Eamon O'Rourke directs Walking Shapes' video for “Keep” that keeps a lot of passion from Nathaniel Hoho in single-sided bathtub shouting matches that visually unravel every unrequited relationship you have ever had the displeasure of knowing. Walking Shapes' Mixtape Vol. 1 is available now from No Shame.

Get groovy with the visuals of hip-shaking counter culture hippies, commentary and weirdness from CAVE's Threace album video teaser, for the full-length available Ocotber 15 from Drag City.

Sweater Funk hits up the PUMA YARD this upcoming Sunday, August 11 at San Francisco's Pier 27 from noon to 4, bringing all the funky discs and grooves you can handle at the harbor. Check out PUMA YARD SF for details, and come experience the cooler side of America's Cup.

Amid the rush of releases and the fruitless pursuits to attempt to get caught up, Ora Cogan's Ribbon Vine appeared in our lives courtesy of independent outsider vanguards, Hairy Spider Legs. Recorded wtith Enrique Ara Martin in Castellón, Spain, the lost but homeward bound acoustic adventures sail the mystic seas on “Waterbound”, while strings and Cogan's vocals of foreboding realms ring with grimacing wave winded elegance. From this album experience, we have heard that Ora is biking about Canada, exploring the ribbons of traditional folk creations and exotic exteriors that unveil even more commanding and intricate interiors.

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