Week in Pop: Iamsu!, Moonbell, and Opossum

Sjimon Gompers

A reality show in the making; 'Dark Wavers Abroad'VIA

Lots of great things happening in the world, with Balam Acab touring North America with Active Child this spring, Zola Jesus collaborating with JG Thirlwell and The Mavos Quartet at the Guggenheim May 8 and for those looking to be schooled and lectured by your dream pop progenitors and provocateurs the Red Bull Music Academy's application phase closes April 2 and we have baseball season just around the corner. For more big things to come, look no further than here with the following parade in no particular order.

A little while back we were repping the UK's 2:54 and today we give you their Jeppe Kolstrupe video for 'You're Early.” The Thurlow sisters' war path rager gets visualized with tribal battles amid a haze of dusty dirt storms and Matrix style effects; Colette and Hannah keep on playing unaffected by the Jet Li style combat if but only to prove a soundtrack. 2:54's massive tour includes some of Rough Trade's hottest properties such as London's Deaf Club, Palma Violets, Chelsea Wolfe and Widowspeak who are in it for the North American tour long haul.

Look out for 2:54 on the following international tour dates:

April
2 Norwich, UK Waterfront Studio with Palma Violets
4 Manchester, UK The Deaf Institue with Palma Violets
5 Glasgow, UK Captain's Rest Glasgow with Palma Violets
10 Bristol, UK Thekla with Chelsea Wolfe
11 Brighton, UK The Green Door Store with Chelsea Wolfe
12 Tumbridge Wells, UK Forum with Deaf Club
13 Liverpool, UK The Shipping Forecast with Deaf Club
14 Leeds, UK Cockpit with Deaf Club

June
7 London, UK Scala
9 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory with Widowspeak
10 Washington, DC Rocknroll Hotel with Widowspeak
11 New York, NY Mercury Lounge with Widowspeak
13 Boston, MA TT The Bears with Widowspeak
14 Montreal, QC Divan Orange with Widowspeak
15 Toronto, ON NXNE/Lee's Palace with Widowspeak
16 Columbus, OH TBD
17 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle with Widowspeak
18 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock with Widowspeak
21 Seattle, WA The Crocodile with Widowspeak
22 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge with Widowspeak
23 Vancouver, BC Biltmore with Widowspeak
25 San Francisco, CA Independent with Widowspeak
26 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour with Widowspeak
27 San Diego, CA Casbah with Widowspeak

Pandercakes are promoting their bright pop this week with their single “Paint by Numbers” from their EP of the same name. Recorded at the House of Pandercakes, the band consists of Logan Goldstein on lead vocals on the first verse along with organ, harpsichord, microKORG, drumset, bells and backing vocal duties, Desirée Richardson with vocal lead on the second verse, Joel B. Floyd, Jr. on the third verse as well as bass guitar, electric guitars, flamenco guitar, percussion, handclaps, organ and mastering handled by Phillip Soellner, Pandercake's Paint by Numbers EP is out now on their Bandcamp and you can enjoy the title track here.

Figurine, Postal Service and Jimmy Tamborello fans rejoice as Dntel released “Bright Night” for our consumption. Taking beloved organic textures and altering them, Jimmy is getting a little help from his friends Nite Jewel and Baths along with Will Wisenfeld's side Geotione for his new album Aimlessness, available June 5 on Pampa Records. But until then, listen to the choral elements get turned into future breaks on “Bright Night.”

Combine the legendary producer, DJ ace A-Trak, Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J and and our boy Danny Brown what you got is the zip-zap power bass and urine screening defying “Piss Test.” What Danny, J and A do well here is reverse all those job applicant fears of the clinical bathroom litmus exams by stating their alleged indiscretions on the application rap sheet itself. Get your first listen here from the Fools Gold hip-hop compilation Loosies.

Sean Bones keeps the hits coming with the latest being “Here Now.” He's got the power, he brings the pop and you can catch his upcoming LP Buzzards Boy May 8.

In Flatbush Zombies “Laker Paper”, Brooklyn's Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and producer Erick Arc Elliot are showing the West Coast swag with shock and awe and future classic videos like “Thug Waffle” and “S.C.O.S.A.” In not time flat you you will be shuffling down the sidwalk repping, “Purple in the blunt, Swisher be the paper, mouth full of gold, I'm feeling like a Laker.”

photo by angel ceballos

The Men released “A Minor” this week from the Sacred Bones compilation Todo Muere Vol. 2 coming April 21 with goodies from fellow labelmates Led Er Est, Pop. 1280, Pyschic Ills and more. “A Minor” is pure candy for the ears that thrive on Homeric stoner rock odysseys; believe us when we say that this one was made with you in mind.

Grab those ear drum cushions because Cold Showers cranked it up to at least 11 for their Room 205 close-out performance of “I Don't Mine.” If you crave that moody gloom without the electronic gauze in favor for steel-bending guitar licks than this blow-out number was made for you.

La Sera's gave us 2 videos in 1 this with the Travis Peterson directed “Real Boy / Drive On” both taken from Katy Goodman's second album Sees the Light just released on Hardly Art. “Real Boy” will charm until something goes amiss with their muscle man actor and a whole other dark b-movie begins.

Because even with our jaded hearts gagging every time we are forced to sit through a commercial for that show “New Girl,” we find it hard to resist an internet celebrity like Sophie Madeleine covering Dusty Springfield via ukulele.

Allow us to introduce you to Opossum, Kody of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and The Mint Chicks with “Getaway Tonight”. If UMO can create nostalgia that you swear you heard in utero, these guys embrace the virtues of digital distortion as if it were a pedal Electro-Harmoniax sent to Kody from the future to mimic the sound effects of our current day digital inconviences. Electric Hawaii is coming out April 21 in New Zealand, and the US date is TBA as they are seeking out a domestic label as of press time.

L.E.P. Bogus Boys dropped the video for “Claim My Shit” off of their Now or Neva mixtape. And to further keep Chi-town on lock, the Bogus Boys are teaming up with The Hood Internet for an EP project called TEHO that remixes recent work from the Boys and drops April 2. Meanwhile check out the Greogry Buissreth video that depicts Chicago's different hoods and persons of notoriety. As L.E.P. describes it, “Artists from other cities try to claim culture that's not theirs.This is just a message: it's not so easy to claim our culture. Either you're really part of it, or you're not; it's not a fashion statement.”

Saint Motel have been humming about the blogs and fan posts of and about “Honest Feedback” playing music that is just as honest, jangly, good natured and well intentioned. The single is out now, listen here and become their biggest fan.

And here's their uber-uppity video for “Puzzle Pieces:”

So despite what your friends are telling you with their neon hued bike messenger caps and '90s Pancho 'day-glo' Villa shirt patterns, the '80s are still among us. As a reminder, The Jezebels have made a video that presents them echoing the great condundrum of Citizen Kane while trolling through the new romantic section of the jukebox in your heart. The Jezebels' debut album Prisoner drops April 3.

JD Samson and post-gender-queer positive dance collective MEN released their EP Next and in the tune of celebration, here is a remix by Ezekiel of “Make Him Pay”. Listen as the politics of identity roles and signifiers get shattered like a disco ball of phallocentric delusion.

Here's the video for Caveman's “Thankful”. The Austin Peters-directed video works like a documentary, depicting wrestling couple Stockade and Nikki Styxx with plenty of action and drama in the ring and at home. Caveman's album CoCo Beware is out now on Fat Possum.

Bill Callahan put out a moving black and white video of his Mickey Newbury cover “Heaven Help the Child”. The video places Bill's face singing over an old film of a man standing in front of a tree as guitars and things fade in and out of the mix while charged reflections “sip a cup of kindness…to days gone by.” Callahan's Heaven Help the Child 7″ is out now as well as the Mickey Newbury box set An American Trilogy, both on Drag City.

Meet Future Twin from San Francisco. Along with being the freshest folks with sounds that seek to raise the Barbary Coast catacombs, summoning buried treasure ships sunken in the stacked formation landfill some call South of Market, through the pipe tunnel vocal callings of guitar railings, like on “Landslide.” Then there is the art work of Yukako Ezoe, who came up with the band's name, that revolves around ethos of founding member Mindo Hallquist's approach to 'imagining the type of person you want to become and designing your life towards him or her.'

For a limited time Johnny Jewel is offering a listen to the new Chromatics album Kill for Love out now on his imprint Italians Do it Better. Pop in the car player and just drive.

Arbouretum's “New Scarab” single almost had me mistaking it for the Sonic Youth album I have been wanting them to make for at least a decade now. Look for Arbouretum's split LP called Aureola featuring Hush Arbors coming this Record Store Day April 21 on Thrill Jockey.

By now you have probably heard but just in case here is your gal Azealia Banks with beats by Diplo with “Fuck Up the Fun” that features Ms. Banks' best Twista style flow that you've got to hear for yourselves.

Denmark's Brian Batz is the creative mind behind Sleep Party People, making powerful suites like “A Dark God Heart” or bedroom beat 4-tracks set to mastered synth strings, like on the single “Chin”, with a church mouse delivery. The retro drum machine from that single grabbed our ears and lead us down the rabbit hole into a world of keys, garbled voices heard from downstairs while taking a disco nap, and lost highway driving after midnight on too much burnt robustus Quikstop coffee.

Also here is SPP's video for “A Dark God Heart” which begins as a song of bathroom scuba diving innocence before the discovering beneath the water's surface.

DJ Nu-Mark's video for “Dumpin' Em All” with Bumpy Knuckles is here as part of his Broken Sunlight series consisting of a 10″ being released every month for the next six months. The first 10″ disc drops April 24 featuring the single from the following video as well as “When You Sleep” featuring Large Professor.

Xander Harris released his album Chrysalid featuring some of the week's top shelf electro. Having recently remixed Peaking Lights on the album 936 Remixes, the Austin electric guru has been working on this concept album for a few years now, drawing inpsiration from science fiction shows of the '70s through the '90s. “It is the story of how the ugliness of humanity manifested after the invention of robots used to aid in the pleasures and mundane of daily life. The end result was an uprising led by hackers and female robots fighting to be classed as citizens and free people. The leader of the revolt was a female android named Chrysalid.” The album is out now on Pour le Corps records on both Bandcamp and cassette limited to 100 copies.

From Loglady Records in San Francisco is Moonbell with their mega single “Nothing Less” from their self-titled LP. The great walls of feedback drenched guitar move within a pop psych paradigm familiar when the '80s turned the bend in the 1990s. Grungers were taking notes from the baggy fitted slop that turned into simple t-shirts with eyes turned towards their collective Converse, sending a lovenote to 2012 for Moonbell to decipher and perform. Their self-titled is available for ordering on vinyl now on Loglady and CD via Deep Space Recordings.

Screaming Females lent a listen to their new single “Expire”. Marissa Paternoster shreds up a mean batch of riffs and licks that chug throughout a mean 3:35 that depicts a variety of guitar playing styles, pointing to new ideas to come from the Females. Keep your ears open for their upcoming Steve Albini-produced album Ugly.

When you need that rainy weather music for an overcast and stormy day, we recomend the video for Jon Porras of Barn Owl's “The Black Tide.” Songs for thinking person or person who cares not to think at all but rather let the instrumentals take them where they may go.

And more tranquil nature footage for the “Into Midnight” video. Look out for the Jon Porras solo album Black Mesa April 17 on Thrill Jockey while pre-orders are available here.

Dent May's new track “Best Friend” surfaced this week to make us all his bff. Recorded at his Oxford, MS Cats Purring Dude Ranch he reaches out with a sound that thrives on an electric groove but has all the vulnerable sincerity you might find on the Razorcuts “Sorry to Embarrass You” single. Do Things comes out June 12 on Paw Tracks.

If you need some down home folk to make your week complete we recommend Madi Diaz's performance of “Love You Now” at the BTR Live Studio where the sublime and road weary meet on a troubador's path from Amish Country Pennsylvania to Nashville, TN. Madi's album album Plastic Moon is out now.

The world loves a great boy / girl pop duo so straight out of Berlin is the beguiling It's a Musical consisting of Ella Blixt, aka Bobby Blumm and Robert Kretzschmar who also plays drums for Masha Qrella while Ella has recently worked with Peaches. Aside from making catchy electric organ duets that Quintron and Miss Pussycat would approve of, the band is also rumored tobe running riot grrrl extremist rock and roll camps. Look for It's a Musical's follow up to You Make Me Sick with the much anticipated For Years and Years coming out this April on Morr Music.

Tim Cohen's Magic Trick or just Magic Trick if you please have anounced that their second album Ruler of the Night is set for release June 12 on Hardly Art. Listen as Tim is joined by Noelle Cahill and Alicia Vanden Heuvel of the Aislers Set and Fresh & Onlys percussionist and member of Kelly Stoltz's band James Kim with the first official leak with the airy and slow burning “Torture.”

photo by Arturo Torres

Straight out of Richmond in the Bay is Iamsu! with his up beat video “HBKJoe Beat” featuring P-Lo. Last seen at the Fader Fort under the moniker The Dream, fresh off his production and 16 bar verse on LoveRance's single “Up,” the 22 year old upstart's “HBKJoe Beat” is off his last album The Miseducation of Iamsu! and provides a glimpse of Richmond on a perfect afternoon to bike about with the honeys. Stay tuned for the next Iamsu! album, KILT, currently in the works.

We have been hyping her for weeks and as of now you too can get your copy of Georgia Anne Muldrow's Seeds produced by Madlib from SomeOthaShip Connect. Get another listen here to what we imagine soul music from the future to sound like with “Kneecap Jelly.”

Julia Holter's video for “Moni Mon Amie” The Yelena Zhelezov directed video features gives the perspective of the boss who is never pleased or pays any attention to the humanity around themselves let alone a secretary as gorgeous as Ms. Holter. Her second album Ekstasis is out now on RVNG.

Mariee Sioux released her single for “Swimming Through Stone” a few days ago delivering a slice of neo-Nor Cal folk. Her new album was recorded at both Placerville's Moonsoon Studios and Nevada City's Sun Dial studios last summer, recording a cycle of image-rich and dreamlike prose like “because the last thing I need is a wet brain during the hurricane / so I will rest my weary head between the egress beaks / so I can hear you sing the salmon eggs to sleep with the song of the wild.” Mariee Sioux's second album Gift For The End is due April 17 from Whale Watch / Almost Musique.

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