Week In Pop: Thundercat, Chelsea Wolfe & Little Dragon

Sjimon Gompers

Week In Pop

Face it, the summer could be a whole lot worse. This week saw Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks drop the timely “Senator” with Beck on production duties, James Franco teamed up with DJ Rupture for an EP called Turn it Up, while Tyler and Frankie get sentimental in their sort of, kind of not really viral video “She.” I was going to bombard you with pie charts and predictions to better understand the evolutions of these summer trends, but I would rather give you the week in pop straight up in no particular order.

Already a long time admirer of the Fuck Buttons’ albums Street Horrrsing and Tarot Sport, I have been patiently waiting word of new material from the Bristol Duo. So you can imagine my joy at hearing news of the Button’s Benjamin John Power project Blanck Mass who has a self-titled album coming out on Mogwai's Rock Action Records June 21. Power puts the track title focus on a bevy of earthly disruptions as you can hear with the trance infused teroir of “Land Disasters.”

Blanck Mass – Land Disasters by One Thirty BPM

I Break Horses is the latest Swedish export of post nu-gaze, where Telecasters are traded for Korgs and played in a similar sonic manner. The duo is comprised of Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck who have poured their earnest and equestrian hearts and dreams into song. Their debut Hearts is set for release on the August 16 through I KILL LOVE Records in the U.S. and the August 15 via Bella Union Records in the UK. Enjoy the title track and its video that shows some sweeping views time elapsed views of the Swedish countryside.

Times New Viking just put out a video for “Try Harder” that features video footage of the band being projected onto various moving and non- moving surfaces. The effect gives an organic and kinetic superimposition of the band rocking out while their images are put to various “found” canvases. Hi-fives all around for originality as I am now inspired to become a guerrilla projectionist as soon as I find some spare time. TNV’s new album Dancer Equired is available now via Merge Records.

Bobby is a band that was put together by Tom Greenberg and classmates Julian Labat, Molly Erin Sarle also of Man Mountain, Amelia Randall Meath, Roby Moulton, Paolo Menuez and Martin Zimmermann from Bennington College that are preparing to release their self-titled debut Bobby June 21 on Partisan Records. Their music has an uplifting quality that builds off of Yoruba drumming and holistic folk styled elements that take the sound to places you would never expect from a group under a moniker like Bobby. Listen to “Ginger (Water Birth)” and you will be inspired to birth your own progeny in your bathtub with plenty of ginger root on hand to ward off evil spirits.

Bobby, “Ginger (Water Birth)”

For some further insights into Bobby’s world, check out this footage of them from what I am presuming to be this year’s SXSW. You can catch Bobby on the road via your local listings.

Last week we shared with you all Chelsea Wolfe’s “Mer” and this week we are offering the moody “The Wasteland” to accompany your summer T.S. Eliot reading. The track release is in part due to the news that Ms. Wolfe has plans to open for Liturgy on her West Coast tour dates, while prepares for her August 23 release of ποκάλυψις (Apokalypsis) on Pendu Sound Recordings.

Cassettes Won't Listen have a mixtape that kicks off with an intro by NPR MC in his own right; This American Life's Ira Glass. Can we expect some sweeping oral narratives provided by various cross sections of every day Americans on the next CWL release?

Cassettes Won't Listen, “Mixtape 101”

Stephen Bruner, alias Thundercat is working on a debut produced by Flying Lotus called The Golden Age of Apocalypse that is headed our way August 30 on Brainfeeder. Bruner heralds from Southern Los Angeles and has been nurturing his own inner songwriter with the support of Flying Lotus to make progressive, effervescent soul steeped in the smooth-scapes that you love Shuggie Otis with keys will take you out of this world. Listen to “Daylight” to hear what I mean. Look out for Thundercat on the road this month.

Thundercat, “Daylight”

VANS and the good people from FYF are excited to put on Vans House Parties from the House of Vans in Brooklyn, NY. Lined up so far are No Age, Health, Cults, Ceremony, Superchunk, OFF! and Lemuria, more acts to be announced in the weeks to come. Watch this space for further info.

If Domino Records has a sound of their own, you think of the dance licks of Franz Ferdinand, Junior Boys, or perhaps the sweet smooth dance sounds of Twin Sister. We have enjoyed last year’s Color Your Life EP immensely and have been waiting to hear what a synthesizer washed LP would bring to our lives. The answer will come September 27 in the guise of In Heaven, but you can hear a sample via “Bad Street” which I do say sounds rather good.

Twin Sister – Bad Street by DominoRecordCo

So what’s up these minimal electro concept tech gals the Blow? Perhaps it’s the ambitious fuck-your-expectations attitude of “installation/conceptual/sound artist Mellisa Dyne and Khaela Maricich who intend on releasing videos inspired by the albums and strange exercises to play on the their audience in an upcoming tour. The first of these videos you can enjoy here as they debut the demo for “Ask Me.” Look out for the Blow on tour near you this summer.

Now I have some good news and bad news. Bad news is that the much anticipated Little Dragon album Ritual Union has been pushed to be released on July 26. The good news is that a remix EP will be available around the same time featuring remixes by Tensnake and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Patiently we will wait for that beautiful day.

So if you have 27 spare minutes available, you can watch what can only be a lamentation of festival culture and a way for some of your favorite aging hip-hop performers to cash in on the cult of angry youths in face paint. I never thought Bonnaroo sounded so good by comparison; muddy hippies versus muddy juggalos? The jury is still out.

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