REVIEW: Illuminati Hotties – “Kiss Yr Frenemies”

Sarah Tudzin, as Illuminati Hotties, has made deceptively complex pop record. The sound is all over the place. There are some places where Kiss Yr Frenemies sounds like a more twee record in the Cub or Tullycraft style. It’s got a deep, ambient vibe that reminds of trip hop in a weird way in other places. The record has really sparse and tender moments that smash almost without warning into noisy punk parts. It doesn’t sound too jarring unless you’re really thinking about it. Like how the delicate, piano driven “Declutter” comes immediately after a indie/punk jam like “Pressed 2 Death.” Or how the vibey “Cuff,” which honestly made me look up Portishead to prove I wasn’t crazy with that earlier trip hop reference, comes right after “Shape Of My Hand.”

The overwhelming vibe of the record is mid-20’s ennui. Songs about love, relationships going sideways, needing more money, and just general dissatisfaction are all over this thing. If I’m being honest, the line “I’m Spending all my money at 7-11 and sleeping through the weekend” made me laugh in a very knowing way. Same with “I could probably use a fourth job.” The record kind of has a bitterness to it that offsets the more sweet sounding music in a really cool way. Like, happy sounding songs about how everything is just being kind of dumb sometimes. I feel like that is something anyone can relate to.

The elevator pitch for this record would be “wry observations of a young adult told over energetic indie pop.” It’s a great record for the summer, and I can’t imagine anyone not finding something to connect to. Also, the horn flourish on “For Cheez (My Friend, Not The Food)” is fantastic.

Illuminati Hotties
Tiny Engines
Bandcamp
Buy It

Song Of The Week (7/28/17) // Post Lovers – “Going Away”

Post Lovers – “Going Away”

From the inbox:

Athens based Post Lovers is a solo project created by Eleni Karageorgou. Post Lovers play short, indie folk tunes, blending a-bit-too personal songwriting with playful backing vocals, all set in a 90’s background. Their beneficiary musicians kindly contribute to both their rehearsals and live gigs. Post Lovers take a step at a time: girls, friends, lovers, post lovers.

Their first official release is the single “Melbourne/Going Anyway” coming out on August 1st through the 7-inch series “A Distant Victory Singles Club” via Inner Ear Records.

These indie pop songs always sound good in the summer. Is twee seasonal? Anyway, “Going Away” is the b-side on Post Lovers’ upcoming single. Both it and “Melbourne” are great songs. The 7″ will be out on August 1. It’s part of Inner Ears’ subscription series. You can check that out here.

Post Lovers
Inner Ear Records

Song Of The Week (7/21/17) // Night Talks – “In Dreams”

Night Talks – “In Dreams”

From the inbox:

“In Dreams” is also the new single by alt-rock band Night Talks. They’re from Los Angeles, born and raised, and they define their own sound as pretty lush, equal parts heavy and delicate. Regarding this song, front-woman Soraya said: “”In Dreams” is about having a terrible day and then realizing that you can, indeed, move past it. Everyone deals with really awful things in their lives, and we wanted this song to remind people that more often than not, you can move on and try to enjoy what life has to offer you. It just takes time.”

Night Talks is a pretty solid indie / alt rock band out of Los Angeles. “In Dreams,” the title track from their full length, is definitely one of the more mellow cuts from the record. It’s the closing track, so it makes sense. The full record is pretty solid. It’s on Spotify and Soundcloud, give it a listen

The email letting me know about this song had a gif of a dog rolling itself up in a blanket (like a burrito!). So, y’know, that was also pretty dope.

Night Talks
Soundcloud

 

Song Of The Week (6/23/17) // Man, Woman, Friend, Computer – “Exordium/Outgrown”

I primarily focus on full records, but there are great singles and videos floating around. Here is a thing you should listen to.

Man, Woman, Friend, Computer – “Exordium/Outgrown”

From the inbox:

The film is set to the first and final tracks of Man, Woman, Friend, Computer’s debut album, with a newly-composed interlude between the tracks that connects the songs — both musically and narratively — into a cohesive score.

Titled “Exordium/Outgrown,” the film tells the story of a spaceman who comes to terms with isolation and loss as he cares for an injured alien creature. It combines centuries-old Czech marionette techniques with modern materials and found objects, creating an analog reimagining of the space age that points to the the loneliness of the digital world, and to the new distances we create as we try to conquer the old.

The video was made by Yuliya Tsukerman, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Mana Contemporary (BSMT). It’s a great piece of handmade marionette work that was created over the span of four months.

The two songs featured are from Thomas Echols, an Austin based musician performing under the name Man, Woman, Friend, Computer. His full length came out back in December. It’s well worth a listen.

Yuliya Tsukerman
Man, Woman, Friend, Computer

Song Of The Week (6/16/17) // Livingmore – “Cocoon”

I primarily focus on full records, but there are great singles and videos floating around. Here is a thing you should listen to.

Livingmore – “Cocoon”

From the inbox:

“Los Angeles duo, Livingmore are ready to emerge from their cocoon with their debut record, Ok To Land. Taking cues from acts like Rilo Kiley, Mitski and Jenny Lewis, and adding their own eccentric and optimistic touch, the indie two-piece have channeled the ultimate feel good album, Ok To Land, just in time for summer. Their first track, “Cocoon” is the perfect soundtrack for long, lazy summer days – with licks of western guitar and crooning vocals, do not sleep on this LA based act.”

This song is what sugar would sound like, and I love it.

REVIEW: Diet Cig – “Swear I’m Good At This”

dcsigat

It’s not easy to make pop punk music. Like, ok, that’s not true. It’s mechanically easy to make pop punk music. It’s not easy to make pop punk music that can live and breath as it’s own thing. The genre purists are going to piss and complain no matter what. You’re derivative if you stick too close to the formula, you’re a trend jumping phony if you deviate. It’s fucking ridiculous. But let’s get down to brass tacks. Diet Cig is fucking good.

Swear I’m Good At This is exactly what any band would want their debut full length to be. Diet Cig has honed their indie pop influenced punk rock down to a science over the course of one EP and two singles. They are a two piece that sounds huge. Everything is firing, and everything works.

Swear I’m Good At This is in the fine tradition of records that sound happy but are lyrically kind of a bummer. There are songs about failed relationships. Songs about feeling lonely and hopeless. There’s some 20-something ennui. There are a couple fuck you songs directed to a society that really doesn’t seem to get what the fuck is going on. It’s musical sugar to cover up real life bitterness and I love it.

This a record full of singles and mixtape fodder. “Link In Bio” and “Tummy Ache” were absolute no-brainers to be lead of singles. “Barf Day” and “Bite Back” would fit perfectly on a bummer mix. It’s a record that is definitely going to appeal to an entire demographic of disillusioned kids just trying to find their voice.

This is the kind of music that exists to let you know you’re not the only one going through some shit. It’s 100% the kind of thing I loved when I was in my 20s, and I know some kid is going to be stoked on it. Diet Cig have all the potential to be huge, and I hope they everyone sees it.

Diet Cig
Frenchkiss Records
Bandcamp / Buy It