The cover is not that misleading; Trust do make goth-toned music, though probably with more beats per minute than this random person’s expression lets on. TRST is the duo’s debut, and it arrives confident in its synth-pop sound, which evokes the image of marching combat boots in a foggy, mid-tempo rave. While their dark distortion meets drum machine pulse feels familiar (Maya Postepski also plays in Austra, which a fair sonic connection to make), the band’s snarling singer adds a unique central character. Robert Alfon stays in a low, sinister whine throughout, carefully choosing moments to fully sell what he’s saying—this happens best on album closer “Sulk“, where lines like “moving your hips…” and “honestly, I can’t take tonight” incite a kind of anthemic apocalypse.
[BoxTitle]Memoryhouse: The Slideshow Effect [/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://youtu.be/o454m7R3d80[/MusicVideo] [Spotify target="blank"]http://open.spotify.com/album/3UNanlgXT7sBk2zfv1FE6J[/Spotify] [BuyNow]http://itunes.apple.com/us/preorder/slideshow-effect-bonus-track/id501536163[/BuyNow]
Memoryhouse is a changed band in 2012. The Toronto duo’s Sup Pop full length debut is far more direct, noticeably less up in the clouds—a place that suited them well on their twice-released EP The Years but perhaps represented a ceiling on development, something they’ve referred to as “transitioning from a ‘bedroom recording project’ into a fully realized band”. It’s a bold step for an act literally defined by somber dreaminess; their instrumentation now feels livelier and more organic, and Denise Nouvion’s sleepy vocals are nearly reverb-free. The move challenges these songs to survive more so on structure and lyrics than pure mood, and they succeed in enough moments to call it a smart one, though it may split some early fans. The re-recorded and brightened “Bonfire” remains their most stunning song to date, and lead single “The Kids Were Wrong” with its cascading guitar and daring pop presence shows they can do upbeat just fine too.
[BoxTitle]School of Seven Bells: GHOSTORY[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://youtu.be/dUrQnDVWXvo[/MusicVideo] [Listen]http://stereogum.com/955361/stream-school-of-seven-bells-ghostory/mp3s/[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://itunes.apple.com/us/preorder/ghostory/id499346467[/BuyNow]
This is the third SVIIB album, and first without founding member Claudia Deheza, which is definitely worth noting since she departed the New York band amidst a stressful 2010 tour, just days before their television debut, leaving her twin sister, Alejandra, and Benjamin Curtis (ex-Secret Machines) to carry on, and leading Curtis to tell Spin: “I can’t say it didn’t affect things we wrote.” So here was have an intense outing in same vein as their previous supernaturally pretty, shoegaze-lite albums, now with an intriguing emotional edge. And given all the drama, it’s a surprising step up on the dance side of things too.
[BoxTitle]Mouse on Mars: Parastrophics[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://youtu.be/z8OZ9IzOtYI[/MusicVideo] [Listen]http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2012/02/listen-mouse-mars-parastrophics-[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/parastrophics/id494278925[/BuyNow]
German duo Mouse on Mars have been very good at what they do for a very long time (since the early 90s), which right away puts them in an elite corner of the electronic world, and makes their 10th album (and first in six years) something anyone who digs IDM should care about. And while it’s almost an expectation for veterans to sometimes lean back into already explored realms, Parastrophics finds the guys as playful as ever, threading a fun-house of processed chirps, odd glitches, and bass throbs into one continuous headphone excursion.
[BoxTitle]Fanfarlo: Rooms Filled With Light [/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://youtu.be/iZT2M3YM3PA[/MusicVideo] [Spotify target="blank"]http://open.spotify.com/album/7BGAn07Q0Yk4WAWDYlgdp4[/Spotify] [BuyNow]http://itunes.apple.com/us/preorder/rooms-filled-with-light/id491474416[/BuyNow]
On their followup to 2009’s Reservoir, British indie-pop act Fanfarlo make use of mandolins, trumpets, and xylophones in addition to the traditional guitar/bass/drums/piano. Just as imaginative as it is catchy, their sprawling, orchestral approach that never feels as busy as that list appears, and comes off with a certain likeability—NPR jokingly declares the genre “charming”. And they sport melodic quarks that would make the Talking Heads proud.
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