Welcome to your mid-week serving of new music cocktails! Hang onto your proverbial hat because these five singles pack a punch. Are you ready to kick your Wednesday into overdrive? Let’s get things started with a transatlantic collaboration sure to have you dancing in your chair.
The Deltahorse – “Call It a Day” (Berlin, Belfast, Boston)
RIYL: Morphine, The Brokedown Cars, The Stone Roses, Stereo MC’s
Fans of the ‘90s-era Boston indie rock band Morphine may never fully recover from the group’s untimely demise. No other band since has had their signature sound of two-string bass and sultry saxophone. However, one band with a new album out this Friday comes close. That’s because The Deltahorse features Morphine’s sax maestro Dana Colley. The other members are Belfast singer Vadim Zeberg and Berlin-based producer Sash on bass. Music fans, you’re going to want to dive deep into this song.
“Call It a Day” kicks off with zero fanfare; it just grabs you by the hand as it launches into its snarling, Madchester-esque industrial groove. The rush of its pulsing energy never lets up. The song’s fervor simmers with the increased heat of Colley’s sax. Around the 2:20 mark it erupts in a very danceable electronic passage that will have you saying, “Oh hell yes!” (That is, if you haven’t already said it a dozen times by then.) It’s hard to believe this a band that has never been in the same room together. (They recorded via file sharing.) Hopefully they will overcome their geographical separation long enough to tour, because this song demands a sweaty dancehall live audience.
The Deltahorse are: Vadim Zeberg (vocals), Dana Colley (alto sax, baritone sax), and Sash (beats, bass).
Anomie Belle – “Lovers” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Yppah, Goldfrapp, Massive Attack
You might not know Anomie Belle by name yet, but you will never forget her after one play of this intoxicating new single. “Lovers” is a such heady fusion of electronic, trip-hop, and ambient that it’s impossible to resist. This is experimental, genre-bending badassery. But that should be no surprise considering Anomie Belle is a seasoned pro. The Seattle artist wears many hats – composer, singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. She has worked with some pretty badass artists, including Tricky, The Sneaker Pimps, Sea Wolf, and Emancipator.
“Lovers” is the kind of song you can’t hear just once: its beats demand you keep it on repeat. After eight straight spins, subtle nuances still emerge. The sonic density here is undeniable, which is part of its immediate appeal. It’s intense and richly rewarding. You can find it on her newest album, Flux, which is part of an art project dealing with themes of identity. (Each of the project’s 14 pieces of artwork in its corresponds to a song from the album.)
Slaughter Beach – “The Mo” (Odense, Denmark)
RIYL: Beach House, The Raveonettes, M83, My Bloody Valentine
This time last year we were spellbound by the luscious sounds of Danish indie lo-fi trio Slaughter Beach. This summer we shared their single “Glaze”, because this group’s sound has such a mesmerizing effect. After teasing us for months with sporadic singles, their new Heroic Dose EP finally releases next week.
The chill anthem “The Mo” finds Slaughter Beach once again delivering a song that is bold yet understated. Echoes of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming-era M83 flow through this track. The “mo” here (the “moment”) is never rushed, which allows your mind to float along happily as the gentle waves of synth and percussion wash over you. Queue this one up to instantly melt your stress.
Heroic Dose is out next Friday via Brilliance Records.
Slaughter Beach are: Nikolaj Westi, Hasse Mydtskov Mads, and Emil Aagaard.
Midnight Faces – “Germanium” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: The War on Drugs, Saxon Shore, Caveman
Midnight Faces – the Los Angeles-based indie dream/rock trio – cannot be easily categorized. They’re definitely indie and fall more into the rock spectrum than shoegaze. But what strikes you about this band is the dazzling textures of their sound – dreamy yet driven, pensive but also pulsing with shimmering, retro-inspired synths. And did we mention saxophone? Oh yeah, this song is an instant classic. If you love discovering a new favorite song that you can’t stop playing 20 times in a row, look no further. Simply put, “Germanium” will electrify you.
The lyrics “Everything will change in the next five years” seem like a retrospective self-fulfilling prophecy. The band began as a duo with vocalist Phil Stancil and Matthew Doty (formerly of Saxon Shore, his project with Josh Tillman – aka Father John Misty). Three years and two albums later, the lineup now includes drummer Paul Doyle. Their newest album, Heavenly Bodies, begs the question: should Midnight Faces have their own genre category? These guys aren’t gazing at their shoes; they’re focused on the stars. It’s celestial, otherworldly, occupying a higher realm. Maybe it’s time to coin the term “stargaze rock” if only for their cosmic sound. Heavenly Bodies is out now and is available from their Bandcamp page.
Midnight Faces are: Phil Stancil (vocals, guitar, bass), Matthew Doty (bass, guitar, synth), Paul Doyle (drums).
The Beat Escape – “Seeing Is Forgetting” (Montréal, Canada)
RIYL: Echo & The Bunnymen, New Order, The Jesus and Mary Chain
“Everything old is new again,” as the old adage goes. The current trend of modern music flaunting its retro inspirations never sounded so good – or so authentic – as with Montréal’s The Beat Escape. This indie electronic/dream pop duo creates some of the lushest sounds steeped in New Wave sensibilities we’ve heard in awhile. Lush and atmospheric, “Seeing Is Forgetting” will take Gen-Xers back to their younger days. (The days of listening to New Order on cassette in a Sony Walkman.)
The Beat Escape’s personal backgrounds remain shrouded in relative mystery. This lack of information leaves room for all sorts of vivid speculation. Until more details about a full album (and perhaps a North American tour?) are known, you can bask in the glow of this glorious song.
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