Boy Friend // Secret City EP
The wait for new Boy Friend material is over! The group (which recently added a permanent third member) is easily my favorite Austin, TX project and have consistently released materials that have gone on to be enduring favorites in my collection. They’ve been teasing out the release of their latest cassette EP Secret City for a few weeks now leading up to its eventual release date. Today. Glory hallelujah.
The cassette release sees a few of the ladies’ return to the always-excellent Night People, the label that put out the now rare/classic debut release of Christa and Sarah’s former band Sleep ∞ Over. So in that sense they are sort of coming full circle on this one. As far as the tracks themselves, the band has only made two of the four available to stream on their Bandcamp page, but I can say with 100% confidence that this is the best they’ve ever sounded. The musicianship is tighter which eliminates some of the wandering qualities of their previous releases. There is also a newfound boldness in the songwriting of these fresh tracks, which is nice to hear. Where the group used to plumb watery new age for influence, here they are unabashedly nodding their head to more 1980’s synth pop. This is great stuff from a group who are slowly but surely revealing themselves to be someone to rely on.
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Title: Walk Two Moons
Lantern // Burned Youth
Existing easily as one of Philadelphia’s best kept secrets, Lantern has recently prepped Burned Youth, their second release for Night People. The cassette is a collection of bits and pieces that the band recorded between 2009 and 2011. Originally sold as a tour-only release, the cassette is being repackaged and rereleased. And even though the tracks were homeless prior to this release they sill manage to play together really well.
If you ever got a chance to listen to the band’s prior releases then you’ll know that they revel in that sort of straight-to-tape production quality. And while the fidelity is certainly better than that of their first Night People release, the band still finds opportunity to shred the speakers here or there (i.e. “Bop-A-Bop-A-Bop [I’m Yr Porkchop]” present so much feedback and reverb that it basically becomes an onslaught of ceaseless noise.) But the thing that will keep me coming back to this release is the effortless mashing up of bluesy garage rock with hazed-out psych folk. It’s the kind of stuff that’s perfectly suited to a night of impromptu music in a humid backyard. BBQ optional.
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Title: We Were Monsters
Artist: Terror Bird
Terror Bird // Human Culture
Back in 2009, Terror Bird released a cassette on Night People called Sociopaths Are Glam. As a set of vaguely haunted piano-based pop songs the cassette kinda stuck out on the label’s roster which is usually packed with more lo-fi garage, pysch, and punk acts. Nevertheless I fell in love with the Terror Bird’s simple yet longing pop music. And since that time I’ve been waiting for a full-length from the Canadian duo.
After waiting two years that full-length LP is finally here in the form of Human Culture and its 11 brand new tracks (and 2 old and updated) all ready for me to fall in love with. They’ve done away with the purling hiss that Sociopaths floated in on and have brought Nikki Never’s singing closer to the forefront. Her voice, beautifully lost in time, is what makes Terror Bird’s music what it is. It possesses the same haunting qualities of a certain Zola Jesus lady. Both call out to the listener beckoning them out into the dark unknown. And I am helpless to follow.
Right now you can order the vinyl from Night People or Adagio 830 if you live in Europe.
i’ve been listening to a group called SLEEP ∞ OVER (sleep over forever) alot lately. at first, it can be a little much for the casual listener, but the more time you invest the more influences you can uncover. let it be known that these gals’ music is definitely not for everyone, but i am really enjoying them. it’s dark, cavernous music that’s sometimes ambient, sometimes noise, but always awesome. they have a self-titled cassette on Night People and a compilation cassette on Bathetic (that they share with oOoOO, TERMINAL TWILIGHT, and S U R V I V E). so, if you’re up for it, give them a listen.