Episode 138 floats through indie, pop, ambient, lo-fi, and post-everything. Listen well.
Disconnect now from whatever holds you down
Everything is everything, and you are Superconnected
1) “Almost Died” - RYAN Playground
Genevieve Ryan Martel (RYAN Playground) says that she lives in a gray zone, always conscious of two extremes outside that zone. Martel’s place between absolutes allows her to discover fascinating ideas for her new song “Almost Died”. A knotty beat washes away to reveal Martel’s voice and a gentle acoustic. In the back, wooden raindrops echo and clack before electronic tones and textures bubble to the surface. Her voice shifts from midnight whisper to an elegant serenade with spellbinding ease, mirroring the masterclass coalescence of elements that happens so smoothly. Get the new single here via Last Gang / Secret Songs.
2) “Creature Fear” - Bon Iver
Like a journey out of snow laden wilderness, “Creature Fear” grants moments of reverie, but is overwhelmed by a sense of trying to outrun something that cannot be escaped - nature, shortcomings, the fleeting quality of love and everything. It’s a brisk type of folk that cuts deeper because it’s more genuine.
3) “Team” - Bon Iver
So when the trees are mere chevrons of a thousand greens and grays behind you, all that’s left is an open future ahead. Sometimes that ambiguity is far more isolating. Bon Iver’s debut For Emma, Forever Agowas released a decade ago via Jagjaguwar.
4) “Doubt” - Charlotte Day Wilson
You’d get a shifty look if you told someone you didn’t fall hard for this song. The low end slowly cracks the ground under you, exposing a mystic well of deep R&B and pop origins. Then everything gushes upward - the dark, velvety synths, the warm percussion, the silky smoke of Wilson’s voice. It’s lush, timeless, and kind of intimidating. Listen well.
5) “Bad Baby” - Negative Gemini
On a whimsical beat, Lindsey French (Negative Gemini) channels the playful and reckless feeling of falling in love. Drums expand in the distance until they envelop everything. All control of self is then thrown to the wayside, and it is good. Negative Gemini’s new EP Bad Baby is out January 19 via bandcamp.
6) “A Girl Like You” - Edwyn Collins
- contributed by Lindsey French who records as Negative Gemini
Lindsey asked if she could request any song for this episode and we said yes of course. This was her choice and her choice is amazing.
7) “I Hope To Be Around” - Men I Trust
Weightless vocals hover over slabs of synth, and you fall backward forever. Men I Trust have mastered this swoon technique, and the only reason to wake back up is to hear what they do next. “I Hope To Be Around” is available via their bandcamp.
8) “A Warm Recollection” - Bad History Month
Bad History Month’s Sean Bean drags a scroll of sex and death across a trampled field of 1997 guitars. On the far side, everything is worn in and honest. Revelations shake under the gathered dirt and stay with you late into the night (“Somewhere in the deep unwritten future, rich people overcome death / They spend their endless lives time traveling backward, just to watch us have sex.”) Bad History Month just released Dead And Loving It with a heap of extra materials. Get it via their bandcamp.
9) “Blame” - Right Away, Great Captain!
From a narrative trilogy devised by Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra, “Blame” is the opening chapter of the final album. Hull wields his voice with masterful emotion and reach, sometimes letting it hug the somber keys and strums, and sometimes flinging it into the outer darkness. While some conceptual albums suffer from constraints, Hull’s tale of a 17th century sailor betrayed by love and blood gifts us with songs that stand alone as strongly as they do within their story. The Church of the Good Thief is available along with the first two albums of this narrative via bandcamp.
10) “Late” - Hovvdy
Hovvdy find a perpetual anti-energy from their lo-fi moodiness that somehow make the drawn out darkness of late November desirable. Hovvdy drape a thin sheet of static over everything, veiling the layers of complexity so that repeat listens pull you further and further into their portal. They’ll release their new album Cranberry via Double Double Whammy January 1.
11) “Stella” - Penny Diving
Subterranean percussion causes a thrum at the dark core of “Stella”. Penny Diving are keen to let it ride the best currents of indie and shoegaze though, allowing inner heat to generate a deep, red glow. Penny Diving will release their debut in early 2018.
12) “Now Hear In” - Cloud Nothings
Nihilistic blood used to pump through Cloud Nothings, but this opener from their third album signaled a change for the band. With less anger, Dylan Baldi casts thrilling spells of recklessness that urge you to find the limit of a long life without rules. Here and Nowhere Else is available via Carpark Records.
13) “Barnacles” - Ugly Casanova
“I don’t know me and you don’t know you / So we fit so good together cause I knew you like I knew myself / We clung on like barnacles on a boat / Even though the ship sinks you know you can’t let go.” Sharpen Your Teeth is available via Sub Pop.
14) “Atmosphere” - Joy Division
- 8:00RYAN PlaygroundAlmost Died
- 8:03Bon IverFor Emma, Forever AgoCreature Fear / Team
- 8:06Charlotte Day WilsonDoubt
- 8:09Negative GeminiBad Baby EPBad Baby
- 8:12Edwyn CollinsGorgeous GerogeA Girl Like You
- 8:15Men I TrustI Hope To Be Around
- 8:18Bad History MonthDead and Loving ItA Warm Recollection
- 8:21Right Away, Great Captain!The Church of the Good ThiefBlame
- 8:27Penny DivingStella
- 8:30Cloud NothingsHere and Nowhere ElseNow Hear In
- 8:33Ugly CasanovaSharpen Your TeethBarnacles
- 8:36Joy DivisionAtmosphere