The Sun May Rise Where We Come From But Here Is Where It Sets

22 Jan

HCK! January Cover

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Youth Lagoon

“Dropla” – mp3

Youth Lagoon

Ever since SXSW my heart has been hurting for something new from Youth Lagoon … he’s back… and he’s not letting us down.

I have to be honest though and say outright that I’m remaining skeptical about whether Trevor Powers will ever fully develop a shift in sound from his standard format that all of his tracks have followed up until now. If he didn’t write such incredible lyrics The Year Of Hibernation would have felt predictable instead of profound and I can’t help but wonder if anything short of a legitimate  shift will save us from fighting back a feeling of monotony, unfortunately “Dropla” doesn’t resolve any of those concerns but it does show subtle signs of growth which is all we really need when the songs are always so damn good.

If you make it down to Austin for the mecca of festivals this year I believe Powers will once again be putting what I confidently can say is one of the most emotional and engaging live shows back on display, there’s a lot of bad music in this world Youth Lagoon will make you forget all of it.

The new album, Wondrous Bughouse, is due out on March 5th (Fat Possum), without a doubt it will have tracks which will be worthy of this years “best songs” list but it’s going to take much more than what this track offers to have his sophomore effort come close to matching the best albums list (those of you following for a while will remember that TYOH was the album voted into the number one slot in 2011).

At the bottom of it all this talk is rather irrelevant, what matters at the moment being Trevor Powers is back and it feels good to have someone beside us once again who understands the sadness connecting all of us and has not lost the confidence to intelligently and passionately articulate what we collectively share yet don’t quite understand.

Youth Lagoon – Facebook | Fat Possum

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The Airplanes

“Paper Hearts” – mp3

The Airplanes

Listening to The Airplanes you would never guess that it is one guy’s self-recordings or that it is coming out of Arkansas (I guess the same can be said for Youth Lagoon and his absolutely not Idaho sound).

Joshua Vest should be owning some L.A. social-scene or sweat-dancing in Brooklyn instead of doing whatever the hell they do in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Which can’t be much, right? I escaped Indiana, I’ll judge locations all I want… it takes one to know one or some shit.

Anyways I fell on this track over on Birp! and of all the incredible songs they’ve put onto this months mix (and they ARE all incredible or at least better than that overplayed noise filtering from the bucket sitting at the stop sign in front of my house at the moment) this is the one which has stuck with me more than any other.

Combining an Oregon Bike Trails (for fucks sake why did they change their name to Cayucas, I’m not a fan) with a more Ghost Beach like structure without losing the surfwave vibe in the slightest. “Paper Hearts” is a very deceiving song for how it seems to fit with whichever mood your in when really these lyrics should be forefront and personal yet they leave barely a mark, instead allowing the song to be yours rather than Joshua Vest‘s which is why ultimately I’d compare his music to Letting Up Despite Great Faults more than anyone else.

The self-titled EP “Paper Hearts” was taken from is up at a “name-your-price” on his Bandcamp page so you haven’t got an excuse when summer hits and you realize this is the exact soundtrack to the rad time you’re having and you are yet to learn the words.

The Airplanes – Bandcamp | Facebook

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Tiger Waves

“Fields” – mp3

Tiger Waves

Tiger Waves dropped this sweet gem last week,  I’m pretty sure this was initially to stir up last minute support for their tour-kickstarter which successfully closed out this past weekend.  “Fields” should work well to help create a bit more cultural awareness of the band as the head out on a month long tour which kicks off tonight at Mohawks in Austin.

Even though they record themselves the production value on this new track is a step up, as far as the vocals are concerned, from previous Tiger Waves sounds. These guys made a lot of  headway last year, I think they’ll be one of our beloved Indie darlings before winter comes around again, “Fields” has me all the more confident of that.

Tiger Waves – Facebook | Kickstarter | Website

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Bearhug

“Over the Hill” – mp3

Bearhug

For how mundane and ridiculous the idea of making a list of songs deemed worthy of a “Best Of” post there are some positives which come out of doing them, most notably that it gets me to check out other tracks from bands I’d only really got into for a single song. Australia’s Bearhug is the clearest example I have in mind. After two weeks of jonesing over these guys I’m pretty sure Bearhug is my number one must-see band for SXSW, Hopefully you guys will be there with me.

BearhugBandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud

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Parquet Courts

“Stoned And Starving” – mp3

Parquet Courts

I can’t even remember the last band I was as stoked to share as I am with Parquet Courts! Since it is yet another project from Andrew Savage (Fergus & Geronimo (overrated but growing on me) and Teenage Cool Kids) I thought I knew what to expect and have been shelfing them for some time. Last week Cloud Nothings threw up a link to the album which was enough persuasion to finally check out the Light Up Gold album and I’ve listened to it at least ten times since. Everyone at work went ape the first time I put it on as well and seeing others react to this in a very similar way as myself and knowing the the different places each of our tastes come from has me feeling this is about the gnarliest Lou Reed influenced band I’ve heard. This sounds soooooo much better and less contrived than Savage’s other bands!

I just saw that these guys played a show in Austin two weeks ago with one of my absolute favorite local bands Sweet Talk (who have an album coming out later this month I believe)… I’m going to be upset about this for a long time, real upset.

Bonus: Parquet Courts – “Yr No Stoner”mp3

Parquet Courts – Bandcamp | WordPress | Big Cartel | Soundcloud

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Cy Dune

“Where The Wild Things” – mp3

Cy Dune

Cy Dune is the new project from Akron/Family frontman Seth Olinsky and although this may not quite tap as deeply into my heart as his other work it sure as hell gets my feet moving better than anything he’s done before and that shouldn’t go without being noted.

The No Recognize (Family Tree Records) is due on February 5th.

Cy Dune – Facebook | WordPress | Soundcloud

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Christopher Owens

“Here We Go Again” – mp3

Christopher Owens

First I was bummed by the idea of Christopher Owen going solo and then I listened through the album and it all made sense, unfortunately I listened through it a second time and got bummed all over again. There was an incredible chemistry to Girls that accentuated Owens’ lyrics placing them in a weightless state of awe which is much harder to capture with a solo effort.

Each song on Lysandre is a reminder just how rare simple lyrics of piercing and raw caliber are to find yet somehow the instrumentation sounds almost out of place, it’s as if Owens listened only to Destroyer albums over the last six months and is attempting to deliver his own attempt at New York jazz undertones to quazi-poetic dialogue, unfortunately he’s too autobiographical to make that ever work.

Like I mentioned, the first sit through of  Lysandre I took it as a masterpiece only to find each time I’ve put it on since there seems to be a rapidly receding appreciation for each song, I blame the flute.

Although there are stronger songs (which will be showcased more in the near future) “Here We Go Again” is the only song on Lysandre which is easily compared to that last two Girls albums.

Lysandre is an album I imagine Owens is content with, there seems to be much of his recent past continuing to bare down on him like aggressive ghosts, it’s hard not to listen to this album without being overwhelmed by the feeling that this round of songs is more for himself than anyone else, a feeble attempt to quantify that darkness, as the album ends there’s an unspoken understanding that this album was for himself and it’s our choice whether we listen in or not. If that is true how could we not appreciate it?

On a fairly unrelated note did you guys see this live cut from Owens? It was done as the news of Whitney Houston‘s death was barely beginning to be reported. Not sure why but if anyone else had done this I probably wouldn’t have had much positive to say but he pulls it off in a very unforgettable way.

Christopher Owens – Facebook | Website

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Widower

“Oh Catherine, My Catherine” – mp3

Widower

Widower‘s new album Fool Moon came out last week and I’m not completely sure what my feelings are for it. To settle on a singular word the only one fitting enough would be “potential.”  They seem to be a band all too conscious of what they are doing and more so of how they are doing it. Overall everything feels very planned and heavy with intentions when a sound rooted so much in the acoustic realm should be much more at ease. Keep in mind most bands would kill for potential.

This song, “Love, or lacktherof,” and “Almost, Always, All Yours”  are the three stand-out tracks on this album for hinting at just how great the future is going to be for Widower regardless of whether that potential is ever realized or not. There isn’t much doubt in my mind that this is going to be an incredible year for these guys, where we see once again just how easily it is for a persistent band to filter into the general psyche of a very folk deprived music scene. Lumineers fans should be frothing at the mouth to get these guys into their ears.

Widower – Bandcamp | Facebook

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Foreign Friends

“Magnets” – mp3

Foreign Friends

If you’re not addicted to “Magnets” by the twelve second mark I can’t even fathom how fucked up your childhood must have been. In all truth by the time the vocals come in all there is to hope for is that Foreign Friends doesn’t find a way to screw it up. Judging by the number of d-bags who have flooded the internet with their shitty train-wreck remixes of this song it’s obvious they kept the stature for the entire course. And yes I’m not even a fan of the Futurewife version, this song needs to be left alone, there is nothing that needs to be brought to the table.

Let’s just take a second and address the fact that for a perfect look at how I unavoidably end up judging the parents of my peers all it takes is a quick search for remixes of any moderately decent song to see how much damage is caused by a spineless parent giving in to a retard longing to be cool’s temper-tantrum for a new Macbook for Christmas. I’m sick of thirteen-year-olds and their unrelenting use of auto-tune and twenty-two year old scene leaches with their carbon copy Urban Outfitters my-first-EDM-kits.

I digress, Foreign Friends is a Seattle based duo with an incredible knack for making memorable baby making music.

Foreign Friends – Bandcamp | Facebook

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The Oh Hello’s

“The Valley” – mp3

The Oh Hello's

The Oh Hello’s are Tyler And Maggie Heath, two siblings out of San Marcos, Texas making a valiant effort at creating there own take on the barn stomping folk revival The Head And The Heart kicked into gear three years ago. There is something magical that happens when families write and record themselves, somehow they find a way of grinding out the flaws of each other and bring to the surface strengths that most likely would have gone unrealized had it not been for how they perceive each others abilities. My heart has a new found crush on Maggie’s voice in a big way.

The Oh Hello’s –   Bandcamp | Facebook

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TV Torso

“Clear Lake Stranger” – mp3

TV Torso

Another show I’m disgusted to have missed happened as part of Austin’s “Free Week” which had TV Torso, Tiger Waves, and Hundred Visions (I miss these guys every time!)  all sharing a line-up (there was fourth band I’m  yet to check out Oh No Oh My which is probably great as well considering the company… and the fact they are from Austin). Unfortunately I covered for someone at work so they could play a show of their own. I was really looking forward to that lineup though. “Clear Lake Strangler” should help explain why.

As far as the incredible Austin seen goes these guys are very similar to The Bad Lovers but with a much more Brooklyn approach to their songs, since I love both Brooklyn bands and am a huge supporter of The Bad Lovers this should be taken as a high compliment.

Once I catch one of their shows in person I’ll let you know if they live up to the hype I’ve built in my mind.

TV Torso – Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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The Winter Sounds

“The Sun Also Rises” – mp3

The Winter Sounds

Don’t take “The Sun Also Rises” lightly this is a deep deep song. The ambiance can lead you astray as if this were just some anthemic sing-along which it is absolutely not.

The Winter Sounds are currently signed to one of my absolute favorite labels New Granada and have chipped away a slow but steady following over recent years, this may be the first time for you to hear anything from them, I highly doubt it will be the last.

The Winter Sounds – Facebook | Website

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Heavy Cream

“JOHN JOHNNY” – mp3

Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream are an all girl showcase of the dark underside of the Nashville scene. Like Deap Vally but (no offense) better, all piss and vinegar in a way that makes even Cheap Time sound like a boy band.

JOHN JOHNNY” brings the fuzz-blues revival to the pinnacle of rock without a single fuck to give and more so without sounding like another tool who traded in their polo for a jean vest and hoped no one noticed.

Heavy Cream – Facebook | Twitter | Blogspot | Infinity Cat

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The Sweets

“West” – mp3

The Sweets

Honestly I really don’t know much about these guys, they’re brothers and there from Winston-Salem with a sound crossing between Pussy Wizard and Teenager. I’m in.

The Sweets – Bandcamp | Twitter

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Moon Duo

“Free Action” – mp3

Moon Duo

It’s nineteen sixty nine okay

Let’s just clear it up, yes “Free Action” is heavily influenced by “1969” from The Stooges. Once the Psychedelia kicks in near the 2:30 mark Moon Duo turns this into a whole other animal and save themselves of any carbon-copy criticism.

Moon Duo originated in San Francisco but I believe have relocated to Portland and is made up of Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips) and Sanae Yamada. They are currently touring in New Zealand and Australia (must be nice).

Moon Duo – Facebook | Website

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Zig Zags

“Wastin My Time” – mp3

Zig Zags

Speaking of The Stooges, I first noticed Zig Zags last year when word went around that they were working with Iggy Pop on a Betty Davis cover together (which I’m still yet to check out) for the Light In The Attic reissues, they’ve been on my radar ever since.

This L.A. three piece is about all we’ve got left of straight up pure rock and roll to call our own. While bands like FIDLAR go on to put their own slacker twist on that traditional Garage sound Zig Zags just say “fuck it” and do it their own way, no gimmicks, no pretension, just a whole lotta drugs. (Watch me get an angry email from their manager about how straight-edge these guys are… that would be disappointing to say the least)

Zig Zags – Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr | Soundcloud

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Holy Wave

“Albuquerque Freakout” – mp3

Holy Wave

I’ve caught Holy Wave a couple of times since landing in Texas but for some reason have always been distracted (mainly by my friend Pabst) and don’t think I’ve given them a fair shake before now because these guys make as good of Psyche music you’re bound to find in Austin which is saying something since I’m pretty sure like eighty-five percent of really good bands with a psychedelic backbone have relocated here.

Needless to say something got me over to their Bandcamp page a few days ago and I’ve been enjoying them in unhealthy doses ever since.

Holy Wave – Bandcamp | Facebook

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Widowspeak

“The Dark Age” – mp3

Widowspeak

Widowspeak are back! I fell hard for these guys last SXSW and those feelings have not receded in the slightest in the time that has past. As I put it on the HCK! facebook page a few days ago “I’m sooo in love with Molly Hamilton‘s voice! SEE THESE GUYS LIVE it’s like a chillwave high-five to your heart.”

Their new album Almanac will be here on the 22nd but is already up for streaming over at NPR. Hopefully you find the guitar work as incredible as I do, it seems Robert Earl Thomas is finally coming into his own within the band and it is hugely affecting.

Widowspeak – Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter 

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Hunter Hunted

“Keep Together” – mp3

Hunter Hunted

Hunter Hunted are a duo out of L.A. which could easily be the quintessential band to describe everything we’ve come to expect from that city. “Keep Together” is indie-pop bathed in optimistic lyrics focusing on the tangible future of the here and now.

Hunter Hunted – Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

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Heat Dust

“I Was Afraid Of Dying” – mp3

Heat Dust

Take the optimistic aspect of Hunter Hunted and give it a more lo-fi distorted lens to look through and you basically have “I Was Afraid Of Dying” from Heat Dust.

These guys are out of New Orleans, this is my first experience with them.

Heat Dust – Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr

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Fuzz

“This Time I Got A Reason” – mp3

Fuzz-Optimized

I’m not issuing any sort of an apology to Ty Segall for any past criticism I’ve had towards him or his music but his new Fuzz stuff is as gnarly as it gets. I really hope he puts some real effort into this band, there is so much value to the two tracks he’s leaked thus far it would be painful to see him throw this to the wayside and backslide to his individually focused past.

My goal is to catch a Fuzz show before anything bad happens so if the chance comes up I’m without a doubt jumping on it.

Fuzz – Trouble In Mind Records | Last.fm

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Peace

“Your Hand In Mine” – mp3

Peace

If there is one thing lacking on this weeks mix is songs such as “Your Hand In Mine” where I have an infatuation with the attachment to the lyrics which sound more like my own thoughts through a well articulated filter. That once was the cornerstone of every weeks mix and I find it harder and harder to find it in the songs I’m checking out each day. Luckily there are still bands such as Peace who keep that fact from leaving me with a very disheartened feeling.

Peace are out of Vancouver and are currently on Suicide Squeeze Records.

Peace  – Bandcamp | Facebook

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Wavves

“Sail To The Sun” – mp3

Wavvves

There aren’t many bands which I have changed my opinion on more than Wavves. When they (wasn’t this originally a solo deal?) first came out I really just wasn’t digging their sound or the fact that everyone and their brother was jumping on the bandwagon out of the gate. “Sail To The Sun” is good enough to get me to admit that I may have been wrong, or the band has just gotten that much better, either way what I’m experiencing from them now feels much more rad than it did just a few short years ago.

Wavves – Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

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All songs are for promotional purposes. If you or an artist you represent would like content removed contact HCK! at Heycoolkid@yahoo.com

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