Stop Loving Things That Can’t Love You Back

24 Oct

HCK
9

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PHOX

“Slow Motion”mp3

Phox

One tangent stands out more than any other when reflecting on the music we’ve seen come to light this year; there aren’t many bands creating art which changes the way we feel, in general the best we hope for is for one to come along which perpetuates our emotions further.  The bands I dig at any given moment reflect my attitude, I remember when it was the other way around, I miss that.

Slow Motion” isn’t exactly a bold example to the contrary but it works well to show what I’m attempting to convey. After all, in order to see eye to eye with Phox we must be a little more relaxed in our judgements with bands towing a pop-line aiming with mass-appealing ambiguous-pop.

There are far too many rules we follow when it comes to music already, I’m more or less talking to myself here, yet if despite all your convictions and pseudo-pretentious hangups find a song which doesn’t fit neatly within a genre drug of choice we rarely stray from and the song still saturates into your day and existence in a way that makes  you appreciate where you are and how great life has the potential to be then why let our minds shut-off one of the rare glimpses we get at what it means to just be. Which is exactly why Phox is the first song on this week’s mix.

I’m a fan of these dudes, that’s been apparent for some time now, but I see so many people around me at shows, at work, in traffic, who need a song as good as this in their lives but have grown too jaded for concessions to the reality that just because it is catchy or pop or made by dudes who look a bit cleaner than our friends do that it should be any less than great. This song is great. Regardless of whatever mood you are in, no matter how heavy the world may be on your shoulders, put “Slow Motion” on and tell me things don’t instantly feel better.

I realize I’m no one, how I feel about music is no more valid than that chick we overhear with terrifying frequency with her generically disgusting and obviously uneducated “I like all music except rap and country” opinion, it is important to remember that. The reality is she gets the same enjoyment out of the latest One Direction song as we do from putting on some rare Slaughter and the Dogs seven inch. Music is nowhere near as important as we like to believe it is, we need to stop treating it as if it were. This song represents everything I hoped to accomplish when starting up HCK! which is that we need to stop being too cool to enjoy the good things in life, why be bitter old wo/men over some genre loyalty bullshit.

This is the opening track from their Confetti EP which is currently up as a “name-your-price” on their Bandcamp page

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Connect with Phox  Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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Spacin’

“Empty Mind” – mp3

Spacin'

If we’re on the subject of music to put us into a rad mindset then it would be offensive not to mention this song. Although “Empty Mind” came out last year it was Rollo & Grady who brought it to my attention earlier this summer.

Garage-Surf bands generally give my heart the fuzzies but Spacin’ amplifies even that with their free form pace and lo-fi buzz. Getting lifted and watching these guys burn through a set in Austin is firmly placed on my instant karma bucket list, whatever the hell that means.

Spacin’ – Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr

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Parquet Courts

“You Got Me Wonderin Now” – mp3

Parquet Courts

What can we be in which is more than love? That is where I’m at with these guys. Three times this year I caught them live, I still listen to Light Up Gold like republicans watch Fox news, and this new single still pushed my enthusiasm to new heights.

You Got Me Wonderin’ Now” is the best Parquet Courts have put out, I wouldn’t have been surprised or disappointed had they plateaud with “Stoned And Starving,” apparently they’ve still got something left to prove. It’s so nice to see them gaining moment this side of Fergus and Geronimo, this incarnation is soooooooooo much better.

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Parquet Courts – Bandcamp | WordPress | Big Cartel | Soundcloud

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Netherfriends

“Uptown Boys” – mp3

Netherfriends

I had no idea this guy was even in town last week! I was bitching three years ago about him not coming within two hours of Indianapolis and here he was playing within four minutes of my house and still I managed to miss him. “I’ll catch the next show” is the number one killer in the death-rattle of a scene in this country, turns out I’m just another person perpetuating the process.

If you’ve missed my other rantings and are new to Netherfriends, the Harry Nilsson cover album is a spot-on place to start with his music. “Uptown Boys” is like Agent A & Omae with a strut, whatever Rosenblatt puts out embodies cool, we can always count on that. Damn this song is catchy.

Netherfriends Bandcamp | Facebook

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Dead Luke

“Ghost Rider” – mp3

Dead Luke

Of all the styles resurfacing these last few years none has benefited more than psyche. “Ghost Rider” shows how well bands can take the format laid down throughout the 60’s and put a modern touch to it that idealizes the defining vibe of our generation’s drive for all things chill.

I wish I had more information about Madison, Wisconsin’s Dead Luke to share but there just isn’t much out there yet. They have my attention though so whatever sounds they put out will inevitable reach yours and hopefully more details on the dude will accompany them.

Dead Luke – Tumblr

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The Delphines

“Careless” – mp3

The Delphines - "Careless"

Here’s yet another band out of Wisconsin.  I barely realized they had a scene, I guess I should have been looking closer.  I love celebrated slacker lyrics with fist in the air vibes, The Delphines do it better than most.

This four piece on Thread Pull Records (Foreign Mothers, Dead Space, The Flesh Lights) first caught my attention with their God Help The Delphines EP, an album full of great tracks poorly recorded, which is good enough to book a tour on but the songs sound thin in comparison to the sweat they obviously induce in confined quarters. They’ve finally got some songs which come close to the bands quality giving them much more of a Bad Sports residue than was put in front of us before. If these guys can match this intensity in the future, there are little doubts they will be well on the way to being an established fixture in our lives. I just hope they make the effort next tour to get down through the better part of Texas, this town will eat them alive, in the best kind of way.

All albums of theirs are up for name-your-price through their Bandcamp link below, get familiar.

The Delphines – Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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The Corsairs

“Ruin” – mp3

The Corsairs

The Corsairs have a gift for imagery, allowing us to share the same space and time as the breaks and fills. Man I wish summer wasn’t over, I want to go on believing songs like “Ruin” define my life. It’s damn hard to do with the weather beckoning softer shit with an acoustic touch so I guess I’ll use these guys as the perfect outro to a visceral summer which was equally as short as it was rad.

The Corsairs – Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

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The Felines

” A Men Stuck In Your Mind” – mp3

The Felines

As with all Burger Records bands The Felines make being fucked-up about the coolest thing we could aspire to be. I had this on at work when the owner stopped in for the first time in two years, not sure how he felt about it but then again this is the anthem of this town so I doubt he was too turned off by it. If I’m applying for jobs next week I’ll be sure to send The Felines a thank you letter.

The Felines – Facebook

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Black Manila

“June ’95” – mp3

Black Manila

Black Manila remind me ofa less forward The Rich Hands and early Bad Lovers. I really dig the guitar at the end with it’s 50’s soul danciness, it’s great.

Their debut 7” “Shake That Thing” / “Hoverfly” came out in April (RIP Records) and it equally rules if not goes a step harder.

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Black Manila – Bandcamp | Facebook | Website | Soundcloud

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The Black Angels

“Don’t Play With Guns” – mp3

The Black Angels

The Black Angels have been great for so long now that to express why I like one song over another seems unnecessary. Duly noted however is how much they’ve  elevated themselves this year with Indigo Meadow, pulling themselves out of the psyche ether into a realm where the band can establish themselves without hiding behind a template of sound, these guys are just too solid to bare a genre like a cross, before 2013 that seemed to be their motif.

The Black Angels – Facebook | Website

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Teenagers

“Friends” – mp3

Teenagers

My man-crush on Teenagers continues! They are one of my ten favorite finds since starting HCK!. So much of my time is spent trying to find a band with a perfect balance between what I want and what I need, it’s a rare occurance to actually come across, these guys do it with every song.

Over the summer they released their first EP since October 2011, CA, it’s incredible, rekindling a love I’d let fall dormant.

Teenagers – Bandcamp | Facebook

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Wildlife

“Born To Ruin” – mp3

Wildlife

I listened to Bon Jovi‘s Slippery When Wet everyday until almost puberty as well as having grown up in a vacant wasteland of limited music awareness commonly referred to as the midwest, so despite years spent consciously leaving that mindset behind me there are some residual effects, most notably my incessant burning love for anthems (hence why Fidlar‘s “Cheep Beer” was my number one song last year and 41st and Home‘s “Wilderness Eyes” the year before that).

That’s not meant in any way to downplay “Born To Ruin,” merely to express just how stoked I am when a band such as Wildlife get it right.  Sunset cruising holding hands with the one you love, two friends in the backseat adding to the scenery, singing along with your soul, that’s what this song embodies. A few years ago they put out “Drunken Heart” which was equally as infecting an anthem but it was very somber and introspective, you’ve got to be in a low place to fully appreciate it, this is the yin to that yang.

Their latest album ….On The Heart is fantastic, make time to check it out.

Wildlife – Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Turtle Giant

“We Were Kids” – mp3

Turtle Giant

Speaking of anthems, here’s one with a bit more indie-angst. “We Were Kids” kind of sounds the way Kings Of Leon would have had they found a way of maturing without selling out. Sorry Turtle Giant for such a low reference. These guys are out of São Paulo, Brazil and currently based in Macau (China).

Their All Hidden Places EP is up for free through their Bandcamp, only laziness stands in your way now.

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Turtle Giant – Bandcamp | Facebook |Twitter | Website | Soundcloud

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French Films

“Latter Days” – mp3

French Films

Time and time again I’ve tried to convey the strength in writing French Films have in every one of their songs. They successfully combine the great parts of  The Cure and Bruce Springsteen, kicking the mundane tangents of both to the curb. If this were the 80’s these Finnish dudes would be gods. I can’t even come close to pronouncing a single member of the band’s name but I’ll emphatically shout along with any one of their songs with ease, there’s something endearing about that as well. Is that reverse prejudice?

French Films – Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

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Yeah Boy

“Can’t Get Enough” – mp3

Yeah Boy

This week may be lacking in the baby-makin music department but not completely. “Can’t Get Enough” is as cuddle-you-so-hard as music gets.

Yeah Boy is the new project from London’s Johnny Castro (Parachute Youth)… technically this song doesn’t come out until the 27th.

Yeah Boy – Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

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“Never Wanna Know” – mp3

mo

Lana Del Ray meets Florence and the Machine, just going off of that comparison is enough to make many pass on giving danish singer a chance, their loss. This song swoons with each enunciation, it’s magical. Better get on this one now, another six months and we’ll be so sick of “Never Wanna Know” that I’ll regret having ever shared it, that’s how good this song is.

MØ – Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Soundcloud

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A&O

“Home Team” – mp3

A&O

Agent A has put out some incredible music on his own, it’s his Agent A & Omae tracks that I find the most praiseworthy though.

I had no idea these guys are out of Austin until this very moment, I’m not even remotely surprised, seriously Brooklyn is rapidly becoming old news, San Francisco better watch out they are next. It really catches me off guard how naive I was about the bands coming out of Texas before I moved here, how could I have listened to this duo so often back in Indiana and never once noticed where they were playing out of? Such is life I guess.

While most dudes banging around on a keyboard are counting the seconds until they can throw some grinding rusted metal train-wreck in out of nowhere, the kind of noise douche-bags often mistakenly refer to as “the drop,”  A&O know how to let a song breath and settle around us, it’s a skill… and skill is nearing extinction in EDM.  So glad to see these dudes putting sounds out together again.

Their latest EP Goddess has been out since March, my apologies for the delay. It’s up for name-your-price through the Bandcamp link.

A&O – Bandcamp

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Postiljonen

“On The Run” – mp3

Postiljonen

Postiljonen make me sad, the kind of sad you appreciate, the kind of sad you almost want to feel, where you are alive in it with the weight of all that is kept at bay, all the things we deny in the face of happiness, Bukowski’s “Bluebird” kind of sad, that’s what I love about these guys. It is music that makes you feel alone yet embraced.

Postiljonen – Facebook | Website

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Lace Curtains

“High Fantasy” – mp3

Lace Curtains

Harlem‘s Michael Coomer has stepped out in a huge (HUGE) way with Lace Curtains, seriously I’m obsessed. Unfortunately whatever effort the guy puts into creating insane music he equals in slackness towards anything online related, so best of luck to you on your search for more about his current moniker, my wasted two minutes is more than I really care to give towards anything other than kitten videos and wikipedia black holes. There’s a review up on P4k but not much else.

This is easily my favorite track on this week’s playlist. It’s sweet facade vaguely hides a duality that is both sarcastic and comfortable. Even though this has been around for some time that doesn’t make “High Fantasy” any less impressive.

Lace Curtains – Facebook Fanpage

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Bookwerm

“Social Circles” – mp3

Bookwerm

As I was piecing together the upcoming fall mixtape I came across this track from last summer. I REALLY love how “Social Circles” is mixed! If this had been made any other way this song would probably be terrible, it’s way too late 90’s at the core, yet when you move the vocals to the back and bring the guitar forward to nearly overpower everything it creates an architecture that is ideally complete.

Bookwerm  are another example of bands I am completely unaware of creating music in Austin. I just noticed they put out two albums this year. Expect more from these guys on HCK! in the coming weeks.

Bookwerm – Bandcamp | Soundcloud

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Emily Wolfe

“Mechanical Hands” – mp3

Emily Wolfe

Stop Loving Things That Can’t Love You Back,” that line is something I have to remind myself constantly.

I remember reading something from David Dark (I think) where he was talking about how he use to be obsessed with a certain sports team and someone asked him “when’s the last time they loved you back” and for some reason that sentence kind of shattered his reality, reading it shattered mine as well, “Mechanical Hands” is sort of about that.

In a similar fashion as “Social Circles,” this song works as a rad juxtaposition between lo-fi garage and female acoustic-pop that would be difficult to duplicate without being generic, Emily Wolfe does it with ease, like a mature Alison Weiss or less whimsical Laura Stevenson, not to mention the guitar work in this song is fantastic bordering on perfection.

I swear I find music by random, the fact that so many bands are from Austin on this week’s playlist is completely by accident. I figured Wolfe was out of the north somewhere…wrong again.

Emily Wolfe – Facebook | Website

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Survival

“Tragedy Of The Mind” – mp3

Survival

For how much I grind on Brooklyn bands there are obvious exceptions to the carbon-copy outpouring. Survival are righteous as fuck, they epitomize an exception, I’m beyond geeked over these dudes. This is the new project from Liturgy mastermind Hunter Hunt-Hendrix.

Tragedy Of The Mind” is the opening track from their self-titled album which can be streamed through their Bandcamp page.

Survival – Bandcamp

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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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