The Vacant Lots 'Departure'

"Departure" by The Vacant Lots // Paint This City 7” (Out Now via Sonic Cathedral)

There are plenty of times when I find myself wishing that Spacemen 3 were still churning out spaced out noise for all to hear. And while in this day and age of the reunion tour is still alive and kicking, I still won’t quite put the nail in that coffin, but in the meantime there is a place to get that sonic fix. Look no further than the current studio work of Peter Kember (Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3), who mixed and mastered the newest album by Vermont psych rockers, The Vacant Lots. On “Departure”, the b-side to the recent Vacant Lots single, “Paint This City”, you can hear the duo going deep into a world of hypnotic drones and scuzzy, spaced out guitars and coming up with an ominous world of noise that would feel right at home on a mixtape next to Spacemen 3, Primal Scream, or The Jesus and Mary Chain

Curse

"Curse" by Nomenclatures // Nomenclatures’ Soundcloud (2014)

As Autumn officially slides into place, my brain goes into overdrive trying to create a soundtrack to highlight these days. Today, I didn’t have to look too deeply into my Soundcloud stream to find something that fits the atmosphere wonderfully. “Curse” is an instrumental piece from St. Paul’s dream pop artist Nomenclatures (real name, Chris Murphy). This particular piece isn’t exactly dream pop, but it is a haunting instrumental track that sways from shadowy electronic melancholy to shimmering romantic beauty with ease. It’s a stellar track that captures the feel of a breezy overcast day lost in thought. Highly recommended for fans of Dntel, Caribou, and early Four Tet.  

THE DISSOLVE // The Movies’ 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments
Here’s a pretty solid read for fans of a well placed pop song. Of course, that should be just about everyone, but I digress. The Dissolve has put together a list of the greatest uses of pop music in film. I can’t say that I agree with all of them (maybe only half, really), but that’s the fun of these sorts of lists. Getting bent out of shape over the overlooked gems (seriously, nothing from Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, or Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation - or Marie Antoinette for that matter?) is half the fun. Check it out at The Dissolve. 

THE DISSOLVE // The Movies’ 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments

Here’s a pretty solid read for fans of a well placed pop song. Of course, that should be just about everyone, but I digress. The Dissolve has put together a list of the greatest uses of pop music in film. I can’t say that I agree with all of them (maybe only half, really), but that’s the fun of these sorts of lists. Getting bent out of shape over the overlooked gems (seriously, nothing from Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, or Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation - or Marie Antoinette for that matter?) is half the fun. Check it out at The Dissolve

Rohypnotise - Fade To Grey

"Fade to Grey" by Rohypnotise // Rohypnotise EP (Out Now via Hi Scores Recording)

Whoever said that it didn’t pay to search out the “dream pop” tag at Bandcamp, was a total fool. A little insomnia put me on that particular path recently and I found myself in contact with this absolutely incredible little track from Brooklyn by way of New Zealand artist, Luke Benge's dream pop project, Rohypnotise. There’s no reason to spend any more time not pressing play on this shimmering slice of dreamy psych pop, so just get to it and then after you’re properly floored, head over to Bandcamp to grab a free copy for yourself. If that’s not enough for you, then you can stream the full EP at Soundcloud! I’m in love. Like one of the best songs that i’ve heard in months kind of love. Highest recommendation for fans of Pale Seas, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Wild Nothing

Smells Like Teen Spirit

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Howling // Smells Like Teen Spirit - Single (2014 // Out Now)

Consider this another contender for your Halloween mixtapes. This version of Nirvana’s genre defining hit comes courtesy of Howling (RY X & Frank Wiedemann), and if you’ve ever wondered what “Smells LIke Teen Spirit” would sound like as a sprawling, nine-minute, dark house jam, layered with pitch black atmosphere - look no further. Howling's take manages to sound one part gleeful dance resurrection and three parts sinister soundtrack to some eastern European horror flick that will give you nightmares when it's not beckoning you to your friendly goth club.                              

Lydia Ainsworth - Hologram

"Hologram" by Lydia Ainsworth // Right from Reel (Out 9.30.14 via Arbutus Records)

It’s not hard to draw comparisons between Lydia Ainsworth and Kate Bush (or Natasha Khan for that matter), but it shouldn’t be treated as anything but a reference point. Ainsworth is by no means regurgitating the sounds of the artists that came before her, she’s building her own sonic worlds and in doing so - she’s a must-listen. Take “Hologram” for instance - an ethereal wonderland that feels less whimsical and more legitimately awe-inspiring. There’s a whole lot to love here, and it’s going to take plenty of listens to get it all in. Highest recommendation!

The Fader has an exclusive premiere of the new Zola Jesus single, “Go (Blank Sea)”. It’s another exceptional track from her forthcoming album, Taiga. Much like previous single, “Dangerous Days”, this new track finds the artist expanding her sound into massive new ways, creating a sweeping anthem that sounds as custom made for giant festival crowds as it does for late nights on the dance floor. Check it out at The Fader. 

In Holy Abyss

"In Holy Abyss" by Seismograph // Tundra Divine (Out 11.4.14 via Snowbeast Records)

Sometimes it’s just not beneficial to the extraordinary music in which you are writing about, to go on and on about personal reasons for your adoration. In the case of the sprawling and genuinely stunning, “In Holy Abyss”, from the forthcoming Seismograph album, Tundra Devine - I’ll just say that it’s a remarkable piece of work that speaks on it’s own, but if you feel inclined to take a peek behind the process, then by all means check out the album announcement written by frontman, Jonathan Ioviero, over at the Snowbeast Records page. Anyone who listened to last year’s lovely, Azure Drift, should be excited to continue hearing the progression of a truly talented artist. Highest recommendation. 

GRMLN - White Lung//Black Lung

"White Lung//Black Lung" by GRMLN // Soon Away (Out Now via Carpark Records)

Today marks the release of GRMLN's killer new album, Soon Away. The entire album is positively alive with a crackling energy that permeates through each track. It’s an album that faces some darker material than previous releases, but as songwriter, Yoodoo Park faces down loss, heartache, and the dramatic changes that seem to sweep in relentlessly through your twenties - he does so with an energy and aggression that is as infectious as it is powerful. The band’s second single, “White Lung//Black Lung” is a standout track, and also a perfect example of what awaits on Soon Away. Highest recommendation. 

Waking Dream -Single - Dali

"Waking Dream" by Dali // Waking Dream - Single (2014 // Out Now via Bandcamp)

Buffalo based singer/songwriter, Dali, has released a new single that captures the feel of Autumn from the first strum of guitar. “Waking Dream” is a haunting, hypnotic bit of dream-folk built around Dali’s hypnotic, airy vocals and a chilly, melancholic guitar loop that is as eerie as it is beautiful. The track floats by like a dream half remembered, ethereal and mysterious, but mostly just captivating as all hell. Fans of Warpaint, Widowspeak, and Angel Olsen will find plenty to love here. You can grab the track now at Bali’s Bandcamp page. Highest recommendation;

Yuko Yuko // Borderline

"Borderline" by Yuko Yuko // Babes (Available Now via Bandcamp)

This past summer saw the release of Holland based synthwave artist, Yuko Yuko's criminally underrated album, Babes. One of the highlights from that album is “Borderline” - a fantastic amalgamation of dream pop, 80's indebted synth pop, and bedroom lo-fi. That track is also Yuko Yuko's newest single, which means it's as good a time as any to spotlight this infectious gem. “Borderline” is a perfect window into the world of Yuko Yuko, as it highlights all of the things that make this artist so special. Imagine if Ariel Pink were obsessed with 80’s synth pop instead of time-jumping psych pop, and you might get a hint at what to expect here. Highly recommended for fans of Ariel Pink, The Radio Dept, and the early work of Small Black. Grab the track at Bandcamp.

"Dragon" by Mount Eerie // In Studio @ The Pinball Sessions (2014)

Phil Elverum stopped by the Pinball Sessions recently to play some songs - one of which is set to be featured on the upcoming Mount Eerie album, Sauna. Of course, this could just be a rough take and not exactly how the final product will sound. Whichever the case, in it’s current form it is a slow burn beauty - all whispered vocals and quietly potent acoustic guitar. You definitely want to hear this heartbreaker. Highest recommendation. 

Perturbator - Hard Wired (Feat. Memory Ghost's Isabella Goloversic)

"Hard Wired (ft. Isabella Goloversic)" by Perturbator // Dangerous Days (Available Now on Bandcamp)

I must be slipping. Halloween is seven weeks away and I have yet to start posting songs that would make great additions to a Haunted Mixtape (it kills you with synth vibes, apparently - coming soon to your local cinema). Anyway, let’s go ahead and get to work. The retrosynth pop sounds of Paris based artist, Perturbator, would be perfect for any neon-goth dance party, or the soundtrack for a particularly creepy 80’s horror film, but instead it’s going to be the sound of your chilly autumn nights. “Hard Wired” is a track from his recently released full length, Dangerous Days, and it is a brilliant piece of work. Sounding something like what I would imagine a band made up of John Carpenter, M83, and Johnny Jewel, and you’re just about there. Beautiful, ice-y synths shimmer beneath a neon-hued heartbeat that pulsates alongside ghostly choral backing vocals. The track also features vocal assistance from Memory Ghost's Isabella Goloversic. I could go on, but that would only delay the pleasure of hearing this stunner. Highest recommendation!

MONO - Where We Begin

Where We Begin” by Mono // The Last Dawn (Out 10.28.14 via Temporary Residence)

It’s been a little while since Mono released new material, but as luck would have it - they’re prepping a double release for the end of of October. The Last Dawn & Rays of Darkness are the two albums in question - made to compliment each other while offering dual sides. One light, one dark. On “Where We Begin” (the lead off track from The Last Dawn), the post rockers do what they do best - creating majestic waves of guitars, noise, and percussion. Think Explosions in the Sky crossed with Tamaryn's woozy shoegaze and you're just bout there.