Posts tagged M83

Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Wrapped

"Wrapped" by Letting Up Despite Great Faults // Neon (Out 8.12.14 via Bandcamp)

Austin based dream poppers, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, seem to always be in top form. Each album or EP that drops is as good if not better than the last. It’s that consistency that keeps me coming back, but I have to admit that after hearing their wonderful new album, Neon, that they might be hitting a highwater mark this time out. Look no further than the sparkling first single, “Wrapped”, as evidence of the surge. The lush layering of shimmering synths and effervescent electronics give “Wrapped” a warm and immediate presence - making it hard not to take notice and hold your attention for the duration of the three and a half minutes. Gorgeous vocal harmonies and a surging beat make it hard to forget once that time is up, so returning to the beginning is the best option. It’s the kind of fantastic track that makes you fall in love with the song as much as the youthful memories that it calls to mind - similar to the the way that Stars or Broken Social Scene are able to do at their best. If you like what you hear, swing over to the band’s Bandcamp page and stream the entire new album before it drops on August 12th. Highly recommended. 

Cold

"Cold" by Prince Innocence // Cold - Single (Out Now via Pretty Pretty Records)

As Prince Innocence readies their eventual debut album, they’ve gone ahead and done the world a solid and dropped a stellar single to tide us over for a while. “Cold” is an apt name for the track as it’s chilly delivery of icy synths and airy vocals help put bring to kind autumn nights under cold gray stars - which, given the absurd heat that’s likely filling your days, is about as nice an escape as you’re likely to get for a couple of months. Prince Innocence has fast become one of my favorite young bands and after the near perfect synth pop beauty, “Dissipate” from last year, “Cold’ is another reminder that the Toronto duo are real deal and I couldn’t be more excited for a full length. 

The Bilinda Butchers - Golden House Ft. Sarah Psalti

"Golden House (ft. Sarah Psalti)" by The Bilinda Butchers // Heaven (Out 7.15.14 via Orchid Tapes)

Last year, Sarah Psalti was the voice for one of my favorite tracks of the year ("Oostende" by Keep Shelly in Athens). This year, she sadly left her band but that hasn’t kept her from contributing to some stunning work in the form of the new album from The Bilinda Butchers. “Golden House” is the track (from the band’s forthcoming Orchid Tapes release, Heaven) the features the band’s collaboration with Psalti, and it is a positively glowing bit of dreamy electro shoegaze. The Bilinda Butchers are putting out the best work of their careers as of late and the gorgeous “Golden House” is no exception. It’s the kind of track that will stick with you long after hearing it, demanding a return to the sounds as soon as possible. 

LIMITED "Automation (Do You Feel)"

"Automation (Do You Feel)" by Limited // Automation  b/w Everyone Else’s Lives (Out Now via Big Love)

It’s been a little while since we heard from Alex Craig's (Big Troubles & Ducktails) dreamy synth project, Limited. Luckily, just in time for prime summer soundtracking, Craig has released the shimmering synth pop beauty, “Automation (Do You Feel)” and it’s another excellent addition to the criminally short Limited catalog. The track digs it’s heels in and unleashes a whirlwind of throbbing synth lines, twinkling keys, and crisp electro beats, all warmly swirling together as Craig sings a hook that will be lodged in your brain for days. It’s a killer track and hopefully before the end of the year, we’ll be getting a full release from Limited - because there needs to be way more of this in my life. Highest recommendation for fans of M83, Hooray for Earth, and Future Islands.

Zola Jesus-Dangerous Days (Official Audio)

"Dangerous Days" by Zola Jesus // Taiga (Out 10.7.14 via Mute)

It’s been a little while since we heard new music from Nika Roza Danilova's goth-synth project,  Zola Jesus. Her last album was more of a re-issue of existing material (with strings added). So last week’s announcement of the October release for her new full length (Taiga) made me very excited for what the future holds. Now, less than a week later we get a taste of that future, in the form of “Dangerous Days”. Right off the bat you notice something different about the track, and it’s something that I hadn’t ever really noticed missing in her previous music - for the first time it sounds like she’s genuinely having fun. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a club banger, but it is more upbeat and energetic than we’ve really heard from ZJ in the past, and Danilova’s incredible voice is their to guide the track every step of the way. The result is a wonderful step into new territory and more than enough reason to push this album to the top of my “most wanted” list. 

Mountain

"Mountain" by Night Panther // Mountain - Single (2014)

If your summer listening is missing a euphoric synth pop stunner, look no further than Night Panther's dreamy, neon-hued “Mountain”. The Pennsylvania four piece have an absolute winner on their hands with this stroke of genius. The infectious blast of shimmering synths, HI-NRG beats, and deeply melodic vocals hits immediately and never lets up - creating a dance floor beauty that would sounds as good under city lights as it would soundtracking a night drive through the desert. This is as good as it gets when you're looking for a summer anthem. Highly recommended for fans of M83, Chromatics, and Postiljonen. Comes for the ear candy hooks, stay for the sexy sax solo. 

get into it recordsBreathe

"Breathe" by Fractions // Breathe - Single (Available Now via Get Into It Records)

Get Into It Records is currently putting out a singles series in which they’re introducing new talent to world via cassette singles and Bandcamp. The third entry into that series comes Newcastle based synth poppers, Fractions. The track is called “Breathe” and it’s an absolute stunner. The track is chocked to the brim with spaced out synths, crisp percussion, walls of hypnotic guitars, and powerhouse vocals that positively soar, even as they’re layered and folded back in on themselves. It’s a gorgeous, confident sound from a band that I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on in the future. Highly recommended tor fans of Purity Ring, CHVRCHES, and M83. Head on over to the Bandcamp page to score a download for a fee of name-your-price. 

Future Husbands Past Lives

"Future Husbands Past Lives" by White Sea // In Cold Blood (Out 5.19.14 via Songs/Crush Music)

Morgan Kibby will soon be releasing her first full length album as White Sea, and I have to say, that it’s about time. I feel like I’ve been wanting to hear an album of her solo material for several years now. Luckily, it’s just around the corner and in anticipation of the release of In Cold Blood, we’ve got a new single to check out - the glowing 80’s-infused dance floor gem, “Future Husbands Past Lives”. It’s an absolutely infectious blast of beaming synths, bouncy bass lines, and electro-strings that are all wrapped up by Kibby’s absolutely soaring vocals. It’s fun as all hell, and a sure fire candidate for the summer jam of 2014. 

To The Top

"To the Top" by Twin Shadow // To to Top - Single (Available Now via 4AD)

George Lewis Jr (Twin Shadow) seems to have taken a break from his monthly covers series to work on a new album. One of the songs that may pop up on that as-yet-untitled album is the soaring anthem, “To the Top”. The artist continues to evolve his sound which started as dreamy chillwave before morphing into 2012’s dance-able synth rock. “To the Top” isn’t exactly either of those things, in fact the song is mostly a straight-forward widescreen power ballad that feels built for the big stage. It’s a great track and surely a hint at what awaits later this year when we hopefully get to hear a new full length. In the meantime, you can download this track for free from Twin Shadow’s Soundcloud page.

"I Need You" by M83 // Divergent - Official Soundtrack (Out 3.11.14 via Interscope)

It seems like M83 has been spending more time working on soundtracks as of late, and that’s just fine if the result is going to be swooning, electro-orchestral beauties like this. “I Need You” is a stirring, widescreen, synth anthem that finds time for sax solos and soaring choruses. The track is featured on the soundtrack to the film, "Divergent", and with a little luck, we will hopefully be looking down the barrel of a new M83 release very soon. In the meantime, take a couple of dozen listens to this special little treat. 

Shame

"Shame" by Mas Ysa // Worth EP (Out Now via Downtown Records)

Mas Ysa (Thomas Arsenault) has been picking up plenty of worthwhile buzz as of late for tracks like “Why” and “Years”. Now that the Worth EP (which contains those tracks and more) has been released, that doesn’t mean the praise needs to end. “Shame” is another track from the release that manages to take the power of his ballads and inject an intense, percussion-heavy house beat into the mix. The quiet intimacy of the song’s first half, shifts into a propulsive rush that takes the track straight to the strobe lights of the dance floor, all the while maintaining the power that makes Mas Ysa an artist to watch. Highly recommended for fans of Majical Cloudz and M83.

ABSENT SOUNDS // The Week of January 24th, 2014
It’s time for another round-up of great tracks that I overlooked throughout the week. In case you’re new to Absent Sounds, each week is often filled with far more great tunes than I’m able to keep up with, and this is an opportunity to give those tracks that missed proper write-ups, a chance to get some notice. This by no means indicates that the songs featured here are not as good as the ones that get a write-up on the main page, it’s just that for one reason or another I didn’t get the time to do so. Click the artist and title for a link to hear each track. This is a round-up of tracks missed during the week of January 24th, 2014. 
"Passing Out Pieces" by Mac DeMarco // A wonderful track that got a lot of heat this week. DeMarco is one of the more interesting singer-songwriters making a go at it these days. This track sounds like what I imagine a jam session between Blur (circa 1996) and The 13th Floor Elevators (circa 1967) might sound like. Crazy good stuff. 
"Years" by Mas Ysa // A tense, fragile, pitch black dirge that is feels loaded with a creeping dread, but is strangely beautiful all the same. The kind of song that leaves you feeling uneasy, but eager to revisit the darkness. 
"Silence is a Gun" by The Mary Onettes // A glimmering synth pop anthem that swells to a big hook and chorus, but really sells itself in the shadowy, restrained verses. 
"Prague" by White Sea // M83's Morgan Kibby drops another incredible electro-pop jam that is dark and sexy and features an incredible vocal atop some killer distorted drums. This track was stuck in my drafts all week and for some reason I couldn’t get tumblr to post the soundcloud file without getting an error message. So, now it’s hear. But rest assured, I’m in love with this jam. 
Of course, there were plenty more, but sadly time is tight this week and I just wanted to offer as much music as I could to everyone. If you’re looking for more jams that fit the PMW profile but span across the years, feel free to check out my new companion blog, Perfect Midnight Radio. All the music, less talky, more tunes-y.

ABSENT SOUNDS // The Week of January 24th, 2014

It’s time for another round-up of great tracks that I overlooked throughout the week. In case you’re new to Absent Sounds, each week is often filled with far more great tunes than I’m able to keep up with, and this is an opportunity to give those tracks that missed proper write-ups, a chance to get some notice. This by no means indicates that the songs featured here are not as good as the ones that get a write-up on the main page, it’s just that for one reason or another I didn’t get the time to do so. Click the artist and title for a link to hear each track. This is a round-up of tracks missed during the week of January 24th, 2014. 

  • "Passing Out Pieces" by Mac DeMarco // A wonderful track that got a lot of heat this week. DeMarco is one of the more interesting singer-songwriters making a go at it these days. This track sounds like what I imagine a jam session between Blur (circa 1996) and The 13th Floor Elevators (circa 1967) might sound like. Crazy good stuff. 
  • "Years" by Mas Ysa // A tense, fragile, pitch black dirge that is feels loaded with a creeping dread, but is strangely beautiful all the same. The kind of song that leaves you feeling uneasy, but eager to revisit the darkness. 
  • "Silence is a Gun" by The Mary Onettes // A glimmering synth pop anthem that swells to a big hook and chorus, but really sells itself in the shadowy, restrained verses. 
  • "Prague" by White Sea // M83's Morgan Kibby drops another incredible electro-pop jam that is dark and sexy and features an incredible vocal atop some killer distorted drums. This track was stuck in my drafts all week and for some reason I couldn’t get tumblr to post the soundcloud file without getting an error message. So, now it’s hear. But rest assured, I’m in love with this jam. 

Of course, there were plenty more, but sadly time is tight this week and I just wanted to offer as much music as I could to everyone. If you’re looking for more jams that fit the PMW profile but span across the years, feel free to check out my new companion blog, Perfect Midnight Radio. All the music, less talky, more tunes-y.

"Faith" by I Break Horses // Chiaroscuro (Out 1.20.14 via Rough Trade) 

The Swedish duo, I Break Horses, is due back with a new full length in January, and they’ve also recently dropped a video for their second single, “Faith”. The new track is a surprising shift from the bend who’s previous efforts have fallen into a more dreamy, electro shoegaze sound (see M83). This time around you’re likely to hear a sound resembling something more akin to The Knife - with it’s warbling synth lines and machine gun beat. The video, directed by Magnus Hardner features stark black and white photography of teenagers doing teenager things (parties, bikes, and ultimately a late night pool party), while moving in slow motion. It’s a simple concept that works extremely well against the heavier sound. The new album promises a combination of the light and the dark (hence the name which means just that, in Italian), and I for one cannot wait.                                                   

Ali & Matthias from ‘You And The Night’ Soundtrack

"Ali & Matthias" by M83 // You and the Night (Out Digitally 11.19.13 via Mute)

Anthony Gonzalez (M83)has been bit by the film score bug. After already releasing the score this year’s sci-fi flick, "Oblivion", he’s now back with the score to his brother, Yann's new film, “You and the Night”. This time around, the first taste is “Ali & Matthias” and it reveals a much more delicate and romantic tone than the otherworldly "Oblivion". Gonzalez says that the score was inspired by French film soundtracks of the 70’s. It also has a little Danny Elfman touch, but then again I can’t say that all fairy tale and whimsical scores are indebted to the man. At any rate, it’s a gorgeous little lullaby - or as Gonzalez said it’s a score for “lovers and ghosts”. Sounds about right. 

"Oostende" by Keep Shelly in Athens // Dir. Brendan Canty & Conal Thomson

I feel like I don’t post enough music videos that are truly great representatives of the songs that they represent. When one does come around, it can feel like a punch to the stomach as it engages you emotionally. Sometimes, they’re just cool as hell visuals that work their own magic. Then there are things like “Oostende” by Keep Shelly in Athens, which was already one of the best songs of the year and then in the hands directors, Brendan Canty and Conal Thomson, it becomes a gorgeous travelogue that tries to bridge the distance between two long distance lovers before what might be something apocalyptic happens. Whatever the interpretation, it’s a beautiful representation of a stunningly good song. Enjoy. It’s rare that the match up is this good.