Posts tagged post rock

Special Explosion - Clotheslined

"Clotheslined" by Special Explosion // The Art of Mothering (Out 2.18.14 via Topshelf Records)

Well, this is just the kind of thing that I’ve been craving. The Seattle based four-piece, Special Explosion, have that perfect grasp of old school indie rock inspiration mixed with genuine talent for crafting new and original sounds. Pitchfork went ape-shit pointing out the band’s similarity to Built to Spill, and sure - that can be heard in the guitar work for sure, but there’s more at work here than Doug Martsch hero-worship. Picking listeners might also point out a light similarity to the earlier work of Death Cab for Cutie and the melodic turns of phrase that made Ben Gibbard a star. But again, faint similarities can be dragged onto any band, what counts is the songcraft, and “Clotheslined” is a blast of laid-back, indie guitar rock that lives inside a world of catchy hooks and killer boy/girl vocal harmonies. It’s the kind of track that will have you digging out old favorites from the late 90’s and early 00’s while marking your calendar for the release of more from the band at hand. I will certainly be on the lookout for any and everything that Special Explosion has on the horizon. 

The Faded Nights - Side One

THE FADED NIGHTS // A Lullaby Mixtape

The Faded Nights is a mixtape from a year or so back. It was errantly deleted soon thereafter. I recently found it again in a folder, and thought that it might be a nice throwback mix to share again. It’s aesthetic is one primarily of melancholic, atmospheric, ambient sounds. Music for the later hours. Not music that will make you fall asleep, but rather music that might sing you to sleep if you let it. Think of it as a longplay lullaby. All of the tracks are older, but some might be deeper cuts that you’re not familiar with - whatever the case, it’s pretty music for late hours. Enjoy. 

  • "To Cure a Weakling Child (Boy/Girl Song)" (Aphex Twin cover) by Adem
  • "The Light" by The Album Leaf
  • "Unde the Stars" by Asche & Spencer
  • "The One with the Wurlitzer" by American Football
  • "Med Blodnasir" by Sigur Ros
  • "Bookstore" by Jon Brion
  • "Harry" by Secret Shine
  • "Flim" by Aphex Twin
  • "LA Geisha" by Norman Fairbanks
  • "Chromakey Dreamcoat" by Boards of Canada
  • "Dream Odyssey" by Mono
  • "We Move Lightly" by Dustin O’Halloran
  • "Exercise 3 (Buildings)" by CFCF
  • "Tape Recorder" by Hammock
  • "Hounds" by The Antlers
  • "A Slow Dance" by Explosions in the Sky
  • "A Dream of Heaven and Water (demo)" by Two Bicycles
  • "Always Returning" by Brian Eno

Stream Directly: Soundcloud  

Download Mix as MP3: Soundcloud

THANK YOU! Enjoy! Share!

**Please support the artists that you find and enjoy. Buy their music, merchandise and tickets to see their shows. Supporting them is the only purpose in doing this blog. Contrary to the opinions of some, music blogs are a great way to discover new music, but there will only be so much new music to go around if these artists can’t afford to support themselves through their art and commerce. Only use these mixtapes as a guide to find something to throw your (financial and emotional) support behind.

BombardierThe City Brooks

"The City Brooks" by Bombardier // You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are (Available Now via Bandcamp)

If you’re looking for something energetic, atmospheric, and beautiful to soundtrack your late autumn chill this long weekend, look no further than "You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are", the new EP from Virginia based post-rockers, Bombardier. Stepping outside of the dominant post rock trends that stem from bands inspired by haunting minimalism (Hammock), or the apocalyptic surge (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) - Bombardier instead bring an emotional and often triumphant energy to their sound. Imagine Explosions in the Sky crossed with Appleseed Cast with a little Don Caballero thrown in for good measure and you’re almost there. Of course, the band finds a sweet spot that is all their own. Comparisons be damned. A prime example of what makes the band stand out is “The City Brooks”, a glimmering, hypnotic beauty that soars on twinkling, ethereal guitars and crashing drums. It’s that cinematic, widescreen sound that is present in each of the five songs that make up "You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are" (which you can grab now at Bandcamp for “Name-Your-Price” - so get it for free while downloads last, but don’t be afraid to share some cash). Highly recommended!

THEE SILVER MT ZION - Austerity Blues (excerpt)

"Austerity Blues (An Excerpt"[ by Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra // Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything (Available 1.21.14 via Constellation Records)

This January, the Montreal five-piece off-shoot of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, is set to return with a new album of “heavier” and more “direct” material. The album is entitled Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything, and the first taste of the new material is a seven minute excerpt of the 14 minute track, “Austerity Blues”, and it certainly carries an immediate intensity that stands apart from some of the slow burns of the band’s earlier work. The track actually dabbles in psych pop sounds over the course of the seven minute excerpt, but the guitar heavy intensity of the band’s driving rhythm and wall of drones manages to quickly remind you that you are indeed still listening to Thee Silver Mt. Zion. It’s an exciting shift and definitely one that signals the impending arrival of what will surely be an incredible new batch of material.

Raum: Blood Moon

"Blood Moon" by Raum // Event of Your Leaving (Out 11.15.13 via Glass, House)

Raum is a collaboration between Liz Harris (Grouper) and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Being a fan of Harris’s work as Grouper is not necessary to enjoy the sounds of Raum, yet they feel linked and comparable. The biggest shift is that whereas the sound of Grouper tens to lean toward the ethereal and otherworldly, Raum experiments more with flat out noise and reverb. As the atmosphere is flooded with oceans of reverb, peaks and valleys of cinematic synths begin to show through - pushing the drone into some lovely hidden spaces that open up into haunting soundscapes that exist just beyond the noise. One could certainly classify this as challenging and that may be, but throughout it’s six minute runtime, it’s never unnecessary. It feels alive and vibrant, if even a little sinister.   

Holiday (Getaway)

"Holiday (Getaway)" by Wind & Walls // Holiday (Getaway) (Out Now via Self Release)

With the cooling temps and the longer nights, Autumn is in full swing and so it is necessary to seek out new sounds to help soundtrack your adventures through the fall. Luckily, the Brisbane duo, Wind & Walls have just such a languid, swoon-worthy gem to accompany you on those chilled walks under cold blue stars. “Holiday (Getaway)” is a reverb-drenched beauty that feels like a codeine-fueled instrumental collaboration between Beach House and Explosions in the Sky. The glacial pace only adds to the dream-like quality of the gorgeous sounds that are contained within the four minutes that make up this stunner. You can grab a download for free at the band’s Soundcloud page. Get it while you can, this is gorgeous stuff. 

Russian Circles - 1777

"1777" by Russian Circles // Memorial (Out 10.29.13 via Sargent House)

Recently, I’ve been digging through old albums in search of things that I may have missed along the way. One of the more rewarding listens that I had forgotten about was “Geneva” by Russian Circles - a collection of blistering post-rock jams that weaved in moments of metal and ethereal noise to create a genuinely exciting sound. Now, here just a few months later, the Chicago based trio that is Russian Circles are back with a new album (“Memorial”) set to be released at the end of the month, and with that - the release of a new track to tide fans over until then. “1777” finds the band in absolute top form - crafting a stunning seven and a half minute world of sound that sways from an opening that feels like your watching the birth of a star - shards of light slicing through the heavy kick of an absolutely killer drum beat, slowly revealing a gorgeous collection of strings and guitars that swell to life. Feeling intimate, personal, but still massive in scope. That’s when the order shifts into a chaotic wall of crushing drums and heavy guitars that feel like you’re standing on the edge of a void, collapsing in on itself. It’s a gigantic sound, that circles back in on itself as the chaotic falls back into place and the collapse gives way to a widescreen view of something unique, powerful, beautiful, and still heavy as fuck. 

Tender BatsSeance

"Seance" by Tender Bats // Halloween Compilation No.1 / Rituals (Out 10.8.13 via Snowbeast Records)

Oh! Hell! This is something special. The good fellas over at Snowbeast have been readying a Halloween compilation entitled, "Rituals", which is set to drop tomorrow. As of this moment, you can sample the dark and eerie beauty “Seance” by Tender Bats. It’s a song that’s swimming in layers of spooky ambiance that is built from foreboding post rock guitars, chilling walls of noise, and distant, haunting vocals. It’s an excellent first taste of the goodness that awaits. Pre-order the cassette now at the Snowbeast Store and check back tomorrow at the Snowbeast Bandcamp for the digital release.Other artists include Cemeteries, Seismograph, Camp Counselors, Field Mouse, Psychic Twin and more!

"Hrafntinna" by Sigur Ros // La Blogotheque Empty Space #4 (2013)

It’s kind of strange. When Sigur Ros first hit in the United States in 1999, I was immediately hooked. I saw the band play a dozen or so times over the following several years, always leaving feeling as if I had witnessed something magical. They were/are one of my all time favorite bands and a source of creative inspiration to this day. Oddly, somewhere around 2008, I just kind of stopped spending a ton of time on the band. They released several albums since then, and each one I find myself listening to a couple of times and then filing it away, happy to have heard it, but rarely returning to the space within those albums. It should be noted that I haven’t seen the band live since 2008. Lately, something happened and lead me to start checking out the band’s live shows that have made their way to air, and seeing the brilliance of the band laid out on film brought me back to those albums that I hadn’t spent the appropriate amount of time with, and in turn I’ve once again found myself getting lost in their music for hours. Inspired to pursue them again through live video and a healthy love for the band’s early years. I started to feel foolish for thinking that I had outgrown the band in recent years, when in fact I had just chosen to step away. Surely do in part to some emotional connection to a track or two that felt like speaking to ghosts. Now, after all that time, I’ve found myself obsessing over the new material and especially the way in which it is brought to life on stage. Today, La Blogotheque released a new episode of their “Empty Space” series in which Sigur Ros performs the ethereal, haunting “Hrafntinna” from the stunning album, Kveikur. Once again, I’m hooked. Spending hours inside of those albums, new and old. It’s like rekindling a friendship that you never should have lost in the first place. It’s once again exciting to be moved by a band that I had forgotten had the ability to do so. 

Happy ParticlesEmpty Circle

"Empty Circle" by Happy Particles // Under Sleeping Waves (2011)

In keeping with this weekend’s focus on older favorites, I thought that I’d break out a track that’s not too old (end of 2011), but it never quite caught on like I thought it would - therefore, I’m dusting it off tonight. Glasgow based dream poppers, Happy Particles, never quite got the blog buzz that they deserved for their hauntingly beautiful album, “Under Sleeping Waves”. It’s a good thing that it’s never too late to go back and give it a chance. “Empty Circle” is one of the album’s many highlights in the way it delicately combines a post rock lullaby with a dream pop ballad. When I first posted this a couple of years back, I said that it felt like some amalgamation of Sigur Ros and American Football, with a little Explosions in the Sky tossed in for good measure. That still is pretty accurate today. It’s a stunning track, and it sounds perfect on a late night under a late summer’s star filled sky. 

(stream & download) "UNDER SLEEPING WAVES" by Happy Particles (bandcamp)

(via perfectmidnightworld)

SeismographFalse Haven

"False Heaven" by Seismograph // Azure Drift (Available Now via Snowbeast Records)

Following the release of the excellent Camp Counselors album, “Huntress” (see also, "The Wilderness" by CC mastermind Kyle J. Reigle's haunting dream pop project, Cemeteries), Snowbeast Records has dropped another gem in the form of Seismograph’s “Azure Drift”. The man behind Seismograph is New York state native, Jonathan Ioviero, was inspired by post rock song structures as well as the work of Phil Elvrum’s Mount Eerie/The Microphones. The resulting album is a lovely, intimate yet sprawling concept album that flows as a singular story, but explores different shades of the sounds that inspired the story. It’s difficult to choose a highlight on an album this consistent, but one of the tracks that really drew me in and caused me to keep returning, is the wonderful “False Heaven”, which grows from a somber, atmospheric slow burn to a hypnotic dream pop beauty and back again. It’s easy to get lost in the world of “Azure Drift” when the material is loaded with textured, beautifully crafted music such as this. Grab “Azure Drift” now at Bandcamp for a name-your-price fee.

Ellery James RobertsKerou's Lament

"Kerou’s Lament" by Ellery James Roberts // Kerou’s Lament (2013)

WU LYF's "Go Tell Fire To The Mountain" has been floating around in the ether for long enough that it seems almost shocking that no one else has come along in the meantime trying to match the blistering power of that album’s urgent, youthful fuck-the-system declaration. It’s shocking mostly because in this day and age of soundcloud demos becoming overnight blog hits, everything is ripe for a copying. The WU LYF boys brought a loud, angry, dramatic sonic assault that just never caught fire as it should and in turn the band split as quickly as it hit and that was that. Until of course that band’s frontman, Ellery James Roberts, decided to get back in the game and released his new call to arms, “Kerou’s Lament”, which is a staggeringly strong solo track that combines all of the things that you dug about WU LYF with a more focused and compelling instrumentation. Gone are the excessive post rock noise assaults and in their place is a melancholic organ and a swelling atmosphere of synths and pounding percussion. Of course, the powerful lyrics remain as Roberts seems to once again be odds with himself over his ability to control the things that really matter, but he sings with such conviction that you believe that this time he’s going to get it right. There’s still a feeling that this is what it might sound like if some alternate universe occurred where Bruce Springsteen came along 30 years later and fronted Explosions in the Sky, but that’s a pretty exciting concept all the same. Highly recommended. 

PMW’s Favorite Albums // First Quarter of 2013 
Three months in and we’re already inundated with a plethora of wonderful music. Surely it would already be enough to maintain a pretty spectacular year, but we’re only three months in and there are a couple of dozen stellar releases still on the horizon. With that being said, I thought that I’d slap together a quick list of my favorite albums so far in 2013. To celebrate the end of the first quarter, here are 13 for 2013. 
* note: I’m trying to adhere to physical release dates and not leaks. there are currently several albums that have not been released in the first quarter of the year that belong on this list, but they’ll have to wait their turn. 
FAVORITE 13 of the FIRST QUARTER of 2013 (In no particular order):
"Clash the Truth" by Beach Fossils
"Ride Your Heart" by Bleached
"MBV" by My Bloody Valentine
"Recurring Dream" by Implodes
"Amok" by Atoms for Peace
"Anxiety" by Autre Ne Veut
"Almanac" by Widowspeak
"Dead Gaze" by Dead Gaze
"The 20/20 Experience" by Justin Timberlake
"Muchacho" by Phosphorescent
"The New Life" by Girls Names
"Seabed" by Vondelpark
"Cerulean Salt" by Waxahatchee
I decided against writing up descriptions of each band because I can’t exactly break down what makes each piece of art work in a few words, and my hope is that if you’ve liked my posts in the past that you might take a shot and jump at one or two in which you might not be familiar. 
Suffice to say, 2013 is shaping up to be a special year for new and old artists. These 13 don’t even scratch the surface and surely, I’ve forgotten more than one along the way, but you get the point. I love these albums and hope that you might as well. Let me know know what you think. Who am I missing?
Enjoy!

PMW’s Favorite Albums // First Quarter of 2013 

Three months in and we’re already inundated with a plethora of wonderful music. Surely it would already be enough to maintain a pretty spectacular year, but we’re only three months in and there are a couple of dozen stellar releases still on the horizon. With that being said, I thought that I’d slap together a quick list of my favorite albums so far in 2013. To celebrate the end of the first quarter, here are 13 for 2013. 

* note: I’m trying to adhere to physical release dates and not leaks. there are currently several albums that have not been released in the first quarter of the year that belong on this list, but they’ll have to wait their turn. 

FAVORITE 13 of the FIRST QUARTER of 2013 (In no particular order):

I decided against writing up descriptions of each band because I can’t exactly break down what makes each piece of art work in a few words, and my hope is that if you’ve liked my posts in the past that you might take a shot and jump at one or two in which you might not be familiar. 

Suffice to say, 2013 is shaping up to be a special year for new and old artists. These 13 don’t even scratch the surface and surely, I’ve forgotten more than one along the way, but you get the point. I love these albums and hope that you might as well. Let me know know what you think. Who am I missing?

Enjoy!

Secret Mountains - Remainder

"Remainder" by Secret Mountains // Rainer (Out Now via Friends Records)

Secret Mountains are a Baltimore based sextet who deserve a big year following the recent release of their stellar debut LP, “Rainer”. The band specialize in a sort of dark, stormy brand of post rock & psych influenced heavy pop that calls to mind bands like Wye Oak and Widowspeak (or even, a heavier version of The Sundays). Here on “Remainder”, you get that dreamy, guitar driven beauty scattered across a widescreen blast of post rock orchestral pop. It’s a wonderful sound, and an exciting taste of a band just getting it’s start. Definitely keep Secret Mountains on the bands-to-watch list - they won’t disappoint. Highest recommendation. 

The High VioletsVortex

"Vortex" by The High Violets //  Cinéma (2010 // Available Now @ Bandcamp)

It’s been a few years since I found my way back to this track from Portland’s The High Violets. “Vortex” is one of those songs that you could imagine soundtracking some gorgeous finale of your favorite TV show - sweeping and cinematic, soaring and optimistic. It’s also one of those songs would have found its way onto a thousand mixtapes, if this were still the age of traded analog cassettes. The dreamy guitars soar above the clouds as hazy vocal sighs are wrapped up in delicate keys, creating a glowing beauty that builds to a noise pop frenzy before softly finding it’s way back down. It’s a stunning track that deserves a revisiting on a cold night like this late winter evening.