Another release that got lost in the shuffle the past few months. Anybody who’s followed the blog or the radio show knows about my affinity for all things Deerhunter-adjacent. So even though Frankie Broyles only served a short stint in their post Monomania touring lineup, my interest was piqued when I heard he had resurfaced in Omni. Not that the band needs to get by on Cox and Co. namedropping alone: Broyles himself banked plenty of goodwill with his previous solo work and a very underrated Balkans album that came out in 2011 and Omni’s other two members, Philip Frobos and Billy Mitchell, had no issues ripping shit up together in Carnivores. If anything, Omni is a succinct reminder of just how deep Atlanta’s scene runs right now.
So the music itself? Well, there’s no way that the song posted above is named “Wire” by mere coincidence alone. In fact, all of Deluxe, the band’s debut, calls back to a time decades ago when England was trying to nail down just exactly what the term “post punk” meant, exactly. Everything from the tinny production to the sinewy guitar leads to the shapeshifting rhythm section set the mood perfectly. If “Wire” gets you moving, you’ll probably enjoy the rest of Deluxe just as much.
In case you missed it, Allo Darlin’ threw in the towel earlier this year in just about the most drama free breakup one could ask for. “Hymn on the 45” serves as just about the most appropriate swan song the band could leave on. Just like the rest of their output, it skirts emotion and longing in a nuanced and, dare I say, mature way that betrays genre signifiers like “twee” and “indie-pop”. Listen above for their triumphant coda, and don’t forget to revisit everything else the Darlins have graced us with over the years.
The standout track on a standout album from a standout label. I love how the bass seems to spend the entire three and a half minutes here trying to hurtle away from the rest of the band’s lockstep groove, but their regimented Nico-cum-Joy Division-cum-Kraftwerk plod keeps pulling it back in.
This one came out while the blog went dark for a few months and you’ve probably heard it (multiple times) by now, but goddamn if I’d be remiss not to mention it at some point before the end of the year. “Sister” is the centerpiece of Olsen’s My Woman, the perfect marriage of her Opry-ready croons and more recent forays into traditional indie and pop. This is also the first time I could conceivably trick a family member into thinking they were listening to a long-lost Fleetwood Mac song and have them believe me. Maybe the best second half of a song since Built to Spill stole our hearts nearly two decades ago.
This one came up on Pandora for me few weeks ago and I thought I was listening to some long forgotten Sonic Youth song that had managed to slip my radar. Much of Decay Decoy could pass as Ranaldo-penned b-sides, and I mean that in the best way possible. The Megaphonic Thrift seem to have moved in a more electronic-tinged direction in the the half decade since “Neues” came out, but the Norwegian ‘gazer’s entire discography appears to be worth delving into anyways.
Every few months or so, I remember to check in on Geographic North and whatever they’ve been up to. Almost everything they put out is worth your attention, especially if you’re the type who looks up obscure releases from Kranky’s back catalog to hear something new and interesting.
You may not recognize Jefre Cantu-Ledesma by name, but between his time in bands like Tarental, The Alps, and The Holy See (just to name a few) and running Root Strata Records, he’s probably had his fingerprints on something that’s graced your ears at some point in the last decade. His pairing up with Geographic North is the definition of a no-brainer, and In Summer fits snuggly into the label’s catalog, right in between Danny Paul Grody’s entry into the Sketch for Winter series and Arp’s latest opus. The whole thing is mighty warm for a release that can be filed under “ambient”, and “Love’s Refrain” is the perfect modus operandi to open up the album… errrr… cassette.