Experimental artpopper Julia Holter released one of the 2013′s finest records in Loud City Song. And now she has done a gorgeously recorded Boiler Room performance of beautiful renditions of her work. It’s certainly worth checking out if you have been a fan of Holter’s and are interested in seeing how her esoteric pop translates to a live setting.
Xenia Rubinos’ sleeper/stunner debut album, Magic Trix, came out last year, but she’s still churning out videos for it, including this new (and supposedly final) one for “Let’s Go Out.” On the album, the track works as a sort of deflated reprise of the great single “Hair Receding”, but taken alone, the song takes on a sadder, eerier, more eccentric tone. Accompanied only by a plinking synth and a slow, defeated-sounding drum, Rubinos delivers perhaps her most understated vocal take on the record. As such, it only makes sense that the video is similarly slow, minimal, and bracing. Featuring a single man half-dancing amidst bushes and grass, the clip is shot in stark, beautifully lit black and white. A couple closeups of a spider preparing his dinner are particularly stellar (if a little queasy). “Let’s Go Out” may be a weird song choice for a video – leaving people like me to wonder why she didn’t finally give a proper video to “Cherry Tree”, one of the best songs of last year – but the end result is sort of awesome.
Magic Trix is out now.
An odd set of visuals grace A$AP Ferg’s infamous “Hood Pope” single, which dropped last year in promotion of the New York rapper’s commercial debut, Trap Lord.
Ferg’s unmistakable “ohhhh-oh” calls are met with images neighborhood kids, and some of ‘em are horrifically scarred. It sort of depicts the song’s theme of kids running wild in the streets, getting into trouble. They must “need nurturin’,” I guess.
Given the song’s title, of course there’s plenty of religious imagery, but not all of it is tastefully executed. I mean, Ferg ascends into heaven at the very end of the video, and his fat gold chain goes with him. It looks like he’s spitting his lyrics from some kind of holy book as one point as well. It all plays into the idea that Ferg himself is a religious figure. He wishes to lead his disciples away from senseless violence, but simultaneously knowns he’s far from perfect himself.
Check a review for Trap Lord below:
Ambient composer Nils Frahm sneakily dropped one of 2013′s prettiest albums, Spaces, near the end of the year. A puzzling mixture of live recordings and reenvisionings of past tracks, it was moving and interesting nonetheless. And now one of its best cuts, the striking “Says”, gets the video treatment. The YouTube page for it says it is an improvised experiment with “inks on glass and a video feedback device,” which results in the beautiful, abstract black and white visuals.
Watch it above and go lend an ear to Spaces, out now on Erased Tapes.
Most tribute albums don’t go over that well, and I can’t make a promise that you’ll think Xiu Xiu’s Nina is an exception. However, from where I’m standing, this collection of recordings is incredibly twisted, bizarre, beautiful, and moving.
If you can expect anything from New York’s The Men, it’s that you’ll never know what to expect from them.
The band’s discography thus far has been quite the trip, showing no limits in their ability to imitate the sounds of noise rock, post-hardcore, pop rock, and even country. In fact, their foray into that last genre made for my least favorite Men album thus far. That influence rings true in this new track of theirs as well, “Pearly Gates”; however, I think this fiery backwoods rock number is paying off big-time. It’s like what would have happened if the punk movement had somehow preceded Southern, horn-backed bar rock. There’s loads of guitar slingin’, piano bangin’, and horn squealin’ to be had here. Pay close attention, and try not to miss a single second of the action!
Get some more info on the band’s next album via Sacred Bones. Also catch a review for one of the band’s previous albums below:
A lazy, endearing indie rock ballad from Frankie Cosmos on the track “Owen,” which you can stream via the widget above. If the songwriting talents of the Moldy Peaches appeal to you, this’ll probably be right up your alley. And if you’re into this, the good new is there’s much more where this came from on Cosmos’ Bandcamp. She’s impressively prolific, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far her talents stretch.
Watch the embedded playlist of videos to check out the five classics week reviews I did for the 2013-2014 classics week. Watch the playlist further to check out classics week reviews from the last few years as well. Woo!!!