Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf” (NSFW Video)

These guys are almost here, I promise. The anticipation for their debut album brings to light one simple truth: Viet Cong know how to build hype the right way. A strong EP, quite a few scorching singles, and most importantly, quality music have the collective music world drooling for their album. “Continental Shelf” was released in October, but its video was released yesterday. The video features haunting macabre imagery with the occasional cut to chill-wave inspired footage of the ocean. Like the song itself, the video is quite jarring. When describing the song to a friend, I related it to him by simply saying “Imagine if Surfer Blood were really, really angry and a little scary.” That seemed to do the trick. The west coast stomp is there, as well as the monolithic guitar riffs lumbering a long like most surf-rock does these days. However, the sunny reverberation on the electric guitar has been swapped with an dark lo-fi hiss, and lead vocalist Matt Flegel could teach a university class on mastering the post-punk howl. It all ads up to a bizarre yet ultimately catchy experience definitely worth a view and a listen.

- Garrett Cottingham

Ariel Pink – pom pom

Pop’s biggest oddball comes through with his strongest set of songs since the 00s.

Matthew Revert – “The Heart’s Heartbeat” / Food Court – Self-Titled (Excerpt)

Kye, the record label of one of my very favorite artists Graham Lambkin, has put out its final two releases of 2014. The first is Australian novelist Matthew Revert‘s Not You, a singer-songwriter project with lo-fi and electroacoustic inclinations, as you’ll find with cut “The Heart’s Heartbeat” below. And the second is the self-titled debut of fellow Australian act Food Court, the collaboration between avant-classical and electroacoustic practitioners James Rushford, Joe Talia, and Francis Plagne. Hear an excerpt from the album above. Enjoy!

Ariel Pink – “Picture Me Gone”

Ariel Pink has just shared a fittingly chilling and tragic video for “Picture Me Gone,” taken from his upcoming “solo debut” pom pom. The track might just be Ariel’s most mature and moving track yet, expressing with commendable candor the anxiety and pressure that the prospect of starting a family makes him feel. The song’s also one of his most frightening, dwelling on the matters of our ultimately ephemeral existences and our fading senses of sentimentality in the modern world. But none of that’s anywhere near as disquieting as the latex Ariel mask that appears throughout the video…

pom pom is out November 18 via 4AD. If you’re still an Ariel Pink skeptic, he also did a powerful rendition of “Picture Me Gone” recently with the PS22 Chorus that you might wanna check out. Find it here:

Parquet Courts and PC Worship – “Fell into the Wrong Crowd”

Can’t say I was expecting this: an 11-minute collaborative live recording from PC Worship and the New York post-punks over at Parquet Courts. Isn’t it “Parkay Quarts” now? Who knows? I certainly don’t know if the song at all works, especially with its disgustingly distorted vocal, but I’ll give it credit for being an interesting, left-field turn at the very least. Granted, it’s not nearly as profound as anything off that other garage rock/post-punk surprise from earlier this year.

Parkay Quarts has a new album on the way called Content Nausea. It’s out November 11 via What’s Your Rupture? and doesn’t feature this track. It’ll be the band’s second album this year, after Sunbathing Animal, whose review you’ll find below:

Foxygen – …And Star Power

Foxygen does a complete 180 on their new record, saying goodbye to the clean production on their last album, and heading into lo-fi territory. However, they throw out any semblance of good songwriting in the process.

Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf”

Ever since the sudden breakup of Canadian noise rock band Women, and the untimely passing of member Chris Reimer, there’s been a lo-fi-shaped hole in my heart few bands have been able to fill. Many have tried, but no group has successfully balanced catchy and subversive in the way Women has.

Enter Viet Cong: This new band not only features a similar aesthetic, but ex-Women members Matt Flegel as well and Michael Wallace. Scott Munro of Chad VanGaalen‘s band also works his way into the mix–if you didn’t know, Chad produced both of Women’s two full-lengths. And let’s not leave out bandmate Daniel Christiansen and.

Viet Cong started to test out the waters last year with a cassette that ended up on Mexican Summer, and now the band is gearing up to release a self-titled debut via Jagjaguwar in January 2015. Considering the quality of this lead single, I’m psyched.

The howling, haunting melodies on this track are fantastic! The galloping beat is a nice touch, and the vocals remind me of an early Wolf Parade record. It’s lo-fi, catchy, noisy, and there’s a touch of goth rock somewhere in there as well. January can’t come soon enough!

shangozeropoint – Nothing Is Original

You probably don’t know West Coast rapper shangozeropoint. That’s fine. Let me introduce you to him right here.

He’s got a new tape out titled Nothing Is Original, and he doesn’t really do anything that goes against that message either. He’s more of a laid-back bedroom rapper with a decent flow, some self-aware bars, and some interesting beat choices as well. While I don’t see this tape lighting anyone’s world on fire, the project’s got a fun, smooth, colorful, and pleasant vibe that I enjoy.

CIVIL CIVIC V R. STEVIE MOORE – “When You Gonna Find Me A Wife?”

Woah! This is coming out of left-field right here: Lo-fi legend R. Stevie Moore is collaborating with instrumental rockers Civil Civic on a new track titled “When You Gonna Find Me A Wife?

Considering Civil Civic has a new album release right around the corner, I’m pretty excited for whatever these guys have up their sleeves next.

Ariel Pink – “Put Your Number In My Phone”

Lo-fi pop fans unite: There’s a new Ariel Pink album on the way. HOORAY!

Yes, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Ariel Pink is gearing up for another album release this November via 4AD. The title of this forthcoming album is pom pom, and this debut single from it has been paired with the oddity of a music video embedded above.

“Put Your Number In My Phone,” is a catchy, blissful, and poetic love song where the protagonist desires a love interest’s phone number in his mobile device. Vocally, Pink is his typically shy self, and there’s even a cheesy phone recording that isn’t to unlike the one here.

Being this is a love song, it’s only fitting that the music video is loaded with awkward romantic rejections, which are experienced by Pink and his wheelchair-bound friend as they cruise the mall looking for fun and love. Need I also mention that Pink looks like a late 90s mall goth who just picked up a copy of Kid Rock’s Devil Without A Cause? Yes, yes, I need say that.

Look for pom pom on November 17th.