Mariam The Believer – “Invisible Giving”

Mariam The Believer is the musical pseudonym of singer-songwriter Mariam Wallentin. You might already know her for her vocal work in the incredibly percussive Wildbirds and Peacedrums. On a personal note, I’ve always enjoyed Mariam’s soulful and emotive voice, but felt the music Wildbirds and Peacedrums put out only went so far with its emphasis on bare essentials.

However, the music coming from this new solo project of her’s is surprisingly dark, atmospheric, and layered. I’m really enjoying what the track “Invisible Giving” delivers. It’s a 7-minute mini-epic that moves through multiple phases. Of course, Mariam’s voice is the star of this slightly lo-fi show, and it’s very worthy of the pedestal. The vocals and winding guitar chord progressions here make for an intense listen that are making me want to repeat this song again and again just to soak in anything I might have missed.

The track “Invisible Giving” will be one of many featured on Mariam The Believer’s debut solo LP, Blood Donation. The album is looking at an October 7th release on Moshi Moshi.

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Lee Bannon – Never/mind/the/darkness/of/it

A new collection of tracks from producer Lee Bannon, the followup to the Caligula Theme Music project he dropped a few months ago. Like that group of tracks, Never/mind/the/darkness/of/it has a strong trap influence go it, but Bannon makes use of space and ethereal effects for a moodier tone. Enjoy!

PVT – “Homosapien”

PVT bringing the moody glitchy electronic tunes with a lot fun in the mix too.

One of the members was quoted as saying they listened to a lot of Joy Division while writing this song and that is pretty imminent here, but instead of groups like Editors who more less blandly follow the framework of that style of music with some added synthesizers, PVT makes this style wholly their own by adding the glitch electronic effects along with dreary vocals and thumping bass. This is inspiration done right where the artists have taken a style and made it their own.

Fat History Month – “Bad History Month”

New music from Boston based alt-folk duo Fat History Month.

These guys have earned a pretty dedicated group of followers after their first release and with good reason, they make deliciously tense and compelling music. It pines back to, on this track specifically, to old The Lonesome Crowded West-style Modest Mouse. In that they use untuned guitars and lots of noise to create what are some of the most satisfying build ups I can think of. This song feels very dense because of it, and it’s really hard to believe just two people are making such switch sweet, moody sounds.

Snasen – “Failing Upwards”

Everything is falling apart in the new track from Norwegian producer Snansen.

This song certainly sets a mood one that is dark and ominous, but it has all the sounds that you would want aesthetically, it is incredibly appealing to the ears especially at a high volume. There is definitely a mood to this song and unsurprisingly it turns out that Snasen used to belong to a punk band called Amulet. You may not see the most aggressive sort of behavior in a song like this, but you can certainly feel the attitude of Snasen in the soundscape he creates, and I am personally a big fan of it.

Catch the Failing Upwards EP February 15th.

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Vessel- “Court Of Lions”

If you’re like me, sometimes you like your moody music to be dance flavoured. If you are indeed like me, for one thing, you’re awesome don’t ever change, and you should also probably check out this track from Vessel.

The song starts off with a very simple computer-generated beat, but progresses in complexity as well as danceability. That stripped down beat becomes something really adventurous and deep like it could be explored forever. For the song’s run time it never once feels repetitive this is largely due to the moody nature of it, adding  a fearlessness to strip the song down to a fairly slow tempo more than once. It’s that aspect of this type of music that keeps things interesting rather than tedious.

Order Of Noise is out now.

Stream Matthew Dear’s Beams

Songwriter and producer Matthew Dear now has his latest full-length effort, Beams, available for a complete stream via the widget above. Based on my first impressions of this thing, Dear has really outdone himself. No, really. 2010′s Black City was pretty well-received, but he’s improved his approach a bit.

Dear’s dark, moody approach to danceable and synthetic pop tunes was a bit too underwhelming for me during some spots on City. Here, Dear has given his rhythms and grooves a bit more punch. He’s filled in the gaps with some twisted and strange sounds, and it’s really showing off the dude’s Talking Head’s influences. The end result feels a bit like a mutated, bizarro version of Talking Heads’ Remain In Light.

Press play on this thing, put on something black, and get those feet movin’.

Virginia Wing- “Divination”

Above is a new track from Virginia Band’s latest cassette single, “Divination.” The band features ex-members of Lets Wrestle, The Proper Ornaments and La La Vasquez, and has a moody atmosphere that has chilled me to the bone. Though the band is not the first to revive this type of smoky, old school dark rock, the hook here hits with some burning passion. I love the organ arpeggios just after the song explodes on the chorus, too.

This new single can be picked up via SEXBEAT.

The Horrors- “Still Life”

I remember when I first started my YouTube channel, it had no subscribers. Yeah, they all come that way, sadly. But when things started moving in 2010, I was getting a lot of disappointed comments asking me why I never reviewed the Horrors’ previous album in ’09. Well, my answer is that I was just starting to do this. I was young, brash, clueless, and didn’t know how the sausage was made. Sue me.

Anyway, the Horrors, which is a rock outfit from the UK, has a new album dropping via XL on July 11th. The title is Skying.

I don’t know how the band turned the word “sky” in to a verb, but I won’t care as long as every song on this LP is as good as “Still Life.” I definitely see what all the fuss is about. The Horrors may not exactly put a brand new spin on what influences them, but they certainly do these sounds justice. I’m positive these guys own some Bauhaus, Joy Division, and Echo & the Bunnymen records.

But also, there’s something very rich and well-produced about this music, too. It’s very concisely placed into a pop structure. In fact, the production is so good, I’d almost liken it to a U2 record–the vocals in the verses kinda help the comparison along, too. I could seriously see Bono singing over this thing. Crazy, I know.

Still, “Still Life” is a great tune, bursting at the choruses and cooling down everywhere else. I’m not a huge fan of fade-outs, but I’m officially psyched for this record.

Airlines- “Burial Grounds”

Ladies and Gentlemen: Please make sure your seats are in the chill position, place all loose expectations in the overhead compartment, and lastly, empty your small bottle of gin. Secure your tray and fasten your seat belts, because Airlines’ Visions is scheduled for takeoff! The weather forecast is dark and gothy, with flashes of pure synth-pop. Drawing from the experience of other aviators, such as OMD, Joy Division, and New Order, Airlines is charting a flight path through the emotional storms that all of us must face in life. Airlines knows that music helps you get through the rough patches.

Name your price and download the EP at their Bandcamp. Dig on the opening track below, “Burial Grounds.”


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