Casey Dienel’s White Hinterland project has been extremely quiet since the release of their last LP, the great Kairos. Now, four years later, Dienel is ready to release the project’s third album, Baby. The first track to drop from it, “Ring the Bell”, sounds like a natural progression from the songs on Kairos, except this time Dienel is going for something less nocturnal. While she retains and expands upon the R&B/Dirty Projectors-influenced vocality of that album’s highlights (especially the still-awesome “Cataract”), she also pushes the brightness level up to 11. This song is busy; so much more cacophonous and dizzying than anything she’s done yet. The melody is full of surprising little twists, and the horns that enter partway through are a nice touch. I’m so glad White Hinterland are finally back, and this song gets me so pumped for their new LP.
Watch the lyric video above and look out for Baby on April 1, via Dead Oceans.
Folk legend Linda Perhacs has a similar MO to fellow folkie Vashti Bunyan. Both released a seminal folk album in 1970, and then virtually disappeared from the scene. Bunyan popped up again in 2005 with the lovely Lookaftering. Now, Perhacs is following up her debut, Parallelograms, with a sophomore LP entitled The Soul of All Natural Things. She has released a track from it, “River of God,” is (no surprise) a pretty, hippy folk song with lots of words about nature, spirituality, and love. It might be a bit precious for some, but it is so aurally pleasing, and Perhacs’ voice still sounds deeply lovely.
Stream above, and open your heart to The Soul of All Natural Things on March 4, via Asthmatic Kitty.
Trickling vibraphone, lithe strings, and a delicate but assertive voice, this new Tara Jane O’Neil track, “Elemental Finding” makes me officially excited for her new LP, Where Shine New Lights. Every note is perfectly placed, and there is a quiet drone that washes underneath throughout, and the song ambles along unassumingly, slyly cramming itself into your brain. “You will never be my companion,” O’Neil intones, cementing the sadness the instruments all craft so effortlessly.
Listen above and get your minds ready for Where Shine New Lights out January 27, via Kranky.
I feel like it’s been a while since a Sun Kil Moon song has begun with a cymbal smack. “Ben’s My Friend,” the closing track from SKM’s upcoming album Benji, features more of leader Mark Kozelek’s ever-quickening lyrical delivery, detailing an intricate story that starts with a conversation between he and his girlfriend, and ends up discussing his relationship with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard (before they got big). It is all very matter of act and dryly funny (the repetition of the phrase “sports bar shit” is one of my favorite moments), and features some lovely sax and flamenco guitar, as well as some almost-confusingly double-tracked vocals.
Stream above, and keep an eye out for Benji released February 4 via Caldo Verde.
The second single from Chelsea Wolfe’s new LP, Pain Is Beauty, certainly lives up to its album’s troubling and direct title. “We Hit a Wall” is a doom-folk trudge whose arrangements gradually grow more intense along with Wolfe’s anguished, yet powerful vocals. The whole piece is exquisitely unnerving.
Pain Is Beauty will be released on September 3rd via Sargent House.
The lead single from NYC-based electronic music outfit, Infinity Shred, is now available to stream on Soundcloud. “Void Ripper” is taken from the act’s upcoming full-length, Sanctuary, and is propelled by a spacey stream of futuristic, arpeggiated electronics that have a bit of a chiptune zest to them.
Sanctuary is due for release on September 10th via Ok Go’s Paracadute label.
Morgan Delt is definitely giving off some serious Sgt. Pepper’s vibes with this track from his EP Psychic Death Hole.
“Barbarian Kings” has that feeling like everything is being played backwards, or time has been forced to stop due to the pure psychedelic nature of this song. It certainly something The Beatles did with their strung out guitars creating that particular reversed noise, Delt takes it further here and embraces that type of sound with all of himself. Down to his vocals that hit a faded note making it feel as if his head is floating through the room entrancing you with its mysterious words, which is a bizarre analogy, but trust me on this one.
“Make My Grey Brain Green” takes it in a far more frantic direction, whirlpooling a fantastic array of heavy reverb and lo-fi sounds into some satisfying and diverse jams. It takes it to the point where I am borderline hallucinating, but in a way that is utterly unique from “Barbarian Kings” in every way, especially structure and tempo. Morgan Delt is setting out a unique psychedelic style that prides itself on its ability to dig into your head and make you hear things you’ve never quite heard before, it’s an incredibly exciting thing to hear.