It’s that special music overload time again where I pile all the delicious tunes I’ve been listening to together for another Blue Tape Special. Like the old diner meal, its a mix of whatever I’ve got at the moment for the low, low price of $0. This time around it’s got a bit of a theme. As seasons change, I like to slowly adjust my music listening habits accordingly. Mixing dreams of sun with the search for the crunchiest leaf, the songs below are united by a listless but driven quality. A few are old but most are very new and an unsurprisingly large amount of them are from the land down under. So, burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it… or just listen:
Going through the Australian bands playing this year’s CMJ, I smiled immediately at the sight of Sunbeam Sound Machine. Nick Sowersby and gang make an almost iridescent sort of psych rock that never drops its beat. “Getting Young” just gets brighter by the second and will most certainly be a needed pick-me-up during those long festival days.
Our friends at Citrus City (and also the gang at Track & Field Records) released a fantastic DIY pop album from Perth babes Good Try a few months ago. With a lot of DIY music being produced these days, this album stands out for it’s depth and character. “Field Trip,” specifically, creates a dreamy, underwater landscape with minimal instrumentation that perfectly compliments the hazy whispers of Izzy and Sean.
Melbourne’s Static Animal continues the above ocean theme in the atmosphere of this bedroom pop number. “Majorca” beams with a sunny bliss that is wonderfully consuming through the whole listen. Thanks again, Australia.
Following Emmy Feldman (of Don’t Need No Melody/80N7) on Soundcloud is a joy and a pleasure. She is the queen of treasure hunting for lo-fi gems like this one from Brendan Dyer. Despite the largely unintelligible vocals, this quirky charmer has an irresistible set of guitar riffs that leave you yearning for more.
This wistful demo from Seagoat drifts in and out of it’s own echoing layers. Colby Miller’s voice has a trembling hesitancy that adds to its unassuming mystique. Mark from YVYNYL found this one and I’m sure glad he did.
And we are already back to Australia with one of the most talked about band’s of Big Sound. A young squad of three making nonchalant pop for the masses, The Goon Sax‘s appeal isn’t always evident on first listen. But, their spoke-sung lyrics become such a comically mundane, visual picture that I can’t help but listen over and over… and over.
I recently did a session for YNOT Radio with Philly band Littler. “Somewhere Else” has played on repeat on my iPod and in my brain for weeks. The creative souls behind it are just as beautiful. There is something remarkable about the way they so naturally connect with music as an art and form of expression, especially considering a lot of them are quite new to their instruments. While they didn’t play this track during the session, they played songs from their upcoming debut album Of Wandering that have me very excited to hear it in it’s final form. Littler’s songs have this unorthodox sort of flow of segmented sections that makes them engaging and unique.
I can’t get enough of the ridiculously tropical feel of Tim Presley and Cate Le Bon’s new project, DRINKS. Tinkering percussion combine together with flits of bass and Le Bon’s airy vocals like links in a peculiar, sunshine-gilded chain. “Hermits On Holiday” is the epitome of the album’s delightful oddity.
Tiny Little Houses is a band you may have never heard, but will feel like you already know. Comfort in sadness is a great way to describe the majority of their indie folk. Caleb Karvountzis has the kind of voice you can’t forget and he uses it well on their latest single “Soon We Won’t Exist.” Their abrupt dynamic switches hold the momentum of the calming song that ultimately feels triumphant.
If you’ve never unloved Kimya Dawson, then you are sure to love this swoon-worthy tune from Boosegumps. “Stole Ur Bike” is a modern-day lullaby oozing with DIY charm. Coming in just over a minute and a half, it needs very few words and little instrumentation to be the ideal soundtrack to all my quiet thoughts and yours too.
This scorcher from Decorations was on my summer mix last year because you can’t not listen to it while driving down the highway in the height of the heat. I’m glad to see they got by Frenchkiss as they are destined for shiny, indie pop greatness. I think this is the coolest “F$*#” has ever sounded.
Atlanta’s Orchid Mantis infuses the DIY pop base of “it was gone” with fragments of synth to create a reflection pool of thoughts that ripples outwardly in fuzz. Intriguing from start to finish, it’s choppy elegance comes in bursts and waves and riffs aplenty.
This one isn’t new at all. It just wouldn’t be right not to include this Yo La Tengo fall-themed classic. Somehow it still fits perfectly with the rest of the bunch and it is currently getting just as many plays.