Over the past several years Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has made a name for herself as an inventive synthesist and expert sound designer, having collaborated with Suzanne Ciani and Reggie Watts, and done sound design for Panda Bear’s “Boys Latin” video. Her new album EARS is full of vibrant synthesizer explorations and woodwind arrangements. The Fader premiered the album’s lead single “Arthropoda,” a song as inviting as it is alien. Kaitlyn told The Fader, “In recording EARS, my intention was to take audiences on a sonic motion ride through a futuristic jungle. I am inspired by the works of Moebius and Miyazaki - in particular the film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – and I wanted to play with visceral sounds that pull one between feelings of beauty and dissonance, chaos and order. My hope is that, on a straight through listen, in a darkened room, on a loud stereo, EARS will inspire a rich visual narrative in listeners’ minds.”
Over the years, Carter Tanton has toured and recorded with numerous artists including Marissa Nadler, Strand of Oaks, Lower Dens, and The War on Drugs. In the mid-2000’s he released two EPs with his band Tulsa, prompting Rolling Stone’s David Fricke to claim “…his indie-seraphim voice is not of this world…”, and after a particularly impressive live set KEXP’s John Richards said “…he’s one of the best singer-songwriters in the country today.” In 2012, he assembled Freeclouds, his first collection of songs for Western Vinyl. A couple of years later, Tanton moved to England where he wrote all of the songs on his new album Jettison the Valley. His old friend and collaborator Marisa Nadler contributes lead vocals to “Jettison the Valley”, and Sharon Van Etten sings on “Twenty-Nine Palms” and “Through the Garden Gates”.
“Jettison the Valley ft. Sharon Van Etten”
Though he may not be a household name, Keith Kenniff's evocative, distinctly American music has become quietly ubiquitous in the past few years, often appearing on NPR, in films, on TV, and in ads for Apple, Facebook, and Google among others. Recorded over the course of three years, the material on his new album Sometimes functions as a journal, documenting brief moments in Kenniff’s day when he could turn to the piano as a source of solace and unending creative possibilities. Kenniff wrote and recorded everything on the album with the exception of the track “A Word I Give”, which is a collaboration with preeminent Japanese pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto, who once described Goldmund's music as “…so, so, so beautiful.” If you live in the New York area, you can catch a rare Goldmund performance w/ Lubomyr Melnyk at Le Poisson Roug on November 27th.
From the moment you hear the bristling boom-bap chorus on album-opener "Totally Mutual Feeling," it’s apparent that Lushlife’s third full-length finds the Philadelphia rapper-producer at his most introspective. Themes of isolation and mortality permeate Ritualize, a cinematic hour-long odyssey co-produced by enigmatic production trio, CSLSX (pronounced "Casual Sex") and featuring contributions from Ariel Pink, Killer Mike, Marissa Nadler, RJD2, and more. With CSLSX at the boards, an entire universe opens up for Lush, where the pulsating Juno synths of 80’s LA night music sit side-by-side with gorgeously propulsive indie-leaning jams, and low-fi soul burners too. The resulting LP is a post-blog-era joint that seems to exhale the whole of the 20th century in a single, fascinating breath. Check out “Body Double” which premiered on Ezra Koenig’s Beats 1 show here.
Despite the physical distance that separates them, Jared and Michael Bell’s brotherly connection sounds more tenacious than ever on their new album Split Stones. Throughout the album, the duo explore the power of disparate halves coming together to form a unique whole. The idea serves as an analogy for Jared and Mike’s relationship, Lymbyc’s sound, and the mind/body dichotomy. Check out the album’s title track below, which premiered on Stereogum here. +
On his latest effort Dimming Awe, the Light is Raw, the 27-year-old producer and composer continues dissolving the borders between his disparate-yet-beloved psych, hip hop, and ambient influences. Gorilla vs. Bear premiered the first single “Jotu” calling it “…an ominous, warm and absolutely thunderous track that works as a perfect intro to the record’s glorious synthesis of dusty hip-hop vibes and cosmic free jazz spirit.” Check it out for yourself below. +
We’re proud to welcome Air Waves to the WV roster with the release of their new album Parting Glances! Gorilla vs. Bear premiered the first single, calling it "…moving…" and "...subtly heartbreaking...". You can listen to the song and check out their post here, and read what Stereogum has to say here. FADER premiered the second single "Horse Race" featuring Jana Hunter of Lower Dens. Check it out below. +
Everybody’s A Good Dog is the first true realization of Shaun Fleming’s Little Shop of Horrors -meets-Aladdin Sane vision, recorded in a proper studio with an assortment of guest artists, horn section, and string ensemble (all firsts for Fleming). The resulting 11 tracks are a sky-scraping sound kaleidoscope, touched with euphoric instrumentation and dark lyricism. Check out the frist single “Everyday” which premiered on Streogum below. +
Heather Woods Broderick has joined the WV family! Her forthcoming album Glider will be available in July. NPR premiered the first single "A Call For Distance", and and host Bob Boilen says "It is ethereal and perfect. I just madly love this record." You can hear the song below, or check out the full show here. +
Landscape Dream is Abram Shook’s follow-up to 2014’s Sun Marquee, an album Texas Monthly called "…compelling, weird, and lovely." Applying what he learned through writing and recording Sun Marquee, Landscape Dream demonstrates how much Shook’s songwriting and production acumen has sharpened over the past year. You can check out the first single “Understood” which Stereogum calls “…dreamy…refreshing…” here, and below you can listen to album standout “Perfect”. +