Deepak Verbera, the third LP by Austin’s Spencer Stephenson aka BOTANY, bends the beat-driven path carved by the composer’s first two records into meterless cosmic territory, juxtaposing free jazz arrhythmia with cathedral-filling harmony, ringing off the temple walls with soaring grandeur. The billowing textures that loomed behind his previous output break unabashedly into the foreground, shedding the beats that once stenciled them in. What arises in the absence of discernable rhythm is a psych-inflected scrapbook of atmospheres with tremendous sonic and emotional breadth. In essence Deepak Verbera is a soundscape record created through methods usually found in hip-hop; vinyl samples, looped vocal phrases, pulsing bass, and warm synths all shimmer with kosmische-indebted splendor, like Popol Vuh with MPCs and a stack of secondhand records.
“Needam / Wish To”
Violinist, software engineer, and composer Christopher Tignor has announced his newest album Along a Vanishing Plane, which is set for release on September 16th. Stereogum premiered a video for the song “Shapeshifting,” directed by Sara Kinney, which shows Tignor creating the version of the song that appears on the album live in a former psychiatric ward in Hudson, NY with no overdubs or backing tracks. You can watch it here. Tignor uses tuning forks and software to augment his violin and spare percussion, creating vast sonic landscapes. As he explains, “I developed a performance technique using tuning forks as musical instruments while playing the violin using the custom software I designed. The software allows me to take the sound of the tuning fork, resonating through my bridge, and transform its single tone into various singing melodies. Each gesture begins by striking various percussion with the fork. Once it’s resonating, I place the fork to my bridge where its sound is transformed by my software into these melodies.”
“We Keep This Flame”
Picking up where their as their recent full-length Split Stones left off, New Varieties’ upbeat opening track “Opposing Bodies” features the same melody found on “Scientific Romance”, the final song on Split Stones. Exploring darker and more introspective territory, “Differential” features big reverberating snare hits, emulating the crack of a whip often heard in old Spaghetti Westerns. On the album’s anthemic title track “New Varieties,” the band brings back their powerful Clavinet sound paired against Brazilian influenced rhythms and cascading piano lines. The EP closes with Austin-based producer Botany’s remix of "Opposing Bodies," turning Lymbyc’s clean, head-bobbing rhythms and infectious arpeggios into a gauzy, mind-bending soundscape of smeared textures and chaotic rhythms..
We’re excited to welcome Chicago’s Moon Bros. to the WV roster! On their WV debut, band leader Matt Schneider channels something somehow simultaneously poetic and mathematical, like Kepler’s “music” of the spheres. Each composition is instantaneous, improvised and launched as if fully formed, making sense only in relation to its own spontaneously formed rules of interaction… Songs aren’t so much finite concepts but endless ragas that he taps in and out of; consequently these pieces can’t be entered mid-stream. Instead the listener must participate in the universe as its created in order to live in it. His reputation is such that top collaborators need not be sought, but are intrinsically curious to participate. On these recordings, he is joined by Dan Bitney (of Tortoise), Matt Lux (Iron & Wine), and Sam Wagster (Cairo Gang). Producer and engineer Brian Sulpizio (Health & Beauty) records and mixes. Check out the title track “These Stars” below.
“Fell on My Face”
Trevor Montgomery is a craftsman. By day he’s a skilled tile setter, a job taxing to both the mind and body. By night he's an equally meticulous and hard working musician, coaxing just the right tones out of his vintage drum machines and synths to carry his tales of love and redemption. As a tile setter and as a musician, his job is the same: assembling things of beauty to fill empty spaces. In 2012 he released Navigated Like the Swan, his first album under the Young Moon moniker. According to The Wall Street Journal “It engulfs the listener—and sometimes even the narrator…”, while Consequence of Sound called it “…powerful and heartfelt…”. Next month Montgomery returns with his latest offering Colt, a collection of songs inspired by his practice of devotional yoga, and his first album with a full band. Check out “Fell on My Face” which premiered on Consequence of Sound below. +
Peter Broderick's Music for Falling From Trees, a 29-minute masterpiece that Pitchfork called “…surpassingly lovely…”, will be available for the fist time on vinyl soon. Peter composed the pieces to accompany choreographer Adrienne Hart's contemporary dance piece Falling From Trees. Adrienne told Peter she was looking for a score of piano and strings, so he left the guitar and his voice aside and focused entirely on those two timbres. The dance tells the story of a man in a psychiatric hospital, and his struggle to maintain his identity. Beautifully utilizing piano and strings, the music evokes a melancholic and playful narrative. +
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.” NPR premiered the second single “Existence in the Unfurling”, which you can check out below. +
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”. +
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. +