This is a musicblog. Every weekday we post a couple of mp3s and write about them. Songs are only kept online for a short time. This is a page from our archives and thus the mp3s linked to may not longer be available. Visit our front page for new songs and words.

January 30, 2014


Kate Boy - "Northern Lights". I could do without all of Kate Boy's huffing and puffing, but I love the aggressive competition of "Northern Lights"' synths - the way they jostle and shove the more human part. A cybernetic hook, chrome and current; maybe it's a sound borrowed from other acts, but it's still just as virulent.


SOAK - "Sea Creatures". Plain folksong with all the typical adornments. Bridie Monds-Watson has the sort of scrunched-up voice that has fallen out of fashion, and of course so have glockenspiel and bongos, but SOAK is a young act, and sincere, and sometimes sincere choices shouldn't be faulted. Not when a song's lyrics are grown-up and stricken, scared and undersung, a singer just asking for someone they love to heal, to get better, to last a little longer.

[SOAK's Bridie Monds-Watson is the first signee to CHVRCHES' new label, Goodbye Records. This was released in 2012. Came to me via Milo.]

Posted by Sean at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)


Edmund and May walked unhand-in-handed up a gold sidewalk, gold from the sun. Cars like the mad wall of wind, the wall of wind and sound and panic you learn to ignore. The hills in the distance like big mansion-flecked piles of money. And with the sidewalk, pure gold, and the noise of the cars, the wall of wind, and the step distance between them, and the slump-shirted bus stop sitter with the bags, Edmund felt like the invisible tie between them was worn like an old elastic on a pair of boxer-briefs. It never quite retracts all the way.

Edmund could be in the most beautiful damn place in the world and he would still look at his shoes when he walked. "How is the world made?" he thought to himself, and answered himself, "In layers. Like a cake."

Ice Cream - "Science"

There is something hiding in this book. In the space between the letters lies a language. When a phrase forms an image it is formed between the letters. When it's written "windows open", windows open and in crawl ghosts. When it says "she sighed" it's heard between the letters, through her teeth like smoke. So to read "I am science," it's understandably dangerous, things may feel haunted then forever after that.

Posted by Dan at 2:23 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2014


Photo by Sophie T Lvoff

White Hinterland - "Ring the Bell". "Ring the Bell" is the lead single from White Hinterland's forthcoming Baby. Painterly pop, dazzling as white canvas, or blue canvas or green canvas. An alpine fanfare of dancing groove, nimbler than it has any right to be, filled as it is with overlapping vocals and rampart synths, whole-cloth crests of brass. Lyrically, it is an uncomplicated (though not necessarily romantic) love song - something shout-sung in straight lines across distance. But the breathless arrangement - dashed arcs of harmony and Neal Morgan's lefthanded drum hits - they signal an overwhelming abundance, a vividness that will overtake anyone's dull afternoon. I wrote earlier of canvases: now imagine verdant hills and tall bell-towers, hopes clanging across the valleys, a briskness that's swiss as mountain air, swiss as chocolate, swiss as clocks. That's all-American and itself, prouder than peaks. [pre-order]

(photo by sophie t. lvoff)

Posted by Sean at 11:32 AM | Comments (2)

January 23, 2014


of Montreal - "Triumph of Disintegration". Listening to Of Montreal interspersed with the mainlining of Marc Maron's WTF Podcast, so inevitably the two things come together like wrestling sasquatches - blurred and thrashing, lonely and angry, desperately in need of therapy. "Triumph of Disintegration" recalls a stand-up comic's late-night mania, Abbey Road-era Beatles music, and maybe a tryptophan-amplified post-Thanksgiving breakdown. Obviously, it's great. It's weirdly anthemic, often cheerful, spasming across the studio. It's a triumphant mental break, a sunny day in hell, a victory for cowardice or maybe a victory for considered retreat. Maybe it's about ignoring Twitter trolls, maybe it's about leaving your wife - I'm not really sure. But I'll go on happ'ly listening as I go about my day. [buy]

Posted by Sean at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2014


[I'm abroad and can't post mp3s, apologies. -Dan]

There is a place where the clouds move slow enough for life forms to grow, even flourish, on their undulating surface. The most intelligent of these creatures are The Skay, with a weight and density far below that of the crawling Mud Gas. Their appearance is nebulous, almost transient. Their movements scant, seepy. But their language is vast. They live mostly between the 3rd and 4th nivo of Mud Gas, and the silence in that echelon is monumental, it's air-sealed from above and below. It is the first thing any traveller notices, my goodness it's quiet, even before the smell, mmm, and there's The Skay are a full-resonance being, they are sound receivers, and can hear what amounts to the thoughts of any other Skay. Because it is so quiet, even the electricity required for a complete thought can be heard. And the Skay have an adage, one of the only translatable phrases they have: "Build your house and feed the hills." Their ground is clouds. It's constantly shifting, it throbs spongily, reacting to the pressure of the air below, so one day you could be living atop a hill with the a beautiful view of the entire Skay city at night, the porous twinkling Travel Caverns and the hive-like Quorum Centers, the next day you could be sandwiched between a Swirling Vector and a HotWall. Or your house could be swallowed altogether, which happens about twice a year to nearly every Skay. So it means of course you need to work, and of course that work will be destroyed. [PWYC]

A pocket relationship, one of those accidental ones. Love I didn't even know it was happening and there was no one at the other end. [bandcamp]

Posted by Dan at 6:50 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2014


Image by Hannah Waldron

Orouni - "Speedball". Helium balloons lifted and lowered, carnivals inaugurated and called-off, a stop-start of pleasure and fulfillment, one disaster after another, one surprise party after another, a train that takes you to paradise or hell, chugchugchug, and Orouni in a caboose with a backpack full of candy, unsure whether they've made their day or ensured a bellyache. Sometimes a light sky is full of promise and other times it's the most depressing thing in the world, even full of fireworks.

[thank god for persistent and consistent Orouni / official website / Grand Tour is out in February on Sauvage Records]

(image by Hannah Waldron)

Posted by Sean at 1:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2014

Let Me Begin

Link Wray - "Facing All The Same Tomorrows"

Edmund watched his father Peter die in the bright white sunshine on the bright white sheets. So many sheets, ready to change the linens at a moment's notice. The word "Peter" seemed to have scare quotes around it, though Edmund never expressed them outside his own head. It used to be "Dad", but now it was "Peter". He never indicated to his wife May with little finger gestures or even a slight pause and bracketing with his voice (Why do you say it like that?) that he wasn't just saying Peter. But it was distinctly "Peter". From the moment when, after being sick for two months, Edmund saw his body looking like it had been vacuum-packed, the air sucked out through his eyes or his heart or his groin, the energy gone, the sails of his ship limp and windless, no strength to sip through a straw or even close his eyes, he was Peter.

Months previous:
"You see, Ed, the world is made for the healthy. How did you get in here?"
"I walked in."
"Yes, you opened the door and you walked in, right? That's a door to you, but to me, I don't have the strength to turn the handle, that might as well be a wall to me."
Edmund looked at the wall.
"And you get thirsty. You want a drink. Your thoughts wind you out of bed, maybe into some pants, you walk to the hall and think I'd better get my slippers so you go back and get them, then into the bathroom and bend down and drink straight from the faucet, no need for a cup."
Edmund couldn't help but wonder if he had an email waiting for him. "Yes."
"That's a marathon to me. That's a maze so complicated it would take me an hour to solve it, and I'd be exhausted. I'm a different thing now, I can't live here without help."
Peter fell asleep before the episode of Columbo had even really gotten started.

"Peter" looked into the air at what may have been a speck of dust in the light or Edmund's eyes, it was impossible to tell. And totally still, without a sign of pain or discomfort, he vomited. Brown, runny liquid out his nose and mouth, down his face to the bright white sheets, on his vacuum-packed skin. After that was cleaned up, Edmund called May, "I think it's time," and while she was on her way from BC he died.

May, Edmund's 4th wife, had no idea it was happening during her flight. Dutifully, she had put her phone on airplane mode. She looked out the window and thought: if you take the plane away, this must look very odd.

[This is from House of Broken Hearts Pt. 1, an out-of-print release by the endless stream of treasures that is Mississippi Records. Buy others here.]

Posted by Dan at 12:19 PM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2014


Circus balloons

Lily Allen - "Air Balloon". The boys gathered by the fence, clawing fingers into the chain-link, watching the circus take shape. Plastic cases lowered from trucks, animal cages checked for sturdiness, horses fed and brushed, the giant big-top slowly, almost eminently, unfurled. The circus people did not seem like the boys' mothers and fathers: the visitors were stocky, big-shouldered, with tufts of thick black hair. They wore dungarees or stripes. They had every colour of eyes. Now and then someone would glance at the boys by the fence, smile, ask them if their parents were going to bring them to see the show. The boys tried to work out which of these stooped, wheezing, hefting persons was Clara The Equine Duchess, which one was Alphonse the Ring-Master, whether those men candying apples were Bozo and Bub. Hand-painted versions of the circus stars stared down at them from the side of the trailer. Mostly the boys tried to peep Lil Peep, the show's dancing acrobat, whose picture showed an incredible beauty of slightly dubious proportions, long-legged and buxom; but they never saw a woman who looked like that, not in all their spying. Just a shorter girl in tiny polka-dots and taffeta, now and then through gaps in canvas sheets, dancing like she was wearing ruby slippers. [album out soon / official website]

Posted by Sean at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2014

The Finks - "Daddy Long Legs". Sunhaze, sundaze, Sundays and sundaes and some days we sum rays, pool them on tabletops or lawns, collect our fortunes in hot light, like thin honey, all these lakes of wet photons, sleek electricity, that cast shadows on branches and fingertips, and another comma, another comma, balled like T-shirts on the floor by the bed, where a cat prowls, and the sound of air moving through a screen-door, like a silent and invisible cat, like a wish fulfilled. [bandcamp]

Posted by Sean at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)

January 10, 2014

2014 DREAMS PT 1


Chelsea Light Moving - "Lip"

JAN 8 Was wearing a brown jacket. Was told that was the perfect "dumb-looking" costume for a character. Jan 16 A cake with my face on it. Jan 20 Spiders. Feb 1 A parking lot with crevices of fire, riding BMXs through them. An ex-girlfriend and a postponed Kanye show. Feb 4 I lost one of my teeth, a visceral hollow scratching, but painless. Feb 10 Submitting a form. Stressed out about it. Feb 12 Ran into Henry Joost in NYC. He was, as always, extremely handsome. Feb 21 Y came to see me and we had tea and smiled as if nothing anymore needed to cause pain. Feb 27 So many maggots. Like the city was built on garbage. I seemed to know I was dreaming because I consciously thought, "I need to be more careful about garbage in my real life." Mar 3 Folding Irish Dancing dresses. Preparing them for dancers in a competition. My grandmother's old house in the country. Mar 4 Alone in a cottage, I boiled water and watched a man in leather with a white painted face climb haphazardly through the kitchen window. I wondered if he had a gun. Mar 9 Off-camera sex with an acquaintance, followed by an awkward hour of walking around an airport with them, looking for our gate. Mar 25 Three former friends start a filmmaking collective: 'Invisiage'. Apr 3 "Can you come with me, please." I was brought to a large shower room, where a woman was going to teach me how to bathe. I found this at first patronizing. And then sexy. Apr 15 Literally the most boring one to date. So boring, in fact, that between waking up and trying to write it down, I've forgotten it. It was that uninteresting. Apr 20 A world where being born premature greatly affected your life. Lots of imagery of 'preemies' doing stand-up. Apr 29 On a mission to protect Disney princesses. A 'Mush Mouse' was a ball of fur and blood with no bones that would sort of slime itself over you. Traversing a swamp with my mother to reach a suburban house, the owner of which I read off a business card: 'Lindy'.

Posted by Dan at 7:52 PM | Comments (1)

January 9, 2014



The Cyrillic Typewriter - "Somewhere". On "Somewhere", Jason Zumpano offers a soundtrack for a glossy, doomed cyber-future. A TRON-like empire of pixel windows, high-def canals, abandoned living-rooms, buffering skies. It's a languorous tracking shot, sinister and portentous, like he's preparing us for someone's grand entrance. Only the entrance never comes: instead, the song ends. And the streets remain empty, Cyrus's podium remains vacant, the battery runs down. [buy/Bandcamp]

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2014


A family photo

Nicholas Scribner - "Berlin Story". A shy dance, expert and stumbling. Walking to the café, today, over a sidewalk coated in thick ice, I felt just like this: expert and still stumbling, a humbled pedestrian. Nicholas Scribner's new song is at certain moments sweet, at other moments sullen, an origami object that was folded and then unfolded again. So: a creased piece of paper, a potential treasure, deliberately unmade. A careful gesture, 3:36 long, sent from Montreal to Berlin, dusted with the ashes of Scribner's work in Clues, underlined in the clear black ink of his electric guitar. Listening to a song like this, I mix every metaphor. Expert and still stumbling, seducer or the seduced. [bandcamp]

(forget where I found this photo, sorry!)

Posted by Sean at 11:40 AM | Comments (2)

January 3, 2014


Vic Mensa - "Welcome to INNANET"
Vic Mensa - "Tweakin (Ft. Chance the Rapper)"

It's too cold to go out, and I'm stuck in this heat cloud, tied to the radiator. I'm secret agent to the shower. I'm stealth cat food. I'm lookin at my future, I'm watchin the waveform. And there's drops and breaks on the way. It gets loud. And it could be like waaaahhh----ooomp, or it could be na-na-na-na-NA-na, but who knows. And no one stops the needle. I'm looking out all three windows and it's bricks, cars, and hooded strangers. I can see my breath and my cell phone is dead and I can see everything clearer now; nothing goes beyond the hand in front of my face. And the less you can focus on the world, the more you can focus on cleaning in the dark. Quiet. Be soooo quiet. Or the weather will hear you. And kill you.

[the full INNANETAPE]

Posted by Dan at 1:58 PM | Comments (6)

January 2, 2014


Parc Ave interchange

Look Vibrant - "Grow Up". An avalanche of a song, rocky and jagged, rainbow-grey all over the habitations. Distortion and noise, chunks of guitar and shrapnel-like drums, a voice fighting through the hail. Look Vibrant continue to deal in splendid catastrophe, noise-pop almost too thick to bear. [bandcamp]

Michael Chapman - "You Say". From 1969. I'm not sure if Chapman is following the bassline, here, or if the bassline's following him. Just that despite the circling acoustic guitar figure and the forays of Chapman's voice, the bass is the thing that dictates the tone of this song: despite farewell or break-up or fade-out, "You Say" is not beleaguered. It's not melancholy. It's hopeful and good-humoured, a wandering tune with a ready grin, like a polished apple in a pocket. [another great song found via Musicophilia's Their Hearts Had Six Strings mixtape]

(image of the former Parc Ave interchange via Nicolas Dickner)

Posted by Sean at 6:11 PM | Comments (1)