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  • Slipped Discs December 2013

    Discs You May Have Missed
    by John Noyd

    Brendan Benson

    Brendan Benson

    Initial Thoughts

    After Thanksgiving the music calendar turns unforgiving with labels waiting until February to thaw out their goods. Fear not, December holds several treasures including cerebral-conceivers XIU XIU’s haunted cafe-jazz covers of jazz and blues icon Nina Simone, “Nina,” cosmic earth-mother and hippie soul-sister AQUARIANA’s bare-boned, psycho-sexual spirituals, “Aquariana,” Detroit pop-rock wunderkind BRENDAN BENSON’s gritty, pithy, “You Were Right,” and warmly non-conforming MUTUAL BENEFIT’s glittering literate baroque-folk images, “Love’s Crushing Diamond.”


    Disc Reviews


    Snowflake - We All Grow Towards the Sea

    Snowflake - We All Grow Towards the Sea

    Snowflake

    Album title: We All Grow Towards the Sea
    Record Label: self-release

    Knitting nebulous webs of strong-armed carnivals, the heroic Snowflake orchestrates lumbering concussions scattered among flirty vertigo and thundering slumber. Dream-rock finesse condensed, producer D. James Goodwin bestows, “Grow,” with heft and grandeur; clobbering the somber with intoxicating grogginess for triumphant gravitas, shifting-sand panoramas stitching gauzy causes to complex stretches for block-buster theatrics address wrenching repentance with a gracefully joyous poise.

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    Hello Phones - Future City

    Hello Phones - Future City

    Hello Phones

    Album title: Future City
    Record Label: Station Records

    Diabolical coddling inside industrial cuddling, “Future,” tutors cruel New Wave sparks from dark, tungsten spunk for devilishly dystopian crunch melting sharp, splashy laser-glazed power-punk into subversive urban Armageddon. Tattered back-alley jags coated in curdling purrs and glowing neon threats, HP taps delicious, illicit prescriptions of hypnotic electro-rock concoctions before shaking them down and roughing them up into serrated low-grade persuasions.

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    Mount Pressmore - Enjoy

    Mount Pressmore - Enjoy

    Mount Pressmore

    Album title: Enjoy
    Record Label: Pressmore Records

    Elastic contractions spinning flinching syncopation, Mount Pressmore’s modern, prog-tropical chords fire spidery geysers; edgy arpeggios dancing under swinging spires topping hyperbolic burrowing. Bendable tendrils of angular jazz-funk weave collegiate teasers into high-minded jams as, “Enjoy,” lays jaw-dropping chops wound around sophisticated art-rock romps; untraceable mazes mediating steamy impulses, wiry struts and cavalier cool while existential narratives navigate among howling counsel.

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    Dott - Swoon

    Dott - Swoon

    Dott

    Album title: Swoon
    Record Label: Graveface Records

    Decked out in burning bridges about burning bridges and well-oiled choruses, “Swoon,” zooms and fumes empowered by retro-minded drive and feminine guile, teetering between lip-gloss garage-pop and beach-party alt-rock. Scoring scoff-moppet kiss-offs beneath love-song recon, the fashionably angelic and brilliantly belligerent Dott plots stun-gun bubblegum through hand-clap ballads saddling toxic bop with luscious touches of disarming harmonies and surf-punk doo-wop.

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    Marley Carroll - Sings

    Marley Carroll - Sings

    Marley Carroll

    Album title: Sings
    Record Label: Melanaster Records

    Intergalactic traveler routing rhythmic vistas into scenic sonics, Carroll’s computerized grooves build synth-pop heavens whose chiffon brawn, intricate mixes and lusty shuffles flirt, revert and skirt mastering plastic disco-soul, funky rainbow space-rock and quasi-symphonic electronica. Vast imaginative patches of studio-groomed savvy balance mechanical fantasies against breathless synthetics while, “Sings,” soars and explores, cantering in expansive cybernetic trances and programmed techno-romances.

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    Sumie - Sumie

    Sumie - Sumie

    Sumie

    Album title: Sumie
    Record Label: Bella Union

    Sprinkled over aloof, acoustic guitar, patient raindrop melancholy graces solitary, rose-petal melodies, proving, “Sumie,” to be a level-headed sedative injected straight into the heart. The soothing, folk-chanteuse tranquility Sumie produces becomes pale, dewy blues filled with solemn consequence, precious defeats and velvety consolation. Quietly self-assured, unwavering accompaniment embraces the sweet, distant lyrics; befriending tender, orphaned affections for warm, self-reflective confessions.

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    Final Thoughts

    Having overlooked countless incredible gems from 2013, 2014 arrives bearing several acts promoting some of the very same discs we let slip. Check out ultra-melodic sophists SAN FERMIN playing their sprawling brass-capped self-titled chamber-pop odyssey for Madison’s FRZN FEST Jan 17th and Milwaukee’s Turner Hall Jan 19th, then attend multifaceted indie-rock abstractionists CALIFONE unleashing sweeping incandescent fictions from the cinematic, “Stitches,” Jan 23rd in Madison’s High Noon Saloon. Finally, don’t miss enchanted vamp-rocker CATE LEBON performing unspooled narco-pop curlicues from her hip, pixie-pickled, “Mug Museum,” Jan 24th at Madison’s Frequency.