Slipped Discs - September 2019

Discs You May Have Missed
by John Noyd

Efterklang

Efterklang

Initial Thoughts

Mediation uncannily micro-manages as September albums seek middle ground. Arbitrate among subliminal synthesist FLOATING SPECTRUM‘s transdimensional chill, “A Point Between,” and sugar-boogie chefs VIDA BLUE‘s mouth-watering electro-gumbo, “Crossing Lines,” or choose from beautiful swoon-pop architect JAMIE DRAKE‘s radiant, “Everything’s Fine,” and wise spitfire BETH HART‘s, elegant word-armory, “War In My Mind.” Reconciliations include savvy lavender tunesmith LUKE TEMPLE‘s beat-driven, “Both-And,” plus contrapuntal wonders EFTERKLANG‘s calming gossamer-rock, “Altid Summen,” (Always Together).


Disc Reviews


Hiss Golden Messenger - Terms of Surrender

Hiss Golden Messenger - Terms of Surrender

Hiss Golden Messenger

Album title: Terms of Surrender
Record Label: Merge

Born from dive-bar backrooms and blue-collar bayous, Hiss Golden Messenger’s lonely indie-folk holds deep-fried asides against gritty blacksmith licks, free-range tumbleweed twang strung from barb-wired country and roots-bruised blues. Rugged hungers fed thankful banquets, “Surrender,” values valor, neighborhood labors and noble fellowship devoted to roadhouse shuffles bathed in Hammond organ and rambling self-examinations woven with hard-won truths and trust-worthy verses.

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Frankie Cosmos - Close It Quietly

Frankie Cosmos - Close It Quietly

Frankie Cosmos

Album title: Close It Quietly
Record Label: Sub Pop

Resplendent in sterling yearning, metered sweetness and cheery lyrics, “Close,” throws mid-tempo hope into discreet plain-spoken diplomacy, unmasking passive-aggressive pursuits against gorgeous porcelain choruses for sly bedroom bop spackled in dazzling rainbow refrains.  Catchy, compact melodramatics wrapped in carefree melodies and heavenly delivery, the starry-eyed and silver-tongued Frankie Cosmos spins eyewitness dishing elevated in kittenish bliss and romantic guitar-pop side-trips.

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Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love

Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love

Jenny Hval

Album title: The Practice of Love
Record Label: Sacred Bones

Playful and provocative, Norwegian novelist and evocative sonic adventurer Hval juxtaposes persistent rhythmic flow with inquisitive philosophical prose, taming origami angels whose pressing questions bend and fold into majestic revelations; coded poetry posing unfinished riddles. Sensuous fantasy planted in mind-expanding mantras, “Practice,” packages pensive transcendence with earthy images, stacking florid organic mysteries with perplexing reflections, impenetrable connections and perceptive conjecture.

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Mermaidens - Look Me In The Eye

Mermaidens - Look Me In The Eye

Mermaidens

Album title: Look Me In The Eye
Record Label: Flying Nun

Cryptic silhouettes dancing in choreographed collapse, “Eye,” rides calculated landslides, conspiring in spiraling riff-driven narcolepsy with shadow-rock cliff-hangers roaring through murky, mascara-laden psychedelia and furious stiletto-pedaled shoegaze tracing pinpoint precision around drowsy indecision. Bubbling in subtle eruptions and dizzy indulgences, the tide-turning Mermaidens’ dynamic calamities yield surprisingly lucid moods from anxious, contagious beats, swirling minor-key revelry and cosmic pole-vaulted free-falls.

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Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Chelsea Wolfe

Album title: Birth of Violence
Record Label: Sargent House

From hallowed to harrowing, Wolfe’s unholy folk hosts throaty subterranean ghosts channeling incandescent animals prowling around divine shrines; mythic predicaments floating in glowing omens and soaked in soul-baring prayer. Visceral riches twist, enrich and bewitch with lusty bluster and sizzling whispering while the sophisticated, “Violence,” casts silk nets over raging seas; trembling requiems scored in scorched mourning and glorious euphoria. 

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Pretend Collective - Pretend Collective

Pretend Collective - Pretend Collective

Pretend Collective

Album title: Pretend Collective
Record Label: The Giving Groove

Cornered formulas morphing crackling day-tripping narratives into thoughtful yacht-rock holidays, “Pretend,” befriends memorable templates decorating electric rodeos and paisley parades in work-week secrets and slow-burning concerns. Rallying ballads dipped in hazy persuasions co-opt pop conventions and sprinkle winks among earnest coercion as the eclectic Pretend Collective sprinkles slightly sinister melancholy into time-warped stories supported by cavorting metaphors and sneaky clichés. 

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Modern Nature - How to Live

Modern Nature - How to Live

Modern Nature

Album title: How to Live
Record Label: Bella Union

Combining the creative forces behind Ultimate Painting and Beak, Modern Nature deploys calm post-rock opuses, embroidered maps hosting python sax and whispers draped over ubiquitous bass swimming in rambling trance; jazz-dappled appetizers bobbing in Krautrock punchbowls. A fluid, nuanced fairy-tale, “Live,” lives in backwater bliss, minimalist Zen head-trips circling feudal fields and pagan forests with unflinching mystery and intuitive moods.

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Esther Rose - You Made It This Far

Esther Rose - You Made It This Far

Esther Rose

Album title: You Made It This Far
Record Label: Father/Daughter Records

Genuine, sunny, quilting-bee dance-hall, “Far,” swings from mountain music to bayou folk peppered in Texas do-si-do doo-wop and rockin’ hillbilly twang; lazy Cajun fiddle whittling charming figures and Hawaiian slack adding to the effortless festivities. An old-school Grand Opry throwback, Rose goes for golden-throated nostalgia with clear rhymes, cantering cadence and classic heartbreak baptized in dandelion ear-candy and sisterly wisdom.

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Electric Youth - Memory Emotion

Electric Youth - Memory Emotion

Electric Youth

Album title: Memory Emotion
Record Label: Last Gang Records

Powder-puff purrs from silicon-chip mistresses and motion-sensitive sequences tweaked by studio-grooved gurus, Electric Youth pursues posh robotic blossoms plunged into plush narcoleptic luxury, curled vertigo inverted into moody, futuristic visions whizzing past opulent propositions. Slick, civilized seductions sprouting stainless angel-wings and soaring over palatial constructions, “Memory,” blends synthesized whimsy into uplifted artifice for voyeuristic insistence, tempting exemptions and sparkling exhibition.

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Possible Humans - Everybody Split

Possible Humans - Everybody Split

Possible Humans

Album title: Everybody Split
Record Label: Trouble In Mind

Splintered six-string acrobatics barreling through estranged jangle as militant rhythms charge toward sordid destinations, “Split,” rips and sniffs garage-rock riffs with anxious disdain and scholarly mockery, terse head-first affronts by tough punks flexing jam-band flair. A churning whirling finely-tuned unit, Possible Humans scatter a basket packed in flashy influences, spicing up simmering opinions with live-wire pig-piles and rambling carny double-talk.

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Marika Hackman - Any Human Friends

Marika Hackman - Any Human Friends

Marika Hackman

Album title: Any Human Friends
Record Label: Sub Pop

Brawny, chameleonic pop asserting strong-worded verse into sultry declarations, Hackmann back-hands the establishment expressing diabolical gender politics whose smooth moves hide hard truths. Harmonies harboring cultivated barks dance beneath torch-song longing while cosmopolitan pondering flutters in overt flirting, turning, “Friends,” into frank, sweet menace colored in slow-burning funk; mutual-consent temptations bathed in tuneful ingenuity, coaxing emotional resonance from heady hallucinations.

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Ainslie Wills - All You Have Is All You Need

Ainslie Wills - All You Have Is All You Need

Ainslie Wills

Album title: All You Have Is All You Need
Record Label: Ainslie Wills

Savvy ballads powered by subtly tumultuous sophistication, “Need,” sneaks fleeting details into tender heart-wrenching chemistry, taming multiple hungers through rich, empathetic vocals and smart, spirited lyrics, driving heartbeat percussion and lofty chamber-pop arrangements. Blessed in expressive restlessness, Wills builds teasing intrigue from intimate simplicity with grand candle-lit piano and head-spinning synths bursting into thirsty dance-floor grooves from lush, hypnotic solace.

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Moonsign - Okay You First

Moonsign - Okay You First

Moonsign

Album title: Okay You First
Record Label: Yes Rave

Idiosyncratic dispatches scattered among huggable house, organic shape-shifting refrains and optimistic bridges, Moonsign’s symphonic flocks dot percussive pre-dawn clusters enveloping soft synth-pop centers. Compassionate sci-fi ballads and epic odes to growth hold ecological and interpersonal implications, giving, “First,” a fistful of hopeful musical utopias cradled in faith, lined with calm ethereal choruses while placid interstellar harmonies announce vigilant wind-tossed prophecies.

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Bleached - Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough

Bleached - Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough

Bleached

Album title: Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough
Record Label: Dead Oceans

Defiant irony twisting old-school crate-digging into cheeky wordplay, bratty challenges and revved interrogations, “Enough,” stuffs sleek struts, switchblade raves and California daydreams inside curt verse, short-fuse grooves and shook hooks. Churning out fully formed ear-worms storming beat-seized brains, party-crashing Bleached seeks reckless connections between indie-rock assaults and punk-pop perfection with flirtatious verve and flashy bombast re-mastered into exquisite day-glo retro.

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Joanna Sternberg - Then I Try Some More

Joanna Sternberg - Then I Try Some More

Joanna Sternberg

Album title: Then I Try Some More
Record Label: Team Love Records

Wonder and innocence surrounds Sternberg’s deceptively simple wisdom. Articulate, level-headed folk holding honest hearts to a pure light, their rare clarity warmly embraces piano-parlor harmonies and front-porch choruses. Minimal instruments bring twinkling whimsy, devotional emotions and authentic tenderness to the precious, “More,” whose unadorned charms feeds sincere needs, encouraging fair human communication and providing fearless focus in a distracting world.

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Jesca Hoop - Stonechild

Jesca Hoop - Stonechild

Jesca Hoop

Album title: Stonechild
Record Label: Memphis Industires

Traipsing in thorny fields with lantern-lit lyrics peering into family histories, “Stonechild,” rides rustic percussion over choral swarms with dainty language framing prancing enchantments and Arcadian chamber-pop cascades trotting past fascinating pagan parades. Electro-acoustic dreaminess decorates spirited philosophical operas while Hoop swoops in bewitching chills and prog-folk thrills, cross-stitching tranquil fables from mischievous melodies bending sensitive menace around maternal concerns.

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Julio Nickels - Feeling Fickle

Julio Nickels - Feeling Fickle

Julio Nickels

Album title: Feeling Fickle
Record Label: Like Literally

Deadpan sanity laid over digital glitter, Nickels dips dystopian hopes into eclectic sound events; percolating havens harboring freedom-seeking frequencies alongside disembodied observations. Passive existential happenings suggesting fence-sitting lessons, the slow and steady, “Fickle,” builds post-rock whispers from timid wizardry into royal stories patched with faded twang and masterful crackle, centerless methods yielding tenuous collections infusing genuine tension with abandoned vengeance.

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Imperial Teen - Now We Are Timeless

Imperial Teen - Now We Are Timeless

Imperial Teen

Album title: Now We Are Timeless
Record Label: Merge

Concept-pop fraught in frosted power-chords, cautious providence and brokered commotion, “Timeless,” blinds with radiant New Wave cravings wound around sultry, sugar-coated irony; sinister minor-key majesty painted in aloof brooding and kaleidoscopic bop. Princely resistance weathering post-modern regrets, Imperial Teen’s smug rug-cutters reach near-boils to ratchet passions into seething teases cooled by smooth well-oiled grooves then reheated into steamy paperback dramatics.

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Final Thoughts

From pop-soul coquette BAT FOR LASHES sumptuous, “Lost Girls,” to funky art-popper SUI ZHEN‘s electronic sonnets, “Losing, Linda,” autumn falls hard. Ask six-string ringers PERSPECTIVE - A LOVELY HAND TO HOLD‘s sun-blasted tapestry, “Lousy,” torch-goth rockers JAIL WEDDING‘s raucous, “Wilted Eden,” or careening demons THE PARANOYDS’ garage-punk slam-dunks, “Carnage Bargain.” Between carousing outcastes TWIN PEAKS’ ragged happiness, “Lookout Low,” and slick, polyrhythmic SIS’ eighties-flavored, “Gas Station Roses,” wonk-pop confidant BLOOD CULTURES’ mega-imaginative, “Oh Uncertainty! The Universe Despairs,” and dreamy schemers THE LAZY SUSANS’ robust, “Now That The Party’s Over,” discontent represents.