Posts Tagged ‘lovers’

Various Artists “PDX Pop Now! 2011″

August 28, 2011

Once again I get to review this compilation. Last year I reviewed it in June, which only means one thing: I’m way too behind. Since I didn’t comment on all 40 tracks last year, I won’t comment on all 41 this year. Thank goodness for precedent.
The Shivas do melodic indie pop the Portland way (how redundant is that) on “Gun in My Pocket.” The same style but with a fake Peter Murphy singing? O Bruxo does that on “De Colores.” I’m a fan. Or I guess now I just like it. Stupid Facebook.
“Alien Observer” by Grouper has haunting synths but isn’t depressing the way a traditional gothic song would be. Lovers fans rejoice: They’re well-represented here with “Boxer.” Yet another fine track from them. If you want traditional female-led R&B, “Baby What You Do to Me” by Reva DeVito is top notch.
Bright Archer sound better than Tasmin Archer on “Hidden Systems.” This one is a female-fronted ballad with a lot of piano.
The most fundamentally sound track is buried on the first disc. “Majoring in the Arts” by Blue Skies for Black Hearts has a strong chorus with backing vocals and guitar that connects the verses seamlessly. Very straightforward indie rock that hits on all cylinders.
“(Don’t) Panic” doesn’t sound like Portland to me, but regardless the Ascetic Junkies are in charge here. It’s got a Midwest female indie rock feel to it. The musical accompaniment is so strong that it’s easy to overlook the quality vocals that are also present.
The second disc leads off with Viva Voce. “Analog Woodland Song” sounds like Rilo Kiley. The chords aren’t the most inspired, just like Rilo Kiley, but the singing quality and mixing more than make up for it, just like — well, you see where I’m going with this.
If you want metal with a female singer, the comp even offers that. The appropriately named Witch Mountain sings the appropriately named “Veil of the Forgotten.” It’s exactly what you expect it to be.
Synthpop fans will appreciate “I Want You” by Sex Life. It’s modern in the sense that today’s synthpop is a bit of a throwback to 30 years ago. But it sounds like today’s renditions of the early ’80s, rather than the early ’80s themselves. Sort of like The Looney Tunes Show on Cartoon Network. You can tell.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra sound a lot like the Blue Skies for Black Hearts song, so if you liked that, you’ll like “Thought Ballune.” And not to be confused by the Viva Voce song, there is also a band called the Woodlands. “In the Dark on Monday” is to die for. It is more of a late-’80s synthpop song, and this indeed is my favorite era.
More of the haunting female vocals can be found on “Roan Wolf,” by Mojave Bird. This one doesn’t have the dark overtones of Grouper. Rather, it makes you think of Cocteau Twins. The following track is very similar as well. Blouse is a little more focused on the guitar, but “Into Black” still has a great sound.
Almost everything on the comp is fantastic. Once again the guys behind this have put the time into finding what truly deserves to be showcased.

Joel’s Hit Show, Episode 101, 25 March 2011 Playlist

March 25, 2011

Trashcan Sinatras, Only Tongue Can Tell
Tristen, Matchstick Murder
Lovers, Figure 8
Birds & Batteries, Some Hypnotic Flash
The Parting Gifts, Keep Walkin’
Tamaryn, Mild Confusion
Tristeza, Newbury
Old 97’s, Magician
Sassaparilla, Sawdust
Malachai, (My) Ambulance
Now, Now, Rebuild
Austra, Beat and the Pulse
Return to Mono, Black Swan
La Resistance, Knowing
Chain & the Gang, Detroit Music

Joel’s Hit Show, Episode 96, 23 February 2011 Playlist

February 24, 2011

Trashcan Sinatras, Should I Pray?
Cadallaca, Scarface
Carissa’s Wierd, So You Wanna Be a Superhero
Stereolab, Aelita
Cat Power, I Don’t Blame You
Catatonia, Sweet Catatonia
Salteens, Savings and Loans
Neko Case, At Last
Chairlift, Evident Utensil
N.A.S.A., Chase the Devil
Margaret Cho, Intervention
Jenny Choi, Prometheus
Nerdkween, Catalyst
Cinnamon, Springtime of My Life
Cibo Matto, Sci-Fi Wasabi
Deerhoof, Qui Dorm, Nomes Somia
Chop Chop, Serial Killer
Club 8, Sometimes
Victoire, India Whiskey
CocoRosie, Promise
Cocktail Slippers, You Do Run
Lovers, Figure8
Cocteau Twins, Pink Orange Red
C.O.C.O., Good
Grouplove, Don’t Say Oh Well
Coralie Clement, Bye Bye Beaute
The Concretes, Postpone It
Fort Wilson Riot, All My Friends
Colleen and Paul, You’re My Globe
Concrete Blonde, When I Was a Fool
Tennis, Baltimore
Company of Thieves, Around the Block
Cock and Swan, Remember Sweet
27, What Did You Expect
Cowboy Junkies, (You’ve Got to Get) A Good Heart
The Corner Laughers, Stonewords
The Monday Mornings, Shift the Sea
Christina Courtin, Foreign Country
Cotton Jones, By Morning Light
Tamaryn, The Waves
Saskia Crescentia, Summer Fires
Care Bears on Fire, My Problems
Lady Lazarus, Sick Child
Crazy Mary, Orgasmic Annie
Cranes, Can’t Get Free
Cub, Motel 6

Lovers “Dark Light”

December 5, 2010

I can really get into this modern take of classic synthpop. There’s nothing original about it, but this is a template that can be repeated ad nauseam, and I’ll never tire of it.
“Barnacle” fits right in with just about any college radio station’s format. “Boxer” has a melody that initially made me think of Book of Love’s “Boy,” but the accompaniment is much darker. It’s still good, though.
Lovers have songs that don’t start with “B” also. “Peppermint” is a little more plodding, and this six-minute bathroom break works well in a movie but not so much here. It’s guitar wanking without the wanking.
“To Be a Dancer (I Am Alive)” has a good beat, and you can dance to it if your jeans aren’t too tight. “Cedar Falls” is the last track from this Portland band. It’s no theme song for Burgerville, but it is a nice slow ballad to get you out of the record. The synths sound a little too plastic on it, but it’s got better mixing on the vocals.
You really can’t go wrong on this one if you’re into indie rock with some synth in the background.