Short reviews of noteworthy music, both new and old, that I’ve been listening to lately.
After a ten-year hiatus, Lycia returned in 2013 with Quiet Moments, which found the darkwave duo’s dreamy sounds as intact and potent as ever. “Silver Leaf” is more of the same: Mike VanPortfleet’s spectral whispers and icy guitar melodies, Tara Vanflower’s wordless vocals and synthesizers, and lots of dramatic atmosphere. Call it “goth” if you want, but there’s a desolate beauty to Lycia’s music that should resonate with fans of Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, and other vintage 4AD acts.
Flying Saucer Attack
Lycia may have been gone for 10 years, but it’s been 15 years since Bristol drone-rockers Flying Saucer Attack — which, by the way, is one of my favorite band names of all time — released a proper album. But on July 17, David Pearce will release Instrumentals 2015, a series of solo instrumental (natch) pieces. The first single, the aptly titled “Instrumental 7,” was just released by Domino and features a video directed by Peter Strickland. The video consists of various pastoral scenes photographed in black and white, but when accompanied by Pearce’s otherworldly drones, the serene images take on a rather ominous air.
Back in April, mewithoutYou released “Red Cow,” the first single from their upcoming new album, Pale Horses. It was a prime example of mewithoutYou’s brand of textured post-hardcore. With Pale Horses set to drop in two weeks, the band has released a second single, titled “D-Minor.” As the band explains on their blog, it’s a sequel to the song “C-Minor” from Brother, Sister and finds singer Aaron Weiss exploring “how his sexuality and beliefs are intertwined” and “trying to reconcile his monastic ideals and disillusioned romanticism with his new marriage.”
“Ride It Out” is the first single from Australian trio Redspencer’s recently released debut self-titled EP, and it’s nicely filling in the gap left by The Clientele’s absence. While maybe not as haunted as The Clientele’s folk-pop, “Ride It Out” is still full of jangly guitar goodness, catchy melodies, perfect vocal harmonies, and a certain dreaminess that proves quite fetching.
I’ve been meaning to write about Eons D’s solid new EP for awhile now. Self-released and described as “music with a mellow fire,” Physics on Paper is soulful, introspective hip-hop par excellence. Whether calling out misogyny in the hip-hop world (“Nothing Is Something”), reminiscing about youthful hubris (“Is It the Shoes”), or wrestling with how to best live out his faith (“I Got It”), Eons D delivers his thoughtful lyrics alongside awesome beats and plenty of jazz, soul, and R&B elements. (If you’re a Christ and Pop Culture member, you can get a free copy of Physics on Paper.)