For San Diego-based Tape Deck Mountain, anyway, who released a couple of lo-fi Christmas tunes for your holiday blues listening pleasure. On a happier note, the band (one of my favorites in 2009) will release a new EP called Secret Serf on 1/11/11. I wonder how many albums are going to be released on that day. It’s gotta be auspicious or something, right? Anyway, all bummer aside, here’s to a very merry christmas. Bah humbug.
Okay, back to our regularly scheduled lo-fi programming. This yummy bit of shoegaze goodness comes from the South Florida outfit the band in Heaven, whose track ‘Summer Bummer’ I’ve officially christened as my theme song for the season, and Miami’s Weird Wives who is comprised of 3/5 of Surfer Blood and seem inclined to write songs with wifey, motherly connotations like ‘Head Bugs’ and ‘Wet Blanket’. Whatever the case, this split tape sure sounds good to me. Download it now here.
I’m pretty much a sucker for anything filed under the murky category of ‘lo-fi’ but I particularly like the genre-bending twist the Brooklyn-based group calling themselves, Woods, puts on it – which is a combination of lo-fi, psych rock, jam band and Neil Young-tinged folk.
It sounds ridiculous but it works in a delightfully quirky and unpredictable way. For just when you think you’ve got their sound figured out – fuzzed out guitars, off-kilter vocals – they’ll throw in a nine minute guitar jam (“September With Pete”), a great cover (Graham Nash’s “Military Madness”), a melancholy ditty (“Rain On”) or an experimental instrumental (“Echo Lake”). Wrap all that together with the hazy ambience of cassette tape recording and you’ve got yourself an album worth listening to. Trust me.
Arch M – 21st Union
This up and comer from South London calling himself Arch M has been enthralling me lately with his lo-fi aesthetic. His EP cassette, Mountain Tan Commericials, is available for free download here, and his full album Moon Tan should be released on the Cavern label some time soon.
Check out the track 21st Union. So nice.
Artist: Sam Champion
Album: Heavenly Bender
File Under: Classic Indie Rock
Recommended if You Like: Pavement, Stephen Malkmus, Built to Spill
Featured Tracks: Jealous Shakes, Be Mine Everyone, Dead Moon
Are you a Pavement fan? If not, stop reading this RIGHT NOW. I’m sorry to say we can no longer continue this relationship. If you are, you’re gonna like the latest release, Heavenly Bender, from the Brooklyn-based quartet, Sam Champion. Steeped in lo-fi, garage-rock jams, their sound may be a little too Wowee Zowee for the non-Pavement aficionado, but for me it’s the perfect combination as bands like Pavement /Stephen Malkmus represent everything I like in Indie Rock music – crunchy guitar jams sandwiched between sweet harmonies. My indie rock PB&J. That and I like the band’s sense of humor. Check out their promo video below.
Listen to ‘Dead Moon’:
Listen to ‘Jealous Shakes‘:
Listen to ‘Be Mine Everyone’:
I’m in a 70s bohemian state of mind at the moment. All I want are wide leg jeans, vintage print blouses and great big sunglasses so I can look at the world through yellow-tinged lenses and feel like this. Luckily there’s a new crop of lo-fi, AM Gold music to match my mood. Enjoy my Sunshine Daydream. To get the MP3 file, sign up for the OCMD Mixtape newsletter.
- ‘Dead Moon’ – Sam Champion
- ‘Knowledge of Evil’ – David Vandervelde
- ‘Eye on the Dollar’ – Citay
- ‘The Shedding Path’ – The Lord Bird Dog
- ‘Heart of Chambers’ – Beach House
- ‘Sugar Man’ – Rodriguez
- ‘Lady Luck’ – Richard Swift
- ‘Don’t You Worry’ – Jim Noir
- ‘Nobody Does it Like You’ – Department of Eagles
- ‘Ain’t it Strange’ – Dr. Dog
My Canadian lo-fi hero, Chad VanGaalen, has a new album due out September 9 entitled, Soft Airplane. And considering how much I loved his prior releases – Skelliconnection and Infiniheart – I fully expect this album to be on the top of my list for 2008.
Chad also helped Flemish Eye label mate, Women, record their debut album this year with his signature lo-fi style. Another album I adore.
Here’s a track from Soft Airplane, ‘Willow’.
Album: Sex Death Cassette
File Under: Lo-Fi Indie Rock
Recommended if You Like: Fiery Furnaces, Sufjan Stevens, Guided by Voices
Featured Track: zzzpenchant
This album hooked me from the first song, zzzpenchant, which sets the tone for the entire album – a crafty arrangement of short, eclectic tunes by musician Rafter Roberts that literally mashes up every conceivable music genre and instrument. The end result is fresh, kooky, chaotic and beautiful.