The debut album by this Brooklyn-based group has been on heavy rotation for me quite a while. Even more so now that the Grizzly Bear/ Here We Go Magic show at The Fillmore is merely days away. I’ve been listening to it incessantly all week and I am as infatuated with Luke Temple’s (Magic) voice as I am with Ed Droste’s (Grizzly Bear). Both are pure and angelic and the two bands complement each other perfectly.
Both albums are atmospheric but Magic is decidedly more lo-fi and ambient in a Panda Bear kind of way with lots of loops and multi-tracked vocals. The beautiful, murky rhythms of “Tunnelvision” and “Fangela” are representative of much of the sound found on the album. But I must confess they lose me on a couple of their noise, experimental tracks toward the end. While it’s a bit incongruent to the overall flow of the album, it doesn’t overshadow the overall experience – enchanting.
Artist: High Places Album: 03/07-09/07 File Under: Experimental Recommended if You Like: Panda Bear, Atlas Sound, Ruby Suns, Animal Collective Featured Tracks: Head Spins
How to describe High Places sound. It’s difficult. To quote the band, “Where the ocean meets the forest, this is where we sing our chorus.” The Brooklyn-based duo, consisting of Rob Barber and Mary Pearson, take simple beat structures, layer it with echo and reverb and top it off with the pretty songs of cloud gazing and existential yearning. It’s heady and hypnotic in it’s repetition. Charming and tranquil in it’s simplicity.
Their debut EP is a compilation of singles collected over a six month period, thus the title 03/07 – 09/07. The album is a pre-cursor to their full length LP scheduled for release September 23 on their newly signed label, Thrill Jockey. I have high expectations. Until then, enjoy 03/07-09/07 and make sure to check them out at Bottom of the Hill October 8.
Artist: The Ruby Suns Album: Sea Lion File Under: Psychedelic Indie Pop Recommended if You Like: Panda Bear, The Magnetic Fields, Cocteau Twins Featured Tracks: These Are Birds, Kenya Dig It?
Listening to The Ruby Suns on the sunny beaches of Santa Cruz this weekend, feeling all bleary eyed and relaxed, reminded me how much I love this album. The band’s founding member, Ryan McPhun, is a California native whose love for travel took him to far flung destinations like Africa and Thailand before settling in Auckland, New Zealand.
Knowing that trajectory helps to make sense of the band’s sound, which is like a combination of sunny California psych pop and world music. Some of the songs on the album are actually sung completely in Maori. Co-vocalist Amee Robinson adds an etherial, dreamy quality to tracks like ‘These Are Birds,’ and at times her voice gives me flashbacks to the Cocteau Twins. It a beautiful and atmospheric album, perfect for a sleepy Sunday morning at the beach.