Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tycho: Past is Prologue

More Tycho. This guy is so good at what he does. Past is Prologue is the fruition of Scott Hanson, a San Francisco artist and producer. Having more mainstream success that before, Tycho has even had one song ("Cascade") appear on Toonami on its last ever stream. As said by Ghostly International, "Hansen blends swirling melodies into vaguely triumphant arcs that crisscross between stuttering beats and vocal samples, creating rolling sonic landscapes that extend into the horizon. Known in the design world as ISO50, Hansen is famed for his bucolic, sun-drenched design style, which serves as a backdrop and mirror for his musical output." Nothing else can be said. A lush, expansive imaginary landscape of sepia-toned keyboards, warm downtempo beats, and mile after mile of sun-dappled beauty fill this album. This album, as well as his other releases, have a similar sound, which is loved by many. Listen to these on a rainy night, or anytime, and you'll be sure to pick out some odd and keen sounds. An avid listener is best for these songs.

Past is Prologue gets a 9.4 out of 10. Let's hope he releases some new music soon.

This is only the beginning of what's to come.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tycho: The Science of Patterns

Tycho is not well known. This is a fact. However, his entrance into the music scene has made him an amazing electronic composer. This debut EP, The Science of Patterns, brings to light Tycho's ideas, skills, and ambitions. The slow chimes and the slow ah's from the first song set the mood for the entire EP. The bass is nothing to fret about either. Cruise around town listening to some of these songs, and prepare to be stared at. The second track is, in my opinion, the most outstanding song of them all. Named "Human Condition", it climatically reaches its forte during the middle, with the continuous beat, and the amazing chillness. The spinning sounds that occur set it apart from the rest of the EP. "Systems" is yet another amazing song. The song makes you want to jump up and down, playing the song on repeat. I would know; I did it. Tycho truly made a masterpiece of a debut EP, and it paved the way for his other albums that would come in the future. The futuristic sounding EP is a memento of ambient music.

Tycho's debut EP, The Science of Patterns, gets a 9.1 out of 10. "In The End" is a bonus track of this ancient release. Be sure to get it.

Kids. Perfect for a chill EP.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alvin Band: Mantis Preying

Honestly, who has ever heard of Alvin Band? The only reason I figured them out is because a girl in my PreCalculus class told me to listen to them after we raved about Animal Collective. All I can say is, thank you Kathleen, and where has this band been all my life? Alvin Band is said to be an artist who sings in a "stream of consciousness". This means, in lay man's terms, that he sings whatever comes to mind, or so I think. His intro to the album begins with a heavy bang, sounding like a monster coming down a hall. When the first words hit Alvin Band's mouth, feelings of hearing his before occur. This is mistaken, however. The mistaken artist is Animal Collective. I couldn't believe the similarity to them after I heard the first song, and so forth. "Cyberspace 2008" really stands out as a song to not miss. The slurping, the bopping, the mood. All coexist with AC perfectly. "With the kangaroo at the local zoo" are just a few lyrics in this song, showing the stream of consciousness mode. This is not a bad thing at all.  Unto the rating.

Mantis Preying gets an 8.6 out of 10. They aren't exactly AC, but they sure are close.

This looks like it was drawn on LSD.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunglasses: Sunglasses

Sunglasses' eponymous debut EP has not caused a large stir anywhere. Yet. The Savannah duo consists of college students bam bam (Samuel Cooper) and Baby Seal (Brady Keehn) with two totally different college majors. This EP is something to reckon with, however. Although only containing three songs (two are useless placeholders), the exploratory, eccentric and admittedly odd style grows on you. The tinkling chimes, the claps, the water dripping. All of these cause for a weirder experience than ever experienced before. "Referee" is my favorite track, having a slow and steady rise in action from its conception to its ending. "The words we spoke...of before", "the waves, they crash upon my shores" are just two sets of lyrics in the catchy tune. In all, Sunglasses' debut EP is best said as having tenfold the effects under the influence (not supporting doing drugs, just saying what I've heard).

Sunglasses' Sunglasses EP gets a 9.0 out of 10. By the way, here is their MySpace page so you can go buy the EP goodness. What's not to like about this EP, other than its shortness? 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Toro y Moi: Causers of This

Chazwick Bundick is just a normal citizen from Columbia, South Carolina. That is, until he goes by his stage name: Toro y Moi. The explosive force of his debut album, Causers of This, has caused quite a stir in his hometown and around the country alike. Toro y Moi comes from two words originating from both Spanish and French. Toro (bull in Spanish) Y (and in Spanish) Moi (me in French) came up with the name straight from his head with no prior nickname, apparently. Toro y Moi's album combines synth-pop and the chillwave genre to embed a mellow sound into the user's mind. Credited with being another of the chillwave founders, Toro Y Moi holds a good friendship with artist Washed Out. The mixture of unique beats shows just how it's supposed to be done. This album is definitely something to listen to over and over, and should definitely be placed on a device for on-the-go.
Toro y Moi's Causers of This album gets a 9.4 from me. Go get the Australian edition with four scrumptious bonus tracks!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Delorean: Subiza

Delorean was not always as well known as they are now. Hailing from Spain, the pop singers have made quite a name for themselves in the last year, with the release of their EP Ayrton Senna (name of Brazilian F-1 racer who was killed in action on May 1st, 1994) and now their latest and probably best album, Subiza. The idea of using '80's beats has proved to be quite a success. The killer beginning track, "Stay Close", starts off suddenly with a bassy and climactic setting. It then progresses on with lyrics portraying items like relationships falling apart. "We argue then" is just one of these lyrics. The protruding and most popular track on this particular album has to go to "Real Love" and with good reason. It is a calming track with deep meaning. From beginning to end, the result is the same: catchy tunes with simple yet fun lyrics.

Delorean's Subiza album also gets a 9.8 out of 10. Go out and buy it now!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Passion Pit: Manners

I cannot wait to see these guys live. That being said, I think it is time I reviewed Passion Pit's only album to this day, Manners. What an awesome album. How do you find a way for everyone to have a liking for electro-pop? You get Passion Pit. Passion Pit are a bunch of young, fun, and outgoing guys, T toy that has gotten the most attention is the kiddie choir that pops up on two of the first four songs. Call them behind-the-curve as they double up the "higher and higher" part of the chorus from "Little Secrets", but it's more over-the-top, and that's kind of the point-- in a weird way, it's heartening how little Passion Pit concerns themselves with a fun sounding song. Manners does go for the quick knockout, pulling a similar trick five minutes later on the Hissing Fauna branch-off "The Reeling". Manners is consistent even beyond its singles-- if you like one Passion Pit song, you'll probably like them all. Or you might not like any at all.

The Reeling

Manners gets a 9.0 out of 10. Get the deluxe edition now that it's readily available.

Have some manners, will you?

Important News Update

To my fellow followers and music enthusiasts:

Today is a great day for TIVM. After fiddling around for over two hours, I have finally learned enough of HTML code to be able to incorporate a music sample on my posts. I will be using SoundCloud until my free subscription expires. If I do not post the name of the sample song (unlikely, but I may get lazy), check out the info button on the right hand side of the stream to get the name of the song. Get ready to see a sample on every post now. Let's see what other gold I can strike. Wish me luck in my endeavors!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Dress Well: Love Remains

When I first read the album title before reading the review on Pitchfork, I didn't have high hopes for this album, even though it was given a "best album" tag. The name sounded too generic to me. I thought it was going to be some pop songs about love and desire, and heart breaking and emotional pain. However, something compelled me to venture out and get the album. This would in turn become one of the best decisions I've made since I first got Tame Impala's album. This blew me away. Enough of this rant, though. Let's get to the review. Love Remains is the essence of Tom Krell. The quiet and entrancing songs are really a hit or miss for some people. To me, he outdid himself. Check out the album for your assumptions of the album, since this isn't one for everyone. Some people may be hardcore haters, saying that the artist sounds like garbage. I respect their opinions; however, I would have to disagree. The nostalgic tone of his voice really sets the high quality for this.

Suicide Dream 2

How To Dress Well's Love Remains gets an 8.8 out of 10. Sweetness right here.

Just realized it says the artist name.

Linkin Park: A Thousand Suns

Whoa is all I can say about this album. Right when I first hit play on the first song on my Foobar player, I could tell this album was something different. Linkin Park has really changed their outlook on rock music. Unlike their previous albums, this one seems to be less hardcore. That's a plus since I actually like to be able to understand the lyrics. The top song has to be "Robot Boy". The tone and mood of the singers really uplifts this piece. In all, this album is worth checking out, even if Linkin Park has never been your thing. Don't expect any epic songs, though. It definitely isn't amazing.

Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns gets a 7.2 out of 10. An average album. Check it out if you've already checked out my other albums.

I'm being sucked in!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Panda Bear: Tomboy

When I first heard about Panda Bear being extremely similar to the infamous Animal Collective, I was skeptical. The psychic sounds, the crazy lyrics; all are so good for Animal Collective. I did not think anyone could emulate those sounds without sounding too banal. Then I heard about the new release by Panda Bear. I can officially now say that after listening to the singles for more than a week, I can finally give these singles a solid score. The similarity to Animal Collective is striking. I figured out Panda Bear himself is part of the band Animal Collective. Listening to the singles continuously on the bus for a week, I noticed bits and pieces I wouldn't have noticed in a loud setting. This is truly what makes the singles so much better.

Panda Bear's Tomboy gets an 9.0 out of 10. Go get the singles from wherever possible.

Just noticed something in the background. What could it be?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cults: Cults

The Cults are definitely still a cult. Secretive and sly, they barely hit over 200,000 plays on the internet music player The use of childish singing really helps bring out a unique band, along with the elementary style beats. The single, "Go Outside" with its "youuuuuuu" and "IIIIIIIIIIs" really work for the better. Since the EP is only three songs, not much can be said other than it tries to bring out the kid in you. I'd say it succeeds.

Cults' debut EP gets an 8.4 out of 10. Go get that FREE download from their Bandcamp page right here. As Cults have already said, "Go download it kids."

Let's prance around and look like idiots for the album cover! K!

Millionyoung: Sunndreamm

Millionyoung has been in the chillwave scene for as long as the other three more famous artists (Neon Indian,  Toro Y Moi, Washed Out), yet I don't think he gets the credit he rightfully deserves. Unlike the rest of the artists, Millionyoung hasn't been as publicized. Millionyoung's use of dreamy lyrics and beats has made it so that he's coined a new genre: dreamwave. The use of tambourines and fading noises brings to light an EP chock full of nostalgia. What can I say? I love nostalgia. All I can say more is that he really needs to release a full-length album and not continually keep us wanting more.

Millionyoung's Sunndreamm EP gets a 8.8 out of 10. Go check out his wonderfully designed website here to download the Sunndreamm EP and his "Feel The Same" single for free. And if you enjoy that, go buy the Be So True EP and "Gymnopedie no. 1" so he can make some more music for us.

Nooo, the nostalgia is getting out of my reach. Gotcha!

Wild Nothing: Evertide

Since Pitchfork already made an impressionable review on Wild Nothing's Gemini debut album (that artwork is holy gajeebus, godly), which might I say is very accurate, I thought it would be good to move onto their latest release, their EP Evertide. Wild Nothing has always been a type of shoegaze band. I never knew how many people were in the group exactly, up until listening to Evertide. I know now that there is more than one person part of the band. The Blacksburg Virginia native is just a normal person with a hunger for nostalgia. The rocky lyrics being "It was the hungriest night I ever knew" show the pain and misfortune endured by someone. The single of the short and satisfying EP has to be "Golden Haze" (reference to Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze anyone?). The repetition of the beginning beat, the monotone singing of Jack Tatum, and the lyrics all have a part in making it a memorable song for everyone to enjoy. People take for granted singing ability nowadays because voice synthesizers and other devices can be used to enhance singing (fuck you, T-shit Pain). Wild Nothing uses his chill voice to portray the lyrics, which adds a nice touch. The three part is satisfying, but it will leave you wanting more.

Wild Nothing's debut EP Evertide gets an 8.9 out of 10. Go get Gemini if you haven't already, as well as the remix of "Cloudbusting" on his vinyl with two other chill songs.

I like me that scene.

Teen Daze: Four More Years

After some time without a chillwave review, let's have a chillwave EP review! Let's first post what Teen Daze hoped in accomplishing after releasing this debut EP:

"Sometimes things go easier than they should. Sometimes, it’s sunny out, and it feels like summer, but it’s the middle of February. Sometimes, you wake up and realize how much good you have in your life. Sometimes you just want to fall asleep to something that reminds you of falling asleep on the beach. “Four More Years” is a blending of these things. It’s a soundtrack, it’s its own narrative. It doesn’t shy away from noting its influences, and yet it brings something new to the table. It’s a chillwave, glo-fi, dance, electronic, soul, sample-heavy, reverb-drenched record. This record was meant to be something that brought positivity to the listener. This is a record that is meant to encourage love, relationship, and at the same time, it’s just a dance record. Either way, it’s meant to put a smile on your face, and is to be enjoyed with summer vibes in mind."

Is it really all of these things? I would say yes, without a doubt. Teen Daze is the true meaning of the chillwave genre. Sure, these are great summer tunes; but who's to say you can't listen to these during the fall, winter, or spring? I know I will. Since Teen Daze perfectly explained their EP, let's talk about their single, "Saviour." The quick beat starting right off the bat with some repetitive lyrics (not bad at all). The mixture of influence from Washed Out can definitely be heard in this song, probably explaining why it's the single. The whole EP is a very good result of some talented people with a sure fire future ahead.

Teen Daze's debut EP Four More Years gets an 8.7 out of 10. Can't wait to see more from these guys.

Dude, WTF is up with those trees?! Mindfuck.

Tame Impala: Innerspeaker

I was a bit skeptical when I first got this album after reading the rave review on it from the infamous Pitchfork. I have always seen Pitchfork as a hit-or-miss kind of blog, sometimes nailing the reviews on the money, or sometimes getting them horribly skewed. I can now say after having this album on repeat for quite some time that Pitchfork got it right....this time. From the very start, the echoing sounds bring into view an album that will rock your mind, and I'm not the hardcore rock fan. Being said to even have a little Beatles in them (apparently the lead singer sounds just like one in the Beatles, but I couldn't tell you since I haven't heard enough of the Beatles to make an assumption), Tame Impala does not disappoint. Those echoes are fantastic. The crashes, the dings, the quietness; all of it is perfectly. "I don't have a hope in hell", some of the lyrics in the first song show some deeper meaning than previously thought. Every song has its own touch of specialness, setting it apart from the last. "Runway, Houses, City, Clouds" includes some of the most impressive lyrics I've ever heard in a band. "And gazing out the window, as I ascend into the sky, but I'm the one who's left behind." Wow. Just wow. Trying to show a view on a dream to go to better and bigger places. I couldn't have done it any better. The hit single of the album has to be "Desire Be Desire Go." The use of no comma really irks me, but who really cares about song titles? Seriously, this song starts off with a bang, showing that this band knows how to jam out. The use of the electric guitar really brings the song more to life, almost feeling like they're playing right in your home. What else can I say? Go listen to the band since you know the rating's going to be high.

The rocking Australian band Tame Impala scores a 9.8 out of 10 with their debut album.  A superb album in a nutshell.

And who doesn't like psychedelic artwork? 

The Radio Dept.: Clinging To A New Scheme

The Radio Dept. is a more well publicized band, originating from Sweden. Their newest third album, having only released two others in the past fifteen years, has blown my mind away. Every single song is intertwined with the last. The smooth transitions and catchy song names (not really a person who cares for song names, but I really enjoyed these for some reason) bring to fruition a very well planned out album. Plus, the album art is nothing to hate either. Someone smoking a big fat cigar almost always wants to make me say, "Ay Tony, badabing-badabang." The use of war style lyrics helps bring out the album's true motive. The Radio Dept. shows just how a shoegaze genre should be put to work.

The Radio Dept.'s Clinging To A Scheme album gets a well-deserved 9.8 out of 10. Who knew Swedens could make beautiful music?


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Small Black: Small Black

Onto another obscure band. Small Black has never been on mainstream news for their songs, though I think they should be at times. To be perfectly honest, I bet most people only discovered them after listening to their remix with Washed Out. I know I did; however, I am glad I did. Another eponymous album, Small Black is often placed into the chillwave and glo-fi genres; with good reason, of course. The tape style of music they incorporate into their music really brings into light a great EP. Small Black has really outdone themselves, be it with their "You'll See It" remix, or just their entire EP in general.

Small Black's eponymous seven song EP gets a fantastic 9.1 out of 10. Be sure to be on the lookout for their upcoming debut LP, due out this October 26th, as well as check out their own blog for other goods right here.

Fruity Colors.

Slow Animal: Slow Animal

An eponymous debut EP, Slow Animal shows just how the amateur should start. Containing four songs, Slow Animal bring together garage rock and surf-rock with a whole new meaning. I will admit, I'm not that big of a rock fan (if you couldn't already tell by my reviews); Slow Animal has changed my perception on these things. The slow beginnings quickly turn into energetic, albeit somewhat random tunes at times. Enough of this, though. Onto the rating.

Slow Animal's self-titled EP, Slow Animal, gets an 8.8 out of 10. Free download available at their bandcamp page, located here.

Blurriness is the way to go.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


"Sextape", ahh yeah. Just one of the many songs in ETHEREA's almost eponymous debut mixtape album. "The sounds you are about to hear are designed specifically to create a feeling of euphoria", lyrics straight from the song. I couldn't have said it any better myself. The compiled sounds that slowly relax through your brain-waves, heightening your senses in a way, and putting you in almost a trance-like state; that's what ETHEREA accomplishes in doing. A remix done by ETHEREA includes Animal Collective's "College" song, released on Sung Tongs. Originally only a minute long song, the mastermind of ETHEREA has made it longer and better, if I may say so myself. And you definitely can't go getting this as it free.

ETHEREA's mixtape FREE ETHEREA gets from me a 9.0 out of 10. Get the FREE/GRATIS download right here.

This picture still dumbfounds me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam

I must admit, this album wasn't to my liking when I first heard it after discovering Merriweather Post Pavilion. Yet, it grew on me...immensely. First, the album art. A picture of Strawberry Jam. Very original, I know. However, it does prove something; stating the obvious helps. The album, which is a bunch of experimental sounds and very deep lyrics, is just fantastic when it is mixed together. Put it on shuffle, go on a long trip, and enjoy life. Ahh. Anyway, "For Reverend Green", with its screaming shows that death-metal type beats can be great, if placed at the right time. The short, yet insanely boss track of "Winter Wonder Land" sure is a treat to listen to, even if it isn't winter time. "I have headlights reflecting in my face" is just a glimpse of what is heard in this 2 minute and 45 second long song. To conclude, this album now is on my top Animal Collective albums/EPs, along with Merriweather Post Pavilion and Fall Be Kind.

Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam rightfully gets a 9.8 out of 10. Get this oldie as soon as possible and listen to it around five times before giving a final verdict. Trust me.

Yum, Strawberry Jam.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Neon Indian: Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed

Alan Palomo did not create the ever popular band of Neon Indian in a heartbeat. It took experimentation and most of all, time. Originally in VEGA, the Chicano (Mexican-American) Pomoko decided to create another band with members he met up with in a convention. The result was godly; Neon Indian. The debut album, Psychic Chasms, proved to be a success. Combining keyboard sounds with catchy, yet simple lyrics all but further set his career in stone. The hit single, "Deadbeat Summer", released in the summer of '09 included a sample from the legendary Todd Rundgren track "Izzat Love." Just like Animal Collective did with "What would I want? Sky", this short sample is elegantly placed and reaped great success. Now, the critically acclaimed album is back with a deluxe edition. Remixes are done by many other chillwave and electronic artists, well renowned all around the world. The last track of the deluxe edition is, in my opinion, by far the best remix of all the songs, even outdoing the original song, "Psychic Chasms". I'd say they definitely saved the best for last. Seeing them live is also a treat that will never go stale. The alternate cover helps in providing a simple, yet surprisingly chill outlook on the album. All in all, a superbly done alternate release.

Neon Indian's Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed gets an incredible 9.8 out of 10. Believe it!

Boss cover, 'nuff said.

Washed Out: Life of Leisure

Ernest Greene's Washed Out has made a name for himself with his critically acclaimed EP, Life of Leisure. Categorized as a man of the "chillwave" genre, Washed Out is sometimes portrayed as one of the founders of the rapidly becoming popular genre of "chillwave". The EP, from start to finish, includes various euphoric sounds that almost warp the listener inside the music, to another place in time. Mixtures of catchy beats and rhythms pave the way for the entire EP. Feelings of nostalgia continuously bombard the listener's mind, hence the name Washed Out. Ernest Greene states that he one day started posting up songs on his MySpace page, hoping to get a few likes and approvals. Instead, a music producer one day stumbled upon on Washed Out's premature tracks and was amazed at his findings. Wanting to listen to more, Ernest Greene was asked to produce more tracks. Ernest Greene got to work. This EP and his other work, a cassette released tape, High Times, are the fruits of his labor. The catchy beat to the first song on the EP, "Get Up", continues on throughout, all the way to the very last song, "You'll See It". By far the most popular (and for good reason) song on the EP is "Feel It All Around". The simple, yet elegant lyrics tell of a troubling past and according to Greene himself, he says "I was going through a rough time in my life." The feelings of sorrow when the song was made definitely help change the mood of the song, giving it an incredible boost in a tad ironic way. By the time you are done listening to the EP fully, the reader will be left asking themselves, "where can I get more?" I guarantee it.

Washed Out's Life of Leisure EP gets an astounding 9.4 out of 10.

Sexy time.