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.