Daughn Gibson - Me Moan
Daughn Gibson’s truck-drivin’, girlfriend-stealin’ persona comes out in full force on his second album, Me Moan. Carrying with it All Hell’s country-noir ambiance, Me Moan presents Gibson with bigger, brighter production, offering steady electronic beats on “Phantom Rider,” over which spectral guitars, synths and Gibson’s ubermasculine baritone seduce. Gibson’s voice is an unusual instrument, unleashing unrelentingly deep tones through clenched teeth, calling to mind an unholy blend of Nick Cave and Johnny Cash. He curls around consonants and adds even more atmosphere to the proceedings on songs like “The Pisgee Nest” — just the way he says “state trooper’s daughter” elicits a sort of middle-of-nowhere, middle-of-the-night elicit affair, like something out of Twin Peaks. Musically Gibson keeps things fascinating throughout, using warped vocal samples on “You Don’t Fade” and electronic beats that keep a foot in the physical world via snaps and handclaps, while guitarists from Baronness and Brokeback echo rockabilly, horror soundtracks and classic country. Even while pulling from quite disparate genres and eras, Me Moan is a remarkably cohesive listen, as Gibson’s distinctive tone splits the difference between tracks as different as the upbeat, country janglin’ “Kissin’ on the Blacktop” and the black-as-night electrobilly of “The Sound of Law.” It's a great accompaniment for whiskey swirling or night driving.
Thundercat - Apocalypse
Bassist and singer/songwriter Thundercat is one of the most unique underground voices in music, creating gorgeous, funkadelic pop that defies easy categorization. On his second album, Thundercat pays more attention to songcraft, spinning out impossibly lush and soulful songs like “Heartbreaks + Setbacks,” while his bass playing remains fascinating and inventive, exploding a thousand bubbles of heavily effected on “Oh Sheit, it’s X!” Often times, he’s like a bass-weilding, modern Stevie Wonder, making complex arrangements sound cool and inviting on songs like “Without You” and keeping the abstruse soloing a complementary aspect of the songs, adding brilliant color to songs like “Special Stage.” Always virtuosic but never a show-off, Thundercat sounds perfectly in command across the Flying Lotus-produced Apocalypse.
Watch the new edition of "What's in My Bag?" with Thundercat below!
Whirr – Around
These Bay Area shoegazers deepen their sound on the mini LP Around. They trade some of the breezy veneer of their solid Pipe Dreams album for a sound that expands upon the early Smashing Pumpkins sound found on Gish, where shoegaze and alt-rock bled together, with some similar song titles to boot (“Drain,” “Swoon”). Thankfully, they do this a lot better than others, and though they want a bit for individuality, the crushing, wavelike guitars on a song like “Swoon” or the sudden, dramatic transitions in “Keep” speak loud enough.
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