Amoeblog

Album Picks: Hiatus Kaiyote, Alela Diane, Raw Geronimo

Posted by Billy Gil, July 30, 2013 10:51am | Post a Comment

Hiatus Kaiyote - Tawk Tomahawk

hiatus kaiyoteYou'd be forgiven for scratching your head upon first listen of Hiatus Kaiyote's Tawk Tomahawk. The Australian band doesn't really sound like anyone else, although there are signposts — the vocal swoops and glitched-out organic sounds of Bjork; the the otherworldly soul of Erykah Badu; the atmospherics and layering of Radiohead; and the psychedelic beatwork of J Dilla. Yet Hiatus Kaiyote take what could be a coiled mess of influences and stretch them into something unique and memorable on Tawk Tomahawk. Though things are largely pleasant and ethereal on songs like the stunning "Mobius Streak," frontwoman Nai Palm gets jazzy and raspy on "The World It Softly Lulls" and goes deep and dark on "Malika," while the beats get distorted and aggressive on "Ocelot." Lounges of the future may be spinning Tawk Tomahawk and calling it a classic of forward-thinking soul.

Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk CD $10.98

Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk LP $16.98 [out 9/17; preorder here]

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Weekly Roundup: Alexander Spit, The Mantles, Sic Alps, Alela Diane, Cool Ghouls, Burnt Ones

Posted by Billy Gil, May 9, 2013 03:29pm | Post a Comment

Alexander Spit Preps Instrumentals Mixtape, Releases ‘Valet Park, CA’

alexander spitAlexander Spit released a tantalizing debut LP earlier this year called A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside. Now the West Coast rapper/prouducer has a mixtape coming out that could make even more waves than his debut, judging by the first taste, “Valet Park, CA,” a blissed-out track with warped vocals. I doubt Valet Park is less a real place and more of a pun, but the displaced, quietly melancholic vibe he summons here calls to mind so many nowheresvilles of California.

 

The Mantles Release Second Song From Upcoming Sophomore Album

The MantlesThe Mantles sound a bit like they’re from New Zealand (home of The Clean, The Bats etc.), but they’re from San Francisco, so hurray for us! This band hits all the right jangly notes, evoking The Byrds with their harmonic singing but in a perfectly disinterested way, while their guitars have swagger in addition to the jangle. “Hello,” indeed. Long Enough to Leave is due June 18 on Slumberland.

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Weekly Roundup: God? Releases, Alela Diane, United Ghosts, Kim Free, Soft Metals, Deafheaven

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2013 04:35pm | Post a Comment

Drag City Imprint God? Releases White Fence, Scraper Reissues

scraper white fenecThe new Drag City imprint God? is new but already pretty awesome. Their second and third releases will be a reissue of Cali’s White Fence’s self-titled debut LP and S.F.’s Scraper’s debut 7”. White Fence aka Tim Presley is rad. His latest release Cyclops Reap is out now and is a nice and trim entry point for the psych-pop singer/songwriter, even if it’s a leftovers comp of sorts. For even more out-there bliss, check out all the rest of his albums, which ramble and sway in the wind in the best way possible. His first album is full of lo-fi delicious bon bons, 16 short songs that hide their hooks in reverb, and now you can have it July 16 from God? The same day, the label releases skate punks Scraper’s first release, a six-song EP with lo-fi, talky, grimy psych-punk with song titles like “Liquid Lips.” Yummy! Look for them both July 16.

 

Alela Diane Readies New LP ‘About Farewell’

alele dianeSometimes you need a good folk record, like eating really healthy food. Alela Diane’s About Farewell, out June 25 on her own label, Rusted Blue Records. I’m a sucker for the first song she’s released from it, called “The Way We Fall.” It’s really two great songs in one, starting with a looping, soulful ballad, painted with intriguing swaths of flute, acoustic guitar and sumptuous harmonies. Then it shifts for a less-orchestrated portion that could have come off as precious if the previous part hadn’t happened; in succession, it serves to peel back the layers and reveal Diane’s lovely lilt, which is soon accompanied by those flutes again. Try not to get the shivers. Diane lives in Portland, but she hails from Nevada City, Calif., so we’ll count her as one of us. Check out an interview Diane did with the Amoeblog a while back.

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(Wherein we eagerly anticipate the death of leaves.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 28, 2011 11:04am | Post a Comment


snow
Fairfax & Melrose

I’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough now to notice a two-degree temperature drop and the standard grey, morning haze lasting an extra hour and excitedly exclaim, “Fall is in the air!” It’s what I have to work with down here.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I’m eager to cuddle up in coats, drink steamy brews, over-do holiday cooking, celebrate Walrus Day, and frankly, I like the melancholic pallor it casts o’er humanity – makes my fellow man seem more relatable than when they’re sweating and spiking balls over nets, behavior which makes me skittish and distrustful.

Of course I know this new chill in the air may be a tease; there’s always opportunity for Mother Nature to Alan Funt the situation. I’m not boxing up my cargo shorts and ice cube collection just yet, but I am eager. To prepare, I’ve hand-selected the finest mini-marshmallows to serve in cocoa (I myself hate eating marshmallows – they’re like sugar-sweetened, antique erasers, but ironically I delight in judging and organizing them), I’ve begun psychologically manipulating the boyfriend with subliminal messages while he watches The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to favor Douglas Firs over White Firs, and I’ve taught my cats to knit their own sweaters. (To be honest, this last effort has been a real power struggle, with both felines putting up a lot of resistance and excuses:

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Chat with Britt Govea, Co-Producer of Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners

Posted by Miss Ess, June 4, 2010 02:25pm | Post a Comment
Songs For Beginners is Graham Nash's first solo album, initially released in 1971. It's a revelatory, universally-themed record that celebrates the betterment of the world through improvement of self. Be yourself, Graham encourages us! And through that truth, the world will flourish around you!

It somehow seems so fitting that just a few weeks ago, Graham's daughter Nile Nash, along with founder and director of all things (((folkYEAH!))), Britt Govea, released Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners on the always amazing Grass Roots Record Company. The record features covers by Alela Diane, Vetiver, Brendon Benson (Raconteurs), Sleepy Sun, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Mariee Sioux & Greg Weeks (Espers), Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) and more! You can hear samplings of tracks from the beautiful album below:



Britt was kind enough to answer my questions about the release and how it all came together. Check out the interview below!

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