Amoeblog

Weekly Roundup: Banks, Incan Abraham, De Lux, Burnt Ones, together PANGEA

Posted by Billy Gil, January 31, 2014 09:33am | Post a Comment

Banks – “Brain”

banks amoebaWe were big fans of Banks’ London EP, which featured the slow and sultry “Waiting Game.” Though “Brain” shares that same sensual foreboding, L.A.-based Jillian Banks comes completely out of her shell with a Beyonce-worthy distorted vocal. Producer Shlomo seems to have helped bring out the best in Banks, helping her move from underground favorite to a sure-to-be-hitmaker. The change to a more personable sound suits her—this is an artist who until recently put her own phone number up on Facebook in lieu of using social media, after all.

 

Incan Abraham – “Concorde”

incan abraham amoebaWow, Incan Abraham are really stepping it up on their new single, “Concorde.” Big, lush chords hit immediately like a more pop-minded version of The War on Drugs, and the vocals come through vibrantly, with a radio-friendly chorus and harmonies. Producer Lewis Pesacov (FIDLAR, Best Coast, Fool’s Gold) is at the helm here. Tolerance is due April 8 on White Iris.

Continue reading...

Album Picks: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Banks, Patrick Cowley

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Stephen Malkmus & The JicksWig Out at Jagbags (CD or LP)

stephen malkmus the jicks wig out at jagbags amoebaAmid all the reunions of ’90s bands, Pavement’s was an anomaly—no new material, just some shows, a best-of release and then kaput, all within the year 2010. That’s perhaps a good thing, since it gives people a chance to focus on frontman Stephen Malkamus’ work both solo and with the Jicks, which has been largely excellent—and underrated. Wig Out at Jagbags finds Malkamus and co. loose and having fun, but still writing solid songs that stick. After a couple of jammy numbers, the album picks up with the poppy “Lariat,” which funnily seems to call out Malkmus’ own fan base (“we grew up listening to music from the best decade ever!” he sings at the conclusion). Alt-rock revivalism gives way to a piano-led rock ballad on “Houston Hades.” “Rumble at the Rainbo” finds the band poking fun at its own elder status within the underground community—“come and join us in this punk rock tune/come slam dancing with some ancient dudes,” Malkamus sings. The more improvy numbers might lose some people, even if relistening to Pavement finds as much emphasis on exploration as melody, but they always come back with a catchy tune—“Chartjunk” features horns and Malkamus playing a not-jokey guitar solo, and seeming to enjoying every minute of it; “Independence Street” is a Velvets-esque, dry ballad; and “Surreal Teenagers” closes the album on an energetic high. With an album as fun to listen to as Wig Out at Jagbags, we’ll let Malkamus close the book on Pavement and move into a new era.

Continue reading...

10 Releases to Look for in 2014

Posted by Billy Gil, December 20, 2013 07:12pm | Post a Comment

The year is just about up, but new music is headed our way. You can already preorder some albums due in 2014 on Amoeba.com. Here are 10 to check out. [WARNING: NSFW pic of Sky Ferreira's infamous nip-slip album cover below].

Banks London EP

banks london ep amoebaDue Jan. 7

Preorder on CD

I wrote about this one in my top EPs of the year list. It’s out physically next month, and if you like sultry electro-soul a la Kelela, Rhye and Jessie Ware, this should be right up your alley.

 

 

Stephen Malkamus & the Jicks Wig Out at Jagbags

stephen malkamus the jicks wig out at jagbags cd amoebaDue Jan. 7

Preorder on CD or LP

Continue reading...

The 10 Best EPs of 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 19, 2013 10:33am | Post a Comment

Oft lost in the great “best albums of the year” rush are EPs, those unimposing 18-minute-or-so releases that artists release between albums, to try stuff out or to unload extra songs. While you don’t get the whole enchilada of a full-album statement, EPs are like a great appetizer that leave you wanting more, and 2013 was full of delicious bloomin’ onions. Here are 10 that I liked, in no particular order.

BurialTruant / Rough Sleeper

burial truant rough sleeper amoebaWilliam Emmanuel Bevan makes the kind of music Thom Yorke dreams about, dark, brooding electronic music that blends subgenres like dubstep (the good kind) while sounding like its own thing, future-seeking yet emotional and grimy. He hasn’t had a full-length album since 2007’s great Untrue, but he released several EPs this year, including the recent Rival Dealer 12” and, earlier this year, this release of two 10-plus-minute tracks, the first entrancing and inviting, the second morose and restless. 

 

 

Best CoastFade Away

Continue reading...

Weekly Roundup: Banks, SISU, Superhumanoids, Death Grips, Coachwhips

Posted by Billy Gil, August 29, 2013 02:17pm | Post a Comment

Banks – “Waiting Game”

banks singerL.A. singer Banks makes longing sound sexier than the main event with “Waiting Game.” The song is produced by Sohn, who throws a nice, thick digital shroud over the whole thing partway in. Banks’ drowned-out vocals and style are reminiscent of The Weeknd, with whom she’s touring, and it reminds me a bit, too, of a grimier cousin to L.A’s Rhye. Best line: “I wanna lean on your shoulder.” Sweet.

 

SISU – “Harpoons”

sandra vuIt seems like everyone in the Crystal Stilts/Dum Dum Girls/Vivian Girls vortex of great noise-pop bands has a side or solo project. The lastest is Dum Dums’ drummer Sandra Vu, whose solo project, SISU, sounds like a fun splatter of caustic pop judging by “Harpoons,” which gets its shuffling chorus lodged into your head only after hitting it with a little chaos, as softly pounding drums and light oscillating sounds accompany Vu’s sing-speaky vocals in a kind of creepy sound collage. Hear it on Soundcloud. She’ll be at Part Time Punks at La Cita Aug. 30 with Whirr and Nothing at 7 p.m. Look for her Light Eyes EP at Amoeba, and her first full-length, Blood Tears, is due Sept. 17 on Mono Prism.

Continue reading...