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

The 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’

Sometimes 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.


United Ghosts Release Debut LP

United Ghosts are a really cool L.A. band who deliver the goods — sparkling, jangly shoegaze guitars and boy-girl harmonies, calling to mind Ride, Teenage Fanclub and a bunch of your other favorite bands while adding their own L.A. cool to the mix. Listen to “Sparks From a Cold Star,” with visuals recorded live at Echo Park’s awesome Bedrock Studios, and pick up their self-titled debut album on CD or limited-edition vinyl. And check them out at Silverlake Lounge every Thursday in May!


Kim Free to Release New Album, Free EP Available

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kim Free has a new album due May 21 called Never Mind the Blue Skies. In the meantime, she’s released the Escape Ride EP for free via Bandcamp. Check out the title track, a sweet, wintry mandolin-led ballad that was an unreleased B-side for her Angel Shadow LP, and the other two songs are gorgeous, too, the magical-sounding “Never Again” and stunning string instrumental “Starlight Corridor.” This EP is killing me right now, perfect to cool you off from this insanely hot weather. Check it out, and look out for Never Mind the Blue Skies later this month! See photos from her Amoeba Hollywood performance here.


Soft Metals Release ‘Tell Me,’ Ready New LP

Soft Metals are a just fucking great synth-pop band from L.A. Seriously, no one makes this sort of darkwavey music work quite like they do. The first taste from their upcoming Lenses album starts out minimally and coolly, featuring Patricia Hall’s ethereal, melancholy vocals and an ever-so-slightly menacing beat before a meaty synth hook comes in and makes it a great dark party jam. Lenses is due July 16 from Captured Tracks.


Deafheaven Fuse Black Metal and Shoegaze on ‘Dreamhouse’

Deafheaven’s “Dreamhouse” isn’t quite like anything you’ve heard. Comparisons to acts like Fuck Buttons, Boris and Isis come to mind, to give you an idea, but the San Francisco act doesn’t really sound like any of those bands. Guitarwise, you’ve got sheets of beautiful distortion of the My Bloody Valentine variety, while vocally you’ve got shredding black metal-style shrieking, and they vacilate between service-oriented and demolishing drum beats. For anyone like me who’s had a cursory interest in black metal but is a shoegazer at heart (or vice versa), this is mind-blowing stuff. Their Sunbather LP is due June 11 on Deafheaven/Deathwish.


Shows This Weekend:

Friday: Bay Area shoegazers Tamaryn are at the Echoplex with The Black Ryder and Dream Boys. ($15, 8:30 p.m.)

Saturday: Gram Rabbit, Sleepy Sun and Strange Vine are at The Satellite ($12, 9 p.m.)

Sunday: Los Lobos Cinco de Mayo Festival featuring Los Lobos, La Santa Cecilia, Kinky and more ($38 and up with fees, 6:30 p.m.)

Relevant Tags

Kim Free (5), Soft Metals (7), Alela Diane (7), Scraper (2), White Fence (20), Drag City (14), Weekly Roundup (139), Deafheaven (11), United Ghosts (2)