In the Pharmacy Cloudcast 4

I listened to a lot of very average music over the past two weeks. For a moment there, this was looking like a really short cloudcast. There is no fixed length to these, I’m aiming to put one together every two weeks and only the very best tracks will make it whether that’s two tunes or 20. I end up having to listen to a lot of crap, but hopefully this means you don’t have to.

Black Mountain ‘Mary Lou’
Psychedelic / space /stoner rock often lacks tunes, grooves or both, but Vancouver’s Black Mountain get the mix of repetitive riffing and songwriting just right. After two superb albums 9their eponymous debut (2005) and ’In The Future’ (2008) I was a little underwhelmed by 2010’s ‘In The Wildreness’  (despite its awesome sky-shark sleeve). Good, then, to hear this near-eight-minute monster from their forthcoming soundtrack to Year Zero, a surfing movie. It’s like Morning of The Earth or Five Summer Stories for the 21st Century. [Black Mountain]

The Temper Trap ‘Rabbit Hole’
My wife is fond of Temper Trap as they remind her of the New Radicals, specifically the song ‘Fader’. When their debut came out there seemed to be a bit of disappointment that they were copping a little bit too much of the stadium friendly dynamic from Coldplay rather than Radiohead. Clearly, this is a band with ambitions, but they’ve already proved themselves better songwriters than Chris Martin and co. (although the jury is still out on the lyrics). What I like most about ‘Rabbit Hole’ is the way that, exactly half way through, the guitars power up and change the song from a slightly maudlin little semi-acoustic number into a full on rock out. Also, a lesser band would have stretched this out to a five minute song, whereas the decision to bring it to a dead stop at 3m17s makes it all the more powerful. [The Temper Trap]

Beach House ‘Myth’
From Baltimore, this is the first track to be released from their forthcoming fourth album ‘Bloom’. Its swooning dream pop built around guitar, keyboards and Victoria Legrand’s husky, mellifluous vocals. It doesn’t sound like they’ve strayed very far from the elements that made their last album, 2010’s ‘Teen Dream’ such a captivating experience. [Beach House]

The Dandy Warhols ‘Well They’re Gone’
Although they haven’t always held my interest across a whole album, the Dandy Warhols often throw up interesting little moments and occasional pop gems. I’m always ready to hear what they do next. This downbeat number, driven along by a ghostly swirl of quiet noise, some gentle percussion and what sounds like a melodica is a million miles away from the brash pop of ‘Bohemian Like You’ or the garage rock of ‘Smoke It’. [Dandy Warhols]

Brendan Benson ‘Bad For Me’
Epic piano ballad power pop from the singer songwriter and member of The Raconteurs / The Saboteurs. Lush and full, like Benson’s last album it carries the influence of Paul McCartney, ELO and Bowie as well as the likes of Jellyfish, Redd Kross and Jason Faulkner. [Brendan Benson]

Free Energy ‘Electric Fever’
Free Energy cop the best bits of 70s glam, power pop and classic rock and filter it through a 90s indie slacker prism. You can hear the influence of T-Rex, The Cars, Thin Lizzy and Pavement throughout their James Murphy produced debut, ‘Stuck On Nothing’ (2010). If that wasn’t enough to set them apart from their contemporaries, they also write brilliant, catchy tunes. This is the first taste of their forthcoming second album ‘Love Sign’, recorded with John Agnello (clearly the right man for the job as he’s worked on Redd Kross’s ‘Phaseshifter’, Dinosaur Jr’s ‘Farm’ and Cyndi Lauper’s ‘She’s So Unusual’ among many many others). [Free Energy]

Spiritualized ‘Hey Jane’
Upbeat and uplifting two-parter from Jason Pierce and co.  that serves as a quasi-title track for their forthcoming ‘Sweet Heart Sweet Light’ album. You can hear, Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed in the first half, but it’s the glam stomp of David Bowie’s ‘The Jean Genie’ that really seeps through, while the second half is like gospel-tinged, double speed Krautrock. A monster 9 minutes that never seems too long. [Spiritualized]

Alpine ‘Hands’
I caught this Melbourne band live a year or so ago and while I thought they were interesting, I must admit I didn’t really hear the potential that this track has so clearly delivered on. A clubby, catchy hand clapping, little number that gets stuck in your head and seems incredibly assured for a relatively young bad. This came out here in Australia back in November, but has started to create interest in the UK (featured in The Guardian) and US (Pitchfork and The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne have mentioned them favourably). Their debut album is due out on Ivy League soon. [Alpine]

Apparat ‘Candil De La Calle (Apparat Dub)’
Apparat’s ‘The Devil’s Walk’ was one of my favourite albums of 2011. The original version of this song is one of that record’s standout tracks, featuring a wonderful yearning vocal. This dub version (mixed by the man himself) tones down the wistfulness and amplifies the spaced out clubbiness, turning it into a very different feeling tune without straying too far from the original. Clever. You can hear the original in they best of 2011 cloudcast here. [Apparat]

Bear In Heaven ‘Sinful Nature’
Reviews of this Brooklyn band, about to release their fourth album, are generally positive but always struggle to pin down what they actually sound like. On sinful nature you can hear prog, Krautrock, 80s stadium rock and electronica. If Simple Minds were writing ‘Up On The Catwalk’ today instead of 26 years ago, it wouldn’t sound a million miles away from this. [Bear In Heaven]

Neon Indian ‘Hex Girlfriend (Twin Shadow Remix)’
Mexico born, Texan raised Neon Indian (aka Alan Palomo) recorded his second album Era Extraña in Helsinki. He jumps around musically as well as geographically but touches mainly on 80s reference points (OMD, MBV) and similar territory to his contemporaries with a taste for that decade (Ariel Pink, M83). This standout track from the album gets a remix from fellow traveller Twin Shadow. The original’s mid-80s electro-pop charm is stripped away and what is left gives it an almost industrial backing, while the  wordless chorus is preserved as the main hook. [Neon Indian]

s/s/s ‘Museum Day’
A collaboration between musical polymath Sufjan Stevens, electronic composer Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott) and Chicago hip hop artist Serengeti (aka David Cohn). Not a million miles away from Sufjan’s All Delighted People / Age of Adz material, here he again favours Auto-Tune for his vocals, while Serengetti raps and Son Lux sings using a Pitch-Shifter. The backing track features among other things “piano, bowed glass, mod’ed boy-choir mellotron with the portamento engaged, strings, chopped noise, drum kit, bass, and i think some other things.” This is the first track released from what at the moment appears to be a one off EP ‘Beak & Claw’ outMarch 20 on Anticon. [s/s/s]

Georgia Anne Muldrow ‘Husfriend’
My tastes in both r n b and hip hop tend towards the vintage, so this Madlib produced track is right up my street, sounding very much like it could have been recorded 20+ years ago. Muldrow’s voice is rich and soulful and the beat will be familiar to Madlib fans as the same one from Strong Arm Steady’s ‘Follow Me’. [Georgia Anne Muldrow]

Luke Roberts ‘His Song’
Country-folk singer-songwriter Luke Roberts was based in Brooklyn when he wrote and recorded his debut album, last year’s ‘Big Bells and Dime Songs’. While the songs for his follow up (again on Thrill Jockey) were written in his old apartment, he’s since moved back to his hometown of Nashville where he recorded them with the help of some sympathetic musicians . Emily Sunblad’s backing vocals here bring some sweetness and light to an otherwise intense track and there’s a great laidback guitar solo that should appeal to Neil Young fans. [Luke Roberts]

AU ‘Get Alive’
Portland based Luke Wyland has been recording as AU since 2005. Somewhere between freak-folk and art pop, ‘Get Alive’ sits comfortably, but not complacently in the bit of the Venn diagram where Beirut and the Dodos overlap. [AU]

2 thoughts on “In the Pharmacy Cloudcast 4

  1. Pingback: In The Pharmacy #30 – April 2013 | In The Pharmacy

  2. Pingback: In The Pharmacy #41 – September 2013 | In The Pharmacy

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