Louisville Sound Report (2.27.2015)

TENDER MERCY - Sacred Sphinx

Mark Kramer, aka Tender Mercy, returns with his hypnotic guitar plucking that dissolves note after note with haunting vocals that echo across speakers like a spirit in the distance. The very limited (only 100) cassette of Sacred Sphinx is now available on his Bandcamp page.

RMLLW2LLZ - Concerto No. 9 (Movement 1)

Concerto No.9 Movement 1 is the first of three movements. Drizzled with jazzy riffs and laced heavily with melodically screaming lead guitars, this installment is sure to keep your ears tuned in and life's crazy ills tuned out!

TALL SQUARES - So Heavy For So Long

Indie Rock crafted for the simple purpose of being fun, catchy, and creative.  There is not a single moment of pretentiousness on this record and is an album for anyone who likes to kick back and let a band be themselves...introducing their vision and love for music song after song.



Louisville's amp busters, Tropical Trash, announced a few tour dates including support with Young Widows & Shannon Wright.

3/12 LOUISVILLE @HEADLINERS W/ Shannon Wright & Young Widows
3/13 CHICAGO @ BEAT KITCHEN w/ Shannon Wright & Young Widows

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - "Peasantry or 'Light Inside of Light'" (excerpt)

You know those people who say that the NBA is better when the Lakers, Celtics, and Knicks are all good? (Sorry, NBA) I'm one of those people who think indie rock is better when Montréal, LA, and DC are good. So, the collective resurgence of the Montréal scene, from Silver Mt. Zion's release last year Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything to 2012's release by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, the group's first release in 10 years, has been an unexpected windfall. This week, GY!BE announced their new album, Asunder, Sweet and other Distress will be out March 31 via Constellation (preorder). That's the cover art up there. To accompany the announce, GY!BE has shared a nearly 8 min excerpt of a track, because Godspeed don't do nothin' short. Enjoy the orchestral madness sure to tear up your speakers and make your co-workers wonder if you're going to repurpose the copier for your zine, again.

Track of the Day: Public Service Broadcasting - "Gagarin"

Willgoose & Wrigglesworth sound like Dr. Seuss' law firm. In fact, they are not. These monikers belong to Public Service Broadcasting, a London-based duo who deftly mix high-powered, theatrical electronic pop with audio clips to create albums that sound like expansive monuments to the human mind. Their latest release, The Race for Space, focuses on the space race between the USA and Soviet Union from 1957-1972. Easily the highlight of the first third of the album, "Gagarin" is an epic tribute to the first man in space. Public Service Broadcasting's impeccable, slick production contrasts with the vintage audio clips making their songs feel at once contemporary and, well, educational. This contrast also lends, in the case of "Gagarin," a theatrical and almost operatic feel. It's something that's needed in music today with the slow descent into non-metaphorical ramblings about sexual organs or the bluster of "beef" being blown up into something worth listening to. On "Gagarin," you get the sense of actually impressive human achievement. Not just from the historical record but also from Public Service Broadcasting's transmission.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "Multi-Love"

I'm a sucker for magical realism in any medium of art.  The seemingly natural state of things flipped on its head with a moment of the unreal.  I think of all artistic techniques, it's the subtle use of magical realism that excites the most.  On the newest offering from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, everything feels natural as the track opens with a synth restrained to the point of sounding like an electrified baby piano.  Ruban Nielson's voice is calm and develops in its natural state of ease.  Then these punchy drums lead to the synths taking flight, an over the top funk bass plodding along, with Ruban taking his vocals in and out of high/low emotional peaks resulting in the natural competing with the magical; the simple synth from the intro giving way to layers and layers of small synths peaking in and out of the track.

This should be of no surprise as Unknown Mortal Orchestra broke onto the music scene with a debut album featuring guitar tones I've never heard before or the use of funk as emotional observation on their album II. Unknown Mortal Orchestra can be granted the highest form of critical praise which is to say they sound like nothing but themselves.  On "Multi-Love", the sounds are exciting and new, but it's the playfulness of walking the line between the familiar and the unknown where Unknown Mortal Orchestra shines.  This track moves in and out of these small exciting movements, tied together by Unknown Mortal Orchestra's brilliant (and at this point consistent) use of magical realism to redefine the normal sounds that have floated around the music world for decades.  There are few, if any, more exciting bands than Unknown Mortal Orchestra writing music today.

Music Alliance Pact (February 2015)

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 19-track compilation through Dropbox here.

 UNITED STATESWe Listen For You Twin Limb - Long Shadow The music of Twin Limb is that constantly folding and dancing smoke of a freshly blown-out candle. Minimalist sounds find itself turning into emotional highs as the pure talent of Twin Limb sneaks through the smallest mannerisms of brilliant songwriting.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie Enero Sera Mio - Hasta Encontrarte "January will be mine" is the translation of singer-songwriter Sol Fernandez's artistic project. Her music is a perfect match of soft melodies and dream-pop with carefully crafted arrangements and sound landscapes. This track is from Enero3, her latest work, which is being released through Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They? Nite Fields - Prescription Prescription is the second single from Brisbane four-piece Nite Fields' long-awaited debut record Depersonalisation. While the intricate guitar work and broody vocals echo The Church, there's a humid, curiously distant tone here that is something totally their own. Starting with sparse prickly guitars and splashy drumming, the song folds in on itself towards the end, becoming slightly claustrophobic but in an intimate, whispery way. Nite Fields keeps you at arm's length - you have to squint through the haze of effects and layers to get a hold of anything solid, but once you do, you've already fallen hard for this moody and mysterious band.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo Willows - The Shape I'm In Johnny McArthur and Eric Moore make up the electronic duo Willows. They venture into uncomfortable territory melodically. The swirling repetitive underlying of The Shape I'm In resembles the dizzying sensation of intoxication. The bursts of energy are like the highs that come back to the inevitable lows.

CHILE: Super 45 Sin Órbita - Atardecer Sin Órbita is a duo formed by Paula Roa and Martin Perez Roa, who last year released their first record, Neón EP (Sudamerican Records). Flirting with electronica and soul, the band are a mixture of Massive Attack trip hop cadence and AlunaGeorge sensuality.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian The Radar Post - Traces Songwriter and producer Esben Svane will release his debut solo album as The Radar Post in April. The record will also be titled The Radar Post (he's keeping his real name for an album in Danish later on) and here's first great single, Traces, which you can also download in WAV format on SoundCloud.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera MULA - Up & Down MULA is a new experimental project formed by Anabel and Cristabel Acevedo (the twins from folk duo Las Acevedo) and up-and-coming DJ Rach Ro. Even though their musical backgrounds are very different, they want to defy certain preconceptions about mixing electronica with more urban styles. Up & Down, their first single, takes from reggaeton rhythms and electronic accents to create a space-like musical journey. Their first full record is out on February 22 on their self-made label, Pulcra Records.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria Mama Soy Demente - La Buena Suerte Mama Soy Demente is an experimental rock band founded in 2005 by El Ermitaño and Jolgorio Vocal. La Buena Suerte is the first single from their third and latest studio album, El Disco Rojo, an eclectic record brimming with energy and power.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar Much - Carried Away From Malang with Much love. The duo, consisting of Dandy Gilang and Aulia Anggia on vocals, will rock you with their fuzz-pop beat and embrace you with their warm distortion.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing Featuring X - Wild Love A pop-rock teenage quintet from the back-roads town of Drogheda on Ireland's east coast, Featuring X are fast gaining traction for their buoyant, lively sound and skilful axe-womanship. Wild Love is their distinctive cover of Rea Garvey's classic, loaded with harmonies and feisty riffs. As well as new recordings, we've been promised something else, 'something special' in 2015.

ITALY: Polaroid Havah - Meno Di Metà Jonathan Clancy from His Clancyness and A Classic Education recently started a new label called Maple Death. The inaugural release is a split 12'' EP between His Electro Blue Voice (already on Sub Pop and Sacred Bones), who contributed a hypnotic 19-minute track, and Havah, the new project of Michele Camorani (from punk hardcore legends La Quiete and Raein). Havah have a darker, colder and more post-punk sound. They usually play fast and short songs, and they are incredible.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies Eriqu - Gang Star Neck-twisting wonkiness has been a common trait in most notable bedroom-produced Japanese electronic music worth checking out. Eriqu has his fair share of all-over-the-place tracks, but when he focuses a bit on the thundering Gang Star, he comes up with one of his best numbers to date. It ploughs ahead, although Eriqu adds a few unsettling touches such as scrambled voices or what sounds like a man making dog barks.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta Yews - Keep Trying Till It's Something Singer-songwriter Yasmin Kuymizakis (Yews) composes and produces ethereal electronic pop music in her bedroom. Currently based in London, she has a different set-up every time she performs live, playfully changing and adapting her simple songs. Her debut Selene EP was released in 2014.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika Sotomayor - Cielo Raúl Sotomayor and his sister Paulina were part of Mexico City's Beat Buffet, a hip hop combo that parted ways with its other members a few months ago. Not much time had passed when they announced this new project, whose introduction card is Cielo, a beautiful, downbeat, sensuous electropical tune.

PERU: SoTB Los Outsaiders - Niña Los Outsaiders are a great garage-rock group based in Lima. Led by Charlie VTW, their sound is influenced by classic and contemporary rock'n'roll. They recently released their first album with the help of producer Gordon Raphael, known for his work with The Strokes.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco? Cave Story - Richman Hailing from the city of Caldas da Rainha, Cave Story are Pedro Zina (bass), Gonçalo Formiga (vocals, guitar) and Ricardo "Caguincha" Mendes (drums). Their sound will delight fans of Pavement. Richman is an obvious tribute to the great American musician Jonathan Richman.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop Monogram - Anno(mute) Monogram, aka Liam Rutherford, first appeared in MAP's August 2013 edition under his previous pseudonym Mast. The accompanying song, Romance, was my favourite of that year. Anno(mute) is a subtler, haunting offering, but remains true to his DIY ethic. Working from a remote cabin studio in the Borders, he plays all instruments, designs his own artwork and self-produces his promo videos to create an all-encompassing experience.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK JoJo Blowhard - Good Night Operating under the motto that "lying is OK", JoJo Blowhard writes sad songs that make for great company. His first EP Good Night was released in late 2013, but he has come under the spotlight again with the recent release of the title track's video. A sober melody paired with JoJo Blowhard's sympathetic voice, the tones from Good Night will linger long after the song has stopped playing.

SPAIN: Musikorner Buck & Cake - Brillo Labial According to a close friend of Buck & Cake, the music Douche Buck and Cake Moss play is about "leaving subtleness behind, marrying an old man and counting the days to his demise in order to inherit his fortune. It's dying your hair blonde using cheap products... and refilling your Chanel bottle using that coconut cologne you bought in a dollar shop." Basically, Buck & Cake's electropop is about carelessly giving yourself over to the pleasures of life.

Bomba Estéreo Teases New Album

Yesterday, Bomba Estéreo, the electo-cumbia group that for my money is the most exciting band working today, teased the release of their new album. No details given, but if the track accompanying the video is anything to rest your hat on, the group's continuing to forge new musical forms by a uniquely Caribbean mezcla of traditional genres. Below, you'll hear a dancey riff with reggae overtones and a vibrating riff. Enjoy and whet your appetite!