Thursday, March 12, 2009

The downloadables

A few more from the pile, then.

San Francisco's Papercuts, essentially Casiotone For The Painfully Alone associate Jason Quever plus assorted hired hands partly drawn from the extended Beach House family, got an 8.3 from Pitchfork for their last album Can't Go Back, so we're clearly not dealing with the usual parade of lo-fi homemade chancers here. Their third album You Can Have What You Want has been picked up by reliable old Memphis Industries for UK release on 13th April - in America he/they are on Gnomosong, run by Devendra Banhart and Vetiver's Andy Cabic. Heavy on the reverb and fragile Wayne Coyne-esque vocals it's more dreampop than nu-gaze, reminiscent of a less electronic Maps, a more strident (and masculine) Mazzy Star or the simmering noisescapes of early 90s 4AD via the Paisley Underground and 1968 psychedelia, heavy on the swirling organ and Mercury Rev fogginess. Chalk another one up for haziness. This is pretty much as poppy as it gets.

Papercuts - A Dictator's Lament

As well as that one, MI are giving away Future Primitive.

Moscow Youth Cult is what Jon Dix does when he's not mangling wiry guitars in the name of longtime STN favourites Love Ends Disaster! (long promised album finally approaching, apparently). An eclectic effort, the Colours Seep Out EP/mini-album (see, that old thing again) settles on the ambient side of things, whether the fuzzy built-up dreamscapes of Boards Of Canada, Warp Records messed up electronics, spooked film soundtracks like Fridge might make such, Broadcast's modern command of early psychedelic synths, the omnipresent Postal Service's command of indie-glitch or, as on our choice of track, shoegaze-informed electro soundscapes a la M83. Download the whole thing from their online label or try before you, um, buy.

Moscow Youth Cult - Philosophique

Do you remember Coltrane Motion? We wrote about the Chicago duo a few times in mid-2007 when their Songs About Music album made a brief pebble splash on the blogs. "Noisy retro-futurist psychedelic synths being deliberately overheated by the ghost of shoegazing", we called it, as we're always wont to. They're back with a new double A-side 7", one of which is reproduced below, and while the synths are still there there's more of a ghostly wall of sound around it, or as they label it "a Phil Spector shoegaze laptop record out of drum breaks, drone and broken synthesizers". Good songwriting around it too, which is trickier to pull off with this sort of thing than you'd think.

Coltrane Motion - Maya Blue

Nicholas Stevenson, originally from Cambridge, now resident in Hereford, has Iron & Wine and Elliott Smith among his suggested influences which is a very good place to start, but we're also detecting Daniel Johnston fragility, Andrew Bird's obtuse storytelling and a certain gothic folkiness at times that could if developed, especially now he has a band around him, lead into very interesting places. This is exactly what we wrote about him in January but it still stands up word for word now he's put most of his recordings to date together as a free album called Dearest Monstrous.

Nicholas Stevenson - Tip Toes

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