Since 2007, not-for-profit label OSR Tapes has graced us with a steady stream of releases by cult figures and DIY recluses. Now, label head Zach Phillips has announced that the 25-release batch that OSR is releasing in 2016 will be the label's last. Albums by OSR mainstays Chris Weisman, Hartley C. White, and Christina Schneider are given their due in the latest class, joined by works from Mega Bog, Brave Radar, Salt People, Grape Room, William Clay Austin, and more. At 77 releases in total (many of which were recorded by Phillips himself), OSR's output displays a bold commitment to musical outsiders who relish the atypical. Embracing a radical honesty both musically and in their production ethos, OSR Tapes comes to an end raging with as much originality and unpredictability as ever.
Following up with their first new music since dropping a self-titled EP in June, The Meltaways have shared "Flight", one of the four tracks from their upcoming self-titled 7" due out this fall. With "Flight", the trio deliver a no-nonsense, lightening-bolt of a song. Soaring guitar leads shine in the lo-fi production, and a driving drum beat ushers the track forward. The band sticks with a familiar loud-soft-loud structure but delivers the track's verses and hooks with an infectious abandon. The urgency and honesty of the performance brings the listener into the tracks's fight or flight mindset inherent in its fist-pumping grooves.
"Coffee", the seven-minute long epic from Kal Marks' latest LP Life is Alright…Everybody Dies, has been given video treatment by director Sheree Chen. In the single, the Boston-bred post-punks confront life-affirming sadness with moments of quiet intoning punctuated by high-energy sections of earthy distortion. The track's video orbits the growth and decay of a couple's relationship, framing moments of joy and grief in a cool, stark visual palette. Passionate confrontations are cut with pastoral landscapes and moments of contemplation in a way that pairs with the peaks and valleys of song's terrain. We as the audience are passive observers to a private drama, unfolding in both the character's minds and bodies. The tortured vocals of the track provide the script, and the intricate instrumental textures propel the scene forward.
Brooklyn-based, Barcelona-bred artist Gisela Fulla-Silvestre produces pristine electronic-pop under the moniker NOIA. In advance of Habits, her debut EP due out this fall via Cascine, she's shared "Nostalgia Del Futuro", a majestic example of her skills as both producer and singer. "‘Nostalgia Del Futuro’ is about the recurring and destructive feeling so many of us have of idealizing the future as a perfect place that we’re constantly striving for, but never actually reaching." Fulla-Silvestre told Gorilla Vs. Bear. The track succeeds in crafting an idyllic atmosphere of bouncing, clean tones as Fulla-Silvestre's cool vocal glides over the defined production. Invoking the longing and discontent that she'd intended, the cut works its way through etherial moments of calm punctuated by moving, four-on-the-floor drops.
Ahead of the release of their sophomore, Guy Piccioto-produced, full-length, Black Peak, Xylouris White have shared a remix of the title-track courtesy of former Avalanches member Darren Seltmann. Under Seltmann's hand, the track takes on an electronic flavor. Jim White's snare sounds are manipulated into a proto-punk foundation, complete with fills. Meanwhile, George Xylouris' powerful voice holds a commanding presence, supported by a dazzling revision of his lute work. Seltmann's clean production highlights the virtuosity of the Cretan lutist and Australian drummer, adding a boost of momentum to a to a track that already barreled ahead like a freight-train.
Black Peak is out 10/7 via Bella Union. Xylouris White plays an intimate set at Union Pool 9/28. Xylouris White is touring this fall, more dates after the jump.
It's been a while since we've heard from Pile. While laying low, they reissued their 2008 record Jerk Routine, and frontman Rick Maguire has been busy touring solo, playing stripped-down sets. The band recently confirmed they're set to record a follow-up to their 2015 LP You're Better Than This, due out in early 2017 through Exploding In Sound. Ahead of the release, Pile announced two shows, in Brooklyn and Boston, supported by Guerilla Toss and Jackal Onasis, and Palm and Dust From 1000 Yrs respectively.
A fixture of the experimental-metal scene, The Body is known for genre-bending and obscuring the boundaries of metal by incorporating noise, electronic, and orchestral influences. (See their Sinéad O'Connor cover, among other satisfying applications of doom.) All in all, it's been a productive year for the band. They just put out their fifth studio-LP, No One Deserves Happiness, as well as a collaborative record with Full Of Hell back in March. "The Myth Arc", the closing cut off No One Deserves Happiness, is a minimalist track that unfolds in waves demonic fuzz and spats of hushed vocals. Directed by Mitch Wells of Thou, one of The Body's frequent collaborators, the track's video moves in a similarly erie fashion. In it, abstract interactions between people are assembled in ominous slow-motion, revealing a series of cryptic narratives that are left unexplained.
No One Deserves Happiness is out now via Thrill Jockey. The Body performs a collaborative set with Full Of Hell 9/9 at Market Hotel with Gas Chamber, Trenchgrinder & Limbs Bin.
Last week, Bueno released Illuminate Your Room, their 2nd full-length, on Exploding In Sound and Babe City Records. The record premiered on Hype Machine, but is now available to stream via their Bandcamp. On their latest, the Staten Island-bred outfit deliver a well-produced collection of 12 tracks that run the gamut of moods from groove-centric sermons like "Hizznherz" or "Mona (1991-2015)" to the more straight-up, pop sensibilities of "I Got Your Back". Primary songwriter Luke Chiaruttini uses his conversational vocal to paint a vivid picture of a youthful narrator trying to rectify their optimism with a reality that is at times both more beautiful and more unfulfilling than they'd expected.
Jilian Medford's personal journey from Berklee graduate to Brooklyn bandleader informs her music as Ian Sweet. On the brink of the release of a debut full-length, the project (featuring Tim Cheney and Damien Scalise) has revealed more and more of itself through a series of singles that showcase the variety in Medford's songwriting and arranging. While "Slime Time Live" rested on chunky polyrhythmic riffs and a coy vocal delivery, on "All Skaters Go To Heaven", the third single off their upcoming record Shapeshifter, Ian Sweet delivers a more heartfelt rock ballad that recalls the sincerity and confessional mindset found in the Boston scene. The track builds steam and grows in size as Medford intones a highly personal narrative that starts with friends sharing ice-cream and ends in a moment of understanding.
Shapeshifter is out September 9th on Hardly Art. Ian Sweet's NYC record release is 9/9 at Shea Stadium with Florist, Horse Jumper of Love and Hovvdy.
National Sawdust, the Williamsburg concert venue that opened last year, has announced its second season. In addition to the AdHoc co-founder Ric Leichtung, the season will be curated by composer Timo Andres, Chairlift lead singer Caroline Polacheck and composer and storyteller Sxip Shirey among others. As reported by The New York Times, the season will feature an 80th birthday celebration for Philip Glass, a 12-hour performance of John Zorn's Bagatelles, and the world premiere of Juliet Palmer's opera Sweat.
For more information, visit National Sawdust's website.