Lilting without lull, Multa Nox's latest track from her upcoming full-length Living Pearl, lusters. Propelled by a gentle momentum of clicks and sputters, the dreamy "i have not whispered everything i can bear" inhabits a milky sonic space lacquered with a textural richness of drone tones and vocal ornamentation. In this space, Brooklyn-based sound artist Sally Decker bathes her composition in a softness inflected with an incantatory grandiosity that swells along with the inertia of the gingerly shifting drone. The exact words that she utters remain blanketed in a gentle ambiguity: what flickers in and out could be some permutation of the words "just" and "end"—only the phonemic traces stand out amid the wash of sound.
Language, enunciated in Decker's whispers, becomes disentangled from signification, becomes vibration, becomes physical. And with that, her whispers bear an enormous weight: the ability to transform words into something sumptuous, something delectable.
Multa Nox's LP Living Pearl is out June 2 on NNA Tapes. Stream "i have not whispered everything i can bear" below.
Photography by: Claire Gunville
Portland-based four piece Cool American plies a unique trade, somewhere between sneakily virtuosic slacker rock and overdriven power pop-punk in the vein of Tony Molina—an intersection embraced by the group in their cheeky self-identification as "dorito rock." On "Maui's," the latest transmission from Cool American's upcoming full-length Infinite Hiatus, both tendencies shine through, goading each other in a playful back-and-forth.
"Maui's" is a gentle recollection of a Saturday long past, strummed and lovingly recounted until it suddenly veers off course. A "twitch" Nathan Tucker describes becomes a genuine "warning" that the song might swerve out of control. And it does: as the subject tries to "have another drink and ignore" this premonition, this sense of pent-up tension, the song explodes in a wash of guitar pedal dissonance. But the new direction is neither aggressive nor unflattering: the heavier section retains the first's jaunty whimsy—albeit with a little more teeth.
Infinite Hiatus is out June 2 on Good Cheer Records. Listen to the premiere of "Maui's" below and be sure to catch Cool American play with Turtlenecked and Museum of Recycling at Alphaville June 25.
Miniature intimacies—from lingering family portraits shakily-camcorded pickup basketball games—constellate the sumptuous video accompanying Hand Habits' "Book on How to Change." The flickering graininess of the film casts a somber pallor over the gorgeous shots of snow-capped summits, RV lots, and domestic assemblages—conjuring the "world so grey" in which "the colors fade into another" that Meg Duffy's hushed lyrics envision. Capturing glimpses of the small-town "quotidian moments," as director Chantal Anderson describes in her artist's statement, the video documents a departure delicately unfolding into a gentle self-actualization. As the peripatetic protagonist arrives at a rocky outcropping just beyond city limits, she regally position herself atop a small summit and grasps the deep blue air around her, relishing a chance to start "messing" with her very own "dream." Like the song, a highlight from Hand Habits' recent Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), the heroine appears at ease upon her radiant perch. The rugged alpine landscape, ghost town urban decay, and spaghetti western closeups all attest to the sheer emotional intensity seething beneath the pattering drums and lilting vocals of Duffy's muted epic.
Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) is out now on Woodsist. Hand Habits is currently on tour with Mega Bog. See their dates below.
Mouth Mouth, the latest full-length transmission from New Zealand's Yeongrak, is infernal to the teeth. Swathed in contorted melodies, skeletal percussion, and incinerating distortion, the cryptic producer's latest interrogates the limits of what is sonically tolerable, shunting effect upon effects to create its hellish soundscape. Throughout much of the record, from the dully thumping opener, "ape rottin'" to the punishingly impenetrable closer, "shouldnt have a light fixture there anywy," Yeongrak shrouds the growls, burbles, and the palpitating beats in a thick saliva of filtration and mutilation. And like saliva, this distortion corrodes the structures, instruments, and voices trapped within its inexorable viscosity. Occasionally, Yeongrak swallows this strangulating spit, allowing the distortion to dissipate. At its most lucid, on cuts like "email@example.com" and "bandagey eggroll," a fractal, gurgling landscape irrupted by shards of shrieks, squelches, and synth stabs comes into focus. As infuriating as it is irresistable, Mouth Mouth has gnawed its way into becoming one of the most bizarre and rewarding releases of 2017.
Mouth Mouth is out now via Quantum Natives.
Photography by Samantha Marble
Uniform released a powerful and harrowing video for "The Killing Of America," the NYC duo's second single off Wake In Fright, out yesterday on Sacred Bones. Its timing could not be more poignant—the video, which gives a hauntingly straight-forward look at the realities of gun violence, arrives on the day of President Trump's inauguration and casts yet another eerie shadow on the nation.
The video's concept was influenced by Isao Hashimoto's piece on nuclear weapons titled "1945 - 1998"— a simple map of the United States with a relentless ticker that counts off the never ending series of mass shootings the country has experienced. "Our video intends to present basic figures surrounding a complicated subject," says Uniform in a press release. "We do not wish to moralize and we offer no answers. Instead, we ask the viewer to use this data as an aid towards formulating their own conclusions."
Watch below and catch Uniform's record release show on February 9 at Brooklyn Bazaar.
Photography by Alexandra Brown
Set to release their eleventh studio album FORGET on February 25 on Polyvinyl, art-pop masters Xiu Xiu debuted the video for their latest single "Jenny GoGo." The animated video is equally adsurd and foreboding as crude animations dance across a television static background for an eerie viewing that nudges you just out of your comfort zone. Lyrically dark yet cheeky verses like, “Too dead to be this dumb/ Too dead to be this young” steadily grow from whispers over drone-like synths until they explode into pulsing shrieks for a visceral throwback to coldwave.
Xiu Xiu will tour behind their LP and head to Brooklyn Bazaar on April 6 with Dreamcrusher. Watch the video below.
After practically touring non-stop for two years, New York duo Diet Cig finally announced their highly-anticipated debut album, Swear I'm Good At This, due April 7 on Frenchkiss Records. Following up 2015's Over Easy EP, Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman return with more earnest and unapologetic punk when we need it most. The first single "Tummy Ache" is unstoppable, utilizing Luciano's soft yet commanding vocals for a track that you can't help but sing along to. "Trying to find my voice," she reveals. "Surrounded by all boys." She doesn't need to yell—it's her vulnerability that speaks volumes.
The band will take their high-energy act across North America this spring, playing a handful of pre-release dates including at set at this year's Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco on February 22 and shows during SXSW before kicking off their tour on April 5. Diet Cig will head to NYC early in their cross-country trek, hitting up Baby's All Right for two back-to-back shows on April 7.
Listen to "Tummy Ache" below.
Photography by Samantha Marble
NYC-based industrial noise duo Uniform is following up their 2015 debut LP Perfect World later this month with the release of Wake In Fright via Sacred Bones. Lyricist and vocalist Michael Berdan and multi-instrumentalist Ben Greenberg give a taste of what's to come with "The Killing of America," the latest menancing and blazing single from their sophomore album.
Uniform will embark on a west coast tour this February but not before kicking off the month with their record release show at Brooklyn Bazaar on February 9 with Black Marble. The two will then fly to Seattle for a performance at Barboza on February 16 and make their way down the coastline and to the southwest for their closing show at Phoenix's Lunchbox on February 25.
Listen to "The Killing of America" below and catch Wake In Fright in full on January 20 on Sacred Bones.
This past fall, Caila Thompson-Hannant, the brains behind Montreal-based Mozart's Sister, teased two tracks off her upcoming LP, Field of Love. Both “Eternally Girl” and “Angel” feature her beguiling vocals as well as a gorgeous labyrinth of synths, making for a achingly stunning pop production. Thompson-Hannant will debut her material a day early as she kicks off her tour in New York on February 16 for a performance at Silent Barn with Teen Daze. After that she’ll, head back up to Canada for before hitting up Los Angeles on her way to SXSW.
Listen to “Angel” below. Field of Love will be released February 17 via Arbutus Records.