Ben Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance received a 7.6 review on Pitchfork for Hexadic, his new Drag City LP/CD, out February 17th. See what the braintrust had to say ~
“There’s a real sense of aesthetic purpose here; though none of Chasny’s work has ever sounded non-commital, his dedication to one guitar approach creates thorough cohesion, gluing all nine tracks together under one communal vibe. That effect was likely enhanced by Chasny’s self-devised songwriting system, one that even inspired him to create his own set of Six Organs playing cards. But this method seems more about creating a frame of mind than hewing to specific rules, as the resulting music sounds ready and willing to go anywhere.
That openness allows Chasny and his colleagues—including his Comets on Fire bandmate Noel Von Harmonson on drums—to play patiently and thoughtfully. Even when they’re smashing into a crescendo, it feels like a natural, well-worn state rather than a rushed attempt to force frenzy. In a way they come off like an athlete who’s so calm under pressure her heartbeat hardly varies whether she’s winning easily or taken down to the wire. So even though Hexadic bears an ominous, sometimes even disorienting tone, there’s a placidity to the proceedings that keeps the music more welcoming than confrontational. It reminds me of how Neil Young’s noisiest songs sway rather than crash, more reflective than assaultive, despite all the sonic debris.”
Photo courtesy of Elisa Ambrogio
Jessica Pratt released On Your Own Love Again on LP/CD yesterday, and Pitchfork rose early, and posted an 8.1 review for her Drag City debut.
“Pratt’s gorgeous Drag City debut quietly rejects tradition. For all its folk touchstones, Pratt is more an aesthete than a poet—she sings of bleeding watercolors, blue geraniums—and accordingly On Your Own Love Again plays like acoustic dream-pop. Its warm, home-recorded atmosphere is more dramatic and distinctive than Jessica Pratt: finger-picked psychedelia, lucidly layered harmonies, hissy tape effects, an overcast haze. But Pratt’s songwriting is more cohesive and concise, her whispered secrets more alluring. The record’s cyclical nature gives On Your Own more momentum, as she sings sticky rock’n'roll hooks learned from Brian Wilson or the Hollies.”
From the Drag City web portal -
“Her album’s called On Your Own Love Again, and people seem to be DEEPLY ready to hear it. That’s good – this is a record that’ll stand up to the anticipation, with a delicately woven set of pop-folk songs written through a deep love and observation of songs and singers and the whole rock thing. Jessica’s taken it in but what comes back out again is put forth so innately, from whatever it is that we perceive as Jessica’s ‘personality,’ that there’s a new sense of the tradition, something expressed in a way that hasn’t already been covered in the generations of blues players and the country guys and all the rest, working from the same template and coming up with their own personal twists on things. Something that is HERS. Beyond the songwriting, Jessica’s also got a tremendous sense of HOW her records are supposed to sound, which is amazing, because not only is this the first one for which she’s actually had her hands on the dials, but also, the balance she’s going for is such a delicate one, comprised of fine lines and haze in a constantly shifting equilibrium. Plus there’s the other thing in the mix that’s not always so easy to get in there, a little thing you might heard of called vibrations? Like the time, the vibes in On Your Own Love Again just feel right. The light from the moon is falling in the right place. The fog starts lifting at the same moment every time we flip the record.”
Full disclosure: I am not as young as you may think. When I was too busy rabble-rousing in the 80s & early 90s, I first became aware of “garage music” – specifically, bands such as The Sonics, The Wailers, The Novas, etc. – from Tim Warren’s Crypt Records Back From The Grave series. Long before your Ty Segalls, your Oh Sees, your Nots, your Oblivians, your Gories….there was Back From The Grave. Truth be told, initially, I skirted BFTG as what our parents listened to at a drunken frat toga-themed party. Wrong or right, Crypt has spent over 30 years compiling what are the(e) landmark garage punk compilations out there in the world. Except no substitute.
Pitchfork doesn’t. They reviewed the newest additions to the series, Back From The Grave Vol. 9 and Back From The Grave Vol. 10 on Pitchfork today. While the CD version compiles the 2 comps, each LP stands on it’s own…and judging from the response at CTD, there’s an OVERWHELMING DEMAND, so act faster than fast to get yours.
Pic courtesty of Universal Pictures. Maybe Otter took it.
Modern-day journeyman, Alasdair Roberts, received a 7.3 rating on Pitchfork today for his new S/T LP/CD out on January 27 via Drag City.
“As most of his recent work should make abundantly clear, Roberts creates folk music without much need for any additional prefixes or modifiers. It has long been his practice to balance his original songs with a deep appreciation for the traditional folk of the British Isles and, as the Furrow Collective have put it, ‘balladry at its darkest and quirkiest.’ On Alasdair Roberts he sticks exclusively with original material, although a simple scan of the song titles (‘The Mossy Shrine’, ‘The Final Diviner’) might camouflage that fact. Compared to such previous solo works as 2009’s Spoils, and certainly to the more raucous group work on A Wonder Working Stone, Roberts’ songs here are quieter and simpler, and his language less ornate. And while all of Roberts’ music, even at its most traditional, has sounded unique and intimate it has seldom sounded this personal.”
Photo by Alex Woodward
For a brief moment at the beginning of the 90s, long before he weilded octopus-like drumming ability in Don Caballero, Damon Che Fitzgerald crafted an album’s worth of some of the most incredibly stunning guitar rock under the moniker Thee Speaking Canaries, playing all of the instruments himself. On February 3rd, Chunklet offers a limited edition, one-pressing-only LP, Platter Base Must Be Constructed of Moon Rock, detailing the fruits of such labor.
Check out the video Mind Cure made for the album’s release (note: Mind Cure released The Joy Of Wine, the first official Canaries LP waaaaay back long ago, before you were born. Probably.)
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