This column covers what we're listening to from the far flung branches of Indie music. Read on for tips from lo-fi to shoegaze, post-punk to emo, indie-folk to art-pop, and anything between.
Spacemen 3 Superior Viaduct Reissue Series:
After decades of bootlegs and questionable licensing, the quintessential spacerock group Spacemen 3 finally get a legit reissue series thanks to Oakland's Superior Viaduct. Most notably, the series includes the long unavailable (and brilliantly titled) Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To, an assembling of their earliest demos and rehearsal tracks. Perfect Prescription may be their greatest recording to date, but Taking Drugs... runs a close second. Two years before the wave of shoegaze and spacerock hit the UK, these guys were there, lost in a sea of reverb and guitar fuzz of their own making. Read More over at The Guardian.
black moth super rainbow panic blooms:
Now six albums into a stellar run of records exploring the edges of lo-fi electronics, oddball psychedelia, and sunshiny pop, Panic Blooms should still excite any fans who've been there from the start. A step away from their more recent forays into accessibility, this one taps into the woozy experimentation of the Dandelion Gum/Eating Us era. We can’t get enough!
Mommy Long Legs Try Your Best:
The first and last full-length by this treasured Seattle group perfectly captures their moment on the scene. Try Your Best is bursting with energy and attitude. If you love the manic misfit anthems of the Riot Grrrl era you must hear this record.
Ryley Walker Deafman Glance:
It's been a thrill to listen to the expansion of Ryley Walkers's musical vocabulary. Emerging as an insanely talented folk guitarist and a singer with a great ear, each record has seen his sound become a little more expansive. At this point, with four full records under his belt, there are elements of free-improvisation, grimy psych-rock, and bolder experiments in song-craft. Very good plus.
Stella Donnelly Thrush Metal:
Sharp lyrics and raw, stripped down folk arrangements are the hallmarks of Thrush Metal, the debut EP from Stella Donnelly. The songs are direct and potent, with her barbs and wit standing in stark contrast to the quiet simplicity of the recordings. Count Stella as another in an astounding wave of young Australian songwriters.
Gaz Coombes World's Strongest Man:
Supergrass fans take note! Gaz Coombes, the voice and moving force behind the excellent turn of the century British pop group, has a new record and it is quite good. If you haven't kept up, age hasn't slowed him down. His style is intact; this is infectious, high-energy, essential pop-rock, the sort of thing that just gets better and better the more you spin it.
The POSIES DEAR 23:
Finally back in-print, Dear 23 has to be amongst the finest records by the pairing of Jon Auer & Ken Stringfellow. This was a jangly big-hearted pop record released by Seattle band in the heyday of Grunge, and still it has become a classic of NW rock despite it's idiosyncrasy. If you love bands like Big Star and REM and have managed not to hear The Posies, this is a fine place to start.