In 2011, Yuck‘s penchant for grunge and 90’s nostalgia, saw their debut offering Get Away released to an acclaim so high it was hard not to reach for the bandwagon. Ex-frontman Daniel Blumberg seemed to be steering them back into an age of raw, lo-fi sentiment. The era where abrasive authenticity was aplenty and euphoric indie rock: embraced and prevalent. Yuck’s beginnings were certainly an accolade to grunge times past. Post-Daniel departure, the question on the lips of all anticipatory Yuck fans: have the wheels left the wagon?
The exit of a frontman and co-writer/producer leaves a hole, it also leaves room for reinvention. What better to shovel into this gap than a guitar laden wall of sound, some introspection and a dream-pop, fuzzy soundscape wide enough to once again throw your hopes into.
Following their aptly titled second album Rebirth, Yuck release a preview of surprise spring EP Southern Skies. Far from 2011, fresh track “Athena” continues to evidence the band’s transition into ethereal realms. Yuck look set to front a whole new resurrection, this time turning their attentions to the British mid-nineties movement of shoe gaze. Meeting all specifications, “Athena” embodies the fuzzy form and introspection of My Bloody Valentine circa Loveless. Vocals are softened and often indistinguishable; blending with the noise-pop backdrop, in a non-abrasive and flawless fashion. Dreamy soundscapes eventually leading to a heavier more climactic closure. Whilst retaining elements of their pensive past, Yuck’s last UK tour saw Max Bloom take the wheel, steering in a direction that featured tight live performances, complete composure and a promising new form.
“Athena” can be heard above. Taken from forthcoming Spring EP, Southern Skies.
The Bellows (free download!)
Don’t you just love when you get to a show early, not knowing who the opener is, and end up being wildly impressed with what you’re witnessing? That’s exactly what happened this week when we went to check out Bad Suns at the Marquis Theater in Denver. We showed up a bit earlier than we wanted to, but we’re sure glad we did. Catching Bear on only their second live show, we were instantly hooked by their impressive sound.
Hailing from the Mile High City, this brand-spankin-new post rock outfit knows how to put on a show. Their lead singer switches back and forth between softly sung lyrics, and big, boisterous choruses. The guitar work was something to be noted as well, articulately providing a melodic, heavy and enticing backbone to their tracks.
The only song on their soundcloud happens to be one of our favorites from their live set. “Bellows” is an emotional ride driven by calculated guitar work, driving drums and powerful vocals. While the production isn’t top notch, it’s to be expected from such a new endeavor, who is most assuredly paying for studio time on their own dime. Regardless, the song still carries an impressive heft, leaving us wanting to hear more.
New artist duo ::swoon::
Let me introduce to you London’s Cash + David, an electronic pop duo who just released their first song “Funn.” When asked how they described their own sound, the duo simply replied, “Singing ‘Like A Virgin’ in a desert karaoke booth, with Sleigh Bells on percussion and M83 on guitars.” Drawing inspiration from the Beastie Boys and The Knife, this duo immediately shows their ability to mix a diverse collection of electronic sounds, instruments, and vocals. “Funn” has that garage-band feel, people sitting around on beanbags as C+D magically combine intoxicating vocals with drums, hard guitar, and light electronic melodies. So kick back and enjoy the old school feel mixed with the vibrant electro, and expect a lot more from these two in the next year.
BRAIN (Prod. By Shlohmo)
Over the last year, our love for BANKS has only grown with each and every release, eventually reaching the point where we didn’t think we could possibly love her even more than we already did. Then she decided to drop this on us. Teaming up with LA producer Shlohmo for “Brain,” BANKS delivers yet another sumptuously sexy single, her delicate vocals slinking freely along the chilling, ethereal production. Like most of her singles, the sultry songstress springs free around the midway point, flexing her pipes during a convulsive refrain. After the stellar release of her LONDON EP in 2013, BANKS is showing no signs of slowing down as she readies her debut album on Harvest Records/Good Years, while also preparing for gigs in major festivals like Coachella and Governors Ball. With a year’s worth of experience now under her belt, look for big things from BANKS in 2014.
We can’t predict the future, it’s unhealthy to dwell on the past, and we should never overlook the present. Sometimes we need to just sit and chill awhile. Drown out the clutter and engage ourselves in the moment. And that is is why we are glad you’re here. Take a second to focus on something other than everything else. We’ve got a sweet little playlist to help you color your silence.
Whats That?(Gimme That)
Workin Woman Blues
Lana Del Rey
Once Upon a Dream
Viewers of the Grammy’s last night received a little extra during the commercial break. Premiering the second trailer for the upcoming Disney movie Maleficent, Lana Del Rey’s new cover track “Once Upon a Dream” also made its debut. The chilling tune sets a tense mood for the theatrical trailer and Rey’s signature moody voice is a perfect backdrop. Swooning and placing listeners in a trance, the single will be the film’s title track. Telling the story of the classic Grimm fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the “evil sorceress”, the upcoming flick is set to drop May 30th nationwide. Listen to it above and be sure to download it for free through Google Play.
Let’s face it: the Grammy’s blow. They’re a total misrepresentation of the actual trends happening in music, and are usually at least two to three steps behind the curve. The Recording Academy is out of touch with the culture, and while the awards still have some meaning to them, the show lacks the same significance it had in previous generations. With that mini rant out of the way, I would like to congratulate all of last night’s winners, and don’t want to take anything away from the artists themselves or any of their accomplishments. What we are here to do today is highlight one of the positive aspects of the show: the performances. From 33 couples getting married during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ rendition of “Same Love,” Kendrick Lamar‘s frenetic display during an insane mashup of “M.A.A.D. City” and “Radioactive” with Imagine Dragons, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr re-uniting as one half of The Beatles, and finally to Jay-Z and Beyoncé giving us a glimpse into their chemistry together on stage, this year’s awards had plenty to offer in terms of entertainment value. Check out some of the best ones below, and let us know your thoughts on which one was your favorite.
Daft Punk, Pharrell, Nile Rodgers & Stevie Wonder
Watch the rest of the performances after the jump