True fans of music spend countless hours searching for that next great song, album or artist, whether it be online or in a local record shop. The beautiful thing about music in today’s age is that technology has created an infinite supply of great music that is available to us at the click of a mouse. How perfect is that? We can discover a brand new artist on the opposite side of the globe in seconds without a radio or a music television channel. It only makes sense that a website so dedicated to this gorgeous universe of music would want to celebrate the greatness and share it with anyone who is looking.
My name is Eric and I am your host of Straight from the Teet, where I will delve into 7 new albums per week as well as 1 randomly chosen throwback record and let you know which tracks I loved from the albums I listened to. I hope that my exploration through this never-ending sea of music will help satisfy that hunger for the brand new tracks you have been seeking.
WEDNESDAY: A.C. Newman – Shut Down The Streets
THURSDAY: She Makes War – Little Battles
FRIDAY: Conduits – Conduits
SATURDAY: A Silent Film – Sand & Snow
SUNDAY: Short Hair Ideals – Immersion
Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin
- Mexican Summer
- November 20, 2012
It has recently come to my attention that there is a new drug circulating within society that is not taken by way of mouth, nose or physically at all. In fact, this so called “drug” is completely digital. Apparently, these so called digital drugs are supposed to be listened to on headphones and they will alter your thoughts by combining two separate tones and changing your perception of them within your brain. Now, I’m not sure if I believe in this idea as I have been a constant listener of drone music for years and have never once had this euphoric feeling aside from being captivated by the sounds. This idea conveniently falls into rhythm with the brand new, collaborative work by Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never. Instrumental Tourist is the first album in a set for label Mexican Summer that finds ambient artists collaborating to make minimal, synthetic sounds. Historically, I am not much of a fan of Lopatin but I have always loved Hecker’s music as he escapes the prison of drone sounds and creates something much more beautiful. Although I have an ultimate respect for drone music in the ambient world, it’s always been a huge hit or miss for me. Most of the time, it ends up just sounding like an assortment of sound effects with a small addition of distorted, drawn out notes. Very rarely does a drone record actually hold onto my attention, Unfortunately for Hecker and Lopatin, their record sticks to the later. Instrumental Tourist is a record that obviously blends together the talents of both artists but I am let down by not hearing the beautiful piano ambiance from Hecker. Instead, we are presented with shifting drone tones and some oddly put together sound effects which is where the comparison to these digital drugs comes in. Overall, I think this album is far from a masterpiece and although I love hearing artists collaborate, this one just doesn’t necessarily work in my eyes.
The Oh Hello’s
Through The Deep, Dark Valley
- October 30, 2012
The Oh Hello’s are a brother, sister team made up of Tyler and Maggie Heath. The duo are from Texas and use a variety of influences that expand the country rock style to a more diverse folk pop blend. Through The Deep, Dark Valley is the sibling’s debut LP and the effort is entirely there. The duo state that their influences range from Mumford & Sons to The Civil Wars and the ideas put forth by both of those bands are all present here on this record. Being a fan of The Civil Wars, I was pleasantly surprised with The Oh Hello’s whose sound is very reminiscent of the former except with far less pianos. Instead, The Oh Hello’s use far more pop oriented sounds with the help of acoustic guitars, steel lap guitar, plenty of orchestral harmonies and some southern styled riffs. I like how both Heaths use their abilities singing as Tyler sounds very much so like Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie while sister Maggie sings with a huge presence that is incredibly confident and outright strong. There is a true intelligence for songwriting on this debut record and even though these songs seem to share lots in common with midwestern themed bedside tales, I really love how they are incorporated into these pop jangles. The production was done very well especially with the mixing as all the instrumentation is combined beautifully with the harmonized vocals. Everything combines together very nicely as nothing overpowers one another and the vocals just flow ever so effortlessly over the minimalistic instrumentals. This album really put me into a nice mood after a tough week and that alone really drove me to giving this one a nice, respectable score.
Download: The Oh Hellos – The Valley
Shut Down The Streets
- October 5, 2012
A.C. Newman has been an indie fan favorite since 1997 when he created The New Pornographers, an indie alternative group that remained one of the more talked about bands within the indie community until only recently. Newman was the frontman and lead songwriter for the band and it came to no surprise that he would eventually test out a solo career. 2004 saw the release of his debut The Slow Wonder which became an instant fan favorite for the year overall. Although his follow-up LP Get Guilty wasn’t as critically acclaimed, it still held onto Newman’s fan base as it stuck to what he has always done best as a singer/songwriter. Shut Down The Streets is the newest album by Newman and once again, he has decided to play it safe. The album is filled with melodic pop tunes, each of which are cluttered with plenty of acoustic guitar and organs, while Newman continues to sing his heart out as usual. For one thing, I really love the songwriting on this album as lyrically, it’s probably his best catalogue since his debut album. On the other hand though, I’ve since become bored of his generic pop sound as countless songwriters have adopted the sound over the last decade. Although Newman is a very good artist, by keeping it safe and not expanding his musical horizon I think it ends up damaging his ability to release any new material that is gripping. In too many ways, this album just sounded like Get Guilty all over again.
Download: AC Newman – I’m Not Talking
Download: AC Newman – You Could Get Lost Out Here
She Makes War
- My Big Sister Recordings
- April 9, 2012
She Makes War is a do it yourself solo project for singer/songwriter Laura Kidd. The project started in 2007 as a means to be creative and just release some ideas to the public. After her debut album Disarm in 2010 though, Kidd had gained some deserving attention. Kidd considers herself a gloom pop artist as she combines some very dreary, depressing elements together with her overall pop sound which is where her music’s identity really comes from. It’s almost kind of funny as her music brings me back to the 90’s when you had a large group of female bands making grunge music that sounded more pop then anything else. This is where we find Kidd on her new record Little Battles. The sound is much more well rounded then her debut which I credit to the production. Songs carry a more professional feeling on this album as the mixing really gave room for Kidd to sing on top of some almost morbid sounding instrumentals. I found it funny once again here as I almost though I was listening to Hole in a remixed version and was almost in disbelief when I remembered She Makes War was actually on. I had a lot of trouble finding an even ground with this record as I couldn’t connect with a single lyric and the music itself just didn’t really do it for me. At times, Kidd tries to be experimental by using instruments like harps and electronics but the songs end up being as plain as day rather then creative. I like her best when she slams out her electric guitar and tries to kick some ass but she just doesn’t seem to want to go for this presence on this album which is too bad.
Download: She Makes War – Delete
Download: She Makes War – Butterflies
- Team Love
- March 20, 2012
Conduits formed in 2009 to explore their love of 1970’s progressive rock music, 1990’s shoegaze, drone music and the dark atmospheric melodies that have stood out in their tracks. Jenna Morrison, the chief singer/songwriter in the band, has really shined as the blossoming flower in the swamp of misery that is Conduits music. Her wistful vocals have stood out in this disturbing nightmare that the band has created with their instruments and although her vocals don’t quite meet the unique beauty of singers like Rachel Goswell of Slowdive or Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine, she still captures the emotions of each track on their self titled album. Conduits are creating some very dark music that at times is almost disturbing with plenty of distorted, flooded guitars, steady drum patterns, dreary bass rhythms and the nightmarish atmospheres put forth on the synth. Morrison does help shine on a light on these dark and dreary moments but in the end, she just isn’t quite enough to light the way for us. Conduits shows some great signs of maturity as a new band but in the end, their seems to be a failure on a true identity. Their music pulls every which way and in the end, it puts a burden on the deeply themed lyricism and music that is Conduits.
Download: Conduits – Well
Download: Conduits – Limbs and Leaves
A Silent Film is a four-piece alternative pop band from the United Kingdom who formed in 2005. Sand & Snow is the sophomore LP from the Oxford band after a semi successful debut record in 2008 that got them some airplay on local radio in the UK. The band is led by frontman Robert Stevenson who is the singer/songwriter as well as the pianist while Karl Bareham lends his hand at guitar, Ali Hussain plays bass and Spencer Walker sticks to drums and percussion. Sand & Snow is a title that really defines the music within as being a collection of music that is surely going to be forgotten about or even unnoticed after a few listens. The band is exceptionally generic, playing most of their songs in the same exact keys with the same old bar chord progressions and tremendously boring alternative drum beats. Stevenson sounds as if he is impersonating Thomas Chaplin, frontman for one of the worst bands in the world, Keane. Both bands sound almost identical with an utterly unoriginal piano rock sound that creates nothing new or inspirational. The music on this sophomore LP is in fact some of the most cavity inducing pop music I’ve heard all year as if someone has turned on a Lifetime original movie for me and taped my eyes open to watch. It’s all just one, giant headache after another and it’s music like this that long ago turned me away from listening to FM radio in general.
Download: A Silent Film – Anastasia
Download: A Silent Film – Queen of a Sad Land
Short Hair Ideals
- July 29, 2012
Short Hair Ideals is the solo project formed by Ukraine musician Vladimir Vovkoboy. As a fan of ambient music and post-rock music, Vladimir wanted to reach his own plateau of epic pieces of music by creating his own blend of the two formulas. Being inspired by bands such as The Album Leaf and Hammock are very evident on his debut album Immersion as the rock concepts are there but the atmospheres and space left within the music are what really define the record as a whole. Although the concepts are there however, the music is almost too ambitious for a record that seemed to have little to no budget. The production really weighs the album down and forces Vladimir, who seems like a very inspired musician, to stick to more basic paths in his musical endeavors. The songs are all laced with droning synthesizers where orchestral sections probably should have been and programmed drum beats where live percussion should have been places. This album is really one that identifies with the indie musician as the ideas put forward are actually quite good but the delivery just had no chance. Although this record isn’t anything spectacular, you have to respect an independent artist’s capability of going into the studio without money to record something that is beyond their fingertips and that is exactly what this record seems to be.
Download: Short Hair Ideals – Winterbird
Download: Short Hair Ideals – Immersion
Albums To Look Forward To Next Week:
- Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (III)
- Deftones – Koi No Yokan
- Delta Rae – Carry The Fire
- The Spyrals – The Spyrals
- As In We – As It Should Be
- Fat Jon – Rapture Kontrolle
- Dan San – Domino
After another good week of album listens, I am more than ready to start another. If anyone is interested in purchasing or simply hearing any of these albums online, I have linked them for you at the top of this page to make it simple. I hope you have enjoyed reading this weeks edition of Straight From The Teet and I look forward to bringing you a new group of records next week. Please leave comments here at the bottom and let me know what you liked or didn’t like from this week’s lineup. Have a great week and please support these terrific bands!