Music for 8/17/22!!! Kiwi Jr., Jeshi

@@@ Kiwi Jr: Night Vision ( , 2022) Oh boy, I haven’t heard anybody try to resurrect the Cars formula with updates but these guys are giving it a good shot. Pretty strong blend of guitars and synths but it’s the singer’s ability to carry the vocal duties that elevates this track. I’m listening to Parasite II, not the track clipped below. I’m giving the track Contract Killers a peep and while it uses a drum machine in the intro it heads back into the live drummer action for the body of the tune. I’m checking a third tune because my motto is quality quality quality and this is a really good record. It’s not my favorite style but considering how dead rock is at the present time this is a pretty impressive effort. Tight arrangements, really good singer, all the details are here. Check it out.

@@@ Jeshi: Protein (N/A, 2022) I got to this hip hop artist Jeshi via the UK music magazine Crack. This tune is notable for its high frequency injections into the mix both with a synth and a falsetto vocalist. Very stylish funk vibe here with the singer bouncing up and down off the beat. Major points to the arranger here as the tune breathes — pulsing synth note alternating with the drum loop, and another synth even higher. It’s not often I hit on two solid tracks in one day but I will take it. I don’t usually dig the UK hip hop but this has a slinkiness I find pleasurable and the package really hits.

Music for 6/1/22!!! Horsegirl, Tom Aspaul

@@@ Horsegirl: Anti-glory (N/A, 2022) Today I’m recycling a post I set up a coupla weeks ago and I think it’s from Line of Best Fit but I’m not 100% on that. Opens with big tom drum beat and some sideways guitar playing, oh we back in the ’90s! They go a couple of gears below slack and mix in some shoegaze with some background vocals panned out wide in the stereo field. I would put this as a medium rainstorm with a bit of gusty wind, it never seems to pop a clot and go full shitshow. I like a meltdown, I didn’t come here expecting one but it is weird to hear the restraint. Noisy and polite is a tough combo. I’m into the unexpected these days so not great to see a lack of unexpected sounds or flavors going on here, so do label thee ‘music for normies’.

@@@ Tom Aspaul: Let Them (It’s all Love) (N/A, 2022) Opens with a church-y organ and solo voice before it busts out into dancefloor bangin’. Four on the floor but with a nice percussive guitar/synth patch and then bump it up in the chorus. I don’t know this gent Aspaul from a hole in the wall but he’s got positive energy without pouring on the cheese sounds and he’s got an interesting blend of sounds here. He even tucks a tambourine into the last third of the track. I’m pretty sure I hear an undercover Latin flavor here and I dig that. I’m not jumping up and down over this but it’s more than solid work — focused arrangement with some nice unfolding and a really nice vocalization. There might be some different versions of this track from what I can eyeball on the Apple Music.

Music for 4/28/21!!! Ugly Beautiful, Matt Sweeny and Bonnie Prince Billie, Shelley

@@@ Ugly Beautiful: Sunrise (Self-released, 2021) I don’t remember how I got to this track, a rare fuckup on my part. Slotted as rock, this comes out a tad indie, a little rocking and a bit of classic rock. Then the brooding, proggy singer comes and I deflate. Vocalists are a personal thing so I won’t tell others what to like if they don’t bust my balls about what I like (or don’t like). Big drum sound, pretty polished and not crushed. The guitar player is good but I prefer a generally rougher style of rock — this is more what you’d hear in a gym with a lot of middle aged CEO types. More stylish than ballsy and as I said previously it’s personal preferences yo.

@@@ Matt Sweeney & Bonnie Prince Billie: Hall of Death (Drag City, 2021) I saw this record shouted out on the Twatter. I’ve heard a fair amount of Prince Billie, he’s a darling and shit. There are two tracks up with more coming just a few days from now and all I can say is they bit Noura Mint Seymali in such a profoundly biting bitch ass way with this guitar melody and sound and even the drumbeat, yikes I don’t know what to say. I got a litte distracted clicking around the apple music player to see if my mind done gone and started playing tricks on me again and alas I will leave it up to regular readers to determine whether this is a hardcore bite or an homage. They do mix in some indie and country tracks, but the truth is I can’t get over the bit.

@@@ Shelley: All Pride Aside (Atlantic, 2021) I really dug Shelley back in the day when he was DRAM. If I remember correctly it was a marijuana celebration track and this is slow love jam. Less a booty jam than a love jam. A lot of really smooth sounds and the overall vibe of the track is a softer one. Very nice bass, very melodic and prominent in the mix. A female singer hits the mic and she sings in a lower register than Shelley as he goes falsetto. They’re grooving out on the hook ‘addicted to love’ and ‘enable you/enable me’ and while it’s not my favorite cup of tea it’s the full black hippie/soul updated Age of Aquarius trip. He sings well for sure. It appears Shelley wants to move away from the rhyme circuit and hit the r&b circuit and he’s got the skills to do it.