Monday, October 15, 2012

Keel Her - Riot Grrrl | Track Feature

Keel Her give us a supple and thoroughly charming off-kilter lo-fi pop music. There is enough nostalgic punch to keep any 20 something year old satisfied for a few hours pleasure. Rose Keeler-Schäffeler's soaks her ram shackled songwriting in references of the past with a tongue in cheek mentality that seems to honor and poke fun at all the moments in pop culture which she could seemingly hold dear.

"Riot Grrrl" kicks starts everything here and is Keel Her's first "hi-fi" musical statement. She leaves her comfortable, presumably smokey, bedroom and enters an actual recording studio. The guitars are still jangling away and Keeler-Schäffeler's recognizable melodic hooks are all in place. There is a clarity and accessibility that her own home-recorded output can only hint at. The more professional attitude and recording quality could be a factor of this being one of her most widely available releases to date but also feels like a natural progression the DIY pop songsmith.

For Keel Her's US debut Gnar Tapes go back into Keeler-Schäffeler's demo vaults from the past year or so to dig up some of the best treats that may have gone overlooked. "Steve Holt" is a fine example of what she is capable of committing to tape all on her own. It is falling apart while simultaneously congealing into perfection. Yum...

Keel Her's "Riot Grrrl" 7" will be available this December 3rd by Critical Heights while her self-titled US debut is available now via Gnar Tapes

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chris Cohen - Monad | Video Feature

Even if you are not familiar with his name you have most likely heard the work and playing of Chris Cohen at some point in the past fews years. He has been in the background, both as a live member and active contributor, of countless memorable groups such as Deerhoof, White Magic, The Curtains, Haunted Graffiti, & Cass McCombs to name only a few. It is easy to understand why so many folks seem to gravitate towards him as his own music is a thoughtfully crafted affair that is sip away into. There is nothing abrasive that strikes out at the listener, everything seems to fit right into place, & moreover "Monad" feels like meeting an old dear friend for the first time in years. The song feels is perfect for slipping into the 

Chris Cohen's cohesive and sonic mastery as displayed throughout "Monad" are mirrored in the subtly breathtaking beauty of its visual accompaniment.  The music video directed by Kate Dollenmayer creates a visual cohesion through it's sly reference to Cohen record jacket for Overgrown Path. The abstract and shifting black and white patterns evoke only the album cover and shifting nature in Cohen songwriting. Someone can get sucked into watching this on repeat and may come out it feeling as though they've been to some hypnotist and unloaded all of their emotional baggage without realizing it. A fresh start perhaps...

Chris Cohen's "Monad" is taken from his debut full-length album Overgrown Path available now via Captured Tracks.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

DIVA - Inverted Image | Video Feature

Diva returns with a refined version of the lullaby atmospheric song craft that she has previously presented on The Glitter End. This time Diva Dompé has updated her recording process or something as "Inverted Image" offers a much clearer and dare I say studio sounding version of her work and it suits her well. The subtle and haunting melodies created here all rest upon the bed of a slowly grooving bass line & the small flutter and squelch of synths.

The video does a fantastic job at capturing Diva's fairytale nature. It is presented through a monochromatic lens that creates a sharp vision of a world that could be taken from the dreams of a child. Dompé travels throughout singing and swaying throughout the lullaby groove and shimmering world that has been created around her.

Diva's album Moon Moods is  available now on cassette via Leaving Records and CD & Vinyl via Critical Heights.