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Bless, BlessDZ Tapes
I want to hang out in this band’s teenage wasteland. The buoyant, fist-raising riffs belong on a Raspberries album. The pouty vocals of Luke Reddick belong in a John Waters movie. The filtered, high-pitched background vox of bassist Danny Saperstein are too angelic for this world. This seven-inch makes me want to shotgun a Tecate and hop into a ball pit.
RiYL: Royal Trux, Howling Hex, the driving-around scenes in a Richard Linklater film.
The Red Fetish, Non SequiturEtxe Records
A new release from the Etxe Records stable, on which vocalist Kris Kagei demonstrates how her wiry, gut-tugging vocals can mesmerize no matter what mode her band is in: sludge-y metal, grunge-y skater-rock throwbacks, noodly bedroom pop. When she outright wails, it’s with a purpose, intoning like Elizabeth Fraser over the droning, trumpet-flecked raga of “Dance in Bad Form” until it releases all of its tension into a crunchy, Balkan-pop coda.
RiYL: Any heavy band short of metal you enjoyed in the early ’90s. Singers like Chan Marshall, Scout Niblett, Patti Smith.
Teething Veils, Sea and SunEtxe Records
Sea and Sun is the lushest and most focused full-length from Teething Veils, the Etxe Records chamber-pop outfit of singer and multi-instrumentalist Greg Svitil, viola player Hannah Burris, and whichever string players, reedists, brass sections, and accordionists they can cram into the studio (in this case, Inner Ear) on a given day. These little songs—sepia-toned yet searching, eccentric yet melodically inclined—add up to something that feels like its own pocket universe, sometimes wistful, sometimes the kind of menacing only achieved via a late-career Tom Waits death rattle.
RiYL: Leonard Cohen (the dark later stuff), Tindersticks (the gorgeous early stuff), Conor Oberst’s vocals without Conor Oberst’s tics.
Nate Scheible, FairfaxACR
An ambient/experimental tape that feels plucked from David Lynch’s brain, both sonically and thematically. Scheible built his soundscape—lumbering and pretty, ominous and occasionally cathartic—around a cassette he found in a Northern Virginia thrift store of a women leaving messages for her romantic companion. “Good morning, my love, it’s Saturday morning at 11:25. The date is the 28th of October—no, darling, it’s the 28th of April. I’m not well.” Diane, I’m not sure even Twin Peaks achieved that level of weird pathos.
RiYL: Mysteries in the woods, William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops, Nadine, the gnawing curiosity lurking in mankind’s souls.