Audio Learning Center were once members of grunge-era misfits Pond and Sprinkler, bands that disappeared before anyone could notice. “Stereo,” pairing anthemic crescendos with Chris Brady’s endearingly fragile vocals, may just right that wrong.
I keep thinking CLOADM “donkey”…sorry. I actually played a Donkey Kong clone on my TRS-80, loaded from cassette. These tracks are much better than Donkey Kong; reminiscent of DJ Shadow’s work with UNKLE.
The chin-stroking ambience of O!A!L!’s 2003 material (see “Ex’s and
Ho’s Oh’s”) makes way for a more diverse palette of bristling pop and sprawling sonic gems in ’04.
On their site, Devics name-drop Johnny Cash, Arab Strap, Iron and Wine, and Sparklehorse. If those bands float your boat, chances are you’ll be happy you found Devics.
Perennial guest vocalist Miho Hatori finds her most natural fit yet, resurrecting ’60s Brazilian samba and bossa nova with all-star session man Smokey Hormel (Beck, Tom Waits).
Halifax’s art-hop pioneer evolves his doomsday mic checks into full-blown audio armageddon (see “Storm Clouds & Silver Lining”) for his Ninja Tune debut.
Not rap, not jazz, not spoken word — at least not as you know it. Refreshingly tight live sessions that manage to reference Run-DMC and Mother Goose in the same verse with only a slight smirk.
Elastic, eccentric punk-wave with some really rewindable lyrics. Plus they’re from Regina, which makes me giggle.
Douglas has played with some crazy kids (John Zorn, Cibo Matto, and Sean Lennon) and covered Rufus Wainwright. These remixes have a splash of electronic vermouth with a foundation of gin jazz and a little speed.
Maria May and Allison LaBonne’s angelic duets herald heartbreak with exquisite simplicity (“there is only air/where I used to care”).